GCN Circular 1744
GRB021211: Optical observations D. Q. Lamb, J. C. Barentine, M. C. Nysewander, D. E. Reichart, M. Schwartz, C. Laws, D. G. York, and R. J. McMillan report, We have observed the field of GRB021211 (Crewe et al., GCN 1734) using the ARC 3.5-meter telescope at APO under excellent seeing conditions but occasional high cirrus. Pointing problems prevented us from calibrating our images using standard stars. In two 2000 second i' images of the GRB021211 field beginning at 09:19 UT on December 12, we detect an object which we estimate has i* > 23 at the position of the optical afterglow of GRB021211 (Fox and Price, GCN 1731). The object is more diffuse than the point spread function for stars that are nearby in the images, which suggests that the object may be the host galaxy of GRB021211. If so, the optical afterglow of GRB021211 was fainter than about i* = 23. Comparison with I_c images taken at Tenagra beginning 40 minutes after the burst implies that the afterglow faded in i* by more than about 4 magnitudes in the intervening 21 hours. This message may be cited.