GCN Circular 1844
Andrew Levan (U. Leicester/STScI), Andrew Fruchter, James Rhoads and Ingunn Burud (STScI), Evert Rol, Isabel Salamanca, Lex Kaper (U. Amsterdam) and Nial Tanvir (U. Hertfordshire) report for a larger collaboration: We have re-examined R-band images of the field of GRB 020819 taken with the JKT on Aug 19th 2002 and with CTIO-4m on Sept 9th 2002. Coincident with the radio position reported by Frail & Berger (GCN 1842) we find a clearly resolved galaxy with R~19.8. A PSF matched image subtraction reveals no evidence of fading between 19th Aug. and 9th Sept. Thus any optical transient had R>22 at the time of the JKT observations (9 hours after burst). If this galaxy is indeed the host of GRB 020819 then it is the brightest GRB host galaxy yet observed (with the exception of the host of GRB 980425/SN1998bw). It may therefore be at very low redshift. Alternatively the unusual properties of the burst may be related to an unusual host environment.