K. L. Page (U Leicester), D. M. Palmer (LANL) and M. H. Siegel (PSU)
report on behalf of the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory Team:
At 07:09:01 UT, the Swift Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) triggered and
located GRB 201221A (trigger=1013852). Swift slewed immediately to the burst.
The BAT on-board calculated location is
RA, Dec 214.477, -45.411 which is
RA(J2000) = 14h 17m 55s
Dec(J2000) = -45d 24' 38"
with an uncertainty of 3 arcmin (radius, 90% containment, including
systematic uncertainty). The BAT light curve showed a complex
structure with a duration of about 50 sec. The peak count rate
was ~800 counts/sec (15-350 keV), at ~10 sec after the trigger.
The XRT began observing the field at 07:11:17.8 UT, 136.5 seconds after
the BAT trigger. Using promptly downlinked data we find a fading,
uncatalogued X-ray source located at RA, Dec 214.47885, -45.41606 which
is equivalent to:
RA(J2000) = 14h 17m 54.92s
Dec(J2000) = -45d 24' 57.8"
with an uncertainty of 3.8 arcseconds (radius, 90% containment). This
location is 18 arcseconds from the BAT onboard position, within the BAT
error circle. This position may be improved as more data are received;
the latest position is available at https://www.swift.ac.uk/sper.
A power-law fit to a spectrum formed from promptly downlinked event
data gives a column density in excess of the Galactic value (9.32 x
10^20 cm^-2, Willingale et al. 2013), with an excess column of 5.3
(+4.59/-3.72) x 10^21 cm^-2 (90% confidence).
UVOT took a finding chart exposure of 150 seconds with the White filter
starting 141 seconds after the BAT trigger. No credible afterglow candidate has
been found in the initial data products. The 2.7'x2.7' sub-image covers 100% of
the XRT error circle. The typical 3-sigma upper limit has been about 19.6 mag.
The 8'x8' region for the list of sources generated on-board covers 100% of the
XRT error circle. The list of sources is typically complete to about 18 mag. No
correction has been made for the expected extinction corresponding to E(B-V) of
Burst Advocate for this burst is K. L. Page (klp5 AT leicester.ac.uk).
Please contact the BA by email if you require additional information
regarding Swift followup of this burst. In extremely urgent cases, after
trying the Burst Advocate, you can contact the Swift PI by phone (see
Swift TOO web site for information: http://www.swift.psu.edu/)