K. L. Page (U Leicester), S. D. Barthelmy (GSFC), S. B. Cenko (GSFC),
J.D. Gropp (PSU), J. A. Kennea (PSU),
N. J. Klingler (GSFC/UMBC/CRESSTII), F. E. Marshall (NASA/GSFC),
D. M. Palmer (LANL) and B. Sbarufatti (PSU) report on behalf of the
Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory Team:
At 20:48:40 UT, the Swift Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) triggered and
located GRB 211221A (trigger=1090472). Swift slewed immediately to the burst.
The BAT on-board calculated location is
RA, Dec 78.938, +0.940 which is
RA(J2000) = 05h 15m 45s
Dec(J2000) = +00d 56' 25"
with an uncertainty of 3 arcmin (radius, 90% containment, including
systematic uncertainty). The BAT light curve showed a complex peak
structure with a duration of about 20 sec. The peak count rate
was ~1700 counts/sec (15-350 keV), at ~3 sec after the trigger.
The XRT began observing the field at 20:49:34.9 UT, 54.1 seconds after
the BAT trigger. Using promptly downlinked data we find a bright,
uncatalogued X-ray source located at RA, Dec 78.89820, 0.91421 which is
RA(J2000) = 05h 15m 35.57s
Dec(J2000) = +00d 54' 51.2"
with an uncertainty of 3.7 arcseconds (radius, 90% containment). This
location is 170 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
A power-law fit to a spectrum formed from promptly downlinked event
data gives a column density in excess of the Galactic value (1.37 x
10^21 cm^-2, Willingale et al. 2013), with an excess column of 9
(+4.75/-2.44) x 10^21 cm^-2 (90% confidence).
The initial flux in the 2.5 s image was 6.82e-10 erg cm^-2 s^-1 (0.2-10
UVOT took a finding chart exposure of 150 seconds with the White filter
starting 63 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 (kimlpage1978 AT gmail.com).
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/)