GCN Circular 8129
I observed the Swift XRT location of SGR 0501+4516 (Holland et al., GCN #8112; Barthelmy et al., GCN #8113) in the R-band using the MDM 2.4m telescope on the nights of Aug. 23 and 24 UT. Preliminary flux calibration was performed with Landolt standard stars. In a sequence of 90 s exposures from Aug. 24 09:55 UT to 11:49 UT, I find variability of the star noted by Denisenko (GCN #8114) as variable between POSS epochs. It began at R = 17.16, remaining at plateau for the first hour, then declined monotonically to R = 17.35 over the next hour. Within a radius of 10" of the XRT position, there is no new object that is not on the POSS to a limit of R = 23.0 in the summed images from Aug. 24. I also obtained a series of 10 s exposures that bracketed the time of the large flare on Aug. 23 11:27:35 UT (Gehrels et al., GCN #8124), but unfortunately did not include it. No optical increase is seen in the Denisenko star in an exposure beginning 16 s after the burst to a limit of 0.05 magnitudes. No new object appears in the vicinity of the XRT position to a limit of R = 20.5 in this image.