V. D'Elia (INAF-OAR), C. C. Thoene (INAF-OAB), A. De Ugarte Postigo
(ESO), P. D'Avanzo, S. Covino (INAF-OAB), S. Piranomonte (INAF-OAR), R.
Salvaterra (INAF-OAB), G. Chincarini (Univ. Bicocca) report on behalf of
the MISTICI collaboration:
We observed the optical afterglow candidate of GRB 081118 (D'Avanzo et
al. GCN 8528; Loew et al. GCN 8529) with the ESO-VLT equipped with the
FORS2 camera starting on Nov 19.1166 (about 12 hours after the burst) in
spectroscopic mode. We took 2x30 min spectra covering the range
4300-9000 Angstrom (based on a preliminary wavelength calibration) with
a resolution of R=440.
We detect a broad absorption feature around lambda_obs = 4350 Angstrom.
Interpreting this feature as Ly-alpha absorption the inferred redshift
is z = 2.58. At this redshift we also detect the SiII (1260), SiII
(1304), CII (1334), SiIV (1393,1402) doublet, SiII (1526), CIV
(1548,1550) doublet, FeII (1608), AlII (1670), SiII (1808) and AlIII
We acknowledge support from the ESO staff.