BOOTES, the Burst Observer and Optical Transient Exploring System, is a network of astronomical observatories with sites in Southern Spain, New Zealand, China and Mexico (mostly 0.6m diameter telescope with EMCCD camera at the Cassegrain focus and a g'r'i'ZY filterset. The main goal of the network is to quickly observe transient events within few seconds/minutes of being detected by scientific satellites.
BOOTES provides an automated real time observing response to the detection of Gamma Ray Bursts GRBs. Error box size depending, it uses wide ﬁeld cameras (WFC), ultra wide field cameras (UWFC) and narrow field cameras (NFC) attached to small robotic telescopes or the telescopes themselves.
To study GRBs it is of the utmost importance to perform prompt optical follow up observations, to detect longer wavelength transient emission associated to them. BOOTES can perform such follow ups. Its scientiﬁc objectives include:
• Simultaneous and quasi simultaneous observations of GRB error boxes.
• Detection of optical ﬂashes of cosmic origin.
• All-Sky monitoring with the CASANDRA cameras down to 10th mag every 60 s.
• Monitoring of different types of variable objects (galactic or extragalactic) down to 20th mag in order to search for optical variabilitity.
BOOTES is part, within the framework of an international collaboration led by Spain, which started in order to support the ESA’s satellite INTEGRAL with ground-based observations. The project also was focused to perform rapid follow up observations of events detected by several spacecraft (BATSE, BeppoSAX, RossiXTE, IPN, Hete-2, Swift and Fermi). Results in the GRB field are multifold:
• Predetection images: they set up upper limits for any possible precursors.
• Simultaneous images: the first was achieved last 20 February 2001, although no counterpart was detected.
• Follow-up images: with several gamma-ray bursts being discovered or monitored starting several dozen of seconds after the onset of the event.
- BOOTES-1 - El Arenosillo -
- BOOTES-2 - Estación Experimental de La Mayora -
- BOOTES-3 - Lauder, New Zealand -
- BOOTES-4 - Lijang, China -
- BOOTES-5 - Observatorio Astronómico Nacional en la Sierra de San Pedro Mártir, Mexico