158 articles – 1990 Notices  [english version]
 HAL : in2p3-00319078, version 1
 arXiv : 0804.2141
 GRB080319B reached 5th optical magnitude during the burst. Thanks to the VLT/UVES rapid response mode, we observed its afterglow just 8m:30s after the GRB onset when the magnitude was R ~ 12. This allowed us to obtain the best signal-to-noise, high resolution spectrum of a GRB afterglow ever (S/N per resolution element ~ 50). The spectrum is rich of absorption features belonging to the main system at z=0.937, divided in at least six components spanning a total velocity range of 100 km/s. The VLT/UVES observations caught the absorbing gas in a highly excited state, producing the strongest Fe II fine structure lines ever observed in a GRB. A few hours later the optical depth of these lines was reduced by a factor of 4-20, and the optical/UV flux by a factor of ~ 60. This proves that the excitation of the observed fine structure lines is due to ''pumping'' by the GRB UV photons. A comparison of the observed ratio between the number of photons absorbed by the excited state and those in the Fe II ground state suggests that the six absorbers are $\gs18-34$ kpc from the GRB site, with component I ~ 2 times closer to the GRB site than components III to VI. Component I is characterized also by the lack of Mg I absorption, unlike all other components. This may be due to a higher gas temperature, suggesting a structured ISM in this galaxy complex.