A portion of the HST/STIS CCD image of the field of GRB 000301C. The image shown here is 10" across. The transient is the star in the upper left hand (north west) corner of the field. The galaxy previously identified as a possible host is to its upper right. The lack of emission between the two, and the good fit between the transient and the STIS PSF suggests that the host galaxy of this transient has not yet been detected.
We imaged the field of GRB 000301C with HST using the STIS CCD 50LP (open) mode on 6.22 March 2000 UT with a total exposure time of 1440s. We easily detect the transient believed to be associated with GRB 000301C (Fynbo et al GCN 570, Bernabei et al. GCN 571). We find a magnitude of the source of R=21.5 +/- 0.15 or V=21.9 +/- 0.15, where the magnitude error is dominated by the wide bandpass of the STIS detector and the uncertainty in the color of the transient (Halpern et al. GCN 585).
The OT is well represented by a point source: any underlying galaxy would have to have R >~ 24, or be unusually compact for it to avoid detection in our data. We therefore believe that the apparent flattening of the light curve in the R band reported by many observers is not due to an underlying host galaxy but rather is intrinsic to the transient.
The red galaxy to the north east of the transient reported by Rhoads and Fruchter (GCN 586) is detected in our image; however, there is no apparent bridge of emission between these two objects. We therefore now believe that these objects are most likely unrelated.
The present citation for this work is Fruchter et al. GCN 602 (2000).