We present the discovery of the optical transient of the long-duration gamma-ray burst GRB 000630. The optical transient was detected with the Nordic Optical Telescope 21.1 hours after the burst. At the time of discovery the magnitude of the transient was R = 23.04 +/- 0.08. The transient displayed a power-law decline characterized by a decay slope of alpha = -1.035 +/- 0.097. A deep image obtained 25 days after the burst shows no indication of a contribution from a supernova or a host galaxy at the position of the transient. The closest detected galaxy is a R = 324.68 +/- 0.15 galaxy 2.0 arcsec north of the transient. The magnitudes of the optical afterglows of GRB 980329, GRB 980613 and GRB 000630 were all R greater than or similar to 23 less than 24 hours from the burst epoch. We discuss the implications of this for our understanding of GRBs without detected optical transients. We conclude that i) based on the gamma-ray: properties of the current sample we cannot conclude that GRBs with no detected OTs belong to another class of GRBs than GRBs with detected OTs and ii) the majority (greater than or similar to 75%) of GRBs for which searches for optical afterglow have been unsuccessful are consistent with no detection if they were similar to bursts like GRP, 000630 at optical wavelengths.
Astronomy and Astrophysics, 2001, Vol 369, Issue 2, p. 373-379