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IPTF Search for An Optical Counterpart to Gravitational-Wave TransientT GW150914

Kasliwal, MM, Cenko, SB, Singer, LP, Corsi, A, Cao, Y, Barlow, T, Bhalerao, V, Bellm, E, Cook, D, Duggan, GE, Ferretti, R, Frail, DA, Horesh, A, Kendrick, R, Kulkarni, SR, Lunnan, R, Palliyaguru, N, Laher, R, Masci, F, Manulis, I , Miller, AA, Nugent, PE, Perley, DA, Prince, TA, Quimby, RM, Rana, J, Rebbapragada, U, Sesar, B, Singhal, A, Surace, J and Sistine, AV (2016) IPTF Search for An Optical Counterpart to Gravitational-Wave TransientT GW150914. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 824 (2). ISSN 2041-8205

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Abstract

The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..The intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) autonomously responded to and promptly tiled the error region of the first gravitational-wave event GW150914 to search for an optical counterpart. Only a small fraction of the total localized region was immediately visible in the northern night sky, due both to Sun-angle and elevation constraints. Here, we report on the transient candidates identified and rapid follow-up undertaken to determine the nature of each candidate. Even in the small area imaged of 126 deg2, after extensive filtering, eight candidates were deemed worthy of additional follow-up. Within two hours, all eight were spectroscopically classified by the Keck II telescope. Curiously, even though such events are rare, one of our candidates was a superluminous supernova. We obtained radio data with the Jansky Very Large Array and X-ray follow-up with the Swift satellite for this transient. None of our candidates appear to be associated with the gravitational-wave trigger, which is unsurprising given that GW150914 came from the merger of two stellar-mass black holes. This end-to-end discovery and follow-up campaign bodes well for future searches in this post-detection era of gravitational waves.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0201 Astronomical And Space Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: American Astronomical Society
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2017 12:12
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2018 18:10
DOI or Identification number: 10.3847/2041-8205/824/2/L24
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5584

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