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

Kasliwal, MM and Cenko, SB and Singer, LP and Corsi, A and Cao, Y and Barlow, T and Bhalerao, V and Bellm, E and Cook, D and Duggan, GE and Ferretti, R and Frail, DA and Horesh, A and Kendrick, R and Kulkarni, SR and Lunnan, R and Palliyaguru, N and Laher, R and Masci, F and Manulis, I and Miller, AA and Nugent, PE and Perley, DA and Prince, TA and Quimby, RM and Rana, J and Rebbapragada, U and Sesar, B and Singhal, A and 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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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: 07 Sep 2017 11:47
DOI or Identification number: 10.3847/2041-8205/824/2/L24
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5584

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