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Multi-messenger Observations of a Binary Neutron Star Merger

Abbott, BP and Abbott, R and Abbott, TD and Acernese, F and Ackley, K and Adams, C and Adams, T and Addesso, P and Adhikari, RX and Adya, VB and Affeldt, C and Afrough, M and Agarwal, B and Agathos, M and Agatsuma, K and Aggarwal, N and Aguiar, OD and Aiello, L and Ain, A and Ajith, P and Allen, B and Allen, G and Allocca, A and Altin, PA and Amato, A and Ananyeva, A and Anderson, SB and Anderson, WG and Angelova, SV and Antier, S and Appert, S and Arai, K and Araya, MC and Areeda, JS and Arnaud, N and Arun, KG and Ascenzi, S and Ashton, G and Ast, M and Aston, SM and Astone, P and Atallah, DV and Aufmuth, P and Aulbert, C and AultONeal, K and Austin, C and Avila-Alvarez, A and Babak, S and Bacon, P and Bader, MKM and Bae, S and Baker, PT and Baldaccini, F and Ballardin, G and Ballmer, SW and Banagiri, S and Barayoga, JC and Barclay, SE and Barish, BC and Barker, D and Barkett, K and Barone, F and Barr, B and Barsotti, L and Barsuglia, M and Barta, D and Barthelmy, SD and Bartlett, J 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and Buchanan, CC and Buikema, A and Bulik, T and Bulten, HJ and Buonanno, A and Buskulic, D and Buy, C and Byer, RL and Cabero, M and Cadonati, L and Cagnoli, G and Cahillane, C and Bustillo, JC and Callister, TA and Calloni, E and Camp, JB and Canepa, M and Canizares, P and Cannon, KC and Cao, H and Cao, J and Capano, CD and Capocasa, E and Carbognani, F and Caride, S and Carney, MF and Diaz, JC and Casentini, C and Caudill, S and Cavaglià, M and Cavalier, F and Cavalieri, R and Cella, G and Cepeda, CB and Cerdá-Durán, P and Cerretani, G and Cesarini, E and Chamberlin, SJ and Chan, M and Chao, S and Charlton, P and Chase, E and Chassande-Mottin, E and Chatterjee, D and Chatziioannou, K and Cheeseboro, BD and Chen, HY and Chen, X and Chen, Y and Cheng, H-P and Chia, H and Chincarini, A and Chiummo, A and Chmiel, T and Cho, HS and Cho, M and Chow, JH and Christensen, N and Chu, Q and Chua, AJK and Chua, S and Chung, AKW and Chung, S and Ciani, G and Ciolfi, R and Cirelli, CE and Cirone, 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The Astrophysical Journal, 848 (2). ISSN 1538-4357

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On 2017 August 17 a binary neutron star coalescence candidate (later designated GW170817) with merger time 12:41:04 UTC was observed through gravitational waves by the Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo detectors. The Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor independently detected a gamma-ray burst (GRB 170817A) with a time delay of $\sim 1.7\,{\rm{s}}$ with respect to the merger time. From the gravitational-wave signal, the source was initially localized to a sky region of 31 deg2 at a luminosity distance of ${40}_{-8}^{+8}$ Mpc and with component masses consistent with neutron stars. The component masses were later measured to be in the range 0.86 to 2.26 $\,{M}_{\odot }$. An extensive observing campaign was launched across the electromagnetic spectrum leading to the discovery of a bright optical transient (SSS17a, now with the IAU identification of AT 2017gfo) in NGC 4993 (at $\sim 40\,{\rm{Mpc}}$) less than 11 hours after the merger by the One-Meter, Two Hemisphere (1M2H) team using the 1 m Swope Telescope. The optical transient was independently detected by multiple teams within an hour. Subsequent observations targeted the object and its environment. Early ultraviolet observations revealed a blue transient that faded within 48 hours. Optical and infrared observations showed a redward evolution over ~10 days. Following early non-detections, X-ray and radio emission were discovered at the transient's position $\sim 9$ and $\sim 16$ days, respectively, after the merger. Both the X-ray and radio emission likely arise from a physical process that is distinct from the one that generates the UV/optical/near-infrared emission. No ultra-high-energy gamma-rays and no neutrino candidates consistent with the source were found in follow-up searches. These observations support the hypothesis that GW170817 was produced by the merger of two neutron stars in NGC 4993 followed by a short gamma-ray burst (GRB 170817A) and a kilonova/macronova powered by the radioactive decay of r-process nuclei synthesized in the ejecta.

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: 21 Nov 2017 10:29
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2017 10:29
DOI or Identification number: 10.3847/2041-8213/aa91c9
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7570

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