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Title: Searching for high-energy gamma-ray counterparts to gravitational-wave sources with Fermi-LAT: A needle in a haystack

Abstract

At least a fraction of gravitational-wave (GW) progenitors are expected to emit an electromagnetic (EM) signal in the form of a short gamma-ray burst (sGRB). Discovering such a transient EM counterpart is challenging because the LIGO/VIRGO localization region is much larger (several hundreds of square degrees) than the field of view of X-ray, optical, and radio telescopes. The Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) has a wide field of view (~2.4 sr) and detects ~2–3 sGRBs per year above 100 MeV. It can detect them not only during the short prompt phase, but also during their long-lasting high-energy afterglow phase. If other wide-field, high-energy instruments such as Fermi-GBM, Swift-BAT, or INTEGRAL-ISGRI cannot detect or localize with enough precision an EM counterpart during the prompt phase, the LAT can potentially pinpoint it with $$\lesssim 10$$ arcmin accuracy during the afterglow phase. This routinely happens with gamma-ray bursts. Moreover, the LAT will cover the entire localization region within hours of any triggers during normal operations, allowing the γ-ray flux of any EM counterpart to be measured or constrained. As a result, we illustrate two new ad hoc methods to search for EM counterparts with the LAT and their application to the GW candidate LVT151012.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1369456
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-76SF00515
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal. Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 841; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-8213
Publisher:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; gamma rays: general; gravitational waves; methods: observational

Citation Formats

Vianello, G., Omodei, N., Chiang, J., and Digel, S. Searching for high-energy gamma-ray counterparts to gravitational-wave sources with Fermi-LAT: A needle in a haystack. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aa7262.
Vianello, G., Omodei, N., Chiang, J., & Digel, S. Searching for high-energy gamma-ray counterparts to gravitational-wave sources with Fermi-LAT: A needle in a haystack. United States. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aa7262.
Vianello, G., Omodei, N., Chiang, J., and Digel, S. Sat . "Searching for high-energy gamma-ray counterparts to gravitational-wave sources with Fermi-LAT: A needle in a haystack". United States. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aa7262. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1369456.
@article{osti_1369456,
title = {Searching for high-energy gamma-ray counterparts to gravitational-wave sources with Fermi-LAT: A needle in a haystack},
author = {Vianello, G. and Omodei, N. and Chiang, J. and Digel, S.},
abstractNote = {At least a fraction of gravitational-wave (GW) progenitors are expected to emit an electromagnetic (EM) signal in the form of a short gamma-ray burst (sGRB). Discovering such a transient EM counterpart is challenging because the LIGO/VIRGO localization region is much larger (several hundreds of square degrees) than the field of view of X-ray, optical, and radio telescopes. The Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) has a wide field of view (~2.4 sr) and detects ~2–3 sGRBs per year above 100 MeV. It can detect them not only during the short prompt phase, but also during their long-lasting high-energy afterglow phase. If other wide-field, high-energy instruments such as Fermi-GBM, Swift-BAT, or INTEGRAL-ISGRI cannot detect or localize with enough precision an EM counterpart during the prompt phase, the LAT can potentially pinpoint it with $\lesssim 10$ arcmin accuracy during the afterglow phase. This routinely happens with gamma-ray bursts. Moreover, the LAT will cover the entire localization region within hours of any triggers during normal operations, allowing the γ-ray flux of any EM counterpart to be measured or constrained. As a result, we illustrate two new ad hoc methods to search for EM counterparts with the LAT and their application to the GW candidate LVT151012.},
doi = {10.3847/2041-8213/aa7262},
journal = {The Astrophysical Journal. Letters},
number = 1,
volume = 841,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat May 20 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Sat May 20 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

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