skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: iPTF SEARCH FOR AN OPTICAL COUNTERPART TO GRAVITATIONAL-WAVE TRANSIENT GW150914

Abstract

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 deg{sup 2}, 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.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;  [1]; ;  [2]; ;  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6]; ;  [7];  [8];  [9];  [10] more »; « less
  1. Cahill Center for Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
  2. Astrophysics Science Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 661, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)
  3. Texas Tech University, Physics Department, Lubbock, TX 79409-1051 (United States)
  4. Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Post Bag 4, Ganeshkhind, Pune 411007 (India)
  5. The Oskar Klein Centre, Department of Physics, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm (Sweden)
  6. National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Socorro, NM (United States)
  7. Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics, Weizmann Institute of Science, 76100 Rehovot (Israel)
  8. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Palo Alto, CA (United States)
  9. Spitzer Science Center, California Institute of Technology, M/S 314-6, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
  10. Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22654199
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Astrophysical Journal Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 824; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 2041-8205
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; BIOCHEMICAL OXYGEN DEMAND; BLACK HOLES; DETECTION; ERRORS; FILTERS; GEOCHEMICAL SURVEYS; GEOPHYSICAL SURVEYS; GRAVITATIONAL WAVES; IMAGES; LEVELS; LIMITING VALUES; MARINE SURVEYS; MASS; NIGHT SKY; PUBLIC OPINION; SATELLITES; SUN; TELESCOPES; TRANSIENTS; X RADIATION

Citation Formats

Kasliwal, M. M., Cao, Y., Barlow, T., Bellm, E., Cook, D., Duggan, G. E., Kulkarni, S. R., Lunnan, R., Cenko, S. B., Singer, L. P., Corsi, A., Palliyaguru, N., Bhalerao, V., Ferretti, R., Frail, D. A., Horesh, A., Manulis, I., Kendrick, R., Laher, R., Masci, F., and others, and. iPTF SEARCH FOR AN OPTICAL COUNTERPART TO GRAVITATIONAL-WAVE TRANSIENT GW150914. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.3847/2041-8205/824/2/L24.
Kasliwal, M. M., Cao, Y., Barlow, T., Bellm, E., Cook, D., Duggan, G. E., Kulkarni, S. R., Lunnan, R., Cenko, S. B., Singer, L. P., Corsi, A., Palliyaguru, N., Bhalerao, V., Ferretti, R., Frail, D. A., Horesh, A., Manulis, I., Kendrick, R., Laher, R., Masci, F., & others, and. iPTF SEARCH FOR AN OPTICAL COUNTERPART TO GRAVITATIONAL-WAVE TRANSIENT GW150914. United States. doi:10.3847/2041-8205/824/2/L24.
Kasliwal, M. M., Cao, Y., Barlow, T., Bellm, E., Cook, D., Duggan, G. E., Kulkarni, S. R., Lunnan, R., Cenko, S. B., Singer, L. P., Corsi, A., Palliyaguru, N., Bhalerao, V., Ferretti, R., Frail, D. A., Horesh, A., Manulis, I., Kendrick, R., Laher, R., Masci, F., and others, and. Mon . "iPTF SEARCH FOR AN OPTICAL COUNTERPART TO GRAVITATIONAL-WAVE TRANSIENT GW150914". United States. doi:10.3847/2041-8205/824/2/L24.
@article{osti_22654199,
title = {iPTF SEARCH FOR AN OPTICAL COUNTERPART TO GRAVITATIONAL-WAVE TRANSIENT GW150914},
author = {Kasliwal, M. M. and Cao, Y. and Barlow, T. and Bellm, E. and Cook, D. and Duggan, G. E. and Kulkarni, S. R. and Lunnan, R. and Cenko, S. B. and Singer, L. P. and Corsi, A. and Palliyaguru, N. and Bhalerao, V. and Ferretti, R. and Frail, D. A. and Horesh, A. and Manulis, I. and Kendrick, R. and Laher, R. and Masci, F. and others, and},
abstractNote = {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 deg{sup 2}, 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.},
doi = {10.3847/2041-8205/824/2/L24},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal Letters},
issn = {2041-8205},
number = 2,
volume = 824,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {6}
}

Works referencing / citing this record:

An Empirical Study of Contamination in Deep, Rapid, and Wide-field Optical Follow-up of Gravitational Wave Events
journal, April 2018


An Empirical Study of Contamination in Deep, Rapid, and Wide-field Optical Follow-up of Gravitational Wave Events
journal, April 2018