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Title: The Electromagnetic Counterpart of the Binary Neutron Star Merger LIGO/Virgo GW170817. I. Discovery of the Optical Counterpart Using the Dark Energy Camera

Abstract

Here, we present the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) discovery of the optical counterpart of the first binary neutron star merger detected through gravitational-wave emission, GW170817. Our observations commenced 10.5 hr post-merger, as soon as the localization region became accessible from Chile. We imaged 70 deg 2 in the i and z bands, covering 93% of the initial integrated localization probability, to a depth necessary to identify likely optical counterparts (e.g., a kilonova). At 11.4 hr post-merger we detected a bright optical transient located $$10\buildrel{\prime\prime}\over{.} 6$$ from the nucleus of NGC 4993 at redshift z = 0.0098, consistent (for $${H}_{0}=70$$ km s –1 Mpc –1) with the distance of 40 ± 8 Mpc reported by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration (LVC). At detection the transient had magnitudes of $i=17.3$ and $z=17.4$, and thus an absolute magnitude of $${M}_{i}=-15.7$$, in the luminosity range expected for a kilonova. We identified 1500 potential transient candidates. Applying simple selection criteria aimed at rejecting background events such as supernovae, we find the transient associated with NGC 4993 as the only remaining plausible counterpart, and reject chance coincidence at the 99.5% confidence level. We therefore conclude that the optical counterpart we have identified near NGC 4993 is associated with GW170817. This discovery ushers in the era of multi-messenger astronomy with gravitational waves and demonstrates the power of DECam to identify the optical counterparts of gravitational-wave sources.

Authors:
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Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) (SC-21); USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Contributing Org.:
[The Dark Energy Survey and The Dark Energy Camera GW-EM Collaboration]
OSTI Identifier:
1408100
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1418148; OSTI ID: 1421834; OSTI ID: 1422481; OSTI ID: 1422966
Report Number(s):
[FERMILAB-PUB-17-454-AE-CD-PPD; arXiv:1710.05459; LA-UR-17-29523]
[Journal ID: ISSN 2041-8213; TRN: US1702930]
Grant/Contract Number:  
[AC02-76SF00515; AC02-07CH11359; AC02-05CH11231; AC05-00OR22725; AC52-06NA25396]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal. Letters
Additional Journal Information:
[ Journal Volume: 848; Journal Issue: 2]; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-8213
Publisher:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; binaries: close; catalogs; gravitational waves; stars: neutron; surveys; 79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS

Citation Formats

Soares-Santos, M., Holz, D. E., Annis, J., Chornock, R., Herner, K., Berger, E., Brout, D., Chen, H. -Y., Kessler, R., Sako, M., Allam, S., Tucker, D. L., Butler, R. E., Palmese, A., Doctor, Z., Diehl, H. T., Frieman, J., Yanny, B., Lin, H., Scolnic, D., Cowperthwaite, P., Neilsen, E., Marriner, J., Kuropatkin, N., Hartley, W. G., Paz-Chinchón, F., Alexander, K. D., Balbinot, E., Blanchard, P., Brown, D. A., Carlin, J. L., Conselice, C., Cook, E. R., Drlica-Wagner, A., Drout, M. R., Durret, F., Eftekhari, T., Farr, B., Finley, D. A., Foley, R. J., Fong, W., Fryer, C. L., García-Bellido, J., Gill, M. S. .. S., Gruendl, R. A., Hanna, C., Kasen, D., Li, T. S., Lopes, P. A. A., Lourenço, A. C. C., Margutti, R., Marshall, J. L., Matheson, T., Medina, G. E., Metzger, B. D., Muñoz, R. R., Muir, J., Nicholl, M., Quataert, E., Rest, A., Sauseda, M., Schlegel, D. J., Secco, L. F., Sobreira, F., Stebbins, A., Villar, V. A., Vivas, K., Walker, A. R., Wester, W., Williams, P. K. G., Zenteno, A., Zhang, Y., Abbott, T. M. C., Abdalla, F. B., Banerji, M., Bechtol, K., Benoit-Lévy, A., Bertin, E., Brooks, D., Buckley-Geer, E., Burke, D. L., Rosell, A. Carnero, Kind, M. Carrasco, Carretero, J., Castander, F. J., Crocce, M., Cunha, C. E., D’Andrea, C. B., Costa, L. N. da, Davis, C., Desai, S., Dietrich, J. P., Doel, P., Eifler, T. F., Fernandez, E., Flaugher, B., Fosalba, P., Gaztanaga, E., Gerdes, D. W., Giannantonio, T., Goldstein, D. A., Gruen, D., Gschwend, J., Gutierrez, G., Honscheid, K., Jain, B., James, D. J., Jeltema, T., Johnson, M. W. G., Johnson, M. D., Kent, S., Krause, E., Kron, R., Kuehn, K., Kuhlmann, S., Lahav, O., Lima, M., Maia, M. A. G., March, M., McMahon, R. G., Menanteau, F., Miquel, R., Mohr, J. J., Nichol, R. C., Nord, B., Ogando, R. L. C., Petravick, D., Plazas, A. A., Romer, A. K., Roodman, A., Rykoff, E. S., Sanchez, E., Scarpine, V., Schubnell, M., Sevilla-Noarbe, I., Smith, M., Smith, R. C., Suchyta, E., Swanson, M. E. C., Tarle, G., Thomas, D., Thomas, R. C., Troxel, M. A., Vikram, V., Wechsler, R. H., and Weller, J. The Electromagnetic Counterpart of the Binary Neutron Star Merger LIGO/Virgo GW170817. I. Discovery of the Optical Counterpart Using the Dark Energy Camera. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aa9059.
Soares-Santos, M., Holz, D. E., Annis, J., Chornock, R., Herner, K., Berger, E., Brout, D., Chen, H. -Y., Kessler, R., Sako, M., Allam, S., Tucker, D. L., Butler, R. E., Palmese, A., Doctor, Z., Diehl, H. T., Frieman, J., Yanny, B., Lin, H., Scolnic, D., Cowperthwaite, P., Neilsen, E., Marriner, J., Kuropatkin, N., Hartley, W. G., Paz-Chinchón, F., Alexander, K. D., Balbinot, E., Blanchard, P., Brown, D. A., Carlin, J. L., Conselice, C., Cook, E. R., Drlica-Wagner, A., Drout, M. R., Durret, F., Eftekhari, T., Farr, B., Finley, D. A., Foley, R. J., Fong, W., Fryer, C. L., García-Bellido, J., Gill, M. S. .. S., Gruendl, R. A., Hanna, C., Kasen, D., Li, T. S., Lopes, P. A. A., Lourenço, A. C. C., Margutti, R., Marshall, J. L., Matheson, T., Medina, G. E., Metzger, B. D., Muñoz, R. R., Muir, J., Nicholl, M., Quataert, E., Rest, A., Sauseda, M., Schlegel, D. J., Secco, L. F., Sobreira, F., Stebbins, A., Villar, V. A., Vivas, K., Walker, A. R., Wester, W., Williams, P. K. G., Zenteno, A., Zhang, Y., Abbott, T. M. C., Abdalla, F. B., Banerji, M., Bechtol, K., Benoit-Lévy, A., Bertin, E., Brooks, D., Buckley-Geer, E., Burke, D. L., Rosell, A. Carnero, Kind, M. Carrasco, Carretero, J., Castander, F. J., Crocce, M., Cunha, C. E., D’Andrea, C. B., Costa, L. N. da, Davis, C., Desai, S., Dietrich, J. P., Doel, P., Eifler, T. F., Fernandez, E., Flaugher, B., Fosalba, P., Gaztanaga, E., Gerdes, D. W., Giannantonio, T., Goldstein, D. A., Gruen, D., Gschwend, J., Gutierrez, G., Honscheid, K., Jain, B., James, D. J., Jeltema, T., Johnson, M. W. G., Johnson, M. D., Kent, S., Krause, E., Kron, R., Kuehn, K., Kuhlmann, S., Lahav, O., Lima, M., Maia, M. A. G., March, M., McMahon, R. G., Menanteau, F., Miquel, R., Mohr, J. J., Nichol, R. C., Nord, B., Ogando, R. L. C., Petravick, D., Plazas, A. A., Romer, A. K., Roodman, A., Rykoff, E. S., Sanchez, E., Scarpine, V., Schubnell, M., Sevilla-Noarbe, I., Smith, M., Smith, R. C., Suchyta, E., Swanson, M. E. C., Tarle, G., Thomas, D., Thomas, R. C., Troxel, M. A., Vikram, V., Wechsler, R. H., & Weller, J. The Electromagnetic Counterpart of the Binary Neutron Star Merger LIGO/Virgo GW170817. I. Discovery of the Optical Counterpart Using the Dark Energy Camera. United States. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aa9059.
Soares-Santos, M., Holz, D. E., Annis, J., Chornock, R., Herner, K., Berger, E., Brout, D., Chen, H. -Y., Kessler, R., Sako, M., Allam, S., Tucker, D. L., Butler, R. E., Palmese, A., Doctor, Z., Diehl, H. T., Frieman, J., Yanny, B., Lin, H., Scolnic, D., Cowperthwaite, P., Neilsen, E., Marriner, J., Kuropatkin, N., Hartley, W. G., Paz-Chinchón, F., Alexander, K. D., Balbinot, E., Blanchard, P., Brown, D. A., Carlin, J. L., Conselice, C., Cook, E. R., Drlica-Wagner, A., Drout, M. R., Durret, F., Eftekhari, T., Farr, B., Finley, D. A., Foley, R. J., Fong, W., Fryer, C. L., García-Bellido, J., Gill, M. S. .. S., Gruendl, R. A., Hanna, C., Kasen, D., Li, T. S., Lopes, P. A. A., Lourenço, A. C. C., Margutti, R., Marshall, J. L., Matheson, T., Medina, G. E., Metzger, B. D., Muñoz, R. R., Muir, J., Nicholl, M., Quataert, E., Rest, A., Sauseda, M., Schlegel, D. J., Secco, L. F., Sobreira, F., Stebbins, A., Villar, V. A., Vivas, K., Walker, A. R., Wester, W., Williams, P. K. G., Zenteno, A., Zhang, Y., Abbott, T. M. C., Abdalla, F. B., Banerji, M., Bechtol, K., Benoit-Lévy, A., Bertin, E., Brooks, D., Buckley-Geer, E., Burke, D. L., Rosell, A. Carnero, Kind, M. Carrasco, Carretero, J., Castander, F. J., Crocce, M., Cunha, C. E., D’Andrea, C. B., Costa, L. N. da, Davis, C., Desai, S., Dietrich, J. P., Doel, P., Eifler, T. F., Fernandez, E., Flaugher, B., Fosalba, P., Gaztanaga, E., Gerdes, D. W., Giannantonio, T., Goldstein, D. A., Gruen, D., Gschwend, J., Gutierrez, G., Honscheid, K., Jain, B., James, D. J., Jeltema, T., Johnson, M. W. G., Johnson, M. D., Kent, S., Krause, E., Kron, R., Kuehn, K., Kuhlmann, S., Lahav, O., Lima, M., Maia, M. A. G., March, M., McMahon, R. G., Menanteau, F., Miquel, R., Mohr, J. J., Nichol, R. C., Nord, B., Ogando, R. L. C., Petravick, D., Plazas, A. A., Romer, A. K., Roodman, A., Rykoff, E. S., Sanchez, E., Scarpine, V., Schubnell, M., Sevilla-Noarbe, I., Smith, M., Smith, R. C., Suchyta, E., Swanson, M. E. C., Tarle, G., Thomas, D., Thomas, R. C., Troxel, M. A., Vikram, V., Wechsler, R. H., and Weller, J. Mon . "The Electromagnetic Counterpart of the Binary Neutron Star Merger LIGO/Virgo GW170817. I. Discovery of the Optical Counterpart Using the Dark Energy Camera". United States. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aa9059. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1408100.
@article{osti_1408100,
title = {The Electromagnetic Counterpart of the Binary Neutron Star Merger LIGO/Virgo GW170817. I. Discovery of the Optical Counterpart Using the Dark Energy Camera},
author = {Soares-Santos, M. and Holz, D. E. and Annis, J. and Chornock, R. and Herner, K. and Berger, E. and Brout, D. and Chen, H. -Y. and Kessler, R. and Sako, M. and Allam, S. and Tucker, D. L. and Butler, R. E. and Palmese, A. and Doctor, Z. and Diehl, H. T. and Frieman, J. and Yanny, B. and Lin, H. and Scolnic, D. and Cowperthwaite, P. and Neilsen, E. and Marriner, J. and Kuropatkin, N. and Hartley, W. G. and Paz-Chinchón, F. and Alexander, K. D. and Balbinot, E. and Blanchard, P. and Brown, D. A. and Carlin, J. L. and Conselice, C. and Cook, E. R. and Drlica-Wagner, A. and Drout, M. R. and Durret, F. and Eftekhari, T. and Farr, B. and Finley, D. A. and Foley, R. J. and Fong, W. and Fryer, C. L. and García-Bellido, J. and Gill, M. S. .. S. and Gruendl, R. A. and Hanna, C. and Kasen, D. and Li, T. S. and Lopes, P. A. A. and Lourenço, A. C. C. and Margutti, R. and Marshall, J. L. and Matheson, T. and Medina, G. E. and Metzger, B. D. and Muñoz, R. R. and Muir, J. and Nicholl, M. and Quataert, E. and Rest, A. and Sauseda, M. and Schlegel, D. J. and Secco, L. F. and Sobreira, F. and Stebbins, A. and Villar, V. A. and Vivas, K. and Walker, A. R. and Wester, W. and Williams, P. K. G. and Zenteno, A. and Zhang, Y. and Abbott, T. M. C. and Abdalla, F. B. and Banerji, M. and Bechtol, K. and Benoit-Lévy, A. and Bertin, E. and Brooks, D. and Buckley-Geer, E. and Burke, D. L. and Rosell, A. Carnero and Kind, M. Carrasco and Carretero, J. and Castander, F. J. and Crocce, M. and Cunha, C. E. and D’Andrea, C. B. and Costa, L. N. da and Davis, C. and Desai, S. and Dietrich, J. P. and Doel, P. and Eifler, T. F. and Fernandez, E. and Flaugher, B. and Fosalba, P. and Gaztanaga, E. and Gerdes, D. W. and Giannantonio, T. and Goldstein, D. A. and Gruen, D. and Gschwend, J. and Gutierrez, G. and Honscheid, K. and Jain, B. and James, D. J. and Jeltema, T. and Johnson, M. W. G. and Johnson, M. D. and Kent, S. and Krause, E. and Kron, R. and Kuehn, K. and Kuhlmann, S. and Lahav, O. and Lima, M. and Maia, M. A. G. and March, M. and McMahon, R. G. and Menanteau, F. and Miquel, R. and Mohr, J. J. and Nichol, R. C. and Nord, B. and Ogando, R. L. C. and Petravick, D. and Plazas, A. A. and Romer, A. K. and Roodman, A. and Rykoff, E. S. and Sanchez, E. and Scarpine, V. and Schubnell, M. and Sevilla-Noarbe, I. and Smith, M. and Smith, R. C. and Suchyta, E. and Swanson, M. E. C. and Tarle, G. and Thomas, D. and Thomas, R. C. and Troxel, M. A. and Vikram, V. and Wechsler, R. H. and Weller, J.},
abstractNote = {Here, we present the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) discovery of the optical counterpart of the first binary neutron star merger detected through gravitational-wave emission, GW170817. Our observations commenced 10.5 hr post-merger, as soon as the localization region became accessible from Chile. We imaged 70 deg2 in the i and z bands, covering 93% of the initial integrated localization probability, to a depth necessary to identify likely optical counterparts (e.g., a kilonova). At 11.4 hr post-merger we detected a bright optical transient located $10\buildrel{\prime\prime}\over{.} 6$ from the nucleus of NGC 4993 at redshift z = 0.0098, consistent (for ${H}_{0}=70$ km s–1 Mpc–1) with the distance of 40 ± 8 Mpc reported by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration (LVC). At detection the transient had magnitudes of $i=17.3$ and $z=17.4$, and thus an absolute magnitude of ${M}_{i}=-15.7$, in the luminosity range expected for a kilonova. We identified 1500 potential transient candidates. Applying simple selection criteria aimed at rejecting background events such as supernovae, we find the transient associated with NGC 4993 as the only remaining plausible counterpart, and reject chance coincidence at the 99.5% confidence level. We therefore conclude that the optical counterpart we have identified near NGC 4993 is associated with GW170817. This discovery ushers in the era of multi-messenger astronomy with gravitational waves and demonstrates the power of DECam to identify the optical counterparts of gravitational-wave sources.},
doi = {10.3847/2041-8213/aa9059},
journal = {The Astrophysical Journal. Letters},
number = [2],
volume = [848],
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {10}
}

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