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Title: The Electromagnetic Counterpart of the Binary Neutron Star Merger LIGO/Virgo GW170817. VIII. A Comparison to Cosmological Short-duration Gamma-Ray Bursts

Here, we present a comprehensive comparison of the properties of the radio through X-ray counterpart of GW170817 and the properties of short-duration gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). For this effort, we utilize a sample of 36 short GRBs spanning a redshift range of $$z \approx 0.12-2.6$$ discovered over 2004-2017. We find that the counterpart to GW170817 has an isotropic-equivalent luminosity that is $$\approx 3000$$ times less than the median value of on-axis short GRB X-ray afterglows, and $$\gtrsim10^{4}$$ times less than that for detected short GRB radio afterglows. Moreover, the allowed jet energies and particle densities inferred from the radio and X-ray counterparts to GW170817 and on-axis short GRB afterglows are remarkably similar, suggesting that viewing angle effects are the dominant, and perhaps only, difference in their observed radio and X-ray behavior. From comparison to previous claimed kilonovae following short GRBs, we find that the optical and near-IR counterpart to GW170817 is comparatively under-luminous by a factor of $$\approx 3-5$$, indicating a range of kilonova luminosities and timescales. A comparison of the optical limits following short GRBs on $$\lesssim 1$$ day timescales also rules out a "blue" kilonova of comparable optical isotropic-equivalent luminosity in one previous short GRB. Finally, we investigate the host galaxy of GW170817, NGC4993, in the context of short GRB host galaxy stellar population properties. We find that NGC4993 is superlative in terms of its large luminosity, old stellar population age, and low star formation rate compared to previous short GRB hosts. Additional events within the Advanced LIGO/VIRGO volume will be crucial in delineating the properties of the host galaxies of NS-NS mergers, and connecting them to their cosmological counterparts.
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [3] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [4] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [8] ;  [5] ;  [9] ;  [10] more »;  [6] ;  [11] « less
  1. Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States)
  2. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA (United States)
  3. Ohio Univ., Athens, OH (United States)
  4. Columbia Univ., New York, NY (United States)
  5. Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
  6. Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (United States)
  7. Syracuse Univ., Syracuse, NY (United States)
  8. Univ. of Chicago, Chicago, IL (United States)
  9. Univ. of Chicago, Chicago, IL (United States); Enrico Fermi Institute, Chicago, IL (United States)
  10. Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD (United States); The Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD (United States)
  11. Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States); Brandeis Univ., Waltham, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
arXiv:1710.05438; FERMILAB-PUB-17-498-AE-CD
Journal ID: ISSN 2041-8213; 1630781; TRN: US1702934
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal. Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 848; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-8213
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Research Org:
Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
Country of Publication:
United States
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; gamma-ray burst: general; gravitational waves; stars: neutron
OSTI Identifier: