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This content will become publicly available on May 27, 2017

Title: A Dark Energy Camera Search for an Optical Counterpart to the First Advanced LIGO Gravitational Wave Event GW150914

We report initial results of a deep search for an optical counterpart to the gravitational wave event GW150914, the first trigger from the Advanced LIGO gravitational wave detectors. We used the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) to image a 102 deg$^2$ area, corresponding to 38% of the initial trigger high-probability sky region and to 11% of the revised high-probability region. We observed in i and z bands at 4-5, 7, and 24 days after the trigger. The median $$5\sigma$$ point-source limiting magnitudes of our search images are i=22.5 and z=21.8 mag. We processed the images through a difference-imaging pipeline using templates from pre-existing Dark Energy Survey data and publicly available DECam data. Due to missing template observations and other losses, our effective search area subtends 40 deg$$^{2}$$, corresponding to 12% total probability in the initial map and 3% of the final map. In this area, we search for objects that decline significantly between days 4-5 and day 7, and are undetectable by day 24, finding none to typical magnitude limits of i= 21.5,21.1,20.1 for object colors (i-z)=1,0,-1, respectively. Our search demonstrates the feasibility of a dedicated search program with DECam and bodes well for future research in this emerging field.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
FERMILAB-PUB-16-031-AE-PPD; arXiv:1602.04198; BNL-112471-2016-JA; LA-UR-16-20941
Journal ID: ISSN 2041-8213; 1421418
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-07CH11359; SC00112704; AC52-06NA25396
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal. Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 823; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-8213
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States); Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
Contributing Orgs:
DES Collaboration; The DES Collaboration
Country of Publication:
United States
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; 46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; binaries: close; catalogs; gravitational waves; stars: neutron; surveys; Astronomy and Astrophysics