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Title: ON DISCOVERING ELECTROMAGNETIC EMISSION FROM NEUTRON STAR MERGERS: THE EARLY YEARS OF TWO GRAVITATIONAL WAVE DETECTORS

We present the first simulation addressing the prospects of finding an electromagnetic (EM) counterpart to gravitational wave (GW) detections during the early years of only two advanced detectors. The perils of such a search may have appeared insurmountable when considering the coarse ring-shaped GW localizations spanning thousands of square degrees using time-of-arrival information alone. Leveraging the amplitude and phase information of the predicted GW signal narrows the localization to arcs with a median area of only a few hundred square degrees, thereby making an EM search tractable. Based on the locations and orientations of the two LIGO detectors, we find that the GW sensitivity is limited to only two of the four sky quadrants. Thus, the rates of GW events with two interferometers is only ≈40% of the rate with three interferometers of similar sensitivity. Another important implication of the sky quadrant bias is that EM observatories in North America and Southern Africa would be able to systematically respond to GW triggers several hours sooner than Russia and Chile. Given the larger sky areas and the relative proximity of detected mergers, 1 m class telescopes with very wide-field cameras are well-positioned for the challenge of finding an EM counterpart. Identification ofmore » the EM counterpart amidst the larger numbers of false positives further underscores the importance of building a comprehensive catalog of foreground stellar sources, background active galactic nucleus and potential host galaxies in the local universe. This initial study is based on a small sample of 17 detected mergers; future works will expand this sample.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. The Observatories, Carnegie Institution for Science, 813 Santa Barbara Street, Pasadena, CA 91101 (United States)
  2. Theoretical Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365758
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 789; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; CAMERAS; DETECTION; GALAXIES; GALAXY NUCLEI; GRAVITATIONAL WAVE DETECTORS; GRAVITATIONAL WAVES; INTERFEROMETERS; NEUTRON STARS; NEUTRONS; ORIENTATION; POTENTIALS; SENSITIVITY; TELESCOPES; UNIVERSE