LIGO Document P1700294-v8

Multi-Messenger Observations of a Binary Neutron Star Merger

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01 Dec 2017, 13:31
On 2017 August 17 a binary neutron star coalescence candidate (later designated GW170817) with merger time 12:41:04 UTC was observed through gravitational waves by the Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo detectors. The Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor independently detected a gamma-ray burst (GRB 170817A) with a time delay of ~1.7 s with respect to the merger time. From the gravitational-wave signal, the source was initially localized to a sky region of 31 deg^2 at a luminosity distance of 40 +/-8 Mpc and with component masses consistent with neutron stars. The component masses were later measured to be in the range 0.86 to 2.26 M_sun. An extensive observing campaign was launched across the electromagnetic spectrum leading to the discovery of a bright optical
transient (SSS17a, now with the IAU identification of AT 2017gfo) in NGC 4993 (at ~40 Mpc) less than 11 hours after the merger by the One-Meter, Two Hemisphere (1M2H) team using the 1 m Swope Telescope. The optical transient was independently detected by multiple teams within an hour. Subsequent observations targeted the object and its environment. Early ultraviolet observations revealed a blue transient that faded within 48 hours. Optical and infrared observations showed a redward evolution over ∼10 days. Following early non-detections, X-ray and radio emission were discovered at the transientís position ~9 and ~16 days, respectively, after the merger. Both the X-ray and radio emission likely arise from a physical process that is distinct from the one that generates the UV/optical/near-infrared emission. No ultra-high-energy gamma-rays and no neutrino candidates consistent with the source were found in follow-up searches. These observations support the hypothesis that GW170817 was produced by the merger of two neutron stars in NGC 4993 followed by a short gamma-ray burst (GRB 170817A) and a kilonova/macronova powered by the radioactive decay of r-process nuclei synthesized in the ejecta.
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The PDF document linked here is published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, Volume 848, No. 2, L12 - this version modifed by ApJL, including small corrections to the author list, and further modified on 22 Dec 2017, correcting a few author and citation issues.

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There are approximately 3600 authors on this paper. In addition to the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration, author groups include:

Fermi GBM, INTEGRAL, IceCube Collaboration, AstroSat Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager Team, IPN Collaboration, The Insight-HXMT Collaboration, ANTARES Collaboration, The Swift Collaboration, AGILE Team, The 1M2H Team, The Dark Energy Camera GW-EM Collaboration and the DES Collaboration, The DLT40 Collaboration, GRAWITA: GRAvitational Wave Inaf TeAm, The Fermi Large Area Telescope Collaboration, ATCA: Australia Telescope Compact Array, ASKAP: Australian SKA Pathfinder, Las Cumbres Observatory Group, OzGrav, DWF (Deeper, Wider, Faster program), The VINROUGE Collaboration, MASTER Collaboration, J-GEM, GROWTH, JAGWAR, Caltech-NRAO, TTU-NRAO and NuSTAR Collaborations, Pan-STARRS, The MAXI Team, TZAC Consortium, KU Collaboration, Nordic Optical Telescope, ePESSTO, GROND, Texas Tech University, SALT Group, TOROS: Transient Robotic Observatory of the South Collaboration, The BOOTES Collaboration, MWA: Murchison Widefield Array, The CALET Collaboration, IKI-GW Follow-up Collaboration, H.E.S.S. Collaboration, LOFAR Collaboration, LWA: Long Wavelength Array, HAWC Collaboration, The Pierre Auger Collaboration, ALMA Collaboration, Euro VLBI Team, Pi of the Sky Collaboration, The Chandra Team at McGill University, DFN: Desert Fireball Network, ATLAS, High Time Resolution Universe Survey, RIMAS and RATIR, and SKA South Africa/MeerKAT

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Published in ApJ Letters vol. 848 pg. L12.

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