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GW170817: Observation of gravitational waves from a binary neutron star inspiral


Abstract

On August 17, 2017 at 12∶41:04 UTC the Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo gravitational-wave detectors made their first observation of a binary neutron star inspiral. The signal, GW170817, was detected with a combined signal-to-noise ratio of 32.4 and a false-alarm-rate estimate of less than one per $8.0×10^4$ years. We infer the component masses of the binary to be between 0.86 and 2.26  $M_\odot$, in agreement with masses of known neutron stars. Restricting the component spins to the range inferred in binary neutron stars, we find the component masses to be in the range 1.17–1.60  $M_\odot$, with the total mass of the system $2.74^{+0.04}_{−0.01}M_\odot$. The source was localized within a sky region of 28  $deg^2$ (90% probability) and had a luminosity distance of $40^{+8}_{−14} Mpc$, the closest and most precisely localized gravitational-wave signal yet. The association with the $\tau$-ray burst GRB 170817A, detected by Fermi-GBM 1.7 s after the coalescence, corroborates the hypothesis of a neutron star merger and provides the first direct evidence of a link between these mergers and short $\tau$-ray bursts. Subsequent identification of transient counterparts across the electromagnetic spectrum in the same location further supports the interpretation of this event as a neutron star merger. This unprecedented joint gravitational and electromagnetic observation provides insight into astrophysics, dense matter, gravitation, and cosmology.

Abstract

On August 17, 2017 at 12∶41:04 UTC the Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo gravitational-wave detectors made their first observation of a binary neutron star inspiral. The signal, GW170817, was detected with a combined signal-to-noise ratio of 32.4 and a false-alarm-rate estimate of less than one per $8.0×10^4$ years. We infer the component masses of the binary to be between 0.86 and 2.26  $M_\odot$, in agreement with masses of known neutron stars. Restricting the component spins to the range inferred in binary neutron stars, we find the component masses to be in the range 1.17–1.60  $M_\odot$, with the total mass of the system $2.74^{+0.04}_{−0.01}M_\odot$. The source was localized within a sky region of 28  $deg^2$ (90% probability) and had a luminosity distance of $40^{+8}_{−14} Mpc$, the closest and most precisely localized gravitational-wave signal yet. The association with the $\tau$-ray burst GRB 170817A, detected by Fermi-GBM 1.7 s after the coalescence, corroborates the hypothesis of a neutron star merger and provides the first direct evidence of a link between these mergers and short $\tau$-ray bursts. Subsequent identification of transient counterparts across the electromagnetic spectrum in the same location further supports the interpretation of this event as a neutron star merger. This unprecedented joint gravitational and electromagnetic observation provides insight into astrophysics, dense matter, gravitation, and cosmology.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:09 Feb 2018 10:47
Last Modified:23 Sep 2018 06:13
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN:0031-9007
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.161101

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