A Caltech Library Service

Optical follow-up of gravitational wave triggers with DECam during the first two LIGO/VIRGO observing runs

Herner, K. and Annis, J. and Brout, D. and Soares-Santos, M. and Kessler, R. and Sako, M. and Butler, R. and Doctor, Z. and Palmese, A. and Allam, S. and Tucker, D. L. and Sobreira, F. and Yanny, B. and Diehl, H. T. and Frieman, J. and Glaeser, N. and Garcia, A. and Sherman, N. F. and Bechtol, K. and Berger, E. and Chen, H. Y. and Conselice, C. J. and Cook, E. and Cowperthwaite, P. S. and Davis, T. M. and Drlica-Wagner, A. and Farr, B. and Finley, D. and Foley, R. J. and Garcia-Bellido, J. and Gill, M. S. S. and Gruendl, R. A. and Holz, D. E. and Kuropatkin, N. and Lin, H. and Marriner, J. and Marshall, J. L. and Matheson, T. and Neilsen, E. and Paz-Chinchón, F. and Sauseda, M. and Scolnic, D. and Williams, P. K. G. and Avila, S. and Bertin, E. and Buckley-Geer, E. and Burke, D. L. and Carnero Rosell, A. and Carrasco-Kind, M. and Carretero, J. and da Costa, L. N. and De Vicente, J. and Desai, S. and Doel, P. and Eifler, T. F. and Everett, S. and Fosalba, P. and Gaztanaga, E. and Gerdes, D. W. and Gschwend, J. and Gutierrez, G. and Hartley, W. G. and Hollowood, D. L. and Honscheid, K. and James, D. J. and Krause, E. and Kuehn, K. and Lahav, O. and Li, T. S. and Lima, M. and Maia, M. A. G. and March, M. and Menanteau, F. and Miquel, R. and Plazas, A. A. and Sanchez, E. and Scarpine, V. and Schubnell, M. and Serrano, S. and Sevilla-Noarbe, I. and Smith, M. and Suchyta, E. and Tarle, G. and Wester, W. and Zhang, Y. (2020) Optical follow-up of gravitational wave triggers with DECam during the first two LIGO/VIRGO observing runs. Astronomy and Computing, 33 . Art. No. 100425. ISSN 2213-1337.

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Gravitational wave (GW) events detectable by LIGO and Virgo have several possible progenitors, including black hole mergers, neutron star mergers, black hole–neutron star mergers, supernovae, and cosmic string cusps. A subset of GW events is expected to produce electromagnetic (EM) emission that, once detected, will provide complementary information about their astrophysical context. To that end, the LIGO–Virgo Collaboration (LVC) sends GW candidate alerts to the astronomical community so that searches for their EM counterparts can be pursued. The DESGW group, consisting of members of the Dark Energy Survey (DES), the LVC, and other members of the astronomical community, uses the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) to perform a search and discovery program for optical signatures of LVC GW events. DESGW aims to use a sample of GW events as standard sirens for cosmology. Due to the short decay timescale of the expected EM counterparts and the need to quickly eliminate survey areas with no counterpart candidates, it is critical to complete the initial analysis of each night’s images as quickly as possible. We discuss our search area determination, imaging pipeline, and candidate selection processes. We review results from the DESGW program during the first two LIGO–Virgo observing campaigns and introduce other science applications that our pipeline enables.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Eifler, T. F.0000-0002-1894-3301
Additional Information:© 2020 Published by Elsevier. Received 20 January 2020, Accepted 10 September 2020, Available online 18 September 2020. Funding for the DES Projects has been provided by the DOE and NSF, MEC/MICINN/MINECO (Spain), STFC, HEFCE, NCSA (UIUC), KICP (U. Chicago), CCAPP (Ohio State), MIFPA (Texas A&M), CNPQ, FAPERJ, FINEP, DFG and the Collaborating Institutions in the Dark Energy Survey. The Collaborating Institutions are Argonne Lab, UC Santa Cruz, University of Cambridge, CIEMAT-Madrid, University of Chicago, University College London, DES-Brazil Consortium, University of Edinburgh, ETH Zürich, Fermilab, University of Illinois, ICE (IEEC-CSIC), IFAE Barcelona, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, LMU München and the associated Excellence Cluster Universe, University of Michigan, NOAO, University of Nottingham, Ohio State University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Portsmouth, SLAC National Lab, Stanford University, University of Sussex, Texas A&M University, and the OzDES Membership Consortium. Based in part on observations at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory at NSF’s NOIRLab, which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. The DES Data Management System is supported by the NSF under Grant Numbers AST-1138766 and AST-1536171. The DES participants from Spanish institutions are partially supported by MINECO under grants AYA2015-71825, ESP2015-88861, FPA2015-68048, and Centro de Excelencia SEV-2016-0588, SEV-2016-0597 and MDM-2015-0509. Research leading to these results has received funding from the ERC under the EU’s 7th Framework Programme including grants ERC 240672, 291329 and 306478. We acknowledge support from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO) , through project number CE110001020. This research uses services or data provided by the NOAO Science Archive. NOAO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc. under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. This manuscript has been authored by Fermi Research Alliance, LLC under Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11359 with the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of High Energy Physics. The U.S. Government retains and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the U.S. Government retains a non-exclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, world-wide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow others to do so, for U.S. Government purposes. The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (MEC)UNSPECIFIED
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MCINN)UNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Higher Education Funding Council for EnglandUNSPECIFIED
National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)UNSPECIFIED
Kavli Institute for Cosmological PhysicsUNSPECIFIED
Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP)UNSPECIFIED
Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and AstronomyUNSPECIFIED
Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq)UNSPECIFIED
Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ)UNSPECIFIED
Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos (FINEP)UNSPECIFIED
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)UNSPECIFIED
Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (MINECO)AYA2015-71825
Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (MINECO)ESP2015-88861
Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (MINECO)FPA2015-68048
Centro de Excelencia Severo OchoaSEV-2016-0588
Centro de Excelencia Severo OchoaSEV-2016-0597
Programa Estatal de Fomento de la Investigación Científica y Técnica de Excelencia María de MaeztuMDM-2015-0509
European Research Council (ERC)240672
European Research Council (ERC)291329
European Research Council (ERC)306478
Australian Research CouncilCE110001020
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC02-07CH11359
NASA Einstein FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Gravitational waves; Grid computing; Software and its engineering software infrastructure
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200924-144351741
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:K. Herner, J. Annis, D. Brout, M. Soares-Santos, R. Kessler, M. Sako, R. Butler, Z. Doctor, A. Palmese, S. Allam, D.L. Tucker, F. Sobreira, B. Yanny, H.T. Diehl, J. Frieman, N. Glaeser, A. Garcia, N.F. Sherman, K. Bechtol, E. Berger, H.Y. Chen, C.J. Conselice, E. Cook, P.S. Cowperthwaite, T.M. Davis, A. Drlica-Wagner, B. Farr, D. Finley, R.J. Foley, J. Garcia-Bellido, M.S.S. Gill, R.A. Gruendl, D.E. Holz, N. Kuropatkin, H. Lin, J. Marriner, J.L. Marshall, T. Matheson, E. Neilsen, F. Paz-Chinchón, M. Sauseda, D. Scolnic, P.K.G. Williams, S. Avila, E. Bertin, E. Buckley-Geer, D.L. Burke, A. Carnero Rosell, M. Carrasco-Kind, J. Carretero, L.N. da Costa, J. De Vicente, S. Desai, P. Doel, T.F. Eifler, S. Everett, P. Fosalba, E. Gaztanaga, D.W. Gerdes, J. Gschwend, G. Gutierrez, W.G. Hartley, D.L. Hollowood, K. Honscheid, D.J. James, E. Krause, K. Kuehn, O. Lahav, T.S. Li, M. Lima, M.A.G. Maia, M. March, F. Menanteau, R. Miquel, A.A. Plazas, E. Sanchez, V. Scarpine, M. Schubnell, S. Serrano, I. Sevilla-Noarbe, M. Smith, E. Suchyta, G. Tarle, W. Wester, Y. Zhang, Optical follow-up of gravitational wave triggers with DECam during the first two LIGO/VIRGO observing runs, Astronomy and Computing, Volume 33, 2020, 100425, ISSN 2213-1337, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:105526
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:24 Sep 2020 23:23
Last Modified:07 Oct 2020 17:40

Repository Staff Only: item control page