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Data-driven Expectations for Electromagnetic Counterpart Searches Based on LIGO/Virgo Public Alerts

Petrov, Polina and Singer, Leo P. and Coughlin, Michael W. and Kumar, Vishwesh and Almualla, Mouza and Anand, Shreya and Bulla, Mattia and Dietrich, Tim and Foucart, Francois and Guessoum, Nidhal (2022) Data-driven Expectations for Electromagnetic Counterpart Searches Based on LIGO/Virgo Public Alerts. Astrophysical Journal, 924 (2). Art. No. 54. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ac366d.

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Searches for electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational-wave signals have redoubled since the first detection in 2017 of a binary neutron star merger with a gamma-ray burst, optical/infrared kilonova, and panchromatic afterglow. Yet, one LIGO/Virgo observing run later, there has not yet been a second, secure identification of an electromagnetic counterpart. This is not surprising given that the localization uncertainties of events in LIGO and Virgo’s third observing run, O3, were much larger than predicted. We explain this by showing that improvements in data analysis that now allow LIGO/Virgo to detect weaker and hence more poorly localized events have increased the overall number of detections, of which well-localized, gold-plated events make up a smaller proportion overall. We present simulations of the next two LIGO/Virgo/KAGRA observing runs, O4 and O5, that are grounded in the statistics of O3 public alerts. To illustrate the significant impact that the updated predictions can have, we study the follow-up strategy for the Zwicky Transient Facility. Realistic and timely forecasting of gravitational-wave localization accuracy is paramount given the large commitments of telescope time and the need to prioritize which events are followed up. We include a data release of our simulated localizations as a public proposal planning resource for astronomers.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Petrov, Polina0000-0001-5681-4319
Singer, Leo P.0000-0001-9898-5597
Coughlin, Michael W.0000-0002-8262-2924
Kumar, Vishwesh0000-0002-8359-9762
Almualla, Mouza0000-0002-4694-7123
Anand, Shreya0000-0003-3768-7515
Bulla, Mattia0000-0002-8255-5127
Dietrich, Tim0000-0003-2374-307X
Foucart, Francois0000-0003-4617-4738
Guessoum, Nidhal0000-0003-1585-8205
Additional Information:© 2022. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Received 2021 August 16; revised 2021 September 27; accepted 2021 October 8; published 2022 January 12. Resources supporting this work were provided by the NASA High-End Computing (HEC) Program through the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division at Ames Research Center under the project "Dorado Concept Study Report Monte Carlo Simulations," by the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) at University of Minnesota (UMN) under the project "Identification of Variable Objects in the Zwicky Transient Facility," and the Supercomputing Laboratory at King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. P.P. acknowledges support from the UMN Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) sponsored by REU grant No. NSF1757388. L.P.S. acknowledges support from the Multimessenger Astro Connection Science Task Group (STG) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. M.W.C. acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation with grant Nos. PHY-2010970 and OAC-2117997. S.A. acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation GROWTH PIRE grant No. 1545949. M.B. acknowledges support from the Swedish Research Council (Reg. no. 2020-03330). This document is LIGO-P2100281-v5. Facilities: LIGO - Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, EGO:Virgo - , Kamioka:KAGRA - , PO:1.2m . Software: Astropy (Astropy Collaboration et al. 2013), gwemopt (Coughlin et al. 2018b, 2019c), HEALPix (Górski et al. 2005), ligo.skymap (Singer & Price 2016; Singer et al. 2016a, 2016b), POSSIS (Bulla 2019).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Swedish Research Council2020-03330
Subject Keywords:Astronomical simulations; Gravitational wave astronomy; Optical observatories; Neutron stars; Stellar mass black holes
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
LIGO DocumentP2100281-v5
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Astronomical simulations (1857); Gravitational wave astronomy (675); Optical observatories (1170); Neutron stars (1108); Stellar mass black holes (1611)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220114-265926000
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Official Citation:Polina Petrov et al 2022 ApJ 924 54
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:112930
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:18 Jan 2022 23:34
Last Modified:18 Jan 2022 23:34

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