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A follow-up on intermediate-mass black hole candidates in the second LIGO-Virgo observing run with the Bayes Coherence Ratio

Vajpeyi, Avi and Smith, Rory and Thrane, Eric and Ashton, Gregory and Alford, Thomas and Garza, Sierra and Isi, Maximiliano and Kanner, Jonah and Massinger, T. J. and Xiao, Liting (2022) A follow-up on intermediate-mass black hole candidates in the second LIGO-Virgo observing run with the Bayes Coherence Ratio. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 516 (4). pp. 5309-5317. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stac2332.

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The detection of an intermediate-mass black hole population (10²–10⁶ M_⊙) will provide clues to their formation environments (e.g. discs of active galactic nuclei, globular clusters) and illuminate a potential pathway to produce supermassive black holes. Ground-based gravitational-wave detectors are sensitive to mergers that can form intermediate-mass black holes weighing up to ∼450 M_⊙. However, ground-based detector data contain numerous incoherent short duration noise transients that can mimic the gravitational-wave signals from merging intermediate-mass black holes, limiting the sensitivity of searches. Here, we follow-up on binary black hole merger candidates using a ranking statistic that measures the coherence or incoherence of triggers in multiple-detector data. We use this statistic to rank candidate events, initially identified by all-sky search pipelines, with lab-frame total masses ≳ 55 M_⊙ using data from LIGO's second observing run. Our analysis does not yield evidence for new intermediate-mass black holes. However, we find support for eight stellar-mass binary black holes not reported in the first LIGO–Virgo gravitational wave transient catalogue GWTC-1, seven of which have been previously reported by other catalogues.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Vajpeyi, Avi0000-0002-4146-1132
Smith, Rory0000-0001-8516-3324
Thrane, Eric0000-0002-4418-3895
Ashton, Gregory0000-0001-7288-2231
Isi, Maximiliano0000-0001-8830-8672
Kanner, Jonah0000-0001-8115-0577
Massinger, T. J.0000-0002-3429-5025
Xiao, Liting0000-0003-2703-449X
Additional Information:The authors gratefully thank the PYCBC team for providing the gravitational-wave foreground, background, and simulated triggers from PYCBC’s search of O2’s data. We also warmly thank Ian Harry and Thomas Dent for answering questions about the PYCBC search’s data products. We gratefully acknowledge the computational resources provided by the LIGO Laboratory-Caltech Computing Cluster and supported by NSF grants PHY-0757058 and PHY-0823459, and thank Stuart Anderson for his assistance in resource scheduling. All analyses (inclusive of test and failed analyses) performed for this study used 0.6 M core-hours, amounting to a carbon footprint of ∼77 t of CO₂ [using the US average electricity source emissions of 0.371 kg kWh⁻¹ ( 2020) and 0.3 kWh for each CPU]. This material is based upon work supported by NSF’s LIGO Laboratory, a major facility fully funded by the National Science Foundation. This research has used data, software, and web tools obtained from the Gravitational Wave Open Science Center (, a service of LIGO Laboratory, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, and the Virgo Collaboration. LIGO Laboratory and Advanced LIGO are funded by the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) as well as the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) of the United Kingdom, the Max-Planck-Society (MPS), and the State of Niedersachsen/Germany for support of the construction of Advanced LIGO and construction and operation of the GEO600 detector. Additional support for Advanced LIGO was provided by the Australian Research Council. Virgo is funded, through the European Gravitational Observatory (EGO), by the French Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), and the Dutch Nikhef, with contributions by institutions from Belgium, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Monaco, Poland, Portugal, and Spain.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Australian Research CouncilUNSPECIFIED
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)UNSPECIFIED
Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20221013-48351800.8
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:117399
Deposited By: Research Services Depository
Deposited On:18 Oct 2022 22:11
Last Modified:18 Oct 2022 22:11

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