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Can a black hole–neutron star merger explain GW170817, AT2017gfo, and GRB170817A?

Coughlin, Michael W. and Dietrich, Tim (2019) Can a black hole–neutron star merger explain GW170817, AT2017gfo, and GRB170817A? Physical Review D, 100 (4). Art. No. 043011. ISSN 2470-0010.

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The discovery of the compact binary coalescence in both gravitational waves and electromagnetic radiation marks a breakthrough in the field of multimessenger astronomy and has improved our knowledge in a number of research areas. However, an open question is the exact origin of the observables and if one can confirm reliably that GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterparts resulted from a binary neutron star merger. To answer the question if the observation of GW170817, GRB170817A, and AT2017gfo could be explained by the merger of a neutron star with a black hole, we perform a joint multimessenger analysis of the gravitational waves, the short gamma-ray burst, and the kilonova. Assuming a black hole–neutron star system, we derive multimessenger constraints for the tidal deformability of the neutron star of Λ>425 and for the mass ratio of q<2.03 at 90% confidence, with peaks in the likelihood near Λ=830 and q=1.0. Overall, we find that a black hole–neutron star merger could explain the observed signatures; however, our analysis shows that a binary neutron star origin of GW170817 seems more plausible.

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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Coughlin, Michael W.0000-0002-8262-2924
Additional Information:© 2019 American Physical Society. Received 17 January 2019; published 12 August 2019. We that Tanja Hinderer, Ben Margalit, Brian Metzger, and Samaya Nissanke for helpful discussions and comments on the manuscript. Furthermore, we thank Zack Carson, Katerina Chatziioannou, Carl-Johan Haster, Kent Yagi, and Nicolas Yunes for providing us their posterior samples analyzing GW170817 under the assumption of a common EOS [101].M.W. C. is supported by the David and Ellen Lee Postdoctoral Fellowship at the California Institute of Technology. T. D. acknowledges support by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement No. 749145, BNSmergers. The authors thank the maintainers of the LIGO data grid for computers used to perform the analysis.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
David and Ellen Lee Postdoctoral ScholarshipUNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)749145
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190812-105943698
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:97770
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 Aug 2019 18:07
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 21:34

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