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Published November 20, 2012 | Published
Journal Article Open

Search for Gravitational Waves Associated with Gamma-Ray Bursts during LIGO Science Run 6 and Virgo Science Runs 2 and 3


We present the results of a search for gravitational waves associated with 154 gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) that were detected by satellite-based gamma-ray experiments in 2009-2010, during the sixth LIGO science run and the second and third Virgo science runs. We perform two distinct searches: a modeled search for coalescences of either two neutron stars or a neutron star and black hole, and a search for generic, unmodeled gravitational-wave bursts. We find no evidence for gravitational-wave counterparts, either with any individual GRB in this sample or with the population as a whole. For all GRBs we place lower bounds on the distance to the progenitor, under the optimistic assumption of a gravitational-wave emission energy of 10^(–2) M_☉ c^2 at 150 Hz, with a median limit of 17 Mpc. For short-hard GRBs we place exclusion distances on binary neutron star and neutron-star-black-hole progenitors, using astrophysically motivated priors on the source parameters, with median values of 16 Mpc and 28 Mpc, respectively. These distance limits, while significantly larger than for a search that is not aided by GRB satellite observations, are not large enough to expect a coincidence with a GRB. However, projecting these exclusions to the sensitivities of Advanced LIGO and Virgo, which should begin operation in 2015, we find that the detection of gravitational waves associated with GRBs will become quite possible.

Additional Information

© 2012 American Astronomical Society. Received 2012 May 29; accepted 2012 September 22; published 2012 October 30. We are indebted to the observers of the electromagnetic events and the Gamma-ray burst Coordinates Network for providing us with valuable data. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the United States National Science Foundation for the construction and operation of the LIGO Laboratory, the Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom, the Max-Planck-Society, and the State of Niedersachsen/Germany for support of the construction and operation of the GEO600 detector, and the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare and the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique for the construction and operation of the Virgo detector. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the support of the research by these agencies and by the Australian Research Council, the International Science Linkages program of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research of India, the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare of Italy, the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, the Conselleria d'Economia Hisenda i Innovaciό of the Govern de les Illes Balears, the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the FOCUS Programme of Foundation for Polish Science, the Royal Society, the Scottish Funding Council, the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Carnegie Trust, the Leverhulme Trust, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Research Corporation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. This document has been assigned LIGO Laboratory document number LIGO-P1000121-v10.

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August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023