Abstract

On August 17, 2017 at 12-41:04 UTC the Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo gravitational-wave detectors made their first observation of a binary neutron star inspiral. The signal, GW170817, was detected with a combined signal-to-noise ratio of 32.4 and a false-alarm-rate estimate of less than one per 8.0 x 104 years. We infer the component masses of the binary to be between 0.86 and 2.26 M⊙, in agreement with masses of known neutron stars. Restricting the component spins to the range inferred in binary neutron stars, we find the component masses to be in the range 1.17-1.60 M, with the total mass of the system 2.74-0.01+0.04M The source was localized within a sky region of 28 deg2 (90% probability) and had a luminosity distance of 40-14+8 Mpc, the closest and most precisely localized gravitational-wave signal yet. The association with the γ-ray burst GRB 170817A, detected by Fermi-GBM 1.7 s after the coalescence, corroborates the hypothesis of a neutron star merger and provides the first direct evidence of a link between these mergers and short γ-ray bursts. Subsequent identification of transient counterparts across the electromagnetic spectrum in the same location further supports the interpretation of this event as a neutron star merger. This unprecedented joint gravitational and electromagnetic observation provides insight into astrophysics, dense matter, gravitation, and cosmology.

Department(s)

Physics

Keywords and Phrases

Astrophysics; Bins; Gamma rays; Gravitation; Gravitational effects; Gravity waves; Mergers and acquisitions; Merging; Neutrons; Signal detection; Signal to noise ratio; Binary neutron stars; Electromagnetic observations; Electromagnetic spectra; False alarm rate; Gamma ray bursts; Gravitational wave detectors; Gravitational-wave signals; Neutron stars; Stars

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0031-9007

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type

text

Language(s)

English

Rights

© 2017 American Physical Society (APS), All rights reserved.

Included in

Physics Commons

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