GW170817: Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Neutron Star Inspiral

B. P. Abbott, R. Abbott, T. D. Abbott, F. Acernese, K. Ackley, C. Adams, T. Adams, P. Addesso, R. X. Adhikari, V. B. Adya, C. Affeldt, M. Afrough, B. Agarwal, M. Agathos, K. Agatsuma, N. Aggarwal, O. D. Aguiar, L. Aiello, A. Ain, P. AjithB. Allen, G. Allen, A. Allocca, P. A. Altin, A. Amato, A. Ananyeva, S. B. Anderson, W. G. Anderson, S. V. Angelova, S. Antier, S. Appert, K. Arai, M. C. Araya, J. S. Areeda, N. Arnaud, K. G. Arun, S. Ascenzi, G. Ashton, M. Ast, S. M. Aston, P. Astone, D. V. Atallah, P. Aufmuth, C. Aulbert, K. Aultoneal, C. Austin, A. Avila-Alvarez, S. Babak, V. Mandic, A. Matas, (LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration)

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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 8.0×104 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number161101
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume119
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 16 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) for the construction and operation of the LIGO Laboratory and Advanced LIGO 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. The authors gratefully acknowledge the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), and the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, for the construction and operation of the Virgo detector and the creation and support of the EGO consortium. The authors also gratefully acknowledge research support from these agencies as well as by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research of India, the Department of Science and Technology, India, the Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB), India, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, India, the Spanish Agencia Estatal de Investigación, the Vicepresidència i Conselleria d’Innovació, Recerca i Turisme and the Conselleria d’Educació i Universitat del Govern de les Illes Balears, the Conselleria d’Educació, Investigació, Cultura i Esport de la Generalitat Valenciana, the National Science Centre of Poland, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, the Russian Science Foundation, the European Commission, the European Regional Development Funds (ERDF), the Royal Society, the Scottish Funding Council, the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA), the Lyon Institute of Origins (LIO), the National Research, Development and Innovation Office Hungary (NKFI), the National Research Foundation of Korea, Industry Canada and the Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council Canada, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations, and Communications, the International Center for Theoretical Physics South American Institute for Fundamental Research (ICTP-SAIFR), the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), the Leverhulme Trust, the Research Corporation, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Taiwan and the Kavli Foundation. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the NSF, STFC, MPS, INFN, CNRS and the State of Niedersachsen, Germany for provision of computational resources. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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