Implications of the search for optical counterparts during the second part of the Advanced LIGO's and Advanced Virgo's third observing run: Lessons learned for future follow-up observations

Michael W. Coughlin, Tim Dietrich, Sarah Antier, Mouza Almualla, Shreya Anand, Mattia Bulla, Francois Foucart, Nidhal Guessoum, Kenta Hotokezaka, Vishwesh Kumar, Geert Raaijmakers, Samaya Nissanke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Joint multimessenger observations with gravitational waves and electromagnetic (EM) data offer new insights into the astrophysical studies of compact objects. The third Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo observing run began on 2019 April 1; during the 11 months of observation, there have been 14 compact binary systems candidates for which at least one component is potentially a neutron star. Although intensive follow-up campaigns involving tens of ground and space-based observatories searched for counterparts, no EM counterpart has been detected. Following on a previous study of the first six months of the campaign, we present in this paper the next five months of the campaign from 2019 October to 2020 March. We highlight two neutron star-black hole candidates (S191205ah and S200105ae), two binary neutron star candidates (S191213g and S200213t), and a binary merger with a possible neutron star and a 'MassGap' component, S200115j. Assuming that the gravitational-wave (GW) candidates are of astrophysical origin and their location was covered by optical telescopes, we derive possible constraints on the matter ejected during the events based on the non-detection of counterparts. We find that the follow-up observations during the second half of the third observing run did not meet the necessary sensitivity to constrain the source properties of the potential GW candidate. Consequently, we suggest that different strategies have to be used to allow a better usage of the available telescope time. We examine different choices for follow-up surveys to optimize sky localization coverage versus observational depth to understand the likelihood of counterpart detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1181-1196
Number of pages16
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume497
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Keywords

  • gravitational waves
  • methods: statistical

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