Illuminating gravitational waves: A concordant picture of photons from a neutron star merger

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Kasliwal, M.M.; Nakar, E.; Singer, L.P.; Kaplan, D.L.; Cook, D.O.; Van Sistine, A.; Lau, R.M.; Fremling, C.; Gottlieb, O.; Jencson, J.; Adams, S.M.; Feindt, U.; Hotokezaka, K.; Ghosh, S.; Perley, D.A.; Yu, P.-C.; Piran, T.; Allison, James; Anupama, G.C.; Balasubramanian, A.; more

Kasliwal, M.M.; Nakar, E.; Singer, L.P.; Kaplan, D.L.; Cook, D.O.; Van Sistine, A.; Lau, R.M.; Fremling, C.; Gottlieb, O.; Jencson, J.; Adams, S.M.; Feindt, U.; Hotokezaka, K.; Ghosh, S.; Perley, D.A.; Yu, P.-C.; Piran, T.; Allison, James; Anupama, G.C.; Balasubramanian, A.; Bannister, Keith; Bally, John; Barnes, J.; Barway, S.; Bellm, E.; Bhalerao, V.; Bhattacharya, D.; Blagorodnova, N.; Bloom, J.S.; Brady, P.R.; Cannella, C.; Chatterjee, D.; Cenko, S.B.; Cobb, B.E.; Copperwheat, C.; Corsi, A.; De, K.; Dobie, D.; Emery, K.; Evans, P.A.; Fox, O.D.; Frail, Dale A.; Frohmaier, C.; Goobar, A.; Hallinan, Greg; Harrison, F.; Helou, George; Hinderer, T.; Ho, A.Y.Q.; Horesh, A.; Ip, W.-H.; Itoh, R.; Kasen, D.; Kim, H.; Kuin, N.P.M.; Kupfer, T.; Lynch, C.; Madsen, K.; Mazzali, P.A.; Miller, A.A.; Mooley, K.; Murphy, T.; Ngeow, C.-C.; Nichols, D.; Nissanke, S.; Nugent, P.; Ofek, E.O.; Qi, H.; Quimby, R.M.; Rosswog, S.; Rusu, F.; Sadler, Elaine; Schmidt, P.; Sollerman, J.; Steele, I.; Williamson, A.R.; Xu, Y.; Yan, L.; Yatsu, Y; Zhang, C.; Zhao, W. less


2017-12-24


Journal Article


Science


358


6370


1559-1565


Merging neutron stars offer an exquisite laboratory for simultaneously studying strong-field gravity and matter in extreme environments. We establish the physical association of an electromagnetic counterpart EM170817 to gravitational waves (GW170817) detected from merging neutron stars. By synthesizing a panchromatic dataset, we demonstrate that merging neutron stars are a long-sought production site forging heavy elements by r-process nucleosynthesis. The weak gamma-rays seen in EM170817 are dissimilar to classical short gamma-ray bursts with ultra-relativistic jets. Instead, we suggest that breakout of a wide-angle, mildly-relativistic cocoon engulfing the jet elegantly explains the low-luminosity gamma-rays, the high-luminosity ultraviolet-optical-infrared and the delayed radio/X-ray emission. We posit that all merging neutron stars may lead to a wide-angle cocoon breakout; sometimes accompanied by a successful jet and sometimes a choked jet.


American Association for the Advancement of Science


Astronomical and Space Sciences not elsewhere classified


https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aap9455


EP18431


Journal article - Refereed


English


Kasliwal, M.M.; Nakar, E.; Singer, L.P.; Kaplan, D.L.; Cook, D.O.; Van Sistine, A.; Lau, R.M.; Fremling, C.; Gottlieb, O.; Jencson, J.; Adams, S.M.; Feindt, U.; Hotokezaka, K.; Ghosh, S.; Perley, D.A.; Yu, P.-C.; Piran, T.; Allison, James; Anupama, G.C.; Balasubramanian, A.; Bannister, Keith; Bally, John; Barnes, J.; Barway, S.; Bellm, E.; Bhalerao, V.; Bhattacharya, D.; Blagorodnova, N.; Bloom, J.S.; Brady, P.R.; Cannella, C.; Chatterjee, D.; Cenko, S.B.; Cobb, B.E.; Copperwheat, C.; Corsi, A.; De, K.; Dobie, D.; Emery, K.; Evans, P.A.; Fox, O.D.; Frail, Dale A.; Frohmaier, C.; Goobar, A.; Hallinan, Greg; Harrison, F.; Helou, George; Hinderer, T.; Ho, A.Y.Q.; Horesh, A.; Ip, W.-H.; Itoh, R.; Kasen, D.; Kim, H.; Kuin, N.P.M.; Kupfer, T.; Lynch, C.; Madsen, K.; Mazzali, P.A.; Miller, A.A.; Mooley, K.; Murphy, T.; Ngeow, C.-C.; Nichols, D.; Nissanke, S.; Nugent, P.; Ofek, E.O.; Qi, H.; Quimby, R.M.; Rosswog, S.; Rusu, F.; Sadler, Elaine; Schmidt, P.; Sollerman, J.; Steele, I.; Williamson, A.R.; Xu, Y.; Yan, L.; Yatsu, Y; Zhang, C.; Zhao, W. Illuminating gravitational waves: A concordant picture of photons from a neutron star merger. Science. 2017; 358(6370):1559-1565.https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aap9455



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