The merger of two neutron stars is predicted to give rise to three major detectable phenomena: a short burst of γ-rays, a gravitational-wave signal, and a transient optical-near-infrared source powered by the synthesis of large amounts of very heavy elements via rapid neutron capture (the r-process). Such transients, named 'macronovae' or 'kilonovae', are believed to be centres of production of rare elements such as gold and platinum. The most compelling evidence so far for a kilonova was a very faint near-infrared rebrightening in the afterglow of a short γ-ray burst at redshift z = 0.356, although findings indicating bluer events have been reported. Here we report the spectral identification and describe the physical properties of a bright kilonova associated with the gravitational-wave source GW170817 and γ-ray burst GRB 170817A associated with a galaxy at a distance of 40 megaparsecs from Earth. Using a series of spectra from ground-based observatories covering the wavelength range from the ultraviolet to the near-infrared, we find that the kilonova is characterized by rapidly expanding ejecta with spectral features similar to those predicted by current models. The ejecta is optically thick early on, with a velocity of about 0.2 times light speed, and reaches a radius of about 50 astronomical units in only 1.5 days. As the ejecta expands, broad absorption-like lines appear on the spectral continuum, indicating atomic species produced by nucleosynthesis that occurs in the post-merger fast-moving dynamical ejecta and in two slower (0.05 times light speed) wind regions. Comparison with spectral models suggests that the merger ejected 0.03 to 0.05 solar masses of material, including high-opacity lanthanides.
During the second observing run of the Laser Interferometer gravitationalwave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo Interferometer, a gravitational-wave signal consistent with a binary neutron star coalescence was detected on 2017 August 17th (GW170817), quickly followed by a coincident short gamma-ray burst trigger by the Fermi satellite. The Distance Less Than 40 (DLT40) Mpc supernova search performed pointed follow-up observations of a sample of galaxies regularly monitored by the survey which fell within the combined LIGO+Virgo localization region, and the larger Fermi gamma ray burst error box. Here we report the discovery of a new optical transient (DLT17ck, also known as SSS17a; it has also been registered as AT 2017gfo) spatially and temporally coincident with GW170817. The photometric and spectroscopic evolution of DLT17ck are unique, with an absolute peak magnitude of M r = -15.8 ± 0.1 and an r−band decline rate of 1.1 mag/d. This fast evolution is generically consistent with kilonova models, which have been predicted as the optical counterpart to binary neutron star coalescences. Analysis of archival DLT40 data do not show any sign of transient activity at the location of DLT17ck down to r∼19 mag in the time period between 8 months and 21 days prior to GW170817. This discovery represents the beginning of a new era for multi-messenger astronomy opening a new path to study and understand binary neutron star coalescences, short gamma-ray bursts and their optical counterparts.
A gravitational-wave (GW) transient was identified in data recorded by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors on 2015 September 14. The event, initially designated G184098 and later given the name GW150914, is described in detail elsewhere. By prior arrangement, preliminary estimates of the time, significance, and sky location of the event were shared with 63 teams of observers covering radio, optical, near-infrared, X-ray, and gamma-ray wavelengths with ground-and space-based facilities. In this Letter we describe the low-latency analysis of the GW data and present the sky localization of the first observed compact binary merger. We summarize the follow-up observations reported by 25 teams via private Gamma-ray Coordinates Network circulars, giving an overview of the participating facilities, the GW sky localization coverage, the timeline, and depth of the observations. As this event turned out to be a binary black hole merger, there is little expectation of a detectable electromagnetic (EM) signature. Nevertheless, this first broadband campaign to search for a counterpart of an Advanced LIGO source represents a milestone and highlights the broad capabilities of the transient astronomy community and the observing strategies that have been developed to pursue neutron star binary merger events. Detailed investigations of the EM data and results of the EM follow-up campaign are being disseminated in papers by the individual teams.
We present X-ray and radio observations of the Fast Blue Optical Transient CRTS-CSS161010 J045834 −081803 (CSS161010 hereafter) at t=69-531 days. CSS161010 shows luminous X-ray (L x ∼5× 10 39 erg s −1 ) and radio (L ν ∼10 29 erg s −1 Hz −1 ) emission. The radio emission peaked at ∼100 days posttransient explosion and rapidly decayed. We interpret these observations in the context of synchrotron emission from an expanding blast wave. CSS161010 launched a mildly relativistic outflow with velocity Γβc0.55c at ∼100 days. This is faster than the non-relativistic AT 2018cow (Γβc∼0.1c) and closer to ZTF18abvkwla (Γβc0.3c at 63 days). The inferred initial kinetic energy of CSS161010 (E k 10 51 erg) is comparable to that of long gamma-ray bursts, but the ejecta mass that is coupled to the mildly relativistic outflow is significantly larger ( -). This is consistent with the lack of observed γ-rays. The luminous X-rays were produced by a different emission component to the synchrotron radio emission. CSS161010 is located at ∼150 Mpc in a dwarf galaxy with stellar mass M * ∼10 7 M e and specific star formation rate sSFR∼0.3 Gyr −1 . This mass is among the lowest inferred for host galaxies of explosive transients from massive stars. Our observations of CSS161010 are consistent with an engine-driven aspherical explosion from a rare evolutionary path of a H-rich stellar progenitor, but we cannot rule out a stellar tidal disruption event on a centrally located intermediate-mass black hole. Regardless of the physical mechanism, CSS161010 establishes the existence of a new class of rare
As China's first X-ray astronomical satellite, the Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), which was dubbed as Insight-HXMT after the launch on June 15, 2017, is a wide-band (1-250 keV) slat-collimator-based X-ray astronomy satellite with the
In this paper we present the enhanced X-ray Timing and Polarimetry mission. eXTP is a space science mission designed to study fundamental physics under extreme conditions of density, gravity and magnetism. The mission aims at determining the equation of state of matter at supra-nuclear density, measuring effects of QED, and understanding the dynamics of matter in strong-field gravity. In addition to investigating fundamental physics, eXTP will be a very powerful observatory for astrophysics that will provide observations of unprecedented quality on a variety of galactic and extragalactic objects. In particular, its wide field monitoring capabilities will be highly instrumental to detect the electro-magnetic counterparts of gravitational wave sources. The paper provides a detailed description of: 1) The technological and technical aspects, and the expected performance of the instruments of the scientific payload; 2) The elements and functions of the mission, from the spacecraft to the ground segment.X-ray instrumentation, X-ray Polarimetry, X-ray Timing, Space mission: eXTP PACS number(s): 95.55. Ka, 95.85.Nv, 95.75.Hi, 97.60.Jd, 97.60.Lf
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