Title

Swift follow-up observations of candidate gravitational-wave transient events

Authors

P. A. Evans, University of Leicester
J. K. Fridriksson, MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research
N. Gehrels, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
J. Homan, MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research
J. P. Osborne, University of Leicester
M. Siegel, Pennsylvania State University
A. Beardmore, University of Leicester
P. Handbauer, Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem
J. Gelbord, Pennsylvania State University
J. A. Kennea, Pennsylvania State University
M. Smith, Pennsylvania State University
Q. Zhu, Pennsylvania State University
J. Aasi, California Institute of Technology
J. Abadie, California Institute of Technology
B. P. Abbott, California Institute of Technology
R. Abbott, California Institute of Technology
T. D. Abbott, California State University, Fullerton
M. Abernathy, University of Glasgow
T. Accadia, Université Savoie Mont Blanc
F. Acernese, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Napoli
C. Adams, LIGO Livingston
T. Adams, Cardiff University
P. Addesso, Università degli Studi di Salerno
R. Adhikari, California Institute of Technology
C. Affeldt, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute)
M. Agathos, FOM-Institute of Subatomic Physics - NIKHEF
K. Agatsuma, National Institutes of Natural Sciences - National Astronomical Observatory of Japan
P. Ajith, California Institute of Technology
B. Allen, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute)
A. Allocca, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Pisa
E. Amador Ceron, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
D. Amariutei, University of Florida
S. B. Anderson, California Institute of Technology

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-1-2012

Abstract

We present the first multi-wavelength follow-up observations of two candidate gravitational-wave (GW) transient events recorded by LIGO and Virgo in their 2009-2010 science run. The events were selected with low latency by the network of GW detectors (within less than 10 minutes) and their candidate sky locations were observed by the Swift observatory (within 12 hr). Image transient detection was used to analyze the collected electromagnetic data, which were found to be consistent with background. Off-line analysis of the GW data alone has also established that the selected GW events show no evidence of an astrophysical origin; one of them is consistent with background and the other one was a test, part of a "blind injection challenge." With this work we demonstrate the feasibility of rapid follow-ups of GW transients and establish the sensitivity improvement joint electromagnetic and GW observations could bring. This is a first step toward an electromagnetic follow-up program in the regime of routine detections with the advanced GW instruments expected within this decade. In that regime, multi-wavelength observations will play a significant role in completing the astrophysical identification of GW sources. We present the methods and results from this first combined analysis and discuss its implications in terms of sensitivity for the present and future instruments. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series

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