Illuminating gravitational waves: A concordant picture of photons from a neutron star merger
MetadataShow full item record
Merging neutron stars offer an excellent laboratory for simultaneously studying strong-field gravity and matter in extreme environments. We establish the physical association of an electromagnetic counterpart (EM170817) with gravitational waves (GW170817) detected from merging neutron stars. By synthesizing a panchromatic data set, 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 ultrarelativistic jets. Instead, we suggest that breakout of a wide-angle, mildly relativistic cocoon engulfing the jet explains the low-luminosity gamma rays, the high-luminosity ultraviolet-optical-infrared, and the delayed radio and x-ray emission. We posit that all neutron star mergers may lead to a wide-angle cocoon breakout, sometimes accompanied by a successful jet and sometimes by a choked jet.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Migliari, S.; Miller-Jones, James; Russell, D. (2011)We investigate the role of the compact object in the production of jets from neutron star X-ray binaries. The goal is to quantify the effect of the neutron star spin, if any, in powering the jet. We compile all the available ...
Tudor, V.; Miller-Jones, James; Patruno, A.; D'Angelo, C.; Jonker, P.; Russell, D.; Russell, T.; Bernardini, F.; Lewis, F.; Deller, A.; Hessels, J.; Migliari, S.; Plotkin, Richard; Soria, Roberto; Wijnands, R. (2017)In outburst, neutron star X-ray binaries produce less powerful jets than black holes at a given X-ray luminosity. This has made them more difficult to study as they fade towards quiescence. To explore whether neutron stars ...
The Electromagnetic Counterpart of the Binary Neutron Star Merger LIGO/Virgo GW170817. III. Optical and UV Spectra of a Blue Kilonova from Fast Polar EjectaNicholl, M.; Berger, E.; Kasen, D.; Metzger, B.; Elias, J.; Briceño, C.; Alexander, K.; Blanchard, P.; Chornock, R.; Cowperthwaite, P.; Eftekhari, T.; Fong, W.; Margutti, R.; Villar, V.; Williams, P.; Brown, W.; Annis, J.; Bahramian, Arash; Brout, D.; Brown, D.; Chen, H.; Clemens, J.; Dennihy, E.; Dunlap, B.; Holz, D.; Marchesini, E.; Massaro, F.; Moskowitz, N.; Pelisoli, I.; Rest, A.; Ricci, F.; Sako, M.; Soares-Santos, M.; Strader, J. (2017)© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.. We present optical and ultraviolet spectra of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational-wave (GW) source, the binary neutron star merger ...