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Liverpool Telescope follow-up of candidate electromagnetic counterparts during the first run of Advanced LIGO

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journal contribution
posted on 12.10.2016, 11:22 by C. M. Copperwheat, I. A. Steele, A. S. Piascik, D. Bersier, M. F. Bode, C. A. Collins, M. J. Darnley, D. K. Galloway, A. Gomboc, S. Kobayashi, G. P. Lamb, A. J. Levan, P. A. Mazzali, C. G. Mundell, E. Pian, D. Pollacco, D. Steeghs, Nial R. Tanvir, K. Ulaczyk, K. Wiersema
The first direct detection of gravitational waves was made in late 2015 with the Advanced LIGO detectors. By prior arrangement, a worldwide collaboration of electromagnetic follow-up observers were notified of candidate gravitational wave events during the first science run, and many facilities were engaged in the search for counterparts. No counterparts were identified, which is in line with expectations given that the events were classified as black hole - black hole mergers. However these searches laid the foundation for similar follow-up campaigns in future gravitational wave detector science runs, in which the detection of neutron star merger events with observable electromagnetic counterparts is much more likely. Three alerts were issued to the electromagnetic collaboration over the course of the first science run, which lasted from September 2015 to January 2016. Two of these alerts were associated with the gravitational wave events since named GW150914 and GW151226. In this paper we provide an overview of the Liverpool Telescope contribution to the follow-up campaign over this period. Given the hundreds of square degree uncertainty in the sky position of any gravitational wave event, efficient searching for candidate counterparts required survey telescopes with large (~degrees) fields-of-view. The role of the Liverpool Telescope was to provide follow-up classification spectroscopy of any candidates. We followed candidates associated with all three alerts, observing 1, 9 and 17 candidates respectively. We classify the majority of the transients we observed as supernovae.

History

Citation

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2016, 462(4), pp. 3528-3536.

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Physics and Astronomy

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP) for The Royal Astronomical Society

issn

0035-8711

eissn

1365-2966

Acceptance date

26/07/2016

Copyright date

2016

Available date

14/03/2017

Publisher version

https://academic.oup.com/mnras/article/462/4/3528/2589452/Liverpool-Telescope-follow-up-of-candidate

Language

en