Swift follow-up of IceCube triggers, and implications for the Advanced-LIGO era
journal contributionposted on 27.04.2015, 15:20 by P. A. Evans, J. P. Osborne, J. A. Kennea, M. Smith, D. M. Palmer, N. Gehrels, J. M. Gelbord, A. Homeier, M. Voge, N. L. Strotjohann, D. F. Cowen, S. Boeser, M. Kowalski, A. Stasik
Between 2011 March and 2014 August Swift responded to 20 triggers from the IceCube neutrino observatory, observing the IceCube 50 per cent confidence error circle in X-rays, typically within 5 h of the trigger. No confirmed counterpart has been detected. We describe the Swift follow-up strategy and data analysis and present the results of the campaign. We discuss the challenges of distinguishing the X-ray counterpart to a neutrino trigger from serendipitous uncatalogued X-ray sources in the error circle, and consider the implications of our results for future strategies for multimessenger astronomy, with particular reference to the follow-up of gravitational wave triggers from the advanced-era detectors.