On the progenitor of binary neutron star merger GW170817

B. P. Abbott, R. Birney, S. Jawahar, N. A. Lockerbie, S. Reid, K. V. Tokmakov, LIGO Scientific Collaboration, Virgo Collaboration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

On 2017 August 17 the merger of two compact objects with masses consistent with two neutron stars was discovered through gravitational-wave (GW170817), gamma-ray (GRB 170817A), and optical (SSS17a/AT 2017gfo) observations. The optical source was associated with the early-type galaxy NGC 4993 at a distance of just ~40 Mpc, consistent with the gravitational-wave measurement, and the merger was localized to be at a projected distance of ~2 kpc away from the galaxy's center. We use this minimal set of facts and the mass posteriors of the two neutron stars to derive the first constraints on the progenitor of GW170817 at the time of the second supernova (SN). We generate simulated progenitor populations and follow the three-dimensional kinematic evolution from binary neutron star (BNS) birth to the merger time, accounting for pre-SN galactic motion, for considerably different input distributions of the progenitor mass, pre-SN semimajor axis, and SN-kick velocity. Though not considerably tight, we find these constraints to be comparable to those for Galactic BNS progenitors. The derived constraints are very strongly influenced by the requirement of keeping the binary bound after the second SN and having the merger occur relatively close to the center of the galaxy. These constraints are insensitive to the galaxy's star formation history, provided the stellar populations are older than 1 Gyr.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1-18
Number of pages18
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume850
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017

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binary stars
merger
neutron stars
supernovae
galaxies
gravitational waves
kinematics
star formation
histories
gamma rays
history
requirements

Keywords

  • binaries
  • gravitational waves
  • stars
  • kinematics
  • dynamics
  • neutrons
  • GW170817

Cite this

Abbott, B. P. ; Birney, R. ; Jawahar, S. ; Lockerbie, N. A. ; Reid, S. ; Tokmakov, K. V. ; LIGO Scientific Collaboration ; Virgo Collaboration. / On the progenitor of binary neutron star merger GW170817. In: Astrophysical Journal Letters. 2017 ; Vol. 850, No. 2. pp. 1-18
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abstract = "On 2017 August 17 the merger of two compact objects with masses consistent with two neutron stars was discovered through gravitational-wave (GW170817), gamma-ray (GRB 170817A), and optical (SSS17a/AT 2017gfo) observations. The optical source was associated with the early-type galaxy NGC 4993 at a distance of just ~40 Mpc, consistent with the gravitational-wave measurement, and the merger was localized to be at a projected distance of ~2 kpc away from the galaxy's center. We use this minimal set of facts and the mass posteriors of the two neutron stars to derive the first constraints on the progenitor of GW170817 at the time of the second supernova (SN). We generate simulated progenitor populations and follow the three-dimensional kinematic evolution from binary neutron star (BNS) birth to the merger time, accounting for pre-SN galactic motion, for considerably different input distributions of the progenitor mass, pre-SN semimajor axis, and SN-kick velocity. Though not considerably tight, we find these constraints to be comparable to those for Galactic BNS progenitors. The derived constraints are very strongly influenced by the requirement of keeping the binary bound after the second SN and having the merger occur relatively close to the center of the galaxy. These constraints are insensitive to the galaxy's star formation history, provided the stellar populations are older than 1 Gyr.",
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Abbott, BP, Birney, R, Jawahar, S, Lockerbie, NA, Reid, S, Tokmakov, KV, LIGO Scientific Collaboration & Virgo Collaboration 2017, 'On the progenitor of binary neutron star merger GW170817' Astrophysical Journal Letters, vol. 850, no. 2, pp. 1-18. DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/aa93fc

On the progenitor of binary neutron star merger GW170817. / Abbott, B. P.; Birney, R.; Jawahar, S.; Lockerbie, N. A.; Reid, S.; Tokmakov, K. V.; LIGO Scientific Collaboration; Virgo Collaboration.

In: Astrophysical Journal Letters, Vol. 850, No. 2, 01.12.2017, p. 1-18.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - On the progenitor of binary neutron star merger GW170817

AU - Abbott,B. P.

AU - Birney,R.

AU - Jawahar,S.

AU - Lockerbie,N. A.

AU - Reid,S.

AU - Tokmakov,K. V.

AU - LIGO Scientific Collaboration

AU - Virgo Collaboration

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N2 - On 2017 August 17 the merger of two compact objects with masses consistent with two neutron stars was discovered through gravitational-wave (GW170817), gamma-ray (GRB 170817A), and optical (SSS17a/AT 2017gfo) observations. The optical source was associated with the early-type galaxy NGC 4993 at a distance of just ~40 Mpc, consistent with the gravitational-wave measurement, and the merger was localized to be at a projected distance of ~2 kpc away from the galaxy's center. We use this minimal set of facts and the mass posteriors of the two neutron stars to derive the first constraints on the progenitor of GW170817 at the time of the second supernova (SN). We generate simulated progenitor populations and follow the three-dimensional kinematic evolution from binary neutron star (BNS) birth to the merger time, accounting for pre-SN galactic motion, for considerably different input distributions of the progenitor mass, pre-SN semimajor axis, and SN-kick velocity. Though not considerably tight, we find these constraints to be comparable to those for Galactic BNS progenitors. The derived constraints are very strongly influenced by the requirement of keeping the binary bound after the second SN and having the merger occur relatively close to the center of the galaxy. These constraints are insensitive to the galaxy's star formation history, provided the stellar populations are older than 1 Gyr.

AB - On 2017 August 17 the merger of two compact objects with masses consistent with two neutron stars was discovered through gravitational-wave (GW170817), gamma-ray (GRB 170817A), and optical (SSS17a/AT 2017gfo) observations. The optical source was associated with the early-type galaxy NGC 4993 at a distance of just ~40 Mpc, consistent with the gravitational-wave measurement, and the merger was localized to be at a projected distance of ~2 kpc away from the galaxy's center. We use this minimal set of facts and the mass posteriors of the two neutron stars to derive the first constraints on the progenitor of GW170817 at the time of the second supernova (SN). We generate simulated progenitor populations and follow the three-dimensional kinematic evolution from binary neutron star (BNS) birth to the merger time, accounting for pre-SN galactic motion, for considerably different input distributions of the progenitor mass, pre-SN semimajor axis, and SN-kick velocity. Though not considerably tight, we find these constraints to be comparable to those for Galactic BNS progenitors. The derived constraints are very strongly influenced by the requirement of keeping the binary bound after the second SN and having the merger occur relatively close to the center of the galaxy. These constraints are insensitive to the galaxy's star formation history, provided the stellar populations are older than 1 Gyr.

KW - binaries

KW - gravitational waves

KW - stars

KW - kinematics

KW - dynamics

KW - neutrons

KW - GW170817

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ER -