Institute of Astronomy

Timely Characterisation for Electromagnetic Follow-up of Gravitational Wave Mergers

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Priscilla Canizares28 July 2016Binary Stars Talks


The first detections of Gravitational Waves (GWs) have started a new era for GW Astronomy and will reshape astronomy and astrophysics as we know them. Prompt and precise alerts of a GW event are necessary to alert high energy-optical-radio observers and maximize the science from a GW detection. However in the first LIGO science run where the first GWs were detected, the localisation and characterisation of the GW source took from days to weeks. In the summer of 2016 LIGO will start to run its second science and we must be prepared to discover the first GW-EM merger. Within several years, the LIGO and Virgo GW detectors will realize their full potential and could detect GWs daily. Hence, it is now essential to perform rapid characterisation of GW sources and to send out timely alerts to the broader astronomy community. 

In this talk I will introduce a new methodology to address the problem of characterising GW signals for triggering timely alerts to EM observers. In particular, I will focus on compact object mergers, which are the main sources expected for electromagnetic follow-up.


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