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iPTF SEARCH FOR AN OPTICAL COUNTERPART TO GRAVITATIONAL- WAVE TRANSIENT GW150914
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Number of Authors: 31
2016 (English)In: Astrophysical Journal Letters, ISSN 2041-8205, E-ISSN 2041-8213, Vol. 824, no 2, L24Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) autonomously responded to and promptly tiled the error region of the first gravitational-wave event GW150914 to search for an optical counterpart. Only a small fraction of the total localized region was immediately visible in the northern night sky, due both to Sun-angle and elevation constraints. Here, we report on the transient candidates identified and rapid follow-up undertaken to determine the nature of each candidate. Even in the small area imaged of 126 deg(2), after extensive filtering, eight candidates were deemed worthy of additional follow-up. Within two hours, all eight were spectroscopically classified by the Keck II telescope. Curiously, even though such events are rare, one of our candidates was a superluminous supernova. We obtained radio data with the Jansky Very Large Array and X-ray follow-up with the Swift satellite for this transient. None of our candidates appear to be associated with the gravitational-wave trigger, which is unsurprising given that GW150914 came from the merger of two stellar-mass black holes. This end-to-end discovery and follow-up campaign bodes well for future searches in this post-detection era of gravitational waves.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 824, no 2, L24
Keyword [en]
gravitational waves, methods: observational, techniques: spectroscopic, surveys
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-132499DOI: 10.3847/2041-8205/824/2/L24ISI: 000378168200008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-132499DiVA: diva2:953015
Available from: 2016-08-16 Created: 2016-08-15 Last updated: 2016-08-16Bibliographically approved

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Ferretti, Raphael
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Department of PhysicsThe Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC)
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