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On the progenitor of binary neutron star merger GW170817

Citation

Abbott, BP and Abbott, R and Siellez, K and Zweizig, J, LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration, On the progenitor of binary neutron star merger GW170817, The Astrophysical Journal. Letters, 850, (2) Article L40. ISSN 2041-8205 (2017) [Refereed Article]


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DOI: doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aa93fc

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.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:binaries, gravitational waves, neutron star, binary neutron star merger
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Astronomical sciences
Research Field:General relativity and gravitational waves
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Siellez, K (Dr Karelle Siellez)
ID Code:152047
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:116
Deposited By:Physics
Deposited On:2022-08-10
Last Modified:2022-08-10
Downloads:0

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