A gravitational wave event has been detected by the LIGO/Virgo gravitational wave observatories on the 17th August 2017. It quickly turned out that the signal corresponded to the fusion of two neutron stars located at about 130 million light years from Earth. A simultaneous detection in gamma rays was obtained from satellite observations. Initially the precise region in the sky was unclear and contained about fifty galaxies that may have hosted the phenomenon. In less than a day, optical telescopes were used to precisely locate the star in visible light.
At IRAP, astrophysicists used the Zadko telescope, operated with astrophysicists of the University of Western Australia, to record the visible light emitted by the star. The source was observe over several Australian nights, allowing us to observe a decrease of the light compatible with kilonova models.
- Set of 67 preprints as part of today’s announcement of the discovery by the LIGO/Virgo Collaboration of the coalescence of a binary neutron star in NGC4993, accompanied by a short Gamma Ray Burst : https://blogs.cornell.edu/arxiv/2017/10/16/gw170817/
- Alain Klotz : email@example.com