The Electromagnetic Counterpart of the Binary Neutron Star Merger LIGO/Virgo GW170817. VI. Radio Constraints on a Relativistic Jet and Predictions for Late-time Emission from the Kilonova Ejecta

K. D. Alexander, E. Berger, W. Fong, P. K.G. Williams, C. Guidorzi, R. Margutti, B. D. Metzger, J. Annis, P. K. Blanchard, D. Brout, Duncan Brown, H. Y. Chen, R. Chornock, P. S. Cowperthwaite, M. Drout, T. Eftekhari, J. Frieman, D. E. Holz, M. Nicholl, A. Rest & 3 others M. Sako, M. Soares-Santos, V. A. Villar

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Abstract

We present Very Large Array (VLA) and Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) radio observations of GW170817, the first Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO)/Virgo gravitational wave (GW) event from a binary neutron star merger and the first GW event with an electromagnetic (EM) counterpart. Our data include the first observations following the discovery of the optical transient at both the centimeter (13.7 hr post-merger) and millimeter (2.41 days post-merger) bands. We detect faint emission at 6 GHz at 19.47 and 39.23 days after the merger, but not in an earlier observation at 2.46 days. We do not detect cm/mm emission at the position of the optical counterpart at frequencies of 10-97.5 GHz at times ranging from 0.6 to 30 days post-merger, ruling out an on-axis short gamma-ray burst (SGRB) for energies ≳1048 erg. For fiducial SGRB parameters, our limits require an observer viewer angle of ≳20°. The radio and X-ray data can be jointly explained as the afterglow emission from an SGRB with a jet energy of ∼1049 - 1050 erg that exploded in a uniform density environment with n ∼10-4-10-2cm-3, viewed at an angle of ∼20°-40° from the jet axis. Using the results of our light curve and spectral modeling, in conjunction with the inference of the circumbinary density, we predict the emergence of late-time radio emission from the deceleration of the kilonova (KN) ejecta on a timescale of ∼5-10 years that will remain detectable for decades with next-generation radio facilities, making GW170817 a compelling target for long-term radio monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL21
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume848
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 20 2017

Fingerprint

LIGO (observatory)
binary stars
ejecta
interferometer
gamma ray bursts
merger
neutron stars
observatory
laser
radio
electromagnetism
gravitational waves
prediction
predictions
Very Large Array (VLA)
radio observation
erg
deceleration
radio emission
afterglows

Keywords

  • gravitational waves
  • relativistic processes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

The Electromagnetic Counterpart of the Binary Neutron Star Merger LIGO/Virgo GW170817. VI. Radio Constraints on a Relativistic Jet and Predictions for Late-time Emission from the Kilonova Ejecta. / Alexander, K. D.; Berger, E.; Fong, W.; Williams, P. K.G.; Guidorzi, C.; Margutti, R.; Metzger, B. D.; Annis, J.; Blanchard, P. K.; Brout, D.; Brown, Duncan; Chen, H. Y.; Chornock, R.; Cowperthwaite, P. S.; Drout, M.; Eftekhari, T.; Frieman, J.; Holz, D. E.; Nicholl, M.; Rest, A.; Sako, M.; Soares-Santos, M.; Villar, V. A.

In: Astrophysical Journal Letters, Vol. 848, No. 2, L21, 20.10.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Alexander, KD, Berger, E, Fong, W, Williams, PKG, Guidorzi, C, Margutti, R, Metzger, BD, Annis, J, Blanchard, PK, Brout, D, Brown, D, Chen, HY, Chornock, R, Cowperthwaite, PS, Drout, M, Eftekhari, T, Frieman, J, Holz, DE, Nicholl, M, Rest, A, Sako, M, Soares-Santos, M & Villar, VA 2017, 'The Electromagnetic Counterpart of the Binary Neutron Star Merger LIGO/Virgo GW170817. VI. Radio Constraints on a Relativistic Jet and Predictions for Late-time Emission from the Kilonova Ejecta', Astrophysical Journal Letters, vol. 848, no. 2, L21. https://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8213/aa905d
Alexander, K. D. ; Berger, E. ; Fong, W. ; Williams, P. K.G. ; Guidorzi, C. ; Margutti, R. ; Metzger, B. D. ; Annis, J. ; Blanchard, P. K. ; Brout, D. ; Brown, Duncan ; Chen, H. Y. ; Chornock, R. ; Cowperthwaite, P. S. ; Drout, M. ; Eftekhari, T. ; Frieman, J. ; Holz, D. E. ; Nicholl, M. ; Rest, A. ; Sako, M. ; Soares-Santos, M. ; Villar, V. A. / The Electromagnetic Counterpart of the Binary Neutron Star Merger LIGO/Virgo GW170817. VI. Radio Constraints on a Relativistic Jet and Predictions for Late-time Emission from the Kilonova Ejecta. In: Astrophysical Journal Letters. 2017 ; Vol. 848, No. 2.
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AU - Alexander, K. D.

AU - Berger, E.

AU - Fong, W.

AU - Williams, P. K.G.

AU - Guidorzi, C.

AU - Margutti, R.

AU - Metzger, B. D.

AU - Annis, J.

AU - Blanchard, P. K.

AU - Brout, D.

AU - Brown, Duncan

AU - Chen, H. Y.

AU - Chornock, R.

AU - Cowperthwaite, P. S.

AU - Drout, M.

AU - Eftekhari, T.

AU - Frieman, J.

AU - Holz, D. E.

AU - Nicholl, M.

AU - Rest, A.

AU - Sako, M.

AU - Soares-Santos, M.

AU - Villar, V. A.

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