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Title: Illuminating gravitational waves: A concordant picture of photons from a neutron star merger
Authors: Kasliwal, M. M
Nakar, E
Singer, L. P
Kaplan, D. L
Cook, D. O
Van Sistine, A
Lau, R. M
Fremling, C
Gottlieb, O
Jencson, J. E
Adams, S. M
Feindt, U
Hotokezaka, K
Ghosh, S
Perley, D. A
Yu, P. -C
Piran, T
Allison, J. R
Anupama, G. C
and 62 co-authors
Issue Date: 22-Dec-2017
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Citation: Science, Vol. 358, No. 6370, pp. 1559-1565
Abstract: Merging neutron stars offer an exquisite laboratory for simultaneously studying strong-field gravity and matter in extreme environments. We establish the physical association of an electromagnetic counterpart (EM170817) to gravitational waves (GW170817) detected from merging neutron stars. By synthesizing a panchromatic dataset, we demonstrate that merging neutron stars are a long-sought production site forging heavy elements by r-process nucleosynthesis. The weak gamma-rays seen in EM170817 are dissimilar to classical short gamma-ray bursts with ultra-relativistic jets. Instead, we suggest that breakout of a wide-angle, mildly-relativistic cocoon engulfing the jet elegantly explains the low-luminosity gamma-rays, the high-luminosity ultraviolet-optical-infrared and the delayed radio/x-ray emission. We posit that all merging neutron stars may lead to a wide-angle cocoon breakout; sometimes accompanied by a successful jet and sometimes a choked jet.
Description: Restricted Access
ISSN: 0036-8075
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Appears in Collections:IIAP Publications

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