We present a revised and complete optical afterglow light curve of the binary neutron star merger GW170817, enabled by deep Hubble Space Telescope (HST) F606W observations at ≈584 days post-merger, which provide a robust optical template. The light curve spans ≈110–362 days, and is fully consistent with emission from a relativistic structured jet viewed off-axis, as previously indicated by radio and X-ray data. Combined with contemporaneous radio and X-ray observations, we find no spectral evolution, with a weighted average spectral index of $langle eta angle =-0.583pm 0.013$, demonstrating that no synchrotron break frequencies evolve between the radio and X-ray bands over these timescales. We find that an extrapolation of the post-peak temporal slope of GW170817 to the luminosities of cosmological short gamma-ray bursts matches their observed jet break times, suggesting that their explosion properties are similar, and that the primary difference in GW170817 is viewing angle. Additionally, we place a deep limit on the luminosity and mass of an underlying globular cluster (GC) of L lesssim 6.7 × 103 L ⊙, or M lesssim 1.3 × 104 M ⊙, at least 4 standard deviations below the peak of the GC mass function of the host galaxy, NGC 4993. This limit provides a direct and strong constraint that GW170817 did not form and merge in a GC. As highlighted here, HST (and soon the James Webb Space Telescope) enables critical observations of the optical emission from neutron star merger jets and outflows.

The Optical Afterglow of GW170817: An Off-axis Structured Jet and Deep Constraints on a Globular Cluster Origin

C. Guidorzi;
2019

Abstract

We present a revised and complete optical afterglow light curve of the binary neutron star merger GW170817, enabled by deep Hubble Space Telescope (HST) F606W observations at ≈584 days post-merger, which provide a robust optical template. The light curve spans ≈110–362 days, and is fully consistent with emission from a relativistic structured jet viewed off-axis, as previously indicated by radio and X-ray data. Combined with contemporaneous radio and X-ray observations, we find no spectral evolution, with a weighted average spectral index of $langle eta angle =-0.583pm 0.013$, demonstrating that no synchrotron break frequencies evolve between the radio and X-ray bands over these timescales. We find that an extrapolation of the post-peak temporal slope of GW170817 to the luminosities of cosmological short gamma-ray bursts matches their observed jet break times, suggesting that their explosion properties are similar, and that the primary difference in GW170817 is viewing angle. Additionally, we place a deep limit on the luminosity and mass of an underlying globular cluster (GC) of L lesssim 6.7 × 103 L ⊙, or M lesssim 1.3 × 104 M ⊙, at least 4 standard deviations below the peak of the GC mass function of the host galaxy, NGC 4993. This limit provides a direct and strong constraint that GW170817 did not form and merge in a GC. As highlighted here, HST (and soon the James Webb Space Telescope) enables critical observations of the optical emission from neutron star merger jets and outflows.
2019
Fong, W.; Blanchard, P. K.; Alexander, K. D.; Strader, J.; Margutti, R.; Hajela, A.; Villar, V. A.; Wu, Y.; Ye, C. S.; Berger, E.; Chornock, R.; Coppe...espandi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2410126
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