A DECAM SEARCH for AN OPTICAL COUNTERPART to the LIGO GRAVITATIONAL-WAVE EVENT GW151226

P. S. Cowperthwaite, E. Berger, M. Soares-Santos, J. Annis, D. Brout, D. A. Brown, E. Buckley-Geer, S. B. Cenko, H. Y. Chen, R. Chornock, H. T. Diehl, Z. Doctor, A. Drlica-Wagner, M. R. Drout, B. Farr, D. A. Finley, R. J. Foley, W. Fong, D. B. Fox, J. Frieman & 80 others J. Garcia-Bellido, M. S.S. Gill, R. A. Gruendl, K. Herner, D. E. Holz, D. Kasen, R. Kessler, H. Lin, R. Margutti, J. Marriner, T. Matheson, B. D. Metzger, E. H. Neilsen, E. Quataert, A. Rest, M. Sako, D. Scolnic, Nathan Smith, F. Sobreira, G. M. Strampelli, V. A. Villar, A. R. Walker, W. Wester, P. K.G. Williams, B. Yanny, T. M.C. Abbott, F. B. Abdalla, S. Allam, R. Armstrong, K. Bechtol, A. Benoit-Lévy, E. Bertin, D. Brooks, D. L. Burke, A. Carnero Rosell, M. Carrasco Kind, J. Carretero, F. J. Castander, C. E. Cunha, C. B. D'Andrea, L. N.Da Costa, S. Desai, J. P. Dietrich, A. E. Evrard, A. Fausti Neto, P. Fosalba, D. W. Gerdes, T. Giannantonio, D. A. Goldstein, D. Gruen, G. Gutierrez, K. Honscheid, D. J. James, M. W.G. Johnson, M. D. Johnson, E. Krause, K. Kuehn, N. Kuropatkin, M. Lima, M. A.G. Maia, J. L. Marshall, F. Menanteau, R. Miquel, J. J. Mohr, R. C. Nichol, B. Nord, R. Ogando, A. A. Plazas, K. Reil, A. K. Romer, E. Sanchez, V. Scarpine, I. Sevilla-Noarbe, R. C. Smith, E. Suchyta, G. Tarle, D. Thomas, R. C. Thomas, D. L. Tucker, J. Weller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report the results of a Dark Energy Camera optical follow-up of the gravitational-wave (GW) event GW151226, discovered by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory detectors. Our observations cover 28.8 deg2 of the localization region in the i and z bands (containing 3% of the BAYESTAR localization probability), starting 10 hr after the event was announced and spanning four epochs at 2-24 days after the GW detection. We achieve point-source limiting magnitudes of and , with a scatter of 0.4 mag, in our difference images. Given the two-day delay, we search this area for a rapidly declining optical counterpart with significance steady decline between the first and final observations. We recover four sources that pass our selection criteria, of which three are cataloged active galactic nuclei. The fourth source is offset by 5.8 arcsec from the center of a galaxy at a distance of 187 Mpc, exhibits a rapid decline by 0.5 mag over 4 days, and has a red color of mag. These properties could satisfy a set of cuts designed to identify kilonovae. However, this source was detected several times, starting 94 days prior to GW151226, in the Pan-STARRS Survey for Transients (dubbed as PS15cdi) and is therefore unrelated to the GW event. Given its long-term behavior, PS15cdi is likely a Type IIP supernova that transitioned out of its plateau phase during our observations, mimicking a kilonova-like behavior. We comment on the implications of this detection for contamination in future optical follow-up observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL29
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume826
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

Fingerprint

LIGO (observatory)
gravitational waves
interferometer
dark energy
active galactic nuclei
point sources
point source
supernovae
plateaus
contamination
observatory
laser
cameras
time measurement
plateau
galaxies
color
detectors
energy
detection

Keywords

  • Binaries: Close
  • Catalogs
  • Gravitational waves
  • stars: Neutron
  • Surveys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Cowperthwaite, P. S., Berger, E., Soares-Santos, M., Annis, J., Brout, D., Brown, D. A., ... Weller, J. (2016). A DECAM SEARCH for AN OPTICAL COUNTERPART to the LIGO GRAVITATIONAL-WAVE EVENT GW151226. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 826(2), [L29]. https://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8205/826/2/L29

A DECAM SEARCH for AN OPTICAL COUNTERPART to the LIGO GRAVITATIONAL-WAVE EVENT GW151226. / Cowperthwaite, P. S.; Berger, E.; Soares-Santos, M.; Annis, J.; Brout, D.; Brown, D. A.; Buckley-Geer, E.; Cenko, S. B.; Chen, H. Y.; Chornock, R.; Diehl, H. T.; Doctor, Z.; Drlica-Wagner, A.; Drout, M. R.; Farr, B.; Finley, D. A.; Foley, R. J.; Fong, W.; Fox, D. B.; Frieman, J.; Garcia-Bellido, J.; Gill, M. S.S.; Gruendl, R. A.; Herner, K.; Holz, D. E.; Kasen, D.; Kessler, R.; Lin, H.; Margutti, R.; Marriner, J.; Matheson, T.; Metzger, B. D.; Neilsen, E. H.; Quataert, E.; Rest, A.; Sako, M.; Scolnic, D.; Smith, Nathan; Sobreira, F.; Strampelli, G. M.; Villar, V. A.; Walker, A. R.; Wester, W.; Williams, P. K.G.; Yanny, B.; Abbott, T. M.C.; Abdalla, F. B.; Allam, S.; Armstrong, R.; Bechtol, K.; Benoit-Lévy, A.; Bertin, E.; Brooks, D.; Burke, D. L.; Rosell, A. Carnero; Kind, M. Carrasco; Carretero, J.; Castander, F. J.; Cunha, C. E.; D'Andrea, C. B.; Costa, L. N.Da; Desai, S.; Dietrich, J. P.; Evrard, A. E.; Neto, A. Fausti; Fosalba, P.; Gerdes, D. W.; Giannantonio, T.; Goldstein, D. A.; Gruen, D.; Gutierrez, G.; Honscheid, K.; James, D. J.; Johnson, M. W.G.; Johnson, M. D.; Krause, E.; Kuehn, K.; Kuropatkin, N.; Lima, M.; Maia, M. A.G.; Marshall, J. L.; Menanteau, F.; Miquel, R.; Mohr, J. J.; Nichol, R. C.; Nord, B.; Ogando, R.; Plazas, A. A.; Reil, K.; Romer, A. K.; Sanchez, E.; Scarpine, V.; Sevilla-Noarbe, I.; Smith, R. C.; Suchyta, E.; Tarle, G.; Thomas, D.; Thomas, R. C.; Tucker, D. L.; Weller, J.

In: Astrophysical Journal Letters, Vol. 826, No. 2, L29, 01.08.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cowperthwaite, PS, Berger, E, Soares-Santos, M, Annis, J, Brout, D, Brown, DA, Buckley-Geer, E, Cenko, SB, Chen, HY, Chornock, R, Diehl, HT, Doctor, Z, Drlica-Wagner, A, Drout, MR, Farr, B, Finley, DA, Foley, RJ, Fong, W, Fox, DB, Frieman, J, Garcia-Bellido, J, Gill, MSS, Gruendl, RA, Herner, K, Holz, DE, Kasen, D, Kessler, R, Lin, H, Margutti, R, Marriner, J, Matheson, T, Metzger, BD, Neilsen, EH, Quataert, E, Rest, A, Sako, M, Scolnic, D, Smith, N, Sobreira, F, Strampelli, GM, Villar, VA, Walker, AR, Wester, W, Williams, PKG, Yanny, B, Abbott, TMC, Abdalla, FB, Allam, S, Armstrong, R, Bechtol, K, Benoit-Lévy, A, Bertin, E, Brooks, D, Burke, DL, Rosell, AC, Kind, MC, Carretero, J, Castander, FJ, Cunha, CE, D'Andrea, CB, Costa, LND, Desai, S, Dietrich, JP, Evrard, AE, Neto, AF, Fosalba, P, Gerdes, DW, Giannantonio, T, Goldstein, DA, Gruen, D, Gutierrez, G, Honscheid, K, James, DJ, Johnson, MWG, Johnson, MD, Krause, E, Kuehn, K, Kuropatkin, N, Lima, M, Maia, MAG, Marshall, JL, Menanteau, F, Miquel, R, Mohr, JJ, Nichol, RC, Nord, B, Ogando, R, Plazas, AA, Reil, K, Romer, AK, Sanchez, E, Scarpine, V, Sevilla-Noarbe, I, Smith, RC, Suchyta, E, Tarle, G, Thomas, D, Thomas, RC, Tucker, DL & Weller, J 2016, 'A DECAM SEARCH for AN OPTICAL COUNTERPART to the LIGO GRAVITATIONAL-WAVE EVENT GW151226', Astrophysical Journal Letters, vol. 826, no. 2, L29. https://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8205/826/2/L29
Cowperthwaite PS, Berger E, Soares-Santos M, Annis J, Brout D, Brown DA et al. A DECAM SEARCH for AN OPTICAL COUNTERPART to the LIGO GRAVITATIONAL-WAVE EVENT GW151226. Astrophysical Journal Letters. 2016 Aug 1;826(2). L29. https://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8205/826/2/L29
Cowperthwaite, P. S. ; Berger, E. ; Soares-Santos, M. ; Annis, J. ; Brout, D. ; Brown, D. A. ; Buckley-Geer, E. ; Cenko, S. B. ; Chen, H. Y. ; Chornock, R. ; Diehl, H. T. ; Doctor, Z. ; Drlica-Wagner, A. ; Drout, M. R. ; Farr, B. ; Finley, D. A. ; Foley, R. J. ; Fong, W. ; Fox, D. B. ; Frieman, J. ; Garcia-Bellido, J. ; Gill, M. S.S. ; Gruendl, R. A. ; Herner, K. ; Holz, D. E. ; Kasen, D. ; Kessler, R. ; Lin, H. ; Margutti, R. ; Marriner, J. ; Matheson, T. ; Metzger, B. D. ; Neilsen, E. H. ; Quataert, E. ; Rest, A. ; Sako, M. ; Scolnic, D. ; Smith, Nathan ; Sobreira, F. ; Strampelli, G. M. ; Villar, V. A. ; Walker, A. R. ; Wester, W. ; Williams, P. K.G. ; Yanny, B. ; Abbott, T. M.C. ; Abdalla, F. B. ; Allam, S. ; Armstrong, R. ; Bechtol, K. ; Benoit-Lévy, A. ; Bertin, E. ; Brooks, D. ; Burke, D. L. ; Rosell, A. Carnero ; Kind, M. Carrasco ; Carretero, J. ; Castander, F. J. ; Cunha, C. E. ; D'Andrea, C. B. ; Costa, L. N.Da ; Desai, S. ; Dietrich, J. P. ; Evrard, A. E. ; Neto, A. Fausti ; Fosalba, P. ; Gerdes, D. W. ; Giannantonio, T. ; Goldstein, D. A. ; Gruen, D. ; Gutierrez, G. ; Honscheid, K. ; James, D. J. ; Johnson, M. W.G. ; Johnson, M. D. ; Krause, E. ; Kuehn, K. ; Kuropatkin, N. ; Lima, M. ; Maia, M. A.G. ; Marshall, J. L. ; Menanteau, F. ; Miquel, R. ; Mohr, J. J. ; Nichol, R. C. ; Nord, B. ; Ogando, R. ; Plazas, A. A. ; Reil, K. ; Romer, A. K. ; Sanchez, E. ; Scarpine, V. ; Sevilla-Noarbe, I. ; Smith, R. C. ; Suchyta, E. ; Tarle, G. ; Thomas, D. ; Thomas, R. C. ; Tucker, D. L. ; Weller, J. / A DECAM SEARCH for AN OPTICAL COUNTERPART to the LIGO GRAVITATIONAL-WAVE EVENT GW151226. In: Astrophysical Journal Letters. 2016 ; Vol. 826, No. 2.
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abstract = "We report the results of a Dark Energy Camera optical follow-up of the gravitational-wave (GW) event GW151226, discovered by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory detectors. Our observations cover 28.8 deg2 of the localization region in the i and z bands (containing 3{\%} of the BAYESTAR localization probability), starting 10 hr after the event was announced and spanning four epochs at 2-24 days after the GW detection. We achieve point-source limiting magnitudes of and , with a scatter of 0.4 mag, in our difference images. Given the two-day delay, we search this area for a rapidly declining optical counterpart with significance steady decline between the first and final observations. We recover four sources that pass our selection criteria, of which three are cataloged active galactic nuclei. The fourth source is offset by 5.8 arcsec from the center of a galaxy at a distance of 187 Mpc, exhibits a rapid decline by 0.5 mag over 4 days, and has a red color of mag. These properties could satisfy a set of cuts designed to identify kilonovae. However, this source was detected several times, starting 94 days prior to GW151226, in the Pan-STARRS Survey for Transients (dubbed as PS15cdi) and is therefore unrelated to the GW event. Given its long-term behavior, PS15cdi is likely a Type IIP supernova that transitioned out of its plateau phase during our observations, mimicking a kilonova-like behavior. We comment on the implications of this detection for contamination in future optical follow-up observations.",
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T1 - A DECAM SEARCH for AN OPTICAL COUNTERPART to the LIGO GRAVITATIONAL-WAVE EVENT GW151226

AU - Cowperthwaite, P. S.

AU - Berger, E.

AU - Soares-Santos, M.

AU - Annis, J.

AU - Brout, D.

AU - Brown, D. A.

AU - Buckley-Geer, E.

AU - Cenko, S. B.

AU - Chen, H. Y.

AU - Chornock, R.

AU - Diehl, H. T.

AU - Doctor, Z.

AU - Drlica-Wagner, A.

AU - Drout, M. R.

AU - Farr, B.

AU - Finley, D. A.

AU - Foley, R. J.

AU - Fong, W.

AU - Fox, D. B.

AU - Frieman, J.

AU - Garcia-Bellido, J.

AU - Gill, M. S.S.

AU - Gruendl, R. A.

AU - Herner, K.

AU - Holz, D. E.

AU - Kasen, D.

AU - Kessler, R.

AU - Lin, H.

AU - Margutti, R.

AU - Marriner, J.

AU - Matheson, T.

AU - Metzger, B. D.

AU - Neilsen, E. H.

AU - Quataert, E.

AU - Rest, A.

AU - Sako, M.

AU - Scolnic, D.

AU - Smith, Nathan

AU - Sobreira, F.

AU - Strampelli, G. M.

AU - Villar, V. A.

AU - Walker, A. R.

AU - Wester, W.

AU - Williams, P. K.G.

AU - Yanny, B.

AU - Abbott, T. M.C.

AU - Abdalla, F. B.

AU - Allam, S.

AU - Armstrong, R.

AU - Bechtol, K.

AU - Benoit-Lévy, A.

AU - Bertin, E.

AU - Brooks, D.

AU - Burke, D. L.

AU - Rosell, A. Carnero

AU - Kind, M. Carrasco

AU - Carretero, J.

AU - Castander, F. J.

AU - Cunha, C. E.

AU - D'Andrea, C. B.

AU - Costa, L. N.Da

AU - Desai, S.

AU - Dietrich, J. P.

AU - Evrard, A. E.

AU - Neto, A. Fausti

AU - Fosalba, P.

AU - Gerdes, D. W.

AU - Giannantonio, T.

AU - Goldstein, D. A.

AU - Gruen, D.

AU - Gutierrez, G.

AU - Honscheid, K.

AU - James, D. J.

AU - Johnson, M. W.G.

AU - Johnson, M. D.

AU - Krause, E.

AU - Kuehn, K.

AU - Kuropatkin, N.

AU - Lima, M.

AU - Maia, M. A.G.

AU - Marshall, J. L.

AU - Menanteau, F.

AU - Miquel, R.

AU - Mohr, J. J.

AU - Nichol, R. C.

AU - Nord, B.

AU - Ogando, R.

AU - Plazas, A. A.

AU - Reil, K.

AU - Romer, A. K.

AU - Sanchez, E.

AU - Scarpine, V.

AU - Sevilla-Noarbe, I.

AU - Smith, R. C.

AU - Suchyta, E.

AU - Tarle, G.

AU - Thomas, D.

AU - Thomas, R. C.

AU - Tucker, D. L.

AU - Weller, J.

PY - 2016/8/1

Y1 - 2016/8/1

N2 - We report the results of a Dark Energy Camera optical follow-up of the gravitational-wave (GW) event GW151226, discovered by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory detectors. Our observations cover 28.8 deg2 of the localization region in the i and z bands (containing 3% of the BAYESTAR localization probability), starting 10 hr after the event was announced and spanning four epochs at 2-24 days after the GW detection. We achieve point-source limiting magnitudes of and , with a scatter of 0.4 mag, in our difference images. Given the two-day delay, we search this area for a rapidly declining optical counterpart with significance steady decline between the first and final observations. We recover four sources that pass our selection criteria, of which three are cataloged active galactic nuclei. The fourth source is offset by 5.8 arcsec from the center of a galaxy at a distance of 187 Mpc, exhibits a rapid decline by 0.5 mag over 4 days, and has a red color of mag. These properties could satisfy a set of cuts designed to identify kilonovae. However, this source was detected several times, starting 94 days prior to GW151226, in the Pan-STARRS Survey for Transients (dubbed as PS15cdi) and is therefore unrelated to the GW event. Given its long-term behavior, PS15cdi is likely a Type IIP supernova that transitioned out of its plateau phase during our observations, mimicking a kilonova-like behavior. We comment on the implications of this detection for contamination in future optical follow-up observations.

AB - We report the results of a Dark Energy Camera optical follow-up of the gravitational-wave (GW) event GW151226, discovered by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory detectors. Our observations cover 28.8 deg2 of the localization region in the i and z bands (containing 3% of the BAYESTAR localization probability), starting 10 hr after the event was announced and spanning four epochs at 2-24 days after the GW detection. We achieve point-source limiting magnitudes of and , with a scatter of 0.4 mag, in our difference images. Given the two-day delay, we search this area for a rapidly declining optical counterpart with significance steady decline between the first and final observations. We recover four sources that pass our selection criteria, of which three are cataloged active galactic nuclei. The fourth source is offset by 5.8 arcsec from the center of a galaxy at a distance of 187 Mpc, exhibits a rapid decline by 0.5 mag over 4 days, and has a red color of mag. These properties could satisfy a set of cuts designed to identify kilonovae. However, this source was detected several times, starting 94 days prior to GW151226, in the Pan-STARRS Survey for Transients (dubbed as PS15cdi) and is therefore unrelated to the GW event. Given its long-term behavior, PS15cdi is likely a Type IIP supernova that transitioned out of its plateau phase during our observations, mimicking a kilonova-like behavior. We comment on the implications of this detection for contamination in future optical follow-up observations.

KW - Binaries: Close

KW - Catalogs

KW - Gravitational waves

KW - stars: Neutron

KW - Surveys

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U2 - 10.3847/2041-8205/826/2/L29

DO - 10.3847/2041-8205/826/2/L29

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JO - Astrophysical Journal Letters

JF - Astrophysical Journal Letters

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ER -