Localizing Gravitational Wave Sources with Optical Telescopes and Combining Electromagnetic and Gravitational Wave Data

  • Shaon GhoshEmail author
  • Gijs Nelemans
Conference paper
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings book series (ASSSP, volume 40)


Neutron star binaries, which are among the most promising sources for the direct detection of gravitational waves (GW) by ground based detectors, are also potential electromagnetic (EM) emitters. Gravitational waves will provide a new window to observe these events and hopefully give us glimpses of new astrophysics. In this paper, we discuss how EM information of these events can considerably improve GW parameter estimation both in terms of accuracy and computational power requirement. And then in return how GW sky localization can help EM astronomers in follow-up studies of sources which did not yield any prompt emission. We discuss how both EM source information and GW source localization can be used in a framework of multi-messenger astronomy. We illustrate how the large error regions in GW sky localizations can be handled in conducting optical astronomy in the advance detector era. We show some preliminary results in the context of an array of optical telescopes called BlackGEM, dedicated for optical follow-up of GW triggers, that is being constructed in La Silla, Chile and is expected to operate concurrent to the advanced GW detectors.


Neutron Star Inclination Angle Gravitational Wave Error Region Gravitational Wave Detector 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to acknowledge Steven Bloemen and Paul Groot for providing us the sky pixel data of BlackGEM that was utilized to construct the pointing. SG is thankful to Marc van der Sluys for the discussions on the techniques of parameter estimation and MCMC. We would also like to thank Larry Price and Leo Singer for their assistance regarding the use of the low latency sky localization pipeline and constructive feedback regarding the work.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Radboud University Nijmegen and NikhefNijmegenThe Netherlands

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