New insights from gravitational waves combined with electromagnetic light

Andrew James Levan, Lorenzo Amati, Sarah Antier, Chris Ashall, Cristina Barbarino, Stefano Benetti, Maria Grazia Bernardini, Steven Bloemen, Maria Teresa Botticella, Marica Branchesi, Enzo Brocato, Mattia Bulla, Giacomo Cannizzaro, Michele Cantiello, Enrico Cappellaro, Ting-Wan Chen, Lise Christensen, Aleksandar Cikota, Andrea Cimatti, Riccardo CiolfiChristopher Copperwheat, Stefano Covino, Paolo D'Avanzo, Valerio D'Elia, Mauro Dadina, Massimo Dall'Ora, Massimiliano De Pasquale, Massimo Della Valle, Vik Dhillon, Yizhong Fan, Andreas Floers, Morgan Fraser, Andrew S. Fruchter, Lluis Galbany, Christa Gall, Bruce Gendre, Giancarlo Ghirlanda, Benjamin Paul Gompertz, Santiago Gonzalez-Gaitan, Aniello Grado, Mariusz Gromadzki, Paul J. Groot, Claudia Patricia Gutierrez, Kasper Elm Heintz, Jens Hjorth, Leslie Hunt, Cosimo Inserra, Luca Izzo, Anders Jerkstrand, Zhiping Jin, Tuomas Kangas, David Kann, Shiho Kobayashi, Rubina Kotak, Hanindyo Kuncarayakti, Gavin Lamb, Giorgos Leloudas, Joseph Lyman, Mark Magee, Kate Maguire, Elisabetta Maiorano, Daniele Bjorn Malesani, Ilya Mandel, Michela Mapelli, Tom R. Marsh, Seppo Mattila, Andrea Melandri, Bo Milvang-Jensen, Shane Moran, Gijs Nelemans, Jakob Nordin, Samantha Oates, Francesca Onori, Eliana Palazzi, Albino Perego, Elena Pian, Giuliano Pignata, Silvia Piranomonte, Phillip Podsiadlowski, Andrea Possenti, Maria Letizia Pumo, Andrea Rossi, Stephan Rosswog, Rupak Roy, Ruben Salvaterra, Sandra Savaglio, Patricia Schady, Steve Schulze, Jonatan Selsing, Stephen J. Smartt, Mathew Smith, Jesper Sollerman, Rhaana L. C. Starling, Danny Steeghs, Giulia Stratta, Mark Sullivan, Gianpiero Tagliaferri, Margherita Talia, Nial Rahil Tanvir, Vincenzo Testa, Christina Thoene, Lina Tomasella, Susanna Vergani, Nicholas A. Walton, Darach Watson, Klaas Wiersema, Radek Wojtak, Sheng Yang, Antonio de Ugarte Postigo

Research output: Other contribution


Multimessenger astronomy - the use of light combined with non-photonic messengers such as gravitational waves or neutrinos - has come of age in the past year, thanks to the discovery of emission across the electromagnetic spectrum from a gravitational wave detected merging neutron star binary, and the identification of at least one source of very high energy neutrinos. Here we propose to exploit the unique UV to near-IR abilities of HST, in combination with a large ground-based campaign, to pair gravitational wave and EM information for a range of merger events with varying inclinations and mass ratios. We will map out the diversity of transient behaviour, addressing many central questions in contemporary astrophysics, including; i) what is the contribution of binary neutron stars to heavy element enrichment across the Universe? ii) what is the local Hubble constant measured from gravitational waves, and how can HST determined distances enhance its accuracy? iii) what are the properties of jets launched during the merger, do all mergers create short GRBs for some observers? iv) what are the environments of the mergers, and what does this tell us about the channels to create the binaries? v) how do EM properties depend on binary parameters, particularly if one component is a black hole? The multimessenger era offers the ability to answer these questions for the first time. The capabilites of Hubble to observe outside atmospheric windows, with the spatial resolution to resolve point soures from complex backgrounds, and to track them beyond the limits of ground-based instrumentation will enable us to make pivotal contributions to this new, emergent field.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

Publication series

NameHST Proposal. Cycle 27


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