Update: Gravitational Wave Galaxy Catalogue for the Rapid Search of Electromagnetic Counterparts from Gravitational Waves

EarthzineOriginal, URC Virtual Poster Session

Physics student Frank Ceballos standing in front of a banner at Goddard SPace Center. Image Credit: URC.

Physics student Frank Ceballos standing in front of a banner at Goddard SPace Center. Image Credit: URC.

Physics student Frank Ceballos discovers that work at NASA Goddard can be challenging, yet fun. Image Credit: URC.

Student: Frank Ceballos

University of Texas at Brownsville

Major: Physics

Degree Level: Bachelor of Science

Internship Site: NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio

Mentor: Jonah Kanner

Abstract: The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is a large-scale Michelson interferometer which aims to directly detect gravitational waves predicted by Albert Einstein in 1916. The gravitational waves sources that LIGO expects to detect consist of the merging of two neutron stars or a neutron and black hole at cosmic distances. It is anticipated that the coalescence of these compact objects may also produce a short-lived gamma ray burst (GRB). Unfortunately, LIGO is not accurate in localizing the points in the sky where the gravitational sources are to be found. The best that LIGO can do is to constrain a gravitational wave source in an area of approximately 100 square degrees, where literally millions of electromagnetic sources can be observed. So it seems that the simultaneous detection of gravitational and electromagnetic waves coming from a source is highly unlikely. To facilitate the task of searching for electromagnetic counterparts coming from gravitational waves, a list of galaxies within 100 Mpc has been compiled‰ÛÓthe gravitational waves galaxy catalog (GWGC). LIGO is now being designed to improve its sensitivity by a factor of 10, which means that it would be able to observe neutron star/ neutron star coalescence to distances of 300 Mpc and neutron star/ black hole coalescence up to 650 Mpc. Therefore, GWGC must be updated to contain galaxies at these distances. We present the results of the updates made to GWGC.

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