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Title: The Effect of the Velocity Distribution on Kilonova Emission
Abstract

The electromagnetic emission from the nonrelativistic ejecta launched in neutron star mergers (either dynamically or through a disk wind) has the potential to probe both the total mass and composition of this ejecta. These observations are crucial in understanding the role of these mergers in the production ofr-process elements in the Universe. However, many properties of the ejecta can alter the light curves and we must both identify which properties play a role in shaping this emission and understand the effects these properties have on the emission before we can use observations to place strong constraints on the amount ofr-process elements produced in the merger. This paper focuses on understanding the effect of the velocity distribution (amount of mass moving at different velocities) for lanthanide-rich ejecta on the light curves and spectra. The simulations use distributions guided by recent calculations of disk outflows and compare the velocity-distribution effects to those of ejecta mass, velocity, and composition. Our comparisons show that uncertainties in the velocity distribution can lead to a factor of 2–4 uncertainties in the inferred ejecta mass based on peak infrared luminosities. We also show that early-time UV or optical observations may be able to constrain the velocity distribution, reducing the uncertainty in the ejecta mass.

 
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NSF-PAR ID:
10485281
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Volume:
961
Issue:
1
ISSN:
0004-637X
Format(s):
Medium: X Size: Article No. 9
Size(s):
["Article No. 9"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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