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  1. Abstract

    The multi-messenger detection of the gravitational-wave signal GW170817, the corresponding kilonova AT2017gfo and the short gamma-ray burst GRB170817A, as well as the observed afterglow has delivered a scientific breakthrough. For an accurate interpretation of all these different messengers, one requires robust theoretical models that describe the emitted gravitational-wave, the electromagnetic emission, and dense matter reliably. In addition, one needs efficient and accurate computational tools to ensure a correct cross-correlation between the models and the observational data. For this purpose, we have developed the Nuclear-physics and Multi-Messenger Astrophysics framework NMMA. The code allows incorporation of nuclear-physics constraints at low densities as well as X-ray and radio observations of isolated neutron stars. In previous works, the NMMA code has allowed us to constrain the equation of state of supranuclear dense matter, to measure the Hubble constant, and to compare dense-matter physics probed in neutron-star mergers and in heavy-ion collisions, and to classify electromagnetic observations and perform model selection. Here, we show an extension of the NMMA code as a first attempt of analyzing the gravitational-wave signal, the kilonova, and the gamma-ray burst afterglow simultaneously. Incorporating all available information, we estimate the radius of a 1.4Mneutron star to be$$R=11.9{8}_{-0.40}^{+0.35}$$R=11.980.40+0.35km.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. ABSTRACT

    We present an improved version of the 3D Monte Carlo radiative transfer code possis to model kilonovae from neutron star mergers, wherein nuclear heating rates, thermalization efficiencies, and wavelength-dependent opacities depend on local properties of the ejecta and time. Using an axially symmetric two-component ejecta model, we explore how simplistic assumptions on heating rates, thermalization efficiencies, and opacities often found in the literature affect kilonova spectra and light curves. Specifically, we compute five models: one (FIDUCIAL) with an appropriate treatment of these three quantities, one (SIMPLE-HEAT) with uniform heating rates throughout the ejecta, one (SIMPLE-THERM) with a constant and uniform thermalization efficiency, one (SIMPLE-OPAC) with grey opacities, and one (SIMPLE-ALL) with all these three simplistic assumptions combined. We find that deviations from the FIDUCIAL model are of several (∼1–10) magnitudes and are generally larger for the SIMPLE-OPAC and SIMPLE-ALL compared to the SIMPLE-THERM and SIMPLE-HEAT models. The discrepancies generally increase from a face-on to an edge-on view of the system, from early to late epochs and from infrared to ultraviolet/optical wavelengths. This work indicates that kilonova studies using either of these simplistic assumptions ought to be treated with caution and that appropriate systematic uncertainties ought to be added to kilonova light curves when performing inference on ejecta parameters.

     
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  3. ABSTRACT A rare class of supernovae (SNe) is characterized by strong interaction between the ejecta and several solar masses of circumstellar matter (CSM) as evidenced by strong Balmer-line emission. Within the first few weeks after the explosion, they may display spectral features similar to overluminous Type Ia SNe, while at later phase their observation properties exhibit remarkable similarities with some extreme case of Type IIn SNe that show strong Balmer lines years after the explosion. We present polarimetric observations of SN 2018evt obtained by the ESO Very Large Telescope from 172 to 219 d after the estimated time of peak luminosity to study the geometry of the CSM. The non-zero continuum polarization decreases over time, suggesting that the mass-loss of the progenitor star is aspherical. The prominent H α emission can be decomposed into a broad, time-evolving component and an intermediate-width, static component. The former shows polarized signals, and it is likely to arise from a cold dense shell (CDS) within the region between the forward and reverse shocks. The latter is significantly unpolarized, and it is likely to arise from shocked, fragmented gas clouds in the H-rich CSM. We infer that SN 2018evt exploded inside a massive and aspherical circumstellar cloud. The symmetry axes of the CSM and the SN appear to be similar. SN 2018evt shows observational properties common to events that display strong interaction between the ejecta and CSM, implying that they share similar circumstellar configurations. Our preliminary estimate also suggests that the circumstellar environment of SN 2018evt has been significantly enriched at a rate of ∼0.1 M⊙ yr−1 over a period of >100 yr. 
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  4. ABSTRACT Some highly reddened Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) display low total-to-selective extinction ratios (RV ≲ 2) in comparison to that of typical Milky Way dust (RV ≈ 3.3), and polarization curves that rise steeply to blue wavelengths, with peak polarization values at short wavelengths ($\lambda _{\rm max} \lt 0.4\, \mu$m) in comparison to the typical Galactic values ($\lambda _{\rm max} \approx 0.55\, \mu$ m). Understanding the source of these properties could provide insight into the progenitor systems of SNe Ia. We aim to determine whether they are the result of the host galaxy’s interstellar dust or circumstellar dust. This is accomplished by analysing the continuum polarization of 66 SNe Ia in dust-rich spiral galaxies and 13 SNe Ia in dust-poor elliptical galaxies as a function of normalized galactocentric distance. We find that there is a general trend of SNe Ia in spiral galaxies displaying increased polarization values when located closer to the host galaxies’ centre, while SNe Ia in elliptical host galaxies display low polarization. Furthermore, all highly polarized SNe Ia in spiral host galaxies display polarization curves rising toward blue wavelengths, while no evidence of such polarization properties is shown in elliptical host galaxies. This indicates that the source of the peculiar polarization curves is likely the result of interstellar material as opposed to circumstellar material. The peculiar polarization and extinction properties observed toward some SNe Ia may be explained by the radiative torque disruption mechanism induced by the SN or the interstellar radiation field. 
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  5. Abstract In recent years, there have been significant advances in multimessenger astronomy due to the discovery of the first, and so far only confirmed, gravitational wave event with a simultaneous electromagnetic (EM) counterpart, as well as improvements in numerical simulations, gravitational wave (GW) detectors, and transient astronomy. This has led to the exciting possibility of performing joint analyses of the GW and EM data, providing additional constraints on fundamental properties of the binary progenitor and merger remnant. Here, we present a new Bayesian framework that allows inference of these properties, while taking into account the systematic modeling uncertainties that arise when mapping from GW binary progenitor properties to photometric light curves. We extend the relative binning method presented in Zackay et al. to include extrinsic GW parameters for fast analysis of the GW signal. The focus of our EM framework is on light curves arising from r -process nucleosynthesis in the ejected material during and after merger, the so-called kilonova, and particularly on black hole−neutron star systems. As a case study, we examine the recent detection of GW190425, where the primary object is consistent with being either a black hole or a neutron star. We show quantitatively how improved mapping between binary progenitor and outflow properties, and/or an increase in EM data quantity and quality are required in order to break degeneracies in the fundamental source parameters. 
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  6. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Searches for gravitational-wave counterparts have been going in earnest since GW170817 and the discovery of AT2017gfo. Since then, the lack of detection of other optical counterparts connected to binary neutron star or black hole–neutron star candidates has highlighted the need for a better discrimination criterion to support this effort. At the moment, low-latency gravitational-wave alerts contain preliminary information about binary properties and hence whether a detected binary might have an electromagnetic counterpart. The current alert method is a classifier that estimates the probability that there is a debris disc outside the black hole created during the merger as well as the probability of a signal being a binary neutron star, a black hole–neutron star, a binary black hole, or of terrestrial origin. In this work, we expand upon this approach to both predict the ejecta properties and provide contours of potential light curves for these events, in order to improve the follow-up observation strategy. The various sources of uncertainty are discussed, and we conclude that our ignorance about the ejecta composition and the insufficient constraint of the binary parameters by low-latency pipelines represent the main limitations. To validate the method, we test our approach on real events from the second and third Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)–Virgo observing runs. 
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  7. Abstract

    Searches for electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational-wave signals have redoubled since the first detection in 2017 of a binary neutron star merger with a gamma-ray burst, optical/infrared kilonova, and panchromatic afterglow. Yet, one LIGO/Virgo observing run later, there has not yet been a second, secure identification of an electromagnetic counterpart. This is not surprising given that the localization uncertainties of events in LIGO and Virgo’s third observing run, O3, were much larger than predicted. We explain this by showing that improvements in data analysis that now allow LIGO/Virgo to detect weaker and hence more poorly localized events have increased the overall number of detections, of which well-localized,gold-platedevents make up a smaller proportion overall. We present simulations of the next two LIGO/Virgo/KAGRA observing runs, O4 and O5, that are grounded in the statistics of O3 public alerts. To illustrate the significant impact that the updated predictions can have, we study the follow-up strategy for the Zwicky Transient Facility. Realistic and timely forecasting of gravitational-wave localization accuracy is paramount given the large commitments of telescope time and the need to prioritize which events are followed up. We include a data release of our simulated localizations as a public proposal planning resource for astronomers.

     
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  8. ABSTRACT Detailed spectropolarimetric studies may hold the key to probing the explosion mechanisms and the progenitor scenarios of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). We present multi-epoch spectropolarimetry and imaging polarimetry of SN 2019ein, an SN Ia showing high expansion velocities at early phases. The spectropolarimetry sequence spans from ∼−11 to +10 d relative to peak brightness in the B band. We find that the level of the continuum polarization of SN 2019ein, after subtracting estimated interstellar polarization, is in the range 0.0–0.3 per cent, typical for SNe Ia. The polarization position angle remains roughly constant before and after the SN light-curve peak, implying that the inner regions share the same axisymmetry as the outer layers. We observe high polarization (∼1 per cent) across both the Si ii λ6355 and Ca ii near-infrared triplet features. These two lines also display complex polarization modulations. The spectropolarimetric properties of SN 2019ein rule out a significant departure from spherical symmetry of the ejecta for up to a month after the explosion. These observations disfavour merger-induced and double-detonation models for SN 2019ein. The imaging polarimetry shows weak evidence for a modest increase in polarization after ∼20 d since the B-band maximum. If this rise is real and is observed in other SNe Ia at similar phases, we may have seen, for the first time, an aspherical interior similar to what has been previously observed for SNe IIP. Future polarization observations of SNe Ia extending to post-peak epochs will help to examine the inner structure of the explosion. 
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  9. null (Ed.)