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  1. Abstract For the first ∼3 yrs after the binary neutron star merger event GW 170817, the radio and X-ray radiation has been dominated by emission from a structured relativistic off-axis jet propagating into a low-density medium with n < 0.01 cm −3 . We report on observational evidence for an excess of X-ray emission at δt > 900 days after the merger. With L x ≈ 5 × 10 38 erg s −1 at 1234 days, the recently detected X-ray emission represents a ≥3.2 σ (Gaussian equivalent) deviation from the universal post-jet-break model that best fits the multiwavelength afterglow at earlier times. In the context of JetFit afterglow models, current data represent a departure with statistical significance ≥3.1 σ , depending on the fireball collimation, with the most realistic models showing excesses at the level of ≥3.7 σ . A lack of detectable 3 GHz radio emission suggests a harder broadband spectrum than the jet afterglow. These properties are consistent with the emergence of a new emission component such as synchrotron radiation from a mildly relativistic shock generated by the expanding merger ejecta, i.e., a kilonova afterglow. In this context, we present a set of ab initio numerical relativity binarymore »neutron star (BNS) merger simulations that show that an X-ray excess supports the presence of a high-velocity tail in the merger ejecta, and argues against the prompt collapse of the merger remnant into a black hole. Radiation from accretion processes on the compact-object remnant represents a viable alternative. Neither a kilonova afterglow nor accretion-powered emission have been observed before, as detections of BNS mergers at this phase of evolution are unprecedented.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  2. Abstract The coming decades will establish the exploration of the gravitational wave (GW) Universe over a broad frequency range by ground and space interferometers. Meanwhile, wide-field, high-cadence and sensitive surveys will span the electromagnetic spectrum from radio all the way up to TeV, as well as the high-energy neutrino window. Among the numerous classes of transients, γ –ray bursts (GRBs) have direct links with most of the hot topics that will be addressed, such as the strong gravity regime, relativistic shocks, particle acceleration processes, equation of state of matter at nuclear density, and nucleosynthesis of heavy elements, just to mention a few. Other recently discovered classes of transients that are observed throughout cosmological distances include fast radio bursts (FRBs), fast blue optical transients (FBOTs), and other unidentified high-energy transients. Here we discuss how these topics can be addressed by a mission called ASTENA (Advanced Surveyor of Transient Events and Nuclear Astrophysics, see Frontera et al. 18). Its payload combines two instruments: (i) an array of wide-field monitors with imaging, spectroscopic, and polarimetric capabilities (WFM-IS); (ii) a narrow field telescope (NFT) based on a Laue lens operating in the 50–600 keV range with unprecedented angular resolution, polarimetric capabilities, and sensitivity.
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022