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  1. Context. Filamentary structures in nearby molecular clouds have been found to exhibit a characteristic width of 0.1 pc, as observed in dust emission. Understanding the origin of this universal width has become a topic of central importance in the study of molecular cloud structure and the early stages of star formation. Aims. We investigate how the recovered widths of filaments depend on the distance from the observer by using previously published results from the Herschel Gould Belt Survey. Methods. We obtained updated estimates on the distances to nearby molecular clouds observed with Herschel by using recent results based on 3Dmore »dust extinction mapping and Gaia . We examined the widths of filaments from individual clouds separately, as opposed to treating them as a single population. We used these per-cloud filament widths to search for signs of variation amongst the clouds of the previously published study. Results. We find a significant dependence of the mean per-cloud filament width with distance. The distribution of mean filament widths for nearby clouds is incompatible with that of farther away clouds. The mean per-cloud widths scale with distance approximately as 4−5 times the beam size. We examine the effects of resolution by performing a convergence study of a filament profile in the Herschel image of the Taurus Molecular Cloud. We find that resolution can severely affect the shapes of radial profiles over the observed range of distances. Conclusions. We conclude that the data are inconsistent with 0.1 pc being the universal characteristic width of filaments.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
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  4. Abstract We search for gravitational-wave signals associated with gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) detected by the Fermi and Swift satellites during the second half of the third observing run of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo (2019 November 1 15:00 UTC–2020 March 27 17:00 UTC). We conduct two independent searches: a generic gravitational-wave transients search to analyze 86 GRBs and an analysis to target binary mergers with at least one neutron star as short GRB progenitors for 17 events. We find no significant evidence for gravitational-wave signals associated with any of these GRBs. A weighted binomial test of the combined results finds nomore »evidence for subthreshold gravitational-wave signals associated with this GRB ensemble either. We use several source types and signal morphologies during the searches, resulting in lower bounds on the estimated distance to each GRB. Finally, we constrain the population of low-luminosity short GRBs using results from the first to the third observing runs of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo. The resulting population is in accordance with the local binary neutron star merger rate.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  6. Intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) span the approximate mass range 100−10 5   M ⊙ , between black holes (BHs) that formed by stellar collapse and the supermassive BHs at the centers of galaxies. Mergers of IMBH binaries are the most energetic gravitational-wave sources accessible by the terrestrial detector network. Searches of the first two observing runs of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo did not yield any significant IMBH binary signals. In the third observing run (O3), the increased network sensitivity enabled the detection of GW190521, a signal consistent with a binary merger of mass ∼150  M ⊙ providing direct evidencemore »of IMBH formation. Here, we report on a dedicated search of O3 data for further IMBH binary mergers, combining both modeled (matched filter) and model-independent search methods. We find some marginal candidates, but none are sufficiently significant to indicate detection of further IMBH mergers. We quantify the sensitivity of the individual search methods and of the combined search using a suite of IMBH binary signals obtained via numerical relativity, including the effects of spins misaligned with the binary orbital axis, and present the resulting upper limits on astrophysical merger rates. Our most stringent limit is for equal mass and aligned spin BH binary of total mass 200  M ⊙ and effective aligned spin 0.8 at 0.056 Gpc −3 yr −1 (90% confidence), a factor of 3.5 more constraining than previous LIGO-Virgo limits. We also update the estimated rate of mergers similar to GW190521 to 0.08 Gpc −3 yr −1 .« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  8. Abstract We search for signatures of gravitational lensing in the gravitational-wave signals from compact binary coalescences detected by Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) and Advanced Virgo during O3a, the first half of their third observing run. We study: (1) the expected rate of lensing at current detector sensitivity and the implications of a non-observation of strong lensing or a stochastic gravitational-wave background on the merger-rate density at high redshift; (2) how the interpretation of individual high-mass events would change if they were found to be lensed; (3) the possibility of multiple images due to strong lensing by galaxies ormore »galaxy clusters; and (4) possible wave-optics effects due to point-mass microlenses. Several pairs of signals in the multiple-image analysis show similar parameters and, in this sense, are nominally consistent with the strong lensing hypothesis. However, taking into account population priors, selection effects, and the prior odds against lensing, these events do not provide sufficient evidence for lensing. Overall, we find no compelling evidence for lensing in the observed gravitational-wave signals from any of these analyses.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022