On the Progenitor of Binary Neutron Star Merger GW170817

B. P. Abbott, R. Abbott, T. D. Abbott, F. Acernese, K. Ackley, C. Adams, T. Adams, P. Addesso, R. X. Adhikari, V. B. Adya, C. Affeldt, M. Afrough, B. Agarwal, M. Agathos, K. Agatsuma, N. Aggarwal, O. D. Aguiar, L. Aiello, A. Ain, P. AjithB. Allen, G. Allen, A. Allocca, P. A. Altin, A. Amato, A. Ananyeva, S. B. Anderson, W. G. Anderson, S. V. Angelova, S. Antier, S. Appert, K. Arai, M. C. Araya, J. S. Areeda, N. Arnaud, K. G. Arun, S. Ascenzi, G. Ashton, M. Ast, S. M. Aston, P. Astone, D. V. Atallah, P. Aufmuth, C. Aulbert, K. AultONeal, C. Austin, A. Avila-Alvarez, S. Babak, P. Bacon, M. K. M. Bader, S. Bae, P. T. Baker, F. Baldaccini, G. Ballardin, S. W. Ballmer, S. Banagiri, J. C. Barayoga, S. E. Barclay, B. C. Barish, D. Barker, K. Barkett, F. Barone, B. Barr, L. Barsotti, M. Barsuglia, D. Barta, J. Bartlett, I. Bartos, R. Bassiri, A. Basti, J. C. Batch, M. Bawaj, J. C. Bayley, M. Bazzan, B. Becsy, C. Beer, M. Bejger, I. Belahcene, A. S. Bell, B. K. Berger, G. Bergmann, J. J. Bero, C. P. L. Berry, D. Bersanetti, A. Bertolini, J. Betzwieser, S. Bhagwat, R. Bhandare, I. A. Bilenko, G. Billingsley, C. R. Billman, J. Birch, R. Birney, O. Birnholtz, S. Biscans, S. Biscoveanu, A. Bisht, M. Bitossi, C. Biwer, M. A. Bizouard, J. K. Blackburn, J. Blackman, C. D. Blair, D. G. Blair, R. M. Blair, S. Bloemen, O. Bock, N. Bode, M. Boer, G. Bogaert, A. Bohe, F. Bondu, E. Bonilla, R. Bonnand, B. A. Boom, R. Bork, V. Boschi, S. Bose, K. Bossie, Y. Bouffanais, A. Bozzi, C. Bradaschia, P. R. Brady, M. Branchesi, J. E. Brau, T. Briant, A. Brillet, M. Brinkmann, V. Brisson, P. Brockill, J. E. Broida, A. F. Brooks, D. D. Brown, S. Brunett, C. C. Buchanan, A. Buikema, T. Bulik, H. J. Bulten, A. Buonanno, D. Buskulic, C. Buy, R. L. Byer, M. Cabero, L. Cadonati, G. Cagnoli, C. Cahillane, J. Calderon Bustillo, T. A. Callister, E. Calloni, J. B. Camp, M. Canepa, P. Canizares, K. C. Cannon, H. Cao, J. Cao, C. D. Capano, E. Capocasa, F. Carbognani, S. Caride, M. F. Carney, J. 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Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

On 2017 August 17 the merger of two compact objects with masses consistent with two neutron stars was discovered through gravitational-wave (GW170817), gamma-ray (GRB 170817A), and optical (SSS17a/AT 2017gfo) observations. The optical source was associated with the early-type galaxy NGC 4993 at a distance of just ∼40 Mpc, consistent with the gravitational-wave measurement, and the merger was localized to be at a projected distance of ∼2 kpc away from the galaxy's center. We use this minimal set of facts and the mass posteriors of the two neutron stars to derive the first constraints on the progenitor of GW170817 at the time of the second supernova (SN). We generate simulated progenitor populations and follow the three-dimensional kinematic evolution from binary neutron star (BNS) birth to the merger time, accounting for pre-SN galactic motion, for considerably different input distributions of the progenitor mass, pre-SN semimajor axis, and SN-kick velocity. Though not considerably tight, we find these constraints to be comparable to those for Galactic BNS progenitors. The derived constraints are very strongly influenced by the requirement of keeping the binary bound after the second SN and having the merger occur relatively close to the center of the galaxy. These constraints are insensitive to the galaxy's star formation history, provided the stellar populations are older than 1 Gyr.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL40
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume850
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

Funding

and the Conselleria d’Educació i Universitat del Govern de les Illes Balears, the Conselleria d’Educació Investigació Cultura i Esport de la Generalitat Valenciana, the National Science Centre of Poland, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, the Russian Science Foundation, the European Commission, the European Regional Development Funds (ERDF), the Royal Society, the Scottish Funding Council, the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA), the Lyon Institute of Origins (LIO), the National Research, Development and Innovation Office Hungary (NKFI), the National Research Foundation of Korea, Industry Canada and the Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council Canada, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations, and Communications, the International Center for Theoretical Physics South American Institute for Fundamental Research (ICTP-SAIFR), the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), the Leverhulme Trust, The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) for the construction and operation of the LIGO Laboratory and Advanced LIGO as well as the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) of the United Kingdom, the Max-Planck-Society (MPS), and the State of Niedersachsen/ Germany for support of the construction of Advanced LIGO and construction and operation of the GEO600 detector. Additional support for Advanced LIGO was provided by the Australian Research Council. The authors gratefully acknowledge the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, for the construction and operation of the Virgo detector and the creation and support of the EGO consortium. The authors also gratefully acknowledge research support from these agencies as well as by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research of India, the Department of Science and Technology, India, the Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB), India, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, India, the Spanish Agencia Estatal de Investigación, the Vicepresidència i Conselleria d’Innovació Recerca i Turisme the Research Corporation, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Taiwan and the Kavli Foundation. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the NSF, STFC, MPS, INFN, CNRS, and the State of Niedersachsen/Germany for provision of computational resources.

FundersFunder number
Not addedST/I006285/1, ST/N000064/1
Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations, and Communications
Department of Science and Technology
European Regional Development Funds
International Center for Theoretical Physics South American Institute for Fundamental Research
National Research Foundation of Korea, Industry Canada
National Science Centre of Poland
Natural Science and Engineering Research Council Canada
Research Grants Council of Hong Kong
Science & Engineering Research Board
State of Niedersachsen
Vicepresidència i Conselleria d’Innovació Recerca i Turisme
National Science Foundation1607709, 1707965, 1104371, 1458952, 1707835, 1708081, 1607520, 1607585, 1455090, 1450006, 1404139, 1125897, 1606654, 1242090, 1607336
Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Kavli Foundation
Research Corporation for Science Advancement
National Kidney Foundation of Iowa
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
Centre Eau Terre Environnement, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique
Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation
Science and Technology Facilities CouncilST/N00003X/1, ST/J000019/1, ST/P000258/1, ST/H002006/1, ST/L000954/1, ST/M005844/1, PP/F001118/1, ST/J000345/1, PP/F00110X/1, ST/I000887/1, ST/J000302/1, 1653071, ST/N000072/1, ST/N005481/1, ST/I006277/1, ST/L000911/1, ST/N005422/1, ST/N005716/1, PPA/G/S/2002/00652, ST/J000361/1, ST/N005406/1, Gravitational Waves, ST/G504284/1, ST/K000845/1, ST/L003465/1, ST/I006242/1, PP/F001096/1, ST/M006735/1, ST/I006269/1, ST/N000080/1, ST/I001085/1, ST/L000946/1, ST/N000633/1, ST/I001026/1, ST/J00166X/1, ST/N005430/1
Leverhulme Trust
Royal Society
Scottish Funding Council
Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
European Commission
Australian Research Council
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India
Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung159922
National Natural Science Foundation of China
Russian Foundation for Basic Research
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek
Generalitat Valenciana
Hungarian Scientific Research Fund
Instituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare
Ministry of Human Resource Development
Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología
Russian Science Foundation
European Regional Development Fund
Universitat de les Illes Balears
Agencia Estatal de Investigación
Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare
ICTP South American Institute for Fundamental Research
National Research, Development and Innovation Office

    Keywords

    • binaries: general
    • gravitational waves
    • stars: kinematics and dynamics
    • stars: neutron

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