NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016B-0201

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Program Information for 2016B-0201


PI: Ryan Chornock, Ohio U., chornock@ohio.edu
Address: Department of Physics and Astronomy, Clippinger Research Labs. 251B, Athens, OH, 45701-2979 USA

CoI: Edo Berger, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Marcelle Soares-Santos, FNAL
CoI: Philip Cowperthwaite, Harvard U.
CoI: James Annis, FNAL
CoI: Gary Bernstein, U. of Pennsylvania
CoI: Duncan Brown, Syracuse University
CoI: Elizabeth Buckley-Geer, FNAL
CoI: Laura Cadonati, Georgia Institute of Technology
CoI: Stephen Cenko, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
CoI: Hsin-Yu Chen, U. of Chicago
CoI: Shantanu Desai, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Observatory Munich
CoI: H Thomas Diehl, FNAL
CoI: Maria Drout, Harvard U.
CoI: Stephen Fairhurst, Cardiff University
CoI: Benjamin Farr, U. of Chicago
CoI: David Finley, FNAL
CoI: Brenna Flaugher, FNAL
CoI: Ryan Foley, U. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
CoI: Wen-fai Fong, U. of Arizona
CoI: Derek Fox, Pennsylvania State U.
CoI: Josh Frieman, FNAL
CoI: Chris Fryer, LANL
CoI: Chad Hanna, Pennsylvania State U.
CoI: Daniel Holz, U. of Chicago
CoI: Dan Kasen, UC Berkeley
CoI: Richard Kessler, U. of Chicago
CoI: Huan Lin, FNAL
CoI: Raffaella Margutti, NYU
CoI: John Marriner, FNAL
CoI: Thomas Matheson, NOAO
CoI: Brian Metzger, Columbia U.
CoI: Eric Neilsen, FNAL
CoI: Matt Nicholl, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Eliot Quataert, UC Berkeley
CoI: Armin Rest, STScI
CoI: Masao Sako, U. of Pennsylvania
CoI: Daniel Scolnic, U. of Chicago
CoI: Nathan Smith, U. of Arizona
CoI: R Chris Smith, NOAO
CoI: Flavia Sobreira, FNAL
CoI: Patrick Sutton, Cardiff University
CoI: Ashley Villar, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Peter Williams, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Brian Yanny, FNAL
CoI: David Gerdes, U. of Michigan
CoI: Robert A Gruendl, U. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
CoI: Alistair Walker, CTIO
CoI: Laura Nuttall, Syracuse University
CoI: Kate Alexander, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Title: Gemini Confirmation of Optical Counterparts to LIGO/Virgo Sources Found with DECam

Abstract: The era of gravitational wave (GW) astronomy has begun with the Advanced LIGO detection of the binary black hole merger GW 150914. Semester 2016B will overlap with the upcoming Advanced LIGO/Virgo Observing Run 2 (O2; Aug. 2016-Feb. 2017), which will operate with improved sensitivity, including to binary neutron star (BNS) mergers out to 120 Mpc. Electromagnetic counterparts to GW sources offer the only way to precisely measure the localization and redshift. In the event of a LIGO/Virgo detection of a BNS merger, the most promising electromagnetic counterpart is a faint, red optical transient powered by radioactive r-process nuclei, called a "kilonova". Our collaboration has designed a follow-up program using i/z imaging with DECam at CTIO to be sensitive to kilonovae within the volume out to which we expect detections of BNS during O2. We will apply color and timescale cuts to filter optical transients found with our DECam program to find plausible GW counterparts. This Gemini proposal will provide optical and near-infrared spectroscopy of these candidate optical counterparts to confirm or reject their connection to the GW source. The GMOS-S and FLAMINGOS-2 spectra will be critical for identifying the correct optical counterpart, and in the case of a kilonova, measuring the ejecta velocities and demonstrating that neutron star mergers are prime locations for r-process nucleosynthesis.

Program Type: Standard/Extragalactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2016B):  GEM-SQ/GMOSS -- 6.8hrs band 1 (GS-2016B-Q-5)


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016B-0201

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