NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2018A-0372

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Program Information for 2018A-0372


PI: Leo Singer, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, leo.p.singer@nasa.gov
Address: Astroparticle Physics Laboratory, Code 661, 8800 Greenbelt Rd., Greenbelt, MD, 20771 USA

CoI: Mansi Kasliwal, California Institute of Technology
CoI: Stephen Cenko, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
CoI: Ryan Lau, California Institute of Technology

Title: Hunt for an Infrared Counterpart to a Neutron Star Merger

Abstract: The discovery of an electromagnetic counterpart to GWs from the first LIGO/Virgo binary neutron star merger GW170817 heralds a new era in multi-messenger astronomy, comparable in significance to SN 1987A, but broader by far in impact because we expect that it is the first of many such events that LIGO/Virgo will announce over the next few years. The only two wave-bands where the emission is independent of viewing angle, and guaranteed for all neutron star mergers, are the infrared and the radio. Given the importance of the infrared to study nucleosynthesis and the ubiquitous nature of the emission independent of viewing angle, we propose to leverage Gemini's unique near-infrared sensitivity to pinpoint and characterize the electromagnetic counterparts of such events. Our experience with GW170817 demonstrates the extreme effectiveness of combining a galaxy catalog with LIGO/Virgo localizations in order to leverage 8m class telescopes not just for follow-up but as the initial discovery engine.

Program Type: Standard/Galactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2018A):  GEM-SQ/Flamingos2 -- 5.17hrs band 1 (GS-2018A-Q-105 )


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2018A-0372

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