Linking Optical and Infrared Observations with Gravitational Wave Sources Through Variability
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CitationStubbs, Christopher William. 2008. Linking optical and infrared observations with gravitational wave sources through variability. Classical and Quantum Gravity 25(18): 184033.
AbstractOptical and infrared observations have thus far detected more celestial cataclysms than have been seen in gravity waves (GW). This argues that we should search for gravity wave signatures that correspond to flux variability seen at optical wavelengths, at precisely known positions. There is an unknown time delay between the optical and gravitational transient, but knowing the source location precisely specifies the corresponding time delays across the gravitational antenna network as a function of the GW-to-optical arrival time difference. Optical searches should detect virtually all supernovae that are plausible gravitational radiation sources. The transient optical signature expected from merging compact objects is not as well understood, but there are good reasons to expect detectable transient optical/IR emission from most of these sources as well. The next generation of deep wide-field surveys (for example PanSTARRS and LSST) will be sensitive to subtle optical variability, but we need to fill the "blind spots" that exist in the Galactic plane, and for optically bright transient sources. In particular, a Galactic plane variability survey at \(\lambda \sim 2\mu\)m seems worthwhile. Science would benefit from closer coordination between the various optical survey projects and the gravity wave community.
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