Research Article

Swope Supernova Survey 2017a (SSS17a), the optical counterpart to a gravitational wave source

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  16 Oct 2017:
eaap9811
DOI: 10.1126/science.aap9811

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Abstract

On 2017 August 17, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the Virgo interferometer detected gravitational waves emanating from a binary neutron star merger, GW170817. Nearly simultaneously, the Fermi and INTEGRAL telescopes detected a gamma-ray transient, GRB 170817A. 10.9 hours after the gravitational wave trigger, we discovered a transient and fading optical source, Swope Supernova Survey 2017a (SSS17a), coincident with GW170817. SSS17a is located in NGC 4993, an S0 galaxy at a distance of 40 megaparsecs. The precise location of GW170817 provides an opportunity to probe the nature of these cataclysmic events by combining electromagnetic and gravitational-wave observations.

View Full Text