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Follow Up of GW170817 and Its Electromagnetic Counterpart by Australian-Led Observing Programmes

Andreoni, I.; Ackley, K.; Cooke, J.; Acharyya, A.; Allison, J.R.; Anderson, G.E.; Ashley, M.C.B.; Baade, D.; Bailes, M.; Bannister, K.; Beardsley, A.; Bessell, M.S.; Bian, F.; Bland, P.A.; Boer, M.; Booler, T.; Brandeker, A.; Brown, I.S.; Buckley, D.A.H.; Chang, S.-W.; Coward, D.M.; Crawford, S.; Crisp, H.; Crosse, B.; Cucchiara, A.; Cupák, M.; de Gois, J.S.; Deller, A.; Devillepoix, H.A.R.; Dobie, D.; Elmer, E.; Emrich, D.; Farah, W.; Farrell, T.J.; Franzen, T.; Gaensler, B.M.; Galloway, D.K.; Gendre, B.; Giblin, T.; Goobar, A.; Green, J.; Hancock, P.J.; Hartig, B.A.D.; Howell, E.J.; Horsley, L.; Hotan, A.; Howie, R.M.; Hu, L.; Hu, Y.; James, C.W.; Johnston, S.; Johnston-Hollitt, M.; Kaplan, D.L.; Kasliwal, M.; Keane, E.F.; Kenney, D.; Klotz, A.; Lau, R.; Laugier, R.; Lenc, E.; Li, X.; Liang, E.; Lidman, C.; Luvaul, L.C.; Lynch, C.; Ma, B.; Macpherson, D.; Mao, J.; McClelland, D.E.; McCully, C.; Möller, A.; Morales, M.F.; Morris, D.; Murphy, T.; Noysena, K.; Onken, C.A.; Orange, N. B.; Osłowski, S.; Pallot, D.; Paxman, J.; Potter, S. B.; Pritchard, T.; Raja, W.; Ridden-Harper, R.; Romero-Colmenero, E.; Sadler, E. M.; Sansom, E.K.; Scalzo, R. A.; Schmidt, B. P.; Scott, S. M.; Seghouani, N.; Shang, Z.; Shannon, R. M.; Shao, L.; Shara, M. M.; Sharp, R.; Sokolowski, M.; Sollerman, J.; Staff, J.; Steele, K.; Sun, T.; Suntzeff, N.B.; Tao, C.; Tingay, S.; Towner, M.C.; Thierry, P.; Trott, C.; Tucker, B.E.; Väisänen, P.; Krishnan, V. Venkatraman; Walker, M.; Wang, L.; Wang, X.; Wayth, R.; Whiting, M.; Williams, A.; Williams, T.; Wolf, C.; Wu, C.; Wu, X.; Yang, J.; Yuan, X.; Zhang, H.; Zhou, J.; Zovaro, H.


I. Andreoni

K. Ackley

J. Cooke

A. Acharyya

J.R. Allison

G.E. Anderson

M.C.B. Ashley

D. Baade

M. Bailes

K. Bannister

A. Beardsley

M.S. Bessell

F. Bian

P.A. Bland

M. Boer

T. Booler

A. Brandeker

I.S. Brown

D.A.H. Buckley

S.-W. Chang

D.M. Coward

S. Crawford

H. Crisp

B. Crosse

A. Cucchiara

M. Cupák

J.S. de Gois

A. Deller

H.A.R. Devillepoix

D. Dobie

E. Elmer

D. Emrich

W. Farah

T.J. Farrell

T. Franzen

B.M. Gaensler

D.K. Galloway

B. Gendre

T. Giblin

A. Goobar

J. Green

P.J. Hancock

B.A.D. Hartig

E.J. Howell

L. Horsley

A. Hotan

R.M. Howie

L. Hu

Y. Hu

C.W. James

S. Johnston

M. Johnston-Hollitt

D.L. Kaplan

M. Kasliwal

E.F. Keane

D. Kenney

A. Klotz

R. Lau

R. Laugier

E. Lenc

X. Li

E. Liang

C. Lidman

L.C. Luvaul

C. Lynch

B. Ma

D. Macpherson

J. Mao

D.E. McClelland

C. McCully

A. Möller

M.F. Morales

D. Morris

T. Murphy

K. Noysena

C.A. Onken

N. B. Orange

S. Osłowski

D. Pallot

J. Paxman

S. B. Potter

T. Pritchard

W. Raja

R. Ridden-Harper

E. Romero-Colmenero

E. M. Sadler

E.K. Sansom

R. A. Scalzo

B. P. Schmidt

S. M. Scott

N. Seghouani

Z. Shang

R. M. Shannon

L. Shao

M. M. Shara

R. Sharp

M. Sokolowski

J. Sollerman

J. Staff

K. Steele

T. Sun

N.B. Suntzeff

C. Tao

S. Tingay

M.C. Towner

P. Thierry

C. Trott

B.E. Tucker

P. Väisänen

V. Venkatraman Krishnan

M. Walker

L. Wang

X. Wang

R. Wayth

M. Whiting

A. Williams

T. Williams

C. Wolf

C. Wu

X. Wu

J. Yang

X. Yuan

H. Zhang

J. Zhou

H. Zovaro


The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.


Andreoni, I., Ackley, K., Cooke, J., Acharyya, A., Allison, J., Anderson, G., …Zovaro, H. (2017). Follow Up of GW170817 and Its Electromagnetic Counterpart by Australian-Led Observing Programmes. Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, 34,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 22, 2017
Online Publication Date Dec 20, 2017
Publication Date 2017
Deposit Date Feb 14, 2018
Journal Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia
Print ISSN 1323-3580
Electronic ISSN 1448-6083
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Keywords gamma-ray burst: individual: GRB170817A ; gravitational waves ; stars: neutron ; supernovae: general ;
supernovae: individual: AT2017gfo
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information License: Copyright © Astronomical Society of Australia 2017 

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