Compact radio emission indicates a structured jet was produced by a binary neutron star merger
Journal article, 2019

The binary neutron star merger event GW170817 was detected through both electromagnetic radiation and gravitational waves. Its afterglow emission may have been produced by either a narrow relativistic jet or an isotropic outflow. High-spatial-resolution measurements of the source size and displacement can discriminate between these scenarios. We present very-long-baseline interferometry observations, performed 207.4 days after the merger by using a global network of 32 radio telescopes. The apparent source size is constrained to be smaller than 2.5 milli-arc seconds at the 90% confidence level. This excludes the isotropic outflow scenario, which would have produced a larger apparent size, indicating that GW170817 produced a structured relativistic jet. Our rate calculations show that at least 10% of neutron star mergers produce such a jet.

Author

G. Ghirlanda

Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera

University of Milano-Bicocca

Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Milano

O. S. Salafia

University of Milano-Bicocca

Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Milano

Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera

Z. Paragi

Joint Institute for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC)

M. Giroletti

Istituto nazionale di astrofisica (INAF)

J. Yang

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Onsala Space Observatory, Onsala Space Observatory, Observation Support

Chinese Academy of Sciences

B. Marcote

Joint Institute for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC)

J. Blanchard

Joint Institute for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC)

I. Agudo

CSIC - Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA)

T. An

Shanghai Astronomical Observatory

M. G. Bernardini

Laboratoire Univers et Particules de Montpellier

R. J. Beswick

University of Manchester

M. Branchesi

Istituto Nazionale Di Fisica Nucleare, Frascati

Gran Sasso Science Institute

S. Campana

Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera

C. Casadio

Max Planck Society

E. Chassande-Mottin

Paris Diderot University

M. Colpi

Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Milano

University of Milano-Bicocca

S. Covino

Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera

P. D'Avanzo

Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera

V. D'Elia

Agenzia Spaziale Italiana

S. Frey

Hungarian Academy of Sciences

M. P. Gawroński

Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu

G. Ghisellini

Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera

L. I. Gurvits

Delft University of Technology

Joint Institute for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC)

P. G. Jonker

Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON)

Radboud University

H. J. van Langevelde

Joint Institute for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC)

Leiden University

A. Melandri

Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera

J. Moldon

University of Manchester

L. Nava

Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera

A. Perego

Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Milano

M.A. Pérez-Torres

University of Zaragoza

CSIC - Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA)

C. Reynolds

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

R. Salvaterra

INAF Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica, Milan

G. Tagliaferri

Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera

T. Venturi

Istituto nazionale di astrofisica (INAF)

S. D. Vergani

GEPI - Galaxies, Etoiles, Physique, Instrumentation

M. Zhang

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Science (New York, N.Y.)

1095-9203 (eISSN)

Vol. 363 6430 968-971

Subject Categories

Accelerator Physics and Instrumentation

Subatomic Physics

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

DOI

10.1126/science.aau8815

PubMed

30792360

More information

Latest update

7/20/2019