A gravitational-wave standard siren measurement of the Hubble constant

The 1M2H Collaboration, The Dark Energy Camera GW-EM Collaboration and the DES Collaboration, The DLT40 Collaboration, The Las Cumbres Observatory Collaboration, The VINROUGE Collaboration, The LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration, The MASTER Collaboration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

On 17 August 2017, the Advanced LIGO1 and Virgo2 detectors observed the gravitational-wave event GW170817-a strong signal from the merger of a binary neutron-star system3. Less than two seconds after the merger, a γ-ray burst (GRB 170817A) was detected within a region of the sky consistent with the LIGO-Virgo-derived location of the gravitational-wave source4-6. This sky region was subsequently observed by optical astronomy facilities7, resulting in the identification8-13 of an optical transient signal within about ten arcseconds of the galaxy NGC 4993. This detection of GW170817 in both gravitational waves and electromagnetic waves represents the first 'multi-messenger' astronomical observation. Such observations enable GW170817 to be used as a 'standard siren'14-18 (meaning that the absolute distance to the source can be determined directly from the gravitational-wave measurements) to measure the Hubble constant. This quantity represents the local expansion rate of the Universe, sets the overall scale of the Universe and is of fundamental importance to cosmology. Here we report a measurement of the Hubble constant that combines the distance to the source inferred purely from the gravitational-wave signal with the recession velocity inferred from measurements of the redshift using the electromagnetic data. In contrast to previous measurements, ours does not require the use of a cosmic 'distance ladder'19: the gravitational-wave analysis can be used to estimate the luminosity distance out to cosmological scales directly, without the use of intermediate astronomical distance measurements. We determine the Hubble constant to be about 70 kilometres per second per megaparsec. This value is consistent with existing measurements20,21, while being completely independent of them. Additional standard siren measurements from future gravitationalwave sources will enable the Hubble constant to be constrained to high precision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-98
Number of pages14
JournalNature
Volume551
Issue number7678
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017

Cite this

The 1M2H Collaboration, The Dark Energy Camera GW-EM Collaboration and the DES Collaboration, The DLT40 Collaboration, The Las Cumbres Observatory Collaboration, The VINROUGE Collaboration, The LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration, & The MASTER Collaboration (2017). A gravitational-wave standard siren measurement of the Hubble constant. Nature, 551(7678), 85-98. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature24471
The 1M2H Collaboration ; The Dark Energy Camera GW-EM Collaboration and the DES Collaboration ; The DLT40 Collaboration ; The Las Cumbres Observatory Collaboration ; The VINROUGE Collaboration ; The LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration ; The MASTER Collaboration. / A gravitational-wave standard siren measurement of the Hubble constant. In: Nature. 2017 ; Vol. 551, No. 7678. pp. 85-98.
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title = "A gravitational-wave standard siren measurement of the Hubble constant",
abstract = "On 17 August 2017, the Advanced LIGO1 and Virgo2 detectors observed the gravitational-wave event GW170817-a strong signal from the merger of a binary neutron-star system3. Less than two seconds after the merger, a γ-ray burst (GRB 170817A) was detected within a region of the sky consistent with the LIGO-Virgo-derived location of the gravitational-wave source4-6. This sky region was subsequently observed by optical astronomy facilities7, resulting in the identification8-13 of an optical transient signal within about ten arcseconds of the galaxy NGC 4993. This detection of GW170817 in both gravitational waves and electromagnetic waves represents the first 'multi-messenger' astronomical observation. Such observations enable GW170817 to be used as a 'standard siren'14-18 (meaning that the absolute distance to the source can be determined directly from the gravitational-wave measurements) to measure the Hubble constant. This quantity represents the local expansion rate of the Universe, sets the overall scale of the Universe and is of fundamental importance to cosmology. Here we report a measurement of the Hubble constant that combines the distance to the source inferred purely from the gravitational-wave signal with the recession velocity inferred from measurements of the redshift using the electromagnetic data. In contrast to previous measurements, ours does not require the use of a cosmic 'distance ladder'19: the gravitational-wave analysis can be used to estimate the luminosity distance out to cosmological scales directly, without the use of intermediate astronomical distance measurements. We determine the Hubble constant to be about 70 kilometres per second per megaparsec. This value is consistent with existing measurements20,21, while being completely independent of them. Additional standard siren measurements from future gravitationalwave sources will enable the Hubble constant to be constrained to high precision.",
author = "Ackley, {Kendall Danielle} and Sylvia Biscoveanu and Boris Goncharov and Lasky, {Paul Daniel} and Yuri Levin and McNeill, {Lucy Olivia} and Sammut, {Letizia Maria} and RJE Smith and Talbot, {Colm Michael} and Eric Thrane and Chris Whittle and Xingjiang Zhu and {The 1M2H Collaboration} and {The Dark Energy Camera GW-EM Collaboration and the DES Collaboration} and {The DLT40 Collaboration} and {The Las Cumbres Observatory Collaboration} and {The VINROUGE Collaboration} and Evert Rol and Daniel Steeghs and {The LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration} and {The MASTER Collaboration}",
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The 1M2H Collaboration, The Dark Energy Camera GW-EM Collaboration and the DES Collaboration, The DLT40 Collaboration, The Las Cumbres Observatory Collaboration, The VINROUGE Collaboration, The LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration & The MASTER Collaboration 2017, 'A gravitational-wave standard siren measurement of the Hubble constant' Nature, vol. 551, no. 7678, pp. 85-98. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature24471

A gravitational-wave standard siren measurement of the Hubble constant. / The 1M2H Collaboration; The Dark Energy Camera GW-EM Collaboration and the DES Collaboration; The DLT40 Collaboration; The Las Cumbres Observatory Collaboration; The VINROUGE Collaboration; The LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration; The MASTER Collaboration.

In: Nature, Vol. 551, No. 7678, 02.11.2017, p. 85-98.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Ackley, Kendall Danielle

AU - Biscoveanu, Sylvia

AU - Goncharov, Boris

AU - Lasky, Paul Daniel

AU - Levin, Yuri

AU - McNeill, Lucy Olivia

AU - Sammut, Letizia Maria

AU - Smith, RJE

AU - Talbot, Colm Michael

AU - Thrane, Eric

AU - Whittle, Chris

AU - Zhu, Xingjiang

AU - The 1M2H Collaboration

AU - The Dark Energy Camera GW-EM Collaboration and the DES Collaboration

AU - The DLT40 Collaboration

AU - The Las Cumbres Observatory Collaboration

AU - The VINROUGE Collaboration

AU - Rol, Evert

AU - Steeghs, Daniel

AU - The LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration

AU - The MASTER Collaboration

PY - 2017/11/2

Y1 - 2017/11/2

N2 - On 17 August 2017, the Advanced LIGO1 and Virgo2 detectors observed the gravitational-wave event GW170817-a strong signal from the merger of a binary neutron-star system3. Less than two seconds after the merger, a γ-ray burst (GRB 170817A) was detected within a region of the sky consistent with the LIGO-Virgo-derived location of the gravitational-wave source4-6. This sky region was subsequently observed by optical astronomy facilities7, resulting in the identification8-13 of an optical transient signal within about ten arcseconds of the galaxy NGC 4993. This detection of GW170817 in both gravitational waves and electromagnetic waves represents the first 'multi-messenger' astronomical observation. Such observations enable GW170817 to be used as a 'standard siren'14-18 (meaning that the absolute distance to the source can be determined directly from the gravitational-wave measurements) to measure the Hubble constant. This quantity represents the local expansion rate of the Universe, sets the overall scale of the Universe and is of fundamental importance to cosmology. Here we report a measurement of the Hubble constant that combines the distance to the source inferred purely from the gravitational-wave signal with the recession velocity inferred from measurements of the redshift using the electromagnetic data. In contrast to previous measurements, ours does not require the use of a cosmic 'distance ladder'19: the gravitational-wave analysis can be used to estimate the luminosity distance out to cosmological scales directly, without the use of intermediate astronomical distance measurements. We determine the Hubble constant to be about 70 kilometres per second per megaparsec. This value is consistent with existing measurements20,21, while being completely independent of them. Additional standard siren measurements from future gravitationalwave sources will enable the Hubble constant to be constrained to high precision.

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The 1M2H Collaboration, The Dark Energy Camera GW-EM Collaboration and the DES Collaboration, The DLT40 Collaboration, The Las Cumbres Observatory Collaboration, The VINROUGE Collaboration, The LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration et al. A gravitational-wave standard siren measurement of the Hubble constant. Nature. 2017 Nov 2;551(7678):85-98. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature24471