Constraining the gravitational-wave afterglow from a binary neutron star coalescence

Sharan Banagiri, Michael William Coughlin, James A Clark, Paul Lasky, Marie-Anne Bizouard, Colm Michael Talbot, Eric Thrane, Vuk Mandic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Binary neutron star mergers are rich laboratories for physics, accessible with ground-based interferometric gravitational-wave detectors such as the Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo. If a neutron star remnant survives the merger, it can emit gravitational waves that might be detectable with the current or next generation detectors. The physics of the long-lived post-merger phase is not well understood and makes modelling difficult. In particular the phase of the gravitational-wave signal is not well modelled. In this paper, we explore methods for using long duration post-merger gravitational-wave signals to constrain the parameters and the properties of the remnant. We develop a phase-agnostic likelihood model that uses only the spectral content for parameter estimation and demonstrate the calculation of a Bayesian upper limit in the absence of a signal. With the millisecond magnetar model, we show that for an event like GW170817, the ellipticity of a long-lived remnant can be constrained to less than about 0.5 in the parameter space used.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4945-4951
Number of pages7
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

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