LSC-Virgo Burst Analysis Working Group


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Burst Group External Collaboration Overview

Overview of Active or Possible External Collaboration

Name of external person(s), group, or scientific collaboration:

PTF: Palomar Transient Factory Slides with description; PTF wiki

Brief description of collaborative activity (one sentence):

Look for GW at times of optical transients, and follow up many GW event candidates with a wide-field, medium-aperture telescope

Contact person(s) in the LSC+Virgo collaborations:


External contact person(s):

Shri Kulkarni

How does/would this collaborative activity benefit the LSC and Virgo?

In either ExtTrig or LoocUp mode, an optical transient detected by PTF which is associated with a GW event candidate could confirm it as an actual astrophysical event, localize it, and provide information about the progenitor. In LoocUp mode, prompt localization would allow further follow-up observations by even larger-aperture telescopes.

Are there other individuals/groups who could provide similar benefits?

If so, what is the scientific and/or practical justification for pursuing this particular collaboration?
PTF is notable for having an unusually wide field of view for a medium-aperture telescope -- even wider than the smaller ROTSE and TAROT telescopes. Therefore, PTF can search deeply for an optical source even if the GW event candidate is poorly localized. PTF and SkyMapper are fairly similar, but in opposite hemispheres. On a practical level, PTF's base at Caltech is ideal for collaborating with LIGO colleagues.

Are any joint proposals planned to be submitted, e.g. for funding or for telescope time?

No, this is a peer-to-peer collaboration.

Describe any paper(s) which will/might result from this collaboration

If we discover a GW signal associated with an optical transient, we will be very excited and will publish a joint detection paper. We probably won't publish anything if we don't detect anything, except (potentially) a methods paper.

What preliminary studies (if any) have been done or are currently being done?

None so far.

Any other comments:

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