Multimessenger Bayesian parameter inference of a binary neutron star merger

Michael W. Coughlin, Tim DIetrich, Ben Margalit, Brian D. Metzger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


The combined detection of a binary neutron star merger in both gravitational waves (GWs) and electromagnetic (EM) radiation spanning the entire spectrum - GW170817/AT2017gfo/GRB170817A - marks a breakthrough in the field of multimessenger astronomy. Between the plethora of modelling and observations, the rich synergy that exists among the available data sets creates a unique opportunity to constrain the binary parameters, the equation of state of supranuclear density matter, and the physical processes at work during the kilonova and gamma-ray burst. We report, for the first time, Bayesian parameter estimation combining information from GW170817, AT2017gfo, and GRB170817 to obtain truly multimessenger constraints on the tidal deformability $tilde{Lambda } in [302,860]$, total binary mass M [2.722, 2.751] M1, the radius of a 1.4 solar mass neutron star $R in [11.3,13.5] ,,rm km$ (with additional $0.2 rm km$ systematic uncertainty), and an upper bound on the mass ratio of q ≤ 1.27, all at 90 per cent confidence. Our joint novel analysis uses new phenomenological descriptions of the dynamical ejecta, debris disc mass, and remnant black hole properties, all derived from a large suite of numerical relativity simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L91-L96
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Johan Haster, Kent Yagi, Nicolas Yunes for providing us their posterior samples analysing GW170817 under the assumption of a common EOS (Carson et al. 2019). MWC is supported by the David and Ellen Lee Postdoctoral Fellowship at the California Institute of Technology. TD acknowledges support by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 749145, BNSmergers. BDM is supported in part by NASA through the Astrophysics Theory Program (grant # NNX16AB30G). BM is supported by NASA through the NASA Hubble Fellowship grant #HST-HF2-51412.001-A awarded by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., for NASA, under contract NAS5-26555.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.


  • gravitational waves
  • methods: statistical


Dive into the research topics of 'Multimessenger Bayesian parameter inference of a binary neutron star merger'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this