Working with Gravitational-Wave sky localizations: New methods and implementations

Giuseppe Greco, Marica Branchesi, Eric Chassande-Mottin, Michael W. Coughlin, Giulia Stratta, Gergely Dálya, Gary Hemming, Luca Rei, Enzo Brocato, Pierre Fernique, Thomas Boch, Sébastien Derriere, Matthieu Baumann, Francoise Genova, Mark Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The era of multi-messenger astrophysics with GravitationalWaves (GW) requires the exploration and development of suitable methods and tools for real-time analysis as well as post-processing activities. The irregular and complex shapes of the GW sky localizations represent a new challenge for observational astronomers, who need to work with fast tiling, catalog queries, transient localizations, visibility and sky map comparisons. Here we show how gravitational-wave sky maps can be easily and efficiently visualized and processed using Multi-Order Coverage (MOC) maps. These maps are based on HEALPix sky tessellation which uses both Python language and the recent implementation in Aladin Desktop/Lite. In addition to this, we describe a specific interactive script, named GWsky, that we developed to effectively tile the sky localization of a gravitational-wave event providing accurate telescope pointings. We also show applications of these methods and tools for educational purposes in Virtual Reality Apps, high resolution images, and basic sonification of the GW sky maps. Finally, we describe possible evolutions of such implementations when three or more groundbased interferometers will be involved in a gravitational-wave source localization (i.e. Virgo, LIGO-Hanford, LIGO-Livingston, KAGRA, LIGO-India) with a corresponding increase of the sky map resolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number031
JournalProceedings of Science
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event2019 New Era of Multi-Messenger Astrophysics, Asterics 2019 - Groningen, Netherlands
Duration: Mar 25 2019Mar 29 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge support from ASTERICS, a project funded by the European Commission under the Horizon2020 programme (id 653477), in the framework of ASTERICS Work Package 4 Data Access, Discovery and Interoperability.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright owned by the author(s).


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