AGILE search for gamma-ray counterparts of gravitational wave events
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AGILE is a space mission of the Italian Space Agency dedicated to X-ray and gamma-ray astrophysics operating since 2007. Since the discovery of gravitational wave (GW) events by the LIGO-Virgo Collaboration (LVC) announced in February 2016, AGILE is playing a very important role in the search for possible X-ray and gamma-ray counterparts. The large fields of view of the gamma-ray and hard X-ray imagers (2.5 sr and 1 sr, respectively) and the current spinning mode allow AGILE to cover at any moment a very large fraction of the sky. We present here an overview of AGILE observations of GW events during the LVC observing periods O1 and O2 which span the time interval September 2015–August 2017. In particular, we focus on the main characteristics of AGILE observations of the events GW150914, GW170104, and GW170817. The latter event is of great relevance being associated with a “kilonova” counterpart: we establish important physical constraints on the possible \(\gamma\)-ray emission from a magnetar-like remnant in the first \(\sim 1000\) s following the GW event time. We also present further developments and preliminary results obtained in preparation of the O3 observing run (start in April 2019). AGILE is fully operative in the search for GW event counterparts, and continues to observe the sky in a unique way because of its combination of large field-of-view hard X-ray and gamma-ray detectors.
KeywordsGamma rays: observations Gravitational waves General relativity
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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