Double Neutron Star Mergers and Short Gamma-ray Bursts: Long-lasting High-energy Signatures and Remnant Dichotomy

Kohta Murase, Michael W. Toomey, Ke Fang, Foteini Oikonomou, Shigeo S. Kimura, Kenta Hotokezaka, Kazumi Kashiyama, Kunihito Ioka, Peter Mészáros

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56 Scopus citations


The recent detection of gravitational waves and electromagnetic counterparts from the double neutron star merger event GW+EM170817 supports the standard paradigm of short gamma-ray bursts (SGRBs) and kilonovae/macronovae. It is important to reveal the nature of the compact remnant left after the merger, either a black hole or neutron star, and their physical link to the origin of the long-lasting emission observed in SGRBs. The diversity of the merger remnants may also lead to different kinds of transients that can be detected in future. Here we study the high-energy emission from the long-lasting central engine left after the coalescence, under certain assumptions. In particular, we consider the X-ray emission from a remnant disk and the nonthermal nebular emission from disk-driven outflows or pulsar winds. We demonstrate that late-time X-ray and high-frequency radio emission can provide useful constraints on properties of the hidden compact remnants and their connections to long-lasting SGRB emission, and we discuss the detectability of nearby merger events through late-time observations at ∼30-100 days after the coalescence. We also investigate the GeV-TeV gamma-ray emission that occurs in the presence of long-lasting central engines and show the importance of external inverse Compton radiation due to upscattering of X-ray photons by relativistic electrons in the jet. We also search for high-energy gamma rays from GW170817 in the Fermi-LAT data and report upper limits on such long-lasting emission. Finally, we consider the implications of GW+EM170817 and discuss the constraints placed by X-ray and high-frequency radio observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number60
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 10 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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