Neutron Star Merger Afterglows: Population Prospects for the Gravitational Wave Era
2019 August 08
Following the historical observation of GW170817 and its electromagnetic follow-up, new neutron star merger afterglows are expected to be observed as counterparts to gravitational wave signals during the next science runs of the gravitational interferometer network. The diversity of the observed population of afterglows of these future events is subject to various factors, which are (i) intrinsic, such as the energy of the ejecta, (ii) environmental, such as the ambient medium density or (iii) observational, such as the viewing angle and distance of the source. Through prescribing a population of mergers and modelling their afterglows, we study the diversity of those events to be observed jointly in gravitational waves and electromagnetic bands. In the future, observables of detected events such as viewing angle, distance, afterglow peak flux or proper motion will form distributions which together with predictions from our study will provide insight on neutron star mergers and their environments.