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Gravitational Wave - Electromagnetic follow-up with UK facilities

A one day meeting at the University of Warwick -- 14th August 2013

Please fill in the registration form here

The second half of this decade will see the advent of the next generation of gravitational wave interferometers. These will finally reach a sensitivity level where the routine detection of astrophysical sources is expected. While these detections offer a unique route of study extreme physical processes their value is greatly enhanced by electromagentic follow-up to identify and characterize the source properties. However, this task is far from trivial, with error boxes of tens of square degrees needing to be searched, and is further complicated since the sources are likely to fade rapidly.

In this informal one day meeting we will attempt to bring together interested parties from across the UK community to discuss how we might optimise follow-up of gravitational wave triggers with current, or future UK facilities. In particular, a consortium of UK astronomers is planning an instrument dedicated to the optical follow-up of GW transients -- The Gravitational Wave Optical Transient Observatory (GOTO) -- capable of mapping ~50 square degrees to >20th magnitude in a matter of minutes. In this meeting we will present details of the project, optimise the design, and welcome contributions from the UK community at large.

  • What are the expected event rates and error boxes for the first GW triggers, and how will they evolve over the next 10 years?
  • What are the likely properties of the electromagnetic counterparts (GRBs, kilonova, radio flares)?
  • How might we search for these counterparts with existing facilities, and what can be gained by bringing these together?
  • New designs and initiatives - The Gravitational Wave Optical Transient Observatory (GOTO) and others

There is no registration fee and all are welcome to attend. However, in order that we can gauge numbers we ask that you register your interest here.

We look forward to seeing you in August.

In case of any questions please contact Andrew Levan (A.J.Levan (at)