A gravitational-wave standard siren measurement of the Hubble constant

Abbott, B. P. et al. (2017) A gravitational-wave standard siren measurement of the Hubble constant. Nature, 551(7678), pp. 85-88. (doi: 10.1038/nature24471) (PMID:29094696)

151040.pdf - Accepted Version



The detection of GW170817 in both gravitational waves and electromagnetic waves heralds the age of gravitational-wave multi-messenger astronomy. On 17 August 2017 the Advanced LIGO and Virgo detectors observed GW170817, a strong signal from the merger of a binary neutron-star system. Less than 2 seconds after the merger, a gamma-ray burst (GRB 170817A) was detected within a region of the sky consistent with the LIGO-Virgo-derived location of the gravitational-wave source. This sky region was subsequently observed by optical astronomy facilities, resulting in the identification of an optical transient signal within ∼10 arcsec of the galaxy NGC 4993. These multi-messenger observations allow us to use GW170817 as a standard siren, the gravitational-wave analog of an astronomical standard candle, to measure the Hubble constant. This quantity, which represents the local expansion rate of the Universe, sets the overall scale of the Universe and is of fundamental importance to cosmology. Our measurement combines the distance to the source inferred purely from the gravitational-wave signal with the recession velocity inferred from measurements of the redshift using electromagnetic data. This approach does not require any form of cosmic "distance ladder;" the gravitational wave analysis can be used to estimate the luminosity distance out to cosmological scales directly, without the use of intermediate astronomical distance measurements. We determine the Hubble constant to be 70.0+12.0−8.0kms−1Mpc−1 (maximum a posteriori and 68% credible interval). This is consistent with existing measurements, while being completely independent of them. Additional standard-siren measurements from future gravitational-wave sources will provide precision constraints of this important cosmological parameter.

Item Type:Articles (Letter)
Keywords:High-energy astrophysics, Cosmology
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:TOLAND, Karl and Grant, Mr Alastair and Pearlstone, Brynley and Robie, Raymond and Messenger, Dr Christopher and Masso Reid, Ms Mariela and Isa, Hafizah Noor Binti and Bell, Dr Angus and Williams, Dr Daniel and Pascucci, Daniela and Hammond, Professor Giles and Hild, Professor Stefan and Barr, Dr Bryan and Sorazu Lucio, Dr Borja and Lee, Kyung Ha and Keitel, David and Leavey, Mr Sean and Barclay, Sheena Elaine and Gabbard, Hunter Arthur and Steinlechner, Dr Jessica and Veitch, Dr John and Houston, Ewan and Phelps, Margot H and Heng, Professor Ik Siong and Dupej, Peter and van Veggel, Dr Marielle and Newton, Dr Gavin and Zhang, Teng and Graef, Dr Christian and Hendry, Professor Martin and Scott, Dr Jamie and Mangano, Valentina and Rowan, Professor Sheila and Martin, Dr Iain and Robertson, Professor Norna and Tornasi, Zeno and SPENCER, Andrew and Cumming, Dr Alan and Berry, Dr Christopher and Hennig, Mr Jan-Simon and Cunningham, Dr Liam and Woan, Professor Graham and Tait, Simon and WRIGHT, Jennifer and Steinlechner, Dr Sebastian and Datrier, Ms Laurence and Powell, Jade and Hough, Professor James and Bayley, Joseph and Huttner, Dr Sabina and Strain, Professor Kenneth and DOUGLAS, Rebecca and Jones, Mr Russell and Chan, Man Leong and HART, Martin and Haughian, Dr Karen and Pitkin, Dr Matthew and Murray, Dr Peter and Fletcher, Mr Mark
Authors: Abbott, B. P., Abbott, R., Abbott, T. D., Acernese, F., Ackley, K., Adams, C., Adams, T., Addesso, P., Adhikari, R. X., Adya, V. B., Affeldt, C., Afrough, M., Agarwal, B., Agathos, M., Agatsuma, K., Aggarwal, N., Aguiar, O. D., Aiello, L., Ain, A., Ajith, P., Allen, B., Allen, G., Allocca, A., Altin, P. A., Amato, A., Ananyeva, A., Anderson, S. B., Anderson, W. G., Angelova, S. V., Antier, S., Appert, S., Arai, K., Araya, M. C., Areeda, J. S., Arnaud, N., Arun, K. G., Ascenzi, S., Ashton, G., Ast, M., Aston, S. M., Astone, P., Atallah, D. V., Aufmuth, P., Aulbert, C., AultONeal, K., Austin, C., Avila-Alvarez, A., Babak, S., Bacon, P., Bader, M. K. M., Bae, S., Baker, P. T., Baldaccini, F., Ballardin, G., Ballmer, S. W., Banagiri, S., Barayoga, J. C., Barclay, S. E., Barish, B. C., Barker, D., Barkett, K., Barone, F., Barr, B., Barsotti, L., Barsuglia, M., Barta, D., Bartlett, J., Bartos, I., Bassiri, R., Basti, A., Batch, J. C., Bawaj, M., Bayley, J. C., Bazzan, M., Bécsy, B., Beer, C., Bejger, M., Belahcene, I., Bell, A. S., Berger, B. K., Bergmann, G., Bero, J. J., Berry, C. P. L., Bersanetti, D., Bertolini, A., Betzwieser, J., Bhagwat, S., Bhandare, R., Bilenko, I. A., Billingsley, G., Billman, C. R., Birch, J., Birney, R., Birnholtz, O., Biscans, S., Biscoveanu, S., Bisht, A., Bitossi, M., Biwer, C., Bizouard, M. A., Blackburn, J. K., Blackman, J., Blair, C. D., Blair, D. G., Blair, R. M., Bloemen, S., Bock, O., Bode, N., Boer, M., Bogaert, G., Bohe, A., Bondu, F., Bonilla, E., Bonnand, R., Boom, B. A., Bork, R., Boschi, V., Bose, S., Bossie, K., Bouffanais, Y., Bozzi, A., Bradaschia, C., Brady, P. R., Branchesi, M., Brau, J. E., Briant, T., Brillet, A., Brinkmann, M., Brisson, V., Brockill, P., Broida, J. E., Brooks, A. F., Brown, D. A., Brown, D. D., Brunett, S., Buchanan, C. C., Buikema, A., Bulik, T., Bulten, H. J., Buonanno, A., Buskulic, D., Buy, C., Byer, R. L., Cabero, M., Cadonati, L., Cagnoli, G., Cahillane, C., Bustillo, J. C., Callister, T. A., Calloni, E., Camp, J. B., Canepa, M., Canizares, P., Cannon, K. C., Cao, H., Cao, J., Capano, C. D., Capocasa, E., Carbognani, F., Caride, S., Carney, M. F., Casanueva Diaz, J., Casentini, C., Caudill, S., Cavaglià, M., Cavalier, F., Cavalieri, R., Cella, G., Cepeda, C. B., Cerdá-Durán, P., Cerretani, G., Cesarini, E., Chamberlin, S. J., Chan, M., Chao, S., Charlton, P., Chase, E., Chassande-Mottin, E., Chatterjee, D., Chatziioannou, K., Cheeseboro, B. D., Chen, H. Y., Chen, X., Chen, Y., Cheng, H.-P., Chia, H., Chincarini, A., Chiummo, A., Chmiel, T., Cho, H. S., Cho, M., Chow, J. H., Christensen, N., Chu, Q., Chua, A. J. K., Chua, S., Chung, A. K. W., Chung, S., Ciani, G., Ciolfi, R., Cirelli, C. E., Cirone, A., Clara, F., Clark, J. A., Clearwater, P., Cleva, F., Cocchieri, C., Coccia, E., Cohadon, P.-F., Cohen, D., Colla, A., Collette, C. G., Cominsky, L. R., Constancio, M., Conti, L., Cooper, S. J., Corban, P., Corbitt, T. R., Cordero-Carrión, I., Corley, K. R., Cornish, N., Corsi, A., Cortese, S., Costa, C. A., Coughlin, M. W., Coughlin, S. B., Coulon, J.-P., Countryman, S. T., Couvares, P., Covas, P. B., Cowan, E. E., Coward, D. M., Cowart, M. J., Coyne, D. C., Coyne, R., Creighton, J. D. E., Creighton, T. D., Cripe, J., Crowder, S. G., Cullen, T. J., Cumming, A., Cunningham, L., Cuoco, E., Dal Canton, T., Dálya, G., Danilishin, S. L., D’Antonio, S., Danzmann, K., Dasgupta, A., Da Silva Costa, C. F., Datrier, L.E.H., Dattilo, V., Dave, I., Davier, M., Davis, D., Daw, E. J., Day, B., De, S., DeBra, D., Degallaix, J., De Laurentis, M., Deléglise, S., Del Pozzo, W., Demos, N., Denker, T., Dent, T., De Pietri, R., Dergachev, V., De Rosa, R., DeRosa, R. T., De Rossi, C., DeSalvo, R., de Varona, O., Devenson, J., Dhurandhar, S., Díaz, M. 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Subjects:Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Research Centre:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy > Institute for Gravitational Research
Research Group:Institute for Gravitational Research
Journal Name:Nature
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):1476-4687
Published Online:16 October 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature
First Published:First published in Nature 551(7678):85-88
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
713721Investigations in gravitational radiationSheila RowanScience & Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/N005422/1S&E P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
569982Proposal for UK Involvement in the Operation of Advanced LIGOKenneth StrainScience & Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/N00003X/1P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY