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Electromagnetic emission from long-lived binary neutron star merger remnants II: lightcurves and spectra

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Siegel,  Daniel
Astrophysical and Cosmological Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

Ciolfi,  Riccardo
Astrophysical and Cosmological Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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1508.07939.pdf
(Preprint), 9MB

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Citation

Siegel, D., & Ciolfi, R. (2016). Electromagnetic emission from long-lived binary neutron star merger remnants II: lightcurves and spectra. The Astrophysical Journal, 819: 15. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/819/1/15.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-006D-D
Abstract
Recent observations indicate that in a large fraction of binary neutron star (BNS) mergers a long-lived neutron star (NS) may be formed rather than a black hole. Unambiguous electromagnetic (EM) signatures of such a scenario would strongly impact our knowledge on how short gamma-ray bursts (SGRBs) and their afterglow radiation are generated. Furthermore, such EM signals would have profound implications for multimessenger astronomy with joint EM and gravitational-wave (GW) observations of BNS mergers, which will soon become reality with the ground-based advanced LIGO/Virgo GW detector network starting its first science run this year. Here we explore such EM signatures based on the model presented in a companion paper, which provides a self-consistent evolution of the post-merger system and its EM emission starting from an early baryonic wind phase and resulting in a final pulsar wind nebula that is confined by the previously ejected material. Lightcurves and spectra are computed for a wide range of post-merger physical properties and particular attention is paid to the emission in the X-ray band. In the context of SGRB afterglow modeling, we present X-ray lightcurves corresponding to the 'standard' and the recently proposed 'time-reversal' scenario (SGRB prompt emission produced at the time of merger or at the time of collapse of the long-lived NS). The resulting afterglow lightcurve morphologies include, in particular, single and two-plateau features with timescales and luminosities that are in good agreement with the observations by the Swift satellite. Furthermore, we compute the X-ray signal that should precede the SGRB in the time-reversal scenario. If found, such a signal would represent smoking-gun evidence for this scenario. Finally, we find a bright, highly isotropic EM transient signal peaking in the X-ray band ...