Improved Constraints on H $_0$ from a Combined Analysis of Gravitational-wave and Electromagnetic Emission from GW170817

C. Guidorzi, R. Margutti, D. Brout, D. Scolnic, W. Fong, K.~D. Alexander, P.~S. Cowperthwaite, J. Annis, E. Berger, P.~K. Blanchard, R. Chornock, D.~L. Coppejans, T. Eftekhari, J.~A. Frieman, D. Huterer, M. Nicholl, M. Soares-Santos, G. Terreran, V.~A. Villar, P.~K.~G. Williams

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The luminosity distance measurement of GW170817 derived from gravitational-wave analysis in Abbott et al. (2017a, hereafter A17:H0) is highly correlated with the measured inclination of the NS–NS system. To improve the precision of the distance measurement, we attempt to constrain the inclination by modeling the broadband X-ray-to-radio emission from GW170817, which is dominated by the interaction of the jet with the environment. We update our previous analysis and we consider the radio and X-ray data obtained at t < 40 days since merger. We find that the afterglow emission from GW170817 is consistent with an off-axis relativistic jet with energy Ek ∼ 1048 −3 × 1050 erg propagating into an environment with density n ∼ 10−2–10−4 cm−3, with preference for wider jets (opening angle θj = 15°). For these jets, our modeling indicates an off-axis angle θobs ∼ 25°–50°. We combine our constraints on θobs with the joint distance–inclination constraint from LIGO. Using the same ∼170 km s−1 peculiar velocity uncertainty assumed in A17:H0 but with an inclination constraint from the afterglow data, we get a value of ${H}_{0}=74.0\pm \tfrac{11.5}{7.5}$ km s−1 Mpc−1, which is higher than the value of ${H}_{0}=70.0\pm \tfrac{12.0}{8.0}$ km s−1 Mpc−1 found in A17:H0. Further, using a more realistic peculiar velocity uncertainty of 250 km s−1 derived from previous work, we find ${H}_{0}=75.5\pm \tfrac{11.6}{9.6}$ km s−1 Mpc−1 for H0 from this system. This is in modestly better agreement with the local distance ladder than the Planck cosmic microwave background, though such a significant discrimination will require ∼50 such events. Measurements at t > 100 days of the X-ray and radio emission will lead to tighter constraints.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L36
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • gamma-ray burst: general
  • gravitational waves
  • Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics


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