Search for UHE Photons from Gravitational Wave Sources with the Pierre Auger Observatory

Pierre Auger Collaboration

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A search for time-directional coincidences of ultra-high-energy (UHE) photons above 10 EeV with gravitational wave (GW) events from the LIGO/Virgo runs O1 to O3 is conducted with the Pierre Auger Observatory. Due to the distinctive properties of photon interactions and to the background expected from hadronic showers, a subset of the most interesting GW events is selected based on their localization quality and distance. Time periods of 1000 s around and 1 day after the GW events are analyzed. No coincidences are observed. Upper limits on the UHE photon fluence from a GW event are derived that are typically at $\sim$7 MeV cm$^{-2}$ (time period 1000~s) and $\sim$35 MeV cm$^{-2}$ (time period 1 day). Due to the proximity of the binary neutron star merger GW170817, the energy of the source transferred into UHE photons above 40 EeV is constrained to be less than 20% of its total gravitational wave energy. These are the first limits on UHE photons from GW sources.
Original languageEnglish
Article number91
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

15 pages


  • astro-ph.HE
  • gr-qc


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