Where big data become fast data: Challenges in the collection and use of multi-messenger data of gravitational wave events

Tuesday, 26 September 2023 7 a.m. — 8 a.m. MST

AURA Lecture Hall

NOIRLab South Colloquia
Tomas Cabrera (Carnegie Mellon University)

As developments in astronomical instrumentation continue to increase the raw data collection rate, two of the most critical tasks for astronomers in the present age is to develop both pipelines capable of distilling the raw data stream and analytic methods capable of leveraging the resulting information well. The relatively new addition of gravitational waves to the field of multi-messenger astronomy has sparked a kind of test case for these efforts, where rapid follow-up on the order of hours is necessary to effectively study compact binary coalescences with the full power of modern observatories. In this talk I outline my team’s strategy for using DECam to discover electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational wave events, from GCN alert notification to human scanning of counterpart candidates, and discuss other applications of our methods to transient science. I also present ongoing work constraining the binary black hole - active galactic nucleus association through statistical inference using multi-messenger data.