Seminar by Stephen Smartt, “Prospects for Multi-messenger astronomy in O4 and O5”
Tuesday May 24th, 2022 at 2pm CET

We are very happy to welcome on the EGO/Virgo site in Cascina Stephen Smartt Professor in the Astrophysics Research Centre in the School of Maths and Physics at Queen’s University Belfast.

Tuesday May 24th at 2pm CET, in EGO Auditorium, Prof. Smartt will give a public seminar titled “Prospects for multi-messenger Astronomy in O4 and O5”, which will also be streamed on Zoom.

Stephen Smarttworks on exploding stars and unusual transients in the Universe. His group run large sky survey projects such as Pan-STARRS and ATLAS to scan the sky and find transients that stretch our understanding of how stars die. They showed that the first ever discovery of an electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave source (GW170817) produced heavy radioactive elements and was consistent with models of a kilonova from a pair of merging neutron stars. He was elected as Fellow of the Royal Society in 2020 and was awarded the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal in the Physical and Mathematical Sciences in 2018.


As we approach O4, I will review results and thoughts from the electromagnetic follow-up community on the prospects for multi-messenger science. This is sensitively dependent on the volumetric rate of binary neutron star mergers and their redshift distribution. The community’s capability for detection of counterparts appears more limited by nature than technology – with the distances to the sources (and their uncertain chemical composition) rather than the size of the GW sky maps being the limiting factor. Nevertheless, the prospects are good and I will review some new facilities that will be available in O4. I will describe facility developments that suggest O5 is likely to finally see the full promise and realisation of multi-messenger astronomy.

The slides of the presentation are available here: