Kilonova Emission from Black Hole–Neutron Star Mergers. I. Viewing-angle-dependent Lightcurves

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Astrophysical Journal





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In this paper, we explore the viewing angle effect on black hole-neutron star (BH-NS) merger kilonova lightcurves. We extrapolate the fitting formulae for the mass and velocity of dynamical ejecta across a wide mass ratio range validated with 66 simulations and use them in kilonova lightcurve calculations. The calculated peak luminosity of a BH-NS merger kilonova is typically about a few times 10(41)erg s(-1), which is always less than or similar to 4.5 x 10(41)erg s(-1). This corresponds to AB absolute magnitudes fainter than similar to-15 mag in the optical and similar to-16 mag in the infrared. The dynamical ejecta usually contribute to the majority of the kilonova emission, as its projected photosphere area is much larger than that of the disk wind outflows. The fitted blackbody temperature and the observed multiband lightcurve shape are insensitive to the line of sight. The peak time of the observed multiband lightcurves, affected by the light-propagation effect, is related to the relative motion direction between the dynamical ejecta and the observer. The predicted peak luminosity, which changes with the projected photosphere area, only varies by a factor of similar to(2-3) (or by similar to 1 mag) for different viewing angles. When taking the short-duration gamma-ray burst afterglow into account, for an on-axis geometry, the kilonova emission is usually outshone by the afterglow emission and can only be observed in the redder bands, especially in theKband at late times. Compared with GW 170817/AT 2017gfo, BH-NS merger kilonovae are optically dim but possibly infrared bright, and have lower fitting temperature at the same epoch after the merger.


Gravitational waves; Neutron stars; Black Holes; Gamma-ray bursts


Astrophysics and Astronomy | Physical Sciences and Mathematics



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