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Determining the properties of the host galaxies of gravitational wave events

Grant number: 20/03301-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2020
Effective date (End): July 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Astronomy - Extragalactic Astrophysics
Principal Investigator:Reinaldo Ramos de Carvalho
Grantee:Luidhy Santana da Silva
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e Tecnológicas. Universidade Cruzeiro do Sul (UNICSUL). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/11156-4 - What drives the stellar mass growth of Early-Type galaxies? Born or made: the saga continues, AP.TEM


We propose to study the astrophysical properties of galaxies that host gravitational wave (GW) events to determine if there are preferential environments for these phenomena. We will focus on neutron star mergers, which produce short gamma-ray burst (sGRB) emission in addition to gravitational radiation. Our initial galaxy sample comprises 37 sGRB hosts, one of which is also a GW host candidate. Throughout the project, we expect to increase our sample by incorporating newly discovered GW and sGRB hosts. We will apply the Spectral Energy Distribution (SED) fitting method to measure galaxy properties such as stellar mass, age, and star formation rate. We will also apply density measurement techniques to the environment around these galaxies. Studying these galaxies we will answer two important questions: {\bf 1) What is the dominant formation channel for merging binary neutron star systems?} and {\bf 2) Is there a preferential type of galaxy or environment inhabited by this type of system?} With a better characterization of where these phenomena happen, it will be possible to select priority targets for future searches for GW events. We will apply the SED fitting and environmental analysis techniques to all 500 million potential host galaxies to produce prioritized targets for GW searches. UNICID will be the host institution for this project and Professor Dr. R. de Carvalho will be the supervisor. He leads the Brazilian group search and discovery for GW events. The computational resources and knowledge of the group led by R. de Carvalho will be essential to achieve the objectives of this project. During my Ph.D., I studied the environmental effects in the formation and evolution of galaxies, where the techniques of SED fitting were an important part of the methodology. In this project, such knowledge will be extremely important to understand the host galaxies' properties and the gravitational wave as well. We expect that on a short time scale, we will have Scientific results of great impact, and a unique data set due to the pioneering characteristics of this project.