Chris Pankow, Laura Sampson, Leah Perri, Eve Chase, Scott Coughlin, Michael Zevin, Vassiliki Kalogera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The detection of electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational waves (GWs) has great promise for the investigation of many scientific questions. While it is well known that certain orientation parameters can reduce uncertainty in other related parameters, it was also hoped that the detection of an electromagnetic signal in conjunction with a GW could augment the measurement precision of the mass and spin from the gravitational signal itself. That is, knowledge of the sky location, inclination, and redshift of a binary could break degeneracies between these extrinsic, coordinate-dependent parameters and the physical parameters that are intrinsic to the binary. In this paper, we investigate this issue by assuming perfect knowledge of extrinsic parameters, and assessing the maximal impact of this knowledge on our ability to extract intrinsic parameters. We recover similar gains in extrinsic recovery to earlier work; however, we find only modest improvements in a few intrinsic parameters - namely the primary component's spin. We thus conclude that, even in the best case, the use of additional information from electromagnetic observations does not improve the measurement of the intrinsic parameters significantly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number154
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 10 2017


  • black hole physics
  • gravitational waves
  • methods: data analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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