A RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Carole Mundell (Bath), Samaya Nissanke (Radboud)*, Hiranya Peiris (UCL)
The first observations of gravitational waves (GWs) from binary black hole (BBH) mergers and a binary neutron star by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory and Virgo detectors in the last two years have opened up an entirely new window onto extreme gravity and compact object astrophysics. In the last year, new instruments and facilities across the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum from X-rays to the radio have or are joining the worldwide search for future EM counterparts of compact object mergers. By critically assessing and placing BBH and neutron star binary mergers in their full astrophysical context, this workshop will bring together theorists, computational astrophysicists, observers, and instrumentalists for one day. The workshop therefore aims to gather the relevant experts to interact in order to frame concrete calculations that would eliminate the major uncertainties in EM counterparts of BBH and neutron star binary mergers, how to interpret both their GW and EM observations, and how to maximise the dscientific return of new observatories and instruments.