Multi-messenger astronomy

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Multi-messenger astronomy is astronomy based on the coordinated observation and interpretation of disparate "messenger" signals. Interplanetary probes can visit objects within the Solar System, but beyond that, information must rely on "extrasolar messengers". The four extrasolar messengers are electromagnetic radiation, gravitational waves, neutrinos, and cosmic rays. They are created by different astrophysical processes, and thus reveal different information about their sources.

The main multi-messenger sources outside the heliosphere are expected to be compact binary pairs (black holes and neutron stars), supernovae, irregular neutron stars, gamma-ray bursts, active galactic nuclei, and relativistic jets.[1][2][3] The table below lists several types of events and expected messengers.

Detection from one messenger and non-detection from a different messenger can also be informative.[4]

Event type Electromagnetic Cosmic rays Gravitational waves Neutrinos Example
Solar flare yes yes - - SOL1942-02-28[5][failed verification]
Supernova yes - predicted[6] yes SN 1987A
Neutron star merger yes - yes predicted[7] GW170817
Blazar yes possible - yes TXS 0506+056
Tidal disruption event yes possible possible yes possibly AT2019dsg[8] and AT2019fdr[9]


The Supernova Early Warning System (SNEWS), established in 1999 at Brookhaven National Laboratory and automated since 2005, combines multiple neutrino detectors to generate supernova alerts. (See also neutrino astronomy).

The Astrophysical Multimessenger Observatory Network (AMON),[10] created in 2013,[11] is a broader and more ambitious project to facilitate the sharing of preliminary observations and to encourage the search for "sub-threshold" events which are not perceptible to any single instrument. It is based at Pennsylvania State University.



  1. ^ Bartos, Imre; Kowalski, Marek (2017). Multimessenger Astronomy. IOP Publishing. doi:10.1088/978-0-7503-1369-8. ISBN 978-0-7503-1369-8.
  2. ^ Franckowiak, Anna (2017). "Multimessenger Astronomy with Neutrinos". Journal of Physics: Conference Series. 888 (12009): 012009. Bibcode:2017JPhCS.888a2009F. doi:10.1088/1742-6596/888/1/012009.
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  6. ^ Supernova Theory Group: Core-Collapse Supernova Gravitational Wave Signature Catalog
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  8. ^ a b A tidal disruption event coincident with a high-energy neutrino (free preprint)
  9. ^ Reusch, Simeon; Stein, Robert; Kowalski, Marek; van Velzen, Sjoert; Franckowiak, Anna; Lunardini, Cecilia; Murase, Kohta; Winter, Walter; Miller-Jones, James C. A.; Kasliwal, Mansi M.; Gilfanov, Marat (2022-06-03). "Candidate Tidal Disruption Event AT2019fdr Coincident with a High-Energy Neutrino". Physical Review Letters. 128 (22): 221101. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.128.221101.
  10. ^ AMON home page
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  17. ^[bare URL plain text file]
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  19. ^ IceCube Collaboration (2018-07-12). "Neutrino emission from the direction of the blazar TXS 0506+056 prior to the IceCube-170922A alert". Science. 361 (6398): 147–151. arXiv:1807.08794. Bibcode:2018Sci...361..147I. doi:10.1126/science.aat2890. PMID 30002248. S2CID 133261745.
  20. ^ "ATel #10791: Fermi-LAT detection of increased gamma-ray activity of TXS 0506+056, located inside the IceCube-170922A error region".
  21. ^ Mirzoyan, Razmik (2017-10-04). "ATel #10817: First-time detection of VHE gamma rays by MAGIC from a direction consistent with the recent EHE neutrino event IceCube-170922A". Retrieved 2018-07-16.
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  23. ^ De Angelis, Alessandro; Pimenta, Mario (2018). Introduction to particle and astroparticle physics (multimessenger astronomy and its particle physics foundations). Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-78181-5. ISBN 978-3-319-78181-5.
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