David Cook (Caltech/IPAC): "How Complete are Galaxy Catalogs for Gravitational Wave Searches?"


We are now securely in the era of gravitational wave (GW) astronomy that has opened a new window onto the Universe. While there have been many discoveries made with the detection of GW events alone, some of the most exciting are only possible when the electromagnetic counterpart or host galaxy is also identified. There has been only one such counterpart found to date, GW170817, leaving a large gap in our understanding of compact merger events and their population statistics. In this talk, I will introduce a new galaxy sample that can be used to increase the efficiency of GW follow-up searches: NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database Local Volume Sample (NED-LVS). This sample provides galaxies from NED out to 1 Gpc; a distance limit that is well beyond the LIGO binary neutron star (BNS) and neutron star, black hole (NSBH) sensitivity horizon. In addition, the completeness of the galaxies in NED-LVS is presented, which is higher than other samples used during LIGO O3. The end of this talk will highlight the NED GW follow-up tool that allows users to download prioritized galaxy candidates inside GW events within minutes of an event alert.