Kilonova/Macronova Emission from Compact Binary Mergers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


We review current understanding of kilonova/macronova emission from compact binary mergers (mergers of two neutron stars or a neutron star and a black hole). Kilonova/macronova is emission powered by radioactive decays of r -process nuclei and it is one of the most promising electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational wave sources. Emission from the dynamical ejecta of 0.01 M o is likely to have a luminosity of 1040-1041 erg s-1 with a characteristic timescale of about 1 week. The spectral peak is located in red optical or near-infrared wavelengths. A subsequent accretion disk wind may provide an additional luminosity or an earlier/bluer emission if it is not absorbed by the precedent dynamical ejecta. The detection of near-infrared excess in short GRB 130603B and possible optical excess in GRB 060614 supports the concept of the kilonova/macronova scenario. At 200 Mpc distance, a typical peak brightness of kilonova/macronova with 0.01 M o ejecta is about 22 mag and the emission rapidly fades to >24 mag within 10 days. Kilonova/macronova candidates can be distinguished from supernovae by (1) the faster time evolution, (2) fainter absolute magnitudes, and (3) redder colors. Since the high expansion velocity (v 0.1 - 0.2 c) is a robust outcome of compact binary mergers, the detection of smooth spectra will be the smoking gun to conclusively identify the gravitational wave source.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6341974
JournalAdvances in Astronomy
Publication statusPublished - 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Kilonova/Macronova Emission from Compact Binary Mergers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this