The distance to NGC 4993: the host galaxy of the gravitational-wave event GW170817.
HJORTH J., LEVAN A.J., TANVIR N.R., LYMAN J.D., WOJTAK R., SCHRODER S.L., MANDEL I., GALL C. and BRUUN S.H.
Abstract (from CDS):
The historic detection of gravitational waves from a binary neutron star merger (GW170817) and its electromagnetic counterpart led to the first accurate (sub-arcsecond) localization of a gravitational-wave event. The transient was found to be ∼10'' from the nucleus of the S0 galaxy NGC 4993. We report here the luminosity distance to this galaxy using two independent methods. (1) Based on our MUSE/VLT measurement of the heliocentric redshift (zhelio = 0.009783 ± 0.000023), we infer the systemic recession velocity of the NGC 4993 group of galaxies in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) frame to be vCMB = 3231 ± 53 km s–1. Using constrained cosmological simulations we estimate the line-of-sight peculiar velocity to be vpec = 307 ± 230 km s–1, resulting in a cosmic velocity of vcosmic = 2924 ± 236 km s–1 (zcosmic = 0.00980 ± 0.00079) and a distance of Dz = 40.4 ± 3.4 Mpc assuming a local Hubble constant of H0 = 73.24 ± 1.74 km s–1 Mpc–1. (2) Using Hubble Space Telescope measurements of the effective radius (15.''5 ± 1.''5) and contained intensity and MUSE/VLT measurements of the velocity dispersion, we place NGC 4993 on the Fundamental Plane (FP) of E and S0 galaxies. Comparing to a frame of 10 clusters containing 226 galaxies, this yields a distance estimate of DFP = 44.0 ± 7.5 Mpc. The combined redshift and FP distance is D_NGC 4993_ = 41.0 ± 3.1 Mpc. This "electromagnetic" distance estimate is consistent with the independent measurement of the distance to GW170817 as obtained from the gravitational-wave signal (DGW=43.8–6.9+2.9 Mpc) and confirms that GW170817 occurred in NGC 4993.