Distinguishing the nature of comparable-mass neutron star binary systems with multimessenger observations: GW170817 case study
The discovery of GW170817 with gravitational waves (GWs) and electromagnetic (EM) radiation is prompting new questions in strong-gravity astrophysics. Importantly, it remains unknown whether the progenitor of the merger comprised two neutron stars (NSs) or a NS and a black hole (BH). Using new numerical-relativity simulations and incorporating modeling uncertainties, we produce novel GW and EM observables for NS-BH mergers with similar masses. A joint analysis of GW and EM measurements reveals that if GW170817 is a NS-BH merger, ≲40 % of the binary parameters consistent with the GW data are compatible with EM observations.