Combining Electromagnetic and Gravitational-Wave Constraints on Neutron-Star Masses and Radii

Mohammad Al-Mamun, Andrew W. Steiner, Joonas Nättilä, Jacob Lange, Richard O'Shaugnessy, Ingo Tews, Stefano Gandolfi, Craig Heinke, Sophia Han.


We perform a joint Bayesian inference of neutron-star mass and radius constraints based on GW170817, observations of quiescent low-mass X-ray binaries (QLMXBs), photospheric radius expansion X-ray bursts (PREs), and X-ray timing observations of J0030+0451. With this data set, the form of the prior distribution still has an impact on the posterior mass-radius (MR) curves and equation of state (EOS), but this impact is smaller than recently obtained when considering QLMXBs alone. We analyze the consistency of the electromagnetic data by including an “intrinsic scattering” contribution to the uncertainties, and find only a slight broadening of the posteriors. This suggests that the gravitational-wave and electromagnetic observations of neutron-star structure are providing a consistent picture of the neutron-star mass-radius curve and the EOS.

Associated Fellows