Abstract

The Advanced LIGO observatory recently reported the first direct detection of the gravitational waves (GWs) predicted by Einstein & Sitzungsber. We report on the first optical observations of the GW source GW150914 error region with the Global MASTER Robotic Net. Between the optical telescopes of electromagnetic support, the covered area is dominated by MASTER with an unfiltered magnitude up to 19.9 mag (5σ). We detected several optical transients, which proved to be unconnected with the GW event. The main input to investigate the final error box of GW150914 was made by the MASTER-SAAO robotic telescope, which covered 70 per cent of the final GW error box and 90 per cent of the common localization area of the LIGO and Fermi events. Our result is consistent with the conclusion (Abbott et al. 2016a) that GWs from GW150914 were produced in a binary black hole merger. At the same time, we cannot exclude that MASTER OT J040938.68−541316.9 exploded on 2015 September 14.

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