Compact binary mergers, composed of either two neutron stars (NSs) or a NS and a stellar mass black hole (BH), are loud sources of gravitational waves (GWs) and one of the main sites of heavy element production in the universe. They are pinpointed on the sky via their luminous electromagnetic counterparts, short gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and kilonovae. The former are sudden and brief flashes of gamma-ray radiation, while the latter are short-lived radioactive glows of optical and infrared light. In this talk, I will review the current status of GRBs and kilonovae observations placing them in the broader context of multi-messenger astrophysics with compact binary mergers. I will discuss the implications of these observations on our understanding of relativistic jets, the production of r-process elements, and the prospects for the identification of future GW counterparts.
Bio：Eleonora Troja is an Associate Professor at the University of Rome – Tor Vergata. Her research interests lie in the field of time domain multi-messenger astronomy, and include the study of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), gravitational wave (GW) counterparts and exotic transients such as kilonovae, fast radio bursts and tidal disruption events. Prof. Troja received her PhD in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Palermo in 2009. She then moved to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as a NASA Postdoctoral Program fellow under the supervision of Neil Gehrels. She received the NASA Silver Achievement medal in 2018 for her discovery of X-ray emission from GW170817, and the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievment medal in 2021 for her studies on kilonovae. She is the recipient of an ERC Consolidator grant "BHianca" to discover new electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational wave sources.