Multi-messenger astrophysics is an emerging discipline that combines the information from cosmic rays, neutrinos, gravitational waves and photons emitted by cosmic sources. This overview of the field highlights its challenges and exciting opportunities.
Multi-messenger astrophysics is a new field that uses information carried by cosmic messengers: photons, cosmic rays, neutrinos and gravitational waves, to observe and understand violent astrophysical phenomena such as neutron star mergers or blazars. Such events are ephemeral and to observe them many instruments at various locations around the world need to be ready to react fast. Large volumes of data in different formats are produced and must to be analysed quickly. These peculiarities of multi-messenger observation campaigns led to the need for a complex cyberinfrastructure, the use of AI technologies and increased international collaboration and coordination.
Miguel Mostafa describes the Astrophysical Multimessenger Observatory Network (AMON), an online network that enables real-time coincidence searches using data from the leading multimessenger observatories and astronomical facilities.
Mansi M. Kasliwal discusses the Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen (GROWTH) collaboration and shares her enthusiasm about the future of multi-messenger astrophysics.
Alec Habig and Kate Scholberg describe the Supernova Early Warning System (SNEWS), an international network of neutrino detectors aimed to alert the astronomical community if supernova neutrinos are detected.
Andrew Levan and Peter Jonker discuss, on behalf of the Electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational wave sources at the Very Large Telescope (ENGRAVE), how the collaboration was formed and what its goals are in the era of multi-messenger astronomy.
Sarah Antier describes the Global Rapid Advanced Network Devoted to the Multi-messenger Addicts (GRANDMA), which aims to identify and characterize the electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational wave sources
A group of experts suggests ways in which deep learning can be used to enhance the potential for discovery in multi-messenger astrophysics.
The 5 years since the first detection of gravitational waves have witnessed the rise of multi-messenger astronomy, a field that expands our understanding of astrophysical processes and reshapes the way science is done.
This month we publish a Review and an Expert Recommendation on multi-messenger astrophysics, a field that inherently involves big collaborations, big instruments and big data.