Abstract The multi-messenger observation of coalescing compact binary systems promises great scientific treasure. However, synthesising observations from both gravitational wave and electromagnetic channels remains challenging. In the context of the day-to-week long emission from a macronova, the binary neutron star merger GW170817 remains the only event with successful electromagnetic followup. In this manuscript, we explore the possibility of using the early stage X-ray afterglow to search for the electromagnetic counterpart of a gravitational wave event. Two algorithms, the simple and straightforward sequential observation (SO) and the step-wise optimizing local optimization are considered and applied to some simulated events. We consider the WXT from the proposed Einstein Probe as a candidate X-ray telescope, which has a very wide field of view of 3600 deg2. Benefiting from the large field of view and high sensitivity, we find that the SO algorithm not only is easy to implement, but also promises a good chance of actual detection.
Keywords gravitational waves: X-ray afterglow: multi-messenger astronomy
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