The Two LIGO/Virgo Binary Black Hole Mergers on 2019 August 28 Were Not Strongly Lensed


The LIGO/Virgo gravitational wave events S190828j and S190828l were detected only 21 minutes apart, from nearby regions of sky, and with the same source classifications (binary black hole mergers). It is therefore natural to speculate that the two signals are actually strongly lensed images of the same merger. However, an estimate of the separation of the (unknown) positions of the two events requires them to be >10 deg apart, much wider than the arcsecond-scale separations that usually arise in extragalactic lensing. The large separation is much more consistent with two independent, unrelated events that occurred close in time by chance. We quantify the overlap between simulated pairs of lensed events, and use frequentist hypothesis testing to reject S190828j/l as a lensed pair at 99.8% confidence.

arXiv e-prints