[1110.6172] Mapping the Galactic Center with Gravitational Wave measurements using Pulsar Timing

Authors: Bence Kocsis, Alak Ray, Simon Portegies Zwart

Date: 27 Oct 2011

Abstract: We examine the nHz gravitational wave (GW) foreground of stars and black holes (BHs) orbiting SgrA* in the Galactic Center. A cusp of stars and BHs generates a continuous GW spectrum below 40 nHz; individual BHs within 1 mpc to SgrA* stick out in the spectrum at higher GW frequencies. The GWs and gravitational near-field effects can be resolved by timing pulsars within a few pc of this region. Observations with the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) may be especially sensitive to intermediate mass black holes (IMBHs) in this region, if present. A 100ns-10mus timing accuracy is sufficient to detect BHs of mass 1000 Msun with pulsars at distance 0.1-1 pc in a 3 yr observation baseline. Unlike electromagnetic imaging techniques, the prospects for resolving individual objects through GW measurements improve closer to SgrA*, even if the number density of objects increases inwards steeply. Scattering by the interstellar medium will pose the biggest challenge for such observations.

abs pdf

Oct 31, 2011

1110.6172 (/preprints)
2011-10-31, 15:40 [edit]

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