[1210.2778] Observing the Galaxy's massive black hole with gravitational wave bursts

Authors: C. P. L. Berry, J. R. Gair

Date: 9 Oct 2012

Abstract: An extreme-mass-ratio burst (EMRB) is a gravitational wave signal emitted when a compact object passes through periapsis on a highly eccentric orbit about a much more massive object, in our case a stellar mass object about a 10ˆ6 M_sol black hole. EMRBs are a relatively unexplored means of probing the spacetime of massive black holes (MBHs). We conduct an investigation of the properties of EMRBs and how they could allow us to constrain the parameters, such as spin, of the Galaxy's MBH. We find that if an EMRB event occurs in the Galaxy, it should be detectable for periapse distances r_p < 65 r_g for a \mu = 10 M_sol orbiting object, where r_g = GM/cˆ2 is the gravitational radius. The signal-to-noise ratio scales as \rho ~ -2.7 log(r_p/r_g) + log(\mu/M_sol) + 4.9. For periapses r_p < 10 r_g, EMRBs can be informative, and provide good constraints on both the MBH's mass and spin. Closer orbits provide better constraints, with the best giving accuracies of better than one part in 10ˆ4 for both the mass and spin parameter.

abs pdf

Oct 15, 2012

1210.2778 (/preprints)
2012-10-15, 22:54 [edit]

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