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Astrometric detection of gravitational waves with Gaia

Jun. 08 - 14:30 - 2017

Speaker: Chris Moore (Cambridge)


A gravitational wave (GW) causes the apparent positions of distant stars to oscillate with a characteristic pattern on the sky. Astrometric measurements of stellar positions (e.g. those made by Gaia) provide a new opportunity to search for low frequency GWs; e.g. from supermassive black hole binaries in the late stages of inspiral and merger. I will describe how such an astrometric search for GWs can be performed, drawing a comparison with pulsar timing searches, and quantify the sensitivity achievable with Gaia to several sources of astrophysical interest.

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