Event rate for extreme mass ratio burst signals in the laser interferometer space antenna band

Louis J. Rubbo, Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, Samuel Finn Lee

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29 Scopus citations


Stellar mass compact objects in short-period (P ≲ 103 s) orbits about a 104.5-107.5 M massive black hole (MBH) are thought to be a significant continuous-wave source of gravitational radiation for the ESA/NASA Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) gravitational wave detector. These extreme mass ratio inspiral sources began in long-period, nearly parabolic orbits that have multiple close encounters with the MBH. The gravitational radiation emitted during the close encounters may be detectable by LISA as a gravitational wave burst if the characteristic passage timescale is less than 105 s. Scaling a static, spherical model to the size and mass of the Milky Way bulge, we estimate an event rate of ∼15 yr-1 for such burst signals, detectable by LISA with signal-to-noise ratio greater than 5, originating in our Galaxy. When extended to include Virgo Cluster galaxies, our estimate increases to a gravitational wave burst rate of ∼18 yr-1. We conclude that these extreme mass ratio burst sources may be a steady and significant source of gravitational radiation in the LISA data streams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L25-L28
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 II
StatePublished - Sep 20 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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