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NANOGrav 11 yr Data Set: Evolution of Gravitational-wave Background Statistics

Hazboun, J. S. and Simon, J. and Taylor, S. R. and Lam, M. T. and Vigeland, S. J. and Islo, K. and Key, J. S. and Arzoumanian, Z. and Baker, P. T. and Brazier, A. and Brook, P. R. and Burke-Spolaor, S. and Chatterjee, S. and Cordes, J. M. and Cornish, N. J. and Crawford, F. and Crowter, K. and Cromartie, H. T. and DeCesar, M. and Demorest, P. B. and Dolch, T. and Ellis, J. A. and Ferdman, R. D. and Ferrara, E. and Fonseca, E. and Garver-Daniels, N. and Gentile, P. and Good, D. and Holgado, A. M. and Huerta, E. A. and Jennings, R. and Jones, G. and Jones, M. L. and Kaiser, A. R. and Kaplan, D. L. and Kelley, L. Z. and Lazio, T. J. W. and Levin, L. and Lommen, A. N. and Lorimer, D. R. and Luo, J. and Lynch, R. S. and Madison, D. R. and McLaughlin, M. A. and McWilliams, S. T. and Mingarelli, C. M. F. and Ng, C. and Nice, D. J. and Pennucci, T. T. and Pol, N. S. and Ransom, S. M. and Ray, P. S. and Siemens, X. and Spiewak, R. and Stairs, I. H. and Stinebring, D. R. and Stovall, K. and Swiggum, J. and Turner, J. E. and Vallisneri, M. and van Haasteren, R. and Witt, C. A. and Zhu, W. W. (2020) NANOGrav 11 yr Data Set: Evolution of Gravitational-wave Background Statistics. Astrophysical Journal, 890 (2). Art. No. 108. ISSN 1538-4357.

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An ensemble of inspiraling supermassive black hole binaries should produce a stochastic background of very low frequency gravitational waves. This stochastic background is predicted to be a power law, with a gravitational-wave strain spectral index of −2/3, and it should be detectable by a network of precisely timed millisecond pulsars, widely distributed on the sky. This paper reports a new "time slicing" analysis of the 11 yr data release from the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) using 34 millisecond pulsars. Methods to flag potential "false-positive" signatures are developed, including techniques to identify responsible pulsars. Mitigation strategies are then presented. We demonstrate how an incorrect noise model can lead to spurious signals, and we show how independently modeling noise across 30 Fourier components, spanning NANOGrav's frequency range, effectively diagnoses and absorbs the excess power in gravitational-wave searches. This results in a nominal, and expected, progression of our gravitational-wave statistics. Additionally, we show that the first interstellar medium event in PSR J1713+0747 pollutes the common red-noise process with low spectral index noise, and we use a tailored noise model to remove these effects.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Hazboun, J. S.0000-0003-2742-3321
Simon, J.0000-0003-1407-6607
Taylor, S. R.0000-0003-0264-1453
Lam, M. T.0000-0003-0721-651X
Vigeland, S. J.0000-0003-4700-9072
Islo, K.0000-0001-5123-9917
Key, J. S.0000-0003-0123-7600
Baker, P. T.0000-0003-2745-753X
Brook, P. R.0000-0003-3053-6538
Burke-Spolaor, S.0000-0003-4052-7838
Chatterjee, S.0000-0002-2878-1502
Cordes, J. M.0000-0002-4049-1882
Cornish, N. J.0000-0002-7435-0869
Crawford, F.0000-0002-2578-0360
Crowter, K.0000-0002-1529-5169
Cromartie, H. T.0000-0002-6039-692X
DeCesar, M.0000-0002-2185-1790
Demorest, P. B.0000-0002-6664-965X
Dolch, T.0000-0001-8885-6388
Ferdman, R. D.0000-0002-2223-1235
Fonseca, E.0000-0001-8384-5049
Garver-Daniels, N.0000-0001-6166-9646
Gentile, P.0000-0001-8158-683X
Good, D.0000-0003-1884-348X
Holgado, A. M.0000-0003-4143-8132
Huerta, E. A.0000-0002-9682-3604
Jennings, R.0000-0003-1082-2342
Jones, M. L.0000-0001-6607-3710
Kaiser, A. R.0000-0002-3654-980X
Kaplan, D. L.0000-0001-6295-2881
Kelley, L. Z.0000-0002-6625-6450
Lazio, T. J. W.0000-0002-3873-5497
Levin, L.0000-0002-2034-2986
Lommen, A. N.0000-0003-4137-7536
Lorimer, D. R.0000-0003-1301-966X
Lynch, R. S.0000-0001-5229-7430
Madison, D. R.0000-0003-2285-0404
McLaughlin, M. A.0000-0001-7697-7422
McWilliams, S. T.0000-0003-2397-8290
Mingarelli, C. M. F.0000-0002-4307-1322
Ng, C.0000-0002-3616-5160
Nice, D. J.0000-0002-6709-2566
Pennucci, T. T.0000-0001-5465-2889
Pol, N. S.0000-0002-8826-1285
Ransom, S. M.0000-0001-5799-9714
Ray, P. S.0000-0002-5297-5278
Siemens, X.0000-0002-7778-2990
Spiewak, R.0000-0002-6730-3298
Stairs, I. H.0000-0001-9784-8670
Stinebring, D. R.0000-0002-1797-3277
Stovall, K.0000-0002-7261-594X
Swiggum, J.0000-0002-1075-3837
Turner, J. E.0000-0002-2451-7288
Vallisneri, M.0000-0002-4162-0033
van Haasteren, R.0000-0002-6428-2620
Witt, C. A.0000-0002-6020-9274
Zhu, W. W.0000-0001-5105-4058
Additional Information:© 2020 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2019 September 18; revised 2019 December 24; accepted 2020 January 6; published 2020 February 18. Author contributions. This paper is the result of the work of dozens of people over the course of more than 13 years. We list specific contributions below. J.S.H. ran the sliced analyses and led the paper writing. J.S., S.R.T., M.T.L., S.J.V, K.I., and J.S.K. contributed substantially to paper writing, discussion, and interpretation of results. M.T.L. helped with analyses. J.S.H. and S.R.T. developed the formalism in Section 4. Z.A., K.C., P.B.D., M.E.D., T.D., J.A.E., E.C.F., R.D.F., E.F., P.A.G., G.J., M.L.J., M.T.L., L.L., D.R.L., R.S.L., M.A.M., C.N., D.J.N., T.T.P., S.M.R., P.S.R., R.S., I.H.S., K.S., J.K.S., and W.Z. ran observations and developed the 11 yr data set. The NANOGrav project receives support from National Science Foundation (NSF) PIRE program award No. 0968296 and NSF Physics Frontier Center award No. 1430284. NANOGrav research at UBC is supported by an NSERC Discovery Grant and Discovery Accelerator Supplement and by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. J.S.H. would like to thank Joseph Romano for a number of in-depth discussions concerning the results of the numerous analyses done for this project. M.V. and J.S. acknowledge support from the JPL RTD program. Portions of this research were carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. S.R.T. was partially supported by an appointment to the NASA Postdoctoral Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities through a contract with NASA. S.R.T. thanks ERS for fruitful discussions. J.A.E. was partially supported by NASA through Einstein Fellowship grants PF4-150120. S.B.S. was supported by NSF award No. 1458952. P.T.B. acknowledges support from the West Virginia University Center for Gravitational Waves and Cosmology. This work was supported in part by National Science Foundation grant No. PHYS-1066293 and by the hospitality of the Aspen Center for Physics. Portions of this work performed at NRL are supported by the Chief of Naval Research. This research was performed in part using the Zwicky computer cluster at Caltech supported by NSF under MRI-R2 award No. PHY-0960291 and by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation. A majority of the computational work was performed on the Nemo cluster at UWM supported by NSF grant No. 0923409. Parts of the analysis in this work were carried out on the Nimrod cluster made available by S.M.R. Data for this project were collected using the facilities of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and the Arecibo Observatory. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory and Green Bank Observatory are facilities of the NSF operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. The Arecibo Observatory is operated by the University of Central Florida, Ana G. Méndez-Universidad Metropolitana, and Yang Enterprises under a cooperative agreement with the NSF (AST-1744119). This research is part of the Blue Waters sustained-petascale computing project, which is supported by the National Science Foundation (awards OCI-0725070 and ACI-1238993) and the state of Illinois. Blue Waters is a joint effort of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and its National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Some of the algorithms used in this article were optimized using the Blue Waters allocation "Accelerating the detection of gravitational waves with GPUs." The Flatiron Institute is supported by the Simons Foundation. Software: enterprise (Ellis et al. 2017), PTMCMCSampler (Ellis & van Haasteren 2017), enterprise_extensions (Taylor et al. 2018), TEMPO2 (Hobbs et al. 2006), libstempo (Vallisneri 2015), Scipy (Jones) and Numpy (Oliphant).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)UNSPECIFIED
JPL Research and Technology Development FundUNSPECIFIED
NASA Postdoctoral ProgramUNSPECIFIED
NASA Einstein FellowshipPF4-150120
West Virginia UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Chief of Naval ResearchUNSPECIFIED
Sherman Fairchild FoundationUNSPECIFIED
State of IllinoisUNSPECIFIED
Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Millisecond pulsars; Pulsar timing method; Radio pulsars; Red noise; Gravitational waves; Gravitational wave detectors
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Millisecond pulsars (1062); Pulsar timing method (1305); Radio pulsars (1353); Red noise (1956); Gravitational waves (678); Gravitational wave detectors (676)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200224-125802735
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Official Citation:J. S. Hazboun et al 2020 ApJ 890 108
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:101499
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:24 Feb 2020 22:07
Last Modified:24 Feb 2020 22:07

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