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Multimessenger Gravitational-wave Searches with Pulsar Timing Arrays: Application to 3C 66B Using the NANOGrav 11-year Data Set

Arzoumanian, Zaven and Baker, Paul T. and Brazier, Adam and Brook, Paul R. and Burke-Spolaor, Sarah and Bécsy, Bence and Charisi, Maria and Chatterjee, Shami and Cordes, James M. and Cornish, Neil J. and Crawford, Fronefield and Cromartie, H. Thankful and Crowter, Kathryn and DeCesar, Megan E. and Demorest, Paul B. and Dolch, Timothy and Elliott, Rodney D. and Ellis, Justin A. and Ferdman, Robert D. and Ferrara, Elizabeth C. and Fonseca, Emmanuel and Garver-Daniels, Nathan and Gentile, Peter A. and Good, Deborah C. and Hazboun, Jeffrey S. and Islo, Kristina and Jennings, Ross J. and Jones, Megan L. and Kaiser, Andrew R. and Kaplan, David L. and Kelley, Luke Zoltan and Key, Joey Shapiro and Lam, Michael T. and Lazio, T. Joseph W. and Levin, Lina and Luo, Jing and Lynch, Ryan S. and Madison, Dustin R. and McLaughlin, Maura A. and Mingarelli, Chiara M. F. and Ng, Cherry and Nice, David J. and Pennucci, Timothy T. and Pol, Nihan S. and Ransom, Scott M. and Ray, Paul S. and Shapiro-Albert, Brent J. and Siemens, Xavier and Simon, Joseph and Spiewak, Renée and Stairs, Ingrid H. and Stinebring, Daniel R. and Stovall, Kevin and Swiggum, Joseph K. and Taylor, Stephen R. and Vallisneri, Michele and Vigeland, Sarah J. and Witt, Caitlin A. and Zhu, Weiwei (2020) Multimessenger Gravitational-wave Searches with Pulsar Timing Arrays: Application to 3C 66B Using the NANOGrav 11-year Data Set. Astrophysical Journal, 900 (2). Art. No. 102. ISSN 1538-4357.

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When galaxies merge, the supermassive black holes in their centers may form binaries and emit low-frequency gravitational radiation in the process. In this paper, we consider the galaxy 3C 66B, which was used as the target of the first multimessenger search for gravitational waves. Due to the observed periodicities present in the photometric and astrometric data of the source, it has been theorized to contain a supermassive black hole binary. Its apparent 1.05-year orbital period would place the gravitational-wave emission directly in the pulsar timing band. Since the first pulsar timing array study of 3C 66B, revised models of the source have been published, and timing array sensitivities and techniques have improved dramatically. With these advances, we further constrain the chirp mass of the potential supermassive black hole binary in 3C 66B to less than (1.65 ± 0.02) × 10⁹ M_⊙ using data from the NANOGrav 11-year data set. This upper limit provides a factor of 1.6 improvement over previous limits and a factor of 4.3 over the first search done. Nevertheless, the most recent orbital model for the source is still consistent with our limit from pulsar timing array data. In addition, we are able to quantify the improvement made by the inclusion of source properties gleaned from electromagnetic data over "blind" pulsar timing array searches. With these methods, it is apparent that it is not necessary to obtain exact a priori knowledge of the period of a binary to gain meaningful astrophysical inferences.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Baker, Paul T.0000-0003-2745-753X
Brook, Paul R.0000-0003-3053-6538
Burke-Spolaor, Sarah0000-0003-4052-7838
Bécsy, Bence0000-0003-0909-5563
Charisi, Maria0000-0003-3579-2522
Chatterjee, Shami0000-0002-2878-1502
Cordes, James M.0000-0002-4049-1882
Cornish, Neil J.0000-0002-7435-0869
Crawford, Fronefield0000-0002-2578-0360
Cromartie, H. Thankful0000-0002-6039-692X
Crowter, Kathryn0000-0002-1529-5169
DeCesar, Megan E.0000-0002-2185-1790
Demorest, Paul B.0000-0002-6664-965X
Dolch, Timothy0000-0001-8885-6388
Ferdman, Robert D.0000-0002-2223-1235
Ferrara, Elizabeth C.0000-0001-7828-7708
Fonseca, Emmanuel0000-0001-8384-5049
Garver-Daniels, Nathan0000-0001-6166-9646
Gentile, Peter A.0000-0001-8158-683X
Good, Deborah C.0000-0003-1884-348X
Hazboun, Jeffrey S.0000-0003-2742-3321
Jennings, Ross J.0000-0003-1082-2342
Jones, Megan L.0000-0001-6607-3710
Kaiser, Andrew R.0000-0002-3654-980X
Kaplan, David L.0000-0001-6295-2881
Kelley, Luke Zoltan0000-0002-6625-6450
Key, Joey Shapiro0000-0003-0123-7600
Lam, Michael T.0000-0003-0721-651X
Lazio, T. Joseph W.0000-0002-3873-5497
Levin, Lina0000-0002-2034-2986
Luo, Jing0000-0001-5373-5914
Lynch, Ryan S.0000-0001-5229-7430
Madison, Dustin R.0000-0003-2285-0404
McLaughlin, Maura A.0000-0001-7697-7422
Mingarelli, Chiara M. F.0000-0002-4307-1322
Ng, Cherry0000-0002-3616-5160
Nice, David J.0000-0002-6709-2566
Pennucci, Timothy T.0000-0001-5465-2889
Pol, Nihan S.0000-0002-8826-1285
Ransom, Scott M.0000-0001-5799-9714
Ray, Paul S.0000-0002-5297-5278
Shapiro-Albert, Brent J.0000-0002-7283-1124
Siemens, Xavier0000-0002-7778-2990
Simon, Joseph0000-0003-1407-6607
Spiewak, Renée0000-0002-6730-3298
Stairs, Ingrid H.0000-0001-9784-8670
Stinebring, Daniel R.0000-0002-1797-3277
Stovall, Kevin0000-0002-7261-594X
Swiggum, Joseph K.0000-0002-1075-3837
Taylor, Stephen R.0000-0003-0264-1453
Vallisneri, Michele0000-0002-4162-0033
Vigeland, Sarah J.0000-0003-4700-9072
Witt, Caitlin A.0000-0002-6020-9274
Zhu, Weiwei0000-0001-5105-4058
Additional Information: © 2020. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Received 2020 May 14; revised 2020 July 22; accepted 2020 July 31; published 2020 September 7. S.B.S. and C.A.W. were supported in this work by NSF award Nos. 1458952 and 1815664. The NANOGrav collaboration is supported by NSF Physics Frontier Center award No. 1430284. C.A.W. acknowledges support from West Virginia University through the Outstanding Merit Fellowship for Continuing Doctoral Students. S.B.S. is a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar in the Gravity and the Extreme Universe program. This research made use of the Super Computing System (Spruce Knob) at WVU, which is funded in part by the National Science Foundation EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Cooperative Agreement No. 1003907, the state of West Virginia (WVEPSCoR via the Higher Education Policy Commission), and WVU. We acknowledge the use of Thorny Flat at WVU, which is funded in part by National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) award No. 1726534 and WVU. NANOGrav research at UBC is supported by an NSERC Discovery Grant and Discovery Accelerator Supplement and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. M.V. and J.S. acknowledge support from the JPL RTD program. S.R.T. was partially supported by an appointment to the NASA Postdoctoral Program at JPL, administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities through a contract with NASA. J.A.E. was partially supported by NASA through Einstein Fellowship grants PF4-150120. Portions of this work performed at NRL are supported by the Chief of Naval Research. The Flatiron Institute is supported by the Simons Foundation. 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. Data for this project were collected using the facilities of the Green Bank Observatory and the Arecibo Observatory. The Green Bank Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. The Arecibo Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by the University of Central Florida in alliance with Yang Enterprises, Inc., and Universidad Metropolitana. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. This work made use of the online cosmology calculator tool (Wright 2006). We also acknowledge use of numpy (Oliphant 2006), scipy (Virtanen et al. 2020), matplotlib (Hunter 2007), and astropy (Price-Whelan et al. 2018). This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Author contributions. We list specific contributions to this paper as follows. C.A.W. led the work on this paper, ran the GW searches, and led the development of the manuscript. J.S., S.R.T., S.J.V., and S.B.S. provided guidance throughout the project and key development of the project motivation and scientific interpretation. J.A.E., S.R.T., P.T.B., S.J.V., and C.A.W. designed and implemented the Bayesian search algorithms in enterprise. J.S.H. performed and interpreted the S/N simulations with hasasia. R.D.E. performed initial literature reviews on 3C 66B. N.J.C., J.S.H., D.L.K., M.T.L., T.J.W.L., M.A.M., C.M.F.M., and D.J.N. contributed valuable scientific comments. The NANOGrav data are the result of the work of dozens of people over the course of more than 13 years. 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., M.L.J., M.T.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. developed the 11-year data set. All authors are key contributing members of the NANOGrav collaboration.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
West Virginia UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)UNSPECIFIED
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
JPL Research and Technology Development FundUNSPECIFIED
NASA Postdoctoral ProgramUNSPECIFIED
NASA Einstein FellowshipPF4-150120
Chief of Naval ResearchUNSPECIFIED
Flatiron InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Gravitational waves ; Pulsars ; Astronomy data analysis ; Active galactic nuclei
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Gravitational waves (678); Pulsars (1306); Astronomy data analysis (1858); Active galactic nuclei (16)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200911-133137947
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Zaven Arzoumanian et al 2020 ApJ 900 102
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:105351
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:15 Sep 2020 14:10
Last Modified:15 Sep 2020 14:10

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