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Published June 20, 2011 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

Search for Gravitational Wave Bursts from Six Magnetars


Soft gamma repeaters (SGRs) and anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) are thought to be magnetars: neutron stars powered by extreme magnetic fields. These rare objects are characterized by repeated and sometimes spectacular gamma-ray bursts. The burst mechanism might involve crustal fractures and excitation of non-radial modes which would emit gravitational waves (GWs). We present the results of a search for GW bursts from six galactic magnetars that is sensitive to neutron star f-modes, thought to be the most efficient GW emitting oscillatory modes in compact stars. One of them, SGR 0501+4516, is likely ~1 kpc from Earth, an order of magnitude closer than magnetars targeted in previous GW searches. A second, AXP 1E 1547.0–5408, gave a burst with an estimated isotropic energy >10^(44) erg which is comparable to the giant flares. We find no evidence of GWs associated with a sample of 1279 electromagnetic triggers from six magnetars occurring between 2006 November and 2009 June, in GW data from the LIGO, Virgo, and GEO600 detectors. Our lowest model-dependent GW emission energy upper limits for band- and time-limited white noise bursts in the detector sensitive band, and for f-mode ringdowns (at 1090 Hz), are 3.0 × 10^(44) d^2_1 erg and 1.4 × 10^(47) d^2_1 erg, respectively, where d_1 = ^(d0501)_(1kpc) and d_ (0501) is the distance to SGR 0501+4516. These limits on GW emission from f-modes are an order of magnitude lower than any previous, and approach the range of electromagnetic energies seen in SGR giant flares for the first time.

Additional Information

© 2011 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2010 December 6; accepted 2011 April 5; published 2011 June 1. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the United States National Science Foundation for the construction and operation of the LIGO Laboratory, the Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom, the Max-Planck- Society, and the State of Niedersachsen/Germany for support of the construction and operation of the GEO600 detector, and the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare and the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique for the construction and operation of the Virgo detector. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the support of the research by these agencies and by the Australian Research Council, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research of India, the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare of Italy, the Spanish Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, the Conselleria d'Economia Hisenda i Innovació of the Govern de les Illes Balears, the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the FOCUS Programme of Foundation for Polish Science, the Royal Society, the Scottish Funding Council, the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Carnegie Trust, the Leverhulme Trust, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Research Corporation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The Konus-Wind experiment is supported by a Russian Space Agency contract and RFBR grant 09-02- 00166a. A.J.v.d.H. is supported by the NASA Postdoctoral Program. K.H. acknowledges IPN support under the following grants: JPL Y503559 (Odyssey); NASA NNG06GH00G, NASA NNX07AM42G, and NASA NNX08AC89G (INTEGRAL); NASA NNG06GI896, NASA NNX07AJ65G, and NASA NNX08AN23G (Swift); NASA NNX07AR71G (MESSENGER); NASA NNX06AI36G, NASA NNX08AB84G, NASA NNX08AZ85G (Suzaku); and NASA NNX09AU03G (Fermi). Y.K. acknowledges EU FP6 Project MTKD-CT- 2006-042722. C.K. acknowledges support from NASA grant NNH07ZDA001-GLAST. This Letter is LIGO-P0900192.

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Submitted - 1011.4079.pdf

Published - Abadie2011p15627Astrophys_J_Lett.pdf


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August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023