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Published December 10, 2020 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

A Systematic Search of Zwicky Transient Facility Data for Ultracompact Binary LISA-detectable Gravitational-wave Sources


Using photometry collected with the Zwicky Transient Facility, we are conducting an ongoing survey for binary systems with short orbital periods (P_b < 1 hr) with the goal of identifying new gravitational-wave sources detectable by the upcoming Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). We present a sample of 15 binary systems discovered thus far, with orbital periods ranging from 6.91 to 56.35 minutes. Of the 15 systems, seven are eclipsing systems that do not show signs of significant mass transfer. Additionally, we have discovered two AM Canum Venaticorum systems and six systems exhibiting primarily ellipsoidal variations in their lightcurves. We present follow-up spectroscopy and high-speed photometry confirming the nature of these systems, estimates of their LISA signal-to-noise ratios, and a discussion of their physical characteristics.

Additional Information

© 2020. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2020 September 4; revised 2020 October 13; accepted 2020 October 15; published 2020 December 9. K.B.B. thanks the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Heising-Simons Foundation for supporting his research. M.W.C. acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation with grant No. PHY-2010970. P.R.-G. acknowledges support from the State Research Agency (AEI) of the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (MCIU), and the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER) under grant AYA2017–83383–P. V.S.D., ULTRACAM, and HiPERCAM are supported by STFC. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program numbers 677706 (WD3D) and 340040 (HiPERCAM). This work is based on observations obtained with the Samuel Oschin Telescope 48 inch and the 60 inch Telescope at the Palomar Observatory as part of the Zwicky Transient Facility project. ZTF is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant No. AST-1440341 and a collaboration including Caltech, IPAC, the Weizmann Institute for Science, the Oskar Klein Center at Stockholm University, the University of Maryland, the University of Washington, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron and Humboldt University, Los Alamos National Laboratories, the TANGO Consortium of Taiwan, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. Operations are conducted by COO, IPAC, and UW. This work is based on observations made with the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) installed in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, in the island of La Palma. This work is based on observations made at the European Southern Observatory New Technology Telescope (NTT), La Silla. The KPED team thanks the National Science Foundation and the National Optical Astronomical Observatory for making the Kitt Peak 2.1 m telescope available. The KPED team thanks the National Science Foundation, the National Optical Astronomical Observatory, and the Murty family for support in the building and operation of KPED. In addition, they thank the CHIMERA project for use of the Electron Multiplying CCD (EMCCD). Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation. The authors wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Maunakea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain. This article is based on observations made in the Observatorios de Canarias del IAC with the William Herschel Telescope operated on the island of La Palma by the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes in the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos. This research benefited from interactions at the ZTF Theory Network Meeting that were funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through grant GBMF5076 and support from the National Science Foundation through PHY-1748958. Facilities: PO:1.2 m (ZTF) - , KPNO:2.1 m (KPED) - , NTT (ULTRACAM) - , Hale (CHIMERA - , DBSP) - , GTC (HiPERCAM) - , Keck:I (LRIS). -

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Published - Burdge_2020_ApJ_905_32.pdf

Submitted - 2009.02567.pdf


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