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Published September 27, 2007 | Submitted + Published
Journal Article Open

Search for gravitational wave radiation associated with the pulsating tail of the SGR 1806-20 hyperflare of 27 December 2004 using LIGO


We have searched for gravitational waves (GWs) associated with the SGR 1806−20 hyperflare of 27 December 2004. This event, originating from a Galactic neutron star, displayed exceptional energetics. Recent investigations of the x-ray light curve's pulsating tail revealed the presence of quasiperiodic oscillations (QPOs) in the 30–2000 Hz frequency range, most of which coincides with the bandwidth of the LIGO detectors. These QPOs, with well-characterized frequencies, can plausibly be attributed to seismic modes of the neutron star which could emit GWs. Our search targeted potential quasimonochromatic GWs lasting for tens of seconds and emitted at the QPO frequencies. We have observed no candidate signals above a predetermined threshold, and our lowest upper limit was set by the 92.5 Hz QPO observed in the interval from 150 s to 260 s after the start of the flare. This bound corresponds to a (90% confidence) root-sum-squared amplitude h^(90%)_(rss-det) =4.5×10^(−22)  strain  Hz^(−1/2) on the GW waveform strength in the detectable polarization state reaching our Hanford (WA) 4 km detector. We illustrate the astrophysical significance of the result via an estimated characteristic energy in GW emission that we would expect to be able to detect. The above result corresponds to 7.7×10^(46)  erg (=4.3×10^(−8)  M_⊙c^2), which is of the same order as the total (isotropic) energy emitted in the electromagnetic spectrum. This result provides a means to probe the energy reservoir of the source with the best upper limit on the GW waveform strength published and represents the first broadband asteroseismology measurement using a GW detector.

Additional Information

© 2007 American Physical Society. Received 9 April 2007. Published 27 September 2007. We are indebted to Gianluca Israel and Anna Watts for frequent and fruitful discussions. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the United States National Science Foundation for the construction and operation of the LIGO Laboratory and the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research 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. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the support of the research by these agencies and by the Australian Research Council, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research of India, the Department of Science and Technology of India, the Spanish Ministerio de Educacion y Ciencia, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Leverhulme Trust, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Research Corporation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and Columbia University in New York City.

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Submitted - 0703419v2.pdf

Published - PhysRevD.76.062003.pdf


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August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023