A stochastic gravitational wave background in LISA from unresolved white dwarf binaries in the Large Magellanic Cloud

Steven Rieck, Alexander W Criswell, Valeriya Korol, Michael A. Keim, Malachy Bloom, Vuk Mandic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) is expected to detect a wide variety of gravitational wave sources in the mHz band. Some of these signals will elude individual detection, instead contributing as confusion noise to one of several stochastic gravitational-wave backgrounds (SGWBs) - notably including the 'Galactic foreground', a loud signal resulting from the superposition of millions of unresolved double white dwarf binaries (DWDs) in the Milky Way. It is possible that similar, weaker SGWBs will be detectable from other DWD populations in the local Universe, including the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). We use the Bayesian LISA Inference Package (blip) to investigate the possibility of an anisotropic SGWB generated by unresolved DWDs in the LMC. To do so, we compute the LMC SGWB from a realistic DWD population generated via binary population synthesis, simulate 4 years of time-domain data with blip comprised of stochastic contributions from the LMC SGWB and the LISA detector noise, and analyse this data with blip's spherical harmonic anisotropic SGWB search. We also consider the case of spectral separation from the Galactic foreground. We present the results of these analyses and show, for the first time, that the unresolved DWDs in the LMC will comprise a significant SGWB for LISA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2642-2652
Number of pages11
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume531
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society.

Keywords

  • gravitational waves
  • Magellanic Clouds
  • white dwarfs

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