AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 143 Gravity Waves
Poster, Wednesday, 9:20am-6:30pm, January 11, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[143.05] Event Rate for Extreme Mass Ratio Burst Sources in the LISA Band

L. J. Rubbo, K. Holley-Bockelmann, L. S. Finn (Pennsylvania State University)

During close encounters with a massive black hole, stellar mass compact objects and small main sequence stars on nearly plunging orbits will be traveling at relativistic speeds. During the periapse passage these systems will emit gravitational radiation, and depending on the passage timescale, they may be observable by future spaceborne gravitational wave detectors. However, the encounters will only produce bursts in the detector data stream since the orbital periods are typically much longer than a mission lifetime. Here we estimate the event rate for extreme mass ratio bursts (EMRBs) that will be observed by the proposed Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). Our event rate calculation is based on a static, spherical model for a galactic nucleus scaled to the size and mass of the Milky Way bulge. Using this model, we find an event rate of ~17~\textrm{yr}-1 with signal-to-noise ratios greater than five. Our results indicate that such burst sources may be a notable contribution to the LISA data stream.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: rubbo@gravity.psu.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.