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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[143.04] Gravitational Wave Map of the Close Binary White Dwarf Sky as Seen By LISA

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

Millions of close white dwarf binaries (CWDBs) throughout the galaxy are expected to generate an unresolved gravitational wave foreground for the proposed Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). Although LISA is an all-sky, large bandwidth gravitational wave detector, the constellation's motion around the sun will locate a source on the celestial sphere with an accuracy of about 1 square degree. The resolution depends on the source frequency, the angular height of the source from the ecliptic plane, and its signal-to-noise ratio. By convolving LISA's detector response with the distribution of CWDBs, we construct detailed gravitational wave maps of the CWDB sky as seen by LISA. Our CWDB distribution is based on a model of the Milky Way thin disk, thick disk, halo, and bar, as well as a model for the Large and Small Magellenic clouds. We include the positions of known individual CWDBs, seen as bright resolved objects above the foreground. This map will be useful both as a visualization tool and as a template to discriminate between different models of the CWDB spatial and frequency distribution. We also present preliminary results on how well LISA can be used as an instrument to measure the structural parameters of our galaxy, particularly for those parameters that are difficult to obtain electromagnetically, such as the shape of the thick disk or the inner density profile of the bar.

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