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The Effect of Observatory Localization in Pulsar Timing Searches for Gravitational Waves

Presentation #102.11 in the session Pulsars, Radio Transients, & Pulsar Wind Nebulae — iPoster Session.

Published onJun 29, 2022
The Effect of Observatory Localization in Pulsar Timing Searches for Gravitational Waves

With the use of Pulsar Timing Arrays (PTAs), collaborations such as the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) seek to detect and better understand gravitational waves and join the era of multi-messenger astronomy. For gravitational wave detection to take place with the use of PTAs, factors such as our position in the Milky Way and solar system, and on the earth, must be taken into account. As such, the localization of the observatory provides an important correction to measured pulsar arrival times. A discrepancy in observatory coordinates has the potential to manifest itself as background noise in gravitational wave analysis that might mimic a gravitational wave signature, and such a possibility needs to be ruled out. Here, I present our findings after simulating pulsar timing data (using TEMPO2) with incrementally variable geocentric observatory coordinates to determine the effect of an incorrect observatory position on predicted pulsar physical parameters. Presently, we find that only at large discrepancies in localization are predicted physical parameters noticeably affected. However, even small changes in affected parameters might contribute to noise in the gravitational wave analysis. We also found a handful of outliers in which changes in timing parameters were large. Taking these factors into account, it is necessary to perform a full gravitational wave analysis on this data and rule out error in observatory position as a source of possible noise.

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