Detecting planets with LISA

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Detecting planets with LISA

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 10th December 2018, 9:47 pm

Detecting circumbinary exoplanets and hierarchical stellar triples with the LISA gravitational radiation mission
https://arxiv.org/abs/1812.03438

We investigate the possibility of detecting planetary or stellar companions orbiting white dwarf binaries using the LISA gravitational radiation detector. Specifically, we consider the acceleration of the barycenter of the white dwarf binary due to the orbiting third body as well as the effect of changes in the tidal field across the binary due to the perturber's eccentric orbit. We find that the movement of the barycenter is detectable for both stellar and planetary mass objects. If circumbinary planets occur with frequencies similar to gas giant planets around isolated main sequence stars, then we expect to find of order 10 such planets in four years of LISA observations. For a longer, ten-year mission the accessible parameter space for planetary mass, orbital period, and binary orbital period grows and LISA's associated yield increases to ~100 expected detections.

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Re: Detecting planets with LISA

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 11th December 2018, 10:44 pm

Listening to the gravitational wave sound of circumbinary exoplanets
https://arxiv.org/abs/1812.04330

To date more than 3500 exoplanets have been discovered orbiting a large variety of stars. Due to the sensitivity limits of the currently used detection techniques, these planets populate zones restricted either to the solar neighbourhood or towards the Galactic bulge. This selection problem prevents us from unveiling the true Galactic planetary population and is not set to change for the next two decades. Here we present a new detection method that overcomes this issue and that will allow us to detect gas giant exoplanets using gravitational wave astronomy. We show that the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission can characterise hundreds of new circumbinary exoplanets orbiting white dwarf binaries everywhere in our Galaxy - a population of exoplanets so far completely unprobed - as well as detecting extragalactic bound exoplanets in the Magellanic Clouds. Such a method is not limited by stellar activity and, in extremely favourable cases, will allow LISA to detect super-Earths down to 10 Earth masses.

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