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The Astrometric Effect of Gravitational Waves

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Michalis Agathos.

A gravitational wave incident on the Earth causes the apparent positions of distant objects (e.g. stars!) to change periodically. The GAIA spacecraft is currently measuring the positions of a billion stars with accuracies down to several tens of microarcseconds. Therefore the finalised GAIA data release will offer a new opportunity to search for low frequency gravitational waves in the range (1.0e-8 – 3.0e-7) Hz. I will discuss some of the challenges of searching for gravitational waves in large astrometric datasets, and the sensitivity which can be achieved with the GAIA dataset. I will also discuss the interesting effects that a gravitational wave burst with memory can have on the apparent positions of distant objects.

This talk is part of the DAMTP Friday GR Seminar series.

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