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Upper limit map of a background of gravitational waves

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • LIGO Scientific Collaboration
Article number082003
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/10/2007
<mark>Journal</mark>Physical Review D
Issue number8
Number of pages11
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We searched for an anisotropic background of gravitational waves using data from the LIGO S4 science run and a method that is optimized for point sources. This is appropriate if, for example, the gravitational wave background is dominated by a small number of distinct astrophysical sources. No signal was seen. Upper limit maps were produced assuming two different power laws for the source strain power spectrum. For an f−3 power law and using the 50 Hz to 1.8 kHz band the upper limits on the source strain power spectrum vary between
1.2×10−48 Hz−1 (100 Hz/f)and 1.2×10−47 Hz−1  (100 Hz/f)3, depending on the position in the sky. Similarly, in the case of constant strain power spectrum, the upper limits vary between 8.5×10−49 Hz−1 and 6.1×10−48 Hz−1. As a side product a limit on an isotropic background of gravitational waves was also obtained. All limits are at the 90% confidence level. Finally, as an application, we focused on the direction of Sco-X1, the brightest low-mass x-ray binary. We compare the upper limit on strain amplitude obtained by this method to expectations based on the x-ray flux from Sco-X1.