Milky Way Satellites Shining Bright in Gravitational Waves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

The population of Milky Way satellite galaxies is of great interest for cosmology, fundamental physics, and astrophysics. They represent the faint end of the galaxy luminosity function, are the most dark-matter dominated objects in the local Universe, and contain the oldest and most metal-poor stellar populations. Recent surveys have revealed around 60 satellites, but this could represent less than half of the total. Characterization of these systems remains a challenge due to their low luminosity. We consider the gravitational wave observatory LISA as a potential tool for studying these satellites through observations of their short-period double white dwarf populations. LISA will observe the entire sky without selection effects due to dust extinction, complementing optical surveys, and could potentially discover massive satellites hidden behind the disk of the galaxy.

Bibliographic note

7 pages, 2 figures, submitted

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume894
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2020

Keywords

  • astro-ph.GA, astro-ph.HE, astro-ph.SR, gr-qc