Exploring future multi-messenger Galactic astronomy
For centuries astronomers studied the Universe by collecting light. Nowadays, we are living in times of great technological advancements, which allow us to explore our Universe in a new way - though gravitational wave radiation.
- Korol, V.
- 19 June 2019
- Thesis in Leiden Repository
For centuries astronomers studied the Universe by collecting light. Nowadays, we are living in times of great technological advancements, which allow us to explore our Universe in a new way - though gravitational wave radiation. There are many gravitational wave sources in our own Galaxy, the Milky Way. For example, white dwarf stars in tight binary systems spinning around each other in less than 1 hour. LISA is a future ESA mission, that will detect a large variety of gravitational wave sources including Galactic double white dwarfs. Although quite faint, double white dwarfs can also be seen by optical telescopes. Thus, astronomers call them “multi-messenger” sources. This means that we can collect information from them using more than one messenger: electromagnetic waves, messengers of the electromagnetic field, and gravitational waves, messengers of the gravitational field. This thesis proposes to use gravitational wave signals from Galactic double white dwarfs to study the Milky Way and its neighbourhood. In particular, it explores how by collecting many electromagnetic and gravitational wave signals from thousands to millions of binary double white dwarfs spread all across our Galaxy, we can perform multi-messenger Galactic Astronomy and learn about the structure and history of the Milky Way.