Observational upper limits on the gravitational wave production of core collapse supernovae

Xing Jiang Zhu, E. Howell, D. Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterOtherpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


The upper limit on the energy density of a stochastic gravitational wave (GW) background obtained from the 2-yr science run (S5) of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is used to constrain the average GW production of core collapse supernovae (ccSNe). We assume that the ccSNe rate tracks the star formation history of the Universe and show that the stochastic background energy density depends only weakly on the assumed average source spectrum. Using the ccSNe rate for z ≤ 10, we scale the generic source spectrum to obtain an observation-based upper limit on the average GW emission. We show that the mean energy emitted in GWs can be constrained within < (0.49-1.98) Mc2 depending on the average source spectrum. While these results are higher than the total available gravitational energy in a core collapse event, second- and third-generation GW detectors will enable tighter constraints to be set on the GW emission from such systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L132–L136
Number of pages5
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cosmology: miscellaneous
  • Gamma-ray bursts
  • Gravitational waves
  • Supernovae: general

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