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Search for gravitational waves associated with the August 2006 timing glitch of the Vela pulsar

Abadie, J. and Abbott, B. P. and Abbott, R. and Adhikari, R. and Ajith, P. and Lockerbie, N. A. and Tokmakov, K. V. and Collaboration, LIGO Sci (2011) Search for gravitational waves associated with the August 2006 timing glitch of the Vela pulsar. Physical Review D, 83 (4). ISSN 1550-2368

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Abstract

The physical mechanisms responsible for pulsar timing glitches are thought to excite quasinormal mode oscillations in their parent neutron star that couple to gravitational-wave emission. In August 2006, a timing glitch was observed in the radio emission of PSR B0833-45, the Vela pulsar. At the time of the glitch, the two colocated Hanford gravitational-wave detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave observatory (LIGO) were operational and taking data as part of the fifth LIGO science run (S5). We present the first direct search for the gravitational-wave emission associated with oscillations of the fundamental quadrupole mode excited by a pulsar timing glitch. No gravitational-wave detection candidate was found. We place Bayesian 90% confidence upper limits of 6.3 x 10(-21) to 1.4 x 10(-20) on the peak intrinsic strain amplitude of gravitational-wave ring-down signals, depending on which spherical harmonic mode is excited. The corresponding range of energy upper limits is 5.0 x 10(44) to 1.3 x 10(45) erg.