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The steadily improving sensitivity of pulsar timing arrays (PTAs) suggests that gravitational waves (GWs) from supermassive black hole binary (SMBHB) systems in the nearby universe will be detectable sometime during the next decade. Currently, PTAs assume an equal probability of detection from every sky position, but as evidence grows for a non-isotropic distribution of sources, is there a most likely sky position for a detectable single source of GWs? In this paper, a collection of Galactic catalogs is used to calculate various metrics related to the detectability of a single GW source resolvable above a GW background, assuming that every galaxy has the same probability of containing an SMBHB. Our analyses of these data reveal small probabilities that one of these sources is currently in the PTA band, but as sensitivity is improved regions of consistent probability density are found in predictable locations, specifically around local galaxy clusters. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


© Astrophysical Journal. Original version available at:

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Astrophysical Journal





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