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Space-based gravitational wave detectors will have the ability to observe continuous low-frequency gravitational radiation from binary star systems. They can determine the direction to continuous sources with an angular resolution approaching tens of arcminutes. This resolution should be sufficient to identify binary sources as members of some nearby globular clusters. Thus, gravitational radiation can be used to determine the population of hard binaries in globular clusters. For particularly hard binaries, the orbital period may change as a result of gravitational wave emission. If one of these binaries can be identified with a globular cluster, then the distance to that cluster can be determined. Thus, gravitational radiation may provide reddening-independent distance measurements to globular clusters and the RR Lyrae stars that inhabit them.


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Astrophysical Journal





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