Skip to main content Accessibility help

High accuracy measurement of gravitational wave back-reaction in the OJ287 black hole binary

  • Mauri J. Valtonen (a1) (a2), L. Dey (a3), R. Hudec (a4) (a5), S. Zola (a6) (a7), A. Gopakumar (a3), S. Mikkola (a1), S. Ciprini (a8) (a9), K. Matsumoto (a10), K. Sadakane (a10), M. Kidger (a11), K. Gazeas (a12), K. Nilsson (a2), A. Berdyugin (a1), V. Piirola (a1) (a13), H. Jermak (a14), K.S. Baliyan (a15), D. E. Reichart (a16), D. B. Caton (a17), S. Haque (a18) and the OJ287-15/16 Collaboration (a1) (a2) (a3) (a4) (a5) (a6) (a7) (a8) (a9) (a10) (a11) (a12) (a14) (a15) (a16) (a18) (a13) (a17)...


Blazar OJ287 exhibits large thermal flares at least twice every 12 years. The times of these flares have been predicted successfully using the model of a quasi-Keplerian eccentric black hole binary where the secondary impacts the accretion disk of the primary, creating the thermal flares. New measurements of the historical light curve have been combined with the observations of the 2015 November/December flare to identify the impact record since year 1886, and to constrain the orbit of the binary. The orbital solution shows that the binary period, now 12.062 years, is decreasing at the rate of 36 days per century. This corresponds to an energy loss to gravitational waves that is 6.5 ± 4 % less than the rate predicted by the standard quadrupolar gravitational wave (GW) emission. We show that the difference is due to higher order gravitational radiation reaction terms that include the dominant order tail contributions.



Hide All
Babak, S., Petiteau, A., Sesana, A., Brem, P., Rosado, P. A., Taylor, S. R., Lassus, A., Hessels, J. W. T., Bassa, C. G., Burgay, M. et al., 2016, MNRAS, 455, 1665
Barker, B. M. & O’Connell, R. F., 1979, Gen.Relativ.Gravit., 11, 149
Damour, T., Gopakumar, A., & Iyer, B. R., 2004, Phys.Rev.D, 70, 064028
Gopakumar, A., Iyer, B. R., & Iyer, S., 1997, Phys.Rev.D, 55, 6030
Graham, A. W. & Scott, N., 2013, ApJ, 764, 151
Hudec, R., Basta, M., Pihajoki, P., & Valtonen, M., 2013, A&A, 559, A20
Hudec, R. 2017, private communication
Ivanov, P. B., Igumenshchev, I. V., & Novikov, I. D., 1998, ApJ, 507, 131
Lehto, H. J. & Valtonen, M. J., 1996, ApJ, 460, 207
Liu, J., Zhang, Y., Zhang, H., Sun, Y., & Wang, N., 2012, A&A, 540, A67
Nilsson, K., private communication
Pihajoki, P., 2016, MNRAS, 457, 1145
Mora, T. & Will, C. M., 2004, Phys.Rev.D, 69, 104021
Sillanpää, A., Haarala, S., Valtonen, M. J., Sundelius, B., & Byrd, G. G., 1988, ApJ, 325, 628
Sundelius, B., Wahde, M., Lehto, H. J., & Valtonen, M. J., 1996, ASP-CS, 110, 99
Sundelius, B., Wahde, M., Lehto, H. J., & Valtonen, M. J., 1997, ApJ, 484, 180
Takalo, L. O., Kidger, M., de Diego, J. A., Sillanpää, A., Piirola, V., & Teräsranta, H., 1990, A&AS, 83, 459
Valtonen, M. J., Lehto, H. J., Sillanpää, A., Nilsson, K., Mikkola, S., Hudec, R., Basta, M., Teräsranta, H., Haque, S., & Rampadarath, , 2006, ApJ, 646, 36
Valtonen, M. J., 2007, ApJ, 659, 1074
Valtonen, M. J., Lehto, H. J., Nilsson, K., Heidt, J., Takalo, L. O., Sillanpää, A., Villforth, C., Kidger, M., Poyner, G., Pursimo, T. et al., 2008, Nature, 452, 851
Valtonen, M. J., Nilsson, K., Villforth, C., Lehto, H. J., Takalo, L. O., Lindfors, E., Sillanpää, A., Hentunen, V.-P., Mikkola, S., Zola, S. et al., 2009, ApJ, 698, 781
Valtonen, M. J., Mikkola, S., Merritt, D., Gopakumar, A., Lehto, H. J., Hyvönen, T., Rampadarath, H., Saunders, R., Basta, M., & Hudec, R., 2010, ApJ, 709, 725
Valtonen, M. J., Mikkola, S., Lehto, H. J., Gopakumar, A., Hudec, R., & Polednikova, J., 2011, ApJ, 742, 22
Valtonen, M. J., Ciprini, S., & Lehto, H. J., 2012, MNRAS, 427, 77
Valtonen, M. J. & Pihajoki, P., 2013, A&A, 557, 28
Valtonen, M. J., Zola, S., Ciprini, S., Gopakumar, A., Matsumoto, K., Sadakane, K., Kidger, M., Gazeas, K., Nilsson, K., Berdyugin, A. et al. 2016, ApJ, 819, L37 (OJ287-15/16 Collaboration)
Will, C. M. & Maitra, M., 2017, Phys.Rev.D, 95, 064003
MathJax is a JavaScript display engine for mathematics. For more information see



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed