Hearing beyond the Veil: Gravitational Waves from Neutron Stars in the Common-Envelope Phase

The common-envelope phase is a possible formation channel for the formation of compact binaries such as binary neutron stars and/or black-hole-neutron-star binaries. This phase involves two stars that share a single envelope wherein which their orbit decays due to dynamical friction. Neutron stars that undergo common-envelope inspiral accrete at a fraction of the Bondi-Hoyle-Lyttleton accretion rate since the stellar envelope is inhomogeneous. Accreting neutron stars are candidate sources of gravitational waves and have been studied in the context of low-mass X-ray binaries and fall-back accretion following supernova events. I will discuss neutron stars in the common-envelope phase as detectable gravitational-wave sources in the Advanced LIGO band. We find that accreting neutron stars undergoing common-envelope inspiral are potentially louder GW sources than neutron stars in low-mass X-ray binaries. We also find that the GW strain amplitude may potentially be used to constrain the properties of detected common-envelope binaries, such as the orbital separation.

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