Document Type


Publication Date



We discuss the potential for the detection of gravitational waves from a rapidly spinning neutron star produced by supernova (SN) 1987A, taking the parameters claimed by Middleditch et al. at face value. Assuming that the dominant mechanism for spin-down is gravitational waves emitted by a freely precessing neutron star, it is possible to constrain the wobble angle, the effective moment of inertia of the precessing crust, and the crust cracking stress limit. Our analysis suggests that if the interpretation of the Middleditch data is correct, the compact remnant of SN 1987A may well provide a predictable source of gravitational waves well within the capabilities of the second Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. The computational task required for the data analysis is within the capabilities of current computers if performed off-line and could be accomplished on-line using techniques such as demodulation and decimation.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Astrophysical Journal

First Page


Last Page