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Gravitational wave heating of stars and accretion discs

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E-mail: gli@cfa.harvard.edu

ABSTRACT

We investigate the electromagnetic counterpart of gravitational waves (GWs) emitted by a supermassive black hole binary (SMBHB) through the viscous dissipation of the GW energy in an accretion disc and stars surrounding the SMBHB. We account for the suppression of the heating rate if the forcing period is shorter than the turnover time of the largest turbulent eddies. We find that the viscous heating luminosity in 0.1 M stars can be significantly higher than their intrinsic luminosity, but still too low to be detected for extragalactic sources. The relative brightening is small for accretion discs.

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