Comparing Recent Pulsar Timing Array Results on the Nanohertz Stochastic Gravitational-wave Background

The International Pulsar Timing Array Collaboration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Australian, Chinese, European, Indian, and North American pulsar timing array (PTA) collaborations recently reported, at varying levels, evidence for the presence of a nanohertz gravitational-wave background (GWB). Given that each PTA made different choices in modeling their data, we perform a comparison of the GWB and individual pulsar noise parameters across the results reported from the PTAs that constitute the International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA). We show that despite making different modeling choices, there is no significant difference in the GWB parameters that are measured by the different PTAs, agreeing within 1σ. The pulsar noise parameters are also consistent between different PTAs for the majority of the pulsars included in these analyses. We bridge the differences in modeling choices by adopting a standardized noise model for all pulsars and PTAs, finding that under this model there is a reduction in the tension in the pulsar noise parameters. As part of this reanalysis, we “extended” each PTA’s data set by adding extra pulsars that were not timed by that PTA. Under these extensions, we find better constraints on the GWB amplitude and a higher signal-to-noise ratio for the Hellings-Downs correlations. These extensions serve as a prelude to the benefits offered by a full combination of data across all pulsars in the IPTA, i.e., the IPTA’s Data Release 3, which will involve not just adding in additional pulsars but also including data from all three PTAs where any given pulsar is timed by more than a single PTA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 May 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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