Astrophysics (Index)About

extreme mass ratio inspiral

(inspiraling pair of objects with mass ratio beyond 10,000)

The abbreviation EMRI for extreme mass ratio inspiral is used for orbits expected to inspiral yet have a mass ratio of 10,000 or greater, specifically, a supermassive black hole with a massive star or compact object orbiting it. They are proposed as a source of detectable gravitational waves and are some of the targets of planned space-based gravitational-wave detectors such as the LISA:

The orbital period and wave period would be in the range of hours. This circumstance was considered promising enough to contribute to the motivation for such space-based GW detectors, but there are factors which may make it too rare:

The term intermediate mass ratio inspiral (IMRI) is used for a similar circumstance surrounding a (theorized) intermediate-mass black hole, a possible target for ground detectors such as LIGO.

(black holes,orbits)
Further reading: