Binary neutron star populations in the Milky Way

Cecilia Sgalletta, Giuliano Iorio, Michela Mapelli, M. Celeste Artale, Lumen Boco, Debatri Chattopadhyay, Andrea Lapi, Andrea Possenti, Stefano Rinaldi, Mario Spera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Galactic binary neutron stars (BNSs) are a unique laboratory to probe the evolution of BNSs and their progenitors. Here, we use a new version of the population synthesis code sevn to evolve the population of Galactic BNSs, by modelling the spin up and down of pulsars self-consistently. We analyse the merger rate, orbital period Porb, eccentricity e, spin period P, and spin period derivative of the BNS population. Values of the common envelope parameter α = 1-3 and an accurate model of the Milky Way star formation history best reproduce the BNS merger rate in our Galaxy (Myr-1). We apply radio-selection effects to our simulated BNSs and compare them to the observed population. Using a Dirichlet process Gaussian mixture method, we evaluate the four-dimensional likelihood in the space, by comparing our radio-selected simulated pulsars against Galactic BNSs. Our analysis favours an uniform initial distribution for both the magnetic field (1010-13 G) and the spin period (10-100 ms). The implementation of radio selection effects is critical to match not only the spin period and period derivative, but also the orbital period and eccentricity of Galactic BNSs. According to our fiducial model, the Square Kilometre Array will detect ∼20 new BNSs in the Milky Way.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2210-2229
Number of pages20
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • binaries: general
  • gravitational waves
  • methods: numerical
  • pulsars: general
  • stars: neutron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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