NANOGrav — North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves


The North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves Physics Frontiers Center (NANOGrav PFC) is an international collaboration using ultra-stable millisecond pulsars to detect gravitational waves. NANOGrav observes a pulsar timing array (PTA) of dozens of millisecond pulsars with approximately monthly cadence using the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope and the William E. Gordon Telescope at the Arecibo Observatory, with a subset of pulsars observed more frequently. Observations are also carried out with the Jansky Very Large Array, and in collaboration with the Canadian HI Intensity Mapping Experiment. Gravitational waves are predicted to perturb the arrival time of pulses at the level of 10s of nanoseconds, and with a unique pattern that depends only on the separation of pulsars on the sky. NANOGrav is sensitive to gravitational waves with frequencies of nanohertz produced by supermassive binary black holes. The expected observational signatures include a stochastic background from the supermassive binary black hole population, individual supermassive black hole binaries, and the signature of supermassive black hole mergers. More exotic sources such as cosmic strings are also possible. NANOGrav produces a wealth of additional pulsar science through the regular observation of the millisecond pulsars in the array.

NANOGrav receives support from NSF Physics Frontier Center award number 143028.

For more information, visit

Data Access

NANOGrav publicly releases data sets at intervals of 1.5 to 2 years. The primary data products are measured pulse arrival times and timing models for individual pulsars derived from the measured pulse arrival times. Additional products include pulse profiles, residual pulse arrival times, and dispersion measure variations. These data products, along with raw telescope data, can be accessed at


A list of NANOGrav publications is available at


NANOGrav is a member of the International Pulsar Timing Array along with PTA collaborations in Europe and Australia, and emerging PTA collaborations in China, India, and South Africa. For more information on the IPTA visit

NANOGrav welcomes collaboration with any scientists, engineers, and educators that can contribute to our scientific and educational goals. For details, see Student participation is welcome.

Education and Public Outreach

NANOGrav maintains a vibrant education and public outreach program. This includes opportunities for undergraduate research and study abroad, as well as educational public talks and classroom activities. For more information see

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