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A New Argument Against An Intervening Stellar Population Toward the Large Magellanic Cloud

By Andrew Gould


Zaritsky & Lin have claimed detection of an intervening population of stars toward the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) which, they believe, could account for a substantial fraction of the observed microlensing events. I show that the observed time scales of these events imply that if such an intervening population existed and gave rise to a significant fraction of the microlensing events, then it could not be associated with the LMC. Hence, the radial velocity of the putative intervening population should differ from that of the LMC by of order 100 kms −1. The fact that the radial velocities of the two populations are consistent within errors is therefore strong evidence that these intervening stars do not trace a population that is responsible for the microlensing events. Subject headings: dark matter – Galaxy: halo – gravitational lensing – Magellanic Clouds 1

Year: 1999
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