282 research outputs found

    Interferometric Visibility and Closure Phase of Microlensing Events with Finite Source Size

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    Interferometers from the ground and space will be able to resolve the two images in a microlensing event. This will at least partially lift the inherent degeneracy between physical parameters in microlensing events. To increase the signal-to-noise ratio, intrinsically bright events with large magnifications will be preferentially selected as targets. These events may be influenced by finite source size effects both photometrically and astrometrically. Using observed finite source size events as examples, we show that the fringe visibility can be affected by 5% - 10%, and the closure phase by a few degrees: readily detectable by ground and space interferometers. Such detections will offer unique information about the lens-source trajectory relative to the baseline of the interferometers. Combined with photometric finite source size effects, interferometry offers a way to measure the angular sizes of the source and the Einstein radius accurately. Limb-darkening changes the visibility by a small amount compared with a source with uniform surface brightness, marginally detectable with ground-based instruments. We discuss the implications of our results for the plans to make interferometric observations of future microlensing events.Comment: 18 pages, 9 figures, submitted to MNRA

    A New Photometric Model of the Galactic Bar using Red Clump Giants

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    We present a study of the luminosity density distribution of the Galactic bar using number counts of red clump giants (RCGs) from the OGLE-III survey. The data were recently published by Nataf et al. (2013) for 9019 fields towards the bulge and have 2.94×1062.94\times 10^6 RC stars over a viewing area of 90.25 deg290.25 \,\textrm{deg}^2. The data include the number counts, mean distance modulus (μ\mu), dispersion in μ\mu and full error matrix, from which we fit the data with several tri-axial parametric models. We use the Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method to explore the parameter space and find that the best-fit model is the E3E_3 model, with the distance to the GC is 8.13 kpc, the ratio of semi-major and semi-minor bar axis scale lengths in the Galactic plane x0,y0x_{0},y_{0}, and vertical bar scale length z0z_0, is x0:y0:z0≈1.00:0.43:0.40x_0:y_0:z_0 \approx 1.00:0.43:0.40 (close to being prolate). The scale length of the stellar density profile along the bar's major axis is ∼\sim 0.67 kpc and has an angle of 29.4∘29.4^\circ, slightly larger than the value obtained from a similar study based on OGLE-II data. The number of estimated RC stars within the field of view is 2.78×1062.78 \times 10^6, which is systematically lower than the observed value. We subtract the smooth parametric model from the observed counts and find that the residuals are consistent with the presence of an X-shaped structure in the Galactic centre, the excess to the estimated mass content is ∼5.8\sim 5.8%. We estimate the total mass of the bar is ∼1.8×1010M⊙\sim 1.8 \times 10^{10} M_\odot. Our results can be used as a key ingredient to construct new density models of the Milky Way and will have implications on the predictions of the optical depth to gravitational microlensing and the patterns of hydrodynamical gas flow in the Milky Way.Comment: 15 pages, 6 figures, 4 tables. MNRAS accepte

    ExELS: an exoplanet legacy science proposal for the ESA Euclid mission. II. Hot exoplanets and sub-stellar systems

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    The Exoplanet Euclid Legacy Survey (ExELS) proposes to determine the frequency of cold exoplanets down to Earth mass from host separations of ~1 AU out to the free-floating regime by detecting microlensing events in Galactic Bulge. We show that ExELS can also detect large numbers of hot, transiting exoplanets in the same population. The combined microlensing+transit survey would allow the first self-consistent estimate of the relative frequencies of hot and cold sub-stellar companions, reducing biases in comparing "near-field" radial velocity and transiting exoplanets with "far-field" microlensing exoplanets. The age of the Bulge and its spread in metallicity further allows ExELS to better constrain both the variation of companion frequency with metallicity and statistically explore the strength of star-planet tides. We conservatively estimate that ExELS will detect ~4100 sub-stellar objects, with sensitivity typically reaching down to Neptune-mass planets. Of these, ~600 will be detectable in both Euclid's VIS (optical) channel and NISP H-band imager, with ~90% of detections being hot Jupiters. Likely scenarios predict a range of 2900-7000 for VIS and 400-1600 for H-band. Twice as many can be expected in VIS if the cadence can be increased to match the 20-minute H-band cadence. The separation of planets from brown dwarfs via Doppler boosting or ellipsoidal variability will be possible in a handful of cases. Radial velocity confirmation should be possible in some cases, using 30-metre-class telescopes. We expect secondary eclipses, and reflection and emission from planets to be detectable in up to ~100 systems in both VIS and NISP-H. Transits of ~500 planetary-radius companions will be characterised with two-colour photometry and ~40 with four-colour photometry (VIS,YJH), and the albedo of (and emission from) a large sample of hot Jupiters in the H-band can be explored statistically.Comment: 18 pages, 16 figures, accepted MNRA

    ExELS: an exoplanet legacy science proposal for the ESA Euclid mission. II. Hot exoplanets and sub-stellar systems

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    The Exoplanet Euclid Legacy Survey (ExELS) proposes to determine the frequency of cold exoplanets down to Earth mass from host separations of ~1 AU out to the free-floating regime by detecting microlensing events in Galactic Bulge. We show that ExELS can also detect large numbers of hot, transiting exoplanets in the same population. The combined microlensing+transit survey would allow the first self-consistent estimate of the relative frequencies of hot and cold sub-stellar companions, reducing biases in comparing "near-field" radial velocity and transiting exoplanets with "far-field" microlensing exoplanets. The age of the Bulge and its spread in metallicity further allows ExELS to better constrain both the variation of companion frequency with metallicity and statistically explore the strength of star-planet tides. We conservatively estimate that ExELS will detect ~4100 sub-stellar objects, with sensitivity typically reaching down to Neptune-mass planets. Of these, ~600 will be detectable in both Euclid's VIS (optical) channel and NISP H-band imager, with ~90% of detections being hot Jupiters. Likely scenarios predict a range of 2900-7000 for VIS and 400-1600 for H-band. Twice as many can be expected in VIS if the cadence can be increased to match the 20-minute H-band cadence. The separation of planets from brown dwarfs via Doppler boosting or ellipsoidal variability will be possible in a handful of cases. Radial velocity confirmation should be possible in some cases, using 30-metre-class telescopes. We expect secondary eclipses, and reflection and emission from planets to be detectable in up to ~100 systems in both VIS and NISP-H. Transits of ~500 planetary-radius companions will be characterised with two-colour photometry and ~40 with four-colour photometry (VIS,YJH), and the albedo of (and emission from) a large sample of hot Jupiters in the H-band can be explored statistically.Comment: 18 pages, 16 figures, accepted MNRA

    Microlensing Results Challenge the Core Accretion Runaway Growth Scenario for Gas Giants

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    We compare the planet-to-star mass-ratio distribution measured by gravitational microlensing to core accretion theory predictions from population synthesis models. The core accretion theory's runaway gas accretion process predicts a dearth of intermediate-mass giant planets that is not seen in the microlensing results. In particular, the models predict ∼10 ×\sim10\,\times fewer planets at mass ratios of 10−4≤q≤4×10−410^{-4} \leq q \leq 4 \times 10^{-4} than inferred from microlensing observations. This tension implies that gas giant formation may involve processes that have hitherto been overlooked by existing core accretion models or that the planet-forming environment varies considerably as a function of host-star mass. Variation from the usual assumptions for the protoplanetary disk viscosity and thickness could reduce this discrepancy, but such changes might conflict with microlensing results at larger or smaller mass ratios, or with other observations. The resolution of this discrepancy may have important implications for planetary habitability because it has been suggested that the runaway gas accretion process may have triggered the delivery of water to our inner solar system. So, an understanding of giant planet formation may help us to determine the occurrence rate of habitable planets.Comment: 12 pages, 2 figures, 1 table, accepted for publication in ApJ
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