University Of Tasmania
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A spectroscopic and photometric study of gravitational microlensing events

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posted on 2023-05-26, 18:22 authored by Kane, Stephen Robert
Gravitational microlensing has generated a great deal of scientific interest over recent years. This has been largely due to the realization of its wide-reaching applications, such as the search for dark matter, the detection of planets, and the study of Galactic structure. A significant observational advance has been that most microlensing events can be identified in real-time while the source is still being lensed. More than 400 microlensing events have now been detected towards the Galactic bulge and Magellanic Clouds by the microlensing survey teams EROS, MACHO, OGLE, DUO, and MOA. The real-time detection of these events allows detailed follow-up observations with much denser sampling, both photometrically and spectroscopically. The research undertaken in this project on photometric studies of gravitational microlensing events has been performed as a member of the PLANET (Probing Lensing Anomalies NETwork) collaboration. This is a worldwide collaboration formed in the early part of 1995 to study microlensing anomalies - departures from an achromatic point source, point lens light curve - through rapidly-sampled, multi-band, photometry. PLANET has demonstrated that it can achieve 1% photometry under ideal circumstances, making PLANET observations sensitive to detection of Earth-mass planets which require characterization of 1%-2% deviations from a standard microlensing light curve. The photometric work in this project involved over 5 months using the 1.0 m telescope at Canopus Observatory in Australia, and 3 separate observing runs using the 0.9 m telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in Chile. Methods were developed to reduce the vast amount of photometric data using the image analysis software MIDAS and the photometry package DoPHOT. Modelling routines were then written to analyse a selection of the resulting light curves in order to detect any deviation from an achromatic point source - point lens light curve. The photometric results presented in this thesis are from observations of 34 microlensing events over three consecutive bulge seasons. These results are presented along with a discussion of the observations and the data reduction procedures. The colour-magnitude diagrams indicate that the microlensed sources are main sequence and red clump giant stars. Most of the events appear to exhibit standard Paczyriski point source - point lens curves whilst a few deviate significantly from the standard model. Various microlensing models that include anomalous structure are fitted to a selection of the observed events resulting in the discovery of a possible binary source event. These fitted events are used to estimate the sensitivity to extra-solar planets and it is found that the sampling rate for these events was insufficient by about a factor of 7.5 for detecting a Jupiter-mass planet. This result assumes that deviations of 5% can be reliably detected. If microlensing is caused predominantly by bulge stars, as has been suggested by Kiraga and Paczyliski [54], the lensed stars should have larger extinction than other observed stars since they would preferentially be located at the far side of the Galactic bulge. Hence, spectroscopy of Galactic microlensing events may be used as a tool for studying the kinematics and extinction effects in the Galactic bulge. The spectroscopic work in this project involved using Kurucz model spectra to create theoretical extinction effects for various spectral classes towards the Galactic centre. These extinction effects are then used to interpret spectroscopic data taken with the 3.6 m ESO telescope. These data consist of a sample of microlensed stars towards the Galactic bulge and are used to derive the extinction offsets of the lensed source with respect to the average population and a measurement of the fraction of bulge-bulge lensing is made. Hence, it is shown statistically that the microlensed sources are generally located on the far side of the Galactic bulge. Measurements of the radial velocities of these sources are used to determine the kinematic properties of the far side of the Galactic bulge.


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Copyright 2000 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 2000. Includes bibliographical references

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