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Session 83 - Gravitational Lensing.
Display session, Friday, January 09
Interesting constraints on the spatial distribution of compact dark matter in our Galaxy can be obtained in a few years by monitoring Galactic globular clusters for microlensing. Globular clusters are the only dense fields of stars distributed throughout the Galaxy's halo, and hence are uniquely suited to probe its structure. The microlensing optical depths towards different clusters include differing contributions from the Galaxy's thin disk, thick disk, bulge, and halo. Although measuring individual optical depths to all the clusters would be a daunting task, we show that interesting Galactic structure information can be extracted with as few as 40 -- 120 events in total for the entire globular cluster system. This is observable with 2 -- 5 years of monitoring. Globular cluster microlensing is particularly sensitive to the core radius of the halo mass distribution and to the scale length, surface mass density, and radial scale height variations of the thin disk.
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