AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 120 Gravitational Lensing
Poster, Thursday, January 8, 2004, 9:20am-4:00pm, Hanover Hall

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[120.04] Are the MACHO Microlenses in Front of the Megallanic Clouds or Inside Them?

M.S. O'Brien, A.M. Hughes (Department of Astronomy, Yale University), K.C. Sahu (Space Telescope Science Institute)

The MACHO collaboration has reported nearly two dozen microlensing events toward the LMC and SMC. The time scales for these events depend on the mass, distance, and velocity of the lensing objects. It has been suggested that the observed lensing time scales are consistent with a population of white dwarfs in the galactic halo. Using realistic assumptions about the mass and velocity distributions, we compare the observed distribution of time scales with those expected from such a hypothetical population of halo white dwarfs. We also examine the possibility that the lensing objects are low-mass stars within the Magellanic clouds themselves. We find that this self-lensing hypothesis actually provides a better fit to the data.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.