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

[Previous] | [Session 120] | [Next]

[120.02] Binary Sources and Binary Lenses in Microlensing Surveys of MACHOs

N. Petrovic (Columbia University), R. Di Stefano (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Tufts University), R. Perna (Princeton University)

Microlensing is an intriguing phenomenon which may yield information about the nature of dark matter. Early observational searches identified hundreds of microlensing light curves. The data set consisted mainly of point-lens light curves and binary-lens events in which the light curves exhibit caustic crossings. Very few mildly perturbed light curves were observed, although this latter type should constitute the majority of binary lens light curves. Di Stefano (2001) has suggested that the failure to take binary effects into account may have influenced the estimates of optical depth derived from microlensing surveys. The work we report on here is the first step in a systematic analysis of binary lenses and binary sources and their impact on the results of statistical microlensing surveys. In order to asses the problem, we ran Monte-Carlo simulations of various microlensing events involving binary stars (both as the source and as the lens). For each event with peak magnification > 1.34, we sampled the characteristic light curve and recorded the chi squared value when fitting the curve with a point lens model; we used this to asses the perturbation rate. We also recorded the parameters of each system, the maximum magnification, the times at which each light curve started and ended and the number of caustic crossings. We found that both the binarity of sources and the binarity of lenses increased the lensing rate. While the binarity of sources had a negligible effect on the perturbation rates of the light curves, the binarity of lenses had a notable effect. The combination of binary sources and binary lenses produces an observable rate of interesting events exhibiting multiple "repeats" in which the magnification rises above and dips below 1.34 several times. Finally, the binarity of lenses impacted both the durations of the events and the maximum magnifications.

This work was supported in part by the SAO intern program (NSF grant AST-9731923) and NASA contracts NAS8-39073 and NAS8-38248 (CXC).

[Previous] | [Session 120] | [Next]

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