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Title:
Gravitational microlensing by the galactic halo
Authors:
Paczynski, B.
Affiliation:
AA(Princeton University Observatory, NJ)
Publication:
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 304, May 1, 1986, p. 1-5. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
05/1986
Category:
Astrophysics
Origin:
STI
NASA/STI Keywords:
Gravitational Lenses, Halos, Milky Way Galaxy, Optical Thickness, Point Sources, Stellar Gravitation, Variable Stars
DOI:
10.1086/164140
Bibliographic Code:
1986ApJ...304....1P

Abstract

A simple model of microlensing by massive objects that might be present in the halo of the Galaxy is presented. It is shown that in any nearby galaxy one star out of a million is strongly microlensed by a 'dark' object located in the Galactic halo, if the halo is made up of objects more massive than about 10 to the -8th solar mass. Monitoring the brightness of a few million stars in the Magellanic Clouds over a time scale between two hours and two years may lead to a discovery of 'dark halo' objects between 10 to the -6th and 10 to the -2nd solar mass, or it may put strong upper limits on the number of such objects.

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