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Microlensing by the galactic bar
Zhao, Hongsheng; Spergel, David N.; Rich, R. Michael
AA(Columbia University, New York, NY, US), AB(Columbia University, New York, NY, US), AC(Columbia University, New York, NY, US)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 2 - Letters (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 440, no. 1, p. L13-L16 (ApJL Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Astronomical Models, Dark Matter, Galactic Bulge, Gravitational Lenses, Brightness Distribution, Brown Dwarf Stars, Cosmic Background Explorer Satellite, Monte Carlo Method, Probability Distribution Functions
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We compute the optical depth and duration distribution of microlensing events towrd Baade's window in a model composed of a Galactic disk and a bar. The bar model is a self-consistent dynamical model built out of individual orbits that has been populated to be consistent with the COBE maps of the Galaxy and kinematic observations of the Galactic bulge. We find that most of the lenses are in the bulge with a line-of-sight distance 6.25 kpc (adopting R0 = 8 kpc). The microlensing optical depth of a 2 x 1010 solar mass bar plus a truncated disk is (2.2 +/- 0.45) x 10-6, consistent with the large optical depth (3.2 +/- 1.2) x 10-6 found by Udalski et al. (1994). This model optical depth is enhanced over the predictions of axisymmetric models by Kiraga & Paczynski (1994) by slightly more than a factor of 2, since the bar is elongated along the line of sight. The large Einstein radius and small transverse velocity dispersion also predict a longer event duration in the self-consistent bar model than in the Kiraga-Paczynski model. The event rate and duration distribution also depend on the lower mass cutoff of the lens mass function. With a 0.1 solar mass cutoff, five to seven events (depending on the contribution of disk lenses) with a logarithmic mean duration of 20 days are expected for the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE) according to our model, while Udalski et al. (1994) observed nine events with durations from 8 to 62 days. On the other hand, if most of the lenses are brown dwarfs, our model predicts too many short-duration events. A Kolmogorov-Smirnov test finds only 7% probability for the model with 0.01 solar mass cutoff to be consistent with current data.

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