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Frank Grundahl

Characterizing Low-mass Binaries from Observation of Long-timescale Caustic-crossing Gravitational Microlensing Events

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • The OGLE Collaboration
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  • The MOA Collaboration
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  • The RoboNet Collaboration
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  • The MiNDSTEp Consortium
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  • The μFUN Collaboration
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  • The PLANET Collaboration
Despite the astrophysical importance of binary star systems, detections are limited to those located in small ranges of separations, distances, and masses and thus it is necessary to use a variety of observational techniques for a complete view of stellar multiplicity across a broad range of physical parameters. In this paper, we report the detections and measurements of two binaries discovered from observations of microlensing events MOA-2011-BLG-090 and OGLE-2011-BLG-0417. Determinations of the binary masses are possible by simultaneously measuring the Einstein radius and the lens parallax. The measured masses of the binary components are 0.43 M &sun; and 0.39 M &sun; for MOA-2011-BLG-090 and 0.57 M &sun; and 0.17 M &sun; for OGLE-2011-BLG-0417 and thus both lens components of MOA-2011-BLG-090 and one component of OGLE-2011-BLG-0417 are M dwarfs, demonstrating the usefulness of microlensing in detecting binaries composed of low-mass components. From modeling of the light curves considering full Keplerian motion of the lens, we also measure the orbital parameters of the binaries. The blended light of OGLE-2011-BLG-0417 comes very likely from the lens itself, making it possible to check the microlensing orbital solution by follow-up radial-velocity observation. For both events, the caustic-crossing parts of the light curves, which are critical for determining the physical lens parameters, were resolved by high-cadence survey observations and thus it is expected that the number of microlensing binaries with measured physical parameters will increase in the future.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume755
Issue2
Pages (from-to)91
Number of pages10
ISSN0004-637X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012

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