Characterizing low-mass binaries from observation of long-timescale caustic-crossing gravitational microlensing events
Publication: Research - peer-review › Journal article – Annual report year: 2012
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⊙ and 0.39 M⊙ for MOA-2011-BLG-090 and 0.57 M⊙ and 0.17 M⊙ 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.
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- Binaries: general, Gravitational lensing: micro
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