A. Allan

University of Exeter, Exeter, England, United Kingdom

Are you A. Allan?

Claim your profile

Publications (70)222.6 Total impact

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The mass of the lenses giving rise to Galactic microlensing events can be constrained by measuring the relative lens-source proper motion and lens flux. The flux of the lens can be separated from that of the source, companions to the source, and unrelated nearby stars with high-resolution images taken when the lens and source are spatially resolved. For typical ground-based adaptive optics (AO) or space-based observations, this requires either inordinately long time baselines or high relative proper motions. We provide a list of microlensing events toward the Galactic Bulge with high relative lens-source proper motion that are therefore good candidates for constraining the lens mass with future high-resolution imaging. We investigate all events from 2004 -- 2013 that display detectable finite-source effects, a feature that allows us to measure the proper motion. In total, we present 20 events with mu >~ 8 mas/yr. Of these, 14 were culled from previous analyses while 6 are new, including OGLE-2004-BLG-368, MOA-2005-BLG-36, OGLE-2012-BLG-0211, OGLE-2012-BLG-0456, MOA-2012-BLG-532, and MOA-2013-BLG-029. In <~12 years the lens and source of each event will be sufficiently separated for ground-based telescopes with AO systems or space telescopes to resolve each component and further characterize the lens system. Furthermore, for the most recent events, comparison of the lens flux estimates from images taken immediately to those estimated from images taken when the lens and source are resolved can be used to empirically check the robustness of the single-epoch method currently being used to estimate lens masses for many events.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2014; 794(1):71. DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/794/1/71 · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Gravitational microlensing events produced by lenses composed of binary masses are important because they provide a major channel to determine physical parameters of lenses. In this work, we analyze the light curves of two binary-lens events OGLE-2006-BLG-277 and OGLE-2012-BLG-0031 for which the light curves exhibit strong deviations from standard models. From modeling considering various second-order effects, we find that the deviations are mostly explained by the effect of the lens orbital motion. We also find that lens parallax effects can mimic orbital effects to some extent. This implies that modeling light curves of binary-lens events not considering orbital effects can result in lens parallaxes that are substantially different from actual values and thus wrong determinations of physical lens parameters. This demonstrates the importance of routine consideration of orbital effects in interpreting light curves of binary-lens events. It is found that the lens of OGLE-2006-BLG-277 is a binary composed of a low-mass star and a brown dwarf companion.
    The Astrophysical Journal 06/2013; 778(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/778/2/134 · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics 11/2012; 547:A55. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201219765 · 4.48 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We report the extremely high magnification (A > 1000) binary microlensing event OGLE-2007-BLG-514. We obtained good coverage around the double peak structure in the light curve via follow-up observations from different observatories. The binary lens model that includes the effects of parallax (known orbital motion of the Earth) and orbital motion of the lens yields a binary lens mass ratio of q = 0.321 +/- 0.007 and a projected separation of s = 0.072 +/- 0.001$ in units of the Einstein radius. The parallax parameters allow us to determine the lens distance D_L = 3.11 +/- 0.39 kpc and total mass M_L=1.40 +/- 0.18 M_sun; this leads to the primary and secondary components having masses of M_1 = 1.06 +/- 0.13 M_sun and M_2 = 0.34 +/- 0.04 M_sun, respectively. The parallax model indicates that the binary lens system is likely constructed by the main sequence stars. On the other hand, we used a Bayesian analysis to estimate probability distributions by the model that includes the effects of xallarap (possible orbital motion of the source around a companion) and parallax (q = 0.270 +/- 0.005, s = 0.083 +/- 0.001). The primary component of the binary lens is relatively massive with M_1 = 0.9_{-0.3}^{+4.6} M_sun and it is at a distance of D_L = 2.6_{-0.9}^{+3.8} kpc. Given the secure mass ratio measurement, the companion mass is therefore M_2 = 0.2_{-0.1}^{+1.2} M_sun. The xallarap model implies that the primary lens is likely a stellar remnant, such as a white dwarf, a neutron star or a black hole.
    The Astrophysical Journal 07/2012; 752:82. DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/752/2/82 · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The microlensing event OGLE-2008-BLG-510 is characterised by an evident asymmetric shape of the peak, promptly detected by the ARTEMiS system in real time. The skewness of the light curve appears to be compatible both with binary-lens and binary-source models, including the possibility that the lens system consists of an M dwarf orbited by a brown dwarf. The detection of this microlensing anomaly and our analysis demonstrates that: 1) automated real-time detection of weak microlensing anomalies with immediate feedback is feasible, efficient, and sensitive, 2) rather common weak features intrinsically come with ambiguities that are not easily resolved from photometric light curves, 3) a modelling approach that finds all features of parameter space rather than just the `favourite model' is required, and 4) the data quality is most crucial, where systematics can be confused with real features, in particular small higher-order effects such as orbital motion signatures. It moreover becomes apparent that events with weak signatures are a silver mine for statistical studies, although not easy to exploit. Clues about the apparent paucity of both brown-dwarf companions and binary-source microlensing events might hide here.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 03/2012; 424(2). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21233.x · 5.23 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Microlensing can provide a useful tool to probe binary distributions down to low-mass limits of binary companions. In this paper, we analyze the light curves of 8 binary lensing events detected through the channel of high-magnification events during the seasons from 2007 to 2010. The perturbations, which are confined near the peak of the light curves, can be easily distinguished from the central perturbations caused by planets. However, the degeneracy between close and wide binary solutions cannot be resolved with a $3\sigma$ confidence level for 3 events, implying that the degeneracy would be an important obstacle in studying binary distributions. The dependence of the degeneracy on the lensing parameters is consistent with a theoretic prediction that the degeneracy becomes severe as the binary separation and the mass ratio deviate from the values of resonant caustics. The measured mass ratio of the event OGLE-2008-BLG-510/MOA-2008-BLG-369 is $q\sim 0.1$, making the companion of the lens a strong brown-dwarf candidate.
    The Astrophysical Journal 02/2012; 746:127. DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/746/2/127 · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present the analysis of the light curves of 9 high-magnification single-lens gravitational microlensing events with lenses passing over source stars, including OGLE-2004-BLG-254, MOA-2007-BLG-176, MOA-2007-BLG-233/OGLE-2007-BLG-302, MOA-2009-BLG-174, MOA-2010-BLG-436, MOA-2011-BLG-093, MOA-2011-BLG-274, OGLE-2011-BLG-0990/MOA-2011-BLG-300, and OGLE-2011-BLG-1101/MOA-2011-BLG-325. For all events, we measure the linear limb-darkening coefficients of the surface brightness profile of source stars by measuring the deviation of the light curves near the peak affected by the finite-source effect. For 7 events, we measure the Einstein radii and the lens-source relative proper motions. Among them, 5 events are found to have Einstein radii less than 0.2 mas, making the lenses candidates of very low-mass stars or brown dwarfs. For MOA-2011-BLG-274, especially, the small Einstein radius of $\theta_{\rm E}\sim 0.08$ mas combined with the short time scale of $t_{\rm E}\sim 2.7$ days suggests the possibility that the lens is a free-floating planet. For MOA-2009-BLG-174, we measure the lens parallax and thus uniquely determine the physical parameters of the lens. We also find that the measured lens mass of $\sim 0.84\ M_\odot$ is consistent with that of a star blended with the source, suggesting that the blend is likely to be the lens. Although we find planetary signals for none of events, we provide exclusion diagrams showing the confidence levels excluding the existence of a planet as a function of the separation and mass ratio.
    The Astrophysical Journal 11/2011; 751:41. DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/751/1/41 · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present the discovery and mass measurement of the cold, low-mass planet MOA-2009-BLG-266Lb, performed with the gravitational microlensing method. This planet has a mass of mp = 10.4 ± 1.7 M⊕ and orbits a star of mass M sstarf = 0.56 ± 0.09 Msun at a semimajor axis of a = 3.2{+1.9\atop -0.5} AU and an orbital period of P = 7.6{+7.7\atop -1.5} yrs. The planet and host star mass measurements are enabled by the measurement of the microlensing parallax effect, which is seen primarily in the light curve distortion due to the orbital motion of the Earth. But the analysis also demonstrates the capability to measure the microlensing parallax with the Deep Impact (or EPOXI) spacecraft in a heliocentric orbit. The planet mass and orbital distance are similar to predictions for the critical core mass needed to accrete a substantial gaseous envelope, and thus may indicate that this planet is a "failed" gas giant. This and future microlensing detections will test planet formation theory predictions regarding the prevalence and masses of such planets.
    The Astrophysical Journal 11/2011; 741:22. DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/741/1/22 · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • Article: 1
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: VOEvent defines the content and meaning of a standard information packet for representing, transmitting, publishing and archiving information about a transient celestial event, with the implication that timely follow-up is of interest. The objective is to motivate the observation of targets-of-opportunity, to drive robotic telescopes, to trigger archive searches, and to alert the community. VOEvent is focused on the reporting of photon events, but events mediated by disparate phenomena such as neutrinos, gravitational waves, and solar or atmospheric particle bursts may also be reported. Structured data is used, rather than natural language, so that automated systems can effectively interpret VOEvent packets. Each packet may contain zero or more of the "who, what, where, when & how" of a detected event, but in addition, may contain a hypothesis (a "why") regarding the nature of the underlying physical cause of the event. Citations to previous VOEvents may be used to place each event in its correct context. Proper curation is encouraged throughout each event's life cycle from discovery through successive follow-ups. VOEvent packets gain persistent identifiers and are typically stored in databases reached via registries. VOEvent packets may therefore reference other packets in various ways. Packets are encouraged to be small and to be processed quickly. This standard does not define a transport layer or the design of clients, repositories, publishers or brokers; it does not cover policy issues such as who can publish, who can build a registry of events, who can subscribe to a particular registry, nor the intellectual property issues.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Microlensing can provide a useful tool to probe binary distributions down to low-mass limits of binary companions. In this paper, we analyze the light curves of 8 binary lensing events detected through the channel of high-magnification events during the seasons from 2007 to 2010. The perturbations, which are confined near the peak of the light curves, can be easily distinguished from the central perturbations caused by planets. However, the degeneracy between close and wide binary solutions cannot be resolved with a $3\sigma$ confidence level for 3 events, implying that the degeneracy would be an important obstacle in studying binary distributions. The dependence of the degeneracy on the lensing parameters is consistent with a theoretic prediction that the degeneracy becomes severe as the binary separation and the mass ratio deviate from the values of resonant caustics. The measured mass ratio of the event OGLE-2008-BLG-510/MOA-2008-BLG-369 is $q\sim 0.1$, making the companion of the lens a strong brown-dwarf candidate.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present the discovery and mass measurement of the cold, low-mass planet MOA-2009-BLG-266Lb, made with the gravitational microlensing method. This planet has a mass of m_p = 10.4 +- 1.7 Earth masses and orbits a star of mass M_* = 0.56 +- 0.09 Solar masses at a semi-major axis of a = 3.2 (+1.9 -0.5) AU and an orbital period of P = 7.6 (+7.7 -1.5} yrs. The planet and host star mass measurements are enabled by the measurement of the microlensing parallax effect, which is seen primarily in the light curve distortion due to the orbital motion of the Earth. But, the analysis also demonstrates the capability to measure microlensing parallax with the Deep Impact (or EPOXI) spacecraft in a Heliocentric orbit. The planet mass and orbital distance are similar to predictions for the critical core mass needed to accrete a substantial gaseous envelope, and thus may indicate that this planet is a "failed" gas giant. This and future microlensing detections will test planet formation theory predictions regarding the prevalence and masses of such planets.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aims: We report the discovery of a planet with a high planet-to-star mass ratio in the microlensing event MOA-2009-BLG-387, which exhibited pronounced deviations over a 12-day interval, one of the longest for any planetary event. The host is an M dwarf, with a mass in the range 0.07 M⊙ < Mhost < 0.49 M⊙ at 90% confidence. The planet-star mass ratio q = 0.0132 ± 0.003 has been measured extremely well, so at the best-estimated host mass, the planet mass is mp = 2.6 Jupiter masses for the median host mass, M = 0.19 M⊙. Methods: The host mass is determined from two "higher order" microlensing parameters. One of these, the angular Einstein radius θE = 0.31 ± 0.03 mas has been accurately measured, but the other (the microlens parallax πE, which is due to the Earth's orbital motion) is highly degenerate with the orbital motion of the planet. We statistically resolve the degeneracy between Earth and planet orbital effects by imposing priors from a Galactic model that specifies the positions and velocities of lenses and sources and a Kepler model of orbits. Results: The 90% confidence intervals for the distance, semi-major axis, and period of the planet are 3.5 kpc < DL < 7.9 kpc, 1.1 AU < a < 2.7 AU, and 3.8 yr < P < 7.6 yr, respectively. Photometric data is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/529/A102
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 05/2011; 529:102. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201016111 · 4.48 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present the analysis result of a gravitational binary-lensing event OGLE-2005-BLG-018. The light curve of the event is characterized by 2 adjacent strong features and a single weak feature separated from the strong features. The light curve exhibits noticeable deviations from the best-fit model based on standard binary parameters. To explain the deviation, we test models including various higher-order effects of the motions of the observer, source, and lens. From this, we find that it is necessary to account for the orbital motion of the lens in describing the light curve. From modeling of the light curve considering the parallax effect and Keplerian orbital motion, we are able to measure not only the physical parameters but also a complete orbital solution of the lens system. It is found that the event was produced by a binary lens located in the Galactic bulge with a distance $6.7\pm 0.3$ kpc from the Earth. The individual lens components with masses $0.9\pm 0.3\ M_\odot$ and $0.5\pm 0.1\ M_\odot$ are separated with a semi-major axis of $a=2.5 \pm 1.0$ AU and orbiting each other with a period $P=3.1 \pm 1.3$ yr. The event demonstrates that it is possible to extract detailed information about binary lens systems from well-resolved lensing light curves.
    The Astrophysical Journal 04/2011; 735(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/735/2/85 · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present the first example of binary microlensing for which the parameter measurements can be verified (or contradicted) by future Doppler observations. This test is made possible by a confluence of two relatively unusual circumstances. First, the binary lens is bright enough (I=15.6) to permit Doppler measurements. Second, we measure not only the usual 7 binary-lens parameters, but also the 'microlens parallax' (which yields the binary mass) and two components of the instantaneous orbital velocity. Thus we measure, effectively, 6 'Kepler+1' parameters (two instantaneous positions, two instantaneous velocities, the binary total mass, and the mass ratio). Since Doppler observations of the brighter binary component determine 5 Kepler parameters (period, velocity amplitude, eccentricity, phase, and position of periapsis), while the same spectroscopy yields the mass of the primary, the combined Doppler + microlensing observations would be overconstrained by 6 + (5 + 1) - (7 + 1) = 4 degrees of freedom. This makes possible an extremely strong test of the microlensing solution. We also introduce a uniform microlensing notation for single and binary lenses, we define conventions, summarize all known microlensing degeneracies and extend a set of parameters to describe full Keplerian motion of the binary lenses.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We report the result of the analysis of a dramatic repeating gravitational microlensing event OGLE-2009-BLG-092/MOA-2009-BLG-137, for which the light curve is characterized by two distinct peaks with perturbations near both peaks. We find that the event is produced by the passage of the source trajectory over the central perturbation regions associated with the individual components of a wide-separation binary. The event is special in the sense that the second perturbation, occurring ~100 days after the first, was predicted by the real-time analysis conducted after the first peak, demonstrating that real-time modeling can be routinely done for binary and planetary events. With the data obtained from follow-up observations covering the second peak, we are able to uniquely determine the physical parameters of the lens system. We find that the event occurred on a bulge clump giant and it was produced by a binary lens composed of a K- and M-type main-sequence stars. The estimated masses of the binary components are M 1 = 0.69 ± 0.11 M sun and M 2 = 0.36 ± 0.06 M sun, respectively, and they are separated in projection by r bottom = 10.9 ± 1.3 AU. The measured distance to the lens is D L = 5.6 ± 0.7 kpc. We also detect the orbital motion of the lens system.
    The Astrophysical Journal 11/2010; 723:81-88. DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/723/1/81 · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We report the gravitational microlensing discovery of a sub-Saturn mass planet, MOA-2009-BLG-319Lb, orbiting a K or M-dwarf star in the inner Galactic disk or Galactic bulge. The high cadence observations of the MOA-II survey discovered this microlensing event and enabled its identification as a high magnification event approximately 24 hours prior to peak magnification. As a result, the planetary signal at the peak of this light curve was observed by 20 different telescopes, which is the largest number of telescopes to contribute to a planetary discovery to date. The microlensing model for this event indicates a planet-star mass ratio of q = (3.95 +/- 0.02) x 10^{-4} and a separation of d = 0.97537 +/- 0.00007 in units of the Einstein radius. A Bayesian analysis based on the measured Einstein radius crossing time, t_E, and angular Einstein radius, \theta_E, along with a standard Galactic model indicates a host star mass of M_L = 0.38^{+0.34}_{-0.18} M_{Sun} and a planet mass of M_p = 50^{+44}_{-24} M_{Earth}, which is half the mass of Saturn. This analysis also yields a planet-star three-dimensional separation of a = 2.4^{+1.2}_{-0.6} AU and a distance to the planetary system of D_L = 6.1^{+1.1}_{-1.2} kpc. This separation is ~ 2 times the distance of the snow line, a separation similar to most of the other planets discovered by microlensing.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2010; 728:120. · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We report the result of the analysis of a dramatic repeating gravitational microlensing event OGLE-2009-BLG-092/MOA-2009-BLG-137, for which the light curve is characterized by two distinct peaks with perturbations near both peaks. We find that the event is produced by the passage of the source trajectory over the central perturbation regions associated with the individual components of a wide-separation binary. The event is special in the sense that the second perturbation, occurring $\sim 100$ days after the first, was predicted by the real-time analysis conducted after the first peak, demonstrating that real-time modeling can be routinely done for binary and planetary events. With the data obtained from follow-up observations covering the second peak, we are able to uniquely determine the physical parameters of the lens system. We find that the event occurred on a bulge clump giant and it was produced by a binary lens composed of a K and M-type main-sequence stars. The estimated masses of the binary components are $M_1=0.69 \pm 0.11\ M_\odot$ and $M_2=0.36\pm 0.06\ M_\odot$, respectively, and they are separated in projection by $r_\perp=10.9\pm 1.3\ {\rm AU}$. The measured distance to the lens is $D_{\rm L}=5.6 \pm 0.7\ {\rm kpc}$. We also detect the orbital motion of the lens system. Comment: 18 pages, 5 figures, 1 table
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present the first measurement of the planet frequency beyond the "snow line," for the planet-to-star mass-ratio interval –4.5 < log q < –2, corresponding to the range of ice giants to gas giants. We find at the mean mass ratio q = 5 × 10–4 with no discernible deviation from a flat (Öpik's law) distribution in log-projected separation s. The determination is based on a sample of six planets detected from intensive follow-up observations of high-magnification (A>200) microlensing events during 2005-2008. The sampled host stars have a typical mass M host ~ 0.5 M ☉, and detection is sensitive to planets over a range of planet-star-projected separations (s –1 max R E, s max R E), where R E ~ 3.5 AU(M host/M ☉)1/2 is the Einstein radius and s max ~ (q/10–4.3)1/3. This corresponds to deprojected separations roughly three times the "snow line." We show that the observations of these events have the properties of a "controlled experiment," which is what permits measurement of absolute planet frequency. High-magnification events are rare, but the survey-plus-follow-up high-magnification channel is very efficient: half of all high-mag events were successfully monitored and half of these yielded planet detections. The extremely high sensitivity of high-mag events leads to a policy of monitoring them as intensively as possible, independent of whether they show evidence of planets. This is what allows us to construct an unbiased sample. The planet frequency derived from microlensing is a factor 8 larger than the one derived from Doppler studies at factor ~25 smaller star-planet separations (i.e., periods 2-2000 days). However, this difference is basically consistent with the gradient derived from Doppler studies (when extrapolated well beyond the separations from which it is measured). This suggests a universal separation distribution across 2 dex in planet-star separation, 2 dex in mass ratio, and 0.3 dex in host mass. Finally, if all planetary systems were "analogs" of the solar system, our sample would have yielded 18.2 planets (11.4 "Jupiters," 6.4 "Saturns," 0.3 "Uranuses," 0.2 "Neptunes") including 6.1 systems with two or more planet detections. This compares to six planets including one two-planet system in the actual sample, implying a first estimate of 1/6 for the frequency of solar-like systems.
    The Astrophysical Journal 08/2010; 720(2):1073. DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/720/2/1073 · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Gravitational microlensing is not only a successful tool for discovering distant exoplanets, but it also enables characterization of the lens and source stars involved in the lensing event. In high magnification events, the lens caustic may cross over the source disk, which allows a determination of the angular size of the source and additionally a measurement of its limb darkening. When such extended-source effects appear close to maximum magnification, the resulting light curve differs from the characteristic Paczynski point-source curve. The exact shape of the light curve close to the peak depends on the limb darkening of the source. Dense photometric coverage permits measurement of the respective limb-darkening coefficients. In the case of microlensing event OGLE 2008-BLG-290, the K giant source star reached a peak magnification of about 100. Thirteen different telescopes have covered this event in eight different photometric bands. Subsequent light-curve analysis yielded measurements of linear limb-darkening coefficients of the source in six photometric bands. The best-measured coefficients lead to an estimate of the source effective temperature of about 4700 +100-200 K. However, the photometric estimate from colour-magnitude diagrams favours a cooler temperature of 4200 +-100 K. As the limb-darkening measurements, at least in the CTIO/SMARTS2 V and I bands, are among the most accurate obtained, the above disagreement needs to be understood. A solution is proposed, which may apply to previous events where such a discrepancy also appeared.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 05/2010; 518. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201014053 · 4.48 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

726 Citations
222.60 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2002–2011
    • University of Exeter
      Exeter, England, United Kingdom
  • 2006
    • Universitätsmedizin Göttingen
      Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Germany
  • 1999
    • Keele University
      • Department of Physics and Astrophysics
      Newcastle-under-Lyme, England, United Kingdom