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Publications (5)25.12 Total impact

  • The Astrophysical Journal 02/2013; 763:141. · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    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
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    ABSTRACT: We report the detection of sub-Saturn-mass planet MOA-2008-BLG-310Lb and argue that it is the strongest candidate yet for a bulge planet. Deviations from the single-lens fit are smoothed out by finite-source effects and so are not immediately apparent from the light curve. Nevertheless, we find that a model in which the primary has a planetary companion is favored over the single-lens model by \Delta\chi^2 ~ 880 for an additional three degrees of freedom. Detailed analysis yields a planet/star mass ratio q=(3.3+/-0.3)x10^{-4} and an angular separation between the planet and star within 10% of the angular Einstein radius. The small angular Einstein radius, \theta_E=0.155+/-0.011 mas, constrains the distance to the lens to be D_L>6.0 kpc if it is a star (M_L>0.08 M_sun). This is the only microlensing exoplanet host discovered so far that must be in the bulge if it is a star. By analyzing VLT NACO adaptive optics images taken near the baseline of the event, we detect additional blended light that is aligned to within 130 mas of the lensed source. This light is plausibly from the lens, but could also be due to a companion to lens or source, or possibly an unassociated star. If the blended light is indeed due to the lens, we can estimate the mass of the lens, M_L=0.67+/-0.14 M_sun, planet mass m=74+/-17 M_Earth, and projected separation between the planet and host, 1.25+/-0.10 AU, putting it right on the "snow line". If not, then the planet has lower mass, is closer to its host and is colder. To distinguish among these possibilities on reasonable timescales would require obtaining Hubble Space Telescope images almost immediately, before the source-lens relative motion of \mu=5 mas yr^{-1} causes them to separate substantially. Comment: 36 pages, 8 figures, Submitted to ApJ
    08/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: We search for signatures of planets in 43 intensively monitored microlensing events that were observed between 1995 and 1999. Planets would be expected to cause a short duration (~1 day) deviation on the smooth, symmetric light curve produced by a single-lens. We find no such anomalies and infer that less than 1/3 of the ~0.3 M_sun stars that typically comprise the lens population have Jupiter-mass companions with semi-major axes in the range of 1.5 AU <a < 4 AU. Since orbital periods of planets at these radii are 3-15 years, the outer portion of this region is currently difficult to probe with any other technique. Comment: 4 pages including 2 figures. Significantly revised to match published version. Primary conclusions unchanged. To appear in ApJL, v556
    The Astrophysical Journal 08/2000; · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PLANET (the Probing Lensing Anomalies NETwork) is a worldwide collaboration of astronomers whose primary goal is to monitor microlensing events densely and precisely in order to detect and study anomalies that contain information about Galactic lenses and sources that would otherwise be unobtainable. The results of PLANET's highly successful first year of operation are presented here. Details of the observational setup, observing procedures, and data reduction procedures used to track the progress in real time at the three participating observing sites in 1995 are discussed. The ability to follow several events simultaneously with a median sampling interval of 1.6 hours and a photometric precision of better than 0.10 mag even at I=19 has been clearly demonstrated. During PLANET's 1995 pilot campaign, 10 microlensing events were monitored; the binary nature of one of these, MACHO 95-BLG-12 was recognized by PLANET on the mountain. Another event, OGLE 95-BLG-04, displayed chromaticity that may betray the presence of blending with unresolved stars projected onto the same resolution element. Although lasting only about a month, the campaign may allow constraints to be placed on the number of planets with mass ratios to the parent star of 0.01 or greater. Comment: Accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal (vol 509). 41 LaTeX pages, including 12 figures and 4 tables. Data available from http://www.astro.rug.nl/~planet
    The Astrophysical Journal 07/1998; · 6.28 Impact Factor