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See detailThe First Post-Kepler Brightness Dips of KIC 8462852
Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Alonso, Roi; Ammerman, Alex et al

E-print/Working paper (2018)

We present a photometric detection of the first brightness dips of the unique variable star KIC 8462852 since the end of the Kepler space mission in 2013 May. Our regular photometric surveillance started ... [more ▼]

We present a photometric detection of the first brightness dips of the unique variable star KIC 8462852 since the end of the Kepler space mission in 2013 May. Our regular photometric surveillance started in October 2015, and a sequence of dipping began in 2017 May continuing on through the end of 2017, when the star was no longer visible from Earth. We distinguish four main 1-2.5% dips, named "Elsie," "Celeste," "Skara Brae," and "Angkor", which persist on timescales from several days to weeks. Our main results so far are: (i) there are no apparent changes of the stellar spectrum or polarization during the dips; (ii) the multiband photometry of the dips shows differential reddening favoring non-grey extinction. Therefore, our data are inconsistent with dip models that invoke optically thick material, but rather they are in-line with predictions for an occulter consisting primarily of ordinary dust, where much of the material must be optically thin with a size scale <<1um, and may also be consistent with models invoking variations intrinsic to the stellar photosphere. Notably, our data do not place constraints on the color of the longer-term "secular" dimming, which may be caused by independent processes, or probe different regimes of a single process. [less ▲]

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See detailFaint-source-star planetary microlensing: The discovery of the cold gas-giant planet OGLE-2014-BLG-0676Lb
Rattenbury, N. J.; Bennett, D. P.; Sumi, T. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2017), 466(3), 2710-2717

We report the discovery of a planet - OGLE-2014-BLG-0676Lb- via gravitational microlensing. Observations for the lensing event were made by the following groups: Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of a planet - OGLE-2014-BLG-0676Lb- via gravitational microlensing. Observations for the lensing event were made by the following groups: Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics; Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment; Wise Observatory; RoboNET/Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope; Microlensing Network for the Detection of Small Terrestrial Exoplanets; and μ-FUN. All analyses of the light-curve data favour a lens system comprising a planetary mass orbiting a host star. The most-favoured binary lens model has a mass ratio between the two lens masses of (4.78 ± 0.13) × 10-3. Subject to some important assumptions, a Bayesian probability density analysis suggests the lens system comprises a 3.09-1.12+1.02 MJ planet orbiting a 0.62-0.22+0.20 M⊙ host star at a deprojected orbital separation of 4.40-1.46+2.16 au. The distance to the lens system is 2.22-0.83+0.96 kpc. Planet OGLE- 2014-BLG-0676Lb provides additional data to the growing number of cool planets discovered using gravitational microlensing against which planetary formation theories may be tested. Most of the light in the baseline of this event is expected to come from the lens and thus high-resolution imaging observations could confirm our planetary model interpretation. © 2016 The Authors. [less ▲]

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See detailSPITZER PARALLAX of OGLE-2015-BLG-0966: A COLD NEPTUNE in the GALACTIC DISK
Street, R. A.; Udalski, A.; Novati, S. C. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2016), 819(2),

We report the detection of a cold Neptune mplanet = 21 ± 2 M⊕ orbiting a 0.38 Mo M dwarf lying 2.5-3.3 kpc toward the Galactic center as part of a campaign combining ground-based and Spitzer observations ... [more ▼]

We report the detection of a cold Neptune mplanet = 21 ± 2 M⊕ orbiting a 0.38 Mo M dwarf lying 2.5-3.3 kpc toward the Galactic center as part of a campaign combining ground-based and Spitzer observations to measure the Galactic distribution of planets. This is the first time that the complex real-time protocols described by Yee et al., which aim to maximize planet sensitivity while maintaining sample integrity, have been carried out in practice. Multiple survey and follow up teams successfully combined their efforts within the framework of these protocols to detect this planet. This is the second planet in the Spitzer Galactic distribution sample. Both are in the near to mid-disk and are clearly not in the Galactic bulge. © 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailExploring the crowded central region of ten Galactic globular clusters using EMCCDs: Variable star searches and new discoveries
Figuera Jaimes, R.; Bramich, D. M.; Skottfelt, J. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 588

Aims. We aim to obtain time-series photometry of the very crowded central regions of Galactic globular clusters; to obtain better angular resolution thanhas been previously achieved with conventional CCDs ... [more ▼]

Aims. We aim to obtain time-series photometry of the very crowded central regions of Galactic globular clusters; to obtain better angular resolution thanhas been previously achieved with conventional CCDs on ground-based telescopes; and to complete, or improve, the census of the variable star population in those stellar systems. Methods. Images were taken using the Danish 1.54-m Telescope at the ESO observatory at La Silla in Chile. The telescope was equipped with an electron-multiplying CCD, and the short-exposure-time images obtained (ten images per second) were stacked using the shift-and-add technique to produce the normal-exposure-time images (minutes). Photometry was performed via difference image analysis. Automatic detection of variable stars in the field was attempted. Results. The light curves of 12 541 stars in the cores of ten globular clusters were statistically analysed to automatically extract the variable stars. We obtained light curves for 31 previously known variable stars (3 long-period irregular, 2 semi-regular, 20 RR Lyrae, 1 SX Phoenicis, 3 cataclysmic variables, 1 W Ursae Majoris-type and 1 unclassified) and we discovered 30 new variables (16 long-period irregular, 7 semi-regular, 4 RR Lyrae, 1 SX Phoenicis and 2 unclassified). Fluxes and photometric measurements for these stars are available in electronic form through the Strasbourg astronomical Data Center. © ESO, 2016. [less ▲]

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See detailTHE SPITZER MICROLENSING PROGRAM AS A PROBE for GLOBULAR CLUSTER PLANETS: ANALYSIS of OGLE-2015-BLG-0448
Poleski, R.; Zhu, W.; Christie, G. W. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2016), 823(1),

The microlensing event OGLE-2015-BLG-0448 was observed by Spitzer and lay within the tidal radius of the globular cluster NGC 6558. The event had moderate magnification and was intensively observed, hence ... [more ▼]

The microlensing event OGLE-2015-BLG-0448 was observed by Spitzer and lay within the tidal radius of the globular cluster NGC 6558. The event had moderate magnification and was intensively observed, hence it had the potential to probe the distribution of planets in globular clusters. We measure the proper motion of NGC 6558 ((μcl (N, E) = +0.36 ± 0.10, +1.42 ± 0.10 mas yr-1) as well as the source and show that the lens is not a cluster member. Even though this particular event does not probe the distribution of planets in globular clusters, other potential cluster lens events can be verified using our methodology. Additionally, we find that microlens parallax measured using Optical Gravitational Lens Experiment (OGLE) photometry is consistent with the value found based on the light curve displacement between the Earth and Spitzer. © 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailMASS MEASUREMENTS of ISOLATED OBJECTS from SPACE-BASED MICROLENSING
Zhu, W.; Calchi Novati, S.; Gould, A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2016), 825(1),

We report on the mass and distance measurements of two single-lens events from the 2015 Spitzer microlensing campaign. With both finite-source effect and microlens parallax measurements, we find that the ... [more ▼]

We report on the mass and distance measurements of two single-lens events from the 2015 Spitzer microlensing campaign. With both finite-source effect and microlens parallax measurements, we find that the lens of OGLE-2015-BLG-1268 is very likely a brown dwarf (BD). Assuming that the source star lies behind the same amount of dust as the Bulge red clump, we find the lens is a 45 ±7 BD at 5.9 ±1.0 kpc. The lens of of the second event, OGLE-2015-BLG-0763, is a 0.50 ±0.04 star at 6.9 ±1.0 kpc. We show that the probability to definitively measure the mass of isolated microlenses is dramatically increased once simultaneous ground- and space-based observations are conducted. © 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailMany new variable stars discovered in the core of the globular cluster NGC 6715 (M 54) with EMCCD observations
Figuera Jaimes, R.; Bramich, D. M.; Kains, N. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 592

Context. We show the benefits of using electron-multiplying CCDs and the shift-and-add technique as a tool to minimise the effects of atmospheric turbulence, such as blending between stars in crowded ... [more ▼]

Context. We show the benefits of using electron-multiplying CCDs and the shift-and-add technique as a tool to minimise the effects of atmospheric turbulence, such as blending between stars in crowded fields, and to avoid saturated stars in the fields observed. We intend to complete, or improve on, the census of the variable star population in globular cluster NGC 6715. Aims. Our aim is to obtain high-precision time-series photometry of the very crowded central region of this stellar system via the collection of better angular resolution images than has been previously achieved with conventional CCDs on ground-based telescopes. Methods. Observations were carried out using the Danish 1.54-m telescope at the ESO La Silla observatory in Chile. The telescope is equipped with an electron-multiplying CCD that enables short-exposure-time images to be obtained (ten images per second) that were stacked using the shift-and-add technique to produce the normal-exposure-time images (minutes). The high precision photometry was performed via difference image analysis employing the DanDIA pipeline. We attempted automatic detection of variable stars in the field. Results. We statistically analysed the light curves of 1405 stars in the crowded central region of NGC 6715 to automatically identify the variable stars present in this cluster. We found light curves for 17 previously known variable stars near the edges of our reference image (16 RR Lyrae and 1 semi-regular) and we discovered 67 new variables (30 RR Lyrae, 21 irregular (long-period type), 3 semi-regular, 1 W Virginis, 1 eclipsing binary, and 11 unclassified). Photometric measurements for these stars are available in electronic form through the Strasbourg Astronomical Data Centre. © 2016 ESO. [less ▲]

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See detailOGLE-2015-BLG-0479LA,B: BINARY GRAVITATIONAL MICROLENS CHARACTERIZED by SIMULTANEOUS GROUND-BASED and SPACE-BASED OBSERVATIONS
Han, C.; Udalski, A.; Gould, A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2016), 828(1),

We present a combined analysis of the observations of the gravitational microlensing event OGLE-2015-BLG-0479 taken both from the ground and by the Spitzer Space Telescope. The light curves seen from the ... [more ▼]

We present a combined analysis of the observations of the gravitational microlensing event OGLE-2015-BLG-0479 taken both from the ground and by the Spitzer Space Telescope. The light curves seen from the ground and from space exhibit a time offset of ∼13 days between the caustic spikes, indicating that the relative lens-source positions seen from the two places are displaced by parallax effects. From modeling the light curves, we measure the space-based microlens parallax. Combined with the angular Einstein radius measured by analyzing the caustic crossings, we determine the mass and distance of the lens. We find that the lens is a binary composed of two G-type stars with masses of ∼1.0 M⊙ and ∼0.9 M⊙ located at a distance of ∼3 kpc. In addition, we are able to constrain the complete orbital parameters of the lens thanks to the precise measurement of the microlens parallax derived from the joint analysis. In contrast to the binary event OGLE-2014-BLG-1050, which was also observed by Spitzer, we find that the interpretation of OGLE-2015-BLG-0479 does not suffer from the degeneracy between (±, ±) and (±, ∓) solutions, confirming that the four-fold parallax degeneracy in single-lens events collapses into the two-fold degeneracy for the general case of binary-lens events. The location of the blend in the color-magnitude diagram is consistent with the lens properties, suggesting that the blend is the lens itself. The blend is bright enough for spectroscopy and thus this possibility can be checked from future follow-up observations. © 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailSearching for variable stars in the cores of five metal-rich globular clusters using EMCCD observations
Skottfelt, J.; Bramich, D. M.; Figuera Jaimes, R. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2015), 573

Aims. In this paper, we present the analysis of time-series observations from 2013 and 2014 of five metal-rich ([Fe/H] > -1) globular clusters: NGC 6388, NGC 6441, NGC 6528, NGC 6638, and NGC 6652. The ... [more ▼]

Aims. In this paper, we present the analysis of time-series observations from 2013 and 2014 of five metal-rich ([Fe/H] > -1) globular clusters: NGC 6388, NGC 6441, NGC 6528, NGC 6638, and NGC 6652. The data have been used to perform a census of the variable stars in the central parts of these clusters. Methods. The observations were made with the electron-multiplying charge-couple device (EMCCD) camera at the Danish 1.54m Telescope at La Silla, Chile, and they were analysed using difference image analysis to obtain high-precision light curves of the variable stars. Results. It was possible to identify and classify all of the previously known or suspected variable stars in the central regions of the five clusters. Furthermore, we were able to identify and, in most cases, classify 48, 49, 7, 8, and 2 previously unknown variables in NGC 6388, NGC 6441, NGC 6528, NGC 6638, and NGC 6652, respectively. Especially interesting is the case of NGC 6441, for which the variable star population of about 150 stars has been thoroughly examined by previous studies, including a Hubble Space Telescope study. In this paper we are able to present 49 new variable stars for this cluster, of which one (possibly two) are RR Lyrae stars, two are W Virginis stars, and the rest are long-period semi-regular or irregular variables on the red giant branch. We have also detected the first double-mode RR Lyrae in the cluster. © ESO 2015. [less ▲]

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See detailOGLE-2011-BLG-0265Lb: A jovian microlensing planet orbiting an m dwarf
Skowron, J.; Shin, I.-G.; Udalski, A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2015), 804(1),

We report the discovery of a Jupiter-mass planet orbiting an M-dwarf star that gave rise to the microlensing event OGLE-2011-BLG-0265. Such a system is very rare among known planetary systems and thus the ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of a Jupiter-mass planet orbiting an M-dwarf star that gave rise to the microlensing event OGLE-2011-BLG-0265. Such a system is very rare among known planetary systems and thus the discovery is important for theoretical studies of planetary formation and evolution. High-cadence temporal coverage of the planetary signal, combined with extended observations throughout the event, allows us to accurately model the observed light curve. However, the final microlensing solution remains degenerate, yielding two possible configurations of the planet and the host star. In the case of the preferred solution, the mass of the planet is Mp = 0.9 ± 0.3 MJ, and the planet is orbiting a star with a mass M = 0.22 ± 0.06 M. The second possible configuration (2? away) consists of a planet with Mp = 0.6 ± 0.3 MJ and host star with M = 0.14 ± 0.06 M. The system is located in the Galactic disk 34 kpc toward the Galactic bulge. In both cases, with an orbit size of 1.52.0 AU, the planet is a cold Jupiterlocated well beyond the snow line of the host star. Currently available data make the secure selection of the correct solution difficult, but there are prospects for lifting the degeneracy with additional follow-up observations in the future, when the lens and source star separate. © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailPathway to the galactic distribution of planets: Combined Spitzer and ground-based Microlens parallax measurements of 21 single-lens events
Novati, S. C.; Gould, A.; Udalski, A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2015), 804(1),

We present microlens parallax measurements for 21 (apparently) isolated lenses observed toward the Galactic bulge that were imaged simultaneously from Earth and Spitzer, which was ∼1 AU west of Earth in ... [more ▼]

We present microlens parallax measurements for 21 (apparently) isolated lenses observed toward the Galactic bulge that were imaged simultaneously from Earth and Spitzer, which was ∼1 AU west of Earth in projection. We combine these measurements with a kinematic model of the Galaxy to derive distance estimates for each lens, with error bars that are small compared to the Sun's galactocentric distance. The ensemble therefore yields a well-defined cumulative distribution of lens distances. In principle, it is possible to compare this distribution against a set of planets detected in the same experiment in order to measure the Galactic distribution of planets. Since these Spitzer observations yielded only one planet, this is not yet possible in practice. However, it will become possible as larger samples are accumulated. © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailA census of variability in globular cluster M 68 (NGC 4590)
Kains, N.; Arellano Ferro, A.; Figuera Jaimes, R. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2015), 578

Aims. We analyse 20 nights of CCD observations in the V and I bands of the globular cluster M 68 (NGC 4590) and use them to detect variable objects. We also obtained electron-multiplying CCD (EMCCD ... [more ▼]

Aims. We analyse 20 nights of CCD observations in the V and I bands of the globular cluster M 68 (NGC 4590) and use them to detect variable objects. We also obtained electron-multiplying CCD (EMCCD) observations for this cluster in order to explore its core with unprecedented spatial resolution from the ground. Methods. We reduced our data using difference image analysis to achieve the best possible photometry in the crowded field of the cluster. In doing so, we show that when dealing with identical networked telescopes, a reference image from any telescope may be used to reduce data from any other telescope, which facilitates the analysis significantly. We then used our light curves to estimate the properties of the RR Lyrae (RRL) stars in M 68 through Fourier decomposition and empirical relations. The variable star properties then allowed us to derive the cluster's metallicity and distance. Results. M 68 had 45 previously confirmed variables, including 42 RRL and 2 SX Phoenicis (SX Phe) stars. In this paper we determine new periods and search for new variables, especially in the core of the cluster where our method performs particularly well. We detect 4 additional SX Phe stars and confirm the variability of another star, bringing the total number of confirmed variable stars in this cluster to 50. We also used archival data stretching back to 1951 to derive period changes for some of the single-mode RRL stars, and analyse the significant number of double-mode RRL stars in M 68. Furthermore, we find evidence for double-mode pulsation in one of the SX Phe stars in this cluster. Using the different classes of variables, we derived values for the metallicity of the cluster of [Fe/H] = -2.07 ± 0.06 on the ZW scale, or -2.20 ± 0.10 on the UVES scale, and found true distance moduli μ<inf>0</inf> = 15.00 ± 0.11 mag (using RR0 stars), 15.00 ± 0.05 mag (using RR1 stars), 14.97 ± 0.11 mag (using SX Phe stars), and 15.00 ± 0.07 mag (using the M<inf>V</inf> -[Fe/H] relation for RRL stars), corresponding to physical distances of 10.00 ± 0.49, 9.99 ± 0.21, 9.84 ± 0.50, and 10.00 ± 0.30 kpc, respectively. Thanks to the first use of difference image analysis on time-series observations of M 68, we are now confident that we have a complete census of the RRL stars in this cluster. © ESO, 2015. [less ▲]

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See detailRed noise versus planetary interpretations in the microlensing event ogle-2013-BLG-446
Bachelet, E.; Bramich, D. M.; Han, C. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2015), 812(2),

For all exoplanet candidates, the reliability of a claimed detection needs to be assessed through a careful study of systematic errors in the data to minimize the false positives rate. We present a method ... [more ▼]

For all exoplanet candidates, the reliability of a claimed detection needs to be assessed through a careful study of systematic errors in the data to minimize the false positives rate. We present a method to investigate such systematics in microlensing data sets using the microlensing event OGLE-2013-BLG-0446 as a case study. The event was observed from multiple sites around the world and its high magnification (Amax ∼ 3000) allowed us to investigate the effects of terrestrial and annual parallax. Real-time modeling of the event while it was still ongoing suggested the presence of an extremely low-mass companion (∼3M) to the lensing star, leading to substantial follow-up coverage of the light curve. We test and compare different models for the light curve and conclude that the data do not favor the planetary interpretation when systematic errors are taken into account. © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.. [less ▲]

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See detailA Super-Jupiter orbiting a late-type star: A refined analysis of microlensing event OGLE-2012-BLG-0406
Tsapras, Y.; Choi, J.-Y.; Street, R. A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2014), 782

We present a detailed analysis of survey and follow-up observations of microlensing event OGLE-2012-BLG-0406 based on data obtained from 10 different observatories. Intensive coverage of the lightcurve ... [more ▼]

We present a detailed analysis of survey and follow-up observations of microlensing event OGLE-2012-BLG-0406 based on data obtained from 10 different observatories. Intensive coverage of the lightcurve, especially the perturbation part, allowed us to accurately measure the parallax effect and lens orbital motion. Combining our measurement of the lens parallax with the angular Einstein radius determined from finite-source effects, we estimate the physical parameters of the lens system. We find that the event was caused by a $2.73\pm 0.43\ M_{\rm J}$ planet orbiting a $0.44\pm 0.07\ M_{\odot}$ early M-type star. The distance to the lens is $4.97\pm 0.29$\ kpc and the projected separation between the host star and its planet at the time of the event is $3.45\pm 0.26$ AU. We find that the additional coverage provided by follow-up observations, especially during the planetary perturbation, leads to a more accurate determination of the physical parameters of the lens. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh-precision photometry by telescope defocussing - VI. WASP-24, WASP-25 andWASP-26*
Southworth, J.; Hinse, T. C.; Burgdorf, M. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2014), 444(1), 776-789

We present time series photometric observations of 13 transits in the planetary systems WASP-24, WASP-25 and WASP-26. All three systems have orbital obliquity measurements, WASP-24 andWASP-26 have been ... [more ▼]

We present time series photometric observations of 13 transits in the planetary systems WASP-24, WASP-25 and WASP-26. All three systems have orbital obliquity measurements, WASP-24 andWASP-26 have been observed with Spitzer, andWASP-25 was previously comparatively neglected. Our light curves were obtained using the telescope-defocussing method and have scatters of 0.5-1.2 mmag relative to their best-fitting geometric models. We use these data to measure the physical properties and orbital ephemerides of the systems to high precision, finding that our improved measurements are in good agreement with previous studies. High-resolution Lucky Imaging observations of all three targets show no evidence for faint stars close enough to contaminate our photometry. We confirm the eclipsing nature of the star closest to WASP-24 and present the detection of a detached eclipsing binary within 4.25 arcmin of WASP-26. © 2014 The Authors. [less ▲]

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See detailMOA-2010-BLG-311: A planetary candidate below the threshold of reliable detection
Yee, J. C.; Hung, L.-W.; Bond, I. A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2013), 769(1), 77

We analyze MOA-2010-BLG-311, a high magnification (A_max>600) microlensing event with complete data coverage over the peak, making it very sensitive to planetary signals. We fit this event with both a ... [more ▼]

We analyze MOA-2010-BLG-311, a high magnification (A_max>600) microlensing event with complete data coverage over the peak, making it very sensitive to planetary signals. We fit this event with both a point lens and a 2-body lens model and find that the 2-body lens model is a better fit but with only Delta chi^2~140. The preferred mass ratio between the lens star and its companion is $q=10^(-3.7+/-0.1), placing the candidate companion in the planetary regime. Despite the formal significance of the planet, we show that because of systematics in the data the evidence for a planetary companion to the lens is too tenuous to claim a secure detection. When combined with analyses of other high-magnification events, this event helps empirically define the threshold for reliable planet detection in high-magnification events, which remains an open question. [less ▲]

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See detailMicrolensing Discovery of a Population of Very Tight, Very Low Mass Binary Brown Dwarfs
Choi, J.-Y.; Han, C.; Udalski, A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2013), 768

Although many models have been proposed, the physical mechanisms responsible for the formation of low-mass brown dwarfs (BDs) are poorly understood. The multiplicity properties and minimum mass of the BD ... [more ▼]

Although many models have been proposed, the physical mechanisms responsible for the formation of low-mass brown dwarfs (BDs) are poorly understood. The multiplicity properties and minimum mass of the BD mass function provide critical empirical diagnostics of these mechanisms. We present the discovery via gravitational microlensing of two very low mass, very tight binary systems. These binaries have directly and precisely measured total system masses of 0.025 M [SUB]⊙[/SUB] and 0.034 M [SUB]⊙[/SUB], and projected separations of 0.31 AU and 0.19 AU, making them the lowest-mass and tightest field BD binaries known. The discovery of a population of such binaries indicates that BD binaries can robustly form at least down to masses of ~0.02 M [SUB]⊙[/SUB]. Future microlensing surveys will measure a mass-selected sample of BD binary systems, which can then be directly compared to similar samples of stellar binaries. [less ▲]

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See detailEMCCD photometry reveals two new variable stars in the crowded central region of the globular cluster NGC 6981
Skottfelt, J.; Bramich, D. M.; Figuera Jaimes, R. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 553

Two previously unknown variable stars in the crowded central region of the globular cluster NGC 6981 are presented. The observations were made using the electron multiplying CCD (EMCCD) camera at the ... [more ▼]

Two previously unknown variable stars in the crowded central region of the globular cluster NGC 6981 are presented. The observations were made using the electron multiplying CCD (EMCCD) camera at the Danish 1.54 m Telescope at La Silla, Chile. The two variableswere not previously detected by conventional CCD imaging because of their proximity to a bright star. This discovery demonstrates that EMCCDs are a powerful tool for performing high-precision time-series photometry in crowded fields and near bright stars, especially when combined with difference image analysis. Based on data collected by MiNDSTEp with the Danish 1.54 m telescope. [less ▲]

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See detailA giant planet beyond the snow line in microlensing event OGLE-2011-BLG-0251
Kains, N.; Street, R. A.; Choi, J.-Y. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 552

<BR /> Aims: We present the analysis of the gravitational microlensing event OGLE-2011-BLG-0251. This anomalous event was observed by several survey and follow-up collaborations conducting microlensing ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: We present the analysis of the gravitational microlensing event OGLE-2011-BLG-0251. This anomalous event was observed by several survey and follow-up collaborations conducting microlensing observations towards the Galactic bulge. <BR /> Methods: Based on detailed modelling of the observed light curve, we find that the lens is composed of two masses with a mass ratio q = 1.9 × 10[SUP]-3[/SUP]. Thanks to our detection of higher-order effects on the light curve due to the Earth's orbital motion and the finite size of source, we are able to measure the mass and distance to the lens unambiguously. <BR /> Results: We find that the lens is made up of a planet of mass 0.53 ± 0.21 M[SUB]J[/SUB] orbiting an M dwarf host star with a mass of 0.26 ± 0.11 M[SUB]⊙[/SUB]. The planetary system is located at a distance of 2.57 ± 0.61 kpc towards the Galactic centre. The projected separation of the planet from its host star is d = 1.408 ± 0.019, in units of the Einstein radius, which corresponds to 2.72 ± 0.75 AU in physical units. We also identified a competitive model with similar planet and host star masses, but with a smaller orbital radius of 1.50 ± 0.50 AU. The planet is therefore located beyond the snow line of its host star, which we estimate to be around ~1-1.5 AU. [less ▲]

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See detailMOA-2010-BLG-523: "Failed Planet" = RS CVn Star
Gould, A.; Yee, J. C.; Bond, I. A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2013), 763

The Galactic bulge source MOA-2010-BLG-523S exhibited short-term deviations from a standard microlensing light curve near the peak of an A [SUB]max[/SUB] ~ 265 high-magnification microlensing event. The ... [more ▼]

The Galactic bulge source MOA-2010-BLG-523S exhibited short-term deviations from a standard microlensing light curve near the peak of an A [SUB]max[/SUB] ~ 265 high-magnification microlensing event. The deviations originally seemed consistent with expectations for a planetary companion to the principal lens. We combine long-term photometric monitoring with a previously published high-resolution spectrum taken near peak to demonstrate that this is an RS CVn variable, so that planetary microlensing is not required to explain the light-curve deviations. This is the first spectroscopically confirmed RS CVn star discovered in the Galactic bulge. Based on observations made with the European Southern Observatory telescopes, Program ID 85.B-0399(I). [less ▲]

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