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UKIRT Microlensing Surveys as a Pathfinder for WFIRST: The Detection of Five Highly Extinguished Low-|b| Events

Shvartzvald, Y. and Bryden, G. and Gould, A. and Henderson, C. B. and Howell, S. B. and Beichman, C. (2017) UKIRT Microlensing Surveys as a Pathfinder for WFIRST: The Detection of Five Highly Extinguished Low-|b| Events. Astronomical Journal, 153 (2). Art. No. 61. ISSN 1538-3881.

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Optical microlensing surveys are restricted from detecting events near the Galactic plane and center, where the event rate is thought to be the highest due to the high optical extinction of these fields. In the near-infrared (NIR), however, the lower extinction leads to a corresponding increase in event detections and is a primary driver for the wavelength coverage of the WFIRST microlensing survey. During the 2015 and 2016 bulge observing seasons, we conducted NIR microlensing surveys with UKIRT in conjunction with and in support of the Spitzer and Kepler microlensing campaigns. Here, we report on five highly extinguished (A_H = 0.81 - 1.97), low-Galactic latitude (-0.98≤ b ≤ -0.36) microlensing events discovered from our 2016 survey. Four of them were monitored with an hourly cadence by optical surveys but were not reported as discoveries, likely due to the high extinction. Our UKIRT surveys and suggested future NIR surveys enable the first measurement of the microlensing event rate in the NIR. This wavelength regime overlaps with the bandpass of the filter in which the WFIRST microlensing survey will conduct its highest-cadence observations, making this event rate derivation critically important for optimizing its yield.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Shvartzvald, Y.0000-0003-1525-5041
Henderson, C. B.0000-0001-8877-9060
Howell, S. B.0000-0002-2532-2853
Beichman, C.0000-0002-5627-5471
Additional Information:© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2016 October 11; revised 2016 November 30; accepted 2016 December 4; published 2017 January 10. Work by Y.S. and C.B.H. was supported by an appointment to the NASA Postdoctoral Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, administered by Universities Space Research Association through a contract with NASA. Work by A.G. was supported by NSF grant AST-1516842. The United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) is supported by NASA and operated under an agreement among the University of Hawaii, the University of Arizona, and Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center; operations are enabled through the cooperation of the Joint Astronomy Centre of the Science and Technology Facilities Council of the U.K. We acknowledge the support from NASA HQ for the UKIRT observations in connection with K2C9. Based on data products from observations made with ESO Telescopes at the La Silla Paranal Observatory under programme ID 179.B-2002.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Postdoctoral ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Galaxy: bulge; gravitational lensing: micro
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170317-123454341
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Official Citation:Y. Shvartzvald et al 2017 AJ 153 61
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:75205
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:17 Mar 2017 21:10
Last Modified:24 Feb 2020 10:30

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