Machos in M31? Absence of Evidence but not Evidence of Absence

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We present results of a microlensing survey toward the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) carried out during four observing seasons at the Isaac Newton Telescope (INT). This survey is part of the larger microlensing survey toward M31 performed by the Microlensing Exploration of the Galaxy and Andromeda (MEGA) collaboration. Using a fully automated search algorithm, we indentify 14 candidate microlensing events, three of which are reported here for the first time. Observations obtained at the Mayall telescope are combined with the INT data to produce composite light curves for these candidates. The results from the survey are compared with theoretical predictions for ... continued below

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38 pages

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de Jong, Jelte T.A.; Widrow, Lawrence M.; Cseresnjes, Patrick; Kuijken, Konrad; Crotts, Arlin P.S.; Bergier, Alexander et al. July 14, 2005.

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We present results of a microlensing survey toward the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) carried out during four observing seasons at the Isaac Newton Telescope (INT). This survey is part of the larger microlensing survey toward M31 performed by the Microlensing Exploration of the Galaxy and Andromeda (MEGA) collaboration. Using a fully automated search algorithm, we indentify 14 candidate microlensing events, three of which are reported here for the first time. Observations obtained at the Mayall telescope are combined with the INT data to produce composite light curves for these candidates. The results from the survey are compared with theoretical predictions for the number and distribution of events. These predictions are based on a Monte Carlo calculation of the detection efficiency and disk-bulge-halo models for M31. The models provide the full phase-space distribution functions (DFs) for the lens and source populations and are motivated by dynamical and observational considerations. They include differential extinction and span a wide range of parameter space characterized primarily by the mass-to-light ratios for the disk and bulge. For most models, the observed event rate is consistent with the rate predicted for self-lensing--a MACHO halo fraction of 30% or higher can be ruled at the 95% confidence level. The event distribution does show a large near-far asymmetry hinting at a halo contribution to the microlensing signal. Two candidate events are located at particularly large projected radii on the far side of the disk. These events are difficult to explain by self lensing and only somewhat easier to explain by MACHO lensing. A possibility is that one of these is due to a lens in a giant stellar stream.

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38 pages

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  • Journal Name: Astronomy and Astrophysics; Journal Volume: 446

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  • Report No.: SLAC-PUB-11361
  • Grant Number: AC02-76SF00515
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 878837
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc875484

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  • July 14, 2005

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Nov. 29, 2016, 7:16 p.m.

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de Jong, Jelte T.A.; Widrow, Lawrence M.; Cseresnjes, Patrick; Kuijken, Konrad; Crotts, Arlin P.S.; Bergier, Alexander et al. Machos in M31? Absence of Evidence but not Evidence of Absence, article, July 14, 2005; [Menlo Park, California]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc875484/: accessed December 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.