Wednesday 3/5: Jennifer Yee (CfA)

Microlensing: Beyond Planet Detection

Dr. Jennifer Yee (Sagan Fellow, Harvard/Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

CAS 500, 12:10 pm, Wednesday March 5, 2014

Microlensing uses the gravitational bending of light to detect exoplanets. Because the typical timescale of the events is ~20 days and the individual events are not repeated, microlensing is generally thought of as giving only an instantaneous snapshot of the planetary system. In the context of recent microlensing discoveries, I will show how additional data and the inclusion of higher order effects in the analysis enables us to more fully characterize these planetary systems. These techniques expand the scope of microlensing beyond planet detection and toward a better understanding of brown dwarfs, stellar remnants, and the mass function of the inner galaxy.