Journal Article

Weak microlensing

Jonathan Coles, Prasenjit Saha and Hans Martin Schmid

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 402, issue 1, pages L21-L24
Published in print February 2010 |
Published online February 2010 | e-ISSN: 1745-3933 | DOI:

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A nearby star having a near-transit of a galaxy will cause a time-dependent weak lensing of the galaxy. Because the effect is small, we refer to this as weak microlensing. This could provide a useful method to weigh low-mass stars and brown dwarfs. We examine the feasibility of measuring masses in this way and find that a star causes measurable weak microlensing in a galaxy even at 10 Einstein radii away. Of the order of 1 mag I≤ 25 galaxy comes close enough to one or the other of the ∼100 nearest stars per year.

Keywords: gravitational lensing; methods: statistical; stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs

Journal Article.  2562 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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