Bayesian analysis of caustic-crossing microlensing events

A. Cassan*, K. Horne, N. Kains, Y. Tsapras, P. Browne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Aims. Caustic-crossing binary-lens microlensing events are important anomalous events because they are capable of detecting an extrasolar planet companion orbiting the lens star. Fast and robust modelling methods are thus of prime interest in helping to decide whether a planet is detected by an event. Cassan introduced a new set of parameters to model binary-lens events, which are closely related to properties of the light curve. In this work, we explain how Bayesian priors can be added to this framework, and investigate on interesting options.

Methods. We develop a mathematical formulation that allows us to compute analytically the priors on the new parameters, given some previous knowledge about other physical quantities. We explicitly compute the priors for a number of interesting cases, and show how this can be implemented in a fully Bayesian, Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm.

Results. Using Bayesian priors can accelerate microlens fitting codes by reducing the time spent considering physically implausible models, and helps us to discriminate between alternative models based on the physical plausibility of their parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number52
Number of pages7
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • gravitational lensing: micro
  • methods: analytical
  • methods: statistical
  • planetary systems


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