Interpretation of a short-term anomaly in the gravitational microlensing event MOA-2012-BLG-486

K.-H. Hwang, J.-Y. Choi, I. A. Bond, T. Sumi, C. Han, B. S. Gaudi, A. Gould, V. Bozza, J.-P. Beaulieu, Y. Tsapras, F. Abe, D. P. Bennett, C. S. Botzler, P. Chote, M. Freeman, A. Fukui, D. Fukunaga, P. Harris, Y. Itow, N. KoshimotoC. H. Ling, K. Masuda, Y. Matsubara, Y. Muraki, S. Namba, K. Ohnishi, N. J. Rattenbury, To. Saito, D. J. Sullivan, W. L. Sweatman, D. Suzuki, P. J. Tristram, K. Wada, N. Yamai, P. C. M. Yock, A. Yonehara, L. Andrade de Almeida, D. L. DePoy, Subo Dong, F. Jablonski, Y. K. Jung, A. Kavka, C.-U. Lee, H. Park, R. W. Pogge, I.-G. Shin, J. C. Yee, M. D. Albrow, E. Bachelet, V. Batista, S. Brillant, J. A. R. Caldwell, A. Cassan, A. Cole, E. Corrales, Ch. Coutures, S. Dieters, D. Dominis Prester, J. Donatowicz, P. Fouqué, J. Greenhill, U. G. Jørgensen, S. R. Kane, D. Kubas, J.-B. Marquette, R. Martin, P. Meintjes, J. Menzies, K. R. Pollard, A. Williams, D. Wouters, D. M. Bramich, M. Dominik, K. Horne, P. Browne, M. Hundertmark, S. Ipatov, Noé Kains, C. Snodgrass, I. A. Steele, R. A. Street

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21 Citations (Scopus)


A planetary microlensing signal is generally characterized by a short-term perturbation to the standard single lensing light curve. A subset of binary-source events can produce perturbations that mimic planetary signals, thereby introducing an ambiguity between the planetary and binary-source interpretations. In this paper, we present the analysis of the microlensing event MOA-2012-BLG-486, for which the light curve exhibits a short-lived perturbation. Routine modeling not considering data taken in different passbands yields a best-fit planetary model that is slightly preferred over the best-fit binary-source model. However, when allowed for a change in the color during the perturbation, we find that the binary-source model yields a significantly better fit and thus the degeneracy is clearly resolved. This event not only signifies the importance of considering various interpretations of short-term anomalies, but also demonstrates the importance of multi-band data for checking the possibility of false-positive planetary signals.
Original languageEnglish
Article number55
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Early online date1 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2013


  • Binaries: general
  • Gravitational lensing: micro
  • Planets and satellites: detection


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