Studying planet populations by gravitational microlensing

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The 'most curious' effect of the bending of light by the gravity of stars has evolved into a successful technique unlike any other for studying planets within the Milky Way and even other galaxies. With a sensitivity to cool planets around low-mass stars even below the mass of Earth, gravitational microlensing fits in between other planet search techniques to form a complete picture of planet parameter space, which is required to understand their origin in general, that of habitable planets more particularly, and that of planet Earth especially. Current campaigns need to evolve from first detections to obtaining a sample with well-understood selection bias that allows to draw firm conclusions about the planet populations. With planetary signals being a transient phenomenon, gravitational microlensing is a driver for new technologies in scheduling and management of non-proprietary heterogeneous telescope networks, and can serve to demonstrate forefront science live to the general public.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2075-2100
Number of pages26
JournalGeneral Relativity and Gravitation
Volume42
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010

Keywords

  • Extrasolar planetary systems
  • Photography and photometry
  • Relativity and gravitation
  • EARTH-MASS PLANETS
  • III EWS DATABASE
  • DIFFERENCE IMAGE-ANALYSIS
  • FOLLOW-UP OBSERVATIONS
  • REAL-TIME DETECTION
  • EXTRASOLAR PLANETS
  • HIGH-MAGNIFICATION
  • BINARY LENSES
  • LENSING EXPERIMENT
  • MACHO PROJECT

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