Reanalysis of the gravitational microlensing event macho-97-blg-41 based on combined data

Youn Kil Jung, Cheongho Han, Andrew Gould, Dan Maoz

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MACHO-97-BLG-41 is a gravitational microlensing event produced by a lens composed of multiple masses detected by the first-generation lensing experiment. For the event, there exist two different interpretations of the lens from independent analyses based on two different data sets: one interpreted the event as produced by a circumbinary planetary system while the other explained the light curve with only a binary system by introducing orbital motion of the lens. According to the former interpretation, the lens would not only be the first planet detected via microlensing but also the first circumbinary planet ever detected. To resolve the issue using state-of-the-art analysis methods, we reanalyze the event based on the combined data used separately by the previous analyses. By considering various higher-order effects, we find that the orbiting binary-lens model provides a better fit than the circumbinary planet model with Δχ2 ∼ 166. The result signifies the importance of even and dense coverage of lensing light curves in the interpretation of events.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL7
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 May 2013


  • binaries: general
  • gravitational lensing: micro
  • planetary systems


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