Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac., 113, 903-915 (2001/August-0)
Applications of microlensing to stellar astrophysics. (Invited review).
Abstract (from CDS):
Over the past decade, microlensing has developed into a powerful tool to study stellar astrophysics, especially stellar atmospheres, stellar masses, and binarity. I review this progress. Stellar atmospheres can be probed whenever the source in a microlensing event passes over the caustic (contour of infinite magnification) induced by the lens because the caustic effectively resolves the source. Broadband observations of four events have yielded limb-darkening measurements, which in essence map the atmospheric temperature as a function of depth. And now, for the first time, spectroscopic observations of one event promise much richer diagnostics of the source atmosphere. In the past 2 years, a practical method has finally been developed to systematically measure the lens masses in microlensing events. This will permit a census of all massive objects, both dark and luminous, in the Galactic bulge, including low-mass stars, brown dwarfs, white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes. The method combines traditional ground-based photometry with astrometric and photometric measurements by the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) in solar orbit. Using a related technique, SIM can also obtain accurate (≲1%) mass measurement of a dozen or so nearby stars, thus enabling precision tests of stellar models. Binary lenses can give rise to dramatic and easily detectable microlensing signatures, even for large mass ratios. This makes microlensing a potentially powerful probe of the companion mass distribution, especially in the Galactic bulge, where this function is difficult to probe by other techniques.
Astrometry - Cosmology: Gravitational Lensing - Stars: Atmospheres - Stars: Fundamental Parameters
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