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October 31st, 2014: Microlensing: Understanding Planets Beyond the Snow Line

Posted on Sep 23, 2014 in Seminars

Jennifer Yee (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

Microlensing uses the gravitational bending of light to detect exoplanets. New upgrades and new surveys have made the discovery and followup of microlensing events more efficient, transitioning the field from discovering individual planets to detecting planets en masse. I will use recent microlensing discoveries to demonstrate how microlensing complements other planet detection techniques. In addition, I will show how higher-order effects enable us to more fully characterize these planetary systems. These techniques expand the scope of microlensing to include brown dwarfs, stellar remnants, and the mass function of the inner galaxy.