Transiting Planet candidates around microlensing foreground stars?

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Transiting Planet candidates around microlensing foreground stars? Empty Transiting Planet candidates around microlensing foreground stars?

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 21st January 2019, 11:20 pm

With astronomy not suffering nearly enough of a big-data problem, I started wondering of the tens of thousands of light curves for single-lens microlensing events might be useful for exoplanet science on foreground stars. The thought just occurred to me that these microlensing events raise the apparent magnitude of the background sources by several magnitudes. Perhaps 3 - 4. For some of these it might bring stars that are much too dim to study in-detail at the forefront of our ability to study. Indeed there has been some work done on that already, with some lensed stars even having their angular size measured, etc.

Well what if we run a (modified) transit search on these light curves. A regular run-of-the-mill 16th magnitude background star might be too dim to search for transits. But for like a week the star might be up to ~13th magnitude during the microlensing event. So we would have a relatively brief window to check for transits. We would only be sensitive to planets in very short orbits of course, but it might work. Certainly with thousands of stars having available microlensing light curves, some of them should have a transiting hot Jupiter for example.

It would kind of be an academic exercise as by the time you would identify a transiting planet candidate the star would be back to being so dim that there's no way to follow-up on it. So this is probably deep in the "useless, but interesting" category.

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