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[en] We have detected 90 objects with periods and light-curve structures similar to those of field δ Scuti stars using the Massive Compact Halo Object (MACHO) Project database of Galactic bulge photometry. If we assume similar extinction values for all candidates and absolute magnitudes similar to those of other field high-amplitude δ Scuti stars (HADS), the majority of these objects lie in or near the Galactic bulge. At least two of these objects are likely foreground δ Scuti stars, one of which may be an evolved nonradial pulsator, similar to other evolved, disk-population δ Scuti stars. We have analyzed the light curves of these objects and find that they are similar to the light curves of field δ Scuti stars and the δ Scuti stars found by the Optical Gravitational Lens Experiment (OGLE). However, the amplitude distribution of these sources lies between those of low- and high-amplitude δ Scuti stars, which suggests that they may be an intermediate population. We have found nine double-mode HADS with frequency ratios ranging from 0.75 to 0.79, four probable double- and multiple-mode objects, and another four objects with marginal detections of secondary modes. The low frequencies (5-14 cycles day-1) and the observed period ratios of ∼0.77 suggest that the majority of these objects are evolved stars pulsating in fundamental or first overtone radial modes. (c) 2000 The American Astronomical Society
[en] The MACHO collaboration has been carrying out difference image analysis (DIA) since 1996 with the aim of increasing the sensitivity to the detection of gravitational microlensing. This is a preliminary report on the application of DIA to galactic bulge images in one field. We show how the DIA technique significantly increases the number of detected lensing events, by removing the positional dependence of traditional photometry schemes and lowering the microlensing event detection threshold. This technique, unlike PSF photometry, gives the unblended colors and positions of the microlensing source stars. We present a set of criteria for selecting microlensing events from objects discovered with this technique. The 16 pixel and classical microlensing events discovered with the DIA technique are presented. (c) (c) 1999. The American Astronomical Society
[en] This is a preliminary report on the application of Difference Image Analysis (DIA) to Galactic bulge images. The aim of this analysis is to increase the sensitivity to the detection of gravitational microlensing. We discuss how the DIA technique simplifies the process of discovering microlensing events by detecting only objects that have variable flux. We illustrate how the DIA technique is not limited to detection of so-called ''pixel lensing'' events but can also be used to improve photometry for classical microlensing events by removing the effects of blending. We will present a method whereby DIA can be used to reveal the true unblended colors, positions, and light curves of microlensing events. We discuss the need for a technique to obtain the accurate microlensing timescales from blended sources and present a possible solution to this problem using the existing Hubble Space Telescope color-magnitude diagrams of the Galactic bulge and LMC. The use of such a solution with both classical and pixel microlensing searches is discussed. We show that one of the major causes of systematic noise in DIA is differential refraction. A technique for removing this systematic by effectively registering images to a common air mass is presented. Improvements to commonly used image differencing techniques are discussed. (c) 1999 The American Astronomical Society
[en] The MACHO Project is a microlensing survey that monitors the brightnesses of ∼60 million stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), Small Magellanic Cloud, and Galactic bulge. Our database presently contains about 80 billion photometric measurements, a significant fraction of all astronomical photometry. We describe the calibration of MACHO two-color photometry and transformation to the standard Kron-Cousins V and R system. Calibrated MACHO photometry may be properly compared with all other observations on the Kron-Cousins standard system, enhancing the astrophysical value of these data. For ∼9 million stars in the LMC bar, independent photometric measurements of ∼20,000 stars with V(less-or-similar sign)18 mag in field-overlap regions demonstrate an internal precision σV =0.021, σR =0.019, σV-R =0.028 mag. The accuracy of the zero point in this calibration is estimated to be ±0.035 mag for stars with colors in the range -0.1 mag< V-R<1.2 mag. A comparison of calibrated MACHO photometry with published photometric sequences and new Hubble Space Telescope observations shows agreement. The current calibration zero-point uncertainty for the remainder of the MACHO photometry database is estimated to be ±0.10 mag in V or R and ±0.04 mag in V-R. We describe the first application of calibrated MACHO data: the construction of a color-magnitude diagram used to calculate our experimental sensitivity for detecting microlensing in the LMC. (c) (c) 1999. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific
[en] We present a 9 million star color-magnitude diagram (9M CMD) of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) bar. The 9M CMD reveals a complex superposition of different-age and -metallicity stellar populations, with important stellar evolutionary phases occurring over 3 orders of magnitude in number density. First, we count the nonvariable red and blue supergiants and the associated Cepheid variables and measure the stellar effective temperatures defining the Cepheid instability strip. Lifetime predictions of stellar evolution theory are tested, with implications for the origin of low-luminosity Cepheids. The highly evolved asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars in the 9M CMD have a bimodal distribution in brightness, which we interpret as discrete old populations ((greater-or-similar sign)1 Gyr). The faint AGB sequence may be metal-poor and very old. Comparing the mean properties of giant branch and horizontal-branch (HB) stars in the 9M CMD with those of clusters, we identify NGC 411 and M3 as templates for the admixture of old stellar populations in the bar. However, there are several indications that the old and metal-poor field population has a red HB morphology: the RR Lyrae variables lie preferentially on the red edge of the instability strip, the AGB bump is very red, and the ratio of AGB bump stars to RR Lyrae variables is quite large. If the HB second parameter is age, the old and metal-poor field population in the bar likely formed after the oldest LMC clusters. Lifetime predictions of stellar evolution theory lead us to associate a significant fraction of the ∼1 million red HB clump giants in the 9M CMD with the same old and metal-poor population producing the RR Lyrae stars and the AGB bump. In this case, compared with the age-dependent luminosity predictions of stellar evolution theory, the red HB clump is too bright relative to the RR Lyrae stars and AGB bump. Last, we show that the surface density profile of RR Lyrae variables is fitted by an exponential, favoring a disklike rather than a spheroidal distribution. We conclude that the age of the LMC disk is probably similar to the age of the Galactic disk. (c) 2000 The American Astronomical Society
[en] We present a new analysis of the Jupiter+Saturn analog system, OGLE-2006-BLG-109Lb,c, which was the first double planet system discovered with the gravitational microlensing method. This is the only multi-planet system discovered by any method with measured masses for the star and both planets. In addition to the signatures of two planets, this event also exhibits a microlensing parallax signature and finite source effects that provide a direct measure of the masses of the star and planets, and the expected brightness of the host star is confirmed by Keck AO imaging, yielding masses of M*=0.51+0.05-0.04Msun, Mb = 231 ± 19 M+, and Mc = 86 ± 7 M+. The Saturn-analog planet in this system had a planetary light-curve deviation that lasted for 11 days, and as a result, the effects of the orbital motion are visible in the microlensing light curve. We find that four of the six orbital parameters are tightly constrained and that a fifth parameter, the orbital acceleration, is weakly constrained. No orbital information is available for the Jupiter-analog planet, but its presence helps to constrain the orbital motion of the Saturn-analog planet. Assuming co-planar orbits, we find an orbital eccentricity of ε=0.15+0.17-0.10 and an orbital inclination of i=640-70+40. The 95% confidence level lower limit on the inclination of i > 49 deg. implies that this planetary system can be detected and studied via radial velocity measurements using a telescope of ∼>30 m aperture.
[en] The Taiwanese-American Occultation Survey project is designed for the detection of stellar occultations by small-size Kuiper Belt Objects, and it has monitored selected fields along the ecliptic plane by using four telescopes with a 3 deg2 field of view on the sky since 2005. We have analyzed data accumulated during 2005-2012 to detect variable stars. Sixteen fields with observations of more than 100 epochs were examined. We recovered 85 variables among a total of 158 known variable stars in these 16 fields. Most of the unrecovered variables are located in the fields observed less frequently. We also detected 58 variable stars which are not listed in the International Variable Star Index of the American Association of Variable Star Observers. These variable stars are classified as 3 RR Lyrae, 4 Cepheid, 1 δ Scuti, 5 Mira, 15 semi-regular, and 27 eclipsing binaries based on the periodicity and the profile of the light curves.
[en] We analyzed data accumulated during 2005 and 2006 by the Taiwan-American Occultation Survey (TAOS) in order to detect short-period variable stars (periods of ∼<1 hr) such as δ Scuti. TAOS is designed for the detection of stellar occultation by small-size Kuiper Belt Objects and is operating four 50 cm telescopes at an effective cadence of 5 Hz. The four telescopes simultaneously monitor the same patch of the sky in order to reduce false positives. To detect short-period variables, we used the fast Fourier transform algorithm (FFT) in as much as the data points in TAOS light curves are evenly spaced. Using FFT, we found 41 short-period variables with amplitudes smaller than a few hundredths of a magnitude and periods of about an hour, which suggest that they are low-amplitude δ Scuti stars. The light curves of TAOS δ Scuti stars are accessible online at the Time Series Center Web site (http://timemachine.iic.harvard.edu).
[en] The Taiwanese-American Occultation Survey (TAOS) project has collected more than a billion photometric measurements since 2005 January. These sky survey data-covering timescales from a fraction of a second to a few hundred days-are a useful source to study stellar variability. A total of 167 star fields, mostly along the ecliptic plane, have been selected for photometric monitoring with the TAOS telescopes. This paper presents our initial analysis of a search for periodic variable stars from the time-series TAOS data on one particular TAOS field, No. 151 (R.A. = 17h30m6.s7, decl. = 27017'30'', J2000), which had been observed over 47 epochs in 2005. A total of 81 candidate variables are identified in the 3 deg2 field, with magnitudes in the range 8 < R < 16. On the basis of the periodicity and shape of the light curves, 29 variables, 15 of which were previously unknown, are classified as RR Lyrae, Cepheid, δ Scuti, SX Phonencis, semi-regular, and eclipsing binaries.
[en] We present the results of a search for occultation events by objects at distances between 100 and 1000 AU in light curves from the Taiwanese-American Occultation Survey. We searched for consecutive, shallow flux reductions in the stellar light curves obtained by our survey between 2005 February 7 and 2006 December 31 with a total of ∼4.5 x 109 three-telescope simultaneous photometric measurements. No events were detected, allowing us to set upper limits on the number density as a function of size and distance of objects in Sedna-like orbits, using simple models.