Bohdan Paczyński

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Searches for extrasolar planets have uncovered an astonishing diversity of planetary systems, yet the frequency of solar system analogs remains unknown. The gravitational microlensing planet search method is potentially sensitive to multiple-planet systems containing analogs of all the solar system planets except Mercury. We report the detection of a(More)
In the favoured core-accretion model of formation of planetary systems, solid planetesimals accumulate to build up planetary cores, which then accrete nebular gas if they are sufficiently massive. Around M-dwarf stars (the most common stars in our Galaxy), this model favours the formation of Earth-mass (M(o)) to Neptune-mass planets with orbital radii of 1(More)
It is proposed that gamma-ray bursts are created in the mergers of double neutron star binaries and black hole neutron star binaries at cosmological distances. Bursts with complex profiles and relatively long durations are the result of magnetic flares generated by the Parker instability in a post-merger differentially-rotating disk. Some bursts may also be(More)
The optical afterglow of the gamma-ray burst GRB 970508 (z = 0.835) was a few hundred times more luminous than any supernova. Therefore, a name 'hypernova' is proposed for the whole GRB/afterglow event. There is tentative evidence that the GRBs: 970228, 970508, and 970828 were close to star forming regions. If this case is strengthened with future(More)
The status of searches for gravitational microlensing events of the stars in our galaxy and in other galaxies of the Local Group, the interpretation of the results, some theory, and prospects for the future are reviewed. The searches have already unveiled 100 events, at least two of them caused by binaries, and have already proven to be useful for studies(More)
There is growing evidence that long and hard gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), discovered at redshifts between 0.4 and 3.4, are related to some type of supernova (SN) explosions. The GRB ejecta are ultra-relativistic, and possibly beamed. There is a possibility that some SN ejecta are also beamed and/or relativistic. Prospects for farther advances guided by expected(More)
A few percent of all stars are variable, yet over 90% of variables brighter than 12 magnitude have not been discovered yet. There is a need for an all sky search and for the early detection of any unexpected events: optical flashes from gamma-ray bursts, novae, dwarf novae, supernovae, 'killer asteroids'. The ongoing projects like ROTSE, ASAS, TASS, and(More)
Variability in the sky has been known for centuries, even millennia, but our knowledge of it is very incomplete even at the bright end. Current technology makes it possible to built small, robotic optical instruments, to record images and to process data in real time, and to archive them on-line, all at a low cost. In addition to obtaining complete catalogs(More)
Long gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are believed to be related to the explosion of powerful supernovae type Ic, which have been stripped of their hydrogen and helium envelopes, and are rapidly rotating. There appear to be two types of these explosions: those which are approximately spherical (GRB980425/1998bw), and which are associated with weak bursts, and the(More)