Derek P. Bennett

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The MACHO collaboration has recently analyzed 2.1 years of photometric data for about 8.5 million stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). This analysis has revealed 8 candidate microlensing events and a total microlensing optical depth of τmeas = 2.9 × 10 −7. This significantly exceeds the number of events (1.1) and the microlensing optical depth(More)
The MACHO Project is a search for dark matter in the form of massive compact halo objects (Machos). Photometric monitoring of millions of stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), and Galactic bulge is used to search for gravitational microlensing events caused by these otherwise invisible objects. Analysis of the first 2.1(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)
We report the detection of 45 candidate microlensing events in fields toward the Galactic bulge. These come from the analysis of 24 fields containing 12.6 million stars observed for 190 days in 1993. Many of these events are of extremely high signal to noise and are remarkable examples of gravitational microlensing. The distribution of peak magnifications(More)
The recent suggestion by Zhao (1996) that the microlensing events observed towards the Large Magellanic Cloud are due to an intervening Sgr-like dwarf galaxy is examined. A search for foreground RR Lyrae in the MACHO photometry database yields 20 stars whose distance distribution follow the expected halo density profile. Cepheid and red giant branch clump(More)
We present observations of the unusual microlensing event OGLE 2003–BLG– 235/MOA 2003–BLG–53. In this event a short duration (7 days) low amplitude deviation in the light curve due a single lens profile was observed in both the MOA and OGLE survey observations. We find that the observed features of the light curve can only be reproduced using a binary(More)
Most known extrasolar planets (exoplanets) have been discovered using the radial velocity or transit methods. Both are biased towards planets that are relatively close to their parent stars, and studies find that around 17-30% (refs 4, 5) of solar-like stars host a planet. Gravitational microlensing, on the other hand, probes planets that are further away(More)
Observations of the gravitational microlensing event MOA 2003-BLG-32/OGLE 2003-BLG-219 are presented, for which the peak magnification was over 500, the highest yet reported. Continuous observations around the peak enabled a sensitive search for planets orbiting the lens star. No planets were detected. Planets 1.3 times heavier than Earth were excluded from(More)
There is now abundant evidence for the presence of large quantities of unseen matter surrounding normal galaxies, including our own 1,2. The nature of this 'dark matter' is unknown, except that it cannot be made of normal stars, dust, or gas, as they would be easily detected. Exotic particles such as axions, massive neutrinos or other weakly interacting(More)