CfA Colloquium Schedule Fall 2014
 30 October 2014

30 October 2014

Speaker: Andy Gould (Ohio State)

Title: Microlensing Takes Off

Abstract: After 50 years of dreaming about it, space-based microlensing observations are now underway. A Spitzer Pilot Program is yielding "microlens parallaxes" for dozens of lenses, opening the prospect of routine mass and distance measurements for the cool planets probed by microlensing as well as determining the Galactic distribution of planets. Analogous observations by Kepler will measure the mass function of free-floating planets. WFIRST microlensing observations will, as advertised, "complete the planetary census" but they will do an immense amount of astrophysics as well. WFIRST parallaxes will be 100 times better than GAIA, with 1M below 0.3 microarcsec and 40M below 4 microarcsec. WFIRST will produce 1M astroseismic measurements, precision orbits of 1000 KBOs beyond the break at r=26.5, and much else. I discuss how microlensing's take off builds on rapid ground-based developments.


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