Ms. Yee is a Sagan Fellow at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Microlensing uses the gravitational bending of light to detect planets around unseen stars. Since these events rely on the chance superposition of two stars as they follow their separate orbits in the Galaxy, each event happens only once with little opportunity for followup after the event is over. I will discuss three microlensing events and the planets discovered in them, and I will show how empirical results can be used to reliably identify planetary signals in the face of real (not-ideal) noise. I will also present the results of one of the few direct tests of a microlensing model prediction. Such tests are crucial for demonstrating that measurements of orbital motion of the lens systems can be reliably extracted from microlensing light curves.
Reception to follow.
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