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Title: The M31 pixel lensing plan campaign: MACHO lensing and self-lensing signals

We present the final analysis of the observational campaign carried out by the PLAN (Pixel Lensing Andromeda) collaboration to detect a dark matter signal in form of MACHOs through the microlensing effect. The campaign consists of about 1 month/year observations carried out over 4 years (2007-2010) at the 1.5 m Cassini telescope in Loiano (Astronomical Observatory of BOLOGNA, OAB) plus 10 days of data taken in 2010 at the 2 m Himalayan Chandra Telescope monitoring the central part of M31 (two fields of about 13' × 12.'6). We establish a fully automated pipeline for the search and the characterization of microlensing flux variations. As a result, we detect three microlensing candidates. We evaluate the expected signal through a full Monte Carlo simulation of the experiment completed by an analysis of the detection efficiency of our pipeline. We consider both 'self lensing' and 'MACHO lensing' lens populations, given by M31 stars and dark matter halo MACHOs, in M31 and the Milky Way, respectively. The total number of events is consistent with the expected self-lensing rate. Specifically, we evaluate an expected signal of about two self-lensing events. As for MACHO lensing, for full 0.5(10{sup –2}) M {sub ☉} MACHO halos, our predictionmore » is for about four (seven) events. The comparatively small number of expected MACHO versus self-lensing events, together with the small number statistics at our disposal, do not enable us to put strong constraints on that population. Rather, the hypothesis, suggested by a previous analysis, on the MACHO nature of OAB-07-N2, one of the microlensing candidates, translates into a sizeable lower limit for the halo mass fraction in form of the would-be MACHO population, f, of about 15% for 0.5 M {sub ☉} MACHOs.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ; ;  [3] ;  [4] ; ; ; ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8] ; ;  [9] ;  [10] ;  [11] ;
  1. Istituto Internazionale per gli Alti Studi Scientifici (IIASS), Via Pellegrino 19, I-84019 Vietri Sul Mare (Italy)
  2. Dipartimento di Fisica E. R. Caianiello, Università di Salerno, Via Giovanni Paolo II 132, I-84084 Fisciano (Italy)
  3. INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, Via Ranzani 1, I-40127 Bologna (Italy)
  4. INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Salita Moiariello 16, I-80131 Napoli (Italy)
  5. Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica E. De Giorgi, Università del Salento, CP 193, I-73100 Lecce (Italy)
  6. SUPA, University of St Andrews, School of Physics and Astronomy, North Haugh, St Andrews, KY16 9SS (United Kingdom)
  7. Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Zürich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zürich (Switzerland)
  8. Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany)
  9. Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore 560 034 (India)
  10. Dipartimento di Scienza Applicata e Tecnologia, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, I-10129 Torino (Italy)
  11. Department of Astronomy, Ohio State University, 140 West 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22351592
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 783; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; DETECTION; EFFICIENCY; GRAVITATIONAL LENSES; HYPOTHESIS; LIMITING VALUES; MASS; MILKY WAY; MONTE CARLO METHOD; NONLUMINOUS MATTER; STATISTICS; TELESCOPES