The distribution of microlensed light-curve derivatives: The relationship between stellar proper motions and transverse velocity

J. S.B. Wyithe, R. L. Webster, E. L. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present a method for computing the probability distribution of microlensed light-curve derivatives both in the case of a static lens with a transverse velocity, and in the case of microlensing that is produced through stellar proper motions. The distributions are closely related in form, and can be considered equivalent after appropriate scaling of the input transverse velocity. The comparison of the distributions in this manner provides a consistent way to consider the relative contribution to microlensing (both large and small fluctuations) of the two classes of motion, a problem that is otherwise an extremely expensive computational exercise. We find that the relative contribution of stellar proper motions to the microlensing rate is independent of the mass function assumed for the microlenses, but is a function of optical depth and shear. We find that stellar proper motions produce a higher overall microlensing rate than a transverse velocity of the same magnitude. This effect becomes more pronounced at higher optical depth. With the introduction of shear, the relative rates of microlensing become dependent on the direction of the transverse velocity. This may have important consequences in the case of quadruply lensed quasars such as Q2237+0305, where the alignment of the shear vector with the source trajectory varies between images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-852
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume312
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 11 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • Methods
  • Numerical - Gravitational lensing

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