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Astron. Astrophys. 329, 522-537 (1998)

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Search for planetary mass objects
in the Galactic halo through microlensing *

C. Renault1, É. Aubourg1, P. Bareyre1, S. Brehin1, M. Gros 1, M. Lachièze-Rey1, B. Laurent1, É. Lesquoy1, C. Magneville1, A. Milsztajn1, L. Moscoso1, N. Palanque-Delabrouille1, F. Queinnec1, J. Rich1, M. Spiro1, L. Vigroux1, S. Zylberajch1, R. Ansari2, F. Cavalier2, M. Moniez2, J.-Ph. Beaulieu 3, R. Ferlet3, Ph. Grison3, A. Vidal-Madjar3, J. Guibert 4, O. Moreau4, É. Maurice5, L. Prévôt5, C. Gry6, S. Char7 and J. Fernandez7
The EROS collaboration

1 CEA, DSM, DAPNIA, Centre d'Études de Saclay, F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
2 Laboratoire de l'Accélérateur Linéaire, IN2P3 CNRS, Université Paris-Sud, F-91405 Orsay Cedex, France
3 Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, 98 bis Boulevard Arago, F-75014 Paris, France
4 Centre d'Analyse des Images de l'INSU, Observatoire de Paris, 61 avenue de l'Observatoire, F-75014 Paris, France
5 Observatoire de Marseille, 2 place Le Verrier, F-13248 Marseille Cedex 04, France
6 Laboratoire d'Astronomie Spatiale de Marseille, Traverse du Siphon, Les Trois Lucs, F-13120 Marseille, France
7 Universidad de la Serena, Faculdad de Ciencias, Departemento de Fisica, Casilla 554, La Serena, Chile

Received 6 May 1997 / Accepted 11 July 1997


We present final results from a search for gravitational microlensing of stars in the Magellanic Clouds by very light machos (MAssive Compact Halo Objects) in the Galactic Halo. The EROS programme used a CCD camera devoted to the detection of events with a duration ranging from 15 minutes to a few days; none of the 350,000 light curves exhibits a form which is consistent with a microlensing event. Using our detection efficiency, largely affected by the finite size of the source and blending effects at the lowest durations, and different models of the Galaxy, we can exclude planetary mass objects as a major constituent of the dark Halo.

Key words: Galaxy: halo; kinematics and dynamics; stellar content – dark matter – gravitational lensing

* Based on observations made at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile.

Send offprint requests to: cecile.renault@cea.fr

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: December 8, 1997