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Astron. Astrophys. 351, 775-786 (1999)

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Microlensing towards different Galactic targets

Lukas Grenacher 1,2, Philippe Jetzer 1,2, Marcus Strässle 2 and Francesco De Paolis 3

1 Paul Scherrer Institut, Laboratory for Astrophysics, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland
2 Institut für Theoretische Physik der Universität Zürich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland
3 Department of Physics and INFN, University of Lecce, CP 193, 73000 Lecce, Italy

Received 20 May 1999 / Accepted 20 September 1999


We calculate the optical depth and the number of events due to gravitational microlensing towards the Galactic bulge, the spiral arm directions [FORMULA] Scutum, [FORMULA] Scutum, [FORMULA] Normae, [FORMULA] Muscae and some dwarf galaxies in the halo of the Galaxy.

Using the events found by the MACHO collaboration during their first year of observation towards Baade's Window we estimate the mass functions for the bulge and disk populations following the mass moment method. We find that the mass function can be described by a decreasing power-law with slope [FORMULA] in both cases and a minimal mass of [FORMULA] [FORMULA] for the bulge and [FORMULA] [FORMULA] for the disk, respectively. Assuming that the obtained mass function for the disk is also valid in the spiral arms, we find that the expected number of events towards the spiral arms is in reasonable agreement with the observations. However, the small number of observed events does not yet constrain much the different parameters entering in the computation of the mass function.

To study the influence of the Magellanic Clouds on the shape and the velocity dispersion in the halo we perform a N-body simulation. We find that their presence induces a slight flattening of the halo ([FORMULA]). As a result the expected number of microlensing events towards some targets in the halo, such as the LMC or the SMC, decreases by about 20%, whereas due to the modification induced on the velocity dispersion the event duration increases.

Key words: stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs – Galaxy: stellar content – Galaxy: structure – cosmology: dark matter

Send offprint requests to: lugre@physik.unizh.ch

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: November 3, 1999