Difference Image Analysis of Galactic Microlensing. I. Data Analysis Academic Article uri icon

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  • This is a preliminary report on the application of Difference Image Analysis (DIA) to galactic bulge images. The aim of this analysis is to increase the sensitivity to the detection of gravitational microlensing. We discuss how the DIA technique simplifies the process of discovering microlensing events by detecting only objects which have variable flux. We illustrate how the DIA technique is not limited to detection of so called ``pixel lensing'' events, but can also be used to improve photometry for classical microlensing events by removing the effects of blending. We will present a method whereby DIA can be used to reveal the true unblended colours, positions and light curves of microlensing events. We discuss the need for a technique to obtain the accurate microlensing time scales from blended sources, and present a possible solution to this problem using the existing HST colour magnitude diagrams of the galactic bulge and LMC. The use of such a solution with both classical and pixel microlensing searches is discussed. We show that one of the major causes of systematic noise in DIA is differential refraction. A technique for removing this systematic by effectively registering images to a common airmass is presented. Improvements to commonly used image differencing techniques are discussed.


  • Alcock, C
  • Allsman, RA
  • Alves, D
  • Axelrod, TS
  • Becker, AC
  • Bennett, DP
  • Cook, KH
  • Drake, AJ
  • Freeman, KC
  • Griest, K
  • Lehner, MJ
  • Marshall, SL
  • Minniti, D
  • Peterson, BA
  • Pratt, MR
  • Quinn, PJ
  • Stubbs, CW
  • Sutherland, W
  • Tomaney, A
  • Vandehei, T
  • Welch, Douglas L

publication date

  • August 20, 1999