Calibration of the MACHO Photometry Database Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The MACHO Project is a microlensing survey that monitors the brightnesses of 60 million stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), Small Magellanic Cloud, and Galactic bulge. Our database presently contains about 80 billion photometric measurements, a significant fraction of all astronomical photometry. We describe the calibration of MACHO two-color photometry and transformation to the standard Kron-Cousins V and R system. Calibrated MACHO photometry may be properly compared with all other observations on the Kron-Cousins standard system, enhancing the astrophysical value of these data. For 9 million stars in the LMC bar, independent photometric measurements of 20,000 stars with V < 18 mag in field-overlap regions demonstrate an internal precision sigV = 0.021, sigR = 0.019, and sig(V-R) = 0.028 mag. The accuracy of the zero-point in this calibration is estimated to be +-0.035 mag for stars with colors in the range -0.1 < (V-R) < 1.2 mag. A comparison of calibrated MACHO photometry with published photometric sequences and new Hubble Space Telescope observations shows agreement. The current calibration zero-point uncertainty for the remainder of the MACHO photometry database is estimated to be +- 0.10 mag in V or R and +-0.04 mag in (V-R). We describe the first application of calibrated MACHO photometry data: the construction of a color-magnitude diagram used to calculate our experimental sensitivity to detect microlensing in the LMC.

authors

  • Alcock, C
  • Allsman, RA
  • Alves, DR
  • Axelrod, TS
  • Becker, AC
  • Bennett, DP
  • Cook, KH
  • Drake, AJ
  • Freeman, KC
  • Geha, M
  • Griest, K
  • Lehner, MJ
  • Marshall, SL
  • Minniti, D
  • Peterson, BA
  • Popowski, P
  • Pratt, MR
  • Nelson, CA
  • Quinn, PJ
  • Stubbs, CW
  • Sutherland, W
  • Tomaney, AB
  • Vandehei, T
  • Welch, Douglas L
  • Collaboration), The MACHO

publication date

  • December 1999