Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Astrophysics from Microlensing Surveys: Results from the MACHO Project and Prospects for the SuperMACHO Project

Dr. Douglas L. Welch
McMaster University

Wednesday, March 26, 2003
1:30 PM @ Stirling A

Abstract:

The massive photometric survey known as the MACHO Project was launched to establish the fraction the Milky Way's mass which might be present in the form of compact, dense objects which emit little or no light - so-called "MACHO's". Microlensing – the (unresolved) apparent amplification of the light received from a background star due to the presence of a moving compact mass near to the line of sight - was established as a useful tool for locating compact dark objects by both the MACHO Project and its competitors. In this talk, I will review the rich harvest of both dark matter results and variable star findings which have been extracted from this full-time photometric survey.

I am currently involved in an equally ambitious undertaking officially labelled as the "Next Generation Microlensing Survey" -but known to most as the SuperMACHO Project - which has been allocated five years of survey time at the 4m Blanco telescope of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. I will describe the prospects and progress of this undertaking after two seasons of observations.

Refreshments will be available in the lounge after the talk.