Microlensing can be used to discover exoplanets of a wide range of masses with orbits beyond ∼1 au, and even free-floating planets. The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission will use microlensing to discover approximately 1600 planets by monitoring ∼100 million stars to find ∼50,000 microlensing events. Modeling each microlensing event, especially the ones involving two or more lenses, is typically complicated and time consuming, and analyzing thousands of WFIRST microlensing events is possibly infeasible using current methods. Here, we present an algorithm that is able to rapidly evaluate thousands of simulated WFIRST binary-lens microlensing light curves, returning an estimate for the physical parameters of the lens systems. We find that this algorithm can recover projected separations between the planet and the star very well for low-mass-ratio events, and can also estimate mass ratios within an order of magnitude for events with wide and close caustic topologies.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Khakpash, S., Penny, M., & Pepper, J. (2019). A Fast Approximate Approach to Microlensing Survey Analysis. Astronomical Journal, 158 (1) https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-3881/ab1fe3