EDP Sciences
Free access
Issue
A&A
Volume 379, Number 3, December I 2001
Page(s) 872 - 877
Section Stellar clusters and associations
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20011229
A&A 379, 872-877 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20011229

Microlensing planets in M 22: Free-floating or bound?

R. de la Fuente Marcos and C. de la Fuente Marcos

Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria, 28040 Madrid, Spain

(Received 9 July 2001 / Accepted 31 August 2001 )

Abstract
We use detailed numerical simulations and theoretical estimates to show that, if confirmed, the unusually brief microlensing events observed by Sahu et al. (2001) in the field of the globular cluster M 22 might be explained as a result of microlensing by a population of clustered MACHOs, a dark cluster or RAMBO, not associated with the globular cluster. If real, this dark cluster would be located between M 22 and the Galactic bulge and could include at least 106 substellar members with a typical size of 1-3 pc. Bound planets in wide or/and eccentric orbits are also able to reproduce the observed microlensing behaviour, but only if multiplanet systems (including large Kuiper-belt-like objects) are abundant, although, our calculations argue against the latter scenario as the ionization rate in M 22 is very high. Dynamically ejected or lone planets are, in principle, incompatible with the observational findings as they either escape their parent cluster in a relatively short time-scale after ejection or segregate toward the outskirts of the cluster. We discuss additional implications of the dark cluster scenario, including the existence of a population of RAMBOs toward the Galactic bulge.


Key words: celestial mechanics -- stellar dynamics -- dark matter -- Galaxy: globular clusters: individual: NGC 6656 -- globular clusters: general -- gravitational lensing -- planetary systems

Offprint request: R. de la Fuente Marcos, rfuente@ucmail.ucm.es

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