Volume 379, Number 3, December I 2001
|Page(s)||872 - 877|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters, and populations|
|Published online||15 December 2001|
Microlensing planets in M 22: Free-floating or bound?
Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Corresponding author: R. de la Fuente Marcos, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 31 August 2001
We use detailed numerical simulations and theoretical estimates to show that, if confirmed, the unusually brief microlensing events observed by Sahu et al. ([CITE]) 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
© ESO, 2001
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