The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) is expected to detect hundreds of free-floating planets, but it will not be able to measure their masses. However, simultaneous microlensing observations by both Euclid and WFIRST, separated by ̃100,000 km in orbits around the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point, will enable measurements of microlensing parallax for low-mass lenses such as free-floating planets. Using simple Fisher matrix estimates of the parallax measurement uncertainties, we show that high-cadence observations by Euclid could be used to measure ̃1 free-floating planet microlens parallax per 6 days of simultaneous Euclid observations. Accounting for Euclid’s pointing constraints, it could therefore potentially measure ̃20 free-floating planet parallaxes, with 120 days of observations split equally between Euclid’s main mission and an extended mission, with the potential to increase this number if spacecraft pointing constraints can be relaxed after the end of the main mission. These Euclid observations would also provide additional mass measurements or cross-checks for larger numbers of WFIRST’s bound planets, among other benefits to several science cases.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- August 2019
- gravitational lensing: micro;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics