Diffractive Microlensing I: Flickering Planetesimals at the Edge of the Solar System

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Heyl, Jeeremy
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Microlensing and occultation are generally studied in the geometric optics limit. However, diffraction may be important when recently discovered Kuiper-Belt objects (KBOs) occult distant stars. In particular the effects of diffraction become more important as the wavelength of the observation and the distance to the KBO increase. For sufficiently distant and massive KBOs or Oort cloud objects not only is diffraction important but so is gravitational lensing. For an object similar to Eris but located in the Oort cloud, the signature of gravitational lensing would be detected easily during an occultation and would give constraints on the mass and radius of the object.
Comment: 5 pages, 4 figures, changes to reflect the version accepted by MN Letters
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Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
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