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  1. Abstract

    Uncertainty in the initial–final mass relation (IFMR) has long been a problem in understanding the final stages of massive star evolution. One of the major challenges of constraining the IFMR is the difficulty of measuring the mass of nonluminous remnant objects (i.e., neutron stars and black holes). Gravitational-wave detectors have opened the possibility of finding large numbers of compact objects in other galaxies, but all in merging binary systems. Gravitational lensing experiments using astrometry and photometry are capable of finding compact objects, both isolated and in binaries, in the Milky Way. In this work we improve the Population Synthesis for Compact object Lensing Events (PopSyCLE)microlensing simulation code in order to explore the possibility of constraining the IFMR using the Milky Way microlensing population. We predict that the Roman Space Telescope’s microlensing survey will likely be able to distinguish different IFMRs based on the differences at the long end of the Einstein crossing time distribution and the small end of the microlensing parallax distribution, assuming the small (πE≲ 0.02) microlensing parallaxes characteristic of black hole lenses are able to be measured accurately. We emphasize that future microlensing surveys need to be capable of characterizing events with small microlensing parallaxes inmore »order to place the most meaningful constraints on the IFMR.

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  2. Schmidt, Dirk ; Schreiber, Laura ; Vernet, Elise (Ed.)
    We calculate an optical distortion solution for the OSIRIS Imager on the Keck I telescope, by matching observations of globular clusters to a Hubble reference catalogue. This solution can be applied to correct astrometric distortions in OSIRIS frames, improving the astrometric accuracy of observations. We model the distortion with a 5th order Legendre polynomial. The distortion we find matches the expected OSIRIS distortion, and has a fit error of 0.6 mas, but has large residuals of 7 mas. We are currently iterating on an improved reference frame to improve the residual. Additionally, we have installed the Precision Calibration Unit (PCU) on the Keck I optical bench, which will generates an artificial grid of stars for use in future distortion calculations.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 30, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023