Published online by Cambridge University Press: 26 May 2016
Specially-designed microlensing searches, some of which have been underway for several years, are sensitive to extrasolar planets orbiting the most common stars in our Galaxy. Microlensing is particularly well-suited to the detection of Jupiter-mass planets orbiting their parent stars at several AU. Since Jovian analogs are thought to influence the subsequent evolution of most planetary systems, they are particularly important to study. The orbital radii and distances to the planetary systems probed by microlensing are larger than those currently studied by radial velocity techniques; the two methods are thus complementary. Recent results from microlensing searches are discussed, including constraints on Jovian analogs orbiting typical Galactic stars. Benefits and drawbacks of the technique for the characterization of planetary systems, and future prospects are briefly reviewed.
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