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Gravitational Microlensing Event Statistics for the Zwicky Transient Facility


© 2020. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Microlensing surveys have discovered thousands of events, with almost all events discovered within the Galactic bulge or toward the Magellanic Clouds. The Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), while not designed to be a microlensing campaign, is an optical time-domain survey that observes the entire northern sky, including the Galactic plane, every few nights. The ZTF observes ∼109 stars in the g and r bands and can significantly contribute to the observed microlensing population. We predict that the ZTF will observe ∼1100 microlensing events in 3 yr of observing within 10° latitude of the Galactic plane, with ∼500 events in the outer Galaxy (ℓ ≥ 10°). This yield increases to ∼1400 (∼800) events by combining every three ZTF exposures, ∼1800 (∼900) events if the ZTF observes for a total of 5 yr, and ∼2400 (∼1300) events for a 5 yr survey with postprocessing image stacking. Using the microlensing modeling software PopSyCLE, we compare the microlensing populations in the Galactic bulge and the outer Galaxy. We also present an analysis of the microlensing event ZTF18abhxjmj to demonstrate how to leverage these population statistics in event modeling. The ZTF will constrain Galactic structure, stellar populations, and primordial black holes through photometric microlensing.

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