Matthew J. Lehner

Matthew J. Lehner
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Matthew J. Lehner

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Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (4)
High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (2)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (2)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (1)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (1)

Publications Authored By Matthew J. Lehner

Although the majority of Centaurs are thought to have originated in the scattered disk, with the high-inclination members coming from the Oort cloud, the origin of the high inclination component of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) remains uncertain. We report the discovery of a retrograde TNO, which we nickname "Niku", detected by the Pan-STARRS 1 Outer Solar System Survey. Our numerical integrations show that the orbital dynamics of Niku are very similar to that of 2008 KV$_{42}$ (Drac), with a half-life of $\sim 500$ Myr. Read More

How black holes accrete surrounding matter is a fundamental, yet unsolved question in astrophysics. It is generally believed that matter is absorbed into black holes via accretion disks, the state of which depends primarily on the mass-accretion rate. When this rate approaches the critical rate (the Eddington limit), thermal instability is supposed to occur in the inner disc, causing repetitive patterns of large-amplitude X-ray variability (oscillations) on timescales of minutes to hours. Read More

We present the analysis on our new limits of the dark matter (DM) halo consisting of primordial black holes (PBHs) or massive compact halo objects (MACHOs). We present a search of the first two years of publicly available Kepler mission data for potential signatures of gravitational microlensing caused by these objects, as well as an extensive analysis of the astrophysical sources of background error. These include variable stars, flare events, and comets or asteroids which are moving through the Kepler field. Read More

If the Dark Matter consists of primordial black holes (PBHs), we show that gravitational lensing of stars being monitored by NASA's Kepler search for extra-solar planets can cause significant numbers of detectable microlensing events. A search through the roughly 150,000 lightcurves would result in large numbers of detectable events for PBHs in the mass range $5 \ten{-10}\msun$ to $\aten{-4}\msun$. Non-detection of these events would close almost two orders of magnitude of the mass window for PBH dark matter. Read More

We conducted a search for occultations of bright stars by Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) to estimate the density of sub-km KBOs in the sky. We report here the first results of this occultation survey of the outer solar system conducted in June 2007 and June/July 2008 at the MMT Observatory using Megacam, the large MMT optical imager. We used Megacam in a novel shutterless continuous--readout mode to achieve high precision photometry at 200 Hz. Read More