STScI NAVO Directory
- The Massive Compact Halo Object (MACHO) Project Data Archive
- Short Name:
- 17 Feb 2014 21:38:26
- The MACHO Project was a collaboration between scientists at the Mt. Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories, the Center for Particle Astrophysics at the Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Berkeley campuses of the University of California, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Our primary aim was to test the hypothesis that a significant fraction of the dark matter in the halo of the Milky Way is made up of objects like brown dwarfs or planets: these objects have come to be known as MACHOs, for MAssive Compact Halo Objects. The signature of these objects is the occasional amplification of the light from extragalactic stars by the gravitational lens effect. The amplification can be large, but events are extremely rare: it was necessary to monitor photometrically several million stars for a period of 10 years in order to obtain a useful detection rate. For this purpose we built a two channel system that employed eight 2048*2048 CCDs, mounted on the 50 inch telescope at Mt. Stromlo. The MACHO project data archive consists of approximately 127,000 two-colour images of fields collected between 1992 and 2003 covering the large and small Magellanic clouds and the galactic bulge and two-colour light-curves for approximately 18 million stars in the LMC and galactic bulge.