Could the Optical Transient SCP 06F6 be due to Microlensing?
In this paper, we consider the mysterious optical transient SCP 06F6 displaying a symmetric light curve with a (half-time) duration of about 100 days. The projected location of the event falls close to the center of the galaxy cluster CL 1432.5 + 332.8 lying at the redshift 𝑧 = 1.112. Guided by suggestive symmetry of the light curve and its similarity in two photometric bands, which is a typical signature of microlensing events, we discuss this possibility in several scenarios. As a consistency check we use the lens mass inferred from the event duration and the size of the source. The second check comes from a plausible assumption that since the event was highly magnified there was a perfect alignment at the maximum magnification.
A scenario where the lens and the source are located in our Galaxy is ruled out. There remain extragalactic scenarios in which the source is a broad absorption line quasar at redshift 2.7 (as might be suggested by transient’s spectroscopy) and the lens could be a compact object associated either with the cluster or with quasar’s host galaxy. They give reasonable results.
Even if the true nature of the transient eventually turns out different, the idea presented here is interesting from the perspective of cosmological microlensing studies.
Volume 41, 2020
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