Identifying Low-Amplitude Pulsating Stars Through Microlensing Observations

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One possibility for detecting low-amplitude pulsational variations is through gravitational microlensing. During a microlensing event, the temporary brightness increase leads to improvement in the signal-to-noise ratio, and thereby better detectability of pulsational signatures in light curves. We explore this possibility under two primary considerations. The first is when the standard point-source and point-lens approximation applies. In this scenario, dividing the observed light curve by the best-fitted microlensing model leads to residuals that result in pulsational features with improved uncertainties. The second is for transit events (single lens) or caustic crossing (binary lens). The point-source approximation breaks down, and residuals relative to a simple best-fitted microlensing model display more complex behaviour. We employ a Monte Carlo simulation of microlensing of pulsating variables toward the Galactic bulge for the surveys of OGLE and of KMTNet. We demonstrate that the efficiency for detecting pulsational signatures with intrinsic amplitudes of <0.25 mag during single and binary microlensing events, at differences in χ2 of Δχ2 > 350, is $\sim \!50\!-\!60{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$. The maximum efficiency occurs for pulsational periods P ≃ 0.1-0.3 d. We also study the possibility that high-magnification microlensing events of non-radially pulsating stars could be misinterpreted as planetary or binary microlensing events. We conclude that small asymmetric features around light curve peaks due to stellar pulsations could be misdiagnosed with crossing (or passing close to) small caustic curves.