Published on Mon Feb 28 2022

New limits from microlensing on Galactic Black Holes in the mass range 10xMsun < M < 1000xMsun

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We have searched for long duration microlensing events originating from intermediate mass Black Holes (BH) in the halo of the Milky Way, using archival data from EROS-2 and MACHO photometric surveys towards the Large Magellanic Cloud. We combined data from these two surveys to create a common database of light curves for 14.1 million objects in LMC, covering a total duration of 10.6 years, with flux series measured through 4 wide band filters. We have carried out a microlensing search on these light curves, complemented by 22.7 million light curves, observed by EROS-2 only or MACHO only over about 7 years, with flux series measured through only 2 filters. A likelihood analysis, taking into account LMC self lensing and Milky Way disk contributions allows us to conclude that compact objects with masses in the range 10 - 100 Msun cannot make up more than ~15% of a standard halo total mass (at 95% confidence level). Our analysis sensitivity weakens for heavier objects, although we still exclude that ~ 50% of the halo be made of ~ 1000xMsun BHs. Combined with previous EROS results, an upper limit of ~ 15% of the total halo mass can be obtained for the contribution of compact halo objects in the mass range 10^{-6} - 10^2 Msun.