2,950 research outputs found

    The Cosmic Lens All-Sky Survey parent population - I. Sample selection and number counts

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    We present the selection of the Jodrell Bank Flat-spectrum (JBF) radio source sample, which is designed to reduce the uncertainties in the Cosmic Lens All-Sky Survey (CLASS) gravitational lensing statistics arising from the lack of knowledge about the parent population luminosity function. From observations at 4.86 GHz with the Very Large Array, we have selected a sample of 117 flat-spectrum radio sources with flux densities greater than 5 mJy. These sources were selected in a similar manner to the CLASS complete sample and are therefore representative of the parent population at low flux densities. The vast majority (~90 per cent) of the JBF sample are found to be compact on the arcsecond scales probed here and show little evidence of any extended radio jet emission. Using the JBF and CLASS complete samples we find the differential number counts slope of the parent population above and below the CLASS 30 mJy flux density limit to be -2.07+/-0.02 and -1.96+/-0.12, respectively.Comment: 10 pages, 4 figures, accepted for publication in MNRA

    Dissecting the Gravitational Lens B1608+656. II. Precision Measurements of the Hubble Constant, Spatial Curvature, and the Dark Energy Equation of State

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    Strong gravitational lens systems with measured time delays between the multiple images provide a method for measuring the "time-delay distance" to the lens, and thus the Hubble constant. We present a Bayesian analysis of the strong gravitational lens system B1608+656, incorporating (i) new, deep Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations, (ii) a new velocity dispersion measurement of 260+/-15 km/s for the primary lens galaxy, and (iii) an updated study of the lens' environment. When modeling the stellar dynamics of the primary lens galaxy, the lensing effect, and the environment of the lens, we explicitly include the total mass distribution profile logarithmic slope gamma' and the external convergence kappa_ext; we marginalize over these parameters, assigning well-motivated priors for them, and so turn the major systematic errors into statistical ones. The HST images provide one such prior, constraining the lens mass density profile logarithmic slope to be gamma'=2.08+/-0.03; a combination of numerical simulations and photometric observations of the B1608+656 field provides an estimate of the prior for kappa_ext: 0.10 +0.08/-0.05. This latter distribution dominates the final uncertainty on H_0. Compared with previous work on this system, the new data provide an increase in precision of more than a factor of two. In combination with the WMAP 5-year data set, we find that the B1608+656 data set constrains the curvature parameter to be -0.031 < Omega_k < 0.009 (95% CL), a level of precision comparable to that afforded by the current Type Ia SNe sample. Asserting a flat spatial geometry, we find that, in combination with WMAP, H_0 = 69.7 +4.9/-5.0 km/s/Mpc and w=-0.94 +0.17/-0.19 (68% CL), suggesting that the observations of B1608+656 constrain w as tightly as do the current Baryon Acoustic Oscillation data. (abridged)Comment: 24 pages, 8 figures, revisions based on referee's comments, accepted for publication in Ap

    Lensing galaxies: light or dark?

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    In a recent paper, Hawkins (1997) argues on the basis of statistical studies of double-image gravitational lenses and lens candidates that a large population of dark lenses exists and that these outnumber galaxies with more normal mass-to-light ratios by a factor of 3:1. If correct, this is a very important result for many areas of astronomy including galaxy formation and cosmology. In this paper we discuss our new radio-selected gravitational lens sample, JVAS/CLASS, in order to test and constrain this proposition. We have obtained ground-based and HST images of all multiple-image lens systems in our sample and in 12 cases out of 12 we find the lensing galaxies in the optical and/or near infrared. Our success in finding lensing galaxies creates problems for the dark lens hypothesis. If it is to survive, ad hoc modifications seem to be necessary: only very massive galaxies (more than about one trillion solar masses) can be dark, and the cutoff in mass must be sharp. Our finding of lens galaxies in all the JVAS/CLASS systems is complementary evidence which supports the conclusion of Kochanek et al. (1997) that many of the wide-separation optically-selected pairs are physically distinct quasars rather than gravitational lens systems.Comment: 4 pages, 2 included figures, accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics. Paper version available on request. This replacement amends the text to allow more discussion of the overlap with astro-ph/971016

    The Hubble Constant from the Gravitational Lens B1608+656

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    We present a refined gravitational lens model of the four-image lens system B1608+656 based on new and improved observational constraints: (i) the three independent time-delays and flux-ratios from VLA observations, (ii) the radio-image positions from VLBA observations, (iii) the shape of the deconvolved Einstein Ring from optical and infrared HST images, (iv) the extinction-corrected lens-galaxy centroids and structural parameters, and (v) a stellar velocity dispersion, sigma_ap=247+-35 km/s, of the primary lens galaxy (G1), obtained from an echelle spectrum taken with the Keck--II telescope. The lens mass model consists of two elliptical mass distributions with power-law density profiles and an external shear, totaling 22 free parameters, including the density slopes which are the key parameters to determine the value of H_0 from lens time delays. This has required the development of a new lens code that is highly optimized for speed. The minimum-chi^2 model reproduces all observations very well, including the stellar velocity dispersion and the shape of the Einstein Ring. A combined gravitational-lens and stellar dynamical analysis leads to a value of the Hubble Constant of H_0=75(+7/-6) km/s/Mpc (68 percent CL; Omega_m=0.3, Omega_Lambda=0.7. The non-linear error analysis includes correlations between all free parameters, in particular the density slopes of G1 and G2, yielding an accurate determination of the random error on H_0. The lens galaxy G1 is ~5 times more massive than the secondary lens galaxy (G2), and has a mass density slope of gamma_G1=2.03(+0.14/-0.14) +- 0.03 (68 percent CL) for rho~r^-gamma', very close to isothermal (gamma'=2). (Abridged)Comment: 17 pages, 6 figures, 5 tables; revised version with correct fig.6 and clarified text based on referee report; conclusions unchange

    Luminous Satellites II: Spatial Distribution, Luminosity Function and Cosmic Evolution

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    We infer the normalization and the radial and angular distributions of the number density of satellites of massive galaxies (log‚Ā°10[Mh‚ąó/M‚äô]>10.5\log_{10}[M_{h}^*/M\odot]>10.5) between redshifts 0.1 and 0.8 as a function of host stellar mass, redshift, morphology and satellite luminosity. Exploiting the depth and resolution of the COSMOS HST images, we detect satellites up to eight magnitudes fainter than the host galaxies and as close as 0.3 (1.4) arcseconds (kpc). Describing the number density profile of satellite galaxies to be a projected power law such that P(R)\propto R^{\rpower}, we find \rpower=-1.1\pm 0.3. We find no dependency of \rpower on host stellar mass, redshift, morphology or satellite luminosity. Satellites of early-type hosts have angular distributions that are more flattened than the host light profile and are aligned with its major axis. No significant average alignment is detected for satellites of late-type hosts. The number of satellites within a fixed magnitude contrast from a host galaxy is dependent on its stellar mass, with more massive galaxies hosting significantly more satellites. Furthermore, high-mass late-type hosts have significantly fewer satellites than early-type galaxies of the same stellar mass, likely a result of environmental differences. No significant evolution in the number of satellites per host is detected. The cumulative luminosity function of satellites is qualitatively in good agreement with that predicted using subhalo abundance matching techniques. However, there are significant residual discrepancies in the absolute normalization, suggesting that properties other than the host galaxy luminosity or stellar mass determine the number of satellites.Comment: 23 pages, 12 figures, Accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journa

    Mass along the Line of Sight to the Gravitational Lens B1608+656: Galaxy Groups and Implications for H_0

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    We report the discovery of four groups of galaxies along the line of sight to the B1608+656 gravitational lens system. One group is at the redshift of the primary lensing galaxy (z = 0.631) and appears to have a low mass, with eight spectroscopically confirmed members and an estimated velocity dispersion of 150 ¬Ī 60 km s^(-1). The three other groups are in the foreground of the lens. These groups contain ~10 confirmed members each and are located at redshifts of 0.265, 0.426, and 0.52. Two of the three additional groups are centered roughly on the lens system, while the third is centered ~1' south of the lens. We investigate the effect of each of the four groups on the gravitational lensing potential of the B1608+656 system, with a particular focus on the implications for the value of H_0 derived from this system. We find that each group provides an external convergence of ~0.005-0.060, depending on the assumptions made in the calculation. For the B1608+656 system, the stellar velocity dispersion of the lensing galaxy has been measured, thus breaking the mass sheet degeneracy due to the group that is physically associated with the lens. The effect of the other groups along the line of sight can be folded into the overall uncertainties due to large-scale structure (LSS) along the line of sight. Because B1608+656 appears to lie along an overdense line of sight, the LSS will cause the measurement of H_0 to be biased high for this system. This effect could be 5% or greater

    SHARP -- VII. New constraints on the dark matter free-streaming properties and substructure abundance from gravitationally lensed quasars

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    We present an analysis of seven strongly gravitationally lensed quasars and the corresponding constraints on the properties of dark matter. Our results are derived by modelling the lensed image positions and flux-ratios using a combination of smooth macro models and a population of low-mass haloes within the mass range 10^6 to 10^9 Msun. Our lens models explicitly include higher-order complexity in the form of stellar discs and luminous satellites, as well as low-mass haloes located along the observed lines of sight for the first time. Assuming a Cold Dark Matter (CDM) cosmology, we infer an average total mass fraction in substructure of f_sub = 0.012^{+0.007}_{-0.004} (68 per cent confidence limits), which is in agreement with the predictions from CDM hydrodynamical simulations to within 1 sigma. This result is closer to the predictions than those from previous studies that did not include line-of-sight haloes. Under the assumption of a thermal relic dark matter model, we derive a lower limit on the particle relic mass of m th > 5.58 keV (95 per cent confidence limits), which is consistent with a value of m_th > 5.3 keV from the recent analysis of the Ly-alpha forest. We also identify two main sources of possible systematic errors and conclude that deeper investigations in the complex structure of lens galaxies as well as the size of the background sources should be a priority for this field.Comment: 14 pages, 7 figures, accepted for publication in MNRA

    Time delays for 11 gravitationally lensed quasars revisited

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    We test the robustness of published time delays for 11 lensed quasars by using two techniques to measure time shifts in their light curves. We chose to use two fundamentally different techniques to determine time delays in gravitationally lensed quasars: a method based on fitting a numerical model and another one derived from the minimum dispersion method introduced by Pelt and collaborators. To analyse our sample in a homogeneous way and avoid bias caused by the choice of the method used, we apply both methods to 11 different lensed systems for which delays have been published: JVAS B0218+357, SBS 0909+523, RX J0911+0551, FBQS J0951+2635, HE 1104-1805, PG 1115+080, JVAS B1422+231, SBS 1520+530, CLASS B1600+434, CLASS B1608+656, and HE 2149-2745 Time delays for three double lenses, JVAS B0218+357, HE 1104-1805, and CLASS B1600+434, as well as the quadruply lensed quasar CLASS B1608+656 are confirmed within the error bars. We correct the delay for SBS 1520+530. For PG 1115+080 and RX J0911+0551, the existence of a second solution on top of the published delay is revealed. The time delays in four systems, SBS 0909+523, FBQS J0951+2635, JVAS B1422+231, and HE 2149-2745 prove to be less reliable than previously claimed. If we wish to derive an estimate of H_0 based on time delays in gravitationally lensed quasars, we need to obtain more robust light curves for most of these systems in order to achieve a higher accuracy and robustness on the time delays

    A Determination of H_0 with the CLASS Gravitational Lens B1608+656: I. Time Delay Measurements with the VLA

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    We present the results of a program to monitor the four-image gravitational lens B1608+656 with the VLA. The system was observed over a seven month period from 1996 October to 1997 May. The 64 epochs of observation have an average spacing of 3.6~d. The light curves of the four images of the background source show that the flux density of the background source has varied at the ~5% level. We measure time delays in the system based on common features that are seen in all four light curves. The three independent time delays in the system are found to be Delta t_{BA} = 31 +/- 7~d, Delta t_{BC} = 36 +/- 7~d, and Delta t_{BD} = 76^{+9}_{-10}~d at 95% confidence. This is the first gravitational lens system for which three independent time delays have been measured. A companion paper presents a mass model for the lensing galaxy which correctly reproduces the observed image positions, flux density ratios, and time delay ratios. The last condition is crucial for determining H_0 with a four-image lens. We combine the time delays with the model to obtain a value for the Hubble constant of H_0 = 59^{+8}_{-7} km/s/Mpc at 95% confidence (statistical) for (Omega_M, Omega_{Lambda}) = (1,0). In addition, there is an estimated systematic uncertainty of +/- 15 km/s/Mpc from uncertainties in modeling the radial mass profiles of the lensing galaxies. The value of H_0 presented in this paper is comparable to recent measurements of H_0 from the gravitational lenses 0957+561, PG1115+080, B0218+357, and PKS1830-211.Comment: Accepted for publication in ApJ. 20 pages, 13 figure
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