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2009ApJ...696.1125N - Astrophys. J., 696, 1125-1141 (2009/May-2)

Enhanced lensing rate by clustering of massive galaxies: newly discovered systems in the SLACS fields.


Abstract (from CDS):

Galaxy-scale strong gravitational lens systems are useful for a variety of astrophysical applications. However, their use is limited by the relatively small samples of lenses known to date. It is thus important to develop efficient ways to discover new systems both in present and forthcoming data sets. For future large high-resolution imaging surveys we anticipate an ever-growing need for efficiency and for independence from spectroscopic data. In this paper, we exploit the clustering of massive galaxies to perform a high-efficiency imaging search for gravitational lenses. Our data set comprises 44 fields imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), each of which is centered on a lens discovered by the Strong Lens ACS Survey (SLACS). We compare four different search methods: (1) automated detection with the HST Archive Galaxy-scale Gravitational Lens Survey (HAGGLeS) robot, (2) examining cutout images of bright galaxies (BGs) after subtraction of a smooth galaxy light distribution, (3) examining the unsubtracted BG cutouts, and (4) performing a full-frame visual inspection of the ACS images. We compute purity and completeness and consider investigator time for the four algorithms, using the main SLACS lenses as a testbed. The first and second algorithms perform the best. We present the four new lens systems discovered during this comprehensive search, as well as one other likely candidate. For each new lens we use the fundamental plane to estimate the lens velocity dispersion and predict, from the resulting lens geometry, the redshifts of the lensed sources. Two of these new systems are found in galaxy clusters, which include the SLACS lenses in the two respective fields. Overall we find that the enhanced lens abundance (30+24–8 lenses/deg2) is higher than expected for random fields (12+4–2 lenses/deg2 for the COSMOS survey). Additionally, we find that the gravitational lenses we detect are qualitatively different from those in the parent SLACS sample: this imaging survey is largely probing higher redshift, and lower mass, early-type galaxies.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): gravitational lensing - surveys - techniques: miscellaneous

Nomenclature: Table 5: [NMT2009] HST N=5. Table 6: [NMT2009] HST lens N=5, [NMT2009] HST source N=5.

Simbad objects: 63

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