Journal Article

Non-parametric strong lens inversion of Cl 0024+1654: illustrating the monopole degeneracy

J. Liesenborgs, S. De Rijcke, H. Dejonghe and P. Bekaert

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 389, issue 1, pages 415-422
Published in print September 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online August 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Non-parametric strong lens inversion of Cl 0024+1654: illustrating the monopole degeneracy

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The cluster lens Cl 0024+1654 is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful examples of strong gravitational lensing, providing five large images of a single source with well-resolved substructure. Using the information contained in the positions and the shapes of the images, combined with the null space information, a non-parametric technique is used to infer the strong lensing mass map of the central region of this cluster. This yields a strong lensing mass of 1.60 × 1014M within a 0.5 arcmin radius around the cluster centre. This mass distribution is then used as a case study of the monopole degeneracy, which may be one of the most important degeneracies in gravitational lensing studies and which is extremely hard to break. We illustrate the monopole degeneracy by adding circularly symmetric density distributions with zero total mass to the original mass map of Cl 0024+1654. These redistribute mass in certain areas of the mass map without affecting the observed images in any way. We show that the monopole degeneracy and the mass-sheet degeneracy together lie at the heart of the discrepancies between different gravitational lens reconstructions that can be found in the literature for a given object, and that many images/sources, with an overall high image density in the lens plane, are required to construct an accurate, high-resolution mass map based on strong lensing data.

Keywords: gravitational lensing; methods: data analysis; galaxies: clusters: individual: Cl 0024+1654; dark matter

Journal Article.  5448 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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