Journal Article

Unlensing <i>HST</i> observations of the Einstein ring 1RXS J1131−1231: a Bayesian analysis

B. J. Brewer and G. F. Lewis

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 390, issue 1, pages 39-48
Published in print October 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online October 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Unlensing HST observations of the Einstein ring 1RXS J1131−1231: a Bayesian analysis

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We present a source and lens reconstruction for the optical Einstein ring gravitational lens system RXS J1131−1231. We resolve detail in the source, which is the host galaxy of a z= 0.658 quasar, down to a resolution of 0.045 arcsec (this is the size of the smallest conclusively resolved structures, rather than the pixel scale), using a Bayesian technique with a realistic model for the prior information. The source reconstruction reveals a substantial amount of complex structure in the host galaxy, which is ∼8 kpc in extent and contains several bright compact substructures, with the quasar source residing in one of these bright substructures. Additionally, we recover the mass distribution of the lensing galaxy, assuming a simply parametrized model, using information from both the quasar images and the extended images. This allows a direct comparison of the amount of information about the lens that is provided by the quasar images in comparison to the extended images. In this system, we find that the extended images provide significantly more information about the lens than the quasar images alone, especially if we do not include prior constraints on the central position of the lens.

Keywords: gravitational lensing; methods: statistical; galaxies: structure

Journal Article.  8157 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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