Journal Article

Quantifying dwarf satellites through gravitational imaging: the case of SDSS J120602.09+514229.5

Simona Vegetti, Oliver Czoske and Léon V. E. Koopmans

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 407, issue 1, pages 225-231
Published in print September 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online August 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Quantifying dwarf satellites through gravitational imaging: the case of SDSS J120602.09+514229.5

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SDSS J120602.09+514229.5 is a gravitational lens system formed by a group of galaxies at redshift zFG= 0.422 lensing a bright background galaxy at redshift zBG= 2.001. The main peculiarity of this system is the presence of a luminous satellite near the Einstein radius, which slightly deforms the giant arc. This makes SDSS J120602.09+514229.5 the ideal system to test our grid-based Bayesian lens modelling method, designed to detect Galaxy satellites independently of their mass-to-light ratio and to measure the mass of this dwarf galaxy despite its high redshift. We model the main lensing potential with a composite analytical density profile consisting of a single power law for the group dominant galaxy and two singular isothermal spheres for the other two group members. Thanks to the pixelized source and potential reconstruction technique of Vegetti and Koopmans, we are able to detect the luminous satellite as a local positive surface density correction to the overall smooth mass model. Assuming a truncated pseudo-Jaffe density profile, the satellite has a mass Msub= (2.75 ± 0.04) × 1010 M inside its tidal radius of rt= 0.68 arcsec. This result is robust against changes in the lens model. We determine for the satellite a luminosity of LB= (1.6 ± 0.8) × 109 L, leading to a total mass-to-light ratio within the tidal radius of (M/L)B= (17.2 ± 8.5) M/L. The central galaxy has a sub-isothermal density profile as in general is expected for group members. From the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) spectrum, we derive for the central galaxy a velocity dispersion of σkinem= 380 ± 60 km s−1 within the SDSS aperture of a diameter of 3 arcsec. The logarithmic density slope of γ= 1.7+0.25−0.30[68 per cent confidence limit (CL)], derived from this measurement, is consistent within 1σ with the density slope of the dominant lens galaxy γ≈ 1.6 determined from the lens model. This paper shows how powerful pixelized lensing techniques are in detecting and constraining the properties of dwarf satellites at high redshift.

Keywords: gravitational lensing: strong; galaxies: dwarf; galaxies: groups: general; galaxies: haloes; galaxies: structure; dark matter

Journal Article.  3893 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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