Journal Article

Microlensing of broad absorption line quasars

G. F. Lewis and K. E. Belle

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 297, issue 1, pages 69-76
Published in print June 1998 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online June 1998 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


Show Summary Details


The physical nature of the material responsible for the high-velocity broad absorption line (BAL) features seen in a small fraction of quasar spectra has been the subject of debate since their discovery. This has been especially compounded by the lack of observational probes of the absorbing region. In this paper we examine the role of ‘microlenses’ in external galaxies in the observed variability in the profiles of BALs in multiply imaged quasars. Utilizing realistic models for both the BAL region and the action of an ensemble of microlensing masses, we demonstrate that stars at cosmological distances can provide an important probe of the physical state and structure of material at the heart of these complex systems. Applying these results to the macrolensed BAL quasar system H1413+117, the observed spectral variations are readily reproduced, but without the fine-tuning requirements of earlier studies which employ more simplistic models.

Keywords: quasars: absorption lines; gravitational lensing

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics