skip to main content

Title: TDCOSMO: XI. New lensing galaxy redshift and velocity dispersion measurements from Keck spectroscopy of eight lensed quasar systems

We have measured the redshifts and single-aperture velocity dispersions of eight lens galaxies using the data collected by the Echellette Spectrograph and Imager (ESI) and Low Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (LRIS) at W.M. Keck observatory on different observing nights spread over three years (2018–2020). These results, combined with other ancillary data, such as high-resolution images of the lens systems, and time delays, are necessary to increase the sample size of the quasar-galaxy lens systems for which the Hubble constant can be measured, using the time-delay strong lensing method, hence increasing the precision of its inference. Typically, the 2D spectra of the quasar-galaxy lens systems get spatially blended due to seeing by ground-based observations. As a result, the extracted lensing galaxy (deflector) spectra become significantly contaminated by quasar light, which affects the ability to extract meaningful information about the deflector. To account for spatial blending and extract less contaminated and higher signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) 1D spectra of the deflectors, a forward modeling method has been implemented. From the extracted spectra, we have measured redshifts using prominent absorption lines and single aperture velocity dispersions using the penalized pixel fitting code pPXF. In this paper, we report the redshifts and single aperture velocity dispersions of eight lens galaxies – J0147+4630, B0445+123, B0631+519, J0659+1629, J0818−2613, J0924+0219, J1433+6007, and J1817+2729. Among these systems, six do not have previously measured velocity dispersions; for the other two, our measurements are consistent with previously reported values. Additionally, we have measured the previously unknown redshifts of the deflectors in J0818−2613 and J1817+2729 to be 0.866 ± 0.002 and 0.408 ± 0.002, respectively.

more » « less
Award ID(s):
1906976 1907396
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Astronomy & Astrophysics
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. ABSTRACT We present a blind time-delay cosmographic analysis for the lens system DES J0408−5354. This system is extraordinary for the presence of two sets of multiple images at different redshifts, which provide the opportunity to obtain more information at the cost of increased modelling complexity with respect to previously analysed systems. We perform detailed modelling of the mass distribution for this lens system using three band Hubble Space Telescope imaging. We combine the measured time delays, line-of-sight central velocity dispersion of the deflector, and statistically constrained external convergence with our lens models to estimate two cosmological distances. We measure the ‘effective’ time-delay distance corresponding to the redshifts of the deflector and the lensed quasar $D_{\Delta t}^{\rm eff}=$$3382_{-115}^{+146}$ Mpc and the angular diameter distance to the deflector Dd = $1711_{-280}^{+376}$ Mpc, with covariance between the two distances. From these constraints on the cosmological distances, we infer the Hubble constant H0= $74.2_{-3.0}^{+2.7}$ km s−1 Mpc−1 assuming a flat ΛCDM cosmology and a uniform prior for Ωm as $\Omega _{\rm m} \sim \mathcal {U}(0.05, 0.5)$. This measurement gives the most precise constraint on H0 to date from a single lens. Our measurement is consistent with that obtained from the previous sample of six lenses analysed by the H0 Lenses in COSMOGRAIL’s Wellspring (H0LiCOW) collaboration. It is also consistent with measurements of H0 based on the local distance ladder, reinforcing the tension with the inference from early Universe probes, for example, with 2.2σ discrepancy from the cosmic microwave background measurement. 
    more » « less
  2. ABSTRACT We report the results of the STRong lensing Insights into the Dark Energy Survey (STRIDES) follow-up campaign of the late 2017/early 2018 season. We obtained spectra of 65 lensed quasar candidates with ESO Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera 2 on the NTT and Echellette Spectrograph and Imager on Keck, confirming 10 new lensed quasars and 10 quasar pairs. Eight lensed quasars are doubly imaged with source redshifts between 0.99 and 2.90, one is triply imaged (DESJ0345−2545, z = 1.68), and one is quadruply imaged (quad: DESJ0053−2012, z = 3.8). Singular isothermal ellipsoid models for the doubles, based on high-resolution imaging from SAMI on Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope or Near InfraRed Camera 2 on Keck, give total magnifications between 3.2 and 5.6, and Einstein radii between 0.49 and 1.97 arcsec. After spectroscopic follow-up, we extract multi-epoch grizY photometry of confirmed lensed quasars and contaminant quasar + star pairs from DES data using parametric multiband modelling, and compare variability in each system’s components. By measuring the reduced χ2 associated with fitting all epochs to the same magnitude, we find a simple cut on the less variable component that retains all confirmed lensed quasars, while removing 94 per cent of contaminant systems. Based on our spectroscopic follow-up, this variability information improves selection of lensed quasars and quasar pairs from 34-45 per cent to 51–70 per cent, with most remaining contaminants being star-forming galaxies. Using mock lensed quasar light curves we demonstrate that selection based only on variability will over-represent the quad fraction by 10 per cent over a complete DES magnitude-limited sample, explained by the magnification bias and hence lower luminosity/more variable sources in quads. 
    more » « less
  3. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT In time-delay cosmography, three of the key ingredients are (1) determining the velocity dispersion of the lensing galaxy, (2) identifying galaxies and groups along the line of sight with sufficient proximity and mass to be included in the mass model, and (3) estimating the external convergence κext from less massive structures that are not included in the mass model. We present results on all three of these ingredients for two time-delay lensed quad quasar systems, DES J0408–5354 and WGD 2038–4008 . We use the Gemini, Magellan, and VLT telescopes to obtain spectra to both measure the stellar velocity dispersions of the main lensing galaxies and to identify the line-of-sight galaxies in these systems. Next, we identify 10 groups in DES J0408–5354 and two groups in WGD 2038–4008 using a group-finding algorithm. We then identify the most significant galaxy and galaxy-group perturbers using the ‘flexion shift’ criterion. We determine the probability distribution function of the external convergence κext for both of these systems based on our spectroscopy and on the DES-only multiband wide-field observations. Using weighted galaxy counts, calibrated based on the Millennium Simulation, we find that DES J0408–5354 is located in a significantly underdense environment, leading to a tight (width $\sim 3{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$), negative-value κext distribution. On the other hand, WGD 2038–4008 is located in an environment of close to unit density, and its low source redshift results in a much tighter κext of $\sim 1{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$, as long as no external shear constraints are imposed. 
    more » « less
  4. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Strongly lensed explosive transients such as supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, fast radio bursts, and gravitational waves are very promising tools to determine the Hubble constant (H0) in the near future in addition to strongly lensed quasars. In this work, we show that the transient nature of the point source provides an advantage over quasars: The lensed host galaxy can be observed before or after the transient’s appearance. Therefore, the lens model can be derived from images free of contamination from bright point sources. We quantify this advantage by comparing the precision of a lens model obtained from the same lenses with and without point sources. Based on Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) observations with the same sets of lensing parameters, we simulate realistic mock data sets of 48 quasar lensing systems (i.e. adding AGN in the galaxy centre) and 48 galaxy–galaxy lensing systems (assuming the transient source is not visible but the time delay and image positions have been or will be measured). We then model the images and compare the inferences of the lens model parameters and H0. We find that the precision of the lens models (in terms of the deflector mass slope) is better by a factor of 4.1 for the sample without lensed point sources, resulting in an increase of H0 precision by a factor of 2.9. The opportunity to observe the lens systems without the transient point sources provides an additional advantage for time-delay cosmography over lensed quasars. It facilitates the determination of higher signal-to-noise stellar kinematics of the main deflector, and thus its mass density profile, which, in turn plays a key role in breaking the mass-sheet degeneracy and constraining H0. 
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    We use medium-resolution Keck/Echellette Spectrograph and Imager spectroscopy of bright quasars to study cool gas traced by Caiiλλ3934, 3969 and Naiλλ5891, 5897 absorption in the interstellar/circumgalactic media of 21 foreground star-forming galaxies at redshifts 0.03 <z< 0.20 with stellar masses 7.4 ≤ logM*/M≤ 10.6. The quasar–galaxy pairs were drawn from a unique sample of Sloan Digital Sky Survey quasar spectra with intervening nebular emission, and thus have exceptionally close impact parameters (R< 13 kpc). The strength of this line emission implies that the galaxies’ star formation rates (SFRs) span a broad range, with several lying well above the star-forming sequence. We use Voigt profile modeling to derive column densities and component velocities for each absorber, finding that column densitiesN(Caii) > 1012.5cm−2(N(Nai) > 1012.0cm−2) occur with an incidencefC(Caii) = 0.63+0.10−0.11(fC(Nai) = 0.57+0.10−0.11). We find no evidence for a dependence offCor the rest-frame equivalent widthsWr(CaiiK) orWr(Nai5891) onRorM*. Instead,Wr(CaiiK) is correlated with local SFR at >3σsignificance, suggesting that Caiitraces star formation-driven outflows. While most of the absorbers have velocities within ±50 km s−1of the host redshift, their velocity widths (characterized by Δv90) are universally 30–177 km s−1larger than that implied by tilted-ring modeling of the velocities of interstellar material. These kinematics must trace galactic fountain flows and demonstrate that they persist atR> 5 kpc. Finally, we assess the relationship between dust reddening andWr(CaiiK) (Wr(Nai5891)), finding that 33% (24%) of the absorbers are inconsistent with the best-fit Milky WayE(B−V)-Wrrelations at >3σsignificance.

    more » « less