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  1. Abstract

    Galaxy-cluster gravitational lenses enable the study of faint galaxies even at large lookback times, and, recently, time-delay constraints on the Hubble constant. There have been few tests, however, of lens model predictions adjacent to the critical curve (≲8″) where the magnification is greatest. In a companion paper, we use the GLAFIC lens model to constrain the BalmerLσrelation for Hiiregions in a galaxy at redshiftz= 1.49 strongly lensed by the MACS J1149 galaxy cluster. Here we perform a detailed comparison between the predictions of 10 cluster lens models that employ multiple modeling assumptions with our measurements of 11 magnified, giant Hiiregions. We find that that the models predict magnifications an average factor of 6.2 smaller, a ∼2σtension, than that inferred from the Hiiregions under the assumption that they follow the low-redshiftLσrelation. To evaluate the possibility that the lens model magnifications are strongly biased, we next consider the flux ratios among knots in three images of Sp1149, and find that these are consistent with model predictions. Moreover, while the mass-sheet degeneracy could in principle account for a factor of ∼6 discrepancy in magnification, the value ofH0inferred from SN Refsdal’s time delay would become implausibly small. We conclude that the lens models are not likely to be highly biased, and that instead the Hiiregions in Sp1149 are substantially more luminous than the low-redshift BalmerLσrelation predicts.

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  2. Abstract We report Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Wide Field Camera 3 deep IR (F160W) imaging of SDSS J1608+2716. This system, located at a redshift of z = 2.575, was recently reported as a triple-quasar candidate with subarcsecond separations (∼0.″25) based on selection from Gaia astrometry and follow-up Keck adaptive optics–assisted integral field unit spectroscopy. Our new HST deep IR imaging reveals the presence of a fourth point-like component located ∼0.″9 away from the triple system. Additionally, we detect an edge-on disk galaxy located in between the four point sources. The entire system exhibits a characteristic cusp structure in the context of strong gravitational lensing, and the observed image configuration can be successfully reproduced using a lens model based on a singular isothermal ellipsoid mass profile. These findings indicate that this system is a quadruply lensed quasar. Our results highlight the challenges associated with identifying dual/multiple quasars on ∼kiloparsec scales at high redshifts and emphasize the crucial role of deep, high-resolution IR imaging in robustly confirming such systems. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  3. Abstract

    A tight positive correlation between the stellar mass and the gas-phase metallicity of galaxies has been observed at low redshifts. The redshift evolution of this correlation can strongly constrain theories of galaxy evolution. The advent of JWST allows probing the mass–metallicity relation at redshifts far beyond what was previously accessible. Here we report the discovery of two emission line galaxies at redshifts 8.15 and 8.16 in JWST NIRCam imaging and NIRSpec spectroscopy of targets gravitationally lensed by the cluster RX J2129.4+0005. We measure their metallicities and stellar masses along with nine additional galaxies at 7.2 <zspec< 9.5 to report the first quantitative statistical inference of the mass–metallicity relation atz≈ 8. We measure ∼0.9 dex evolution in the normalization of the mass–metallicity relation fromz≈ 8 to the local universe; at a fixed stellar mass, galaxies are 8 times less metal enriched atz≈ 8 compared to the present day. Our inferred normalization is in agreement with the predictions of FIRE simulations. Our inferred slope of the mass–metallicity relation is similar to or slightly shallower than that predicted by FIRE or observed at lower redshifts. We compare thez≈ 8 galaxies to extremely low-metallicity analog candidates in the local universe, finding that they are generally distinct from extreme emission line galaxies or “green peas,” but are similar in strong emission line ratios and metallicities to “blueberry galaxies.” Despite this similarity, at a fixed stellar mass, thez≈ 8 galaxies have systematically lower metallicities compared to blueberry galaxies.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 25, 2024
  4. Abstract

    Dual quasars at small physical separations are an important precursor phase of galaxy mergers, ultimately leading to the coalescence of the two supermassive black holes. Starting from a sample of dual and/or lensed quasar candidates discovered using astrometric jitter in Gaia data, we present a pilot case study of one of the most promising yet puzzling candidate dual quasars at cosmic noon (z∼ 1.8). Using multiwavelength imaging and spectroscopy from X-ray to radio, we test whether the SDSS J0823+2418 system is two individual quasars in a bound pair at separation ∼0.″64, or instead a single quasar being gravitationally lensed by a foreground galaxy. We find consistent flux ratios (∼1.25−1.45) between the two sources in optical, near-IR (NIR), UV, and radio, and thus similar spectral energy distributions, suggesting a strong-lensing scenario. However, differences in the radio spectral index, as well as changing X-ray fluxes, hint at either a dual quasar with otherwise nearly identical properties or perhaps lensing-based time lag of ∼3 days paired with intrinsic variability. We find with lens mass modeling that the relative NIR positions and magnitudes of the two quasars and a marginally detected central galaxy are consistent with strong lensing. Archival Sloan Digital Sky Survey spectra likewise suggest a foreground absorber via Mgiiabsorption lines. We conclude that SDSS J0823+2418 is likely a lensed quasar, and therefore that the VODKA sample contains a population of these lensed systems (perhaps as high as 50%) as well as dual quasars.

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  5. Abstract

    One of the key questions on active galactic nuclei (AGN) in galaxy clusters is how AGN could affect the formation and evolution of member galaxies and galaxy clusters in the history of the Universe. To address this issue, we investigate the dependence of AGN number fraction (fAGN) on cluster redshift (zcl) and distance from the cluster center (R$/$R200). We focus on more than 27000 galaxy groups and clusters at 0.1 < zcl < 1.4 with more than 1 million member galaxies selected from the Subaru Hyper Suprime-Cam. By combining various AGN selection methods based on infrared (IR), radio, and X-ray data, we identify 2688 AGN. We find that (i) fAGN increases with zcl and (ii) fAGN decreases with R$/$R200. The main contributors to the rapid increase of fAGN towards high-z and cluster center are IR- and radio-selected AGN, respectively. These results indicate that the emergence of the AGN population depends on the environment and redshift, and galaxy groups and clusters at high z play an important role in AGN evolution. We also find that cluster–cluster mergers may not drive AGN activity in at least the cluster center, while we have tentative evidence that cluster–cluster mergers could enhance AGN activity in the outskirts of (particularly massive) galaxy clusters.

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    We report the discovery of a transient seen in a strongly lensed arc at redshift zs = 1.2567 in Hubble Space Telescope imaging of the Abell 370 galaxy cluster. The transient is detected at 29.51 ± 0.14 AB mag in a WFC3/UVIS F200LP difference image made using observations from two different epochs, obtained in the framework of the Flashlights programme, and is also visible in the F350LP band (mF350LP ≈ 30.53 ± 0.76 AB mag). The transient is observed on the negative-parity side of the critical curve at a distance of ∼0.6 arcsec from it, greater than previous examples of lensed stars. The large distance from the critical curve yields a significantly smaller macromagnification, but our simulations show that bright, O/B-type supergiants can reach sufficiently high magnifications to be seen at the observed position and magnitude. In addition, the observed transient image is a trailing image with an observer-frame time delay of ∼+0.8 d from its expected counterpart, so that any transient lasting for longer than that should have also been seen on the minima side and is thus excluded. This, together with the blue colour we measure for the transient (mF200LP − mF350LP ≈ [−0.3, −1.6] AB), rules out most other transient candidates such as (kilo)novae, for example, and makes a lensed star the prime candidate. Assuming that the transient is indeed a lensed star as suggested, many more such events should be detected in the near future in cluster surveys with the Hubble Space Telescope and JWST.

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  7. Smith, Keith (Ed.)
    Ultraviolet light from early galaxies is thought to have ionized gas in the intergalactic medium. However, there are few observational constraints on this epoch because of the faintness of those galaxies and the redshift of their optical light into the infrared. We report the observation, in JWST imaging, of a distant galaxy that is magnified by gravitational lensing. JWST spectroscopy of the galaxy, at rest-frame optical wavelengths, detects strong nebular emission lines that are attributable to oxygen and hydrogen. The measured redshift is z= 9.51 ± 0.01, corresponding to 510 million years after the Big Bang. The galaxy has a radius of 16.2-7.2+4.6 parsecs, which is substantially more compact than galaxies with equivalent luminosity at z~ 6 to 8, leading to a high star formation rate surface density. 
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  8. Abstract

    The statistics of galactic-scale quasar pairs can elucidate our understanding of the dynamical evolution of supermassive black hole (SMBH) pairs, the duty cycles of quasar activity in mergers, or even the nature of dark matter, but they have been challenging to measure at cosmic noon, the prime epoch of massive galaxy and SMBH formation. Here we measure a double quasar fraction of ∼6.2 ± 0.5 × 10−4integrated over ∼0.″3–3″ separations (projected physical separations of ∼3–30 kpc atz∼ 2) in luminous (Lbol> 1045.8erg s−1) unobscured quasars at 1.5 <z< 3.5 using Gaia EDR3-resolved pairs around SDSS DR16 quasars. The measurement was based on a sample of 60 Gaia-resolved double quasars (out of 487 Gaia pairs dominated by quasar+star superpositions) at these separations, corrected for pair completeness in Gaia, which we quantify as functions of pair separation, magnitude of the primary, and magnitude contrast. The double quasar fraction increases toward smaller separations by a factor of ∼5 over these scales. The division between physical quasar pairs and lensed quasars in our sample is currently unknown, requiring dedicated follow-up observations (in particular, deep, subarcsecond-resolution IR imaging for the closest pairs). Intriguingly, at this point, the observed pair statistics are in rough agreement with theoretical predictions both for the lensed quasar population in mock catalogs and for dual quasars in cosmological hydrodynamic simulations. Upcoming wide-field imaging/spectroscopic space missions such as Euclid, CSST, and Roman, combined with targeted follow-up observations, will conclusively measure the abundances and host galaxy properties of galactic-scale quasar pairs, offset AGNs, and subarcsecond lensed quasars across cosmic time.

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