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  1. 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.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2024
  2. When strong gravitational lenses are to be used as an astrophysical or cosmological probe, models of their mass distributions are often needed. We present a new, time-efficient automation code for the uniform modeling of strongly lensed quasars withGLEE, a lens-modeling software for multiband data. By using the observed positions of the lensed quasars and the spatially extended surface brightness distribution of the host galaxy of the lensed quasar, we obtain a model of the mass distribution of the lens galaxy. We applied this uniform modeling pipeline to a sample of nine strongly lensed quasars for which images were obtained with the Wide Field Camera 3 of theHubbleSpace Telescope. The models show well-reconstructed light components and a good alignment between mass and light centroids in most cases. We find that the automated modeling code significantly reduces the input time during the modeling process for the user. The time for preparing the required input files is reduced by a factor of 3 from ~3 h to about one hour. The active input time during the modeling process for the user is reduced by a factor of 10 from ~ 10 h to about one hour per lens system. This automated uniform modeling pipeline can efficiently produce uniform models of extensive lens-system samples that can be used for further cosmological analysis. A blind test that compared our results with those of an independent automated modeling pipeline based on the modeling softwareLenstronomyrevealed important lessons. Quantities such as Einstein radius, astrometry, mass flattening, and position angle are generally robustly determined. Other quantities, such as the radial slope of the mass density profile and predicted time delays, depend crucially on the quality of the data and on the accuracy with which the point spread function is reconstructed. Better data and/or a more detailed analysis are necessary to elevate our automated models to cosmography grade. Nevertheless, our pipeline enables the quick selection of lenses for follow-up and further modeling, which significantly speeds up the construction of cosmography-grade models. This important step forward will help us to take advantage of the increase in the number of lenses that is expected in the coming decade, which is an increase of several orders of magnitude.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2024
  3. ABSTRACT

    While the direct detection of the dark-matter particle remains very challenging, the nature of dark matter could be possibly constrained by comparing the observed abundance and properties of small-scale sub-galactic mass structures with predictions from the phenomenological dark-matter models, such as cold, warm, or hot dark matter. Galaxy-galaxy strong gravitational lensing provides a unique opportunity to search for tiny surface-brightness anomalies in the extended lensed images (i.e. Einstein rings or gravitational arcs), induced by possible small-scale mass structures in the foreground lens galaxy. In this paper, the first in a series, we introduce and test a methodology to measure the power spectrum of such surface-brightness anomalies from high-resolution Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imaging. In particular, we focus on the observational aspects of this statistical approach, such as the most suitable observational strategy and sample selection, the choice of modelling techniques, and the noise correction. We test the feasibility of the power-spectrum measurement by applying it to a sample of galaxy-galaxy strong gravitational lens systems from the Sloan Lens ACS Survey, with the most extended, bright, high-signal-to-noise-ratio lensed images, observed in the rest-frame ultraviolet. In the companion paper, we present the methodology to relate the measured power spectrum to the statistical properties of the underlying small-scale mass structures in the lens galaxy and infer the first observational constraints on the sub-galactic matter power spectrum in a massive elliptical (lens) galaxy.

     
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  4. ABSTRACT

    Stringent observational constraints on the subgalactic matter power spectrum would allow one to distinguish between the concordance ΛCDM and the various alternative dark-matter models that predict significantly different properties of mass structure in galactic haloes. Galaxy–galaxy strong gravitational lensing provides a unique opportunity to probe the subgalactic mass structure in lens galaxies beyond the Local Group. Here, we demonstrate the first application of a novel methodology to observationally constrain the subgalactic matter power spectrum in the inner regions of massive elliptical lens galaxies on 1–10 kpc scales from the power spectrum of surface-brightness anomalies in highly magnified galaxy-scale Einstein rings and gravitational arcs. The pilot application of our approach to Hubble Space Telescope (HST/WFC3/F390W) observations of the SLACS lens system SDSS J0252+0039 allows us to place the following observational constraints (at the 99 per cent confidence level) on the dimensionless convergence power spectrum $\Delta ^{2}_{\delta \kappa }$ and the standard deviation in the aperture mass σAM: $\Delta ^{2}_{\delta \kappa }\lt 1$ (σAM < 0.8 × 108 M⊙) on 0.5-kpc scale, $\Delta ^{2}_{\delta \kappa }\lt 0.1$ (σAM < 1 × 108 M⊙) on 1-kpc scale and $\Delta ^{2}_{\delta \kappa }\lt 0.01$ (σAM < 3 × 108 M⊙) on 3-kpc scale. These first upper-limit constraints still considerably exceed the estimated effect of CDM subhaloes. However, future analysis of a larger sample of galaxy–galaxy strong lens systems can substantially narrow down these limits and possibly rule out dark-matter models that predict a significantly higher level of density fluctuations on the critical subgalactic scales.

     
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  5. ABSTRACT

    We report the spectroscopic follow-up of 175 lensed quasar candidates selected using Gaia Data Release 2 observations following Paper III of this series. Systems include 86 confirmed lensed quasars and a further 17 likely lensed quasars based on imaging and/or similar spectra. We also confirm 11 projected quasar pairs and 11 physical quasar pairs, while 25 systems are left as unclassified quasar pairs – pairs of quasars at the same redshift, which could be either distinct quasars or potential lensed quasars. Especially interesting objects include eight quadruply imaged quasars of which two have BAL sources, an apparent triple, and a doubly lensed LoBaL quasar. The source redshifts and image separations of these new lenses range between 0.65–3.59 and 0.78–6.23 arcsec, respectively. We compare the known population of lensed quasars to an updated mock catalogue at image separations between 1 and 4 arcsec, showing a very good match at z < 1.5. At z > 1.5, only 47 per cent of the predicted number are known, with 56 per cent of these missing lenses at image separations below 1.5 arcsec. The missing higher redshift, small-separation systems will have fainter lensing galaxies, and are partially explained by the unclassified quasar pairs and likely lenses presented in this work, which require deeper imaging. Of the 11 new reported projected quasar pairs, 5 have impact parameters below 10 kpc, almost tripling the number of such systems, which can probe the innermost regions of quasar host galaxies through absorption studies. We also report four new lensed galaxies discovered through our searches, with source redshifts ranging from 0.62 to 2.79.

     
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  6. The importance of alternative methods for measuring the Hubble constant, such as time-delay cosmography, is highlighted by the recent Hubble tension. It is paramount to thoroughly investigate and rule out systematic biases in all measurement methods before we can accept new physics as the source of this tension. In this study, we perform a check for systematic biases in the lens modelling procedure of time-delay cosmography by comparing independent and blind time-delay predictions of the system WGD 2038−4008 from two teams using two different software programs:GLEEandLENSTRONOMY. The predicted time delays from the two teams incorporate the stellar kinematics of the deflector and the external convergence from line-of-sight structures. The un-blinded time-delay predictions from the two teams agree within 1.2σ, implying that once the time delay is measured the inferred Hubble constant will also be mutually consistent. However, there is a ∼4σdiscrepancy between the power-law model slope and external shear, which is a significant discrepancy at the level of lens models before the stellar kinematics and the external convergence are incorporated. We identify the difference in the reconstructed point spread function (PSF) to be the source of this discrepancy. When the same reconstructed PSF was used by both teams, we achieved excellent agreement, within ∼0.6σ, indicating that potential systematics stemming from source reconstruction algorithms and investigator choices are well under control. We recommend that future studies supersample the PSF as needed and marginalize over multiple algorithms or realizations for the PSF reconstruction to mitigate the systematics associated with the PSF. A future study will measure the time delays of the system WGD 2038−4008 and infer the Hubble constant based on our mass models.

     
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  7. ABSTRACT

    Despite the success of galaxy-scale strong gravitational lens studies with Hubble-quality imaging, a number of well-studied strong lenses remains small. As a result, robust comparisons of the lens models to theoretical predictions are difficult. This motivates our application of automated Bayesian lens modelling methods to observations from public data releases of overlapping large ground-based imaging and spectroscopic surveys: Kilo-Degree Survey (KiDS) and Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA), respectively. We use the open-source lens modelling software pyautolens to perform our analysis. We demonstrate the feasibility of strong lens modelling with large-survey data at lower resolution as a complementary avenue to studies that utilize more time-consuming and expensive observations of individual lenses at higher resolution. We discuss advantages and challenges, with special consideration given to determining background source redshifts from single-aperture spectra and to disentangling foreground lens and background source light. High uncertainties in the best-fitting parameters for the models due to the limits of optical resolution in ground-based observatories and the small sample size can be improved with future study. We give broadly applicable recommendations for future efforts, and with proper application, this approach could yield measurements in the quantities needed for robust statistical inference.

     
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  8. Time delay cosmography uses the arrival time delays between images in strong gravitational lenses to measure cosmological parameters, in particular the Hubble constant H 0 . The lens models used in time delay cosmography omit dark matter subhalos and line-of-sight halos because their effects are assumed to be negligible. We explicitly quantify this assumption by analyzing mock lens systems that include full populations of dark matter subhalos and line-of-sight halos, applying the same modeling assumptions used in the literature to infer H 0 . We base the mock lenses on six quadruply imaged quasars that have delivered measurements of the Hubble constant, and quantify the additional uncertainties and/or bias on a lens-by-lens basis. We show that omitting dark substructure does not bias inferences of H 0 . However, perturbations from substructure contribute an additional source of random uncertainty in the inferred value of H 0 that scales as the square root of the lensing volume divided by the longest time delay. This additional source of uncertainty, for which we provide a fitting function, ranges from 0.7 − 2.4%. It may need to be incorporated in the error budget as the precision of cosmographic inferences from single lenses improves, and it sets a precision limit on inferences from single lenses. 
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  9. ABSTRACT The structure of the broad-line region (BLR) is an essential ingredient in the determination of active galactic nucleus (AGN) virial black hole masses, which in turn are important to study the role of black holes in galaxy evolution. Constraints on the BLR geometry and dynamics can be obtained from velocity-resolved studies using reverberation mapping data (i.e. monitoring data). However, monitoring data are observationally expensive and only available for a limited sample of AGNs, mostly confined to the local Universe. Here, we explore a new version of a Bayesian inference, physical model of the BLR that uses an individual spectrum and prior information on the BLR size from the radius–luminosity relation, to model the AGN BLR geometry and dynamics. We apply our model to a sample of 11 AGNs, which have been previously modelled using monitoring data. Our single-epoch BLR model is able to constrain some of the BLR parameters with inferred parameter values that agree within the uncertainties with those determined from the modelling of monitoring data. We find that our model is able to derive stronger constraints on the BLR for AGNs with broad emission lines that qualitatively have more substructure and more asymmetry, presumably as they contain more information to constrain the physical model. The performance of this model makes it a practical and cost-effective tool to determine some of the BLR properties of a large sample of low- and high-redshift AGNs, for which monitoring data are not available. 
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  10. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT We present a catalogue of 22 755 objects with slitless, optical, Hubble Space Telescope (HST) spectroscopy from the Grism Lens-Amplified Survey from Space (GLASS). The data cover ∼220 sq. arcmin to 7-orbit (∼10 ks) depth in 20 parallel pointings of the Advanced Camera for Survey’s G800L grism. The fields are located 6 arcmin away from 10 massive galaxy clusters in the HFF and CLASH footprints. 13 of the fields have ancillary HST imaging from these or other programs to facilitate a large number of applications, from studying metal distributions at z ∼ 0.5, to quasars at z ∼ 4, to the star formation histories of hundreds of galaxies in between. The spectroscopic catalogue has a median redshift of 〈z〉 = 0.60 with a median uncertainty of $\Delta z / (1+z)\lesssim 2{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ at $F814\mathit{ W}\lesssim 23$ AB. Robust continuum detections reach a magnitude fainter. The 5 σ limiting line flux is $f_{\rm lim}\approx 5\times 10^{-17}\rm ~erg~s^{-1}~cm^{-2}$ and half of all sources have 50 per cent of pixels contaminated at ≲1 per cent. All sources have 1D and 2D spectra, line fluxes/uncertainties and identifications, redshift probability distributions, spectral models, and derived narrow-band emission-line maps from the Grism Redshift and Line Analysis tool (grizli). We provide other basic sample characterizations, show data examples, and describe sources and potential investigations of interest. All data and products will be available online along with software to facilitate their use. 
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