The role of luminous substructure in the gravitational lens system MG 2016+112

More, A., McKean, J. P., More, S., Porcas, R. W., Koopmans, L. V. E. & Garrett, M. A., 21-Mar-2009, In : Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 394, 1, p. 174-190 17 p.

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MG 2016+112 is a quadruply imaged lens system with two complete images A and B and a pair of merging partial images in region C as seen in the radio. The merging images are found to violate the expected mirror symmetry. This indicates an astrometric anomaly which could only be of gravitational origin and could arise due to substructure in the environment or line of sight of the lens galaxy. We present new high-resolution multifrequency very long baseline interferometry ( VLBI) observations at 1.7, 5 and 8.4 GHz. Three new components are detected in the new VLBI imaging of both the lensed images A and B. The expected opposite parity of the lensed images A and B was confirmed due to the detection of non-collinear components. Furthermore, the observed properties of the newly detected components are inconsistent with the predictions of previous mass models. We present new scenarios for the background quasar which are consistent with the new observations. We also investigate the role of the satellite galaxy situated at the same redshift as the main lensing galaxy. Our new mass models demonstrate quantitatively that the satellite galaxy is the primary cause of the astrometric anomaly found in region C. The detected satellite is consistent with the abundance of subhaloes expected in the halo from cold dark matter (CDM) simulations. However, the fraction of the total halo mass in the satellite as computed from lens modelling is found to be higher than that predicted by CDM simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-190
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21-Mar-2009


  • gravitational lensing, quasars: individual: MG 2016+112, cosmology: observations, DARK-MATTER SUBSTRUCTURE, VLBI OBSERVATIONS, GALACTIC HALOS, FLUX RATIOS, GALAXIES, IMAGE, SATELLITES, FIELD, MG-2016+112, REDSHIFT

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