A Caltech Library Service

A new survey for giant arcs

Hennawi, Joseph F. and Gladders, Michael D. and Oguri, Masamune and Dalal, Neal and Koester, Benjamin and Natarajan, Priyamvada and Strauss, Michael A. and Inada, Naohisa and Kayo, Issha and Lin, Huan and Lampeitl, Hubert and Annis, James and Bahcall, Neta A. and Schneider, Donald P. (2008) A new survey for giant arcs. Astronomical Journal, 135 (2). pp. 664-681. ISSN 0004-6256.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We report on the first results of an imaging survey to detect strong gravitational lensing targeting the richest clusters selected from the photometric data of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) with follow-up deep imaging observations from the Wisconsin–Indiana–Yale NOAO (WIYN) 3.5 m telescope and the University of Hawaii 88 inch telescope (UH88). The clusters are selected from an area of 8000 deg^2 using the red cluster sequence technique and span the redshift range 0.1 ≾ z ≾ 0.6, corresponding to a comoving cosmological volume of ~2 Gpc^3. Our imaging survey thus targets a volume more than an order of magnitude larger than any previous search. A total of 240 clusters were imaged of which 141 had sub-arcsecond image quality. Our survey has uncovered 16 new lensing clusters with definite giant arcs, an additional 12 systems for which the lensing interpretation is very likely, and 9 possible lenses which contain shorter arclets or candidate arcs which are less certain and will require further observations to confirm their lensing origin. Among these new systems are several of the most dramatic examples of strong gravitational lensing ever discovered, with multiple bright arcs at large angular separation. These will likely become “poster-child” gravitational lenses similar to Abell 1689 and CL0024+1654. The new lenses discovered in this survey will enable future systematic studies of the statistics of strong lensing and their implications for cosmology and our structure formation paradigm.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Hennawi, Joseph F.0000-0002-7054-4332
Strauss, Michael A.0000-0002-0106-7755
Additional Information:© 2008. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2007 October 24; accepted 2007 October 29; published 2008 January 16. Print publication: Issue 2 (2008 February). We are grateful to Nikhil Padmanabhan, Erin Sheldon, and David Schlegel for help with photometric redshifts for SDSS galaxies. We would like to thank Håkon Dahle for kindly providing a color image of Abell 1351. Thanks also to Steve Howell, George Will, Doug Williams, and the other members of the WIYN observatory staff for assistance and superb technical support over the course of our survey runs. J.F.H. and M.G. are supported by NASA through Hubble Fellowship grants # HF-01172.01-A and HF-01184.01, respectively, awarded by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., for NASA, under contract NAS 5-26555. D.P.S. acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation grant AST-0607634. I.K. was in part financially supported by the 21st Century COE Program of Nagoya. This work was supported in part by the Department of Energy contract DE-AC02-76SF00515. Use of the UH 2.2 m telescope for the observations is supported by NAOJ. Based in part on observations obtained at the 3.5 m and 0.9 m WIYN Telescopes. The WIYN Observatory is a joint facility of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Indiana University, Yale University, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatories (NOAO). The authors wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Mauna Kea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain. Funding for the SDSS and SDSS-II has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Japanese Monbukagakusho, the Max Planck Society, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The SDSS Web Site is The SDSS is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions. The Participating Institutions are the American Museum of Natural History, Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, University of Basel, Cambridge University, Case Western Reserve University, University of Chicago, Drexel University, Fermilab, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Japan Participation Group, Johns Hopkins University, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics, the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, the Korean Scientist Group, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (LAMOST), Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA), New Mexico State University, Ohio State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Portsmouth, Princeton University, the United States Naval Observatory, and the University of Washington.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASANAS 5-26555
21st Century COE Program of NagoyaUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC02-76SF00515
National Astronomical Observatory of JapanUNSPECIFIED
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Max Planck SocietyUNSPECIFIED
Higher Education Funding Council for EnglandUNSPECIFIED
Participating InstitutionsUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:cosmology: observations; dark matter; galaxies: clusters: general; gravitational lensing; large-scale structure of universe; techniques: image processing
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:HENaj08
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:13274
Deposited By: Kristin Buxton
Deposited On:05 Feb 2009 05:39
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

Repository Staff Only: item control page