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Published 1996 | public
Book Section - Chapter

1608+656: A Quadruple Lens System Found in the Class Gravitational Lens Survey


The first phase of a large gravitational lens survey using the Very Large Array at a wavelength of 3.6 cm has been completed, yielding images for 3258 radio sources. The Cosmic Lens All-Sky Survey, or CLASS, is designed to locate gravitational lens systems consisting of multiply-imaged compact components with separations > 0″.2. From this first phase has come the discovery of 1608+656, a quadruply-imaged object with maximum separation of 2″.1. Images from the Palomar 5-m and Keck 10-m telescopes show the lensed images and the lensing galaxy. An optical spectrum obtained with the Palomar 5-m Telescope indicates a redshift of z = 0.63 for the lensing galaxy, and a newly-obtained Palomar spectrum indicates a redshift of z = 1.39 for the lensed source, which appears to be a galaxy. A simple single-galaxy lens model derived from the radio image reproduces the observed configuration and relative fluxes of the images, as well as the position, shape, and orientation of the lensing galaxy. Because a simple mass model is able to fit the observations, we argue that this lens system is promising for determining H_0. CLASS has also yielded the new double image lens system 1600+434. The second phase of the survey is scheduled for August and September 1995 on the VLA, and should yield images for an additional 5000+ targets, bringing the CLASS total to over 8000.

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© 1996 International Astronomical Union.

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