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Published December 10, 2013 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

Gravitational Lens Models Based on Submillimeter Array Imaging of Herschel-selected Strongly Lensed Sub-millimeter Galaxies at z > 1.5


Strong gravitational lenses are now being routinely discovered in wide-field surveys at (sub-)millimeter wavelengths. We present Submillimeter Array (SMA) high-spatial resolution imaging and Gemini-South and Multiple Mirror Telescope optical spectroscopy of strong lens candidates discovered in the two widest extragalactic surveys conducted by the Herschel Space Observatory: the Herschel-Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey (H-ATLAS) and the Herschel Multi-tiered Extragalactic Survey (HerMES). From a sample of 30 Herschel sources with S_(500) > 100 mJy, 21 are strongly lensed (i.e., multiply imaged), 4 are moderately lensed (i.e., singly imaged), and the remainder require additional data to determine their lensing status. We apply a visibility-plane lens modeling technique to the SMA data to recover information about the masses of the lenses as well as the intrinsic (i.e., unlensed) sizes (r_(half)) and far-infrared luminosities (L_(FIR)) of the lensed submillimeter galaxies (SMGs). The sample of lenses comprises primarily isolated massive galaxies, but includes some groups and clusters as well. Several of the lenses are located at z_(lens) > 0.7, a redshift regime that is inaccessible to lens searches based on Sloan Digital Sky Survey spectroscopy. The lensed SMGs are amplified by factors that are significantly below statistical model predictions given the 500 μm flux densities of our sample. We speculate that this may reflect a deficiency in our understanding of the intrinsic sizes and luminosities of the brightest SMGs. The lensed SMGs span nearly one decade in L_(FIR) (median L_(FIR) = 7.9 × 10^(12) L_☉) and two decades in FIR luminosity surface density (median Σ_(FIR) = 6.0 × 10^(11) L_☉ kpc^(–2)). The strong lenses in this sample and others identified via (sub-)mm surveys will provide a wealth of information regarding the astrophysics of galaxy formation and evolution over a wide range in redshift.

Additional Information

© 2013 American Astronomical Society. Received 2013 August 31; accepted 2013 October 11; published 2013 November 22. The results described in this paper are based on observations obtained with Herschel, an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA. The Herschel-ATLAS is a project with Herschel. The H-ATLAS Web site is http://www.h-atlas.org/. US participants in HATLAS acknowledge support from NASA through a contract from JPL. This research has made use of data from the HerMES project (http://hermes.sussex.ac.uk/). HerMES is a Herschel Key Programme utilizing Guaranteed Time from the SPIRE instrument team, ESAC scientists, and a mission scientist. HerMES is described in Oliver et al. (2012). The HerMES data presented in this paper will be released through the Herschel Database in Marseille HeDaM (36). SPIRE has been developed by a consortium of institutes led by Cardiff Univ. (UK) and including: Univ. Lethbridge (Canada); NAOC (China); CEA, LAM (France); IFSI, Univ. Padua (Italy); IAC (Spain); Stockholm Observatory (Sweden); Imperial College London, RAL, UCL-MSSL, UKATC, Univ. Sussex (UK); and Caltech, JPL, NHSC, Univ. Colorado (USA). This development has been supported by national funding agencies: CSA (Canada); NAOC (China); CEA, CNES, CNRS (France); ASI (Italy); MCINN (Spain); SNSB (Sweden); STFC, UKSA (UK); and NASA (USA). R.S.B. acknowledges support from the SMA Fellowship program. H.F, A.C., and J.L.W. acknowledge support from NSF CAREER AST-0645427. A portion of this work was completed at the Aspen Center for Physics during a 2013 summer workshop on dusty galaxies at high redshift. R.S.B. acknowledges the hospitality of the Aspen Center for Physics, which is supported by the National Science Foundation Grant No. PHY-1066293. S.J.O., L.W., and A.S. acknowledge support from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (grant No. ST/I000976/1). M.N. acknowledges financial support from PRIN INAF 2012 project "Looking into the dust-obscured phase of galaxy formation through cosmic zoom lenses in the Herschel Astrophysical Large Area Survey." A.O. and R.G. acknowledge support from the Programme National Cosmologie et Galaxies (PNCG). J.G.N. acknowledges financial support from Spanish CSIC for 36 http://hedam.oamp.fr/HerMES a JAE-DOC fellowship and partial financial support from the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion project AYA2010- 21766-C03-01. I.P.-F., P.M.-N., N.L. and A.S. acknowledge support from the Spanish grant AYA2010-21697-C05-04. We thank K. Rosenfeld for assistance in implementing the visibility-plane aspect of the lens modeling software used in this paper. We thank the anonymous referee for a timely review that provided useful comments and helped improved the clarity of the manuscript. The SMA is a joint project between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics and is funded by the Smithsonian Institution and the Academia Sinica. 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. Observations reported here were obtained at the MMT Observatory, a joint facility of the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Arizona. Based on observations obtained at the Gemini Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under a cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), the National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação (Brazil) and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovaciόn Productiva (Argentina). The William Herschel Telescope is operated on the island of La Palma by the Isaac Newton Group in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias. Facilities: SMA, MMT, Gemini: South, ING: Herschel, VLT: Melipal

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