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Published September 15, 1994 | Submitted + Published
Journal Article Open

Gravitational lensing of distant field galaxies by rich clusters - I. Faint galaxy redshift distributions


From deep optical images of three clusters, selected by virtue of their X-ray luminosity and/or optical richness (1455 + 22, z = 0.26; 0016 + 16, z = 0.55; 1603 + 43, z = 0.89), we construct statistically complete samples of faint field galaxies (I ≤ 25) that are suitable for probing the effects of gravitational lensing. By selecting clusters across a wide redshift range, we separate the effects of the mean redshift of the faint field population well beyond spectroscopic limits and the distribution of dark matter in the lensing clusters. A significant lensing signature is seen in the two lower redshift clusters, whose X-ray properties are well constrained. Based on these and dynamical data, it is straightforward to rule out field redshift distributions for I ≤ 25, which have a significant low-redshift excess compared to the no-evolution prediction, such as would be expected if the number counts at faint limits were dominated by low-z dwarf systems. The degree to which we can constrain any high-redshift tail to the no-evolution redshift distribution depends on the distribution of mass in the most distant lensing cluster. In the second paper in this series, we demonstrate that the mass distributions in our lensing clusters are well understood, by reconstructing the full two-dimensional distributions from the lensing signal. The principal result is therefore the absence of a dominant low-z dwarf population to I ≤ 25.

Additional Information

© 1994 Royal Astronomical Society. Provided by the NASA Astrophysics Data System. Accepted 1994 April 15. Received 1994 April 8; in original form 1993 December 9; Published: 15 September 1994. The above project was initiated with inspiration derived from the enthusiasm of Bernard Fort, Yannick Mellier and Genevieve Soucail at Toulouse Observatory, and the pioneering work of Tony Tyson and colleagues. We acknowledge useful discussions with Gary Bernstein, Carlos Frenk, Nick Kaiser, Chris Kochanek and Jordi MiraldaEscude. The support of the La Palma staff, and especially Dave Carter, is also gratefully acknowledged. This work was supported by the SERC.

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Submitted - 9402048.pdf

Published - mnras270-0245.pdf


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September 15, 2023
September 15, 2023