Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published June 2010 | Published
Journal Article Open

First case of strong gravitational lensing by a QSO: SDSS J0013+1523 at z = 0.120


We present the first case of strong gravitational lensing by a QSO: SDSS J0013+1523 at z = 0.120. The discovery is the result of a systematic search for emission lines redshifted behind QSOs, among 22 298 spectra of the SDSS data release 7. Apart from the z = 0.120 spectral features of the foreground QSO, the spectrum of SDSS J0013+1523 also displays the [O II] and Hβ emission lines and the [O III] doublet, all at the same redshift, z = 0.640. Using sharp Keck adaptive optics K-band images obtained using laser guide stars, we unveil two objects within a radius of 2" from the QSO. Deep Keck optical spectroscopy clearly confirms one of these objects at z = 0.640 and shows traces of the [O III] emission line of the second object, also at z = 0.640. Lens modeling suggests that they represent two images of the same z = 0.640 emission-line galaxy. Our Keck spectra also allow us to measure the redshift of an intervening galaxy at z = 0.394, located 3.2", away from the line of sight to the QSO. If the z = 0.120 QSO host galaxy is modeled as a singular isothermal sphere, its mass within the Einstein radius is M_E(r < 1 h^(-1) kpc) = 2.16 × 10^(10) h^(-1) M_⊙ and its velocity dispersion is σ_(SIS) = 169 km s^(-1). This is about 1-σ away from the velocity dispersion estimated from the width of the QSO Hβ emission line, σ_*(M_(BH))= 124 ± 47 km s^(-1). Deep optical HST imaging will be necessary to constrain the total radial mass profile of the QSO host galaxy using the detailed shape of the lensed source. This first case of a QSO acting as a strong lens on a more distant object opens new directions in the study of QSO host galaxies.

Additional Information

© ESO 2010. Received 8 March 2010. Accepted 7 June 2010. Published online 16 July 2010. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. This program also makes use of the data collected by the SDSS collaboration and released in DR7. The authors would like to thank T. Treu, R. Gavazzi, A. Bolton and T. Boroson for helpful discussions. This work is partly supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). S.G.D. and A.A.M. acknowledge a partial support from the US NSF grants AST-0407448 and AST-0909182, and the Ajax Foundation. We thank the staff of the Keck Observatory for their expert help during the AO and LRIS observations. D.S. acknowledges a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Attached Files

Published - Courbin2010p11060Astron_Astrophys.pdf


Files (1.5 MB)
Name Size Download all
1.5 MB Preview Download

Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 20, 2023