EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 379, Number 1, November III 2001
Page(s) 96 - 106
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20011286

A&A 379, 96-106 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20011286

Gravitationally lensed high redshift galaxies in the field of 1E0657-56

D. Mehlert1, S. Seitz2, R. P. Saglia2, 3, I. Appenzeller1, R. Bender2, K. J. Fricke4, T. L. Hoffmann2, U. Hopp2, R.-P. Kudritzki2, 5 and A. W. A. Pauldrach2

1  Landessternwarte Heidelberg, Königstuhl, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
2  Universitätssternwarte München, Scheinerstraße 1, 81679 München, Germany
3  Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The Australian National University, Cotter Road, Weston Creek, ACT 2611, Australia
4  Universitäts-Sternwarte Göttingen, Geismarlandstraße 11, 37083 Göttingen, Germany
5  University of Hawaii, Institute for Astronomy, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA

(Received 22 March 2001 / Accepted 13 September 2001)

We present images and long-slit spectra obtained with FORS1 at UT1 of the VLT centered on the gravitational arc of the galaxy cluster 1E0657-56 (z = 0.296). The cluster is one of the hottest, most massive clusters known so far and acts as a powerful gravitational telescope, amplifying the flux of background sources by up to a factor of 20. We present photometric results together with the spectra of the gravitational arc (z = 3.24) and four additional amplified high redshift objects (z = 2.34 to 3.08) that were also included in the slit by chance coincidence. A magnification map has been obtained from a lens model derived from the multiple image systems. We compare our observed spectra with models and briefly discuss the stellar contents of these galaxies. Furthermore we measured the equivalent widths of the C IV 1550 and Si IV 1400 absorption lines for the objects behind 1E0657-56 studied here, as well as for some additional starburst galaxies (nearby and at high z). For C IV we find an increasing absorption equivalent width with decreasing redshift. We discuss whether this correlation could be related to the increase of metallicity with the age of the universe.

Key words: galaxies: clusters: general -- galaxies: starburst -- galaxies: evolution -- galaxies: formation -- galaxies: stellar content -- galaxies: fundamental parameters

Offprint request: D. Mehlert, dmehlert@lsw.uni-heidelberg.de

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© ESO 2001