EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 439, Number 2, August IV 2005
Page(s) 513 - 520
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20041143

A&A 439, 513-520 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20041143

The influence of redshift information on galaxy-galaxy lensing measurements

M. Kleinheinrich1, 2, H.-W. Rix1, T. Erben2, P. Schneider2, C. Wolf3, M. Schirmer2, K. Meisenheimer1, A. Borch1, S. Dye4, Z. Kovacs1 and L. Wisotzki5

1  Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
    e-mail: martina@mpia.de
2  Institut für Astrophysik und Extraterrestrische Forschung, Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
3  Department of Physics, Denys Wilkinson Bldg., University of Oxford, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH, UK
4  School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, 5 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3YB, UK
5  Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany

(Received 22 April 2004 / Accepted 26 April 2005)

We investigate how galaxy-galaxy lensing measurements depend on the knowledge of redshifts for lens and source galaxies. Galaxy-galaxy lensing allows one to study dark matter halos of galaxies statistically using weak gravitational lensing. Redshift information is required to reliably distinguish foreground lens galaxies from background source galaxies and to convert the measured shear into constraints on the lens model. Without spectroscopy or multi-colour information, redshifts can be drawn from independently estimated probability distributions. The COMBO-17 survey provides redshifts for both lens and source galaxies. It thus offers the unique possibility to do this investigation with observational data. We find that it is of great importance to know the redshifts of individual lens galaxies in order to constrain the properties of their dark matter halos. Whether the redshifts are derived from ${\it UBVRI}$ or the larger number of filters available in COMBO-17 is not very important. In contrast, knowledge of individual source redshifts improves the measurements only very little over the use of statistical source redshift distributions as long as the source redshift distribution is known accurately.

Key words: gravitational lensing -- methods: data analysis -- galaxies: fundamental parameters -- galaxies: statistics -- cosmology: dark matter

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