EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 507, Number 1, November III 2009
Page(s) 35 - 46
Section Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200912091
Published online 03 September 2009
A&A 507, 35-46 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200912091

COSMOS 5921+0638: characterization and analysis of a new strong gravitationally lensed AGN

T. Anguita1, C. Faure2, J.-P. Kneib3, J. Wambsganss1, C. Knobel4, A. M. Koekemoer5, and M. Limousin3, 6

1  Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Mönchhofstr. 12–14, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
    e-mail: tanguita@ari.uni-heidelberg.de
2  Laboratoire d'Astrophysique, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Observatoire de Sauverny, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
3  Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille, UMR 6610, CNRS-Université de Provence, 38 rue Frédéric Joliot-Curie, 13 388 Marseille Cedex 13, France
4  Institute of Astronomy, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Honggerberg), 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
5  Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
6  Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark

Reveived 17 March 2009 / Accepted 23 July 2009

Context. Strong lens candidates have been newly identified within the COSMOS field. We present VLT/FORS1 spectroscopic follow-up observations and HST/WFPC2 imaging of the system COSMOS 5921+0638, which exhibits quadruply lensed images and a perfect Einstein ring.
Aims. We investigate the nature of COSMOS 5921+0638 by studying its photometric, spectroscopic and physical properties.
Methods. By analyzing our VLT/FORS1 spectroscopy and Subaru/CFHT/HST imaging of COSMOS 5921+0638, we completed both an environmental analysis and detailed analytical and grid-based mass modeling to determine it properties.
Results. We measured the redshifts of the lensing galaxy in COSMOS 5921+0638 ($z_{\rm l}$ = 0.551 $\pm$ 0.001) and 9 additional galaxies in the field (5 of them at z ~ 0.35). The redshift of the lensed source was inferred by identifying a candidate Ly$\alpha$ line at $z_{\rm s}$ = 3.14 $\pm$ 0.05. The mass modeling reveals the requirement of a small external shear ($\gamma$ = 0.038), which is slightly larger than the lensing contribution expected by galaxy groups along the line-of-sight obtained from the zCOSMOS optical group catalog ($\kappa_{\rm groups}$ ~ 0.01 and $\gamma_{\rm groups}$ ~ 0.005). The estimated time-delays between the different images are of the order of hours to half a week and the total magnification of the background source is $\mu$ $\approx$ 150. The measured mass-to-light ratio of the lensing galaxy within the Einstein ring is M/LB $\approx$ 8.5 $\pm$ 1.6. Anomalies are observed between the measured and expected flux ratios of the images of the background AGN.
Conclusions. Our analysis indicates that the ring and point-like structures in COSMOS 5921+0638 consist of a lensed high redshift galaxy hosting a low luminosity AGN (LLAGN). The observed flux ratio anomalies are probably due to microlensing by stars in the lensing galaxy and/or a combination of static phenomena. Multi-epoch, multi-band space-based observations would allow us to differentiate between the possible causes of these anomalies, since static and/or dynamic variations could be identified. Because of its short time-delays and the possibility of microlensing, COSMOS 5921+0638 is a promising laboratory for future studies of LLAGNs.

Key words: galaxies: individual: COSMOS 5921+0638 -- galaxies: quasars: individual: COSMOS 5921+0638 -- gravitational lensing -- cosmology: observations

© ESO 2009