Anomalous fluctuations in observations of Q0957+561 A,B: Smoking gun of a cosmic string?
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Astronomical Observatory of Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University, 3 Observatorna str., 04053 Kyiv, Ukraine
Accepted: 25 March 2004
We report the detection of anomalous brightness fluctuations in the multiple image Q0957 + 561 A,B gravitational lens system, and consider whether such anomalies have a plausible interpretation within the framework of cosmic string theory. We study a simple model of gravitational lensing by an asymmetric rotating string. An explicit form of the lens equation is obtained and approximate relations for magnification are derived. We show that such a model with typical parameters of the GUT string can quantitatively reproduce the observed pattern of brightness fluctuations. On the other hand explanation involving a binary star system as an alternative cause requires an unacceptably large massive object at a small distance. We also discuss possible observational manifestations of cosmic strings within our lens model.
Key words: cosmology: miscellaneous / gravitational lensing / galaxies: quasars: individual: Q0957+561 / cosmology dark matter / elementary particles
© ESO, 2004