Volume 490, Number 3, November II 2008
|Page(s)||933 - 943|
|Section||Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)|
|Published online||18 September 2008|
Microlensing variability in the gravitationally lensed quasar QSO 2237+0305 the Einstein Cross*
II. Energy profile of the accretion disk
Laboratoire d'Astrophysique, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Observatoire de Sauverny, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland e-mail: email@example.com
2 Astronomy Department, University of Washington, Box 351580, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
3 Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Mönchhofstrasse 12-14, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Accepted: 10 September 2008
We present the continuation of our long-term spectroscopic monitoring of the gravitationally lensed quasar QSO 2237+0305. We investigate the chromatic variations observed in the UV/optical continuum of both quasar images A and B, and compare them with numerical simulations to infer the energy profile of the quasar accretion disk. Our procedure combines the microlensing ray-shooting technique with Bayesian analysis, and derives probability distributions for the source sizes as a function of wavelength. We find that the effective caustic crossing timescale is 4.0 ± 1.0 months. Using a robust prior on the effective transverse velocity, we find that the source responsible for the UV/optical continuum has an energy profile well reproduced by a power-law with ± 0.3, where R is the source size responsible for the emission at wavelength λ. This is the first accurate, model-independent determination of the energy profile of a quasar accretion disk on such small scales.
Key words: gravitational lensing / quasars: individual: QSO 2237+0305 / accretion, accretion disks
© ESO, 2008
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