Volume 617, September 2018
|Number of page(s)||14|
|Section||Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)|
|Published online||02 October 2018|
Ambiguities in gravitational lens models: impact on time delays of the source position transformation
Argelander-Institut für Astronomie,
Auf dem Hügel 71,
Accepted: 11 December 2017
The central ambition of the modern time delay cosmography consists in determining the Hubble constant H0 with a competitive precision. However, the tension with H0 obtained from the Planck satellite for a spatially flat ΛCDM cosmology suggests that systematic errors may have been underestimated. The most critical of these errors probably comes from the degeneracy existing between lens models that was first formalized by the well-known mass-sheet transformation (MST). In this paper, we assess to what extent the source position transformation (SPT), a more general invariance transformation which contains the MST as a special case, may affect the time delays predicted by a model. To this aim, we have used pySPT, a new open-source python package fully dedicated to the SPT that we present in a companion paper. For axisymmetric lenses, we find that the time delay ratios between a model and its SPT-modified counterpart simply scale like the corresponding source position ratios, Δtˆ/Δt ≈ βˆ/β, regardless of the mass profile and the isotropic SPT. Similar behavior (almost) holds for nonaxisymmetric lenses in the double image regime and for opposite image pairs in the quadruple image regime. In the latter regime, we also confirm that the time delay ratios are not conserved. In addition to the MST effects, the SPT-modified time delays deviate in general no more than a few percent for particular image pairs, suggesting that its impact on time delay cosmography seems not be as crucial as initially suspected. We also reflected upon the relevance of the SPT validity criterion and present arguments suggesting that it should be reconsidered. Even though a new validity criterion would affect the time delays in a different way, we expect from numerical simulations that our conclusions will remain unchanged.
Key words: cosmological parameters / gravitational lensing: strong
© ESO 2018
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