Volume 665, September 2022
|Number of page(s)||31|
|Published online||20 September 2022|
Godzilla, a monster lurks in the Sunburst galaxy
Instituto de Física de Cantabria (CSIC-UC), Avda. Los Castros s/n, 39005 Santander, Spain
2 Department of Astronomy, University of California, 501 Campbell Hall #3411, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
3 School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota, 116 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
4 Department of Physics, University of California, 366 Physics North MC 7300, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
5 Department of Astronomy/Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 N Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
6 Department of Theoretical Physics, University of the Basque Country UPV-EHU, 48040 Bilbao, Spain
7 Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC), 20018 Donostia, The Basque Country, Spain
8 IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science, Alameda Urquijo, 36-5, 48008 Bilbao, Spain
Accepted: 6 July 2022
We model the strong lensing effect in the galaxy cluster PSZ1 G311.65-18.48 (z = 0.443) with an improved version of the hybrid method WSLAP+. We extend the number of constraints by including the position of critical points, which are combined with the classic positional constraints of the lensed galaxies. We pay special attention to a transient candidate source (Tr) previously discovered in the giant Sunburst arc (z = 2.37). Our lens model predicts Tr to be within a fraction of an arcsecond from the critical curve, which has a larger magnification factor than previously found, but still not large enough to explain the observed flux and lack of counterimages. Possible candidate counterimages are discussed that would lower the magnification required to explain Tr, but extreme magnification factors (μ > 600) are still required, even in that case. The presence of a small mass perturber with a mass comparable to a dwarf galaxy (M ∼ 108 M⊙) near the position of Tr is needed in order to explain the required magnification and morphology of the lensed galaxy. We discuss how the existence of this perturber could potentially be used to constrain models of dark matter. The large apparent brightness and unresolved nature of the magnified object implies a combination of extreme magnification and a very luminous and compact source (r < 0.4 pc). Possible candidates are discussed, including an hyperluminous star, a small group of stars, or an accretion disk around a relatively small supermassive black hole (SMBH). Based on spectral information and flux requirements, we argue that a luminous blue variable (LBV) star caught during an outburst is the most likely candidate. Owing to the extreme magnification and luminosity of this source, we dub it Godzilla.
Key words: gravitational lensing: strong / stars: variables: general / dark matter
© J. M. Diego et al. 2022
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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