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Gravitational lens SDSS J1004+4112

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Minimum credit line: Image courtesy of G. Lamer and ESA. (for details, see Conditions of Use).

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About this Image

The large image (left) of the gravitational lens system SDSS J1004+4112 (RBS 825) was taken with the Japanese Subaru telecope on Hawaii (data obtained from the SMOKA science archive operated by NOAJ). Most objects visible in the image are galaxies belonging to a massive cluster of galaxies. The gravitational pull of the cluster causes bending of the light from a distant quasar in the background (gravitaional lensing). The lensing effect is so strong that the quasar appears to be split into 4 sources (marked with circles), separated by up to 14 arcseconds. The smaller images show the XMM-Newton images of the objects in the UV (top) and in X-rays (bottom). From the X-ray image it is obvious that the optically brightest lens image 'A' is relatively faint in X-rays. The most likely explanation for the missing X-ray flux in 'A' is additional gravitational lensing by individual stars in a galaxy on the line of sight (microlensing). Microlensing can selectively amplify the emission from a small region within the backgound source, and de-amplify others (in this case the X-ray emitting nucleus of the quasar).

Investigator(s):  G. Lamer

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Last update: 09-Oct-2013 by