Analysis of luminosity distributions of strong lensing galaxies: subtraction of diffuse lensed signal
Université de Liège, STAR Research Unit, OrCA Group, Quartier Agora. Bât. B5c, Allée du 6 Août, 19c, 4000 Liège 1 (Sart-Tilman), Belgique
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Received: 31 March 2017
Accepted: 18 April 2017
Context. Strong gravitational lensing gives access to the total mass distribution of galaxies. It can unveil a great deal of information about the lenses’ dark matter content when combined with the study of the lenses’ light profile. However, gravitational lensing galaxies, by definition, appear surrounded by lensed signal, both point-like and diffuse, that is irrelevant to the lens flux. Therefore, the observer is most often restricted to studying the innermost portions of the galaxy, where classical fitting methods show some instabilities.
Aims. We aim at subtracting that lensed signal and at characterising some lenses’ light profile by computing their shape parameters (half-light radius, ellipticity, and position angle). Our objective is to evaluate the total integrated flux in an aperture the size of the Einstein ring in order to obtain a robust estimate of the quantity of ordinary (luminous) matter in each system.
Methods. We are expanding the work we started in a previous paper that consisted in subtracting point-like lensed images and in independently measuring each shape parameter. We improve it by designing a subtraction of the diffuse lensed signal, based only on one simple hypothesis of symmetry. We apply it to the cases where it proves to be necessary. This extra step improves our study of the shape parameters and we refine it even more by upgrading our half-light radius measurement method. We also calculate the impact of our specific image processing on the error bars.
Results. The diffuse lensed signal subtraction makes it possible to study a larger portion of relevant galactic flux, as the radius of the fitting region increases by on average 17%. We retrieve new half-light radii values that are on average 11% smaller than in our previous work, although the uncertainties overlap in most cases. This shows that not taking the diffuse lensed signal into account may lead to a significant overestimate of the half-light radius. We are also able to measure the flux within the Einstein radius and to compute secure error bars to all of our results.
Key words: galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD / galaxies: luminosity function, mass function / gravitational lensing: strong
© ESO, 2017