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See detailCOSMOGRAIL: the COSmological MOnitoring of GRAvItational Lenses: XIV. Time delay of the doubly lensed quasar SDSS~J1001+5027
Rathna Kumar, S.; Tewes, M.; Stalin, C.S. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 557

This paper presents optical R-band light curves and the time delay of the doubly imaged gravitationally lensed quasar SDSS J1001+5027 at a redshift of 1.838. We have observed this target for more than six ... [more ▼]

This paper presents optical R-band light curves and the time delay of the doubly imaged gravitationally lensed quasar SDSS J1001+5027 at a redshift of 1.838. We have observed this target for more than six years, between March 2005 and July 2011, using the 1.2-m Mercator Telescope, the 1.5-m telescope of the Maidanak Observatory and the 2-m Himalayan Chandra Telescope. Our resulting light curves are composed of 443 independent epochs, and show strong intrinsic quasar variability, with an amplitude of the order of 0.2 magnitudes. From this data, we measure the time delay using five different methods, all relying on distinct approaches. One of these techniques is a new development presented in this paper. All our time-delay measurements are perfectly compatible. By combining them, we conclude that image A is leading B by 119.3 ± 3.3 days (1σ, 2.8%), including systematic errors. It has been shown recently that such accurate time-delay measurements offer a highly complementary probe of dark energy and spatial curvature, as they independently constrain the Hubble constant. The next mandatory step towards using SDSS J1001+5027 in this context will be the measurement of the redshift of the lensing galaxy, in combination with deep HST imaging. [less ▲]

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See detailCOSMOGRAIL XIII: Time delays and 9-yr optical monitoring of the lensed quasar RX J1131-1231
Tewes, M.; Courbin, F.; Meylan, G. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013)

We present the results from 9 years of optically monitoring the gravitationally lensed z=0.658 quasar RX J1131-1231. The R band light curves of the 4 individual images of the quasar are obtained using ... [more ▼]

We present the results from 9 years of optically monitoring the gravitationally lensed z=0.658 quasar RX J1131-1231. The R band light curves of the 4 individual images of the quasar are obtained using deconvolution photometry, for a total of 707 epochs. Several sharp quasar variability features strongly constrain the time delays between the quasar images. Using three different numerical techniques, we measure these delays for all possible pairs of quasar images, while always processing the 4 light curves simultaneously. For all three methods, the delays between the 3 close images A, B and C are compatible with being 0, while we measure the delay of image D to be 91 days, with a fractional uncertainty of 1.5% (1 sigma), including systematic errors. Our analysis of random and systematic errors accounts in a realistic way for the observed quasar variability, fluctuating microlensing magnification over a broad range of temporal scales, noise properties, and seasonal gaps. Finally, we find that our time delay measurement methods yield compatible results when applied to subsets of the data. [less ▲]

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See detailMicrolensing of the broad line region in 17 lensed quasars
Sluse, D.; Hutsemekers, Damien ULg; Courbin, F. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2012), 544

When an image of a strongly lensed quasar is microlensed, the different components of its spectrum are expected to be differentially magnified owing to the different sizes of the corresponding emitting ... [more ▼]

When an image of a strongly lensed quasar is microlensed, the different components of its spectrum are expected to be differentially magnified owing to the different sizes of the corresponding emitting region. Chromatic changes are expected to be observed in the continuum while the emission lines should be deformed as a function of the size, geometry and kinematics of the regions from which they originate. Microlensing of the emission lines has been reported only in a handful of systems so far. In this paper we search for microlensing deformations of the optical spectra of pairs of images in 17 lensed quasars with bolometric luminosities between 10[SUP]44.7 - 47.4[/SUP] erg/s and black hole masses 10[SUP]7.6 - 9.8[/SUP] M[SUB]&sun;[/SUB]. This sample is composed of 13 pairs of previously unpublished spectra and four pairs of spectra from literature. Our analysis is based on a simple spectral decomposition technique which allows us to isolate the microlensed fraction of the flux independently of a detailed modeling of the quasar emission lines. Using this technique, we detect microlensing of the continuum in 85% of the systems. Among them, 80% show microlensing of the broad emission lines. Focusing on the most common emission lines in our spectra (C III] and Mg II) we detect microlensing of either the blue or the red wing, or of both wings with the same amplitude. This observation implies that the broad line region is not in general spherically symmetric. In addition, the frequent detection of microlensing of the blue and red wings independently but not simultaneously with a different amplitude, does not support existing microlensing simulations of a biconical outflow. Our analysis also provides the intrinsic flux ratio between the lensed images and the magnitude of the microlensing affecting the continuum. These two quantities are particularly relevant for the determination of the fraction of matter in clumpy form in galaxies and for the detection of dark matter substructures via the identification of flux ratio anomalies. Based on observations made with the ESO-VLT Unit Telescope # 2 Kueyen (Cerro Paranal, Chile; Proposals 074.A-0563, 075.A-0377, 077.A-0155, PI: G. Meylan).Figure 1 and the new spectra presented in this paper are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/544/A62">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/544/A62</A> and via the German virtual observatory <A href="http://dc.g-vo.org/mlqso/q/web/form">http://dc.g-vo.org/mlqso/q/web/form</A>Appendices are available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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See detailSpectra of 13 lensed quasars (Sluse+, 2012)
Sluse, D.; Hutsemekers, Damien ULg; Courbin, F. et al

Textual, factual or bibliographical database (2012)

Extracted flux calibrated spectra of 13 lensed quasars following the methodology described in Sect. 2.1. of the oaoer. The data were obtained with the FORS spectrograph at VLT in multi-object spectroscopy ... [more ▼]

Extracted flux calibrated spectra of 13 lensed quasars following the methodology described in Sect. 2.1. of the oaoer. The data were obtained with the FORS spectrograph at VLT in multi-object spectroscopy mode. The typical wavelength coverage is from 4200 to 8200Å. The data concern the following objects: HE0047-1756 (HE0047), Q0142-100 (Q0142), SDSSJ0246-0825 (SDSS0246), HE0435-1223 (HE0435), SDSSJ0806+2006 (SDSS0806), FBQ0951+2635 (FBQ0951), BRI0952-0115 (BRI0952), SDSSJ1138+0314 (J1138), J1226-0006 (J1226), SDSSJ1335+0118 (J1335), Q1355-2257 (Q1355), WFI2033-4723 (WFI2033), and HE2149-2745 (HE2149). For each object, we provide the 1D flux calibrated spectrum of the 2 individual images in the slit. In addition, we also provide the 2D reduced spectrum and corresponding 1σ error frame (corresponding files are named "objectname[SUB]data" and "objectname[/SUB]err"), and the 2D processed spectra associated to the deconvolution, as shown in Fig.1 of the paper. These processed 2D spectra are the deconvolved frame ("[SUB]dec"), the extended component of the flux emission ("[/SUB]ext") and the residual frame in σ units ("_res") corresponding to panel (b), (c) and (d) of Fig.1. A pdf file file similar to Fig.1 is also provided for each object. (4 data files). [less ▲]

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See detailCOSMOGRAIL: the COSmological MOnitoring of GRAvItational Lenses X. Modeling based on high-precision astrometry of a sample of 25 lensed quasars: consequences for ellipticity, shear, and astrometric anomalies
Sluse, D.; Chantry, Virginie ULg; Magain, Pierre ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2012), 538

Gravitationally lensed quasars can be used as powerful cosmological and astrophysical probes. We can (i) infer the Hubble constant H0 based on the so-called time-delay technique, (ii) unveil substructures ... [more ▼]

Gravitationally lensed quasars can be used as powerful cosmological and astrophysical probes. We can (i) infer the Hubble constant H0 based on the so-called time-delay technique, (ii) unveil substructures along the line-of-sight toward distant galaxies, and (iii) compare the shape and the slope of baryons and dark matter distributions in the inner regions of galaxies. To reach these goals, we need high-accuracy astrometry of the quasar images relative to the lensing galaxy and morphology measurements of the lens. In this work, we first present new astrometry for 11 lenses with measured time delays, namely, JVAS B0218+357, SBS 0909+532, RX J0911.4+0551, FBQS J0951+2635, HE 1104-1805, PG 1115+080, JVAS B1422+231, SBS 1520+530, CLASS B1600+434, CLASS B1608+656, and HE 2149-2745. These measurements proceed from the use of the Magain-Courbin-Sohy (MCS) deconvolution algorithm applied in an iterative way (ISMCS) to near-IR HST images. We obtain a typical astrometric accuracy of about 1-2.5 mas and an accurate shape measurement of the lens galaxy. Second, we combined these measurements with those of 14 other lensing systems, mostly from the COSMOGRAIL set of targets, to present new mass models of these lenses. The modeling of these 25 gravitational lenses led to the following results: 1) in four double-image quasars (HE0047-1746, J1226-006, SBS 1520+530, and HE 2149-2745), we show that the influence of the lens environment on the time delay can easily be quantified and modeled, hence putting these lenses with high priority for time-delay determination; 2) for quadruple-image quasars, the difficulty often encountered in reproducing the image positions to milli-arcsec accuracy (astrometric anomaly problem) is overcome by explicitly including the nearest visible galaxy/satellite in the lens model. However, one anomalous system (RXS J1131-1231) does not show any luminous perturber in its vicinity, and three others (WFI 2026-4536, WFI 2033-4723, and B2045+265) have problematic modeling. These four systems are the best candidates for a pertubation by a dark matter substructure along the line-of-sight; 3) we revisit the correlation between the position angle (PA) and ellipticity of the light and of the mass distribution in lensing galaxies. As in previous studies, we find a significant correlation between the PA of the light and of the mass distributions. However, in contrast with these same studies, we find that the ellipticity of the light and of the mass also correlate well, suggesting that the overall spatial distribution of matter is not very different from the baryon distribution in the inner ~5 kpc of lensing galaxies. This offers a new test for high-resolution hydrodynamical simulations. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA HST Hubble Space Telescope by the CfA-Arizona Space Telescope Lens Survey (CASTLeS) collaboration, obtained from the data archive at the Space Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS-5-26555. [less ▲]

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See detailProbing the inner structure of distant AGNs with gravitational lensing
Sluse, D.; Hutsemekers, Damien ULg; Courbin, F. et al

in Proceedings of Nuclei of Seyfert galaxies and QSOs - Central engine & conditions of star formation. Proceedings of Science, PoS (Seyfert 2012) 057 (2012)

Microlensing is a powerful technique which can be used to study the continuum and the broad line emitting regions in distant AGNs. After a brief description of the methods and required data, we present ... [more ▼]

Microlensing is a powerful technique which can be used to study the continuum and the broad line emitting regions in distant AGNs. After a brief description of the methods and required data, we present recent applications of this technique. We show that microlensing allows one to measure the temperature profile of the accretion disc, estimate the size and study the geometry of the region emitting the broad emission lines. [less ▲]

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See detailCOSMOGRAIL: the COSmological MOnitoring of GRAvItational Lenses. IX. Time delays, lens dynamics and baryonic fraction in HE 0435-1223
Courbin, F.; Chantry, Virginie ULg; Revaz, Y. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 536

We present accurate time delays for the quadruply imaged quasar HE 0435-1223. The delays were measured from 575 independent photometric points obtained in the R-band between January 2004 and March 2010 ... [more ▼]

We present accurate time delays for the quadruply imaged quasar HE 0435-1223. The delays were measured from 575 independent photometric points obtained in the R-band between January 2004 and March 2010. With seven years of data, we clearly show that quasar image A is affected by strong microlensing variations and that the time delays are best expressed relative to quasar image B. We measured ΔtBC = 7.8 ± 0.8 days, ΔtBD = -6.5 ± 0.7 days and ΔtCD = -14.3 ± 0.8 days. We spacially deconvolved HST NICMOS2 F160W images to derive accurate astrometry of the quasar images and to infer the light profile of the lensing galaxy. We combined these images with a stellar population fitting of a deep VLT spectrum of the lensing galaxy to estimate the baryonic fraction, fb, in the Einstein radius. We measured fb = 0.65-0.10+0.13 if the lensing galaxy has a Salpeter IMF and fb = 0.45-0.07+0.04 if it has a Kroupa IMF. The spectrum also allowed us to estimate the velocity dispersion of the lensing galaxy, σap = 222 ± 34 km s-1. We used fb and σap to constrain an analytical model of the lensing galaxy composed of an Hernquist plus generalized NFW profile. We solved the Jeans equations numerically for the model and explored the parameter space under the additional requirement that the model must predict the correct astrometry for the quasar images. Given the current error bars on fb and σap, we did not constrain H0 yet with high accuracy, i.e., we found a broad range of models with χ2 < 1. However, narrowing this range is possible, provided a better velocity dispersion measurement becomes available. In addition, increasing the depth of the current HST imaging data of HE 0435-1223 will allow us to combine ourconstraints with lens reconstruction techniques that make use of the full Einstein ring that is visible in this object. Based on observations made with the 1.2 m Euler Swiss Telescope, the 1.5 m telescope of Maidanak Observatory in Uzbekistan, and with the 1.2 m Mercator Telescope, operated on the island of La Palma by the Flemish Community, at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope data was obtained from the data archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS-5-26555.Light curves are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/536/A53 [less ▲]

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See detailZooming into the broad line region of the gravitationally lensed quasar Q2237+0305 = the Einstein Cross: III. Determination of the size and structure of the CIV and CIII] emitting regions using microlensing
Sluse, D.; Schmidt, R.; Courbin, F. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 528

Aims: We aim to use microlensing taking place in the lensed quasar Q2237+0305 to study the structure of the broad line region and measure the size of the region emitting the CIV and CIII] lines. Methods ... [more ▼]

Aims: We aim to use microlensing taking place in the lensed quasar Q2237+0305 to study the structure of the broad line region and measure the size of the region emitting the CIV and CIII] lines. Methods: Based on 39 spectrophotometric monitoring data points obtained between Oct. 2004 and Dec. 2007, we derive lightcurves for the CIV and CIII] emission lines. We use three different techniques to analyse the microlensing signal. Different components of the lines (narrow, broad and very broad) are identified and studied. We build a library of simulated microlensing lightcurves which reproduce the signal observed in the continuum and in the lines provided only the source size is changed. A Bayesian analysis scheme is then developed to derive the size of the various components of the BLR. Results: 1. The half-light radius of the region emitting the CIV line is found to be R_CIV ~ 66^{+110}_{-46} lt-days = 0.06^{+0.09}_{-0.04} pc = 1.7^{+2.8}_{-1.1} 10^17 cm (at 68.3% CI). Similar values are obtained for CIII]. Relative sizes of the V-band continuum and of the carbon line emitting regions are also derived with median values of R(line)/R(cont) in the range [4,29], depending of the FWHM of the line component. 2. The size of the CIV emitting region agrees with the Radius-Luminosity relationship derived from reverberation mapping. Using the virial theorem we derive the mass of the black hole in Q2237+0305 to be M_BH ~ 10^{8.3+/-0.3} M_sun. 3. We find that the CIV and CIII] lines are produced in at least 2 spatially distinct regions, the most compact one giving rise to the broadest component of the line. The broad and narrow line profiles are slightly different for CIV and CIII]. 4. Our analysis suggests a different structure of the CIV and FeII+III emitting regions, with the latter being produced in the inner part of the BLR or in a less extended emitting region than CIV. [less ▲]

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See detailCOSMOGRAIL: the COSmological MOnitoring of GRAvItational lenses - VII. Time delays and the Hubble constant from WFI J2033-4723
Vuissoz, Christel; Courbin, F.; Sluse, D. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2008), 488(2), 481-490

Gravitationally lensed quasars can be used to map the mass distribution in lensing galaxies and to estimate the Hubble constant H-0 by measuring the time delays between the quasar images. Here we report ... [more ▼]

Gravitationally lensed quasars can be used to map the mass distribution in lensing galaxies and to estimate the Hubble constant H-0 by measuring the time delays between the quasar images. Here we report the measurement of two independent time delays in the quadruply imaged quasar WFI J2033-4723 (z = 1.66). Our data consist of R-band images obtained with the Swiss 1.2 m EULER telescope located at La Silla and with the 1.3 m SMARTS telescope located at Cerro Tololo. The light curves have 218 independent epochs spanning 3 full years of monitoring between March 2004 and May 2007, with a mean temporal sampling of one observation every 4th day. We measure the time delays using three different techniques, and we obtain Delta t(B-A) = 35.5 +/- 1.4 days (3.8%) and Delta t(B-C) = 62.6(-2.3)(+4.1) days ((+6.5%)(-3.7%)), where A is a composite of the close, merging image pair. After correcting for the time delays, we find R-band flux ratios of F-A/F-B = 2.88 +/- 0.04, F-A/F-C = 3.38 +/- 0.06, and F-A1/F-A2 = 1.37 +/- 0.05 with no evidence for microlensing variability over a time scale of three years. However, these flux ratios do not agree with those measured in the quasar emission lines, suggesting that longer term microlensing is present. Our estimate of H-0 agrees with the concordance value: non-parametric modeling of the lensing galaxy predicts H-0 = 67(-10)(+13) km s(-1) Mpc(-1), while the Single Isothermal Sphere model yields H-0 = 63(-3)(+7) km s(-1) Mpc(-1) (68% confidence level). More complex lens models using a composite de Vaucouleurs plus NFW galaxy mass profile show twisting of the mass isocontours in the lensing galaxy, as do the non-parametric models. As all models also require a significant external shear, this suggests that the lens is a member of the group of galaxies seen in field of view of WFI J2033-4723. [less ▲]

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See detailMicrolensing to probe the quasar structure: spectrophotometry of Q2237+0305 and of J1131-1231
Sluse, Dominique; Eigenbrod, A.; Courbin, F. et al

in Kerins, E.; Mao, S.; Rattenbury, N. (Eds.) et al Proceedings of the Manchester Microlensing Conference: The 12th International Conference and ANGLES Microlensing Workshop. Proceedings of Science, PoS (GMC8)020 (2008)

We present the main results of the first long-term spectrophotometric monitoring of the ``Einstein cross'' Q2237+0305 and of the single-epoch spectra of the lensed quasar J1131-1231. From October 2004 to ... [more ▼]

We present the main results of the first long-term spectrophotometric monitoring of the ``Einstein cross'' Q2237+0305 and of the single-epoch spectra of the lensed quasar J1131-1231. From October 2004 to December 2006, we find that two prominent microlensing events affect images A & B in Q2237+0305 while images C & D remain grossly unaffected by microlensing on a time scale of a few months. Microlensing in A & B goes with chromatic variations of the quasar continuum. We observe stronger micro-amplification in the blue than in the red part of the spectrum, as expected for continuum emission arising from a standard accretion disk. Microlensing induced variations of the CIII] emission are observed both in the integrated line intensity and profile. Finally, we also find that images C & D are about 0.1-0.3 mag redder than images A & B. The spectra of images A-B-C in J1131-1231 reveal that, in April 2003, microlensing was at work in images A and C. We find that microlensing de-amplifies the continuum emission and the Broad Line Region (BLR) in these images. Contrary to the case of Q2237+0305, we do not find evidence for chromatic microlensing of the continuum emission. On the other hand, we observe that the Balmer and MgII broad line profiles are deformed by microlensing. These deformations imply an anti-correlation between the width of the emission line and the size of the corresponding emitting region. Finally, the differential microlensing of the FeII emission suggests that the bulk of FeII is emitted in the outer parts of the BLR while another fraction of FeII is produced in a compact region. [less ▲]

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See detailStudy of the QSO HE0354-5500 with combined HST imaging and VLT spectroscopy . An example of a deconvolution-based method for probing the QSOs host galaxies characteristics
Letawe, Yannick ULg; Magain, Pierre ULg; Letawe, Géraldine ULg et al

in Memorie della Società Astronomica Italiana : Journal of the Italian Astronomical Society (2008), 79

The host galaxy of the QSO HE0354-5500 (M_B=-24.7, z=0.2674) is studied on the basis of high resolution HST optical images and spatially resolved VLT slit spectra. The morphology and dynamics of the host ... [more ▼]

The host galaxy of the QSO HE0354-5500 (M_B=-24.7, z=0.2674) is studied on the basis of high resolution HST optical images and spatially resolved VLT slit spectra. The morphology and dynamics of the host are described. The gas ionization and velocity are mapped as a function of the distance to the central QSO. Reflection or scattering of the QSO Halpha line from remote regions of the galaxy is detected. The line shifts show that the matter responsible for the light reflection moves away from the QSO, likely accelerated by its radiation pressure. Moreover, different resolved emission regions are found in the central kpc, both in the images and the spectra. [less ▲]

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See detailUnderstanding the relations between QSOs and their host galaxies from combined HST imaging and VLT spectroscopy
Letawe, Yannick ULg; Magain, Pierre ULg; Letawe, Géraldine ULg et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2008), 679(2), 967-983

The host galaxies of six nearby QSOs are studied on the basis of high-resolution HST optical images and spatially resolved VLT slit spectra. The gas ionization and velocity are mapped as a function of the ... [more ▼]

The host galaxies of six nearby QSOs are studied on the basis of high-resolution HST optical images and spatially resolved VLT slit spectra. The gas ionization and velocity are mapped as a function of the distance to the central QSO. In the majority of the cases, the QSO significantly contributes to the gas ionization in its whole host galaxy, and sometimes even outside. Reflection or scattering of the QSO H alpha line from remote regions of the galaxy is detected in several instances. The line shifts show that, in all cases, the matter responsible for the light reflection moves away from the QSO, likely accelerated by its radiation pressure. The two faintest QSOs reside in spirals, with some signs of a past gravitational perturbation. One of the intermediate-luminosity QSOs resides in a massive elliptical containing gas ionized (and probably pushed away) by the QSO radiation. The other medium-power object is found in a spiral galaxy displaying complex velocity structure, with the central QSO moving with respect to the bulge, probably as a result of a galactic collision. The two most powerful objects are involved in violent gravitational interactions, and one of them has no detected host. These results suggest that (1) large-scale phenomena, such as galactic collisions, are closely related to the triggering and the feeding of the QSO and (2) once ignited, the QSO has significant influence on its large-scale neighborhood ( often the whole host and sometimes further away). [less ▲]

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See detailDECPHOT: An Optimal Deconvolution-based Photometric Reduction Method
Gillon, Michaël ULg; Magain, Pierre ULg; Chantry, Virginie ULg et al

in Transiting Extrapolar Planets Workshop (2007, July 01)

A high accuracy photometric reduction method is needed to take full advantage of the potential of the transit method for the detection and characterization of exoplanets, especially in deep crowded fields ... [more ▼]

A high accuracy photometric reduction method is needed to take full advantage of the potential of the transit method for the detection and characterization of exoplanets, especially in deep crowded fields. In this context, we present DECPHOT, a new deconvolution-based photometry algorithm able to deal with a very high level of crowding and large variations of seeing. It also increases the resolution of astronomical images, an important advantage for the discrimination of false positives in transit photometry. [less ▲]

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See detailSpatial decomposition of on-nucleus spectra of quasar host galaxies
Jahnke, K.; Wisotzki, L.; Courbin, F. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2007), 378(1), 23-40

In order to study the host galaxies of type 1 (broad-line) quasars, we present a semi-analytic modelling method to decompose the on-nucleus spectra of quasars into nuclear and host galaxy channels. The ... [more ▼]

In order to study the host galaxies of type 1 (broad-line) quasars, we present a semi-analytic modelling method to decompose the on-nucleus spectra of quasars into nuclear and host galaxy channels. The method uses the spatial information contained in long-slit or slitlet spectra. A routine determines the best-fitting combination of the spatial distribution of the point like nucleus and extended host galaxy. This is fully complementary to a numerical spatial deconvolution technique that we applied to the same data in a previous analysis, which allows a cross-calibration of the two methods. Inputs are a simultaneously observed point spread function, and external constraints on galaxy morphology from imaging. We demonstrate the capabilities of the method to two samples of a total of 18 quasars observed with EFOSC at the ESO 3.6-m telescope and FORS1 at the ESO VLT. similar to 50 per cent of the host galaxies with successful decomposition show distortions in their rotation curves or peculiar gas velocities above normal maximum velocities for discs. This is consistent with the fraction from optical imaging. All host galaxies have quite young stellar populations, typically 1-2 Gyr. For the disc dominated hosts these are consistent with their inactive counterparts, the luminosity-weighted stellar ages are much younger for the bulge dominated hosts, compared to inactive early-type galaxies. While this presents further evidence for a connection of galaxy interaction and active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity for half of the sample, this is not clear for the other half. These are often undistorted disc dominated host galaxies, and interaction on a smaller level might be detected in deeper high-resolution images or deeper spectroscopic data. The velocity information does not show obvious signs for large scale outflows triggered by AGN feedback - the data are consistent with velocity fields created by galaxy interaction. [less ▲]

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See detailOn-axis spectroscopy of the host galaxies of 20 optically luminous quasars at z similar to 0.3
Letawe, Géraldine ULg; Magain, Pierre ULg; Courbin, F. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2007), 378(1), 83-108

We present the analysis of a sample of 20 bright low-redshift quasars (M-B < -23 and z < 0.35) observed spectroscopically with the Very Large Telescope (VLT). The Focal Reducer/low dispersion Spectrograph ... [more ▼]

We present the analysis of a sample of 20 bright low-redshift quasars (M-B < -23 and z < 0.35) observed spectroscopically with the Very Large Telescope (VLT). The Focal Reducer/low dispersion Spectrograph (FORS1) spectra, obtained in Multi-Object Spectroscopy (MOS) mode, allow to observe simultaneously the quasars and several reference stars used to spatially deconvolve the data. Applying the Magain, Courbin, & Sohy (MCS) deconvolution method, we are able to separate the individual spectra of the quasar and of the underlying host galaxy. Contrary to some previous claims, we find that luminous quasars are not exclusively hosted by massive ellipticals. Most quasar host galaxies harbour large amounts of gas, irrespective of their morphological type. Moreover, the stellar content of half of the hosts is a young Sc-like population, associated with a rather low-metallicity interstellar medium. A significant fraction of the galaxies contain gas ionized at large distances by the quasar radiation. This large distance ionization is always associated with signs of gravitational interactions (as detected from images or disturbed rotation curves). The spectra of the quasars themselves provide evidence that gravitational interactions bring dust and gas in the immediate surrounding of the super massive black hole, allowing to feed it. The quasar activity might thus be triggered (1) in young gas-rich spiral galaxies by local events and (2) in more evolved galaxies by gravitational interactions or collisions. The latter mechanism gives rises to the most powerful quasars. Finally, we derive mass models for the isolated spiral host galaxies and we show that the most reliable estimators of the systemic redshift in the quasar spectrum are the tips of the Hα and Hβ lines. [less ▲]

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See detailCOSMOGRAIL: the COSmological MOnitoring of GRAvItational Lenses. V. The time delay in SDSS J1650+4251
Vuissoz, C.; Courbin, F.; Sluse, D. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2007), 464

Aims.Our aim is to measure the time delay between the two gravitationally lensed images of the z_qso = 1.547 quasar SDSS J1650+4251, in order to estimate the Hubble constant H_0. Methods: Our measurement ... [more ▼]

Aims.Our aim is to measure the time delay between the two gravitationally lensed images of the z_qso = 1.547 quasar SDSS J1650+4251, in order to estimate the Hubble constant H_0. Methods: Our measurement is based on R-band light curves with 57 epochs obtained at Maidanak Observatory, in Uzbekistan, from May 2004 to September 2005. The photometry is performed using simultaneous deconvolution of the data, which provides the individual light curves of the otherwise blended quasar images. The time delay is determined from the light curves using two very different numerical techniques, i.e., polynomial fitting and direct cross-correlation. The time delay is converted into H[SUB]0[/SUB] following analytical modeling of the potential well. Results: Our best estimate of the time delay is Delta t = 49.5 ± 1.9 days, i.e., we reach a 3.8% accuracy. The R-band flux ratio between the quasar images, corrected for the time delay and for slow microlensing, is F_A/F[SUB]B[/SUB] = 6.2 ± 5%. Conclusions: .The accuracy reached on the time delay allows us to discriminate well between families of lens models. As for most other multiply imaged quasars, only models of the lensing galaxy that have a de Vaucouleurs mass profile plus external shear give a Hubble constant compatible with the current most popular value (H[SUB]0[/SUB] = 72 ± 8 km s[SUP]-1[/SUP] Mpc[SUP]-1[/SUP]). A more realistic singular isothermal sphere model plus external shear gives H[SUB]0[/SUB] = 51.7[SUP]+4.0[/SUP][SUB]-3.0[/SUB] km s[SUP]-1[/SUP] Mpc[SUP]-1[/SUP]. Table [see full text] is only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org [less ▲]

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See detailA deconvolution-based algorithm for crowded field photometry with unknown point spread function
Magain, Pierre ULg; Courbin, F.; Gillon, Michaël ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2007), 461

A new method is presented for determining the point spread function (PSF) of images that lack bright and isolated stars. It is based on the same principles as the MCS image deconvolution algorithm. It ... [more ▼]

A new method is presented for determining the point spread function (PSF) of images that lack bright and isolated stars. It is based on the same principles as the MCS image deconvolution algorithm. It uses the information contained in all stellar images to achieve the double task of reconstructing the PSFs for single or multiple exposures of the same field and to extract the photometry of all point sources in the field of view. The use of the full information available allows us to construct an accurate PSF. The possibility to simultaneously consider several exposures makes it well suited to the measurement of the light curves of blended point sources from data that would be very difficult or even impossible to analyse with traditional PSF fitting techniques. The potential of the method for the analysis of ground-based and space-based data is tested on artificial images and illustrated by several examples, including HST/NICMOS images of a lensed quasar and VLT/ISAAC images of a faint blended Mira star in the halo of the giant elliptical galaxy NGC 5128 (Cen A). [less ▲]

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See detailHigh accuracy transit photometry of the planet OGLE-TR-113b with a new deconvolution-based method
Gillon, Michaël ULg; Pont, F.; Moutou, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2006), 459

A high accuracy photometry algorithm is needed to take full advantage of the potential of the transit method for the characterization of exoplanets, especially in deep crowded fields. It has to reduce to ... [more ▼]

A high accuracy photometry algorithm is needed to take full advantage of the potential of the transit method for the characterization of exoplanets, especially in deep crowded fields. It has to reduce to the lowest possible level the negative influence of systematic effects on the photometric accuracy. It should also be able to cope with a high level of crowding and with large-scale variations of the spatial resolution from one image to another. A recent deconvolution-based photometry algorithm fulfills all these requirements, and it also increases the resolution of astronomical images, which is an important advantage for the detection of blends and the discrimination of false positives in transit photometry. We made some changes to this algorithm to optimize it for transit photometry and used it to reduce NTT/SUSI2 observations of two transits of OGLE-TR-113b. This reduction has led to two very high precision transit light curves with a low level of systematic residuals, used together with former photometric and spectroscopic measurements to derive new stellar and planetary parameters in excellent agreement with previous ones, but significantly more precise. [less ▲]

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See detailCOSMOGRAIL: the COSmological MOnitoring of GRAvItational Lenses. II. SDSS J0924+0219: the redshift of the lensing galaxy, the quasar spectral variability and the Einstein rings
Eigenbrod, A.; Courbin, F.; Dye, S. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2006), 451

Aims.To provide the observational constraints required to use the gravitationally lensed quasar SDSS J0924+0219 for the determination of H[SUB]0[/SUB] from the time delay method. We measure here the ... [more ▼]

Aims.To provide the observational constraints required to use the gravitationally lensed quasar SDSS J0924+0219 for the determination of H[SUB]0[/SUB] from the time delay method. We measure here the redshift of the lensing galaxy, we show the spectral variability of the source, and we resolve the lensed host galaxy of the source. <BR />Methods.We present our VLT/FORS1 deep spectroscopic observations of the lensed quasar SDSS J0924+0219, as well as archival HST/NICMOS and ACS images of the same object. The two-epoch spectra, obtained in the Multi Object Spectroscopy (MOS) mode, allow for very accurate flux calibration and spatial deconvolution. This strategy provides spectra for the lensing galaxy and for the quasar images A and B, free of any mutual light contamination. We deconvolve the HST images as well, which reveal a double Einstein ring. The mass distributions in the lens, reconstructed in several ways, are compared. <BR />Results.We determine the redshift of the lensing galaxy in SDSS J0924+0219: z_lens = 0.394±0.001. Only slight spectral variability is seen in the continuum of quasar images A and B, while the C III] , Mg II and Fe II emission lines display obvious changes. The flux ratio between the quasar images A and B is the same in the emission lines and in the continuum. One of the Einstein rings found using deconvolution corresponds to the lensed quasar host galaxy at z=1.524 and a second bluer one, is the image either of a star-forming region in the host galaxy, or of another unrelated lower redshift object. A broad range of lens models give a satisfactory fit to the data. However, they predict very different time delays, making SDSS J0924+0219 an object of particular interest for photometric monitoring. In addition, the lens models reconstructed using exclusively the constraints from the Einstein rings, or using exclusively the astrometry of the quasar images, are not compatible. This suggests that multipole-like structures play an important role in SDSS J0924+0219. <BR /> [less ▲]

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See detailCOSMOGRAIL: the COSmological MOnitoring of GRAvItational Lenses - III. Redshift of the lensing galaxy in eight gravitationally lensed quasars
Eigenbrod, A.; Courbin, F.; Meylan, G. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2006), 451(3), 759-766

Aims. We measure the redshift of the lensing galaxy in eight gravitationally lensed quasars in view of determining the Hubble parameter H-0 from the time delay method. Methods. Deep VLT/FORS1 spectra of ... [more ▼]

Aims. We measure the redshift of the lensing galaxy in eight gravitationally lensed quasars in view of determining the Hubble parameter H-0 from the time delay method. Methods. Deep VLT/FORS1 spectra of lensed quasars are spatially deconvolved in order to separate the spectrum of the lensing galaxies from the glare of the much brighter quasar images. A new observing strategy is devised. It involves observations in Multi-Object-Spectroscopy (MOS) which allows the simultaneous observation of the target and of several PSF and flux calibration stars. The advantage of this method over traditional long-slit observations is a much more reliable extraction and flux calibration of the spectra. Results. For the first time we measure the redshift of the lensing galaxy in three multiply-imaged quasars: SDSS J1138+0314 (zlens = 0.445), SDSS J1226-0006 (z(lens) = 0.517), SDSS J1335+0118 (z(lens) = 0.440), and we give a tentative estimate of the redshift of the lensing galaxy in Q 1355- 2257 (z(lens) = 0.701). We confirm four previously measured redshifts: HE 0047-1756 (z(lens) = 0.407), HE 0230-2130 (z(lens) = 0.523), HE 0435-1223 (z(lens) = 0.454) and WFI J2033-4723 (z(lens) = 0.661). In addition, we determine the redshift of the second lensing galaxy in HE 0230-2130 (z(lens) = 0.526). The spectra of all lens galaxies are typical for early-type galaxies, except for the second lensing galaxy in HE 0230-2130 which displays prominent [OII] emission. [less ▲]

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