By monitoring 106 quasars one could search for lensing by stars and massive compact halo objects (MACHOs) out to redshifts z ∼ 4. If MACHOs have a present cosmological density ΩL,0 = 1%, then the expected event rate is Γ ∼ 200 yr-1. The expected event rate for known stars in galaxies is F ∼ 20 yr-1 assuming that their present cosmological density is ΩL,0 = 0.3%. Typical event times are te ∼ 3 yr for MACHOs and te ∼ 10 yr for stars. By comparing the optical depths to quasars at different redshifts, one could measure the star-formation and MACHO-formation history of the universe. By comparing the timescales of events found parallel and perpendicular to the Sun's motion relative to the' microwave background, one could measure or constrain the characteristic scale of large-scale motions. The lensing events themselves would help probe the structure of quasars on scales of 50-1500 AU. The monitoring program could be carried out with a single dedicated 1 m telescope with a 4 deg2 camera. Quasar lensing events can be unambiguously distinguished from quasar variability because in the former case the broad lines are unaffected while in the latter they respond to the variation in the continuum on timescales ∼1 yr.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- December 1995
- COSMOLOGY: GRAVITATIONAL LENSING;
- COSMOLOGY: THEORY;
- GALAXIES: QUASARS: GENERAL;
- 20 pages, uuencoded postscript, includes 2 figures