Measurements of the properties of gravitational lenses have the power to tell us what sort of universe we live in. The brightest known radio Einstein ring/gravitational lens PKS 1830-211, while obscured by our Galaxy at optical wavelengths, has recently been shown to contain absorption at the millimeter waveband at a redshift of 0.89. We report the detection of a new absorption feature, most likely due to neutral hydrogen in a second redshift system at z = 0.19. Follow-up VLBI observations have spatially resolved the absorption and reveal it to cover the NE compact component and part of the lower surface brightness ring. This new information, together with existing evidence of the unusual VLBI radio structure and difficulties in modeling the lensing system, points to the existence of a second lensing galaxy along our line of sight and implies that PKS 1830-211 may be a compound gravitational lens.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- November 1996
- COSMOLOGY: GRAVITATIONAL LENSING;
- GALAXIES: INDIVIDUAL ALPHANUMERIC: PKS 1830-211;
- GALAXIES: DISTANCES AND REDSHIFTS;
- 8 pages, 2 figures, LaTeX (aasms4.sty). Accepted for publication in ApJ Letters. Preprint also available at http://kerr.phys.utas.edu.au/preprints/