We present new observations of the gravitational lens system CLASS B0128+437 made in the optical, infrared and radio regimes. Hubble Space Telescope observations detect only a very faint, extended object in the I band with no obvious emission from the lensed images visible; no detection at all is made in the V band. The lens system is detected with a much higher signal-to-noise ratio with the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope in the K band and, although resolved, the resolution is not sufficient to allow the lensed images and the lens galaxy to be separated. A careful astrometric calibration, however, suggests that the peak of the infrared emission corresponds to the two merging images A and B and therefore that the lensed images dominate at infrared wavelengths. The new radio data consist of high-resolution very long baseline interferometry radio images at three frequencies, 2.3, 5 and 8.4 GHz, made with the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) and the 100-m Effelsberg telescope. These reveal that the lensed source consists of three well-defined subcomponents that are embedded in a more extended jet. Due to the fact that the subcomponents have different spectral indices, it is possible to determine, unambiguously, which part of each image corresponds to the same source subcomponent. Our main finding is that one of the images, B, looks very different to the others, there being no obvious division into separate subcomponents and the image being apparently both broader and smoother. This is a consequence, we believe, of scatter-broadening in the interstellar medium of the lensing galaxy. The large number of multiply imaged source subcomponents also provides an abundance of modelling constraints and we have attempted to fit a singular isothermal ellipsoid + external shear model to the data, as well as utilizing the novel method of Evans and Witt. It proves difficult in both cases, however, to obtain a satisfactory fit, which strongly suggests the presence of substructure in the mass distribution of the lensing galaxy, perhaps of the kind that is predicted by cold dark matter theories of structure formation.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Pub Date:
- May 2004
- gravitational lensing;
- galaxies: ISM;
- quasars: individual: B0128+437;
- Accepted for publication in MNRAS. 13 pages, 8 figures. Full resolution versions of Figures 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are obtainable from ftp://ftp.jive.nl/pub/biggs/0128_highres.tar.gz