The gravitational lens system CLASS B2108+213 has two lensed images separated by 4.56arcsec. Such a wide image separation suggests that the lens is either a massive galaxy or composed of a group of galaxies. To investigate the structure of the lensing potential we have carried out new high-resolution imaging of the two lensed images at 1.7GHz with the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) and at 5GHz with global Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI). Compact and extended emission is detected from the two lensed images, which provides additional constraints to the lensing mass model. We find that the data are consistent with either a single lensing galaxy or a two galaxy lens model that takes account of a nearby companion to the main lensing galaxy within the Einstein radius of the system. However, for an ensemble of global power-law mass models, those with density profiles steeper than isothermal are a better fit. The best-fitting profile for a single spherical mass model has a slope of γ = 2.45+0.19-0.18. The system also has a third radio component which is coincident with the main lensing galaxy. This component is detected at milliarcsecond scales for the first time by the 1.7-GHz VLBA and 5-GHz global VLBI imaging. However, the third radio component is found not to be consistent with a core lensed image because the radio spectrum differs from the two lensed images, and its flux density is too high when compared to what is expected from simple mass models with a variable power-law density profile and/or a reasonable core radius. Furthermore, 1.4GHz imaging of the system with the Multi-Element Radio Link Interferometric Network (MERLIN) finds extended lobe emission on either side of the main lensing galaxy. Therefore, the radio emission from the third radio component is almost certainly from an active galactic nucleus (AGN) within the main lensing galaxy, which is classified as a Fanaroff-Riley I (FRI) type radio source.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Pub Date:
- March 2008
- gravitational lensing;
- quasars: individual: CLASS B2108+213;
- cosmology: observations;
- 11 pages, 7 figures, 4 tables, MNRAS accepted