We present the current photometric data set for the Sloan Lens ACS (SLACS) Survey, including Hubble Space Telescope (HST) photometry from Advanced Camera for Surveys, WFPC2, and NICMOS. These data have enabled the confirmation of an additional 15 grade "A" (certain) lens systems, bringing the number of SLACS grade "A" lenses to 85; including 13 grade "B" (likely) systems, SLACS has identified nearly 100 lenses and lens candidates. Approximately 80% of the grade "A" systems have elliptical morphologies while ~10% show spiral structure; the remaining lenses have lenticular morphologies. Spectroscopic redshifts for the lens and source are available for every system, making SLACS the largest homogeneous data set of galaxy-scale lenses to date. We have created lens models using singular isothermal ellipsoid mass distributions for the 11 new systems that are dominated by a single mass component and where the multiple images are detected with sufficient signal to noise; these models give a high precision measurement of the mass within the Einstein radius of each lens. We have developed a novel Bayesian stellar population analysis code to determine robust stellar masses with accurate error estimates. We apply this code to deep, high-resolution HST imaging and determine stellar masses with typical statistical errors of 0.1 dex; we find that these stellar masses are unbiased compared to estimates obtained using SDSS photometry, provided that informative priors are used. The stellar masses range from 1010.5 to 1011.8 M sun and the typical stellar mass fraction within the Einstein radius is 0.4, assuming a Chabrier initial mass function. The ensemble properties of the SLACS lens galaxies, e.g., stellar masses and projected ellipticities, appear to be indistinguishable from other SDSS galaxies with similar stellar velocity dispersions. This further supports that SLACS lenses are representative of the overall population of massive early-type galaxies with M * gsim 1011 M sun, and are therefore an ideal data set to investigate the kpc-scale distribution of luminous and dark matter in galaxies out to z ~ 0.5.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- November 2009
- galaxies: elliptical and lenticular;
- gravitational lensing;
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics
- 20 pages, 18 figures, 5 tables, published in ApJ