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VLT spectroscopy of galaxies lensed by the AC 114 cluster : implications for the mass model and the study of low-luminosity galaxies at high-redshift.

Campusano, L.E. and Pelló, R. and Kneib, J.-P. and Le Borgne, J.-F. and Fort, B. and Ellis, R. and Mellier, Y. and Smail, I. (2001) 'VLT spectroscopy of galaxies lensed by the AC 114 cluster : implications for the mass model and the study of low-luminosity galaxies at high-redshift.', Astronomy & astrophysics., 378 (2). pp. 394-407.

Abstract

We present the first results of a spectroscopic survey of faint lensed galaxies in the core of the galaxy cluster AC 114 (z=0.312) obtained from observations with the FORS1 spectrograph mounted on the VLT-Antu (Unit Telescope 1). The galaxies were chosen according to both lensing and photometric redshift criteria in areas close to the high-z critical lines predicted by the gravitational lens model of Natarajan et al. (NKSE, 1998) for this cluster. All the target galaxies are found to correspond to background galaxies with redshift values in the [0.7, 3.5] interval. Our spectroscopic observations confirm the predicted lensing redshifts for 3 of the multiply-imaged galaxies, and together with predictions of the NKSE model led to the discovery of a new 5-image configuration at redshift z=3.347. A revised NKS model, compatible with the redshift of this new multiple-image system, was generated and employed to calculate the gravitational amplifications of all the observed galaxies. The galaxies corresponding to the multiple-image systems are found to be intrinsically fainter, between 0.5 and 1.5 magnitudes, than the limiting magnitudes of existing blank field studies. When all the observed background galaxies are considered, the resulting intrinsic absolute magnitudes range from MB ~ -22 to -19, with a median value of -20.5. Therefore, a large gain in sensitivity towards low luminosity high-z objects can actually be obtained, in agreement with theoretical expectations. This method can be used advantageously to probe the high redshift Universe and, in particular, its application to an ensemble of massive cluster cores could constraint the faint end of luminosity function of high redshift galaxies. Based on observations collected with the ESO Very Large Telescope Antu (UT1) and NTT 3.5 m Telescope, and the Hubble Space Telescope.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Cosmology, Observations, Galaxies, Clusters, AC 114, Fundamental parameters, Gravitational lensing, Redshifts.
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20011216
Publisher statement:The original publication is available at http://www.afs-journal.org
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:14 June 2013
Date of first online publication:November 2001
Date first made open access:No date available

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