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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

B2114+022: a distant radio source gravitationally lensed by a starburst galaxy

P. Augusto, I. W. A. Browne, P. N. Wilkinson, N. J. Jackson, C. D. Fassnacht, T. W. B. Muxlow, J. Hjorth, A. O. Jaunsen, L. V. Koopmans, A. R. Patnaik, G. B. Taylor

We have discovered a radio source (B2114+022) with a unique structure during the course of the JVAS gravitational lens survey. VLA, MERLIN, VLBA and MERLIN+EVN radio maps reveal four compact components, in a configuration unlike that of any known lens system, or, for that matter, any of the ~15000 radio sources in the JVAS and CLASS surveys. Three of the components are within 0.3arcsec of each other while the fourth is separated from the group by 2.4arcsec. The widest separation pair of components have similar radio structures and spectra. The other pair also have similar properties. This latter pair have spectra which peak at ~5GHz. Their surface brightnesses are much lower than expected for synchrotron self-absorbed components. Ground-based and Hubble Space Telescope optical observations show two galaxies (z=0.3157 and 0.5883) separated by 1.25arcsec. The lower redshift galaxy has a post-starburst spectrum and lies close to, but not coincident with, the compact group of three radio components. No optical or infrared emission is detected from any of the radio components down to I=25 and H=23. We argue that the most likely explanation of the B2114+022 system is that the post-starburst galaxy, assisted by the second galaxy, lenses a distant radio source producing the two wide-separation images. The other two radio components are then associated with the post-starburst galaxy. The combination of the angular sizes of these components, their radio spectra and their location with respect to their host galaxy still remains puzzling.

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume 326, Page 1007
September 2001

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