Measuring the total and baryonic mass profiles of the very massive CASSOWARY 31 strong lens: A fossil system at z ≃ 0.7?

Claudio Grillo, L. Christensen, A. Gallazzi, Jesper Rasmussen

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We investigate the total and baryonic mass distributions in deflector number 31 (CSWA 31) of the Cambridge And Sloan Survey Of Wide ARcs in the skY (CASSOWARY). We confirm spectroscopically a four-image lensing system at redshift 1.4870 with Very Large Telescope/X-shooter observations. The lensed images are distributed around a bright early-type galaxy at redshift 0.683, surrounded by several smaller galaxies at similar photometric redshifts. We use available optical and X-ray data to constrain the deflector total, stellar and hot gas mass through, respectively, strong lensing, stellar population analysis and plasma modelling. We derive a total mass projected within the Einstein radius R-Ein = 70 kpc of (40 +/- 1) x 10(12) M-circle dot, and a central logarithmic slope of -1.7 +/- 0.2 for the total mass density. Despite a very high stellar mass and velocity dispersion of the central galaxy of (3 +/- 1) x 10(12) M-circle dot and (450 +/- 80) km s(-1), respectively, the cumulative stellar-to-total mass profile of the deflector implies a remarkably low stellar mass fraction of 20 per cent (3-6 per cent) in projection within the central galaxy effective radius R-e = 25 kpc (R = 100 kpc). We also find that the CSWA 31 deflector has properties suggesting it to be among the most distant and massive fossil systems studied so far. The unusually strong central dark matter dominance and the possible fossil nature of this system render it an interesting target for detailed tests of cosmological models and structure formation scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRoyal Astronomical Society. Monthly Notices
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)2604-2612
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Gravitational lensing
  • Strong
  • Galaxies: stellar content
  • Galaxies: structure
  • Dark matter


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