The universal Einstein radius distribution from 10 000 SDSS clusters

Adi Zitrin, Tom Broadhurst, Matthias Bartelmann, Yoel Rephaeli, Masamune Oguri, Narciso Benitez, Jiangang Hao, Keiichi Umetsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present results from strong lens modelling of 10 000 Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) clusters, to establish the universal distribution of Einstein radii. Detailed lensing analyses have shown that the inner mass distribution of clusters can be accurately modelled by assuming light traces mass, successfully uncovering large numbers of multiple images. Approximate critical curves and the effective Einstein radius of each cluster can therefore be readily calculated, from the distribution of member galaxies and scaled by their luminosities. We use a subsample of 10 well-studied clusters covered by both SDSS and Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to calibrate and test this method, and show that an accurate determination of the Einstein radius and mass can be achieved by this approach ‘blindly’, in an automated way, and without requiring multiple images as input. We present the results of the first 10 000 clusters analysed in the range 0.1 < z < 0.55 and compare them to theoretical expectations. We find that for this all-sky representative sample the Einstein radius distribution is lognormal in shape,
with log(θe arcsec) = 0.73+0.02 −0.03, σ = 0.316+0.004 −0.002, and with higher abundance of large θ e clusters than predicted by cold dark matter. We visually inspect each of the clusters with θe > 40 arcsec (zs = 2) and find that ∼20 per cent are boosted by various projection effects detailed here, remaining with ∼40 real giant-lens candidates, with a maximum of θe = 69 ± 12 arcsec (zs = 2) for the most massive candidate, in agreement with semi-analytic calculations. The results of this work should be verified further when an extended calibration sample is available.
Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)2308-2324
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012


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