Multiple images of a highly magnified supernova formed by an early-type cluster galaxy lens

Patrick L. Kelly, Steven A. Rodney, Tommaso Treu, Ryan J. Foley, Gabriel Brammer, Kasper B. Schmidt, Adi Zitrin, Alessandro Sonnenfeld, Louis-Gregory Strolger, Or Graur, Alexei V. Filippenko, Saurabh W. Jha, Adam G. Riess, Marusa Bradac, Benjamin J. Weiner, Daniel Scolnic, Matthew A. Malkan, Anja von der Linden, Michele Trenti, Jens HjorthRaphael Gavazzi, Adriano Fontana, Julian Merten, Curtis McCully, Tucker Jones, Marc Postman, Alan Dressler, Brandon Patel, S. Bradley Cenko, Melissa L. Graham, Bradley E. Tucker

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    Abstract

    In 1964, Refsdal hypothesized that a supernova whose light traversed multiple paths around a strong gravitational lens could be used to measure the rate of cosmic expansion. We report the discovery of such a system. In Hubble Space Telescope imaging, we have found four images of a single supernova forming an Einstein cross configuration around a redshift z=0.54 elliptical galaxy in the MACS J1149.6+2223 cluster. The cluster's gravitational potential also creates multiple images of the z=1.49 spiral supernova host galaxy, and a future appearance of the supernova elsewhere in the cluster field is expected. The magnifications and staggered arrivals of the supernova images probe the cosmic expansion rate, as well as the distribution of matter in the galaxy and cluster lenses.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1123-1126
    Number of pages4
    JournalScience
    Volume347
    Issue number6226
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2015

    Keywords

    • SN_HIGHLIGHT

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