Observation and confirmation of six strong lensing systems in the Dark Energy Survey Science Verification data

Dark Energy Survey Collaboration

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We report the observation and confirmation of the first group- and cluster-scale strong gravitational lensing systems found in Dark Energy Survey data. Through visual inspection of data from the Science Verification season, we identified 53 candidate systems. We then obtained spectroscopic follow-up of 21 candidates using the Gemini Multi-object Spectrograph at the Gemini South telescope and the Inamori-Magellan Areal Camera and Spectrograph at the Magellan/Baade telescope. With this follow-up, we confirmed six candidates as gravitational lenses: three of the systems are newly discovered, and the remaining three were previously known. Of the 21 observed candidates, the remaining 15 either were not detected in spectroscopic observations, were observed and did not exhibit continuum emission (or spectral features), or were ruled out as lensing systems. The confirmed sample consists of one group-scale and five galaxy-cluster-scale lenses. The lensed sources range in redshift z ~ 0.80–3.2 and in i-band surface brightness i SB ~ 23–25 mag arcsec−2 (2'' aperture). For each of the six systems, we estimate the Einstein radius θ E and the enclosed mass M enc, which have ranges θ E ~ 5''–9'' and M enc ~ 8 × 1012 to 6 × 1013 M ⊙, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number51
Early online date5 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2016


  • astro-ph.CO
  • astro-ph.GA
  • cosmology: observations
  • galaxies: clusters: general
  • galaxies: distances and reshifts
  • gravitational lensing: strong
  • methods: observational
  • techniques: spectroscopic


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