A multipole-Taylor expansion for the potential of the gravitational lens MG J0414 + 0534

Catherine S. Trotter, Joshua N. Winn, Jacqueline N. Hewitt

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63 Scopus citations


We employ a multipole-Taylor expansion to investigate how tightly the gravitational potential of the quadruple-image lens MG J0414 + 0534 is constrained by recent VLBI observations. These observations revealed that each of the four images of the background radio source contains four distinct components, thereby providing more numerous and more precise constraints on the lens potential than were previously available. We expand the two-dimensional lens potential using multipoles for the angular coordinate and a modified Taylor series for the radial coordinate. After discussing the physical significance of each term, we compute models of MG J0414 + 0534 using only VLBI positions as constraints. The best-fit model has both interior and exterior quadrupole moments, as well as exterior m = 3 and m = 4 multipole moments. The deflector centroid in the models matches the optical galaxy position, and the quadrupoles are aligned with the optical isophotes. The radial distribution of mass could not be well constrained. We discuss the implications of these models for the deflector mass distribution and for the predicted time delays between lensed components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-691
Number of pages21
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Galaxies: structure
  • Gravitational lensing
  • Techniques: interferometric


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