Investigation of the possible third image and mass models of the gravitational lens PMN J1632-0033

Joshua N. Winn, David Rusin, Christopher S. Kochanek

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37 Scopus citations


We present multifrequency VLBA2 observations of PMN J1632-0033, one of the few gravitationally lensed quasars suspected of having a central "odd" image. The central component has a different spectral index than the two bright quasar images. Therefore, either the central component is not a third image, and is instead the active nucleus of the lens galaxy, or else it is a third image whose spectrum is inverted by free-free absorption in the lens galaxy. In either case, we have more constraints on mass models than are usually available for a two-image lens, especially when combined with the observed orientations of the radio jets of the two bright quasars. If there is no third quasar image, the simplest permitted model is a singular isothermal sphere in an external shear field: β= 2.05-0.10+0.23 (2 σ), where ρ(r) ∝ r, If the central component is a third image, a hypothesis that can be tested with future high-frequency observations, then the density distribution is only slightly shallower than isothermal: β= 1.91 ± 0.02 (2 σ). We also derive limits on the size of a constant-density core, and the break radius and exponent of an inner density cusp.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-89
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - Apr 10 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Galaxies: nuclei
  • Galaxies: structure
  • Gravitational lensing


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