skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Galaxies as High-resolution Telescopes

Abstract

Recent observations show a population of active galaxies with milliarcsecond offsets between optical and radio emission. Such offsets can be an indication of extreme phenomena associated with supermassive black holes including relativistic jets, binary supermassive black holes, or even recoiling supermassive black holes. However, the multi-wavelength structure of active galaxies at a few milliarcseconds cannot be resolved with direct observations. We propose using strong gravitational lensing to elucidate the multi-wavelength structure of sources. When sources are located close to the caustic of a lensing galaxy, even a small offset in the position of the sources results in a drastic difference in the position and magnification of mirage images. We show that the angular offset in the position of the sources can be amplified more than 50 times in the observed position of mirage images. We find that at least 8% of the observed gravitationally lensed quasars will be in the caustic configuration. The synergy between SKA and Euclid will provide an ideal set of observations for thousands of gravitationally lensed sources in the caustic configuration, which will allow us to resolve the multi-wavelength structure for a large ensemble of sources and to study the physical origin of radio emissions, theirmore » connection to supermassive black holes, and their cosmic evolution.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, MS-20, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22679853
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 846; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; BLACK HOLES; CONFIGURATION; COSMIC RADIO SOURCES; EMISSION; GALAXIES; GRAVITATIONAL LENSES; QUASARS; RECOILS; RELATIVISTIC RANGE; RESOLUTION; TELESCOPES; VISIBLE RADIATION; WAVELENGTHS

Citation Formats

Barnacka, Anna, E-mail: abarnacka@cfa.harvard.edu. Galaxies as High-resolution Telescopes. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA86EC.
Barnacka, Anna, E-mail: abarnacka@cfa.harvard.edu. Galaxies as High-resolution Telescopes. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA86EC.
Barnacka, Anna, E-mail: abarnacka@cfa.harvard.edu. Sun . "Galaxies as High-resolution Telescopes". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA86EC.
@article{osti_22679853,
title = {Galaxies as High-resolution Telescopes},
author = {Barnacka, Anna, E-mail: abarnacka@cfa.harvard.edu},
abstractNote = {Recent observations show a population of active galaxies with milliarcsecond offsets between optical and radio emission. Such offsets can be an indication of extreme phenomena associated with supermassive black holes including relativistic jets, binary supermassive black holes, or even recoiling supermassive black holes. However, the multi-wavelength structure of active galaxies at a few milliarcseconds cannot be resolved with direct observations. We propose using strong gravitational lensing to elucidate the multi-wavelength structure of sources. When sources are located close to the caustic of a lensing galaxy, even a small offset in the position of the sources results in a drastic difference in the position and magnification of mirage images. We show that the angular offset in the position of the sources can be amplified more than 50 times in the observed position of mirage images. We find that at least 8% of the observed gravitationally lensed quasars will be in the caustic configuration. The synergy between SKA and Euclid will provide an ideal set of observations for thousands of gravitationally lensed sources in the caustic configuration, which will allow us to resolve the multi-wavelength structure for a large ensemble of sources and to study the physical origin of radio emissions, their connection to supermassive black holes, and their cosmic evolution.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/AA86EC},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 2,
volume = 846,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Sep 10 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Sun Sep 10 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}