AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 92. Clusters of Galaxies
Oral, Friday, January 8, 1999, 2:00-3:30pm, Room 9 (A and B)

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[92.04] Gravitationally Lensed Radio Sources Towards Galaxy Clusters

A.R. Cooray, J.E. Carlstrom (Univ. of Chicago)

Similar to luminous optical arcs, galaxy clusters are expected to gravitationally lens background sources at radio wavelengths. However, due to the smaller surface density of radio sources, compared to optical galaxies, such lensed events are rare. We present the expected number of strongly lensed radio sources due to foreground cluster potentials. At the flux density limit of the FIRST survey (~ 1 mJy), only a few sources are strongly lensed. At the \muJy level, however, the surface density of radio sources increases. For a flat cosmology with \Omegam=0.3 and \Omega\Lambda =0.7, we predict ~ 1500 lensed radio sources with flux densities greater than 10 \muJy at 1.4 GHz, and with amplifications due to lensing greater than 2. We discuss the possibility of detecting lensed \muJy radio sources towards clusters, and will present initial results from deep VLA observations of a sample of well known lensing clusters. Aided by amplification due to gravitational lensing, searches for lensed \muJy radio sources towards clusters are likely to recover star-forming galaxies at redshifts of 1 to 3. Since radio emission is unaffected by dust, a systematic catalog of such sources can be used to evaluate the star formation history of the universe.

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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: asante@hyde.uchicago.edu

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