AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 28 Lensing: Micro, MACHO, Strong, Weak and Wide
Poster, Monday, January 10, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[28.10] Measuring Weak Lensing of Multiply Imaged Sources Using Polarization Alignment Breaking

L. J. Willis, C. R. Burns (Swarthmore College)

A gravitational lens bends the light from a source, distorting the morphology. Further, if the lens is sufficiently strong, this distortion can produce multiple images of the original source. With multiple images that have a known time delay, one can calculate Hubble's constant. However, there is some difficulty in doing so because one needs to accurately describe the mass distribution of the lens system. One such source is 0957+561, a gravitationally lensed quasar, with two resolvable images, one of which has an extended, polarized jet. Unlike the morphology, the intrinsic polarization of the jet is unchanged by gravitational lensing. We can therefore predict the deviation of the polarization from the observed morphology of the jet due to weak lensing. By simulating various mass profiles for the lensing galaxy, we quantify the sensitivity of the observed lensing signal to these different models. Combining this with the amount of mass that must be interior to the two images, which we calculate using strong lensing, we can discover if any provide a better fit to the data, and therefore constrain the large scale mass distribution. This technique of using both strong and weak lensing can be applied to any source with multiple images and a jet with adequate polarization. We present theoretical models and compare it to the data from 0957+561.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: lwillis1@swarthmore.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.