Measurement of Gravitational Lens Time Delays with LSST (SULI Paper)

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The proposed Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will be the first to explore multiple dark energy probes simultaneously, including baryon acoustic oscillations, weak lensing, and strong gravitational lensing. The large data sample, covering the entire visible sky every few nights, will allow an unprecedented survey of deep supernova sources and their lensed images. The latter have not yet been observed. Notably, LSST will measure the time delays between different strong-lensed images of the same supernova. This will provide a unique probe of dark matter, dark energy, and the expansion rate of the Universe. By simulating LSST observations under realistic conditions, we ... continued below

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27 pages

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Kirkby, Lowry Anna & /SLAC, /Oxford U. January 4, 2006.

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The proposed Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will be the first to explore multiple dark energy probes simultaneously, including baryon acoustic oscillations, weak lensing, and strong gravitational lensing. The large data sample, covering the entire visible sky every few nights, will allow an unprecedented survey of deep supernova sources and their lensed images. The latter have not yet been observed. Notably, LSST will measure the time delays between different strong-lensed images of the same supernova. This will provide a unique probe of dark matter, dark energy, and the expansion rate of the Universe. By simulating LSST observations under realistic conditions, we determined the time delay precision of multiple images from a representative strong-lensed Type Ia supernova. The output of the simulation was a set of light curves according to field and filter, which were subsequently analyzed to determine the experimental time delays. We find that a time delay precision of better then 10% can be achieved under suitable conditions. Firstly, a minimum observed peak-magnitude of 22 is required for the lensed image, corresponding to an intrinsic source magnitude of about 24. The number of such supernova sources expected for LSST is under investigation, but it could amount to several thousand. Secondly, a minimum of about 50 visits per field is required, and, moreover, these visits must be evenly distributed over the duration of the event. The visit frequency should be approximately once per week, or better. Thirdly, the sky brightness should be below 21 magnitude arcsec{sup -2} to allow sufficient sensitivity to distance sources. Under the nominal LSST visiting schedule and field conditions, 15% of all fields satisfy these criteria, and allow time delay measurements of better than 10% precision. This performance can be further improved by fitting the predicted supernova light curves to the observations, rather than using the simple weighted mean as in the present study. Of the well-measured fields, 85% involve observations taken with the r filter, which has a wavelength acceptance that is well-matched to supernova spectra. This filter therefore represents the best choice for strong gravitational lens observations with LSST. Our primary conclusion is that the visiting schedule is the single most important parameter to optimize for time delay measurements, and, once a lensed supernova has been detected, that frequent, regular observations should be scheduled to search with the highest sensitivity for multiple, delayed lensed images.

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27 pages

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  • Report No.: SLAC-TN-05-067
  • Grant Number: AC02-76SF00515
  • DOI: 10.2172/877993 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 877993
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc878082

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  • January 4, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Nov. 29, 2016, 7:37 p.m.

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Kirkby, Lowry Anna & /SLAC, /Oxford U. Measurement of Gravitational Lens Time Delays with LSST (SULI Paper), report, January 4, 2006; [Menlo Park, California]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc878082/: accessed December 11, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.