Astrophysics. Multiple images of a highly magnified supernova formed by an early-type cluster galaxy lens.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

In 1964, Refsdal hypothesized that a supernova whose light traversed multiple paths around a strong gravitational lens could be used to measure the rate of cosmic expansion. We report the discovery of such a system. In Hubble Space Telescope imaging, we have found four images of a single supernova forming an Einstein cross configuration around a redshift z = 0.54 elliptical galaxy in the MACS J1149.6+2223 cluster. The cluster's gravitational potential also creates multiple images of the z = 1.49 spiral supernova host galaxy, and a future appearance of the supernova elsewhere in the cluster field is expected. The magnifications and staggered arrivals of the supernova images probe the cosmic expansion rate, as well as the distribution of matter in the galaxy and cluster lenses.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kelly, PL; Rodney, SA; Treu, T; Foley, RJ; Brammer, G; Schmidt, KB; Zitrin, A; Sonnenfeld, A; Strolger, L-G; Graur, O; Filippenko, AV; Jha, SW; Riess, AG; Bradac, M; Weiner, BJ; Scolnic, D; Malkan, MA; von der Linden, A; Trenti, M; Hjorth, J; Gavazzi, R; Fontana, A; Merten, JC; McCully, C; Jones, T; Postman, M; Dressler, A; Patel, B; Cenko, SB; Graham, ML; Tucker, BE

Published Date

  • March 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 347 / 6226

Start / End Page

  • 1123 - 1126

PubMed ID

  • 25745167

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.aaa3350


  • eng