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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Professor Ian Smail

Smail, I., Swinbank, A.M., Richard, J., Ebeling, H., Kneib, J.-P., Edge, A.C., Stark, D., Ellis, R.S., Dye, S., Smith, G.P. & Mullis, C. (2007). A Very Bright, Highly Magnified Lyman Break Galaxy at z = 3.07. The Astrophysical Journal Letters 654(1): L33-L36.
  • Publication type: Journal Article
  • ISSN/ISBN: 2041-8205, 2041-8213
  • DOI: 10.1086/510902
  • Keywords: cosmology : observations; galaxies : evolution; galaxies : formation; galaxies : individual (LBG J213512.73-010143)STAR-FORMING GALAXIES; HIGH-REDSHIFT; MS 1512-CB58; CANDIDATES; SPECTRA
  • Further publication details on publisher web site

Author(s) from Durham


Using Hubble Space Telescope imaging and Keck spectroscopy, we report the discovery of a very bright, highly magnified (~30 times) Lyman break galaxy (LBG) at z = 3.07 in the field of the massive z = 0.33 cluster MACS J2135.2-0102. The system comprises two high surface brightness arcs with a maximum extent of 3'', bracketing a central object that we identify as a massive early-type galaxy at z = 0.73. We construct a lens model that reproduces the main features of the system using a combination of a galaxy-scale lens and the foreground cluster. We show that the morphological, spectral, and photometric properties of the arcs are consistent with them arising from the lensing of a single ~Limg1.gif LBG. The most important feature of this system is that the lensing magnification results in an apparent magnitude of r = 20.3, making this one of the brightest LBGs known. Such a high magnification provides the opportunity of obtaining very high signal-to-noise ratio (and potentially spatially resolved) spectroscopy of a high-redshift galaxy to study its physical properties. We present initial imaging and spectroscopy demonstrating the basic properties of the system and discuss the opportunities for future observations.