RELICS: A very large (θE - 4000) cluster lens – RXC J0032.1+1808

Ana Acebron, Adi Zitrin, Dan Coe, Guillaume Mahler, Keren Sharon, Masamune Oguri, Maruša Bradač, Larry D. Bradley, Brenda Frye, Christine J. Forman, Victoria Strait, Yuanyuan Su, Keiichi Umetsu, Felipe Andrade-Santos, Roberto J. Avila, Daniela Carrasco, Catherine Cerny, Nicole G. Czakon, William A. Dawson, Carter FoxAustin T. Hoag, Kuang Han Huang, Traci L. Johnson, Shotaro Kikuchihara, Daniel Lam, Lorenzo Lovisari, Ramesh Mainali, Mario Nonino, Pascal A. Oesch, Sara Ogaz, Masami Ouchi, Matthew Past, Rachel Paterno-Mahler, Avery Peterson, Russell E. Ryan, Brett Salmon, Daniel P. Stark, Sune Toft, Michele Trenti, Benedetta Vulcani, Brian Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Extensive surveys with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) over the past decade, targeting some of most massive clusters in the sky, have uncovered dozens of galaxy-cluster strong lenses. The massive cluster strong-lens scale is typically θE - 1000 to - 30−3500, with only a handful of clusters known with Einstein radii θE - 4000 or above (for a source at zs - 2, nominally). Here we report another very large cluster lens, RXC J0032.1+1808 (at z = 0.3956), the second richest cluster in the redMapper cluster catalog and the 85th most massive cluster in the Planck Sunyaev-Zel’dovich catalog. With both our Light-Traces-Mass and fully parametric (dPIEeNFW) approaches, we construct strong lensing models based on 18 multiple images of 5 background galaxies in the HST data from the Reionization Lensing Cluster Survey (RELICS; using also data also from a previous snapshot program), in addition to a previously found sextuply imaged system in this cluster. Furthermore, we compare these models to the Lenstool and GLAFIC models, which were produced independently as part of the RELICS program. All models reveal a large effective Einstein radius of θE ' 4000 (zs = 2). The central region of the cluster shows an obvious concentration of substructures, which together account for the large critical area. Although RXC J0032.1+1808 has a very large critical area and lensing strength, only three magnified high-redshift candidates are found within the field targeted by RELICS. Nevertheless, given its exceptional lensing strength, we expect many more high-redshift candidates will be seen in an additional coverage with HST, and in deeper, longer-wavelength observations with JWST.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Dec 5 2019


  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: clusters: individual (RXC J0032.1+1808, MACS J0032.1+1808)
  • Gravitational lensing: strong

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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