The STRong lensing Insights into the Dark Energy Survey (STRIDES) 2017/2018 follow-up campaign: Discovery of 10 lensed quasars and 10 quasar pairs

C. Lemon, M. W. Auger, R. McMahon, T. Anguita, Y. Apostolovski, G. C.F. Chen, C. D. Fassnacht, A. Melo, V. Motta, A. Shajib, T. Treu, A. Agnello, E. Buckley-Geer, P. L. Schechter, S. Birrer, T. Collett, F. Courbin, C. E. Rusu, T. M.C. Abbott, S. AllamJ. Annis, S. Avila, E. Bertin, D. Brooks, D. L. Burke, A. Carnero Rosell, M. Carrasco Kind, J. Carretero, M. Costanzi, L. N. da Costa, J. de Vicente, S. Desai, T. F. Eifler, B. Flaugher, J. Frieman, J. García-Bellido, E. Gaztanaga, D. W. Gerdes, D. Gruen, R. A. Gruendl, J. Gschwend, G. Gutierrez, K. Honscheid, D. J. James, A. Kim, E. Krause, K. Kuehn, N. Kuropatkin, O. Lahav, M. Lima, H. Lin, M. A.G. Maia, M. March, J. L. Marshall, F. Menanteau, R. Miquel, A. Palmese, F. Paz-Chinchón, A. A. Plazas, A. Roodman, E. Sanchez, M. Schubnell, S. Serrano, M. Smith, M. Soares-Santos, E. Suchyta, G. Tarle, A. R. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report the results of the STRong lensing Insights from the Dark Energy Survey (STRIDES) follow-up campaign of the late 2017/early 2018 season. We obtained spectra of 65 lensed quasar candidates either with EFOSC2 on the NTT or ESI on Keck, which confirm 10 new gravitationally lensed quasars and 10 quasar pairs with similar spectra, but which do not show a lensing galaxy in the DES images. Eight lensed quasars are doubly imaged with source redshifts between 0.99 and 2.90, one is triply imaged by a group and with all images detected by Gaia (DESJ0345-2545, z =1.68), and one lens is quadruply imaged (quad: DESJ0053-2012, z =3.8). Singular isothermal ellipsoid models for the doubles, based on high-resolution imaging from SAMI on SOAR or NIRC2 on Keck, give total magnifications between 3.2 and 5.6, and Einstein radii ranging from 0.49 to 1.97 arcseconds. After spectroscopic follow-up, we extract multi-epoch grizY photometry of confirmed lensed quasars and contaminant quasar+star pairs from the first 4 years of DES data using a parametric multi-band modelling routine and compare variability in each system’s components. By measuring the reduced χ2 associated with fitting all epochs to the same magnitude, we find a simple cut on the less variable component that retains all confirmed lensed quasars, while removing 94 per cent of spectroscopically confirmed contaminant systems with stellar components. Based on our spectroscopic follow-up, this variability information can improve selection of lensed quasars and quasar pairs from 34-45 per cent to 51-70 per cent, with the majority of remaining contaminants being compact star-forming galaxies. Using mock lensed quasar lightcurves we demonstrate that selection based only on variability will over-represent the quad fraction by 10 per cent over a complete DES magnitude-limited sample (excluding microlensing differences), explained by the magnification bias and hence lower luminosity (more variable) sources in quads.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Dec 19 2019


  • Gravitational lensing: strong
  • Methods: observational
  • Quasars: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The STRong lensing Insights into the Dark Energy Survey (STRIDES) 2017/2018 follow-up campaign: Discovery of 10 lensed quasars and 10 quasar pairs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this