VLT adaptive optics search for luminous substructures in the lens galaxy towards SDSS J0924+0219

The anomalous flux ratios between quasar images are suspected of being caused by substructures in lens galaxies. We present new deep and high-resolution H and Ks imaging of the strongly lensed quasar SDSS J0924+0219 obtained using the ESO VLT with adaptive optics and the laser guide star system. SDSS J0924+0219 is particularly interesting because the observed flux ratio between the quasar images vastly disagree with the predictions from smooth mass models. With our adaptive optics observations we find a luminous object, Object L, located similar to 0.3 '' to the north of the lens galaxy, but we show that it cannot be responsible for the anomalous flux ratios. Object L as well as a luminous extension of the lens galaxy to the south are seen in the archival HST/ACS image in the F814W filter. This suggests that Object L is part of a bar in the lens galaxy, as also supported by the presence of a significant disk component in the light profile of the lens galaxy. Finally, we find no evidence of any other luminous substructure that may explain the quasar images flux ratios. However, owing to the persistence of the flux ratio anomaly over time (similar to 7 years), a combination of microlensing and millilensing is the favorite explanation for the observations.

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Astronomy & Astrophysics, 536, -

 Record created 2012-06-25, last modified 2018-03-17

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