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The mass distribution of the unusual merging cluster Abell 2146 from strong lensing

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Coleman, JE 
King, LJ 
Oguri, M 
Russell, HR 
Canning, REA 


Abell 2146 consists of two galaxy clusters that have recently collided close to the plane of the sky, and it is unique in showing two large shocks on Chandra X-ray Observatory images. With an early stage merger, shortly after first core passage, one would expect the cluster galaxies and the dark matter to be leading the X-ray emitting plasma. In this regard, the cluster Abell 2146-A is very unusual in that the X-ray cool core appears to lead, rather than lag, the brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) in their trajectories. Here we present a strong-lensing analysis of multiple-image systems identified on Hubble Space Telescope images. In particular, we focus on the distribution of mass in Abell 2146-A in order to determine the centroid of the dark matter halo. We use object colours and morphologies to identify multiple-image systems; very conservatively, four of these systems are used as constraints on a lens mass model. We find that the centroid of the dark matter halo, constrained using the strongly lensed features, is coincident with the BCG, with an offset of ≈2 kpc between the centres of the dark matter halo and the BCG. Thus from the strong-lensing model, the X-ray cool core also leads the centroid of the dark matter in Abell 2146-A, with an offset of ≈30 kpc.



gravitational lensing: strong, galaxies: clusters: general, galaxies: clusters: individual: Abell 2146

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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Oxford University Press
Science and Technology Facilities Council (ST/N000927/1)
Science and Technology Facilities Council (ST/P004636/1)
JEC acknowledges support from The University of Texas at Dallas, and NASA through a Fellowship of the Texas Space Grant Consortium. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA HST, obtained through programme 12871 through the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. Additional funding supporting JEC, LJK, and DIC came from a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute under the same programme 12871. Additional funding supporting JEC and LJK came from a grant from the National Science Foundation, number 1517954. This work was supported in part by World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI Initiative), MEXT, Japan, and JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 26800093 and 15H05892.