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The Magnificent Five Images of Supernova Refsdal: Time Delay and Magnification Measurements

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Rodney, Steven 
Treu, Tomasso 


In late 2014, four images of Supernova (SN) “Refsdal,” the first known example of a strongly lensed SN with multiple resolved images, were detected in the MACS J1149 galaxy-cluster field. Following the images’ discovery, the SN was predicted to reappear within hundreds of days at a new position ∼8′′ away in the field. The observed reappearance in late 2015 makes it possible to carry out Refsdal’s (1964) original proposal to use a multiply imaged SN to measure the Hubble constant H0, since the time delay between appearances should vary inversely with H0. Moreover, the position, brightness, and timing of the reappearance enable a novel test of the blind predictions of galaxy-cluster models, which are typically constrained only by the positions of multiply-imaged galaxies. We have developed a new photometry pipeline that uses DOLPHOT to measure the fluxes of the five images of SN Refsdal from difference images. We apply four separate techniques to perform a blind measurement of the relative time delays and magnification ratios between the last image SX and the earlier images S1–S4. We measure the relative time delay of SX–S1 to be days and the relative magnification to be. This corresponds to a precision on the time delay and precision for the magnification ratios, and includes uncertainties due to millilensing and microlensing. In an accompanying paper, we place initial and blind constraints on the value of the Hubble constant.



5101 Astronomical Sciences, 51 Physical Sciences

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The Astrophysical Journal: an international review of astronomy and astronomical physics

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American Astronomical Society
STFC (2118607)