Gravitational lensing and dark structures

Yu Chung N. Cheng, Lawrence M. Krauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We examine whether a cosmologically significant distribution of dark galaxy group or cluster-sized objects can have an optical depth for multiple imaging of distant background sources, which is comparable with that from known galaxies while at the same time producing angular splittings of the same order of magnitude. Our purpose is to explore whether such objects could realistically account for some of the observed lenses. Modeling such systems as isothermal spheres with core radii and assuming a Schechter-type distribution function, we find that independent of the cosmology (open, flat matter-dominated, or flat cosmological constant-dominated) an allowed, albeit narrow, parameter range exists that is comparable in velocity dispersion with that for known compact groups of galaxies, although the preferred core radii are somewhat smaller than that normally assumed for compact groups. Dark cluster-sized objects, on the other hand, cannot reproduce the observed lensing characteristics. If the one known dark cluster were a good representative of such a distribution, most such objects would not produce multiple images. We also present a result for the angular splitting from an isothermal sphere lens with nonzero core radius, extending earlier work of Hinshaw & Krauss. Our results are expressed as contour plots for fixed lensing probabilities and angular splittings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 1
StatePublished - Mar 20 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Dark matter
  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: fundamental parameters
  • Galaxies: statistics
  • Gravitational lensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Gravitational lensing and dark structures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this