A Highly Magnified Gravitationally Lensed Red QSO at z = 2.5 with a Significant Flux Ratio Anomaly

Eilat Glikman, Cristian E. Rusu, Geoff C. -F. Chen, James Hung-Hsu Chan, Cristiana Spingola, Hannah Stacey, John McKean, Ciprian T. Berghea, S. G. Djorgovski, Matthew J. Graham, Daniel Stern, Tanya Urrutia, Mark Lacy, Nathan J. Secrest, John M. O'Meara

Submitted on 7 November 2022


We present the discovery of a gravitationally lensed dust-reddened QSO at z = 2.517, identified in a survey for QSOs by infrared selection. Hubble Space Telescope imaging reveals a quadruply lensed system in a cusp configuration, with a maximum image separation of ~1.8\arcsec. We find that compared to the central image of the cusp, the neighboring brightest image is anomalous by a factor of ~ 7 - 10, which is the largest flux anomaly measured to date in a lensed QSO. Incorporating high-resolution Jansky Very Large Array radio imaging and sub-mm imaging with the Atacama Large (sub-)Millimetre Array, we conclude that a low-mass perturber is the most likely explanation for the anomaly. The optical through near-infrared spectrum reveals that the QSO is moderately reddened with E(B - V) = 0.7 - 0.9. We see an upturn in the ultraviolet spectrum due to ~ 1% of the intrinsic emission being leaked back into the line of sight, which suggests that the reddening is intrinsic and not due to the lens. The QSO may have an Eddington ratio as high as L/L_Edd ~ 0.2. Consistent with previous red QSO samples, this source exhibits outflows in its spectrum as well as morphological properties suggestive of it being in a merger-driven transitional phase. We find a host-galaxy stellar mass of log M_*/M_Sun = 11.4, which is higher than the local M_BH vs. M_* relation, but consistent with other high redshift QSOs. When de-magnified, this QSO is at the knee of the luminosity function, allowing for the detailed study of a more typical moderate-luminosity infrared-selected QSO at high redshift.


Comment: Accepted for publication in ApJ; 29 pages, 18 figures, 8 tables. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1807.05434

Subject: Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies