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Astron. Astrophys. 359, 1-8 (2000)

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Secondary caustics in close multiple lenses

V. Bozza

Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche E.R. Caianiello, Università di Salerno, 84081 Baronissi, Salerno, Italy (valboz@sa.infn.it)
Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, sezione di Napoli

Received 15 February 2000 / Accepted 17 May 2000


We investigate the caustic structure of a lens composed by a discrete number of point-masses, having mutual distances smaller than the Einstein radius of the total mass of the system. Along with the main critical curve, it is known that the lens map is characterized by secondary critical curves producing small caustics far from the lens system. By exploiting perturbative methods, we derive the number, the position, the shape, the cusps and the area of these caustics for an arbitrary number of close multiple lenses. Very interesting geometries are created in some particular cases. Finally we review the binary lens case where our formulae assume a simple form.

Key words: cosmology: gravitational lensing – stars: binaries: close – galaxies: clusters: general – galaxies: quasars: general

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: June 30, 2000