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Astron. Astrophys. 348, L41-L44 (1999)

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Letter to the Editor

The new complex gravitational lens system HE 0230-2130 *

L. Wisotzki 1, N. Christlieb 1, M.C. Liu **  2, J. Maza 3, N.D. Morgan[FORMULA]  4 and P.L. Schechter[FORMULA]  4

1 Universität Hamburg, Hamburger Sternwarte, Gojenbergsweg 112, D-21029 Hamburg, Germany
2 University of California, Department of Astronomy, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
3 Universidad de Chile, Departamento Astronomia, Casilla 36-D, Santiago, Chile
4 Massachusets Institute of Technology, Department of Physics, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Received 8 June 1999 / Accepted 15 July 1999


We report the discovery of the new gravitational lens system HE 0230-2130, a QSO at redshift [FORMULA] consisting of at least five distinct components. Three of these are clearly lensed images of the QSO, one is most likely the lensing galaxy, while for the fifth component the identity is unclear: It could be a fourth QSO image (if so, then highly reddened), or another intervening galaxy, or a superposition of the two. Differential reddening seems to be important also for the first three QSO images. The surface density of faint galaxies near the QSO appears to be enhanced by a factor of [FORMULA], indicating the presence of a distant cluster close to the line of sight.

Key words: cosmology: gravitational lensing – galaxies: quasars: general – galaxies: quasars: individual: HE 0230 – 2130

* Partly based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile.
** Visiting astronomers at the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatories, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

Send offprint requests to: L. Wisotzki (lwisotzki@hs.uni-hamburg.de)

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: July 26, 1999