A very bright, highly magnified Lyman-break Galaxy AT z=3.07

I Smail, AM Swinbank, J Richard, H Ebeling, J-P Kneib, AC Edge, DP Stark, RS Ellis, S Dye, Graham Smith, C Mullis

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82 Citations (Scopus)


Using Hubble Space Telescope imaging and Keck spectroscopy, we report the discovery of a very bright, highly magnified (similar to 30 times) Lyman break galaxy (LBG) at z = 3.07 in the field of the massive z = 0.33 cluster MACS J2135.2 - 0102. The system comprises two high surface brightness arcs with a maximum extent of 3", bracketing a central object that we identify as a massive early-type galaxy at z = 0.73. We construct a lens model that reproduces the main features of the system using a combination of a galaxy-scale lens and the foreground cluster. We show that the morphological, spectral, and photometric properties of the arcs are consistent with them arising from the lensing of a single similar to L-V* BG. The most important feature of this system is that the lensing magnification results in an apparent magnitude of r = 20.3, making this one of the brightest LBGs known. Such a high magnification provides the opportunity of obtaining very high signal-to-noise ratio ( and potentially spatially resolved) spectroscopy of a high-redshift galaxy to study its physical properties. We present initial imaging and spectroscopy demonstrating the basic properties of the system and discuss the opportunities for future observations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L33-36
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • galaxies : formation
  • cosmology : observations
  • galaxies : individual (LBG J213512.73-010143)
  • galaxies : evolution


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