Planck 's dusty GEMS: III. A massive lensing galaxy with a bottom-heavy stellar initial mass function at z = 1.5

R. Cañameras, N. P.H. Nesvadba, R. Kneissl, M. Limousin, R. Gavazzi, D. Scott, H. Dole, B. Frye, S. Koenig, E. Le Floc'H, I. Oteo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We study the properties of the foreground galaxy of the Ruby, the brightest gravitationally lensed high-redshift galaxy on the sub-millimeter sky as probed by the Planck satellite, and part of our sample of Planck's dusty GEMS. The Ruby consists of an Einstein ring of 1.4′′ diameter at z = 3.005 observed with ALMA at 0.1′′ resolution, centered on a faint, red, massive lensing galaxy seen with HST/WFC3, which itself has an exceptionally high redshift, z = 1.525 ± 0.001, as confirmed with VLT/X-shooter spectroscopy. Here we focus on the properties of the lens and the lensing model obtained with LENSTOOL. The rest-frame optical morphology of this system is strongly dominated by the lens, while the Ruby itself is highly obscured, and contributes less than 10% to the photometry out to the K band. The foreground galaxy has a lensing mass of (3.70 ± 0.35) × 1011M. Magnification factors are between 7 and 38 for individual clumps forming two image families along the Einstein ring. We present a decomposition of the foreground and background sources in the WFC3 images, and stellar population synthesis modeling with a range of star-formation histories for Chabrier and Salpeter initial mass functions (IMFs). Only the stellar mass range obtained with the latter agrees well with the lensing mass. This is consistent with the bottom-heavy IMFs of massive high-redshift galaxies expected from detailed studies of the stellar masses and mass profiles of their low-redshift descendants, and from models of turbulent gas fragmentation. This may be the first direct constraint on the IMF in a lens at z = 1.5, which is not a cluster central galaxy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL3
JournalAstronomy and astrophysics
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: high-redshift
  • Galaxies: star formation
  • Galaxies: stellar content
  • Infrared: galaxies
  • Submillimeter: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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