We demonstrate that deep good-seeing VLT/HAWK-I Ks images complemented with g + z-band photometry can yield a sensitivity for weak lensing studies of massive galaxy clusters at redshifts 0.7 ≤ z ≤ 1.1, which is almost identical to the sensitivity of HST/ACS mosaics of single-orbit depth. Key reasons for this good performance are the excellent image quality frequently achievable for Ks imaging from the ground, a highly effective photometric selection of background galaxies, and a galaxy ellipticity dispersion that is noticeably lower than for optically observed high-redshift galaxy samples. Incorporating results from the 3D-HST and UltraVISTA surveys we also obtained a more accurate calibration of the source redshift distribution than previously achieved for similar optical weak lensing data sets. Here we studied the extremely massive galaxy cluster RCS2 J232727.7-020437 (z = 0.699), combining deep VLT/HAWK-I Ks images (point spread function with a 0.′′35 full width at half maximum) with LBT/LBC photometry. The resulting weak lensing mass reconstruction suggests that the cluster consists of a single overdensity, which is detected with a peak significance of 10.1σ. We constrained the cluster mass to M200c/(1015 M⊙) = 2.06-0.26+0.28(stat.) ± 0.12(sys.) assuming a spherical Navarro, Frenk & White model and simulation-based priors on the concentration, making it one of the most massive galaxy clusters known in the z ≥ 0.7 Universe. We also cross-checked the HAWK-I measurements through an analysis of overlapping HST/ACS images, yielding fully consistent estimates of the lensing signal.
- Galaxies: clusters: individual: RCS2 J232727.7-020437
- Gravitational lensing: weak
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science