The distribution of dark matter over three decades in radius in the lensing cluster abell 611

Andrew B. Newman, Tommaso Treu, Richard S. Ellis, David J. Sand, Johan Richard, Philip J. Marshall, Peter Capak, Satoshi Miyazaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


We present a detailed analysis of the baryonic and dark matter distribution in the lensing cluster Abell 611 (z = 0.288), with the goal of determining the dark matter profile over an unprecedented range of cluster-centric distance. By combining three complementary probes of the mass distribution, weak lensing from multi-color Subaru imaging, strong lensing constraints based on the identification of multiply imaged sources in Hubble Space Telescope images, and resolved stellar velocity dispersion measures for the brightest cluster galaxy secured using the Keck telescope, we extend the methodology for separating the dark and baryonic mass components introduced by Sand etal. Our resulting dark matter profile samples the cluster from 3kpc to 3.25Mpc, thereby providing an excellent basis for comparisons with recent numerical models. We demonstrate that only by combining our three observational techniques can degeneracies in constraining the form of the dark matter profile be broken on scales crucial for detailed comparisons with numerical simulations. Our analysis reveals that a simple Navarro-Frenk-White (NFW) profile is an unacceptable fit to our data. We confirm earlier claims based on less extensive analyses of other clusters that the inner profile of the dark matter profile deviates significantly from the NFW form and find a inner logarithmic slope β flatter than 0.3 (68%; where ρDM r at small radii). In order to reconcile our data with cluster formation in a ΛCDM cosmology, we speculate that it may be necessary to revise our understanding of the nature of baryon-dark matter interactions in cluster cores. Comprehensive weak and strong lensing data, when coupled with kinematic information on the brightest cluster galaxy, can readily be applied to a larger sample of clusters to test the universality of these results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1078-1094
Number of pages17
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Dark matter
  • Galaxies: Clusters: individual (Abell 611)
  • Galaxies: Elliptical and lenticular, cD
  • Galaxies: Formation
  • Gravitational lensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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