James Webb Space Telescope Feed Post

Date: 9/18/2023

A massive compact quiescent galaxy at z=2 with a complete Einstein ring in JWST imaging (COSMOS-Web)

A complete Einstein ring identified in JWST images. a) Color image of JWST-ER1, created from the NIRCam F115W, F150W, and F277W data. b) Model of the galaxy, with an effective radius of re = 1.9 kpc. c) Residual of the fit. Each panel spans 4.1 '' × 4.1 ''. The coordinates of the lens are RA = 10h 00m24.11s , Dec = 01? 53' 34.9 '' (J2000). Abstract: One of the surprising results from HST was the discovery that many of the most massive galaxies at z~2 are very compact, having half-light radii of only 1-2 kpc. The interpretation is that massive galaxies formed inside-out, with their cores largely in place by z~2 and approximately half of their present-day mass added later through minor mergers. Here we present a compact, massive, quiescent galaxy at zphot=1.94+0.13-0.17 with a complete Einstein ring. The ring was found in the JWST COSMOS-Web survey and is produced by a background galaxy at zphot=2.98+0.42-0.47. Its 1.54" diameter provides a direct measurement of the mass of the "pristine" core of a massive galaxy, observed before mixing and dilution of its stellar population during the 10 Gyr of galaxy evolution between z=2 and z=0. We find a mass of Mlens=6.5+3.7-1.5×1011 Msun within a radius of 6.6 kpc. The stellar mass within the same radius is Mstars=1.1+0.2-0.3×1011 Msun for a Chabrier initial mass function (IMF), and the fiducial dark matter mass is Mdm=2.6+1.6-0.7×1011 Msun. Additional mass is needed to explain the lensing results, either in the form of a higher-than-expected dark matter density or a bottom-heavy IMF.