Strong lensing in the MareNostrum Universe II: scaling relations and optical depths

Research paper by C. Fedeli, M. Meneghetti, S. Gottloeber, G. Yepes

Indexed on: 09 Jul '10Published on: 09 Jul '10Published in: arXiv - Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics


The strong lensing events that are observed in compact clusters of galaxies can, both statistically and individually, return important clues about the structural properties of the most massive structures in the Universe. Substantial work is ongoing in order to understand the degree of similarity between the lensing cluster population and the population of clusters as a whole, with members of the former being likely more massive, compact, and substructured than members of the latter. In this work we exploit synthetic clusters extracted from the {\sc MareNostrum Universe} cosmological simulation in order to estimate the correlation between the strong lensing efficiency and other bulk properties of lensing clusters, such as the virial mass and the bolometric X-ray luminosity. We found that a positive correlation exist between all these quantities, with the substantial scatter being smaller for the luminosity-cross section relation. We additionally used the relation between the lensing efficiency and the virial mass in order to construct a synthetic optical depth that agrees well with the true one, while being extremely faster to be evaluated. We finally estimated what fraction of the total giant arc abundance is recovered when galaxy clusters are selected according to their dynamical activity or their X-ray luminosity. Our results show that there is a high probability for high-redshift strong lensing clusters to be substantially far away from dynamical equilibrium, and that $30-40\%$ of the total amount of giant arcs are lost if looking only at very X-ray luminous objects.