Effects of strong gravitational lensing on millimeter-wave galaxy number counts

Yashar D. Hezaveh, Gilbert P. Holder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study the effects of strong lensing on the observed number counts of millimeter sources using a ray-tracing simulation and two number count models of unlensed sources. We employ a quantitative treatment of maximum attainable magnification factor depending on the physical size of the sources, also accounting for effects of lens halo ellipticity. We calculate predicted number counts and redshift distributions of millimeter galaxies including the effects of strong lensing and compare with the recent source count measurements of the South Pole Telescope (SPT). The predictions have large uncertainties, especially the details of the mass distribution in lens galaxies and the finite extent of sources, but the SPT observations are in good agreement with predictions. The sources detected by SPT are predicted to largely consist of strongly lensed galaxies at z > 2. The typical magnifications of these sources strongly depend on both the assumed unlensed source counts and the flux of the observed sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number52
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 10 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • galaxies: luminosity function, mass function
  • galaxies: structure
  • gravitational lensing: strong
  • methods: statistical
  • submillimeter: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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