Detection of a Compact Radio Source near the Center of a Gravitational Lens: Quasar Image or Galactic Core?

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Science  07 Jan 1983:
Vol. 219, Issue 4580, pp. 54-56
DOI: 10.1126/science.219.4580.54


By use of a new, very sensitive interferometric system, a faint, compact radio source has been detected near the center of the galaxy that acts as the main part of a gravitational lens. This lens forms two previously discovered images of the quasar Q09S7+561, which lies in the direction of the constellation Ursa Major. The newly detected source has a core smaller than 0.002 arc second in diameter with a flux density of 0.6 ± 0.1 millijansky at the 13-centimeter wavelength of the radio observations. This source could be the predicted third image of the transparent gravitational lens, the central core of the galaxy, or some combination of the two. It is not yet possible to choose reliably between these alternatives.