Strong gravitational lenses from the Vera C. Rubin Observatory

13 Jun 2024  ·  Anowar J. Shajib, Graham P. Smith, Simon Birrer, Aprajita Verma, Nikki Arendse, Thomas E. Collett ·

Like many areas of astrophysics and cosmology, the Vera C. Rubin Observatory will be transformational for almost all the applications of strong lensing, thanks to the dramatic increase in the number of known strong lenses by two orders of magnitude or more and the readily available time-domain data for the lenses with transient sources. In this article, we provide an overview of the forecasted number of discovered lenses of different types and describe the primary science cases these large lens samples will enable. We provide an updated forecast on the joint constraint for the dark energy equation-of-state parameters, $w_0$ and $w_a$, from combining all strong lensing probes of dark energy. We update the previous forecast from the Rubin Observatory Dark Energy Science Collaboration's Science Review Document by adding two new crucial strong lensing samples: lensed Type Ia supernovae and single-deflector lenses with measured stellar kinematics. Finally, we describe the current and near-future activities and collaborative efforts within the strong lensing community in preparation for the arrival of the first real dataset from Rubin in early 2026.

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Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics Astrophysics of Galaxies