The relation between stellar mass and weak lensing signal around galaxies: implications for modified Newtonian dynamics

Lanlan Tian, Henk Hoekstra, Hongsheng Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We study the amplitude of the weak gravitational lensing signal as a function of stellar mass around a sample of relatively isolated galaxies. This selection of lenses simplifies the interpretation of the observations, which consist of data from the Red-Sequence Cluster Survey and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We find that the amplitude of the lensing signal as a function of stellar mass is well described by a power law with a best-fitting slope alpha = 0.74 +/- 0.08. This result is inconsistent with modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND), which predicts alpha = 0.5 (we find alpha > 0.5 with 99.7 per cent confidence). As a related test, we determine the MOND mass-to-light ratio as a function of luminosity. Our results require dark matter for the most luminous galaxies (L greater than or similar to 10(11) L-circle dot). We rule out an extended halo of gas or active neutrinos as a way of reconciling our findings with MOND. Although we focus on a single alternative gravity model, we note that our results provide an important test for any alternative theory of gravity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-893
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume393
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009

Keywords

  • gravitation
  • gravitational lensing
  • galaxies: halos
  • dark matter
  • DIGITAL SKY SURVEY
  • SEQUENCE CLUSTER SURVEY
  • DARK-MATTER HALOS
  • SPIRAL GALAXIES
  • GRAVITY
  • CONSTRAINTS
  • NEUTRINOS
  • PHYSICS
  • SHAPES
  • PROOF

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