Keren Sharon’s research centers on strong gravitational lensing -- a phenomenon in which the gravitational field of a massive structure bends light from objects behind it, allowing it to serve as a natural telescope. Her group studies the massive structures themselves, analyzing the gravitational lensing signal from groups and clusters of galaxies to model their mass distribution. Sharon’s team also uses the exceptional magnification provided by these lensing clusters to probe the physical properties of their background galaxies. This technique has allowed them to examine distant galaxies with unprecedented resolution and detail.
Optical (Hubble Space Telescope) and spectroscopic (Magellan, Gemini, MMT).
Her group’s discovery of the largest multiplicity high-redshift lensed quasar was reported in 2013. They were awarded seven orbits of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in 2014 to observe this unique system. The group also recently completed a 107-orbit HST program to observe a sample of lensing clusters; results are in preparation. Sharon’s team was selected as one of five groups to provide preliminary lens models for the Hubble Frontier Fields; the models were computed by her student, Traci Johnson.
BS & PhD, Tel Aviv University/Israel; Kavli Postdoctoral Fellow, Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics/University of Chicago; University of Michigan's President's Postdoctoral Fellow, U-M.
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