Barnacka, Anna, Geller, Margaret J., Dell'Antonio, Ian P., and Benbow, Wystan. 2014. "Strong Gravitational Lensing as a Tool to Investigate the Structure of Jets at High Energies." The Astrophysical Journal 788:139. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/788/2/139
The components of blazar jets that emit radiation span a factor of 1010 in scale. The spatial structure of these emitting regions depends on the observed energy. Photons emitted at different sites cross the lens plane at different distances from the mass-weighted center of the lens. Thus there are differences in magnification ratios and time delays between the images of lensed blazars observed at different energies. When the lens structure and redshift are known from optical observations, these constraints can elucidate the structure of the source at high energies. At these energies, current technology is inadequate to resolve these sources, and the observed light curve is thus the sum of the images. Durations of γ-ray flares are short compared with typical time delays; thus both the magnification ratio and the time delay can be measured for the delayed counterparts. These measurements are a basis for localizing the emitting region along the jet. To demonstrate the power of strong gravitational lensing, we build a toy model based on the best studied and the nearest relativistic jet M87.