We detect a positive angular correlation between bright, high-redshift QSOs and foreground galaxies. The QSOs are taken from the optically selected LBQS Catalogue, while the galaxies are from the APM Survey. The correlation amplitude is about a few per cent on angular scales of over a degree. It is a function of QSO redshift and apparent magnitude, in a way expected from weak lensing, and inconsistent with QSO-galaxy correlations being caused by physical associations, or uneven obscuration by Galactic dust. The correlations are ascribed to the weak lensing effect of the foreground dark matter, which is traced by the APM galaxies. The amplitude of the effect found here is compared to the analytical predictions from the literature, and to the predictions of a phenomenological model, which is based on the observed counts-in-cells distribution of APM galaxies. While the latter agree reasonably well with the analytical predictions (namely those of Dolag & Bartelmann and Sanz et al.), both underpredict the observed correlation amplitude on degree angular scales. We consider the possible ways to reconcile these observations with theory, and discuss the implications that these observations have on some aspects of extragalactic astronomy.
- Galaxies: general
- Gravitational lensing
- Large-scale structure of Universe
- Quasars: general