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Kavli Institute for Cosmology, Cambridge


Detection of Spectral Variations of Anomalous Microwave Emission with QUIJOTE and C-BASS. (arXiv:2001.07159v2 [astro-ph.GA] UPDATED)

48 min 5 sec ago

Anomalous Microwave Emission (AME) is a significant component of Galactic diffuse emission in the frequency range $10$-$60\,$GHz and a new window into the properties of sub-nanometre-sized grains in the interstellar medium. We investigate the morphology of AME in the $\approx10^{\circ}$ diameter $\lambda$ Orionis ring by combining intensity data from the QUIJOTE experiment at $11$, $13$, $17$ and $19\,$GHz and the C-Band All Sky Survey (C-BASS) at $4.76\,$GHz, together with 19 ancillary datasets between $1.42$ and $3000\,$GHz. Maps of physical parameters at $1^{\circ}$ resolution are produced through Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) fits of spectral energy distributions (SEDs), approximating the AME component with a log-normal distribution. AME is detected in excess of $20\,\sigma$ at degree-scales around the entirety of the ring along photodissociation regions (PDRs), with three primary bright regions containing dark clouds. A radial decrease is observed in the AME peak frequency from $\approx35\,$GHz near the free-free region to $\approx21\,$GHz in the outer regions of the ring, which is the first detection of AME spectral variations across a single region. A strong correlation between AME peak frequency, emission measure and dust temperature is an indication for the dependence of the AME peak frequency on the local radiation field. The AME amplitude normalised by the optical depth is also strongly correlated with the radiation field, giving an overall picture consistent with spinning dust where the local radiation field plays a key role.

Nested sampling with any prior you like. (arXiv:2102.12478v1 [astro-ph.IM])

56 min 55 sec ago

Nested sampling is an important tool for conducting Bayesian analysis in Astronomy and other fields, both for sampling complicated posterior distributions for parameter inference, and for computing marginal likelihoods for model comparison. One technical obstacle to using nested sampling in practice is the requirement that prior distributions be provided in the form of bijective transformations from the unit hyper-cube to the target prior density. For many applications - particularly when using the posterior from one experiment as the prior for another - such a transformation is not readily available. In this letter we show that parametric bijectors trained on samples from a desired prior density provide a general-purpose method for constructing transformations from the uniform base density to a target prior, enabling the practical use of nested sampling under arbitrary priors. We demonstrate the use of trained bijectors in conjunction with nested sampling on a number of examples from cosmology.

Bayesian evidence for the tensor-to-scalar ratio $r$ and neutrino masses $m_\nu$: Effects of uniform vs logarithmic priors. (arXiv:2102.11511v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Wed, 24/02/2021 - 09:16

We review the effect that the choice of a uniform or logarithmic prior has on the Bayesian evidence and hence on Bayesian model comparisons when data provide only a one-sided bound on a parameter. We investigate two particular examples: the tensor-to-scalar ratio $r$ of primordial perturbations and the mass of individual neutrinos $m_\nu$, using the cosmic microwave background temperature and polarisation data from Planck 2018 and the NuFIT 5.0 data from neutrino oscillation experiments. We argue that the Kullback-Leibler divergence, also called the relative entropy, mathematically quantifies the Occam penalty. We further show how the Bayesian evidence stays invariant upon changing the lower prior bound of an upper constrained parameter. While a uniform prior on the tensor-to-scalar ratio disfavours the $r$-extension compared to the base LCDM model with odds of about 1:20, switching to a logarithmic prior renders both models essentially equally likely. LCDM with a single massive neutrino is favoured over an extension with variable neutrino masses with odds of 20:1 in case of a uniform prior on the lightest neutrino mass, which decreases to roughly 2:1 for a logarithmic prior. For both prior options we get only a very slight preference for the normal over the inverted neutrino hierarchy with Bayesian odds of about 3:2 at most.

When is tension just a fluctuation? How noisy data affects model comparison. (arXiv:2102.09547v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Fri, 19/02/2021 - 09:18

Summary statistics of the likelihood, such as the Bayesian evidence, offer a principled way of comparing models and assessing tension between, or within, the results of physical experiments. Noisy realisations of the data induce scatter in these model comparison statistics. For a realistic case of cosmological inference from large-scale structure we show that the logarithm of the Bayes factor attains scatter of order unity, increasing significantly with stronger tension between the models under comparison. We develop an approximate procedure that quantifies the sampling distribution of the evidence at small additional computational cost and apply it to real data to demonstrate the impact of the scatter, which acts to reduce the significance of any model discrepancies. Data compression is highlighted as a potential avenue to suppressing noise in the evidence to negligible levels, with a proof of concept on Planck cosmic microwave background data.

Dense and warm neutral gas in BR1202-0725 at z = 4.7 as traced by the [O I] 145 um line. (arXiv:2102.09219v1 [astro-ph.GA])

Fri, 19/02/2021 - 08:44

We report the detection of [O I]145.5um in the BR 1202-0725 system, a compact group at z=4.7 consisting of a quasar (QSO), a submillimeter-bright galaxy (SMG), and three faint Lya emitters. By taking into account the previous detections and upper limits, the [O I]/[C II] line ratios of the now five known high-z galaxies are higher than or on the high-end of the observed values in local galaxies ([O I]/[C II]$\gtrsim$0.13). The high [O I]/[C II] ratios and the joint analysis with the previous detection of [N II] lines for both the QSO and the SMG suggest the presence of warm and dense neutral gas in these highly star-forming galaxies. This is further supported by new CO (12-11) line detections and a comparison with cosmological simulations. There is a possible positive correlation between the [NII]122/205 line ratio and the [O I]/[C II] ratio when all local and high-z sources are taken into account, indicating that the denser the ionized gas, the denser and warmer the neutral gas (or vice versa). The detection of the [O I] line in the BR1202-0725 system with a relatively short amount of integration with ALMA demonstrates the great potential of this line as a dense gas tracer for high-z galaxies.

A massive stellar bulge in a regularly rotating galaxy 1.2 billion years after the Big Bang. (arXiv:2102.05957v1 [astro-ph.GA])

Fri, 12/02/2021 - 13:02

Cosmological models predict that galaxies forming in the early Universe experience a chaotic phase of gas accretion and star formation, followed by gas ejection due to feedback processes. Galaxy bulges may assemble later via mergers or internal evolution. Here we present submillimeter observations (with spatial resolution of 700 parsecs) of ALESS 073.1, a starburst galaxy at redshift z~5, when the Universe was 1.2 billion years old. This galaxy's cold gas forms a regularly rotating disk with negligible noncircular motions. The galaxy rotation curve requires the presence of a central bulge in addition to a star-forming disk. We conclude that massive bulges and regularly rotating disks can form more rapidly in the early Universe than predicted by models of galaxy formation.

The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets XLV. Two Neptune mass planets orbiting HD 13808: a study of stellar activity modelling's impact on planet detection. (arXiv:2102.03387v1 [astro-ph.EP])

Wed, 10/02/2021 - 09:01

We present a comprehensive analysis of 10 years of HARPS radial velocities of the K2V dwarf star HD 13808, which has previously been reported to host two unconfirmed planet candidates. We use the state-of-the-art nested sampling algorithm PolyChord to compare a wide variety of stellar activity models, including simple models exploiting linear correlations between RVs and stellar activity indicators, harmonic models for the activity signals, and a more sophisticated Gaussian process regression model. We show that the use of overly-simplistic stellar activity models that are not well-motivated physically can lead to spurious `detections' of planetary signals that are almost certainly not real. We also reveal some difficulties inherent in parameter and model inference in cases where multiple planetary signals may be present. Our study thus underlines the importance both of exploring a variety of competing models and of understanding the limitations and precision settings of one's sampling algorithm. We also show that at least in the case of HD 13808, we always arrive at consistent conclusions about two particular signals present in the RV, regardless of the stellar activity model we adopt; these two signals correspond to the previously-reported though unconfirmed planet candidate signals. Given the robustness and precision with which we can characterize these two signals, we deem them secure planet detections. In particular, we find two planets orbiting HD 13808 at distances of 0.11, 0.26 AU with periods of 14.2, 53.8 d, and minimum masses of 11, 10 Earth masses.

28 -- 40 GHz variability and polarimetry of bright compact sources in the QUIJOTE cosmological fields. (arXiv:2102.04520v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Wed, 10/02/2021 - 08:50

We observed 51 sources in the Q-U-I JOint TEnerife (QUIJOTE) cosmological fields which were brighter than 1 Jy at 30 GHz in the Planck Point Source Catalogue (version 1), with the Very Large Array at 28 -- 40 GHz, in order to characterise their high-radio-frequency variability and polarization properties. We find a roughly log-normal distribution of polarization fractions with a median of 2%, in agreement with previous studies, and a median rotation measure (RM) of $\approx$ 1110 rad m$^{-2}$ with one outlier up to $\approx$ 64000 rad m$^{-2}$ which is among the highest RMs measured in quasar cores. We find hints of a correlation between the total intensity flux density and median polarization fraction. We find 59% of sources are variable in total intensity, and 100% in polarization at $3\sigma$ level, with no apparent correlation between total intensity variability and polarization variability. This indicates that it will be difficult to model these sources without simultaneous polarimetric monitoring observations and they will need to be masked for cosmological analysis.

Delensing the CMB with the cosmic infrared background: the impact of foregrounds. (arXiv:2102.01045v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Tue, 02/02/2021 - 08:01

The most promising avenue for detecting primordial gravitational waves from cosmic inflation is through measurements of degree-scale CMB $B$-mode polarisation. This approach must face the challenge posed by gravitational lensing of the CMB, which obscures the signal of interest. Fortunately, the lensing effects can be partially removed by combining high-resolution $E$-mode measurements with an estimate of the projected matter distribution. For near-future experiments, the best estimate of the latter will arise from co-adding internal reconstructions (derived from the CMB itself) with external tracers of the large-scale structure such as the cosmic infrared background (CIB). In this work, we characterise how foregrounds impact the delensing procedure when CIB intensity, $I$, is used as the matter tracer. We find that higher-point functions of the CIB and Galactic dust such as $\langle BEI \rangle_{c}$ and $\langle EIEI \rangle_{c}$ can, in principle, bias the power spectrum of delensed $B$-modes. After estimating the dust residuals in currently-available CIB maps and upcoming, foreground-cleaned Simons Observatory CMB data, we find, using non-Gaussian dust simulations, that the bias to any primordial signal is small compared to statistical errors for ground-based experiments, but might be significant for space-based experiments probing very large angular scales. However, mitigation techniques based on multi-frequency cleaning appear to be very effective. We also show, by means of an analytic model, that the bias arising from the higher-point functions of the CIB itself ought to be negligible.

Placing LOFAR-detected quasars in CIV emission space: implications for winds, jets and star formation. (arXiv:2101.12635v1 [astro-ph.GA])

Mon, 01/02/2021 - 08:52

We present an investigation of the low-frequency radio and ultraviolet properties of a sample of $\simeq$10,500 quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 14, observed as part of the first data release of the Low-Frequency-Array (LOFAR) Two-metre Sky Survey. The quasars have redshifts $1.5 < z < 3.5$ and luminosities $44.6 < \log(L_{\text{bol}}/\text{erg s}^{-1}) < 47.2$. We employ ultraviolet spectral reconstructions based on an independent component analysis to parametrize the CIV$\lambda$1549-emission line which is used to infer the strength of accretion disc winds, and the HeII$\lambda$1640 line, an indicator of the soft X-ray flux. We find that radio-detected quasars are found in the same region of CIV blueshift versus equivalent-width space as radio-undetected quasars, but that the loudest, most luminous and largest radio sources exist preferentially at low CIV blueshifts. Additionally, the radio-detection fraction increases with blueshift whereas the radio-loud fraction decreases. In the radio-quiet population, we observe a range of HeII equivalent widths as well as a Baldwin effect with bolometric luminosity, whilst the radio-loud population has mostly strong HeII, consistent with a stronger soft X-ray flux. The presence of strong HeII is a necessary but not sufficient condition to detect radio-loud emission suggesting some degree of stochasticity in jet formation. Using energetic arguments and Monte Carlo simulations, we explore the plausibility of winds, compact jets and star formation as sources of the radio quiet emission, ruling out none. The existence of quasars with similar ultraviolet properties but differing radio properties suggests, perhaps, that the radio and ultraviolet emission is tracing activity occurring on different timescales.

Introducing SPHINX-MHD: The Impact of Primordial Magnetic Fields on the First Galaxies, Reionization, and the Global 21cm Signal. (arXiv:2101.11624v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Sat, 30/01/2021 - 11:16

We present the first results from SPHINX-MHD, a suite of cosmological radiation-magnetohydrodynamics simulations designed to study the impact of primordial magnetic fields (PMFs) on galaxy formation and the evolution of the intergalactic medium during the epoch of reionization. The simulations are among the first to employ on-the-fly radiation transfer and constrained transport ideal MHD in a cosmological context to simultaneously model the inhomogeneous process of reionization and the growth of PMFs. We run a series of $(5{\rm Mpc})^3$ cosmological volumes, varying both the strength of the seed magnetic field and its spectral index. We find that PMFs with a spectral index ($n_B$) and a comoving amplitude ($B_0$) that have $n_B>-0.562\log_{10}(B_0/1{\rm n}G) - 3.35$ produce electron optical depths ($\tau_e$) that are inconsistent with CMB constraints due to the unrealistically early collapse of low-mass dwarf galaxies. For $n_B\geq-2.9$, our constraints are considerably tighter than the $\sim{\rm n}G$ constraints from Planck. PMFs that do not satisfy our constraints have little impact on the reionization history or the shape of the UV luminosity function. Likewise, detecting changes in the Ly$\alpha$ forest due to PMFs will be challenging because photoionisation and photoheating efficiently smooth the density field. However, we find that the first absorption feature in the global 21cm signal is a particularly sensitive indicator of the properties of the PMFs, even for those that satisfy our $\tau_e$ constraint. Furthermore, strong PMFs can increase the escape of LyC photons by up to 25% and shrink the effective radii of galaxies by 44% which could increase the completeness fraction of galaxy surveys. Finally, our simulations show that surveys with a magnitude limit of ${\rm M_{UV,1500{\rm A}}=-13}$ can probe the sources that provide the 50% of photons for reionization out to $z=12$.

The Dark Energy Survey Data Release 2. (arXiv:2101.05765v1 [astro-ph.IM])

Fri, 15/01/2021 - 10:28

We present the second public data release of the Dark Energy Survey, DES DR2, based on optical/near-infrared imaging by the Dark Energy Camera mounted on the 4-m Blanco telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. DES DR2 consists of reduced single-epoch and coadded images, a source catalog derived from coadded images, and associated data products assembled from 6 years of DES science operations. This release includes data from the DES wide-area survey covering ~5000 deg2 of the southern Galactic cap in five broad photometric bands, grizY. DES DR2 has a median delivered point-spread function full-width at half maximum of g= 1.11, r= 0.95, i= 0.88, z= 0.83, and Y= 0.90 arcsec photometric uniformity with a standard deviation of < 3 mmag with respect to Gaia DR2 G-band, a photometric accuracy of ~10 mmag, and a median internal astrometric precision of ~27 mas. The median coadded catalog depth for a 1.95 arcsec diameter aperture at S/N= 10 is g= 24.7, r= 24.4, i= 23.8, z= 23.1 and Y= 21.7 mag. DES DR2 includes ~691 million distinct astronomical objects detected in 10,169 coadded image tiles of size 0.534 deg2 produced from 76,217 single-epoch images. After a basic quality selection, benchmark galaxy and stellar samples contain 543 million and 145 million objects, respectively. These data are accessible through several interfaces, including interactive image visualization tools, web-based query clients, image cutout servers and Jupyter notebooks. DES DR2 constitutes the largest photometric data set to date at the achieved depth and photometric precision.

Nonlinear Hamiltonian analysis of new quadratic torsion theories Part I. Cases with curvature-free constraints. (arXiv:2101.02645v1 [gr-qc])

Fri, 08/01/2021 - 09:42

It was recently found that, when linearised in the absence of matter, 58 cases of the general gravitational theory with quadratic curvature and torsion are (i) free from ghosts and tachyons and (ii) power-counting renormalisable. We inspect the nonlinear Hamiltonian structure of the eight cases whose primary constraints do not depend on the curvature tensor. We confirm the particle spectra and unitarity of all these theories in the linear regime. We uncover qualitative dynamical changes in the nonlinear regimes of all eight cases, suggesting at least a broken gauge symmetry, and possibly the activation of negative kinetic energy spin-parity sectors and acausal behaviour. Two of the cases propagate a pair of massless modes at the linear level, and were interesting as candidate theories of gravity. However, we identify these modes with vector excitations, rather than the tensor polarisations of the graviton. Moreover, we show that these theories do not support a viable cosmological background.

The Young Supernova Experiment: Survey Goals, Overview, and Operations. (arXiv:2010.09724v2 [astro-ph.HE] UPDATED)

Thu, 07/01/2021 - 11:37

Time domain science has undergone a revolution over the past decade, with tens of thousands of new supernovae (SNe) discovered each year. However, several observational domains, including SNe within days or hours of explosion and faint, red transients, are just beginning to be explored. Here, we present the Young Supernova Experiment (YSE), a novel optical time-domain survey on the Pan-STARRS telescopes. Our survey is designed to obtain well-sampled $griz$ light curves for thousands of transient events up to $z \approx 0.2$. This large sample of transients with 4-band light curves will lay the foundation for the Vera C. Rubin Observatory and the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, providing a critical training set in similar filters and a well-calibrated low-redshift anchor of cosmologically useful SNe Ia to benefit dark energy science. As the name suggests, YSE complements and extends other ongoing time-domain surveys by discovering fast-rising SNe within a few hours to days of explosion. YSE is the only current four-band time-domain survey and is able to discover transients as faint $\sim$21.5 mag in $gri$ and $\sim$20.5 mag in $z$, depths that allow us to probe the earliest epochs of stellar explosions. YSE is currently observing approximately 750 square degrees of sky every three days and we plan to increase the area to 1500 square degrees in the near future. When operating at full capacity, survey simulations show that YSE will find $\sim$5000 new SNe per year and at least two SNe within three days of explosion per month. To date, YSE has discovered or observed 8.3% of the transient candidates reported to the International Astronomical Union in 2020. We present an overview of YSE, including science goals, survey characteristics and a summary of our transient discoveries to date.

The subtlety of Ly-a photons: changing the expected range of the 21-cm signal. (arXiv:2101.01777v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Thu, 07/01/2021 - 11:26

We present the evolution of the 21-cm signal from cosmic dawn and the epoch of reionization (EoR) in an upgraded model including three subtle effects of Ly-a radiation: Ly-a heating, CMB heating (mediated by Ly-a photons), and multiple scattering of Ly-a photons. Taking these effects into account we explore a wide range of astrophysical models and quantify the impact of these processes on the global 21-cm signal and its power spectrum at observable scales and redshifts. We find that, in agreement with the literature, Ly-a and CMB heating raise the gas temperature by up to $\mathcal{O}(100)$ degrees in models with weak X-ray heating and, thus, suppress the predicted 21-cm signals. Varying the astrophysical parameters over broad ranges, we find that in the upgraded model the absorption trough of the global signal reaches a lowest floor of $-165$ mK at redshifts $z\approx 15-19$. This is in contrast with the predictions for a pure adiabatically cooling Universe, for which the deepest possible absorption is a monotonically decreasing function of cosmic time and is $-178$ mK at $z = 19$ and $-216$ mK at $z=15$, dropping to even lower values at lower redshifts (e.g. $-264$ mK at $z = 10$). With the Ly-a and CMB heating included we also observe a strong suppression in the low-redshift power spectra, with the maximum possible power (evaluated over the ensemble of models) attenuated by a factor of $6.6$ at $z=9$ and $k = 0.1$ Mpc$^{-1}$. Finally, we find that at high redshifts corresponding to cosmic dawn, the heating terms have a subdominant effect while multiple scattering of Ly-a photons is important, leading to an amplification of the power spectrum by a factor of $\sim 2-5$.

Dark Energy Survey Year 3 Results: Deep Field Optical + Near-Infrared Images and Catalogue. (arXiv:2012.12824v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Tue, 29/12/2020 - 10:38

We describe the Dark Energy Survey (DES) Deep Fields, a set of images and associated multi-wavelength catalogue ($ugrizJHKs$) built from Dark Energy Camera (DECam) and Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) data. The DES Deep Fields comprise 11 fields (10 DES supernova fields plus COSMOS), with a total area of $\sim30~$ square degrees in $ugriz$ bands and reaching a maximum $i$-band depth of 26.75 (AB, $10\sigma$, 2"). We present a catalogue for the DES 3-year cosmology analysis of those four fields with full 8-band coverage, totalling $5.88~$ sq. deg. after masking. The catalogue is constructed in order to provide a sample of effectively noiseless galaxies (S/N $>\sqrt{10}\times$ their equivalents in the main DES survey), to be used as a prior on the population of objects observed in the DES and their moments in light distribution, a source of high-quality redshift information in constructing source galaxy redshift distributions for weak lensing analyses, and a host of deep extragalactic science. Numbering $2.8~$million objects ($1.6~$million post masking), our catalogue is drawn from images coadded to consistent depths of $r=25.7, i=25, z=24.3$ mag. We use a new model-fitting code, built upon established methods, to deblend sources and ensure consistent colours across the $u$-band to $Ks$-band wavelength range. We further detail the tight control we maintain over the point-spread function modelling required for the model fitting, astrometry and consistency of photometry between the four fields. The catalogue allows us to perform a careful star-galaxy separation and produces excellent photometric redshift performance (${\rm NMAD} = 0.023$ at $i<23$). The Deep-Fields catalogue will be made available as part of the cosmology data products release, following the completion of the DES 3-year weak lensing and galaxy clustering cosmology work.

Assessing tension metrics with Dark Energy Survey and Planck data. (arXiv:2012.09554v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Fri, 18/12/2020 - 10:29

Quantifying tensions -- inconsistencies amongst measurements of cosmological parameters by different experiments -- has emerged as a crucial part of modern cosmological data analysis. Statistically-significant tensions between two experiments or cosmological probes may indicate new physics extending beyond the standard cosmological model and need to be promptly identified. We apply several tension estimators proposed in the literature to the Dark Energy Survey (DES) large-scale structure measurement and Planck cosmic microwave background data. We first evaluate the responsiveness of these metrics to an input tension artificially introduced between the two, using synthetic DES data. We then apply the metrics to the comparison of Planck and actual DES Year 1 data. We find that the parameter differences, Eigentension, and Suspiciousness metrics all yield similar results on both simulated and real data, while the Bayes ratio is inconsistent with the rest due to its dependence on the prior volume. Using these metrics, we calculate the tension between DES Year 1 $3\times 2$pt and Planck, finding the surveys to be in $\sim 2.3\sigma$ tension under the $\Lambda$CDM paradigm. This suite of metrics provides a toolset for robustly testing tensions in the DES Year 3 data and beyond.

Dark Energy Survey Year 3 Results: Clustering Redshifts -- Calibration of the Weak Lensing Source Redshift Distributions with redMaGiC and BOSS/eBOSS. (arXiv:2012.08569v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Thu, 17/12/2020 - 09:46

We present the calibration of the Dark Energy Survey Year 3 (DES Y3) weak lensing source galaxy redshift distributions $n(z)$ from clustering measurements. In particular, we cross-correlate the weak lensing (WL) source galaxies sample with redMaGiC galaxies (luminous red galaxies with secure photometric redshifts) and a spectroscopic sample from BOSS/eBOSS to estimate the redshift distribution of the DES sources sample. Two distinct methods for using the clustering statistics are described. The first uses the clustering information independently to estimate the mean redshift of the source galaxies within a redshift window, as done in the DES Y1 analysis. The second method establishes a likelihood of the clustering data as a function of $n(z)$, which can be incorporated into schemes for generating samples of $n(z)$ subject to combined clustering and photometric constraints. Both methods incorporate marginalisation over various astrophysical systematics, including magnification and redshift-dependent galaxy-matter bias. We characterise the uncertainties of the methods in simulations; the first method recovers the mean $z$ of tomographic bins to RMS (precision) of $\sim 0.014$. Use of the second method is shown to vastly improve the accuracy of the shape of $n(z)$ derived from photometric data. The two methods are then applied to the DES Y3 data.

Dark Energy Survey Year 3 Results: Covariance Modelling and its Impact on Parameter Estimation and Quality of Fit. (arXiv:2012.08568v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Thu, 17/12/2020 - 09:45

We describe and test the fiducial covariance matrix model for the combined 2-point function analysis of the Dark Energy Survey Year 3 (DES-Y3) dataset. Using a variety of new ansatzes for covariance modelling and testing we validate the assumptions and approximations of this model. These include the assumption of a Gaussian likelihood, the trispectrum contribution to the covariance, the impact of evaluating the model at a wrong set of parameters, the impact of masking and survey geometry, deviations from Poissonian shot-noise, galaxy weighting schemes and other, sub-dominant effects. We find that our covariance model is robust and that its approximations have little impact on goodness-of-fit and parameter estimation. The largest impact on best-fit figure-of-merit arises from the so-called $f_{\mathrm{sky}}$ approximation for dealing with finite survey area, which on average increases the $\chi^2$ between maximum posterior model and measurement by $3.7\%$ ($\Delta \chi^2 \approx 18.9$). Standard methods to go beyond this approximation fail for DES-Y3, but we derive an approximate scheme to deal with these features. For parameter estimation, our ignorance of the exact parameters at which to evaluate our covariance model causes the dominant effect. We find that it increases the scatter of maximum posterior values for $\Omega_m$ and $\sigma_8$ by about $3\%$ and for the dark energy equation of state parameter by about $5\%$.

DES Y3 results: Blending shear and redshift biases in image simulations. (arXiv:2012.08567v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Thu, 17/12/2020 - 09:43

As the statistical power of galaxy weak lensing reaches percent level precision, large, realistic and robust simulations are required to calibrate observational systematics, especially given the increased importance of object blending as survey depths increase. To capture the coupled effects of blending in both shear and photometric redshift calibration, we define the effective redshift distribution for lensing, $n_{\gamma}(z)$, and describe how to estimate it using image simulations. We use an extensive suite of tailored image simulations to characterize the performance of the shear estimation pipeline applied to the Dark Energy Survey (DES) Year 3 dataset. We describe the multi-band, multi-epoch simulations, and demonstrate their high level of realism through comparisons to the real DES data. We isolate the effects that generate shear calibration biases by running variations on our fiducial simulation, and find that blending-related effects are the dominant contribution to the mean multiplicative bias of approximately $-2\%$. By generating simulations with input shear signals that vary with redshift, we calibrate biases in our estimation of the effective redshfit distribution, and demonstrate the importance of this approach when blending is present. We provide corrected effective redshift distributions that incorporate statistical and systematic uncertainties, ready for use in DES Year 3 weak lensing analyses.