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Kavli Institute for Cosmology, Cambridge

 

Joint analysis of DES Year 3 data and CMB lensing from SPT and Planck III: Combined cosmological constraints. (arXiv:2206.10824v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Thu, 23/06/2022 - 10:08

We present cosmological constraints from the analysis of two-point correlation functions between galaxy positions and galaxy lensing measured in Dark Energy Survey (DES) Year 3 data and measurements of cosmic microwave background (CMB) lensing from the South Pole Telescope (SPT) and Planck. When jointly analyzing the DES-only two-point functions and the DES cross-correlations with SPT+Planck CMB lensing, we find $\Omega_{\rm m} = 0.344\pm 0.030$ and $S_8 \equiv \sigma_8 (\Omega_{\rm m}/0.3)^{0.5} = 0.773\pm 0.016$, assuming $\Lambda$CDM. When additionally combining with measurements of the CMB lensing autospectrum, we find $\Omega_{\rm m} = 0.306^{+0.018}_{-0.021}$ and $S_8 = 0.792\pm 0.012$. The high signal-to-noise of the CMB lensing cross-correlations enables several powerful consistency tests of these results, including comparisons with constraints derived from cross-correlations only, and comparisons designed to test the robustness of the galaxy lensing and clustering measurements from DES. Applying these tests to our measurements, we find no evidence of significant biases in the baseline cosmological constraints from the DES-only analyses or from the joint analyses with CMB lensing cross-correlations. However, the CMB lensing cross-correlations suggest possible problems with the correlation function measurements using alternative lens galaxy samples, in particular the redMaGiC galaxies and high-redshift MagLim galaxies, consistent with the findings of previous studies. We use the CMB lensing cross-correlations to identify directions for further investigating these problems.

Gravitationally lensed quasars in Gaia -- IV. 150 new lenses, quasar pairs, and projected quasars. (arXiv:2206.07714v1 [astro-ph.GA])

Mon, 20/06/2022 - 09:40

We report the spectroscopic follow-up of 175 lensed quasar candidates selected using Gaia Data Release 2 observations following Lemon et al. 2019. Systems include 86 confirmed lensed quasars and a further 17 likely lensed quasars based on imaging and/or similar spectra. We also confirm 11 projected quasar pairs and 11 physical quasar pairs, while 25 systems are left as unclassified quasar pairs -- pairs of quasars at the same redshift, which could be either distinct quasars or potential lensed quasars. Especially interesting objects include 8 quadruply imaged quasars of which two have BAL sources, an apparent triple, and a doubly lensed LoBaL quasar. The source redshifts and image separations of these new lenses range between 0.65 - 3.59 and 0.78 - 6.23 arcseconds respectively. We compare the known population of lensed quasars to an updated mock catalogue at image separations between 1 and 4 arcseconds, showing a very good match at z<1.5. At z>1.5, only 47% of the predicted number are known, with 56% of these missing lenses at image separations below 1.5 arcseconds. The missing higher-redshift, small-separation systems will have fainter lensing galaxies, and are partially explained by the unclassified quasar pairs and likely lenses presented in this work, which require deeper imaging. Of the 11 new reported projected quasar pairs, 5 have impact parameters below 10 kpc, almost tripling the number of such systems, which can probe the innermost regions of quasar host galaxies through absorption studies. We also report four new lensed galaxies discovered through our searches, with source redshifts ranging from 0.62 to 2.79.

A Fresh Look at AGN Spectral Energy Distribution Fitting with the XMM-SERVS AGN Sample. (arXiv:2206.05055v1 [astro-ph.GA])

Mon, 13/06/2022 - 10:31

We perform spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting to 711 luminous X-ray AGN at 0.7 < z < 4.5 using 10-bands of optical and infra-red photometric data for objects within XMM-SERVS. This fitting provided 510 reliable (reduced $\chi ^2 < 3$) inferences on AGN and host galaxy properties. The AGN optical (3000\r{A}) luminosity inferred from SED-fitting is found to correlate with the measured X-ray (2-10 keV) luminosity, in good agreement with previous work. Using X-ray hardness as a proxy for AGN obscuration, we also study the differences in the host galaxy properties of obscured and unobscured AGN. Both populations have consistent stellar masses (log$_{10}(M_*/M_{\odot})$ = 10.88 $\pm0.09M_\odot$ and log$_{10}(M_*/M_{\odot})$ = 10.8 $\pm0.1M_\odot$ for unobscured and obscured AGN respectively). We also find evidence for varying AGN emission line properties from a standard AGN template in 18.8% of the sample with a reduced $\chi^2 < 3$ where the inclusion of an additional emission line strength free parameter was found to improve the quality of the fit. Comparison of these fits to SDSS spectra showed that emission line properties inferred from broadband photometry were consistent with the results from spectroscopy for 91% of objects. We find that the presence of weaker, more blueshifted emission lines as inferred from the SED fits are associated with more negative values of $\alpha_{ox}$. While the correlation between the hardness of the ionising SED and the emission line properties has been known for some time, we are able to derive this correlation purely from broadband photometry.

Uniform Modelling of the Stellar Density of Thirteen Tidal Streams within the Galactic Halo. (arXiv:2206.04241v1 [astro-ph.GA])

Fri, 10/06/2022 - 10:11

We present the results of fitting a flexible stellar stream density model to a collection of thirteen streams around the Milky Way, using photometric data from DES, DECaLS, and Pan-STARRS. We construct density maps for each stream and characterise their tracks on the sky, width, and distance modulus curves along the length of each stream. We use these measurements to compute lengths and total luminosities of streams and identify substructures. Several streams show prominent substructures, such as stream broadening, gaps, large deviations of stream tracks and sharp changes in stream densities. Examining the group of streams as a population, as expected we find that streams with globular cluster progenitors are typically narrower than those with dwarf galaxy progenitors, with streams around 100 pc wide showing overlap between the two populations. We also note the average luminosity of globular cluster streams is significantly lower than the typical luminosity of intact globular clusters. The likely explanation is that observed globular cluster streams preferentially come from lower luminosity and lower density clusters. The stream measurements done in a uniform manner presented here will be helpful for more detailed stream studies such as identifying candidate stream members for spectroscopic follow up and stellar stream dynamical modeling.

Testing for spectral index variations in polarised CMB foregrounds. (arXiv:2205.13968v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Mon, 30/05/2022 - 09:57

We present a Bayesian parametric component separation method for polarised microwave sky maps. We solve jointly for the primary cosmic microwave background (CMB) signal and the main Galactic polarised foreground components. For the latter, we consider electron-synchrotron radiation and thermal dust emission, modelled in frequency as a power law and a modified blackbody respectively. We account for inter-pixel correlations in the noise covariance matrices of the input maps and introduce a spatial correlation length in the prior matrices for the spectral indices beta. We apply our method to low-resolution polarised Planck 2018 Low and High Frequency Instrument (LFI/HFI) data, including the SRoll2 re-processing of HFI data. We find evidence for spatial variation of the synchrotron spectral index, and no evidence for depolarisation of dust. Using the HFI SRoll2 maps, and applying wide priors on the spectral indices, we find a mean polarised synchrotron spectral index over the unmasked sky of beta-sync = -2.833 +- 0.620. For polarised dust emission, we obtain beta-dust = 1.429 +- 0.236. Our method returns correlated uncertainties for all components of the sky model. Using our recovered CMB maps and associated uncertainties, we constrain the optical depth to reionization, tau, using a cross-spectrum-based likelihood-approximation scheme (momento) to be tau = 0.0598 +- 0.0059. We confirm our findings using a pixel-based likelihood (pixlike). In both cases, we obtain a result that is consistent with, albeit a fraction of a sigma higher than, that found by subtracting spatially uniform foreground templates. While the latter method is sufficient for current polarisation data from Planck, next-generation space-borne CMB experiments will need more powerful schemes such as the one presented here.

CMB power spectra and cosmological parameters from Planck PR4 with CamSpec. (arXiv:2205.10869v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Thu, 26/05/2022 - 11:27

We present angular power spectra and cosmological parameter constraints derived from the Planck PR4 (NPIPE) maps of the Cosmic Microwave Background. NPIPE, released by the Planck Collaboration in 2020, is a new processing pipeline for producing calibrated frequency maps from Planck data. We have created new versions of the CamSpec likelihood using these maps and applied them to constrain LCDM and single-parameter extensions. We find excellent consistency between NPIPE and the Planck 2018 maps at the parameter level, showing that the Planck cosmology is robust to substantial changes in the mapmaking. The lower noise of NPIPE leads to 10% tighter constraints, and we see both smaller error bars and a shift toward the LCDM values for beyond-LCDM parameters including Omega_K and A_Lens.

Removing the fat from your posterior samples with margarine. (arXiv:2205.12841v1 [astro-ph.IM])

Thu, 26/05/2022 - 10:48

Bayesian workflows often require the introduction of nuisance parameters, yet for core science modelling one needs access to a marginal posterior density. In this work we use masked autoregressive flows and kernel density estimators to encapsulate the marginal posterior, allowing us to compute marginal Kullback-Leibler divergences and marginal Bayesian model dimensionalities in addition to generating samples and computing marginal log probabilities. We demonstrate this in application to topical cosmological examples of the Dark Energy Survey, and global 21cm signal experiments. In addition to the computation of marginal Bayesian statistics, this work is important for further applications in Bayesian experimental design, complex prior modelling and likelihood emulation. This technique is made publicly available in the pip-installable code margarine.

Finite inflation in curved space. (arXiv:2205.07374v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Tue, 17/05/2022 - 10:42

We investigate the effects of non-zero spatial curvature on cosmic inflation in the light of cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropy measurements from the Planck 2018 legacy release and from the 2015 observing season of BICEP2 and the Keck Array. Even a small percentage of non-zero curvature today would significantly limit the total number of e-folds of the scale factor during inflation, rendering just-enough inflation scenarios with a kinetically dominated or fast-roll stage prior to slow-roll inflation more likely. Finite inflation leads to oscillations and a cutoff towards large scales in the primordial power spectrum and curvature pushes them into the CMB observable window. Using nested sampling, we carry out Bayesian parameter estimations and model comparisons taking into account constraints from reheating and horizon considerations. We confirm the preference of CMB data for closed universes with Bayesian odds of over $100:1$ and with a posterior on the curvature density parameter of $\Omega_{K,0}=-0.051\pm0.017$ for a curvature extension of LCDM and $\Omega_{K,0}=-0.031\pm0.014$ for Starobinsky inflation. Model comparisons of various inflation models give similar results as for flat universes with the Starobinsky model outperforming most other models.

Long Dark Gaps in the Ly$\beta$ Forest at $z<6$: Evidence of Ultra Late Reionization from XQR-30 Spectra. (arXiv:2205.04569v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Fri, 13/05/2022 - 08:57

We present a new investigation of the intergalactic medium (IGM) near reionization using dark gaps in the Lyman-$\beta$ (Ly$\beta$) forest. With its lower optical depth, Ly$\beta$ offers a potentially more sensitive probe to any remaining neutral gas compared to commonly used Ly$\alpha$ line. We identify dark gaps in the Ly$\beta$ forest using spectra of 42 QSOs at $z_{\rm em}>5.5$, including new data from the XQR-30 VLT Large Programme. Approximately $40\%$ of these QSO spectra exhibit dark gaps longer than $10h^{-1}{\rm Mpc}$ at $z\simeq5.8$. By comparing the results to predictions from simulations, we find that the data are broadly consistent both with models where fluctuations in the Ly$\alpha$ forest are caused solely by ionizing ultraviolet background (UVB) fluctuations and with models that include large neutral hydrogen patches at $z<6$ due to a late end to reionization. Of particular interest is a very long ($L=28h^{-1}{\rm Mpc}$) and dark ($\tau_{\rm eff} \gtrsim 6$) gap persisting down to $z\simeq 5.5$ in the Ly$\beta$ forest of the $z_{\rm}=5.85$ QSO PSO J025$-$11. This gap may support late reionization models with a volume-weighted average neutral hydrogen fraction of $ \langle x_{\rm HI}\rangle \gtrsim 5\%$ by $z=5.6$. Finally, we infer constraints on $\langle x_{\rm HI}\rangle$ over $5.5 \lesssim z \lesssim 6.0$ based on the observed Ly$\beta$ dark gap length distribution and a conservative relationship between gap length and neutral fraction derived from simulations. We find $\langle x_{\rm HI}\rangle \leq 0.05$, 0.17, and 0.29 at $z\simeq 5.55$, 5.75, and 5.95, respectively. These constraints are consistent with models where reionization ends significantly later than $z = 6$.

The effect of the deforming dark matter haloes of the Milky Way and the Large Magellanic Cloud on the Orphan-Chenab stream. (arXiv:2205.01688v1 [astro-ph.GA])

Fri, 06/05/2022 - 08:48

It has recently been shown that the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) has a substantial effect on the Milky Way's stellar halo and stellar streams. Here, we explore how deformations of the Milky Way and LMC's dark matter haloes affect stellar streams, and whether these effects are observable. In particular, we focus on the Orphan-Chenab (OC) stream which passes particularly close to the LMC, and spans a large portion of the Milky Way's halo. We represent the Milky Way--LMC system using basis function expansions that capture their evolution in an $N$-body simulation. We present the properties of this system, such as the evolution of the densities and force fields of each galaxy. The OC stream is evolved in this time-dependent, deforming potential, and we investigate the effects of the various moments of the Milky Way and the LMC. We find that the simulated OC stream is strongly influenced by the deformations of both the Milky Way and the LMC, and that this effect is much larger than current observational errors. In particular, the Milky Way dipole has the biggest impact on the stream, followed by the evolution of the LMC's monopole, and the LMC's quadrupole. Detecting these effects would confirm a key prediction of collisionless, cold dark matter, and would be a powerful test of alternative dark matter and alternative gravity models.

Photometric and spectroscopic evolution of the interacting transient AT 2016jbu (Gaia16cfr). (arXiv:2102.09572v3 [astro-ph.SR] UPDATED)

Fri, 29/04/2022 - 11:20

We present the results from a high cadence, multi-wavelength observation campaign of AT 2016jbu (aka Gaia16cfr), an interacting transient. This dataset complements the current literature by adding higher cadence as well as extended coverage of the lightcurve evolution and late-time spectroscopic evolution. Photometric coverage reveals that AT 2016jbu underwent significant photometric variability followed by two luminous events, the latter of which reached an absolute magnitude of M$_V\sim$-18.5 mag. This is similar to the transient SN 2009ip whose nature is still debated. Spectra are dominated by narrow emission lines and show a blue continuum during the peak of the second event. AT 2016jbu shows signatures of a complex, non-homogeneous circumstellar material (CSM). We see slowly evolving asymmetric hydrogen line profiles, with velocities of 500km$s^{-1}$ seen in narrow emission features from a slow moving CSM, and up to 10,000km$s^{-1}$ seen in broad absorption from some high velocity material. Late-time spectra ($\sim$+1 year) show a lack of forbidden emission lines expected from a core-collapse supernova and are dominated by strong emission from H, He i and Ca ii. Strong asymmetric emission features, a bumpy lightcurve, and continually evolving spectra suggest an inhibit nebular phase. We compare the evolution of H$\alpha$ among SN 2009ip-like transients and find possible evidence for orientation angle effects. The light-curve evolution of AT 2016jbu suggests similar, but not identical, circumstellar environments to other SN 2009ip-like transients.

Diagnostics for PopIII galaxies and Direct Collapse Black Holes in the early universe. (arXiv:2204.11870v1 [astro-ph.GA])

Thu, 28/04/2022 - 10:50

Forthcoming observational facilities will make the exploration of the early universe routine, likely probing large populations of galaxies at very low metallicities. It will therefore be important to have diagnostics that can solidly identify and distinguish different classes of objects in such low metallicity regimes. We use new photoionisation models to develop diagnostic diagrams involving various nebular lines. We show that combinations of these diagrams allow the identification and discrimination of the following classes of objects in the early universe: PopIII and Direct Collapse Black Holes (DCBH) in pristine environments, PopIII and DCBH embedded in slightly enriched ISM (Z~10^{-5}-10^{-4}), (metal poor) PopII and AGN in enriched ISM. Diagnostics involving rest-frame optical lines (that will be accessible by JWST) have a better discriminatory power, but also rest-frame UV diagnostics can provide very useful information. Interestingly, we find that metal lines such as [OIII] 5007A and CIV 1549A can remain relatively strong (about a factor of 0.1-1 relative H-beta and HeII 1640A, respectively), even in extremely metal poor environments (Z~10^{-5}-10^{-4}), which could be embedding PopIII galaxies and DCBH.

Bayesian Data Analysis for Sky-averaged 21-cm Experiments in the Presence of Ionospheric Effects. (arXiv:2204.10859v1 [astro-ph.IM])

Tue, 26/04/2022 - 11:08

The ionosphere introduces chromatic distortions on low frequency radio waves, and thus poses a hurdle for 21-cm cosmology. In this paper we introduce time-varying chromatic ionospheric effects on simulated antenna temperature data of a global 21-cm data analysis pipeline, and try to detect the injected global signal. We demonstrate that given turbulent ionospheric conditions, more than 5\% error in our knowledge of the ionospheric parameters could lead to comparatively low evidence and high root-mean-square error (RMSE), suggesting a false or null detection. When using a constant antenna beam for cases that include data at different times, the significance of the detection lowers as the number of time samples increases. It is also shown that for observations that include data at different times, readjusting beam configurations according to the time-varying ionospheric conditions should greatly improve the significance of a detection, yielding higher evidences and lower RMSE, and that it is a necessary procedure for a successful detection when the ionospheric conditions are not ideal.

Bayesian evidence-driven likelihood selection for sky-averaged 21-cm signal extraction. (arXiv:2204.04491v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Wed, 13/04/2022 - 14:30

We demonstrate that the Bayesian evidence can be used to find a good approximation of the true likelihood function of a dataset, a goal of the likelihood-free inference (LFI) paradigm. As a concrete example, we use forward modelled sky-averaged 21-cm signal antenna temperature datasets where we artificially inject noise structures of various physically motivated forms. We find that the Gaussian likelihood performs poorly when the noise distribution deviates from the Gaussian case e.g. heteroscedastic radiometric or heavy-tailed noise. For these non-Gaussian noise structures, we show that the generalised normal likelihood is on a similar Bayesian evidence scale with comparable sky-averaged 21-cm signal recovery as the true likelihood function of our injected noise. We therefore propose the generalised normal likelihood function as a good approximation of the true likelihood function if the noise structure is a priori unknown.

Bayesian evidence-driven diagnosis of instrumental systematics for sky-averaged 21-cm cosmology experiments. (arXiv:2204.04445v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Wed, 13/04/2022 - 14:29

We demonstrate the effectiveness of a Bayesian evidence-based analysis for diagnosing and disentangling the sky-averaged 21-cm signal from instrumental systematic effects. As a case study, we consider a simulated REACH pipeline with an injected systematic. We demonstrate that very poor performance or erroneous signal recovery is achieved if the systematic remains unmodelled. These effects include sky-averaged 21-cm posterior estimates resembling a very deep or wide signal. However, when including parameterised models of the systematic, the signal recovery is dramatically improved in performance. Most importantly, a Bayesian evidence-based model comparison is capable of determining whether or not such a systematic model is needed as the true underlying generative model of an experimental dataset is in principle unknown. We, therefore, advocate a pipeline capable of testing a variety of potential systematic errors with the Bayesian evidence acting as the mechanism for detecting their presence.

Determining the Hubble Constant without the Sound Horizon: A $3.6\%$ Constraint on $H_0$ from Galaxy Surveys, CMB Lensing and Supernovae. (arXiv:2204.02984v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Mon, 11/04/2022 - 13:27

Many theoretical resolutions to the so-called "Hubble tension" rely on modifying the sound horizon at recombination, $r_s$, and thus the acoustic scale used as a standard ruler in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and large scale structure (LSS) datasets. As shown in a number of recent works, these observables can also be used to compute $r_s$-independent constraints on $H_0$ by making use of the horizon scale at matter-radiation equality, $k_{\rm eq}$, which has different sensitivity to high redshift physics than $r_s$. In this work, we present the tightest $k_{\rm eq}$-based constraints on the expansion rate from current data, finding $H_0=64.8^{+2.2}_{-2.5}$ at 68$\%$ CL from a combination of BOSS galaxy power spectra, Planck CMB lensing, and the newly released Pantheon+ supernova constraints, as well as physical priors on the baryon density, neutrino mass, and spectral index (in $\mathrm{km}\,\mathrm{s}^{-1}\mathrm{Mpc}^{-1}$ units). The BOSS and Planck measurements have different degeneracy directions, leading to the improved combined constraints, with a bound of $H_0 = 63.6^{+2.9}_{-3.6}$ ($67.1^{+2.5}_{-2.9}$) from BOSS (Planck) alone. The results show some dependence on the neutrino mass bounds, with the constraint broadening to $H_0 = 68.0^{+2.9}_{-3.2}$ if we instead impose a weak prior on $\sum m_\nu$ from terrestrial experiments rather than assuming $\sum m_\nu<0.26\,\mathrm{eV}$, or shifting to $H_0 = 64.6\pm2.4$ if the neutrino mass is fixed to its minimal value. Even without any dependence on the sound horizon, our results are in $\approx 3\sigma$ tension with those obtained from the Cepheid-calibrated distance ladder, providing evidence against new physics models that vary $H_0$ by changing acoustic physics or the expansion history immediately prior to recombination.

Being KLEVER at cosmic noon: ionised gas outflows are inconspicuous in low-mass star-forming galaxies but prominent in massive AGN hosts. (arXiv:2203.11958v1 [astro-ph.GA])

Thu, 24/03/2022 - 16:53

We investigate the presence of ionised gas outflows in a sample of 141 main-sequence star-forming galaxies at $1.2<z<2.6$ from the KLEVER (KMOS Lensed Emission Lines and VElocity Review) survey. Our sample covers an exceptionally wide range of stellar masses, $8.1<\log(M_\star/M_{\odot})<11.3$, pushing outflow studies into the dwarf regime thanks to gravitationally lensed objects. We stack optical rest-frame emission lines (H$\beta$, [OIII], H$\alpha$ and [NII]) in different mass bins and seek for tracers of gas outflows by using a novel, physically motivated method that improves over the widely used, simplistic double Gaussian fitting. We compare the observed emission lines with the expectations from a rotating disc (disc+bulge for the most massive galaxies) model, whereby significant deviations are interpreted as a signature of outflows. We find clear evidence for outflows in the most massive, $\log(M_\star/M_{\odot}) > 10.8$, AGN-dominated galaxies, suggesting that AGNs may be the primary drivers of these gas flows. Surprisingly, at $\log(M_\star/M_{\odot})\leq 9.6$, the observed line profiles are fully consistent with a rotating disc model, indicating that ionised gas outflows in dwarf galaxies might play a negligible role even during the peak of cosmic star-formation activity. Finally, we find that the observed mass loading factor scales with stellar mass as expected from the TNG50 cosmological simulation, but the ionised gas mass accounts for only 2$\%$ of the predicted value. This suggests that either the bulk of the outflowing mass is in other gaseous phases or the current feedback models implemented in cosmological simulations need to be revised.

The KLEVER survey: Nitrogen abundances at $z\sim$2 and probing the existence of a fundamental nitrogen relation. (arXiv:2110.00033v2 [astro-ph.GA] UPDATED)

Fri, 11/03/2022 - 15:37

We present a comparison of the nitrogen-to-oxygen ratio (N/O) in 37 high-redshift galaxies at $z\sim$2 taken from the KMOS Lensed Emission Lines and VElocity Review (KLEVER) Survey with a comparison sample of local galaxies, taken from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). The KLEVER sample shows only a mild enrichment in N/O of $+$0.1 dex when compared to local galaxies at a given gas-phase metallicity (O/H), but shows a depletion in N/O of $-$0.36 dex when compared at a fixed stellar mass (M$_*$). We find a strong anti-correlation in local galaxies between N/O and SFR in the M$_*$-N/O plane, similar to the anti-correlation between O/H and SFR found in the mass-metallicity relation (MZR). We use this anti-correlation to construct a fundamental nitrogen relation (FNR), analogous to the fundamental metallicity relation (FMR). We find that KLEVER galaxies are consistent with both the FMR and the FNR. This suggests that the depletion of N/O in high-$z$ galaxies when considered at a fixed M$_*$ is driven by the redshift-evolution of the mass-metallicity relation in combination with a near redshift-invariant N/O-O/H relation. Furthermore, the existence of an fundamental nitrogen relation suggests that the mechanisms governing the fundamental metallicity relation must be probed by not only O/H, but also N/O, suggesting pure-pristine gas inflows are not the primary driver of the FMR, and other properties such as variations in galaxy age and star formation efficiency must be important.

A Uniform Type Ia Supernova Distance Ladder with the Zwicky Transient Facility: Absolute Calibration Based on the Tip of the Red Giant Branch (TRGB) Method. (arXiv:2203.04241v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Thu, 10/03/2022 - 10:17

The current Cepheid-calibrated distance ladder measurement of $H_0$ is reported to be in tension with the values inferred from the cosmic microwave background (CMB), assuming standard model cosmology. However, the tip of the red giant branch (TRGB) reports an estimate of $H_0$ in better agreement with the CMB. Hence, it is critical to reduce systematic uncertainties in local measurements to understand the origin of the Hubble tension. In this paper, we propose a uniform distance ladder, combining SNe~Ia observed by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) with a TRGB calibration of their absolute luminosity. A large, volume-limited, sample of both calibrator and Hubble flow SNe Ia from the \emph{same} survey minimizes two of the largest sources of systematics: host-galaxy bias and non-uniform photometric calibration. We present results from a pilot study using existing TRGB distance to the host galaxy of ZTF SN Ia SN 2021rhu (aka ZTF21abiuvdk). Combining the ZTF calibrator with a volume-limited sample from the first data release of ZTF Hubble flow SNe Ia, we infer $H_0 = 76.94 \pm 6.4\, {\rm km}\,{\rm s^{-1}}\,{\rm Mpc^{-1}}$, an $8.3 \%$ measurement. The error budget is dominated by the single object calibrating the SN Ia luminosity in this pilot study. However, the ZTF sample includes already five other SNe Ia within $\sim$ 20 Mpc for which TRGB distances can be obtained with HST. Finally, we present the prospects of building this distance ladder out to 80 Mpc with JWST observations of more than one hundred SNe Ia.