skip to content

Kavli Institute for Cosmology, Cambridge


DELVE-ing into the Jet: a thin stellar stream on a retrograde orbit at 30 kpc. (arXiv:2104.11755v1 [astro-ph.GA])

Wed, 28/04/2021 - 08:50

We perform a detailed photometric and astrometric analysis of stars in the Jet stream using data from the first data release of the DECam Local Volume Exploration Survey (DELVE) DR1 and \emph{Gaia} EDR3. We discover that the stream extends over $\sim 29 ^{\circ}$ on the sky (increasing the known length by $18^{\circ}$), which is comparable to the kinematically cold Phoenix, ATLAS, and GD-1 streams. Using blue horizontal branch stars, we resolve a distance gradient along the Jet stream of 0.2 kpc/deg, with distances ranging from $D_\odot \sim 27-34$ kpc. We use natural splines to simultaneously fit the stream track, width, and intensity to quantitatively characterize density variations in the Jet stream, including a large gap, and identify substructure off the main track of the stream. Furthermore, we report the first measurement of the proper motion of the Jet stream and find that it is well-aligned with the stream track suggesting the stream has likely not been significantly perturbed perpendicular to the line of sight. Finally, we fit the stream with a dynamical model and find that the stream is on a retrograde orbit, and is well fit by a gravitational potential including the Milky Way and Large Magellanic Cloud. These results indicate the Jet stream is an excellent candidate for future studies with deeper photometry, astrometry, and spectroscopy to study the potential of the Milky Way and probe perturbations from baryonic and dark matter substructure.

From haloes to galaxies. III. The gas cycle of local galaxy populations. (arXiv:2104.12794v1 [astro-ph.GA])

Wed, 28/04/2021 - 08:35

In Dou et al. (2021), we introduced the Fundamental Formation Relation (FFR), a tight relation between specific SFR (sSFR), H$_2$ star formation efficiency (SFE$_{\rm H_2}$), and the ratio of H$_2$ to stellar mass. Here we show that atomic gas HI does not follow a similar FFR as H$_2$. The relation between SFE$_{\rm HI}$ and sSFR shows significant scatter and strong systematic dependence on all of the key galaxy properties that we have explored. The dramatic difference between HI and H$_2$ indicates that different processes (e.g., quenching by different mechanisms) may have very different effects on the HI in different galaxies and hence produce different SFE$_{\rm HI}$-sSFR relations, while the SFE$_{\rm H_2}$-sSFR relation remains unaffected. The facts that SFE$_{\rm H_2}$-sSFR relation is independent of other key galaxy properties, and that sSFR is directly related to the cosmic time and acts as the cosmic clock, make it natural and very simple to study how different galaxy populations (with different properties and undergoing different processes) evolve on the same SFE$_{\rm H_2}$-sSFR $\sim t$ relation. In the gas regulator model (GRM), the evolution of a galaxy on the SFE$_{\rm H_2}$-sSFR($t$) relation is uniquely set by a single mass-loading parameter $\lambda_{\rm net,H_2}$. This simplicity allows us to accurately derive the H$_2$ supply and removal rates of the local galaxy populations with different stellar masses, from star-forming galaxies to the galaxies in the process of being quenched. This combination of FFR and GRM, together with the stellar metallicity requirement, provide a new powerful tool to study galaxy formation and evolution.

Perturbations and the Future Conformal Boundary. (arXiv:2104.02521v1 [gr-qc] CROSS LISTED)

Mon, 26/04/2021 - 08:42

The concordance model of cosmology predicts a universe which finishes in a finite amount of conformal time at a future conformal boundary. We show that for particular cases we study, the background variables and perturbations may be analytically continued beyond this boundary and that the "end of the universe" is not necessarily the end of their physical development. Remarkably, these theoretical considerations of the end of the universe might have observable consequences today: perturbation modes consistent with these boundary conditions have a quantised power spectrum which may be relevant to features seen in the large scale cosmic microwave background. Mathematically these cosmological models may either be interpreted as a palindromic universe mirrored in time, a reflecting boundary condition, or a double cover, but are identical with respect to their observational predictions and stand in contrast to the predictions of conformal cyclic cosmologies.

Galaxy-galaxy lensing with the DES-CMASS catalogue: measurement and constraints on the galaxy-matter cross-correlation. (arXiv:2104.11319v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Mon, 26/04/2021 - 08:22

The DMASS sample is a photometric sample from the DES Year 1 data set designed to replicate the properties of the CMASS sample from BOSS, in support of a joint analysis of DES and BOSS beyond the small overlapping area. In this paper, we present the measurement of galaxy-galaxy lensing using the DMASS sample as gravitational lenses in the DES Y1 imaging data. We test a number of potential systematics that can bias the galaxy-galaxy lensing signal, including those from shear estimation, photometric redshifts, and observing conditions. After careful systematic tests, we obtain a highly significant detection of the galaxy-galaxy lensing signal, with total $S/N=25.7$. With the measured signal, we assess the feasibility of using DMASS as gravitational lenses equivalent to CMASS, by estimating the galaxy-matter cross-correlation coefficient $r_{\rm cc}$. By jointly fitting the galaxy-galaxy lensing measurement with the galaxy clustering measurement from CMASS, we obtain $r_{\rm cc}=1.09^{+0.12}_{-0.11}$ for the scale cut of $4~h^{-1}{\rm Mpc}$ and $r_{\rm cc}=1.06^{+0.13}_{-0.12}$ for $12~h^{-1}{\rm Mpc}$ in fixed cosmology. By adding the angular galaxy clustering of DMASS, we obtain $r_{\rm cc}=1.06\pm 0.10$ for the scale cut of $4~h^{-1}{\rm Mpc}$ and $r_{\rm cc}=1.03\pm 0.11$ for $12~h^{-1}{\rm Mpc}$. The resulting values of $r_{\rm cc}$ indicate that the lensing signal of DMASS is equivalent to the one that would have been measured if CMASS had populated the DES region within the given statistical uncertainty. The measurement of galaxy-galaxy lensing presented in this paper will serve as part of the data vector for the forthcoming cosmology analysis in preparation.

Optimizing high redshift galaxy surveys for environmental information. (arXiv:2104.07664v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Mon, 19/04/2021 - 13:24

We investigate the performance of group finding algorithms that reconstruct galaxy groups from the positional information of tracer galaxies that are observed in redshift surveys carried out with multiplexed spectrographs. We use mock light-cones produced by the L-Galaxies semi-analytic model of galaxy evolution in which the underlying reality is known. We particularly focus on the performance at high redshift, and how this is affected by choices of the mass of the tracer galaxies (largely equivalent to their co-moving number density) and the (assumed random) sampling rate of these tracers. We first however compare two different approaches to group finding as applied at low redshift, and conclude that these are broadly comparable. For simplicity we adopt just one of these, "Friends-of-Friends" (FoF) as the basis for our study at high redshift. We introduce 12 science metrics that are designed to quantify the performance of the group-finder as relevant for a wide range of science investigations with a group catalogue. These metrics examine the quality of the recovered group catalogue, the median halo masses of different richness structures, the scatter in dark matter halo mass and how successful the group-finder classifies singletons, centrals and satellites. We analyze how these metrics vary with the limiting stellar mass and random sampling rate of the tracer galaxies, allowing quantification of the various trade-offs between different possible survey designs. Finally, we look at the impact of these same design parameters on the relative "costs" in observation time of the survey using as an example the potential MOONRISE survey using the MOONS instrument.

Mass and Environment as Drivers of Galaxy Evolution. IV. On the Quenching of Massive Central Disk Galaxies in The Local Universe. (arXiv:2104.07045v1 [astro-ph.GA])

Mon, 19/04/2021 - 08:53

The phenomenological study of evolving galaxy populations has shown that star forming galaxies can be quenched by two distinct processes: mass quenching and environment quenching (Peng et al. 2010). To explore the mass quenching process in local galaxies, we study the massive central disk galaxies with stellar mass above the Schechter characteristic mass. In Zhang et al. (2019), we showed that during the quenching of the massive central disk galaxies as their star formation rate (SFR) decreases, their molecular gas mass and star formation efficiency drop rapidly, but their HI gas mass remains surprisingly constant. To identify the underlying physical mechanisms, in this work we analyze the change during quenching of various structure parameters, bar frequency, and active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity. We find three closely related facts. On average, as SFR decreases in these galaxies: (1) they become progressively more compact, indicated by their significantly increasing concentration index, bulge-to-total mass ratio, and central velocity dispersion, which are mainly driven by the growth and compaction of their bulge component; (2) the frequency of barred galaxies increases dramatically, and at a given concentration index the barred galaxies have a significantly higher quiescent fraction than unbarred galaxies, implying that the galactic bar may play an important role in mass quenching; and (3) the "AGN" frequency increases dramatically from 10% on the main sequence to almost 100% for the most quiescent galaxies, which is mainly driven by the sharp increase of LINERs. These observational results lead to a self-consistent picture of how mass quenching operates.

The ALPINE-ALMA [CII] Survey: Kinematic Diversity & Rotation in Massive Star Forming Galaxies at z~4.4-5.9. (arXiv:2104.03099v1 [astro-ph.GA])

Fri, 09/04/2021 - 10:14

Over the past decades, the kinematics of galaxies in the local Universe and at intermediate redshift (i.e., z~1-3) have been characterized in great detail, but only a handful of galaxies at high redshift (z>4) have been examined in such a way. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Large Program to INvestigate [CII] at Early times (ALPINE) survey observed 118 star-forming main sequence galaxies at z=4.4-5.9 in [CII]158um emission, increasing the number of such observations by nearly an order of magnitude. To characterize the morpho-kinematics of this sample, we apply a well-tested tilted ring model fitting code (3DBarolo), a quantitative morphological classification (Gini-M20), and a set of disk identification criteria to the ALPINE data. By exploring the G-M20 of z>4 rest-frame FIR and [CII] data for the first time, we find that our 1"~6kpc resolution is insufficient to separate galaxy types based solely on these data. Of the 75 [CII]-detected ALPINE galaxies, 29 are detected at high enough significance and with sufficient spatial resolution to allow for tilted ring model fitting and the derivation of morpho-kinematic parameters. By combining these results with disk identification criteria, we are able to robustly classify 14 of the 29 fit sources (six rotators, five mergers, and three dispersion-dominated systems), with the remaining sources showing complex behaviour. We then compare the rotation curves and dynamical mass profiles of the six ALPINE rotators to the two previously detected z~4-6 unlensed main sequence rotators, finding high rotational velocities (~50-250km/s) and a range of rotation curve shapes.

Constraining Quantum Initial Conditions before Inflation. (arXiv:2104.03016v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Fri, 09/04/2021 - 10:10

We theoretically and observationally investigate different choices of initial conditions for the primordial mode function that are imposed during an epoch preceding inflation. By deriving predictions for the observables resulting from several alternate quantum vacuum prescriptions we show some choices of vacua are theoretically observationally distinguishable from others. Comparing these predictions to the Planck 2018 observations via a Bayesian analysis shows no significant evidence to favour any of the quantum vacuum prescriptions over the others. In addition we consider frozen initial conditions, representing a white-noise initial state at the big-bang singularity. Under certain assumptions the cosmological concordance model and frozen initial conditions are found to produce identical predictions for the cosmic microwave background anisotropies. Frozen initial conditions may thus provide an alternative theoretic paradigm to explain observations that were previously understood in terms of the inflation of a quantum vacuum.

Lyman-$\alpha$ as a tracer of cosmic reionisation in the SPHINX radiation-hydrodynamics cosmological simulation. (arXiv:2104.03339v1 [astro-ph.GA])

Fri, 09/04/2021 - 09:40

The Ly$\alpha$ emission line is one of the most promising probes of cosmic reionisation but isolating the signature of a change in the ionisation state of the IGM is challenging because of intrinsic evolution and internal radiation transfer effects. We present the first study of the evolution of Ly$\alpha$ emitters (LAE) during the epoch of reionisation based on a full radiation-hydrodynamics cosmological simulation that is able to capture both the large-scale process of reionisation and the small-scale properties of galaxies. We predict the Ly$\alpha$ emission of galaxies in the $10^3$ cMpc$^3$ SPHINX simulation at $6\leq z\leq9$ by computing the full Ly$\alpha$ radiation transfer from ISM to IGM scales. SPHINX is able to reproduce many observational constraints such as the UV/Ly$\alpha$ luminosity functions and stellar mass functions at z $\geq$ 6 for the dynamical range probed by our simulation ($M_{\rm 1500}\gtrsim-18$, $L_{\rm Ly\alpha}\lesssim10^{42}$ erg/s, $M_{\star}\lesssim10^9$ M$_{\odot}$). As intrinsic Ly$\alpha$ emission and internal Ly$\alpha$ escape fractions barely evolve from $z=6$ to 9, the observed suppression of Ly$\alpha$ luminosities with increasing redshift is fully attributed to IGM absorption. For most observable galaxies ($M_{\rm 1500}\lesssim-16$), the Ly$\alpha$ line profiles are slightly shifted to the red due to internal radiative transfer effects which mitigates the effect of IGM absorption. Overall, the enhanced Ly$\alpha$ suppression during reionisation traces the IGM neutral fraction $x_{\rm HI}$ well but the predicted amplitude of this reduction is a strong function of the Ly$\alpha$ peak shift, which is set at ISM/CGM scales. We find that a large number of LAEs could be detectable in very deep surveys during reionisation when $x_{\rm HI}$ is still $\approx 50\%$.

Improved cosmological fits with quantized primordial power spectra. (arXiv:2104.01938v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Wed, 07/04/2021 - 09:40

We observationally examine cosmological models based on primordial power spectra with quantized wavevectors. Introducing a linearly quantized power spectrum with $k_0=3.225\times10^{-4}\mathrm{Mpc}^{-1}$ and spacing $\Delta k = 2.257 \times 10^{-4} \mathrm{Mpc}^{-1}$ provides a better fit to the Planck 2018 observations than the concordance baseline, with $\Delta \chi^2 = -8.55$. Extending the results of Lasenby et al [1], we show that the requirement for perturbations to remain finite beyond the future conformal boundary in a universe containing dark matter and a cosmological constant results in a linearly quantized primordial power spectrum. It is found that the infrared cutoffs for this future conformal boundary quantized cosmology do not provide cosmic microwave background power spectra compatible with observations, but future theories may predict more observationally consistent quantized spectra.

Two c's in a pod: Cosmology independent measurement of the Type Ia supernova colour-luminosity relation with a sibling pair. (arXiv:2103.16978v1 [astro-ph.GA])

Tue, 06/04/2021 - 10:02

Using Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) observations, we identify a pair of "sibling" Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia), i.e., hosted by the same galaxy at z = 0.0541. They exploded within 200 days from each other at a separation of $0.6^{"} $ corresponding to a projected distance of only 0.6 kpc. Performing SALT2 light curve fits to the gri ZTF photometry, we show that for these equally distant "standardizable candles", there is a difference of 2 magnitudes in their rest frame B-band peaks, and the fainter SN has a significantly red SALT2 colour $c = 0.57 \pm$ 0.04, while the stretch values $x_1$ of the two SNe are similar, suggesting that the fainter SN is attenuated by dust in the interstellar medium of the host galaxy. We use these measurements to infer the SALT2 colour standardization parameter, $\beta$ = 3.5 $\pm$ 0.3, independent of the underlying cosmology and Malmquist bias. Assuming the colour excess is entirely due to dust, the result differs by $2\sigma$ from the average Milky-Way total-to-selective extinction ratio, but is in good agreement with the colour-brightness corrections empirically derived from the most recent SN Ia Hubble-Lemaitre diagram fits. Thus we suggest that SN "siblings", which will increasingly be discovered in the coming years, can be used to probe the validity of the colour and lightcurve shape corrections using in SN Ia cosmology while avoiding important systematic effects in their inference from global multi-parameter fits to inhomogeneous data-sets, and also help constrain the role of interstellar dust in SN Ia cosmology.

Inference of the optical depth to reionization from low multipole temperature and polarisation Planck data. (arXiv:2103.14378v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Mon, 29/03/2021 - 08:57

This paper explores methods for constructing low multipole temperature and polarisation likelihoods from maps of the cosmic microwave background anisotropies that have complex noise properties and partial sky coverage. We use the Planck 2018 High Frequency Instrument (HFI) maps and the updated SRoll2 maps (Delouis et al. 2019) to test our methods. We present three likelihood approximations based on quadratic cross spectrum estimators: (i) a variant of the simulation-based likelihood (SimBaL) techniques used in the Planck legacy papers to produce a low multipole EE likelihood; (ii) a semi-analytical likelihood approximation (momento) based on the principle of maximum entropy; (iii) a density-estimation "likelihood-free" scheme (DELFI). Approaches (ii) and (iii) can be generalised to produce low multipole joint temperature-polarisation (TTTEEE) likelihoods. We present extensive tests of these methods on simulations with realistic correlated noise. We then analyse the Planck data and confirm the robustness of our method and likelihoods on multiple inter- and intra-frequency detector set combinations of SRoll2 maps. The three likelihood techniques give consistent results and support a low value of the optical depth to reoinization, tau, from the HFI. Our best estimate of tau comes from combining the low multipole SRoll2 momento (TTTEEE) likelihood with the CamSpec high multipole likelihood and is tau = 0.0627+0.0053-0.0059. This is consistent with the value of tau reported by Pagano et al. (2020), though slightly higher by approximately 0.5 sigma.

Conformal gravity does not predict flat galaxy rotation curves. (arXiv:2103.13451v1 [gr-qc])

Fri, 26/03/2021 - 09:17

We reconsider the widely held view that the Mannheim--Kazanas (MK) vacuum solution for a static, spherically-symmetric system in conformal gravity (CG) predicts flat rotation curves, such as those observed in galaxies, without the need for dark matter. The conformal equivalence of the MK and Schwarzschild--de-Sitter (SdS) metrics, where the latter does not predict flat rotation curves, raises concerns that the prediction in the MK frame may be a gauge artefact. This ambiguity arises from assuming that, in each frame, test particles have fixed rest mass and follow timelike geodesics, which are not conformally invariant. The mass of such particles must instead be generated dynamically through interaction with a scalar field, the energy-momentum of which means that the spacetime outside a static, spherically-symmetric matter distribution in CG is, in general, not given by the MK vacuum solution. A unique solution does exist, however, for which the scalar field energy-momentum vanishes and the metric retains the MK form. Nonetheless, we show that in both the Einstein and MK frames of this solution, in which the scalar field is constant or radially-dependent, respectively, massive particles follow timelike geodesics of the SdS metric, thereby resolving the apparent frame dependence of physical predictions and unambiguously yielding rotation curves with no flat region. We further find that the general form of the conformal transformation linking the Einstein and MK frames is unique in preserving the structure of any diagonal static, spherically-symmetric metric with a radial coefficient that is (minus) the reciprocal of its temporal one. We also comment briefly on how our analysis resolves the long-standing uncertainty regarding gravitational lensing in the MK metric. (Abridged)

Resolving Disks & Mergers in $z\sim2$ Heavily Reddened Quasars and their Companion Galaxies with ALMA. (arXiv:2103.10174v1 [astro-ph.GA])

Fri, 19/03/2021 - 09:45

We present sub-arcsecond resolution ALMA imaging of the CO(3-2) emission in two $z\sim2.5$ heavily reddened quasars (HRQs) - ULASJ1234+0907 and ULASJ2315+0143 - and their companion galaxies. Dynamical modeling of the resolved velocity fields enables us to constrain the molecular gas morphologies and host galaxy masses. Combining the new data with extensive multi-wavelength observations, we are able to study the relative kinematics of different molecular emission lines, the molecular gas fractions and the locations of the quasars on the M$_{\rm{BH}}$-M$_{\rm{gal}}$ relation. Despite having similar black-hole properties, the two HRQs display markedly different host galaxy properties and local environments. J1234 has a very massive host, M$_{\rm{dyn}} \sim 5 \times 10^{11}$M$_\odot$ and two companion galaxies that are similarly massive located within 200 kpc of the quasar. The molecular gas fraction is low ($\sim$6%). The significant ongoing star formation in the host galaxy is entirely obscured at rest-frame UV and optical wavelengths. J2315 is resolved into a close-separation major-merger ($\Delta$r=15 kpc; $\Delta$v=170 km/s) with a $\sim$1:2 mass ratio. The total dynamical mass is estimated to be $\lesssim$10$^{11}$M$_\odot$ and the molecular gas fraction is high ($>$45%). A new HSC image of the galaxy shows unobscured UV-luminous star-forming regions co-incident with the extended reservoir of cold molecular gas in the merger. We use the outputs from the Illustris simulations to track the growth of such massive black holes from $z\sim6$ to the present day. While J1234 is consistent with the simulated $z\sim2$ relation, J2315 has a black hole that is over-massive relative to its host galaxy.

To H0 or not to H0?. (arXiv:2103.08723v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Wed, 17/03/2021 - 08:51

This paper investigates whether changes to late time physics can resolve the `Hubble tension'. It is argued that many of the claims in the literature favouring such solutions are caused by a misunderstanding of how distance ladder measurements actually work and, in particular, by the inappropriate use of distance ladder H0 priors. A dynamics-free inverse distance ladder shows that changes to late time physics are strongly constrained observationally and cannot resolve the discrepancy between the SH0ES data and the base LCDM cosmology inferred from Planck.

The Gaia spectrophotometric standard stars survey -- V. Preliminary flux tables for the calibration of Gaia DR2 and (E)DR3. (arXiv:2103.07154v1 [astro-ph.SR])

Mon, 15/03/2021 - 08:51

We present the flux tables of the spectro-photometric standard stars (SPSS) used to calibrate in flux the Gaia DR2 and (E)DR3 data releases. The latest SPSS grid version contains 112 stars, whose flux tables agree to better than 1% with the CALSPEC spectra of 11 flux standards for the calibration of the Hubble Space Telescope. The synthetic magnitudes computed on the SPSS spectra also agree to better than 1% with the Landolt magnitudes of 37 stars in common. The typical spreads in both comparisons are of the order of 1%. These uncertainties already meet the initial requirements for the Gaia SPSS project, but further improvements are expected in the next SPSS versions, that will be used to calibrate future Gaia releases. We complement the SPSS flux tables with literature spectra of 60 additional stars that did not pass all the criteria to be SPSS, the Passband Validation Library (PVL). The PVL contains stars of extreme spectral types, such as bright O and B stars and late M stars and brown dwarfs, and was useful to investigate systematic effects in the previous Gaia DR2 release and to minimize them in the EDR3 one. The PVL literature spectra are recalibrated as accurately as possible onto the SPSS reference scale, so that the two sets together can be used in a variety of validation and comparison studies.

Implications of the $z>5$ Lyman-$\alpha$ forest for the 21-cm power spectrum from the epoch of reionization. (arXiv:2103.03261v1 [astro-ph.CO])

Thu, 11/03/2021 - 09:50

Our understanding of the intergalactic medium at redshifts $z=5$-$6$ has improved considerably in the last few years due to the discovery of quasars with $z>6$ that enable Lyman-$\alpha$ forest studies at these redshifts. A realisation from this has been that hydrogen reionization could end much later than previously thought, so that large "islands" of cold, neutral hydrogen could exist in the IGM at redshifts $z=5$-$6$. By using radiation transfer simulations of the IGM, we consider the implications of the presence of these neutral hydrogen islands for the 21-cm power spectrum signal and its potential detection by experiments such as HERA, SKA, LOFAR, and MWA. In contrast with previous models of the 21-cm signal, we find that thanks to the late end of reionization the 21-cm power in our simulation continues to be as high as $\Delta^2_{21}=10~\mathrm{mK}^2$ at $k\sim 0.1~h/$cMpc at $z=5$-$6$. This value of the power spectrum is several orders of magnitude higher than that in the conventional models considered in the literature for these redshifts. Such high values of the 21-cm power spectrum should be detectable by HERA and SKA1-LOW in $\sim 1000$ hours, assuming optimistic foreground subtraction. This redshift range is also attractive due to relatively low sky temperature and potentially greater abundance of multiwavelength data.