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Title: Propagating sample variance uncertainties in redshift calibration: simulations, theory, and application to the COSMOS2015 data
ABSTRACT Cosmological analyses of galaxy surveys rely on knowledge of the redshift distribution of their galaxy sample. This is usually derived from a spectroscopic and/or many-band photometric calibrator survey of a small patch of sky. The uncertainties in the redshift distribution of the calibrator sample include a contribution from shot noise, or Poisson sampling errors, but, given the small volume they probe, they are dominated by sample variance introduced by large-scale structures. Redshift uncertainties have been shown to constitute one of the leading contributions to systematic uncertainties in cosmological inferences from weak lensing and galaxy clustering, and hence they must be propagated through the analyses. In this work, we study the effects of sample variance on small-area redshift surveys, from theory to simulations to the COSMOS2015 data set. We present a three-step Dirichlet method of resampling a given survey-based redshift calibration distribution to enable the propagation of both shot noise and sample variance uncertainties. The method can accommodate different levels of prior confidence on different redshift sources. This method can be applied to any calibration sample with known redshifts and phenotypes (i.e. cells in a self-organizing map, or some other way of discretizing photometric space), and provides a simple way of more » propagating prior redshift uncertainties into cosmological analyses. As a worked example, we apply the full scheme to the COSMOS2015 data set, for which we also present a new, principled SOM algorithm designed to handle noisy photometric data. We make available a catalogue of the resulting resamplings of the COSMOS2015 galaxies. « less
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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
2984 to 2999
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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