skip to main content


Title: Using Dark Energy Explorers and Machine Learning to Enhance the Hobby–Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment
Abstract

We present analysis using a citizen science campaign to improve the cosmological measures from the Hobby–Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX). The goal of HETDEX is to measure the Hubble expansion rate,H(z), and angular diameter distance,DA(z), atz= 2.4, each to percent-level accuracy. This accuracy is determined primarily from the total number of detected Lyαemitters (LAEs), the false positive rate due to noise, and the contamination due to [Oii] emitting galaxies. This paper presents the citizen science project, Dark Energy Explorers (https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/erinmc/dark-energy-explorers), with the goal of increasing the number of LAEs and decreasing the number of false positives due to noise and the [Oii] galaxies. Initial analysis shows that citizen science is an efficient and effective tool for classification most accurately done by the human eye, especially in combination with unsupervised machine learning. Three aspects from the citizen science campaign that have the most impact are (1) identifying individual problems with detections, (2) providing a clean sample with 100% visual identification above a signal-to-noise cut, and (3) providing labels for machine-learning efforts. Since the end of 2022, Dark Energy Explorers has collected over three and a half million classifications by 11,000 volunteers in over 85 different countries around the world. By incorporating the results of the Dark Energy Explorers, we expect to improve the accuracy on theDA(z) andH(z) parameters atz= 2.″4 by 10%–30%. While the primary goal is to improve on HETDEX, Dark Energy Explorers has already proven to be a uniquely powerful tool for science advancement and increasing accessibility to science worldwide.

 
more » « less
Award ID(s):
1908817
NSF-PAR ID:
10422189
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Volume:
950
Issue:
2
ISSN:
0004-637X
Format(s):
Medium: X Size: Article No. 82
Size(s):
Article No. 82
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    The Hobby–Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) is a large-volume spectroscopic survey without preselection of sources, searching ∼540 deg2for Lyαemitting galaxies (LAEs) at 1.9 <z< 3.5. Taking advantage of such a wide-volume survey, we perform a pilot study using early HETDEX data to search for lensed Lyαemitters (LAEs). After performing a proof of concept using a previously known lensed LAE covered by HETDEX, we perform a search for previously unknown lensed LAEs in the HETDEX spectroscopic sample. We present a catalog of 26 potential LAEs lensed by foreground, red, non-star-forming galaxies atz∼ 0.4–0.7. We estimate the magnification for each candidate system, finding 12 candidates to be within the strong lensing regime (magnificationμ> 2). Follow-up observations of these potential lensed LAEs have the potential to confirm their lensed nature and explore these distant galaxies in more detail.

     
    more » « less
  2. Abstract The Hobby–Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) is an untargeted spectroscopic survey that aims to measure the expansion rate of the universe at z ∼ 2.4 to 1% precision for both H ( z ) and D A ( z ). HETDEX is in the process of mapping in excess of one million Ly α emitting (LAE) galaxies and a similar number of lower- z galaxies as a tracer of the large-scale structure. The success of the measurement is predicated on the post-observation separation of galaxies with Ly α emission from the lower- z interloping galaxies, primarily [O ii ], with low contamination and high recovery rates. The Emission Line eXplorer (ELiXer) is the principal classification tool for HETDEX, providing a tunable balance between contamination and completeness as dictated by science needs. By combining multiple selection criteria, ELiXer improves upon the 20 Å rest-frame equivalent width cut commonly used to distinguish LAEs from lower- z [O ii ] emitting galaxies. Despite a spectral resolving power, R ∼ 800, that cannot resolve the [O ii ] doublet, we demonstrate the ability to distinguish LAEs from foreground galaxies with 98.1% accuracy. We estimate a contamination rate of Ly α by [O ii ] of 1.2% and a Ly α recovery rate of 99.1% using the default ELiXer configuration. These rates meet the HETDEX science requirements. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    The Hobby–Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) is designed to detect and measure the redshifts of more than 1 million Lyαemitting galaxies (LAEs) 1.88 <z< 3.52. In addition to its cosmological measurements, these data enable studies of Lyαspectral profiles and the underlying radiative transfer. Using the roughly half a million LAEs in the HETDEX Data Release 3, we stack various subsets to obtain the typical Lyαprofile for thez∼ 2–3 epoch and to understand their physical properties. We find clear absorption wings around Lyαemission, which extend ∼2000 km s−1both redward and blueward of the central line. Using far-UV spectra of nearby (0.002 <z< 0.182) LAEs in the COS Legacy Archive Spectroscopic Survey treasury and optical/near-IR spectra of 2.8 <z< 6.7 LAEs in the Multi Unit Spectroscopic-Wide survey, we observe absorption profiles in both redshift regimes. Dividing the sample by volume density shows that the troughs increase in higher-density regions. This trend suggests that the depth of the absorption is dependent on the local density of objects near the LAE, a geometry that is similar to damped Lyαsystems. Simple simulations of Lyαradiative transfer can produce similar troughs due to absorption of light from background sources by Higas surrounding the LAEs.

     
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    We describe the survey design, calibration, commissioning, and emission-line detection algorithms for the Hobby–Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX). The goal of HETDEX is to measure the redshifts of over a million Lyαemitting galaxies between 1.88 <z< 3.52, in a 540 deg2area encompassing a comoving volume of 10.9 Gpc3. No preselection of targets is involved; instead the HETDEX measurements are accomplished via a spectroscopic survey using a suite of wide-field integral field units distributed over the focal plane of the telescope. This survey measures the Hubble expansion parameter and angular diameter distance, with a final expected accuracy of better than 1%. We detail the project’s observational strategy, reduction pipeline, source detection, and catalog generation, and present initial results for science verification in the Cosmological Evolution Survey, Extended Groth Strip, and Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey North fields. We demonstrate that our data reach the required specifications in throughput, astrometric accuracy, flux limit, and object detection, with the end products being a catalog of emission-line sources, their object classifications, and flux-calibrated spectra.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    We describe the ensemble properties of the 1.9 <z< 3.5 Lyman alpha emitters (LAEs) found in the HETDEX survey’s first public data release, HETDEX Public Source Catalog 1. Stacking the low-resolution (R∼ 800) spectra greatly increases the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N), revealing spectral features otherwise hidden by noise, and we show that the stacked spectrum is representative of an average member of the set. The flux-limited, LyαS/N restricted stack of 50,000 HETDEX LAEs shows the ensemble biweightaveragez∼ 2.6 LAE to be a blue (UV continuum slope ∼ −2.4 andE(B – V)< 0.1), moderately bright (MUV∼ −19.7) star-forming galaxy with strong Lyαemission (logLLyα∼ 42.8 andWλ(Lyα) ∼ 114 Å), and potentially significant leakage of ionizing radiation. The rest-frame UV light is dominated by a young, metal-poor stellar population with an average age of 5–15 Myr and metallicity of 0.2–0.3Z.

     
    more » « less