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  1. ABSTRACT We study the optical gri photometric variability of a sample of 190 quasars within the SDSS Stripe 82 region that have long-term photometric coverage during ∼1998−2020 with SDSS, PanSTARRS-1, the Dark Energy Survey, and dedicated follow-up monitoring with Blanco 4m/DECam. With on average ∼200 nightly epochs per quasar per filter band, we improve the parameter constraints from a Damped Random Walk (DRW) model fit to the light curves over previous studies with 10–15 yr baselines and ≲ 100 epochs. We find that the average damping time-scale τDRW continues to rise with increased baseline, reaching a median value of ∼750 d (gmore »band) in the rest frame of these quasars using the 20-yr light curves. Some quasars may have gradual, long-term trends in their light curves, suggesting that either the DRW fit requires very long baselines to converge, or that the underlying variability is more complex than a single DRW process for these quasars. Using a subset of quasars with better-constrained τDRW (less than 20 per cent of the baseline), we confirm a weak wavelength dependence of τDRW∝λ0.51 ± 0.20. We further quantify optical variability of these quasars over days to decades time-scales using structure function (SF) and power spectrum density (PSD) analyses. The SF and PSD measurements qualitatively confirm the measured (hundreds of days) damping time-scales from the DRW fits. However, the ensemble PSD is steeper than that of a DRW on time-scales less than ∼ a month for these luminous quasars, and this second break point correlates with the longer DRW damping time-scale.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 2, 2023
  2. ABSTRACT The CMB lensing signal from cosmic voids and superclusters probes the growth of structure in the low-redshift cosmic web. In this analysis, we cross-correlated the Planck CMB lensing map with voids detected in the Dark Energy Survey Year 3 (Y3) data set (∼5000 deg2), expanding on previous measurements that used Y1 catalogues (∼1300 deg2). Given the increased statistical power compared to Y1 data, we report a 6.6σ detection of negative CMB convergence (κ) imprints using approximately 3600 voids detected from a redMaGiC luminous red galaxy sample. However, the measured signal is lower than expected from the MICE N-body simulation that ismore »based on the ΛCDM model (parameters Ωm = 0.25, σ8 = 0.8), and the discrepancy is associated mostly with the void centre region. Considering the full void lensing profile, we fit an amplitude $A_{\kappa }=\kappa _{{\rm DES}}/\kappa _{{\rm MICE}}$ to a simulation-based template with fixed shape and found a moderate 2σ deviation in the signal with Aκ ≈ 0.79 ± 0.12. We also examined the WebSky simulation that is based on a Planck 2018 ΛCDM cosmology, but the results were even less consistent given the slightly higher matter density fluctuations than in MICE. We then identified superclusters in the DES and the MICE catalogues, and detected their imprints at the 8.4σ level; again with a lower-than-expected Aκ = 0.84 ± 0.10 amplitude. The combination of voids and superclusters yields a 10.3σ detection with an Aκ = 0.82 ± 0.08 constraint on the CMB lensing amplitude, thus the overall signal is 2.3σ weaker than expected from MICE.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 10, 2023
  3. Abstract We use a recent census of the Milky Way (MW) satellite galaxy population to constrain the lifetime of particle dark matter (DM). We consider two-body decaying dark matter (DDM) in which a heavy DM particle decays with lifetime τ comparable to the age of the universe to a lighter DM particle (with mass splitting ϵ ) and to a dark radiation species. These decays impart a characteristic “kick velocity,” V kick = ϵ c , on the DM daughter particles, significantly depleting the DM content of low-mass subhalos and making them more susceptible to tidal disruption. We fit themore »suppression of the present-day DDM subhalo mass function (SHMF) as a function of τ and V kick using a suite of high-resolution zoom-in simulations of MW-mass halos, and we validate this model on new DDM simulations of systems specifically chosen to resemble the MW. We implement our DDM SHMF predictions in a forward model that incorporates inhomogeneities in the spatial distribution and detectability of MW satellites and uncertainties in the mapping between galaxies and DM halos, the properties of the MW system, and the disruption of subhalos by the MW disk using an empirical model for the galaxy–halo connection. By comparing to the observed MW satellite population, we conservatively exclude DDM models with τ < 18 Gyr (29 Gyr) for V kick = 20 kms −1 (40 kms −1 ) at 95% confidence. These constraints are among the most stringent and robust small-scale structure limits on the DM particle lifetime and strongly disfavor DDM models that have been proposed to alleviate the Hubble and S 8 tensions.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  4. ABSTRACT Strongly lensed quadruply imaged quasars (quads) are extraordinary objects. They are very rare in the sky and yet they provide unique information about a wide range of topics, including the expansion history and the composition of the Universe, the distribution of stars and dark matter in galaxies, the host galaxies of quasars, and the stellar initial mass function. Finding them in astronomical images is a classic ‘needle in a haystack’ problem, as they are outnumbered by other (contaminant) sources by many orders of magnitude. To solve this problem, we develop state-of-the-art deep learning methods and train them on realisticmore »simulated quads based on real images of galaxies taken from the Dark Energy Survey, with realistic source and deflector models, including the chromatic effects of microlensing. The performance of the best methods on a mixture of simulated and real objects is excellent, yielding area under the receiver operating curve in the range of 0.86–0.89. Recall is close to 100 per cent down to total magnitude i ∼ 21 indicating high completeness, while precision declines from 85 per cent to 70 per cent in the range i ∼ 17–21. The methods are extremely fast: training on 2 million samples takes 20 h on a GPU machine, and 108 multiband cut-outs can be evaluated per GPU-hour. The speed and performance of the method pave the way to apply it to large samples of astronomical sources, bypassing the need for photometric pre-selection that is likely to be a major cause of incompleteness in current samples of known quads.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 5, 2023
  5. Abstract The cosmic web contains filamentary structure on a wide range of scales. On the largest scales, superclustering aligns multiple galaxy clusters along intercluster bridges, visible through their thermal Sunyaev–Zel’dovich signal in the cosmic microwave background. We demonstrate a new, flexible method to analyze the hot gas signal from multiscale extended structures. We use a Compton y -map from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) stacked on redMaPPer cluster positions from the optical Dark Energy Survey (DES). Cutout images from the y -map are oriented with large-scale structure information from DES galaxy data such that the superclustering signal is aligned beforemore »being overlaid. We find evidence of an extended quadrupole moment of the stacked y signal at the 3.5 σ level, demonstrating that the large-scale thermal energy surrounding galaxy clusters is anisotropically distributed. We compare our ACT × DES results with the Buzzard simulations, finding broad agreement. Using simulations, we highlight the promise of this novel technique for constraining the evolution of anisotropic, non-Gaussian structure using future combinations of microwave and optical surveys.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  7. ABSTRACT We present cosmological constraints from the analysis of angular power spectra of cosmic shear maps based on data from the first three years of observations by the Dark Energy Survey (DES Y3). Our measurements are based on the pseudo-Cℓ method and complement the analysis of the two-point correlation functions in real space, as the two estimators are known to compress and select Gaussian information in different ways, due to scale cuts. They may also be differently affected by systematic effects and theoretical uncertainties, making this analysis an important cross-check. Using the same fiducial Lambda cold dark matter model as inmore »the DES Y3 real-space analysis, we find ${S_8 \equiv \sigma _8 \sqrt{\Omega _{\rm m}/0.3} = 0.793^{+0.038}_{-0.025}}$, which further improves to S8 = 0.784 ± 0.026 when including shear ratios. This result is within expected statistical fluctuations from the real-space constraint, and in agreement with DES Y3 analyses of non-Gaussian statistics, but favours a slightly higher value of S8, which reduces the tension with the Planck 2018 constraints from 2.3σ in the real space analysis to 1.5σ here. We explore less conservative intrinsic alignments models than the one adopted in our fiducial analysis, finding no clear preference for a more complex model. We also include small scales, using an increased Fourier mode cut-off up to $k_{\rm max}={5}\, {h}\, {\rm Mpc}^{-1}$, which allows to constrain baryonic feedback while leaving cosmological constraints essentially unchanged. Finally, we present an approximate reconstruction of the linear matter power spectrum at present time, found to be about 20 per cent lower than predicted by Planck 2018, as reflected by the lower S8 value.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 27, 2023
  8. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  9. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  10. ABSTRACT We develop a novel data-driven method for generating synthetic optical observations of galaxy clusters. In cluster weak lensing, the interplay between analysis choices and systematic effects related to source galaxy selection, shape measurement, and photometric redshift estimation can be best characterized in end-to-end tests going from mock observations to recovered cluster masses. To create such test scenarios, we measure and model the photometric properties of galaxy clusters and their sky environments from the Dark Energy Survey Year 3 (DES Y3) data in two bins of cluster richness $\lambda \in [30; 45)$, $\lambda \in [45; 60)$ and three bins inmore »cluster redshift ($z\in [0.3; 0.35)$, $z\in [0.45; 0.5)$ and $z\in [0.6; 0.65)$. Using deep-field imaging data, we extrapolate galaxy populations beyond the limiting magnitude of DES Y3 and calculate the properties of cluster member galaxies via statistical background subtraction. We construct mock galaxy clusters as random draws from a distribution function, and render mock clusters and line-of-sight catalogues into synthetic images in the same format as actual survey observations. Synthetic galaxy clusters are generated from real observational data, and thus are independent from the assumptions inherent to cosmological simulations. The recipe can be straightforwardly modified to incorporate extra information, and correct for survey incompleteness. New realizations of synthetic clusters can be created at minimal cost, which will allow future analyses to generate the large number of images needed to characterize systematic uncertainties in cluster mass measurements.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 9, 2022