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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 (g 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 andmore »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 is 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,more »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 As part of the cosmology analysis using Type Ia Supernovae (SN Ia) in the Dark Energy Survey (DES), we present photometrically identified SN Ia samples using multiband light curves and host galaxy redshifts. For this analysis, we use the photometric classification framework SuperNNovatrained on realistic DES-like simulations. For reliable classification, we process the DES SN programme (DES-SN) data and introduce improvements to the classifier architecture, obtaining classification accuracies of more than 98 per cent on simulations. This is the first SN classification to make use of ensemble methods, resulting in more robust samples. Using photometry, host galaxy redshifts, and a classification probability requirement, we identify 1863 SNe Ia from which we select 1484 cosmology-grade SNe Ia spanning the redshift range of 0.07 < z < 1.14. We find good agreement between the light-curve properties of the photometrically selected sample and simulations. Additionally, we create similar SN Ia samples using two types of Bayesian Neural Network classifiers that provide uncertainties on the classification probabilities. We test the feasibility of using these uncertainties as indicators for out-of-distribution candidates and model confidence. Finally, we discuss the implications of photometric samples and classification methods for future surveys such as Vera C. Rubin Observatory Legacy Surveymore »of Space and Time.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 7, 2023
  4. 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 the 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. Bymore »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
  5. Abstract Cosmological analyses of samples of photometrically-identified type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) depend on understanding the effects of ‘contamination’ from core-collapse and peculiar SN Ia events. We employ a rigorous analysis using the photometric classifier SuperNNova on state-of-the-art simulations of SN samples to determine cosmological biases due to such ‘non-Ia’ contamination in the Dark Energy Survey (DES) 5-year SN sample. Depending on the non-Ia SN models used in the SuperNNova training and testing samples, contamination ranges from 0.8–3.5 per cent, with a classification efficiency of 97.7–99.5 per cent. Using the Bayesian Estimation Applied to Multiple Species (BEAMS) framework and its extension BBC (‘BEAMS with Bias Correction’), we produce a redshift-binned Hubble diagram marginalised over contamination and corrected for selection effects, and use it to constrain the dark energy equation-of-state, w. Assuming a flat universe with Gaussian ΩM prior of 0.311 ± 0.010, we show that biases on w are <0.008 when using SuperNNova, with systematic uncertainties associated with contamination around 10 per cent of the statistical uncertainty on w for the DES-SN sample. An alternative approach of discarding contaminants using outlier rejection techniques (e.g., Chauvenet’s criterion) in place of SuperNNova leads to biases on w that are larger but stillmore »modest (0.015–0.03). Finally, we measure biases due to contamination on w0 and wa (assuming a flat universe), and find these to be <0.009 in w0 and <0.108 in wa, 5 to 10 times smaller than the statistical uncertainties for the DES-SN sample.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 3, 2023
  6. 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 realistic 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 108more »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
  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  8. Abstract We present a search for outer solar system objects in the 6 yr of data from the Dark Energy Survey (DES). The DES covered a contiguous 5000 deg 2 of the southern sky with ≈80,000 3 deg 2 exposures in the grizY filters between 2013 and 2019. This search yielded 812 trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), one Centaur and one Oort cloud comet, 458 reported here for the first time. We present methodology that builds upon our previous search on the first 4 yr of data. All images were reprocessed with an optimized detection pipeline that leads to an average completeness gain of 0.47 mag per exposure, as well as improved transient catalog production and algorithms for linkage of detections into orbits. All objects were verified by visual inspection and by the “sub-threshold significance,” the signal-to-noise ratio in the stack of images in which its presence is indicated by the orbit, but no detection was reported. This yields a pure catalog complete to r ≈ 23.8 mag and distances 29 < d < 2500 au. The TNOs have minimum (median) of 7 (12) nights’ detections and arcs of 1.1 (4.2) yr, and will have grizY magnitudes available in a further publication.more »We present software for simulating our observational biases for comparisons of models to our detections. Initial inferences demonstrating the catalog’s statistical power are: the data are inconsistent with the CFEPS-L7 model for the classical Kuiper Belt; the 16 “extreme” TNOs ( a > 150 au, q > 30 au) are consistent with the null hypothesis of azimuthal isotropy; and nonresonant TNOs with q > 38 au, a > 50 au show a significant tendency to be sunward of major mean-motion resonances.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  9. ABSTRACT We present multiwavelength spectral and temporal variability analysis of PKS 0027-426 using optical griz observations from Dark Energy Survey between 2013 and 2018 and VEILS Optical Light curves of Extragalactic TransienT Events (VOILETTE) between 2018 and 2019 and near-infrared (NIR) JKs observations from Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy Extragalactic Infrared Legacy Survey (VEILS) between 2017 and 2019. Multiple methods of cross-correlation of each combination of light curve provides measurements of possible lags between optical–optical, optical–NIR, and NIR–NIR emission, for each observation season and for the entire observational period. Inter-band time lag measurements consistently suggest either simultaneous emission or delays between emission regions on time-scales smaller than the cadences of observations. The colour–magnitude relation between each combination of filters was also studied to determine the spectral behaviour of PKS 0027-426. Our results demonstrate complex colour behaviour that changes between bluer when brighter, stable when brighter, and redder when brighter trends over different time-scales and using different combinations of optical filters. Additional analysis of the optical spectra is performed to provide further understanding of this complex spectral behaviour.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 8, 2023
  10. Abstract We present the second public data release (DR2) from the DECam Local Volume Exploration survey (DELVE). DELVE DR2 combines new DECam observations with archival DECam data from the Dark Energy Survey, the DECam Legacy Survey, and other DECam community programs. DELVE DR2 consists of ∼160,000 exposures that cover >21,000 deg 2 of the high-Galactic-latitude (∣ b ∣ > 10°) sky in four broadband optical/near-infrared filters ( g , r , i , z ). DELVE DR2 provides point-source and automatic aperture photometry for ∼2.5 billion astronomical sources with a median 5 σ point-source depth of g = 24.3, r = 23.9, i = 23.5, and z = 22.8 mag. A region of ∼17,000 deg 2 has been imaged in all four filters, providing four-band photometric measurements for ∼618 million astronomical sources. DELVE DR2 covers more than 4 times the area of the previous DELVE data release and contains roughly 5 times as many astronomical objects. DELVE DR2 is publicly available via the NOIRLab Astro Data Lab science platform.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023