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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 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 classificationmore »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 Survey of Space and Time.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 7, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  4. 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, rmore »= 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.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023
  5. ABSTRACT We constrain the matter density Ωm and the amplitude of density fluctuations σ8 within the ΛCDM cosmological model with shear peak statistics and angular convergence power spectra using mass maps constructed from the first three years of data of the Dark Energy Survey (DES Y3). We use tomographic shear peak statistics, including cross-peaks: peak counts calculated on maps created by taking a harmonic space product of the convergence of two tomographic redshift bins. Our analysis follows a forward-modelling scheme to create a likelihood of these statistics using N-body simulations, using a Gaussian process emulator. We take into account themore »uncertainty from the remaining, largely unconstrained ΛCDM parameters (Ωb, ns, and h). We include the following lensing systematics: multiplicative shear bias, photometric redshift uncertainty, and galaxy intrinsic alignment. Stringent scale cuts are applied to avoid biases from unmodelled baryonic physics. We find that the additional non-Gaussian information leads to a tightening of the constraints on the structure growth parameter yielding $S_8~\equiv ~\sigma _8\sqrt{\Omega _{\mathrm{m}}/0.3}~=~0.797_{-0.013}^{+0.015}$ (68 per cent confidence limits), with a precision of 1.8 per cent, an improvement of 38 per cent compared to the angular power spectra only case. The results obtained with the angular power spectra and peak counts are found to be in agreement with each other and no significant difference in S8 is recorded. We find a mild tension of $1.5 \, \sigma$ between our study and the results from Planck 2018, with our analysis yielding a lower S8. Furthermore, we observe that the combination of angular power spectra and tomographic peak counts breaks the degeneracy between galaxy intrinsic alignment AIA and S8, improving cosmological constraints. We run a suite of tests concluding that our results are robust and consistent with the results from other studies using DES Y3 data.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 11, 2023
  6. Abstract On 2019 August 14 at 21:10:39 UTC, the LIGO/Virgo Collaboration (LVC) detected a possible neutron star–black hole merger (NSBH), the first ever identified. An extensive search for an optical counterpart of this event, designated GW190814, was undertaken using the Dark Energy Camera on the 4 m Victor M. Blanco Telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. Target of Opportunity interrupts were issued on eight separate nights to observe 11 candidates using the 4.1 m Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope’s Goodman High Throughput Spectrograph in order to assess whether any of these transients was likely to be an optical counterpartmore »of the possible NSBH merger. Here, we describe the process of observing with SOAR, the analysis of our spectra, our spectroscopic typing methodology, and our resultant conclusion that none of the candidates corresponded to the gravitational wave merger event but were all instead other transients. Finally, we describe the lessons learned from this effort. Application of these lessons will be critical for a successful community spectroscopic follow-up program for LVC observing run 4 (O4) and beyond.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023