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    Gravitational time delays provide a powerful one-step measurement of H0, independent of all other probes. One key ingredient in time-delay cosmography are high-accuracy lens models. Those are currently expensive to obtain, both, in terms of computing and investigator time (105–106 CPU hours and ∼0.5–1 yr, respectively). Major improvements in modelling speed are therefore necessary to exploit the large number of lenses that are forecast to be discovered over the current decade. In order to bypass this roadblock, we develop an automated modelling pipeline and apply it to a sample of 31 lens systems, observed by the Hubble Space Telescope in multiple bands. Our automated pipeline can derive models for 30/31 lenses with few hours of human time and <100 CPU hours of computing time for a typical system. For each lens, we provide measurements of key parameters and predictions of magnification as well as time delays for the multiple images. We characterize the cosmography-readiness of our models using the stability of differences in the Fermat potential (proportional to time delay) with respect to modelling choices. We find that for 10/30 lenses, our models are cosmography or nearly cosmography grade (<3 per cent and 3–5 per cent variations). For 6/30 lenses, the models are close to cosmography grade (5–10 per cent). These results utilize informative priors and will need to be confirmed by further analysis. However, they are also likely to improve by extending the pipeline modelling sequence and options. In conclusion, we show that uniform cosmography grade modelling of large strong lens samples is within reach.

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  2. ABSTRACT We present a sample of 706, z < 1.5 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) selected from optical photometric variability in three of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) deep fields (E2, C3, and X3) over an area of 4.64 deg2. We construct light curves using difference imaging aperture photometry for resolved sources and non-difference imaging PSF photometry for unresolved sources, respectively, and characterize the variability significance. Our DES light curves have a mean cadence of 7 d, a 6-yr baseline, and a single-epoch imaging depth of up to g ∼ 24.5. Using spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting, we find 26 out of total 706 variable galaxies are consistent with dwarf galaxies with a reliable stellar mass estimate ($M_{\ast }\lt 10^{9.5}\, {\rm M}_\odot$; median photometric redshift of 0.9). We were able to constrain rapid characteristic variability time-scales (∼ weeks) using the DES light curves in 15 dwarf AGN candidates (a subset of our variable AGN candidates) at a median photometric redshift of 0.4. This rapid variability is consistent with their low black hole (BH) masses. We confirm the low-mass AGN nature of one source with a high S/N optical spectrum. We publish our catalogue, optical light curves, and supplementary data, such as X-ray properties and optical spectra, when available. We measure a variable AGN fraction versus stellar mass and compare to results from a forward model. This work demonstrates the feasibility of optical variability to identify AGNs with lower BH masses in deep fields, which may be more ‘pristine’ analogues of supermassive BH seeds. 
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  3. Abstract

    Gravitationally lensed supernovae (LSNe) are important probes of cosmic expansion, but they remain rare and difficult to find. Current cosmic surveys likely contain 5–10 LSNe in total while next-generation experiments are expected to contain several hundred to a few thousand of these systems. We search for these systems in observed Dark Energy Survey (DES) five year SN fields—10 3 sq. deg. regions of sky imaged in thegrizbands approximately every six nights over five years. To perform the search, we utilize the DeepZipper approach: a multi-branch deep learning architecture trained on image-level simulations of LSNe that simultaneously learns spatial and temporal relationships from time series of images. We find that our method obtains an LSN recall of 61.13% and a false-positive rate of 0.02% on the DES SN field data. DeepZipper selected 2245 candidates from a magnitude-limited (mi< 22.5) catalog of 3,459,186 systems. We employ human visual inspection to review systems selected by the network and find three candidate LSNe in the DES SN fields.

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  4. null (Ed.)

    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 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.

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  6. ABSTRACT We perform a cosmic shear analysis in harmonic space using the first year of data collected by the Dark Energy Survey (DES-Y1). We measure the cosmic weak lensing shear power spectra using the metacalibration catalogue and perform a likelihood analysis within the framework of CosmoSIS. We set scale cuts based on baryonic effects contamination and model redshift and shear calibration uncertainties as well as intrinsic alignments. We adopt as fiducial covariance matrix an analytical computation accounting for the mask geometry in the Gaussian term, including non-Gaussian contributions. A suite of 1200 lognormal simulations is used to validate the harmonic space pipeline and the covariance matrix. We perform a series of stress tests to gauge the robustness of the harmonic space analysis. Finally, we use the DES-Y1 pipeline in configuration space to perform a similar likelihood analysis and compare both results, demonstrating their compatibility in estimating the cosmological parameters S8, σ8, and Ωm. We use the DES-Y1 metacalibration shape catalogue, with photometric redshifts estimates in the range of 0.2−1.3, divided in four tomographic bins finding σ8(Ωm/0.3)0.5 = 0.766 ± 0.033 at 68 per cent CL. The methods implemented and validated in this paper will allow us to perform a consistent harmonic space analysis in the upcoming DES data. 
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  7. Abstract

    Current and future cosmological analyses with Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) face three critical challenges: (i) measuring the redshifts from the SNe or their host galaxies; (ii) classifying the SNe without spectra; and (iii) accounting for correlations between the properties of SNe Ia and their host galaxies. We present here a novel approach that addresses each of these challenges. In the context of the Dark Energy Survey (DES), we analyze an SN Ia sample with host galaxies in the redMaGiC galaxy catalog, a selection of luminous red galaxies. redMaGiC photo-zestimates are expected to be accurate toσΔz/(1+z)∼ 0.02. The DES-5YR photometrically classified SN Ia sample contains approximately 1600 SNe, and 125 of these SNe are in redMaGiC galaxies. We demonstrate that redMaGiC galaxies almost exclusively host SNe Ia, reducing concerns relating to classification uncertainties. With this subsample, we find similar Hubble scatter (to within ∼0.01 mag) using photometric redshifts in place of spectroscopic redshifts. With detailed simulations, we show that the bias due to using redMaGiC photo-zs on the measurement of the dark energy equation of statewis up to Δw∼ 0.01–0.02. With real data, we measure a difference inwwhen using the redMaGiC photo-zs versus the spec-zs of Δw= 0.005. Finally, we discuss how SNe in redMaGiC galaxies appear to comprise a more standardizable population, due to a weaker relation between color and luminosity (β) compared to the DES-3YR population by ∼5σ. These results establish the feasibility of performing redMaGiC SN cosmology with photometric survey data in the absence of spectroscopic data.

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  8. Abstract We present the results of an analysis of Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) observations of the full 2500 deg 2 South Pole Telescope (SPT)-Sunyaev–Zel’dovich cluster sample. We describe a process for identifying active galactic nuclei (AGN) in brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) based on WISE mid-IR color and redshift. Applying this technique to the BCGs of the SPT-SZ sample, we calculate the AGN-hosting BCG fraction, which is defined as the fraction of BCGs hosting bright central AGNs over all possible BCGs. Assuming an evolving single-burst stellar population model, we find statistically significant evidence (>99.9%) for a mid-IR excess at high redshift compared to low redshift, suggesting that the fraction of AGN-hosting BCGs increases with redshift over the range of 0 < z < 1.3. The best-fit redshift trend of the AGN-hosting BCG fraction has the form (1 + z ) 4.1±1.0 . These results are consistent with previous studies in galaxy clusters as well as as in field galaxies. One way to explain this result is that member galaxies at high redshift tend to have more cold gas. While BCGs in nearby galaxy clusters grow mostly by dry mergers with cluster members, leading to no increase in AGN activity, BCGs at high redshift could primarily merge with gas-rich satellites, providing fuel for feeding AGNs. If this observed increase in AGN activity is linked to gas-rich mergers rather than ICM cooling, we would expect to see an increase in scatter in the P cav versus L cool relation at z > 1. Last, this work confirms that the runaway cooling phase, as predicted by the classical cooling-flow model, in the Phoenix cluster is extremely rare and most BCGs have low (relative to Eddington) black hole accretion rates. 
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