skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Gerdes, D W"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    We address the problem of optimally identifying all kilonovae detected via gravitational-wave emission in the upcoming LIGO/Virgo/KAGRA observing run, O4, which is expected to be sensitive to a factor of ∼7 more binary neutron star (BNS) alerts than previously. Electromagnetic follow-up of all but the brightest of these new events will require >1 m telescopes, for which limited time is available. We present an optimized observing strategy for the DECam during O4. We base our study on simulations of gravitational-wave events expected for O4 and wide-prior kilonova simulations. We derive the detectabilities of events for realistic observing conditions. We optimize our strategy for confirming a kilonova while minimizing telescope time. For a wide range of kilonova parameters, corresponding to a fainter kilonova compared to GW170817/AT 2017gfo, we find that, with this optimal strategy, the discovery probability for electromagnetic counterparts with the DECam is ∼80% at the nominal BNS gravitational-wave detection limit for O4 (190 Mpc), which corresponds to an ∼30% improvement compared to the strategy adopted during the previous observing run. For more distant events (∼330 Mpc), we reach an ∼60% probability of detection, a factor of ∼2 increase. For a brighter kilonova model dominated by the blue component that reproduces the observations of GW170817/AT 2017gfo, we find that we can reach ∼90% probability of detection out to 330 Mpc, representing an increase of ∼20%, while also reducing the total telescope time required to follow up events by ∼20%.

    more » « less

    Clusters of galaxies trace the most non-linear peaks in the cosmic density field. The weak gravitational lensing of background galaxies by clusters can allow us to infer their masses. However, galaxies associated with the local environment of the cluster can also be intrinsically aligned due to the local tidal gradient, contaminating any cosmology derived from the lensing signal. We measure this intrinsic alignment in Dark Energy Survey (DES) Year 1 redMaPPer clusters. We find evidence of a non-zero mean radial alignment of galaxies within clusters between redshifts 0.1–0.7. We find a significant systematic in the measured ellipticities of cluster satellite galaxies that we attribute to the central galaxy flux and other intracluster light. We attempt to correct this signal, and fit a simple model for intrinsic alignment amplitude (AIA) to the measurement, finding AIA = 0.15 ± 0.04, when excluding data near the edge of the cluster. We find a significantly stronger alignment of the central galaxy with the cluster dark matter halo at low redshift and with higher richness and central galaxy absolute magnitude (proxies for cluster mass). This is an important demonstration of the ability of large photometric data sets like DES to provide direct constraints on the intrinsic alignment of galaxies within clusters. These measurements can inform improvements to small-scale modelling and simulation of the intrinsic alignment of galaxies to help improve the separation of the intrinsic alignment signal in weak lensing studies.

    more » « less

    We present a sample of 19 583 ultracool dwarf candidates brighter than z ≤23 selected from the Dark Energy Survey DR2 coadd data matched to VHS DR6, VIKING DR5, and AllWISE covering ∼ 480 deg2. The ultracool candidates were first pre-selected based on their (i–z), (z–Y), and (Y–J) colours. They were further classified using a method that compares their optical, near-infrared, and mid-infrared colours against templates of M, L, and T dwarfs. 14 099 objects are presented as new L and T candidates and the remaining objects are from the literature, including 5342 candidates from our previous work. Using this new and deeper sample of ultracool dwarf candidates we also present: 20 new candidate members to nearby young moving groups and associations, variable candidate sources and four new wide binary systems composed of two ultracool dwarfs. Finally, we also show the spectra of 12 new ultracool dwarfs discovered by our group and presented here for the first time. These spectroscopically confirmed objects are a sanity check of our selection of ultracool dwarfs and photometric classification method.

    more » « less

    We present an alternative calibration of the MagLim lens sample redshift distributions from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) first 3 yr of data (Y3). The new calibration is based on a combination of a self-organizing-map-based scheme and clustering redshifts to estimate redshift distributions and inherent uncertainties, which is expected to be more accurate than the original DES Y3 redshift calibration of the lens sample. We describe in detail the methodology, and validate it on simulations and discuss the main effects dominating our error budget. The new calibration is in fair agreement with the fiducial DES Y3 n(z) calibration, with only mild differences (<3σ) in the means and widths of the distributions. We study the impact of this new calibration on cosmological constraints, analysing DES Y3 galaxy clustering and galaxy–galaxy lensing measurements, assuming a Lambda cold dark matter cosmology. We obtain Ωm = 0.30 ± 0.04, σ8 = 0.81 ± 0.07, and S8 = 0.81 ± 0.04, which implies a ∼0.4σ shift in the Ω − S8 plane compared to the fiducial DES Y3 results, highlighting the importance of the redshift calibration of the lens sample in multiprobe cosmological analyses.

    more » « less

    We cross-match and compare characteristics of galaxy clusters identified in observations from two sky surveys using two completely different techniques. One sample is optically selected from the analysis of 3 years of Dark Energy Survey observations using the redMaPPer cluster detection algorithm. The second is X-ray selected from XMM observations analysed by the XMM Cluster Survey. The samples comprise a total area of 57.4 deg2, bounded by the area of four contiguous XMM survey regions that overlap the DES footprint. We find that the X-ray-selected sample is fully matched with entries in the redMaPPer catalogue, above λ > 20 and within 0.1 <$z$ <0.9. Conversely, only 38 per cent of the redMaPPer catalogue is matched to an X-ray extended source. Next, using 120 optically clusters and 184 X-ray-selected clusters, we investigate the form of the X-ray luminosity–temperature (LX –TX ), luminosity–richness (LX –λ), and temperature–richness (TX –λ) scaling relations. We find that the fitted forms of the LX –TX relations are consistent between the two selection methods and also with other studies in the literature. However, we find tentative evidence for a steepening of the slope of the relation for low richness systems in the X-ray-selected sample. When considering the scaling of richness with X-ray properties, we again find consistency in the relations (i.e. LX –λ and TX –λ) between the optical and X-ray-selected samples. This is contrary to previous similar works that find a significant increase in the scatter of the luminosity scaling relation for X-ray-selected samples compared to optically selected samples.

    more » « less
  6. Abstract

    We combine photometry of Eris from a 6 month campaign on the Palomar 60 inch telescope in 2015, a 1 month Hubble Space Telescope WFC3 campaign in 2018, and Dark Energy Survey data spanning 2013–2018 to determine a light curve of definitive period 15.771 ± 0.008 days (1σformal uncertainties), with nearly sinusoidal shape and peak-to-peak flux variation of 3%. This is consistent at part-per-thousand precision with theP= 15.785 90 ± 0.00005 day sidereal period of Dysnomia’s orbit around Eris, strengthening the recent detection of synchronous rotation of Eris by Szakáts et al. with independent data. Photometry from Gaia are consistent with the same light curve. We detect a slope of 0.05 ± 0.01 mag per degree of Eris’s brightness with respect to illumination phase averaged acrossg,V, andrbands, intermediate between Pluto’s and Charon’s values. Variations of 0.3 mag are detected in Dysnomia’s brightness, plausibly consistent with a double-peaked light curve at the synchronous period. The synchronous rotation of Eris is consistent with simple tidal models initiated with a giant-impact origin of the binary, but is difficult to reconcile with gravitational capture of Dysnomia by Eris. The high albedo contrast between Eris and Dysnomia remains unexplained in the giant-impact scenario.

    more » « less

    The correlation between the broad line region radius and continuum luminosity (R–L relation) of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) is critical for single-epoch mass estimates of supermassive black holes (SMBHs). At z ∼ 1–2, where AGN activity peaks, the R–L relation is constrained by the reverberation mapping (RM) lags of the Mg ii line. We present 25 Mg ii lags from the Australian Dark Energy Survey RM project based on 6 yr of monitoring. We define quantitative criteria to select good lag measurements and verify their reliability with simulations based on both the damped random walk stochastic model and the rescaled, resampled versions of the observed light curves of local, well-measured AGN. Our sample significantly increases the number of Mg ii lags and extends the R–L relation to higher redshifts and luminosities. The relative iron line strength $\mathcal {R}_{\rm Fe}$ has little impact on the R–L relation. The best-fitting Mg iiR–L relation has a slope α = 0.39 ± 0.08 with an intrinsic scatter $\sigma _{\rm rl} = 0.15^{+0.03}_{-0.02}$ . The slope is consistent with previous measurements and shallower than the H β R–L relation. The intrinsic scatter of the new R–L relation is substantially smaller than previous studies and comparable to the intrinsic scatter of the H β R–L relation. Our new R–L relation will enable more precise single-epoch mass estimates and SMBH demographic studies at cosmic noon.

    more » « less

    We present a method for mapping variations between probability distribution functions and apply this method within the context of measuring galaxy redshift distributions from imaging survey data. This method, which we name PITPZ for the probability integral transformations it relies on, uses a difference in curves between distribution functions in an ensemble as a transformation to apply to another distribution function, thus transferring the variation in the ensemble to the latter distribution function. This procedure is broadly applicable to the problem of uncertainty propagation. In the context of redshift distributions, for example, the uncertainty contribution due to certain effects can be studied effectively only in simulations, thus necessitating a transfer of variation measured in simulations to the redshift distributions measured from data. We illustrate the use of PITPZ by using the method to propagate photometric calibration uncertainty to redshift distributions of the Dark Energy Survey Year 3 weak lensing source galaxies. For this test case, we find that PITPZ yields a lensing amplitude uncertainty estimate due to photometric calibration error within 1 per cent of the truth, compared to as much as a 30 per cent underestimate when using traditional methods.

    more » « less

    We characterize the properties and evolution of bright central galaxies (BCGs) and the surrounding intracluster light (ICL) in galaxy clusters identified in the Dark Energy Survey and Atacama Cosmology Telescope Survey (DES-ACT) overlapping regions, covering the redshift range 0.20 < z < 0.80. Over this redshift range, we measure no change in the ICL’s stellar content (between 50 and 300 kpc) in clusters with log10(M200m,SZ/M⊙) >14.4. We also measure the stellar mass–halo mass (SMHM) relation for the BCG+ICL system and find that the slope, β, which characterizes the dependence of M200m,SZ on the BCG+ICL stellar mass, increases with radius. The outskirts are more strongly correlated with the halo than the core, which supports that the BCG+ICL system follows a two-phase growth, where recent growth (z < 2) occurs beyond the BCG’s core. Additionally, we compare our observed SMHM relation results to the IllustrisTNG300-1 cosmological hydrodynamic simulations and find moderate qualitative agreement in the amount of diffuse light. However, the SMHM relation’s slope is steeper in TNG300-1 and the intrinsic scatter is lower, likely from the absence of projection effects in TNG300-1. Additionally, we find that the ICL exhibits a colour gradient such that the outskirts are bluer than the core. Moreover, for the lower halo mass clusters (log10(M200m,SZ/M⊙) < 14.59), we detect a modest change in the colour gradient’s slope with lookback time, which combined with the absence of stellar mass growth may suggest that lower mass clusters have been involved in growth via tidal stripping more recently than their higher mass counterparts.

    more » « less
  10. Abstract

    Wavelength-dependent atmospheric effects impact photometric supernova flux measurements for ground-based observations. We present corrections on supernova flux measurements from the Dark Energy Survey Supernova Program’s 5YR sample (DES-SN5YR) for differential chromatic refraction (DCR) and wavelength-dependent seeing, and we show their impact on the cosmological parameterswand Ωm. We usegicolors of Type Ia supernovae to quantify astrometric offsets caused by DCR and simulate point-spread functions (PSFs) using the GalSIM package to predict the shapes of the PSFs with DCR and wavelength-dependent seeing. We calculate the magnitude corrections and apply them to the magnitudes computed by the DES-SN5YR photometric pipeline. We find that for the DES-SN5YR analysis, not accounting for the astrometric offsets and changes in the PSF shape cause an average bias of +0.2 mmag and −0.3 mmag, respectively, with standard deviations of 0.7 mmag and 2.7 mmag across all DES observing bands (griz) throughout all redshifts. When the DCR and seeing effects are not accounted for, we find thatwand Ωmare lower by less than 0.004 ± 0.02 and 0.001 ± 0.01, respectively, with 0.02 and 0.01 being the 1σstatistical uncertainties. Although we find that these biases do not limit the constraints of the DES-SN5YR sample, future surveys with much higher statistics, lower systematics, and especially those that observe in theuband will require these corrections as wavelength-dependent atmospheric effects are larger at shorter wavelengths. We also discuss limitations of our method and how they can be better accounted for in future surveys.

    more » « less