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  1. Abstract

    A reliable estimate of the redshift distributionn(z) is crucial for using weak gravitational lensing and large-scale structures of galaxy catalogs to study cosmology. Spectroscopic redshifts for the dim and numerous galaxies of next-generation weak-lensing surveys are expected to be unavailable, making photometric redshift (photo-z) probability density functions (PDFs) the next best alternative for comprehensively encapsulating the nontrivial systematics affecting photo-zpoint estimation. The established stacked estimator ofn(z) avoids reducing photo-zPDFs to point estimates but yields a systematically biased estimate ofn(z) that worsens with a decreasing signal-to-noise ratio, the very regime where photo-zPDFs are most necessary. We introduce Cosmological Hierarchical Inference with Probabilistic Photometric Redshifts (CHIPPR), a statistically rigorous probabilistic graphical model of redshift-dependent photometry that correctly propagates the redshift uncertainty information beyond the best-fit estimator ofn(z) produced by traditional procedures and is provably the only self-consistent way to recovern(z) from photo-zPDFs. We present thechipprprototype code, noting that the mathematically justifiable approach incurs computational cost. TheCHIPPRapproach is applicable to any one-point statistic of any random variable, provided the prior probability density used to produce the posteriors is explicitly known; if the prior is implicit, as may be the case for popular photo-ztechniques, then the resulting posterior PDFs cannot be used formore »scientific inference. We therefore recommend that the photo-zcommunity focus on developing methodologies that enable the recovery of photo-zlikelihoods with support over all redshifts, either directly or via a known prior probability density.

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  2. Abstract

    Signatures of vertical disequilibrium have been observed across the Milky Way’s (MW’s) disk. These signatures manifest locally as unmixed phase spirals inzvzspace (“snails-in-phase”), and globally as nonzero meanzandvz, wrapping around the disk into physical spirals in thexyplane (“snails-in-space”). We explore the connection between these local and global spirals through the example of a satellite perturbing a test-particle MW-like disk. We anticipate our results to broadly apply to any vertical perturbation. Using azvzasymmetry metric, we demonstrate that in test-particle simulations: (a) multiple local phase-spiral morphologies appear when stars are binned by azimuthal actionJϕ, excited by a single event (in our case, a satellite disk crossing); (b) these distinct phase spirals are traced back to distinct disk locations; and (c) they are excited at distinct times. Thus, local phase spirals offer a global view of the MW’s perturbation history from multiple perspectives. Using a toy model for a Sagittarius (Sgr)–like satellite crossing the disk, we show that the full interaction takes place on timescales comparable to orbital periods of disk stars withinR≲ 10 kpc. Hence such perturbations have widespread influence, which peaks in distinct regions of the disk at different times. This leads us to examine the ongoing MW–Sgr interaction. Whilemore »Sgr has not yet crossed the disk (currently,zSgr≈ −6 kpc,vz,Sgr≈ 210 km s−1), we demonstrate that the peak of the impact has already passed. Sgr’s pull over the past 150 Myr creates a globalvzsignature with amplitude ∝MSgr, which might be detectable in future spectroscopic surveys.

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  3. Abstract Gaia DR2 has provided an unprecedented wealth of information about the positions and motions of stars in our Galaxy, and has highlighted the degree of disequilibria in the disc. As we collect data over a wider area of the disc it becomes increasingly appealing to start analysing stellar actions and angles, which specifically label orbit space, instead of their current phase space location. Conceptually, while $\bar{x}$ and $\bar{v}$ tell us about the potential and local interactions, grouping in action puts together stars that have similar frequencies and hence similar responses to dynamical effects occurring over several orbits. Grouping in actions and angles refines this further to isolate stars which are travelling together through space and hence have shared histories. Mixing these coordinate systems can confuse the interpretation. For example, it has been suggested that by moving stars to their guiding radius, the Milky Way spiral structure is visible as ridge-like overdensities in the Gaia data (Khoperskov et al. 2020). However, in this work, we show that these features are in fact the known kinematic moving groups, both in the Lz − φ and the vR − vφ planes. Using simulations we show how this distinction will become even more importantmore »as we move to a global view of the Milky Way. As an example, we show that the radial velocity wave seen in the Galactic disc in Gaia and APOGEE should become stronger in the action-angle frame, and that it can be reproduced by transient spiral structure.« less
  4. Abstract

    Measured spectral shifts due to intrinsic stellar variability (e.g., pulsations, granulation) and activity (e.g., spots, plages) are the largest source of error for extreme-precision radial-velocity (EPRV) exoplanet detection. Several methods are designed to disentangle stellar signals from true center-of-mass shifts due to planets. The Extreme-precision Spectrograph (EXPRES) Stellar Signals Project (ESSP) presents a self-consistent comparison of 22 different methods tested on the same extreme-precision spectroscopic data from EXPRES. Methods derived new activity indicators, constructed models for mapping an indicator to the needed radial-velocity (RV) correction, or separated out shape- and shift-driven RV components. Since no ground truth is known when using real data, relative method performance is assessed using the total and nightly scatter of returned RVs and agreement between the results of different methods. Nearly all submitted methods return a lower RV rms than classic linear decorrelation, but no method is yet consistently reducing the RV rms to sub-meter-per-second levels. There is a concerning lack of agreement between the RVs returned by different methods. These results suggest that continued progress in this field necessitates increased interpretability of methods, high-cadence data to capture stellar signals at all timescales, and continued tests like the ESSP using consistent data sets withmore »more advanced metrics for method performance. Future comparisons should make use of various well-characterized data sets—such as solar data or data with known injected planetary and/or stellar signals—to better understand method performance and whether planetary signals are preserved.

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