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  1. 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
  2. Abstract The cosmic web contains filamentary structure on a wide range of scales. On the largest scales, superclustering aligns multiple galaxy clusters along intercluster bridges, visible through their thermal Sunyaev–Zel’dovich signal in the cosmic microwave background. We demonstrate a new, flexible method to analyze the hot gas signal from multiscale extended structures. We use a Compton y -map from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) stacked on redMaPPer cluster positions from the optical Dark Energy Survey (DES). Cutout images from the y -map are oriented with large-scale structure information from DES galaxy data such that the superclustering signal is aligned before being overlaid. We find evidence of an extended quadrupole moment of the stacked y signal at the 3.5 σ level, demonstrating that the large-scale thermal energy surrounding galaxy clusters is anisotropically distributed. We compare our ACT × DES results with the Buzzard simulations, finding broad agreement. Using simulations, we highlight the promise of this novel technique for constraining the evolution of anisotropic, non-Gaussian structure using future combinations of microwave and optical surveys.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  4. ABSTRACT We present the calibration of the Dark Energy Survey Year 3 (DES Y3) weak lensing (WL) source galaxy redshift distributions n(z) from clustering measurements. In particular, we cross-correlate the WL source galaxies sample with redMaGiC galaxies (luminous red galaxies with secure photometric redshifts) and a spectroscopic sample from BOSS/eBOSS to estimate the redshift distribution of the DES sources sample. Two distinct methods for using the clustering statistics are described. The first uses the clustering information independently to estimate the mean redshift of the source galaxies within a redshift window, as done in the DES Y1 analysis. The second method establishes a likelihood of the clustering data as a function of n(z), which can be incorporated into schemes for generating samples of n(z) subject to combined clustering and photometric constraints. Both methods incorporate marginalization over various astrophysical systematics, including magnification and redshift-dependent galaxy-matter bias. We characterize the uncertainties of the methods in simulations; the first method recovers the mean z of tomographic bins to RMS (precision) of ∼0.014. Use of the second method is shown to vastly improve the accuracy of the shape of n(z) derived from photometric data. The two methods are then applied to the DES Y3 data.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 24, 2022
  5. Abstract We present morphological classifications of ∼27 million galaxies from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) Data Release 1 (DR1) using a supervised deep learning algorithm. The classification scheme separates: (a) early-type galaxies (ETGs) from late-types (LTGs), and (b) face-on galaxies from edge-on. Our Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are trained on a small subset of DES objects with previously known classifications. These typically have mr ≲ 17.7mag; we model fainter objects to mr < 21.5 mag by simulating what the brighter objects with well determined classifications would look like if they were at higher redshifts. The CNNs reach 97% accuracy to mr < 21.5 on their training sets, suggesting that they are able to recover features more accurately than the human eye. We then used the trained CNNs to classify the vast majority of the other DES images. The final catalog comprises five independent CNN predictions for each classification scheme, helping to determine if the CNN predictions are robust or not. We obtain secure classifications for ∼ 87% and 73% of the catalog for the ETG vs. LTG and edge-on vs. face-on models, respectively. Combining the two classifications (a) and (b) helps to increase the purity of the ETG sample andmore »to identify edge-on lenticular galaxies (as ETGs with high ellipticity). Where a comparison is possible, our classifications correlate very well with Sérsic index (n), ellipticity (ε) and spectral type, even for the fainter galaxies. This is the largest multi-band catalog of automated galaxy morphologies to date.« less
  6. Abstract We describe an updated calibration and diagnostic framework, Balrog , used to directly sample the selection and photometric biases of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) Year 3 (Y3) data set. We systematically inject onto the single-epoch images of a random 20% subset of the DES footprint an ensemble of nearly 30 million realistic galaxy models derived from DES Deep Field observations. These augmented images are analyzed in parallel with the original data to automatically inherit measurement systematics that are often too difficult to capture with generative models. The resulting object catalog is a Monte Carlo sampling of the DES transfer function and is used as a powerful diagnostic and calibration tool for a variety of DES Y3 science, particularly for the calibration of the photometric redshifts of distant “source” galaxies and magnification biases of nearer “lens” galaxies. The recovered Balrog injections are shown to closely match the photometric property distributions of the Y3 GOLD catalog, particularly in color, and capture the number density fluctuations from observing conditions of the real data within 1% for a typical galaxy sample. We find that Y3 colors are extremely well calibrated, typically within ∼1–8 mmag, but for a small subset of objects, wemore »detect significant magnitude biases correlated with large overestimates of the injected object size due to proximity effects and blending. We discuss approaches to extend the current methodology to capture more aspects of the transfer function and reach full coverage of the survey footprint for future analyses.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  7. 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 counterpart 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.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  8. ABSTRACT The Cold Spot is a puzzling large-scale feature in the Cosmic Microwave Background temperature maps and its origin has been subject to active debate. As an important foreground structure at low redshift, the Eridanus supervoid was recently detected, but it was subsequently determined that, assuming the standard ΛCDM model, only about 10–20 per cent of the observed temperature depression can be accounted for via its Integrated Sachs–Wolfe imprint. However, R ≳ 100 h−1Mpc supervoids elsewhere in the sky have shown ISW imprints AISW ≈ 5.2 ± 1.6 times stronger than expected from ΛCDM (AISW = 1), which warrants further inspection. Using the Year-3 redMaGiC catalogue of luminous red galaxies from the Dark Energy Survey, here we confirm the detection of the Eridanus supervoid as a significant underdensity in the Cold Spot’s direction at z < 0.2. We also show, with S/N ≳ 5 significance, that the Eridanus supervoid appears as the most prominent large-scale underdensity in the dark matter mass maps that we reconstructed from DES Year-3 gravitational lensing data. While we report no significant anomalies, an interesting aspect is that the amplitude of the lensing signal from the Eridanus supervoid at the Cold Spot centre is about 30 per cent lower thanmore »expected from similar peaks found in N-body simulations based on the standard ΛCDM model with parameters Ωm = 0.279 and σ8 = 0.82. Overall, our results confirm the causal relation between these individually rare structures in the cosmic web and in the CMB, motivating more detailed future surveys in the Cold Spot region.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 17, 2022