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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 themore »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. By 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 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
  3. ABSTRACT We perform a cross validation of the cluster catalogue selected by the red-sequence Matched-filter Probabilistic Percolation algorithm (redMaPPer) in Dark Energy Survey year 1 (DES-Y1) data by matching it with the Sunyaev–Zel’dovich effect (SZE) selected cluster catalogue from the South Pole Telescope SPT-SZ survey. Of the 1005 redMaPPer selected clusters with measured richness $\hat{\lambda }\gt 40$ in the joint footprint, 207 are confirmed by SPT-SZ. Using the mass information from the SZE signal, we calibrate the richness–mass relation using a Bayesian cluster population model. We find a mass trend λ ∝ MB consistent with a linear relation (B ∼ 1),more »no significant redshift evolution and an intrinsic scatter in richness of σλ = 0.22 ± 0.06. By considering two error models, we explore the impact of projection effects on the richness–mass modelling, confirming that such effects are not detectable at the current level of systematic uncertainties. At low richness SPT-SZ confirms fewer redMaPPer clusters than expected. We interpret this richness dependent deficit in confirmed systems as due to the increased presence at low richness of low-mass objects not correctly accounted for by our richness-mass scatter model, which we call contaminants. At a richness $\hat{\lambda }=40$, this population makes up ${\gt}12{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ (97.5 percentile) of the total population. Extrapolating this to a measured richness $\hat{\lambda }=20$ yields ${\gt}22{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ (97.5 percentile). With these contamination fractions, the predicted redMaPPer number counts in different plausible cosmologies are compatible with the measured abundance. The presence of such a population is also a plausible explanation for the different mass trends (B ∼ 0.75) obtained from mass calibration using purely optically selected clusters. The mean mass from stacked weak lensing (WL) measurements suggests that these low-mass contaminants are galaxy groups with masses ∼3–5 × 1013 M⊙ which are beyond the sensitivity of current SZE and X-ray surveys but a natural target for SPT-3G and eROSITA.« less
  4. ABSTRACT Quantifying tensions – inconsistencies amongst measurements of cosmological parameters by different experiments – has emerged as a crucial part of modern cosmological data analysis. Statistically significant tensions between two experiments or cosmological probes may indicate new physics extending beyond the standard cosmological model and need to be promptly identified. We apply several tension estimators proposed in the literature to the dark energy survey (DES) large-scale structure measurement and Planck cosmic microwave background data. We first evaluate the responsiveness of these metrics to an input tension artificially introduced between the two, using synthetic DES data. We then apply the metricsmore »to the comparison of Planck and actual DES Year 1 data. We find that the parameter differences, Eigentension, and Suspiciousness metrics all yield similar results on both simulated and real data, while the Bayes ratio is inconsistent with the rest due to its dependence on the prior volume. Using these metrics, we calculate the tension between DES Year 1 3 × 2pt and Planck, finding the surveys to be in ∼2.3σ tension under the ΛCDM paradigm. This suite of metrics provides a toolset for robustly testing tensions in the DES Year 3 data and beyond.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 6, 2022
  5. ABSTRACT Determining the distribution of redshifts of galaxies observed by wide-field photometric experiments like the Dark Energy Survey (DES) is an essential component to mapping the matter density field with gravitational lensing. In this work we describe the methods used to assign individual weak lensing source galaxies from the DES Year 3 Weak Lensing Source Catalogue to four tomographic bins and to estimate the redshift distributions in these bins. As the first application of these methods to data, we validate that the assumptions made apply to the DES Y3 weak lensing source galaxies and develop a full treatment of systematicmore »uncertainties. Our method consists of combining information from three independent likelihood functions: self-organizing map p(z) (sompz), a method for constraining redshifts from galaxy photometry; clustering redshifts (WZ), constraints on redshifts from cross-correlations of galaxy density functions; and shear ratios (SRs), which provide constraints on redshifts from the ratios of the galaxy-shear correlation functions at small scales. Finally, we describe how these independent probes are combined to yield an ensemble of redshift distributions encapsulating our full uncertainty. We calibrate redshifts with combined effective uncertainties of σ〈z〉 ∼ 0.01 on the mean redshift in each tomographic bin.« less
  6. ABSTRACT We present measurements of the radial profiles of the mass and galaxy number density around Sunyaev–Zel’dovich (SZ)-selected clusters using both weak lensing and galaxy counts. The clusters are selected from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope Data Release 5 and the galaxies from the Dark Energy Survey Year 3 data set. With signal-to-noise ratio of 62 (45) for galaxy (weak lensing) profiles over scales of about 0.2–20 h−1 Mpc, these are the highest precision measurements for SZ-selected clusters to date. Because SZ selection closely approximates mass selection, these measurements enable several tests of theoretical models of the mass and light distribution aroundmore »clusters. Our main findings are: (1) The splashback feature is detected at a consistent location in both the mass and galaxy profiles and its location is consistent with predictions of cold dark matter N-body simulations. (2) The full mass profile is also consistent with the simulations. (3) The shapes of the galaxy and lensing profiles are remarkably similar for our sample over the entire range of scales, from well inside the cluster halo to the quasilinear regime. We measure the dependence of the profile shapes on the galaxy sample, redshift, and cluster mass. We extend the Diemer & Kravtsov model for the cluster profiles to the linear regime using perturbation theory and show that it provides a good match to the measured profiles. We also compare the measured profiles to predictions of the standard halo model and simulations that include hydrodynamics. Applications of these results to cluster mass estimation, cosmology, and astrophysics are discussed.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 20, 2022
  7. ABSTRACT We introduce a new software package for modelling the point spread function (PSF) of astronomical images, called piff (PSFs In the Full FOV), which we apply to the first three years (known as Y3) of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) data. We describe the relevant details about the algorithms used by piff to model the PSF, including how the PSF model varies across the field of view (FOV). Diagnostic results show that the systematic errors from the PSF modelling are very small over the range of scales that are important for the DES Y3 weak lensing analysis. In particular,more »the systematic errors from the PSF modelling are significantly smaller than the corresponding results from the DES year one (Y1) analysis. We also briefly describe some planned improvements to piff that we expect to further reduce the modelling errors in future analyses.« less
  8. ABSTRACT We present reconstructed convergence maps, mass maps, from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) third year (Y3) weak gravitational lensing data set. The mass maps are weighted projections of the density field (primarily dark matter) in the foreground of the observed galaxies. We use four reconstruction methods, each is a maximum a posteriori estimate with a different model for the prior probability of the map: Kaiser–Squires, null B-mode prior, Gaussian prior, and a sparsity prior. All methods are implemented on the celestial sphere to accommodate the large sky coverage of the DES Y3 data. We compare the methods using realisticmore »ΛCDM simulations with mock data that are closely matched to the DES Y3 data. We quantify the performance of the methods at the map level and then apply the reconstruction methods to the DES Y3 data, performing tests for systematic error effects. The maps are compared with optical foreground cosmic-web structures and are used to evaluate the lensing signal from cosmic-void profiles. The recovered dark matter map covers the largest sky fraction of any galaxy weak lensing map to date.« less