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  1. Abstract

    We report the most sensitive upper limits to date on the 21 cm epoch of reionization power spectrum using 94 nights of observing with Phase I of the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA). Using similar analysis techniques as in previously reported limits, we find at 95% confidence that Δ2(k= 0.34hMpc−1) ≤ 457 mK2atz= 7.9 and that Δ2(k= 0.36hMpc−1) ≤ 3496 mK2atz= 10.4, an improvement by a factor of 2.1 and 2.6, respectively. These limits are mostly consistent with thermal noise over a wide range ofkafter our data quality cuts, despite performing a relatively conservative analysis designed to minimize signal loss. Our results are validated with both statistical tests on the data and end-to-end pipeline simulations. We also report updated constraints on the astrophysics of reionization and the cosmic dawn. Using multiple independent modeling and inference techniques previously employed by HERA Collaboration, we find that the intergalactic medium must have been heated above the adiabatic cooling limit at least as early asz= 10.4, ruling out a broad set of so-called “cold reionization” scenarios. If this heating is due to high-mass X-ray binaries during the cosmic dawn, as is generally believed, our result’s 99% credible interval excludes the local relationshipmore »between soft X-ray luminosity and star formation and thus requires heating driven by evolved low-metallicity stars.

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  2. Abstract We report upper limits on the Epoch of Reionization 21 cm power spectrum at redshifts 7.9 and 10.4 with 18 nights of data (∼36 hr of integration) from Phase I of the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA). The Phase I data show evidence for systematics that can be largely suppressed with systematic models down to a dynamic range of ∼10 9 with respect to the peak foreground power. This yields a 95% confidence upper limit on the 21 cm power spectrum of Δ 21 2 ≤ ( 30.76 ) 2 mK 2 at k = 0.192 h Mpc −1 at z = 7.9, and also Δ 21 2 ≤ ( 95.74 ) 2 mK 2 at k = 0.256 h Mpc −1 at z = 10.4. At z = 7.9, these limits are the most sensitive to date by over an order of magnitude. While we find evidence for residual systematics at low line-of-sight Fourier k ∥ modes, at high k ∥ modes we find our data to be largely consistent with thermal noise, an indicator that the system could benefit from deeper integrations. The observed systematics could be due to radio frequency interference, cable subreflections, or residualmore »instrumental cross-coupling, and warrant further study. This analysis emphasizes algorithms that have minimal inherent signal loss, although we do perform a careful accounting in a companion paper of the small forms of loss or bias associated with the pipeline. Overall, these results are a promising first step in the development of a tuned, instrument-specific analysis pipeline for HERA, particularly as Phase II construction is completed en route to reaching the full sensitivity of the experiment.« less
  3. Abstract

    Recently, the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA) has produced the experiment’s first upper limits on the power spectrum of 21 cm fluctuations atz∼ 8 and 10. Here, we use several independent theoretical models to infer constraints on the intergalactic medium (IGM) and galaxies during the epoch of reionization from these limits. We find that the IGM must have been heated above the adiabatic-cooling threshold byz∼ 8, independent of uncertainties about IGM ionization and the radio background. Combining HERA limits with complementary observations constrains the spin temperature of thez∼ 8 neutral IGM to 27 KT¯S630 K (2.3 KT¯S640 K) at 68% (95%) confidence. They therefore also place a lower bound on X-ray heating, a previously unconstrained aspects of early galaxies. For example, if the cosmic microwave background dominates thez∼ 8 radio background, the new HERA limits imply that the first galaxies produced X-rays more efficiently than local ones. Thez∼ 10 limits require even earlier heating if dark-matter interactions cool the hydrogen gas. If an extra radio background is produced by galaxies, we rule out (at 95% confidence) the combination of high radio and low X-raymore »luminosities ofLr,ν/SFR > 4 × 1024W Hz−1M1yr andLX/SFR < 7.6 × 1039erg s−1M1yr. The new HERA upper limits neither support nor disfavor a cosmological interpretation of the recent Experiment to Detect the Global EOR Signature (EDGES) measurement. The framework described here provides a foundation for the interpretation of future HERA results.

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  4. ABSTRACT The key challenge in the observation of the redshifted 21-cm signal from cosmic reionization is its separation from the much brighter foreground emission. Such separation relies on the different spectral properties of the two components, although, in real life, the foreground intrinsic spectrum is often corrupted by the instrumental response, inducing systematic effects that can further jeopardize the measurement of the 21-cm signal. In this paper, we use Gaussian Process Regression to model both foreground emission and instrumental systematics in ∼2 h of data from the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array. We find that a simple co-variance model with three components matches the data well, giving a residual power spectrum with white noise properties. These consist of an ‘intrinsic’ and instrumentally corrupted component with a coherence scale of 20 and 2.4 MHz, respectively (dominating the line-of-sight power spectrum over scales k∥ ≤ 0.2 h cMpc−1) and a baseline-dependent periodic signal with a period of ∼1 MHz (dominating over k∥ ∼ 0.4–0.8 h cMpc−1), which should be distinguishable from the 21-cm Epoch of Reionization signal whose typical coherence scale is ∼0.8 MHz.