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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 Cosmological analyses of samples of photometrically-identified type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) depend on understanding the effects of ‘contamination’ from core-collapse and peculiar SN Ia events. We employ a rigorous analysis using the photometric classifier SuperNNova on state-of-the-art simulations of SN samples to determine cosmological biases due to such ‘non-Ia’ contamination in the Dark Energy Survey (DES) 5-year SN sample. Depending on the non-Ia SN models used in the SuperNNova training and testing samples, contamination ranges from 0.8–3.5 per cent, with a classification efficiency of 97.7–99.5 per cent. Using the Bayesian Estimation Applied to Multiple Species (BEAMS) framework and its extension BBC (‘BEAMS with Bias Correction’), we produce a redshift-binned Hubble diagram marginalised over contamination and corrected for selection effects, and use it to constrain the dark energy equation-of-state, w. Assuming a flat universe with Gaussian ΩM prior of 0.311 ± 0.010, we show that biases on w are <0.008 when using SuperNNova, with systematic uncertainties associated with contamination around 10 per cent of the statistical uncertainty on w for the DES-SN sample. An alternative approach of discarding contaminants using outlier rejection techniques (e.g., Chauvenet’s criterion) in place of SuperNNova leads to biases on w that are larger but stillmore »modest (0.015–0.03). Finally, we measure biases due to contamination on w0 and wa (assuming a flat universe), and find these to be <0.009 in w0 and <0.108 in wa, 5 to 10 times smaller than the statistical uncertainties for the DES-SN sample.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 3, 2023
  3. Abstract We present a search for outer solar system objects in the 6 yr of data from the Dark Energy Survey (DES). The DES covered a contiguous 5000 deg 2 of the southern sky with ≈80,000 3 deg 2 exposures in the grizY filters between 2013 and 2019. This search yielded 812 trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), one Centaur and one Oort cloud comet, 458 reported here for the first time. We present methodology that builds upon our previous search on the first 4 yr of data. All images were reprocessed with an optimized detection pipeline that leads to an average completeness gain of 0.47 mag per exposure, as well as improved transient catalog production and algorithms for linkage of detections into orbits. All objects were verified by visual inspection and by the “sub-threshold significance,” the signal-to-noise ratio in the stack of images in which its presence is indicated by the orbit, but no detection was reported. This yields a pure catalog complete to r ≈ 23.8 mag and distances 29 < d < 2500 au. The TNOs have minimum (median) of 7 (12) nights’ detections and arcs of 1.1 (4.2) yr, and will have grizY magnitudes available in a further publication.more »We present software for simulating our observational biases for comparisons of models to our detections. Initial inferences demonstrating the catalog’s statistical power are: the data are inconsistent with the CFEPS-L7 model for the classical Kuiper Belt; the 16 “extreme” TNOs ( a > 150 au, q > 30 au) are consistent with the null hypothesis of azimuthal isotropy; and nonresonant TNOs with q > 38 au, a > 50 au show a significant tendency to be sunward of major mean-motion resonances.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  4. 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
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. ABSTRACT The DES-CMASS sample (DMASS) is designed to optimally combine the weak lensing measurements from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) and redshift-space distortions (RSD) probed by the CMASS galaxy sample from the Baryonic Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey. In this paper, we demonstrate the feasibility of adopting DMASS as the equivalent of CMASS for a joint analysis of DES and BOSS in the framework of modified gravity. We utilize the angular clustering of the DMASS galaxies, cosmic shear of the DES metacalibration sources, and cross-correlation of the two as data vectors. By jointly fitting the combination of the data with the RSD measurements from the CMASS sample and Planck data, we obtain the constraints on modified gravity parameters $\mu _0=-0.37^{+0.47}_{-0.45}$ and $\Sigma _0=0.078^{+0.078}_{-0.082}$. Our constraints of modified gravity with DMASS are tighter than those with the DES Year 1 redMaGiC sample with the same external data sets by 29 per cent for μ0 and 21 per cent for Σ0, and comparable to the published results of the DES Year 1 modified gravity analysis despite this work using fewer external data sets. This improvement is mainly because the galaxy bias parameter is shared and more tightly constrained by both CMASS and DMASS, effectivelymore »breaking the degeneracy between the galaxy bias and other cosmological parameters. Such an approach to optimally combine photometric and spectroscopic surveys using a photometric sample equivalent to a spectroscopic sample can be applied to combining future surveys having a limited overlap such as DESI and LSST.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 10, 2022
  10. 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