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    In cosmology, we routinely choose between models to describe our data, and can incur biases due to insufficient models or lose constraining power with overly complex models. In this paper, we propose an empirical approach to model selection that explicitly balances parameter bias against model complexity. Our method uses synthetic data to calibrate the relation between bias and the χ2 difference between models. This allows us to interpret χ2 values obtained from real data (even if catalogues are blinded) and choose a model accordingly. We apply our method to the problem of intrinsic alignments – one of the most significant weak lensing systematics, and a major contributor to the error budget in modern lensing surveys. Specifically, we consider the example of the Dark Energy Survey Year 3 (DES Y3), and compare the commonly used non-linear alignment (NLA) and tidal alignment and tidal torque (TATT) models. The models are calibrated against bias in the Ωm–S8 plane. Once noise is accounted for, we find that it is possible to set a threshold Δχ2 that guarantees an analysis using NLA is unbiased at some specified level Nσ and confidence level. By contrast, we find that theoretically defined thresholds (based on, e.g. p-values for χ2) tend to be overly optimistic, and do not reliably rule out cosmological biases up to ∼1–2σ. Considering the real DES Y3 cosmic shear results, based on the reported difference in χ2 from NLA and TATT analyses, we find a roughly $30{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ chance that were NLA to be the fiducial model, the results would be biased (in the Ωm–S8 plane) by more than 0.3σ. More broadly, the method we propose here is simple and general, and requires a relatively low level of resources. We foresee applications to future analyses as a model selection tool in many contexts.

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  2. We present a measurement of the cross-correlation between theMagLimgalaxies selected from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) first three years of observations (Y3) and cosmic microwave background (CMB) lensing from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) Data Release 4 (DR4), reconstructed over ∼ 436 sq. deg of the sky. Our galaxy sample, which covers ∼ 4143 sq. deg, is divided into six redshift bins spanning the redshift range of 0.20 < z < 1.05. We adopt a blinding procedure until passing all consistency and systematics tests. After imposing scale cuts for the cross-power spectrum measurement, we reject the null hypothesis of no correlation at 9.1σ. We constrain cosmological parameters from a joint analysis of galaxy and CMB lensing-galaxy power spectra considering a flat ΛCDM model, marginalized over 23 astrophysical and systematic nuisance parameters. We find the clustering amplitude S_8 ≡ σ_8(Ω_m/0.3)^0.5 = 0.75+0.04-0.05. In addition, we constrain the linear growth of cosmic structure as a function of redshift. Our results are consistent with recent DES Y3 analyses and suggest a preference for a lower S_8 compared to results from measurements of CMB anisotropies by the Planck satellite, although at a mild level (< 2σ) of statistical significance. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2025

    Cross-correlation between weak lensing of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) and weak lensing of galaxies offers a way to place robust constraints on cosmological and astrophysical parameters with reduced sensitivity to certain systematic effects affecting individual surveys. We measure the angular cross-power spectrum between the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) DR4 CMB lensing and the galaxy weak lensing measured by the Dark Energy Survey (DES) Y3 data. Our baseline analysis uses the CMB convergence map derived from ACT-DR4 and Planck data, where most of the contamination due to the thermal Sunyaev Zel’dovich effect is removed, thus avoiding important systematics in the cross-correlation. In our modelling, we consider the nuisance parameters of the photometric uncertainty, multiplicative shear bias and intrinsic alignment of galaxies. The resulting cross-power spectrum has a signal-to-noise ratio = 7.1 and passes a set of null tests. We use it to infer the amplitude of the fluctuations in the matter distribution (S8 ≡ σ8(Ωm/0.3)0.5 = 0.782 ± 0.059) with informative but well-motivated priors on the nuisance parameters. We also investigate the validity of these priors by significantly relaxing them and checking the consistency of the resulting posteriors, finding them consistent, albeit only with relatively weak constraints. This cross-correlation measurement will improve significantly with the new ACT-DR6 lensing map and form a key component of the joint 6×2pt analysis between DES and ACT.

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    Clusters of galaxies trace the most non-linear peaks in the cosmic density field. The weak gravitational lensing of background galaxies by clusters can allow us to infer their masses. However, galaxies associated with the local environment of the cluster can also be intrinsically aligned due to the local tidal gradient, contaminating any cosmology derived from the lensing signal. We measure this intrinsic alignment in Dark Energy Survey (DES) Year 1 redMaPPer clusters. We find evidence of a non-zero mean radial alignment of galaxies within clusters between redshifts 0.1–0.7. We find a significant systematic in the measured ellipticities of cluster satellite galaxies that we attribute to the central galaxy flux and other intracluster light. We attempt to correct this signal, and fit a simple model for intrinsic alignment amplitude (AIA) to the measurement, finding AIA = 0.15 ± 0.04, when excluding data near the edge of the cluster. We find a significantly stronger alignment of the central galaxy with the cluster dark matter halo at low redshift and with higher richness and central galaxy absolute magnitude (proxies for cluster mass). This is an important demonstration of the ability of large photometric data sets like DES to provide direct constraints on the intrinsic alignment of galaxies within clusters. These measurements can inform improvements to small-scale modelling and simulation of the intrinsic alignment of galaxies to help improve the separation of the intrinsic alignment signal in weak lensing studies.

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  5. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Galaxy intrinsic alignments (IAs) have long been recognized as a significant contaminant to weak lensing-based cosmological inference. In this paper we seek to quantify the impact of a common modelling assumption in analytic descriptions of IAs: that of spherically symmetric dark matter haloes. Understanding such effects is important as the current generation of IA models are known to be limited, particularly on small scales, and building an accurate theoretical description will be essential for fully exploiting the information in future lensing data. Our analysis is based on a catalogue of 113 560 galaxies between z = 0.06 and 1.00 from massiveblack-ii, a hydrodynamical simulation of box length $100 \, h^{-1}$ Mpc. We find satellite anisotropy contributes at the level of $\ge 30\!-\!40{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ to the small-scale alignment correlation functions. At separations larger than $1 \, h^{-1}$ Mpc the impact is roughly scale independent, inducing a shift in the amplitude of the IA power spectra of $\sim 20{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$. These conclusions are consistent across the redshift range and between the massiveblack-ii and the illustris simulations. The cosmological implications of these results are tested using a simulated likelihood analysis. Synthetic cosmic shear data are constructed with the expected characteristics (depth, area, and number density) of a future LSST-like survey. Our results suggest that modelling alignments using a halo model based upon spherical symmetry could potentially induce cosmological parameter biases at the ∼1.5σ level for S8 and w. 
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    We present an alternative calibration of the MagLim lens sample redshift distributions from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) first 3 yr of data (Y3). The new calibration is based on a combination of a self-organizing-map-based scheme and clustering redshifts to estimate redshift distributions and inherent uncertainties, which is expected to be more accurate than the original DES Y3 redshift calibration of the lens sample. We describe in detail the methodology, and validate it on simulations and discuss the main effects dominating our error budget. The new calibration is in fair agreement with the fiducial DES Y3 n(z) calibration, with only mild differences (<3σ) in the means and widths of the distributions. We study the impact of this new calibration on cosmological constraints, analysing DES Y3 galaxy clustering and galaxy–galaxy lensing measurements, assuming a Lambda cold dark matter cosmology. We obtain Ωm = 0.30 ± 0.04, σ8 = 0.81 ± 0.07, and S8 = 0.81 ± 0.04, which implies a ∼0.4σ shift in the Ω − S8 plane compared to the fiducial DES Y3 results, highlighting the importance of the redshift calibration of the lens sample in multiprobe cosmological analyses.

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    We present direct constraints on galaxy intrinsic alignments (IAs) using the Dark Energy Survey Year 3 (DES Y3), the Extended Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (eBOSS), and its precursor, the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS). Our measurements incorporate photometric red sequence (redMaGiC) galaxies from DES with median redshift z ∼ 0.2–1.0, luminous red galaxies from eBOSS at z ∼ 0.8, and also an SDSS-III BOSS CMASS sample at z ∼ 0.5. We measure two-point IA correlations, which we fit using a model that includes lensing, magnification, and photometric redshift error. Fitting on scales 6 Mpc h−1 < rp < 70 Mpc h−1, we make a detection of IAs in each sample, at 5σ–22σ (assuming a simple one-parameter model for IAs). Using these red samples, we measure the IA–luminosity relation. Our results are statistically consistent with previous results, but offer a significant improvement in constraining power, particularly at low luminosity. With this improved precision, we see detectable dependence on colour between broadly defined red samples. It is likely that a more sophisticated approach than a binary red/blue split, which jointly considers colour and luminosity dependence in the IA signal, will be needed in future. We also compare the various signal components at the best-fitting point in parameter space for each sample, and find that magnification and lensing contribute $\sim 2\!-\!18~{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ of the total signal. As precision continues to improve, it will certainly be necessary to account for these effects in future direct IA measurements. Finally, we make equivalent measurements on a sample of emission-line galaxies from eBOSS at z ∼ 0.8. We constrain the non-linear alignment amplitude to be $A_1=0.07^{+0.32}_{-0.42}$ (|A1| < 0.78 at 95 per cent CL).

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  8. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 20, 2024
  9. ABSTRACT We perform a cosmic shear analysis in harmonic space using the first year of data collected by the Dark Energy Survey (DES-Y1). We measure the cosmic weak lensing shear power spectra using the metacalibration catalogue and perform a likelihood analysis within the framework of CosmoSIS. We set scale cuts based on baryonic effects contamination and model redshift and shear calibration uncertainties as well as intrinsic alignments. We adopt as fiducial covariance matrix an analytical computation accounting for the mask geometry in the Gaussian term, including non-Gaussian contributions. A suite of 1200 lognormal simulations is used to validate the harmonic space pipeline and the covariance matrix. We perform a series of stress tests to gauge the robustness of the harmonic space analysis. Finally, we use the DES-Y1 pipeline in configuration space to perform a similar likelihood analysis and compare both results, demonstrating their compatibility in estimating the cosmological parameters S8, σ8, and Ωm. We use the DES-Y1 metacalibration shape catalogue, with photometric redshifts estimates in the range of 0.2−1.3, divided in four tomographic bins finding σ8(Ωm/0.3)0.5 = 0.766 ± 0.033 at 68 per cent CL. The methods implemented and validated in this paper will allow us to perform a consistent harmonic space analysis in the upcoming DES data. 
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