skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Swanson, M E"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    We combine photometry of Eris from a 6 month campaign on the Palomar 60 inch telescope in 2015, a 1 month Hubble Space Telescope WFC3 campaign in 2018, and Dark Energy Survey data spanning 2013–2018 to determine a light curve of definitive period 15.771 ± 0.008 days (1σformal uncertainties), with nearly sinusoidal shape and peak-to-peak flux variation of 3%. This is consistent at part-per-thousand precision with theP= 15.785 90 ± 0.00005 day sidereal period of Dysnomia’s orbit around Eris, strengthening the recent detection of synchronous rotation of Eris by Szakáts et al. with independent data. Photometry from Gaia are consistent with the same light curve. We detect a slope of 0.05 ± 0.01 mag per degree of Eris’s brightness with respect to illumination phase averaged acrossg,V, andrbands, intermediate between Pluto’s and Charon’s values. Variations of 0.3 mag are detected in Dysnomia’s brightness, plausibly consistent with a double-peaked light curve at the synchronous period. The synchronous rotation of Eris is consistent with simple tidal models initiated with a giant-impact origin of the binary, but is difficult to reconcile with gravitational capture of Dysnomia by Eris. The high albedo contrast between Eris and Dysnomia remains unexplained in the giant-impact scenario.


    We present a sample of 19 583 ultracool dwarf candidates brighter than z ≤23 selected from the Dark Energy Survey DR2 coadd data matched to VHS DR6, VIKING DR5, and AllWISE covering ∼ 480 deg2. The ultracool candidates were first pre-selected based on their (i–z), (z–Y), and (Y–J) colours. They were further classified using a method that compares their optical, near-infrared, and mid-infrared colours against templates of M, L, and T dwarfs. 14 099 objects are presented as new L and T candidates and the remaining objects are from the literature, including 5342 candidates from our previous work. Using this new and deeper sample of ultracool dwarf candidates we also present: 20 new candidate members to nearby young moving groups and associations, variable candidate sources and four new wide binary systems composed of two ultracool dwarfs. Finally, we also show the spectra of 12 new ultracool dwarfs discovered by our group and presented here for the first time. These spectroscopically confirmed objects are a sanity check of our selection of ultracool dwarfs and photometric classification method.


    We cross-match and compare characteristics of galaxy clusters identified in observations from two sky surveys using two completely different techniques. One sample is optically selected from the analysis of 3 years of Dark Energy Survey observations using the redMaPPer cluster detection algorithm. The second is X-ray selected from XMM observations analysed by the XMM Cluster Survey. The samples comprise a total area of 57.4 deg2, bounded by the area of four contiguous XMM survey regions that overlap the DES footprint. We find that the X-ray-selected sample is fully matched with entries in the redMaPPer catalogue, above λ > 20 and within 0.1 <$z$ <0.9. Conversely, only 38 per cent of the redMaPPer catalogue is matched to an X-ray extended source. Next, using 120 optically clusters and 184 X-ray-selected clusters, we investigate the form of the X-ray luminosity–temperature (LX –TX ), luminosity–richness (LX –λ), and temperature–richness (TX –λ) scaling relations. We find that the fitted forms of the LX –TX relations are consistent between the two selection methods and also with other studies in the literature. However, we find tentative evidence for a steepening of the slope of the relation for low richness systems in the X-ray-selected sample. When considering the scalingmore »of richness with X-ray properties, we again find consistency in the relations (i.e. LX –λ and TX –λ) between the optical and X-ray-selected samples. This is contrary to previous similar works that find a significant increase in the scatter of the luminosity scaling relation for X-ray-selected samples compared to optically selected samples.

    « less

    The correlation between the broad line region radius and continuum luminosity (R–L relation) of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) is critical for single-epoch mass estimates of supermassive black holes (SMBHs). At z ∼ 1–2, where AGN activity peaks, the R–L relation is constrained by the reverberation mapping (RM) lags of the Mg ii line. We present 25 Mg ii lags from the Australian Dark Energy Survey RM project based on 6 yr of monitoring. We define quantitative criteria to select good lag measurements and verify their reliability with simulations based on both the damped random walk stochastic model and the rescaled, resampled versions of the observed light curves of local, well-measured AGN. Our sample significantly increases the number of Mg ii lags and extends the R–L relation to higher redshifts and luminosities. The relative iron line strength $\mathcal {R}_{\rm Fe}$ has little impact on the R–L relation. The best-fitting Mg iiR–L relation has a slope α = 0.39 ± 0.08 with an intrinsic scatter $\sigma _{\rm rl} = 0.15^{+0.03}_{-0.02}$ . The slope is consistent with previous measurements and shallower than the H β R–L relation. The intrinsic scatter of the new R–L relation is substantially smaller than previous studies and comparable to the intrinsic scatter of the H βmore »R–L relation. Our new R–L relation will enable more precise single-epoch mass estimates and SMBH demographic studies at cosmic noon.

    « less

    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 themore »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).

    « less

    Recent analyses have found intriguing correlations between the colour (c) of type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) and the size of their ‘mass-step’, the relationship between SN Ia host galaxy stellar mass (Mstellar) and SN Ia Hubble residual, and suggest that the cause of this relationship is dust. Using 675 photometrically classified SNe Ia from the Dark Energy Survey 5-yr sample, we study the differences in Hubble residual for a variety of global host galaxy and local environmental properties for SN Ia subsamples split by their colour. We find a 3σ difference in the mass-step when comparing blue (c < 0) and red (c > 0) SNe. We observe the lowest r.m.s. scatter (∼0.14 mag) in the Hubble residual for blue SNe in low mass/blue environments, suggesting that this is the most homogeneous sample for cosmological analyses. By fitting for c-dependent relationships between Hubble residuals and Mstellar, approximating existing dust models, we remove the mass-step from the data and find tentative ∼2σ residual steps in rest-frame galaxy U − R colour. This indicates that dust modelling based on Mstellar may not fully explain the remaining dispersion in SN Ia luminosity. Instead, accounting for a c-dependent relationship between Hubble residuals and globalmore »U − R, results in ≤1σ residual steps in Mstellar and local U − R, suggesting that U − R provides different information about the environment of SNe Ia compared to Mstellar, and motivating the inclusion of galaxy U − R colour in SN Ia distance bias correction.

    « less

    We present a method for mapping variations between probability distribution functions and apply this method within the context of measuring galaxy redshift distributions from imaging survey data. This method, which we name PITPZ for the probability integral transformations it relies on, uses a difference in curves between distribution functions in an ensemble as a transformation to apply to another distribution function, thus transferring the variation in the ensemble to the latter distribution function. This procedure is broadly applicable to the problem of uncertainty propagation. In the context of redshift distributions, for example, the uncertainty contribution due to certain effects can be studied effectively only in simulations, thus necessitating a transfer of variation measured in simulations to the redshift distributions measured from data. We illustrate the use of PITPZ by using the method to propagate photometric calibration uncertainty to redshift distributions of the Dark Energy Survey Year 3 weak lensing source galaxies. For this test case, we find that PITPZ yields a lensing amplitude uncertainty estimate due to photometric calibration error within 1 per cent of the truth, compared to as much as a 30 per cent underestimate when using traditional methods.


    We characterize the properties and evolution of bright central galaxies (BCGs) and the surrounding intracluster light (ICL) in galaxy clusters identified in the Dark Energy Survey and Atacama Cosmology Telescope Survey (DES-ACT) overlapping regions, covering the redshift range 0.20 < z < 0.80. Over this redshift range, we measure no change in the ICL’s stellar content (between 50 and 300 kpc) in clusters with log10(M200m,SZ/M⊙) >14.4. We also measure the stellar mass–halo mass (SMHM) relation for the BCG+ICL system and find that the slope, β, which characterizes the dependence of M200m,SZ on the BCG+ICL stellar mass, increases with radius. The outskirts are more strongly correlated with the halo than the core, which supports that the BCG+ICL system follows a two-phase growth, where recent growth (z < 2) occurs beyond the BCG’s core. Additionally, we compare our observed SMHM relation results to the IllustrisTNG300-1 cosmological hydrodynamic simulations and find moderate qualitative agreement in the amount of diffuse light. However, the SMHM relation’s slope is steeper in TNG300-1 and the intrinsic scatter is lower, likely from the absence of projection effects in TNG300-1. Additionally, we find that the ICL exhibits a colour gradient such that the outskirts are bluer than the core.more »Moreover, for the lower halo mass clusters (log10(M200m,SZ/M⊙) < 14.59), we detect a modest change in the colour gradient’s slope with lookback time, which combined with the absence of stellar mass growth may suggest that lower mass clusters have been involved in growth via tidal stripping more recently than their higher mass counterparts.

    « less

    We compare the two largest galaxy morphology catalogues, which separate early- and late-type galaxies at intermediate redshift. The two catalogues were built by applying supervised deep learning (convolutional neural networks, CNNs) to the Dark Energy Survey data down to a magnitude limit of ∼21 mag. The methodologies used for the construction of the catalogues include differences such as the cutout sizes, the labels used for training, and the input to the CNN – monochromatic images versus gri-band normalized images. In addition, one catalogue is trained using bright galaxies observed with DES (i < 18), while the other is trained with bright galaxies (r < 17.5) and ‘emulated’ galaxies up to r-band magnitude 22.5. Despite the different approaches, the agreement between the two catalogues is excellent up to i < 19, demonstrating that CNN predictions are reliable for samples at least one magnitude fainter than the training sample limit. It also shows that morphological classifications based on monochromatic images are comparable to those based on gri-band images, at least in the bright regime. At fainter magnitudes, i > 19, the overall agreement is good (∼95 per cent), but is mostly driven by the large spiral fraction in the two catalogues. In contrast,more »the agreement within the elliptical population is not as good, especially at faint magnitudes. By studying the mismatched cases, we are able to identify lenticular galaxies (at least up to i < 19), which are difficult to distinguish using standard classification approaches. The synergy of both catalogues provides an unique opportunity to select a population of unusual galaxies.

    « less

    Reverberation mapping measurements have been used to constrain the relationship between the size of the broad-line region and luminosity of active galactic nuclei (AGN). This R–L relation is used to estimate single-epoch virial black hole masses, and has been proposed to use to standardize AGN to determine cosmological distances. We present reverberation measurements made with Hβ from the 6-yr Australian Dark Energy Survey (OzDES) Reverberation Mapping Program. We successfully recover reverberation lags for eight AGN at 0.12 < z < 0.71, probing higher redshifts than the bulk of Hβ measurements made to date. Our fit to the R–L relation has a slope of α = 0.41 ± 0.03 and an intrinsic scatter of σ = 0.23 ± 0.02 dex. The results from our multi-object spectroscopic survey are consistent with previous measurements made by dedicated source-by-source campaigns, and with the observed dependence on accretion rate. Future surveys, including LSST, TiDES, and SDSS-V, which will be revisiting some of our observed fields, will be able to build on the results of our first-generation multi-object reverberation mapping survey.