Analyzing Baryon Acoustic Oscillations in Sparse Spectroscopic Samples via Cross-Correlation with Dense Photometry [CEA]

We present a new method of measuring the cosmological distance scale from baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO) using the cross-correlation of a sparse redshift survey with a denser photometric sample. This reduces the shot noise that would otherwise affect the auto-correlation of the sparse spectroscopic map. As a proof of principle, we apply this method to a sparse sample defined as the z>0.6 tail of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey’s (SDSS) BOSS/CMASS sample of galaxies and a dense photometric sample from SDSS DR9. We find a 2.8sigma preference for the BAO peak in the cross-correlation at an effective z=0.64, from which we measure the angular diameter distance D_M(z=0.64) = (2418 +/- 73 Mpc) (r_s/r_{s,fid}). Accordingly, we expect that using this method to combine sparse spectroscopy with the deep, high quality imaging that is just now becoming available will enable higher precision BAO measurements than possible with the spectroscopy alone.

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A. Patej and D. Eisenstein
Wed, 13 Sep 17

Comments: 14 pages, 4 figures