OzDES multifibre spectroscopy for the Dark Energy Survey: Three year results and first data release [CEA]


We present results for the first three years of OzDES, a six-year programme to obtain redshifts for objects in the Dark Energy Survey (DES) supernova fields using the 2dF fibre positioner and AAOmega spectrograph on the Anglo-Australian Telescope. OzDES is a multi-object spectroscopic survey targeting multiple types of targets at multiple epochs over a multi-year baseline, and is one of the first multi-object spectroscopic surveys to dynamically include transients into the target list soon after their discovery. At the end of three years, OzDES has spectroscopically confirmed almost 100 supernovae, and has measured redshifts for 17,000 objects, including the redshifts of 2,566 supernova hosts. We examine how our ability to measure redshifts for targets of various types depends on signal-to-noise, magnitude, and exposure time, finding that our redshift success rate increases significantly at a signal-to-noise of 2 to 3 per 1-Angstrom bin. We also find that the change in signal-to-noise with exposure time closely matches the Poisson limit for stacked exposures as long as 10 hours. We use these results to predict the redshift yield of the full OzDES survey, as well as the potential yields of future surveys on other facilities such as the 4m Multi-Object Spectroscopic Telescope (4MOST), the Subaru Prime Focus Spectrograph (PFS), and the Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer (MSE). This work marks the first OzDES data release, comprising 14,693 redshifts. OzDES is on target to obtain over a yield of approximately 5,700 supernova host-galaxy redshifts.

Read this paper on arXiv…

M. Childress, C. Lidman, T. Davis, et. al.
Wed, 16 Aug 17

Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS. Redshift data release is available at this http URL

Dark matter dynamics in Abell 3827: new data consistent with standard Cold Dark Matter [CEA]


We present integral field spectroscopy of galaxy cluster Abell 3827, using ALMA and VLT/MUSE. It reveals an unusual configuration of strong gravitational lensing in the cluster core, with at least seven lensed images of a single background spiral galaxy. Lens modelling based on HST imaging had suggested that the dark matter associated with one of the cluster’s central galaxies may be offset. The new spectroscopic data enable better subtraction of foreground light, and better identification of multiple background images. The inferred distribution of dark matter is consistent with being centered on the galaxies, as expected by LCDM. Each galaxy’s dark matter also appears to be symmetric. Whilst we do not find an offset between mass and light (suggestive of self-interacting dark matter) as previously reported, the numerical simulations that have been performed to calibrate Abell 3827 indicate that offsets and asymmetry are still worth looking for in collisions with particular geometries. Meanwhile, ALMA proves exceptionally useful for strong lens image identifications.

Read this paper on arXiv…

R. Massey, D. Harvey, J. Liesenborgs, et. al.
Wed, 16 Aug 17

Comments: 10 pages, 5 figures. Comments welcome

Axion minicluster power spectrum and mass function [CEA]


When Peccei-Quinn (PQ) symmetry breaking happens after inflation, the axion field takes random values in causally disconnected regions. This leads to fluctuations of order one in the axion energy density around the QCD epoch. These over-densities eventually decouple from the Hubble expansion and form so-called miniclusters. We present a semi-analytical method to calculate the average axion energy density, as well as the power spectrum, from the re-alignment mechanism in this scenario. Furthermore, we develop a modified Press & Schechter approach, suitable to describe the collapse of non-linear density fluctuations during radiation domination, which is relevant for the formation of axion miniclusters. It allows us to calculate the double differential distribution of gravitationally collapsed miniclusters as a function of their mass and size. For instance, assuming a PQ scale of $10^{11}$ GeV, minicluster masses range from about $5 \times 10^{-16}$ to $3 \times 10^{-13}$ solar masses and have sizes from about $4\times 10^4$ to $7\times 10^5$ km at the time they start to collapse.

Read this paper on arXiv…

J. Enander, A. Pargner and T. Schwetz
Wed, 16 Aug 17

Comments: 25 pages, 6 figures

Superheavy dark matter through Higgs portal operators [CEA]


The WIMPzilla hypothesis is that the dark matter is a super-weakly-interacting and super-heavy particle. Conventionally, the WIMPzilla abundance is set by gravitational particle production during or at the end of inflation. In this study we allow the WIMPzilla to interact directly with Standard Model fields through the Higgs portal, and we calculate the thermal production (freeze-in) of WIMPzilla dark matter from the annihilation of Higgs boson pairs in the plasma. The two particle-physics model parameters are the WIMPzilla mass and the Higgs-WIMPzilla coupling. The two cosmological parameters are the reheating temperature and the expansion rate of the universe at the end of inflation. We delineate the regions of parameters space where either gravitational or thermal production is dominant, and within those regions we identify the parameters that predict the observed dark matter relic abundance. Allowing for thermal production opens up the parameter space, even for Planck-suppressed Higgs-WIMPzilla interactions.

Read this paper on arXiv…

R. Kolb and A. Long
Wed, 16 Aug 17

Comments: 32 pages, 8 figures

Is Fuzzy Dark Matter in tension with Lyman-alpha forest? [CEA]


With recent Lyman-alpha forest data from BOSS and XQ-100, some studies suggested that the lower mass limit on the fuzzy dark matter (FDM) particles is lifted up to $10^{-21}$ eV. However, such a limit was obtained by $\Lambda$CDM simulations with the FDM initial condition and the quantum pressure (QP) was not taken into account which could have generated non-trivial effects in large scales structures. We investigate the QP effects in cosmological simulations systematically, and find that QP leads to further suppression of the matter power spectrum at small scales. Furthermore, we estimate the flux power spectrum of Lyman-alpha forest, and compare it with data from BOSS and XQ-100 to set the lower bound on the FDM particle mass to $10^{-23}$ eV. We carefully estimate the uncertainty in the calculation of one-dimensional flux power spectrum due to the temperature of the hydrogen gas, and conclude that unless the effect of QP and the uncertainties of the temperature of the hydrogen gas are properly taken into account, one cannot exclude the FDM of mass larger than $10^{-22}$ eV at statistically significant levels.

Read this paper on arXiv…

J. Zhang, J. Kuo, H. Liu, et. al.
Wed, 16 Aug 17

Comments: 25 pages, 8 figures, “for simulation code, see this https URL

The mean free path of hydrogen ionizing photons during the epoch of reionization [CEA]


We use the Aurora radiation-hydrodynamical simulations to study the mean free path (MFP) for hydrogen ionizing photons during the epoch of reionization. We directly measure the MFP by averaging the distance 1 Ry photons travel before reaching an optical depth of unity along random lines-of-sight. During reionization the free paths tend to end in neutral gas with densities near the cosmic mean, while after reionizaton the end points tend to be overdense but highly ionized. Despite the increasing importance of discrete, over-dense systems, the cumulative contribution of systems with $N_{\rm{HI}} \lesssim 10^{16.5}~{\rm cm^{-2}}$ suffices to drive the MFP at $z \approx 6$, while at earlier times higher column densities are more important. After reionization the typical size of HI systems is close to the local Jeans length, but during reionization it is much larger. The mean free path for photons originating close to galaxies, $\rm{MFP_{gal}}$, is much smaller than the cosmic MFP. After reionization this enhancement can remain significant up to starting distances of $\sim 1$ comoving Mpc. During reionization, however, $\rm{MFP_{gal}}$ for distances $\sim 10^2 – 10^3$ comoving kpc typically exceeds the cosmic MFP. These findings have important consequences for models that interpret the intergalactic MFP as the distance escaped ionizing photons can travel from galaxies before being absorbed and may cause them to under-estimate the required escape fraction from galaxies, and/or the required emissivity of ionizing photons after reionization.

Read this paper on arXiv…

A. Rahmati and J. Schaye
Wed, 16 Aug 17

Comments: 13 pages, 9 figures, 1 table; submitted to MNRAS

HBT+: an improved code for finding subhalos and building merger trees in cosmological simulations [CEA]


Dark matter subhalos are the remnants of (incomplete) halo mergers. Identifying them and establishing their evolutionary links in the form of merger trees is one of the most important applications of cosmological simulations. The Hierachical Bound-Tracing (HBT) code identifies halos as they form and tracks their evolution as they merge, simultaneously detecting subhalos and building their merger trees. Here we present a new implementation of this approach, HBT+, that is much faster, more user friendly, and more physically complete than the original code. Applying HBT+ to cosmological simulations we show that both the subhalo mass function and the peak-mass function are well fit by similar double-Schechter functions.The ratio between the two is highest at the high mass end, reflecting the resilience of massive subhalos that experience substantial dynamical friction but limited tidal stripping. The radial distribution of the most massive subhalos is more concentrated than the universal radial distribution of lower mass subhalos. Subhalo finders that work in configuration space tend to underestimate the masses of massive subhalos, an effect that is stronger in the host centre. This may explain, at least in part, the excess of massive subhalos in galaxy cluster centres inferred from recent lensing observations. We demonstrate that the peak-mass function is a powerful diagnostic of merger tree defects, and the merger trees constructed using HBT+ do not suffer from the missing or switched links that tend to afflict merger trees constructed from more conventional halo finders. We make the HBT+ code publicly available.

Read this paper on arXiv…

J. Han, S. Cole, C. Frenk, et. al.
Tue, 15 Aug 17

Comments: submitted to MNRAS. code available from this https URL and this http URL