EDP Sciences
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Volume 468, Number 3, June IV 2007
Page(s) 823 - 847
Section Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20065898

A&A 468, 823-847 (2007)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20065898

Cosmic shear analysis of archival HST/ACS data

I. Comparison of early ACS pure parallel data to the HST/GEMS survey
T. Schrabback1, T. Erben1, P. Simon1, J.-M. Miralles1, 2, 3, P. Schneider1, C. Heymans4, T. Eifler1, R. A. E. Fosbury5, W. Freudling5, M. Hetterscheidt1, H. Hildebrandt1, and N. Pirzkal5, 6

1  Argelander-Institut für Astronomie (Founded by merging of the Institut für Astrophysik und Extraterrestrische Forschung, the Sternwarte, and the Radioastronomisches Institut der Universität Bonn.) , Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
    e-mail: schrabba@astro.uni-bonn.de
2  European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85741 Garching, Germany
3  Tècniques d'Avantguarda, Avda. Carlemany 75, Les Escaldes, AD-700 Principat d'Andorra
4  University of British Columbia, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 6224 Agricultural Road, Vancouver, Canada
5  ST-ECF, European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild Str. 2, 85741 Garching, Germany
6  Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA

(Received 24 June 2006 / Accepted 20 March 2007 )

Context.This is the first paper of a series describing our measurement of weak lensing by large-scale structure, also termed "cosmic shear", using archival observations from the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on board the Hubble Space Telescope (HST).
Aims.In this work we present results from a pilot study testing the capabilities of the ACS for cosmic shear measurements with early parallel observations and presenting a re-analysis of HST/ACS data from the GEMS survey and the GOODS observations of the Chandra Deep Field South (CDFS).
Methods.We describe the data reduction and, in particular, a new correction scheme for the time-dependent ACS point-spread-function (PSF) based on observations of stellar fields. This is currently the only technique which takes the full time variation of the PSF between individual ACS exposures into account. We estimate that our PSF correction scheme reduces the systematic contribution to the shear correlation functions due to PSF distortions to <2 $\times$ 10-6 for galaxy fields containing at least 10 stars, which corresponds to $\la$$5\%$ of the cosmological signal expected on scales of a single ACS field.
Results.We perform a number of diagnostic tests indicating that the remaining level of systematics is consistent with zero for the GEMS and GOODS data confirming the success of our PSF correction scheme. For the parallel data we detect a low level of remaining systematics which we interpret to be caused by a lack of sufficient dithering of the data. Combining the shear estimate of the GEMS and GOODS observations using 96 galaxies  ${\rm arcmin}^{-2}$ with the photometric redshift catalogue of the GOODS-MUSIC sample, we determine a local single field estimate for the mass power spectrum normalisation $\sigma_{8, {\rm CDFS}}=0.52^{+0.11}_{-0.15} {\rm (stat)}$ $\pm$ $0.07{\rm (sys)}$ (68% confidence assuming Gaussian cosmic variance) at a fixed matter density $\Omega_{\rm m}=0.3$ for a $\Lambda$CDM cosmology marginalising over the uncertainty of the Hubble parameter and the redshift distribution. We interpret this exceptionally low estimate to be due to a local under-density of the foreground structures in the CDFS.

Key words: gravitational lensing -- large-scale structure of Universe -- cosmology: observations

© ESO 2007