Volume 528, April 2011
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Section||Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)|
|Published online||28 February 2011|
A bias in cosmic shear from galaxy selection: results from ray-tracing simulations
Argelander-Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn,
Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121
2 Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, 85741 Garching, Germany
3 Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, Niels Bohrweg 2, 2333 CA Leiden, The Netherlands
Accepted: 14 January 2011
Aims. We identify and study a previously unknown systematic effect on cosmic shear measurements, caused by the selection of galaxies used for shape measurement, in particular the rejection of close (blended) galaxy pairs.
Methods. We use ray-tracing simulations based on the Millennium Simulation and a semi-analytical model of galaxy formation to create realistic galaxy catalogues. From these, we quantify the bias in the shear correlation functions by comparing measurements made from galaxy catalogues with and without removal of close pairs. A likelihood analysis is used to quantify the resulting shift in estimates of cosmological parameters.
Results. The filtering of objects with close neighbours: (a) changes the redshift distribution of the galaxies used for correlation function measurements; and (b) correlates the number density of sources in the background with the density field in the foreground. This leads to a scale-dependent bias of the correlation function of several percent, translating into biases of cosmological parameters of similar amplitude. This makes this new systematic effect potentially harmful for upcoming and planned cosmic shear surveys. As a remedy, we propose and test a weighting scheme that can significantly reduce the bias.
Key words: large-scale structure of Universe / cosmological parameters / gravitational lensing: weak
© ESO, 2011
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