Detection of cosmic magnification with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

Ryan Scranton, Brich Ménard, Gordon T. Richards, Robert C. Nichol, Adam D. Myers, Bhuvnesh Jain, Alex Gray, Matthias Bartelmann, Robert J. Brunner, Andrew J. Connolly, James E. Gunn, Ravi K. Sheth, Neta A. Bahcall, John Brinkman, Jon Loveday, Donald P. Schneider, Aniruddha Thakar, Donald G. York

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

We present an 8 σ detection of cosmic magnification measured by the variation of quasar density due to gravitational lensing by foreground large-scale structure. To make this measurement we used 3800 deg2 of photometric observations from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) containing ∼200,000 quasars and 13 million galaxies. Our measurement of the galaxy-quasar cross-correlation function exhibits the amplitude, angular dependence, and change in sign as a function of the slope of the observed quasar number counts that is expected from magnification bias due to weak gravitational lensing. We show that observational uncertainties (stellar contamination, Galactic dust extinction, seeing variations, and errors in the photometric redshifts) are well controlled and do not significantly affect the lensing signal. By weighting the quasars with the number count slope, we combine the cross-correlation of quasars for our full magnitude range and detect the lensing signal at >4 σ in all five SDSS filters. Our measurements of cosmic magnification probe scales ranging from 60 h-1 kpc to 10 h-1 Mpc and are in good agreement with theoretical predictions based on the WMAP concordance cosmology. As with galaxy-galaxy lensing, future measurements of cosmic magnification will provide useful constraints on the galaxy-mass power spectrum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-602
Number of pages14
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume633
Issue number2 I
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 10 2005

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magnification
quasars
galaxies
cosmology
extinction
probe
dust
filter
cross correlation
prediction
slopes
mass spectra
detection
power spectra
contamination
filters
probes
predictions

Keywords

  • Cosmology: observations
  • Galaxies: general
  • Gravitational lensing
  • Large-scale structure of universe
  • Quasars: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Scranton, R., Ménard, B., Richards, G. T., Nichol, R. C., Myers, A. D., Jain, B., ... York, D. G. (2005). Detection of cosmic magnification with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Astrophysical Journal, 633(2 I), 589-602. https://doi.org/10.1086/431358

Detection of cosmic magnification with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. / Scranton, Ryan; Ménard, Brich; Richards, Gordon T.; Nichol, Robert C.; Myers, Adam D.; Jain, Bhuvnesh; Gray, Alex; Bartelmann, Matthias; Brunner, Robert J.; Connolly, Andrew J.; Gunn, James E.; Sheth, Ravi K.; Bahcall, Neta A.; Brinkman, John; Loveday, Jon; Schneider, Donald P.; Thakar, Aniruddha; York, Donald G.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 633, No. 2 I, 10.11.2005, p. 589-602.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Scranton, R, Ménard, B, Richards, GT, Nichol, RC, Myers, AD, Jain, B, Gray, A, Bartelmann, M, Brunner, RJ, Connolly, AJ, Gunn, JE, Sheth, RK, Bahcall, NA, Brinkman, J, Loveday, J, Schneider, DP, Thakar, A & York, DG 2005, 'Detection of cosmic magnification with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 633, no. 2 I, pp. 589-602. https://doi.org/10.1086/431358
Scranton R, Ménard B, Richards GT, Nichol RC, Myers AD, Jain B et al. Detection of cosmic magnification with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Astrophysical Journal. 2005 Nov 10;633(2 I):589-602. https://doi.org/10.1086/431358
Scranton, Ryan ; Ménard, Brich ; Richards, Gordon T. ; Nichol, Robert C. ; Myers, Adam D. ; Jain, Bhuvnesh ; Gray, Alex ; Bartelmann, Matthias ; Brunner, Robert J. ; Connolly, Andrew J. ; Gunn, James E. ; Sheth, Ravi K. ; Bahcall, Neta A. ; Brinkman, John ; Loveday, Jon ; Schneider, Donald P. ; Thakar, Aniruddha ; York, Donald G. / Detection of cosmic magnification with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2005 ; Vol. 633, No. 2 I. pp. 589-602.
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abstract = "We present an 8 σ detection of cosmic magnification measured by the variation of quasar density due to gravitational lensing by foreground large-scale structure. To make this measurement we used 3800 deg2 of photometric observations from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) containing ∼200,000 quasars and 13 million galaxies. Our measurement of the galaxy-quasar cross-correlation function exhibits the amplitude, angular dependence, and change in sign as a function of the slope of the observed quasar number counts that is expected from magnification bias due to weak gravitational lensing. We show that observational uncertainties (stellar contamination, Galactic dust extinction, seeing variations, and errors in the photometric redshifts) are well controlled and do not significantly affect the lensing signal. By weighting the quasars with the number count slope, we combine the cross-correlation of quasars for our full magnitude range and detect the lensing signal at >4 σ in all five SDSS filters. Our measurements of cosmic magnification probe scales ranging from 60 h-1 kpc to 10 h-1 Mpc and are in good agreement with theoretical predictions based on the WMAP concordance cosmology. As with galaxy-galaxy lensing, future measurements of cosmic magnification will provide useful constraints on the galaxy-mass power spectrum.",
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AU - Jain, Bhuvnesh

AU - Gray, Alex

AU - Bartelmann, Matthias

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AU - Connolly, Andrew J.

AU - Gunn, James E.

AU - Sheth, Ravi K.

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AU - Brinkman, John

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AB - We present an 8 σ detection of cosmic magnification measured by the variation of quasar density due to gravitational lensing by foreground large-scale structure. To make this measurement we used 3800 deg2 of photometric observations from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) containing ∼200,000 quasars and 13 million galaxies. Our measurement of the galaxy-quasar cross-correlation function exhibits the amplitude, angular dependence, and change in sign as a function of the slope of the observed quasar number counts that is expected from magnification bias due to weak gravitational lensing. We show that observational uncertainties (stellar contamination, Galactic dust extinction, seeing variations, and errors in the photometric redshifts) are well controlled and do not significantly affect the lensing signal. By weighting the quasars with the number count slope, we combine the cross-correlation of quasars for our full magnitude range and detect the lensing signal at >4 σ in all five SDSS filters. Our measurements of cosmic magnification probe scales ranging from 60 h-1 kpc to 10 h-1 Mpc and are in good agreement with theoretical predictions based on the WMAP concordance cosmology. As with galaxy-galaxy lensing, future measurements of cosmic magnification will provide useful constraints on the galaxy-mass power spectrum.

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