Yen Ting Lin, Rachel Mandelbaum, Yun Hsin Huang, Hung Jin Huang, Neal Dalal, Benedikt Diemer, Hung Yu Jian, Andrey Kravtsov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The fact that the clustering of dark matter halos depends not only on their mass, but also the formation epoch is a prominent, albeit subtle, feature of the cold dark matter structure formation theory and is known as assembly bias. At low-mass scales (- 10 h Mø12 1 ), early-forming halos are predicted to be more strongly clustered than the lateforming ones. In this study, we aim to robustly detect the signature of assembly bias observationally, making use of formation time indicators of central galaxies in low-mass halos as a proxy for the halo formation history. Weak gravitational lensing is employed to ensure our early- and late-forming halo samples have similar masses, and are free of contamination of satellites from more massive halos. For the two formation time indicators used (resolved star formation history and current specific star formation rate), we do not find convincing evidence of assembly bias. For a pair of early- and late-forming galaxy samples with mean mass M200c ≈ - 9 10 h Mø111 , the relative bias is 1.00 ± 0.12. We attribute the lack of detection to the possibilities that either the current measurements of these indicators are too noisy, or they do not correlate well with the halo formation history. Alternative proxies for the halo formation history that should perform better are suggested for future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number119
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 10 2016


  • galaxies: formation
  • galaxies: halos
  • large-scale structure of universe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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