...the who's who,
and the what's what 
of the space industry

Space Careers

news Space News

Search News Archive

Title

Article text

Keyword

  • Home
  • News
  • Dark Energy Survey physicists open new window into dark energy

Dark Energy Survey physicists open new window into dark energy

Written by  Tuesday, 06 April 2021 05:36
Write a comment
Stanford CA (SPX) Apr 07, 2021
The universe is expanding at an ever-increasing rate, and while no one is sure why, researchers with the Dark Energy Survey (DES) at least had a strategy for figuring it out: They would combine measurements of the distribution of matter, galaxies and galaxy clusters to better understand what's going on. Reaching that goal turned out to be pretty tricky, but now a team led by researchers at

The universe is expanding at an ever-increasing rate, and while no one is sure why, researchers with the Dark Energy Survey (DES) at least had a strategy for figuring it out: They would combine measurements of the distribution of matter, galaxies and galaxy clusters to better understand what's going on.

Reaching that goal turned out to be pretty tricky, but now a team led by researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University and the University of Arizona have come up with a solution. Their analysis, published April 6 in Physical Review Letters, yields more precise estimates of the average density of matter as well as its propensity to clump together - two key parameters that help physicists probe the nature of dark matter and dark energy, the mysterious substances that make up the vast majority of the universe.

"It is one of the best constraints from one of the best data sets to date," says Chun-Hao To, a lead author on the new paper and a graduate student at SLAC and Stanford working with Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology Director Risa Wechsler.

An early goal
When DES set out in 2013 to map an eighth of the sky, the goal was to gather four kinds of data: the distances to certain types of supernovae, or exploding stars; the distribution of matter in the universe; the distribution of galaxies; and the distribution of galaxy clusters. Each tells researchers something about how the universe has evolved over time.

Ideally, scientists would put all four data sources together to improve their estimates, but there's a snag: The distributions of matter, galaxies, and galaxy clusters are all closely related. If researchers don't take these relationships into account, they will end up "double counting," placing too much weight on some data and not enough on others, To says.

To avoid mishandling all this information, To, University of Arizona astrophysicist Elisabeth Krause and colleagues have developed a new model that could properly account for the connections in the distributions of all three quantities: matter, galaxies, and galaxy clusters. In doing so, they were able to produce the first-ever analysis to properly combine all these disparate data sets in order to learn about dark matter and dark energy.

Improving estimates
Adding that model into the DES analysis has two effects, To says. First, measurements of the distributions of matter, galaxies and galaxy clusters tend to introduce different kinds of errors. Combining all three measurements makes it easier to identify any such errors, making the analysis more robust. Second, the three measurements differ in how sensitive they are to the average density of matter and its clumpiness. As a result, combining all three can improve the precision with which the DES can measure dark matter and dark energy.

In the new paper, To, Krause and colleagues applied their new methods to the first year of DES data and sharpened the precision of previous estimates for matter's density and clumpiness.

Now that the team can incorporate matter, galaxies and galaxy clusters simultaneously in their analysis, adding in supernova data will be relatively straightforward, since that kind of data is not as closely related with the other three, To says.

"The immediate next step," he says, "is to apply the machinery to DES Year 3 data, which has three times larger coverage of the sky." This is not as simple as it sounds: While the basic idea is the same, the new data will require additional efforts to improve the model to keep up with the higher quality of the newer data, To says.

"This analysis is really exciting," Wechsler said. "I expect it to set a new standard in the way we are able to analyze data and learn about dark energy from large surveys, not only for DES but also looking forward to the incredible data that we will get from the Vera Rubin Observatory's Legacy Survey of Space and Time in a few years."

Research paper


Related Links
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Stellar Chemistry, The Universe And All Within It

Tweet

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal



STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Dark matter is the most likely source of excess of gamma rays from galactic center
Helsinki, Finland (SPX) Mar 29, 2021
In the recent past, space missions dedicated to the study of astrophysical signals in the high-energy spectrum revealed a series of enigmatic excesses not predicted by the theoretical models. In order to find an explanation for these anomalies, many solutions have been proposed. The most exciting hypothesis invokes the contribution of the elusive dark matter, the mysterious form of matter 4 times more abundant than ordinary one and of which we have so far detected only its gravitational effects. T ... read more


Read more from original source...

You must login to post a comment.
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Be the first to comment.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR

* Denotes Required Field
Personal information
Message

Interested in Space?

Hit the buttons below to follow us...