skip to main content


This content will become publicly available on December 26, 2018

Title: Dark Energy Survey Year 1 results: the impact of galaxy neighbours on weak lensing cosmology with IM3SHAPE

We use a suite of simulated images based on Year 1 of the Dark Energy Survey to explore the impact of galaxy neighbours on shape measurement and shear cosmology. The hoopoe image simulations include realistic blending, galaxy positions, and spatial variations in depth and PSF properties. Using the im3shape maximum-likelihood shape measurement code, we identify four mechanisms by which neighbours can have a non-negligible influence on shear estimation. These effects, if ignored, would contribute a net multiplicative bias of $$m \sim 0.03 - 0.09$$ in the DES Y1 im3shape catalogue, though the precise impact will be dependent on both the measurement code and the selection cuts applied. This can be reduced to percentage level or less by removing objects with close neighbours, at a cost to the effective number density of galaxies $$n_\mathrm{eff}$$ of 30%. We use the cosmological inference pipeline of DES Y1 to explore the cosmological implications of neighbour bias and show that omitting blending from the calibration simulation for DES Y1 would bias the inferred clustering amplitude $$S_8\equiv \sigma_8 (\Omega _\mathrm{m} /0.3)^{0.5}$$ by $$2 \sigma$$ towards low values. Lastly, we use the hoopoe simulations to test the effect of neighbour-induced spatial correlations in the multiplicative bias. We find the impact on the recovered $$S_8$$ of ignoring such correlations to be subdominant to statistical error at the current level of precision.
  1. Univ. of Manchester (United Kingdom). et al.
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
FERMILAB-PUB-17-291-E; arXiv:1708.01534
Journal ID: ISSN 0035-8711; 1614457
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-07CH11359; AC05-00OR22725
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 475; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 0035-8711
Royal Astronomical Society
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States); Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) (SC-21)
Contributing Orgs:
DES Collaboration
Country of Publication:
United States
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; gravitational lensing: weak; galaxies: statistics; cosmological parameters; cosmology: observations
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1426560