A geometric measure of dark energy with pairs of galaxies

Article metrics

Abstract

Observations1,2 indicate that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating, which is attributed to a ‘dark energy’ component that opposes gravity3,4. There is a purely geometric test of the expansion of the Universe (the Alcock–Paczynski test), which would provide an independent way of investigating the abundance () and equation of state () of dark energy5. It is based on an analysis of the geometrical distortions expected from comparing the real-space and redshift-space shape of distant cosmic structures, but it has proved difficult to implement6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18. Here we report an analysis of the symmetry properties of distant pairs of galaxies from archival data19,20. This allows us to determine that the Universe is flat. By alternately fixing its spatial geometry at and the dark energy equation-of-state parameter at , and using the results of baryon acoustic oscillations, we can establish at the 68.3% confidence level that and .

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Geometry and statistics of binary galactic systems.
Figure 2: Diagram of the average anisotropy of pairs from the SDSS (Data Release 7) 19 and DEEP2 20 data.
Figure 3: Cosmological constraints on the abundance of dark energy ΩX and on its nature .

References

  1. 1

    Riess, A. et al. Observational evidence from supernovae for an accelerating universe and a cosmological constant. Astron. J. 116, 1009–1038 (1998)

  2. 2

    Perlmutter, S. et al. Measurements of omega and lambda from 42 high-redshift supernovae. Astrophys. J. 517, 565–586 (1999)

  3. 3

    Peebles, P. J. E. & Ratra, B. The cosmological constant and dark energy. Rev. Mod. Phys. 75, 559–606 (2003)

  4. 4

    Frieman, J. A., Turner, M. S. & Huterer, D. Dark energy and the accelerating universe. Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 46, 385–432 (2008)

  5. 5

    Alcock, C. & Paczyski, B. An evolution free test for non-zero cosmological constant. Nature 281, 358–359 (1979)

  6. 6

    Kim, Y.-R. & Croft, R. A. C. A potentially pure test of cosmic geometry: galaxy clusters and the real space Alcock-Paczynski test. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 374, 535–546 (2007)

  7. 7

    Ryden, B. S. Measuring q0 from the distortions of voids in redshift space. Astrophys. J. 452, 25–32 (1995)

  8. 8

    Ryden, B. S. & Melott, A. Voids in real space and in redshift space. Astrophys. J. 470, 160–171 (1996)

  9. 9

    Phillips, S. A possible geometric measurement of the cosmological constant. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 269, 1077–1081 (1994)

  10. 10

    Matsubara, T. & Suto, Y. Cosmological redshift distortion of correlation functions as a probe of the density parameter and the cosmological constant. Astrophys. J. 470, 1–5 (1996)

  11. 11

    Ballinger, W. E., Peacock, J. & Heavens, A. F. Measuring the cosmological constant with redshift surveys. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 282, 877–888 (1996)

  12. 12

    Popowski, P. A., Weinberg, D. H., Rayden, B. S. & Osmer, P. Quasar clustering and spacetime geometry. Astrophys. J. 498, 11–25 (1998)

  13. 13

    Hui, L., Stebbins, A. & Burles, S. A geometrical test of the cosmological energy contents using the Ly-α forest. Astrophys. J. 511, 5–8 (1999)

  14. 14

    McDonald, P. Toward a measurement of the cosmological geometry at z 2: Predicting Lyα forest correlation in three dimensions and the potential of future data. Astrophys. J. 585, 34–51 (2003)

  15. 15

    da Angela, J., Outram, P. J. & Shanks, T. Constraining β(z) and Ω m0 from redshift-space distortions in z3 galaxy surveys. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 361, 879–886 (2005)

  16. 16

    Nusser, A. The Alcock-Paczynski test in redshifted 21-cm maps. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 364, 743–750 (2005)

  17. 17

    Barkana, R. Separating out the Alcock-Paczynski effect on 21-cm fluctuations. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 372, 259–264 (2006)

  18. 18

    Mc Quinn, M. et al. Cosmological parameter estimation using 21cm radiation from the epoch of reionisation. Astrophys. J. 653, 815–834 (2006)

  19. 19

    Abazajian, K. N. et al. The seventh data release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 182, 543–558 (2009)

  20. 20

    Davis, M. et al. The All-Wavelength Extended Groth Strip International Survey (AEGIS) data sets. Astrophys. J. 660, 1–4 (2007)

  21. 21

    Strauss, M. A. & Willick, J. A. The density and peculiar velocity fields of nearby galaxies. Phys. Rep. 261, 271–431 (1995)

  22. 22

    Marinoni, C. et al. Galaxy distances in the nearby Universe: corrections for peculiar motions. Astrophys. J. 505, 484–505 (1998)

  23. 23

    Marinoni, C., Bel, J. & Buzzi, A. The scale of cosmic isotropy. Phys. Rev. Lett. (submitted)

  24. 24

    Coil, A. et al. The DEEP2 Galaxy Redshift Survey: clustering of galaxies in early data. Astrophys. J. 609, 525–538 (2004)

  25. 25

    Kessler, R. et al. First year SDSSII supernovae results: Hubble diagram and cosmological parameters. Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 185, 32–84 (2009)

  26. 26

    Astier, P. et al. The Supernovae Legacy Survey: measurement of Ωm, ΩΛand w from the first data set. Astron. Astrophys. 447, 31–48 (2006)

  27. 27

    Dunkley, J. et al. Five-year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe observations: likelihoods and parameters from the WMAP data. Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 180, 306–329 (2009)

  28. 28

    Eisenstein, D. J. et al. Detection of the baryon acoustic peak in the large-scale correlation function of SDSS luminous red galaxies. Astrophys. J. 633, 560–574 (2005)

  29. 29

    Percival, W. et al. Baryon acoustic oscillations in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7 galaxy sample. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 401, 2148–2168 (2010)

Download references

Acknowledgements

C.M. thanks J. Bel, P.-E. Crouzet, M. Davis, L. Guzzo, A. Blanchard, E. Branchini, P. S. Corasaniti, A. Ealet, A. Heavens, O. Le Fèvre, L. Moscardini, T. Schucker, P. Taxil and J. M. Virey for discussions. We thank R. Giovanelli, L. Lellouch and P. J. Morrison for reading versions of the manuscript. This paper has greatly benefited from the comments of M. Strauss. C.M. is grateful for support from the Projets Exploratoires Pluridisciplinaires: Physique Théorique et ses Interfaces of the CNRS and from specific project funding of the Institut Universitaire de France.

Author information

C.M elaborated the testing formalism. C.M. and A.B. worked on the comparison of theoretical predictions with observations.

Correspondence to Christian Marinoni.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Additional information

The posterior likelihood shown in Fig. 3 is available at http://www.cpt.univ-mrs.fr/~marinoni/Plik.tar.gz.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

The file contains Supplementary Text and Data I-VI, additional references, Supplementary Table 1 and Supplementary Figures 1-5 with legends. (PDF 1200 kb)

PowerPoint slides

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Marinoni, C., Buzzi, A. A geometric measure of dark energy with pairs of galaxies. Nature 468, 539–541 (2010) doi:10.1038/nature09577

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.