Clustering of sloan digital sky survey III photometric luminous galaxies: The measurement, systematics, and cosmological implications

Shirley Ho, Antonio Cuesta, Hee Jong Seo, Roland De Putter, Ashley J. Ross, Martin White, Nikhil Padmanabhan, Shun Saito, David J. Schlegel, Eddie Schlafly, Uros Seljak, Carlos Hernández-Monteagudo, Ariel G. Sánchez, Will J. Percival, Michael Blanton, Ramin Skibba, Don Schneider, Beth Reid, Olga Mena, Matteo VielDaniel J. Eisenstein, Francisco Prada, Benjamin A. Weaver, Neta Bahcall, Dimitry Bizyaev, Howard Brewinton, Jon Brinkman, Luiz Nicolaci Da Costa, John R. Gott, Elena Malanushenko, Viktor Malanushenko, Bob Nichol, Daniel Oravetz, Kaike Pan, Nathalie Palanque-Delabrouille, Nicholas P. Ross, Audrey Simmons, Fernando De Simoni, Stephanie Snedden, Christophe Yeche

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91 Scopus citations


The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) surveyed 14,555 deg2, and delivered over a trillion pixels of imaging data. We present a study of galaxy clustering using 900,000 luminous galaxies with photometric redshifts, spanning between z = 0.45 and z = 0.65, constructed from the SDSS using methods described in Ross et al. This data set spans 11,000 deg2 and probes a volume of 3 h -3 Gpc3, making it the largest volume ever used for galaxy clustering measurements. We describe in detail the construction of the survey window function and various systematics affecting our measurement. With such a large volume, high-precision cosmological constraints can be obtained given careful control and understanding of the observational systematics. We present a novel treatment of the observational systematics and its applications to the clustering signals from the data set. In this paper, we measure the angular clustering using an optimal quadratic estimator at four redshift slices with an accuracy of ∼15%, with a bin size of δ l = 10 on scales of the baryon acoustic oscillations (BAOs; at ℓ ∼ 40-400). We also apply corrections to the power spectra due to systematics and derive cosmological constraints using the full shape of the power spectra. For a flat ΛCDM model, when combined with cosmic microwave background Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe 7 (WMAP7) and H 0 constraints from using 600 Cepheids observed by Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3; HST), we find ΩΛ = 0.73 ± 0.019 and H 0 to be 70.5 ± 1.6 s-1 Mpc-1 km. For an open ΛCDM model, when combined with WMAP7 + HST, we find Ω K = 0.0035 ± 0.0054, improved over WMAP7+HST alone by 40%. For a wCDM model, when combined with WMAP7+HST+SN, we find w = -1.071 ± 0.078, and H 0 to be 71.3 ± 1.7 s-1 Mpc-1 km, which is competitive with the latest large-scale structure constraints from large spectroscopic surveys such as the SDSS Data Release 7 (DR7) and WiggleZ. We also find that systematic-corrected power spectra give consistent constraints on cosmological models when compared with pre-systematic correction power spectra in the angular scales of interest. The SDSS-III Data Release 8 (SDSS-III DR8) Angular Clustering Data allow a wide range of investigations into the cosmological model, cosmic expansion (via BAO), Gaussianity of initial conditions, and neutrino masses. Here, we refer to our companion papers for further investigations using the clustering data. Our calculation of the survey selection function, systematics maps, and likelihood function for the COSMOMC package will be released at

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number14
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 10 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • cosmological parameters
  • dark energy
  • dark matter
  • distance scale

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