Luminous red galaxy halo density field reconstruction and application to large-scale structure measurements

Beth A. Reid, David N. Spergel, Paul Bode

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The nontrivial relationship between observations of galaxy positions in redshift space and the underlying matter field complicates our ability to determine the linear theory power spectrum and extract cosmological information from galaxy surveys. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) luminous red galaxy (LRG) catalog has the potential to place powerful constraints on cosmological parameters. LRGs are bright, highly biased tracers of large-scale structure. However, because they are highly biased, the nonlinear contribution of satellite galaxies to the galaxy power spectrum is large and fingers-of-God (FOGs) are significant. The combination of these effects leads to a 10% correction in the underlying power spectrum at k = 0.1 h Mpc-1 and 40% correction at k = 0.2 h Mpc-1 in the LRG P(k) analysis of Tegmark etal., thereby compromising the cosmological constraints when this potentially large correction is left as a free parameter. We propose an alternative approach to recovering the matter field from galaxy observations. Our approach is to use halos rather than galaxies to trace the underlying mass distribution. We identify FOGs and replace each FOG with a single halo object. This removes the nonlinear contribution of satellite galaxies, the one-halo term. We test our method on a large set of high-fidelity mock SDSS LRG catalogs and find that the power spectrum of the reconstructed halo density field deviates from the underlying matter power spectrum at the ≤1% level for k ≤ 0.1 h Mpc-1 and ≤4% at k = 0.2 h Mpc-1. The reconstructed halo density field also removes the bias in the measurement of the redshift space distortion parameter β induced by the FOG smearing of the linear redshift space distortions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-265
Number of pages17
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • CD
  • Cosmology
  • Elliptical and lenticular
  • Galaxies
  • Halos
  • Observations
  • Statistics


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