The completed SDSS-IV extended Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey: N-body mock challenge for the quasar sample

Alex Smith, Etienne Burtin, Jiamin Hou, Richard Neveux, Ashley J. Ross, Shadab Alam, Jonathan Brinkmann, Kyle S. Dawson, Salman Habib, Katrin Heitmann, Jean Paul Kneib, Brad W. Lyke, Helion Du Mas Des Bourboux, Eva Maria Mueller, Adam D. Myers, Will J. Perciva, Graziano Rossi, Donald P. Schneider, Pauline Zarrouk, Gong Bo Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The growth rate and expansion history of the Universe can be measured from large galaxy redshift surveys using the Alcock- Paczynski effect. We validate the Redshift Space Distortion models used in the final analysis of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) extended Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (eBOSS) Data Release 16 quasar clustering sample, in configuration and Fourier space, using a series of halo occupation distribution mock catalogues generated using the OuterRim N-body simulation. We test three models on a series of non-blind mocks, in the OuterRim cosmology, and blind mocks, which have been rescaled to new cosmologies, and investigate the effects of redshift smearing and catastrophic redshifts. We find that for the non-blind mocks, the models are able to recover fσ8 to within 3 per cent and αIIand αto within 1 per cent. The scatter in the measurements is larger for the blind mocks, due to the assumption of an incorrect fiducial cosmology. From this mock challenge, we find that all three models perform well, with similar systematic errors on fσ8,αII, and αat the level of σ8= 0.013, σαII= 0.012, and σα= 0.008. The systematic error on the combined consensus is σ8= 0.011, σαII= 0.008, and σα= 0.005, which is used in the final DR16 analysis. For baryon acoustic oscillation fits in configuration and Fourier space, we take conservative systematic errors of σαII= 0.010 and σα= 0.007.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-291
Number of pages23
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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