Unbiased Cosmological Parameter Estimation from Emission-line Surveys with Interlopers

Henry S. Grasshorn Gebhardt, Donghui Jeong, Humna Awan, Joanna S. Bridge, Robin Ciardullo, Daniel Farrow, Karl Gebhardt, Gary J. Hill, Eiichiro Komatsu, Mallory Molina, Ana Paulino-Afonso, Shun Saito, Donald P. Schneider, Greg Zeimann

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19 Scopus citations


The galaxy catalogs generated from low-resolution emission-line surveys often contain both foreground and background interlopers due to line misidentification, which can bias the cosmological parameter estimation. In this paper, we present a method for correcting the interloper bias by using the joint analysis of auto- and cross-power spectra of the main and the interloper samples. In particular, we can measure the interloper fractions from the cross-correlation between the interlopers and survey galaxies, because the true cross-correlation must be negligibly small. The estimated interloper fractions, in turn, remove the interloper bias in the cosmological parameter estimation. For example, in the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment low-redshift (z < 0.5) [O ii] λ3727A emitters contaminate high-redshift (1.9 < z < 3.5) Lyα line emitters. We demonstrate that the joint-analysis method yields a high signal-to-noise ratio measurement of the interloper fractions while only marginally increasing the uncertainties in the cosmological parameters relative to the case without interlopers. We also show that the same is true for the high-latitude spectroscopic survey of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Telescope mission where contamination occurs between the Balmer-α line emitters at lower redshifts (1.1 < z < 1.9) and oxygen ([O iii] λ5007A) line emitters at higher redshifts (1.7 < z < 2.8).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number32
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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