Journal Article

Hubble diagram dispersion from large-scale structure

Timothy Clifton and Joe Zuntz

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 400, issue 4, pages 2185-2199
Published in print December 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Hubble diagram dispersion from large-scale structure

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We consider the effects of large structures in the Universe on the Hubble diagram. This problem is treated non-linearly by considering a Swiss Cheese model of the Universe in which underdense voids are represented as negatively curved regions of space–time. Exact expressions for luminosity distances and redshifts are used to investigate the non-linear effects of structure on the magnitudes of astrophysical sources. It is found that the intervening voids we consider, between the observer and source, produce changes in apparent magnitude of less than 0.012. Sources inside voids, however, can be affected considerably at redshifts below z∼ 0.5. By averaging observable quantities over many randomly generated distributions of voids we find that the presence of these structures has the effect of introducing a dispersion around the mean, which itself can be displaced the background value. Observers in an inhomogeneous universe, who take averages of observables along many different lines of sight, may then introduce systematic biases, and underestimate errors, if these effects are not taken into account. Estimates of the potential size of these effects are made using data from simulated large-scale structure.

Keywords: relativity; supernovae: general; cosmological parameters; cosmology: theory; large-scale structure of Universe

Journal Article.  10615 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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