Journal Article

Cosmic flows on 100 <i>h</i><sup>−1</sup> Mpc scales: standardized minimum variance bulk flow, shear and octupole moments

Hume A. Feldman, Richard Watkins and Michael J. Hudson

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 407, issue 4, pages 2328-2338
Published in print October 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17052.x
Cosmic flows on 100 h−1 Mpc scales: standardized minimum variance bulk flow, shear and octupole moments

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The low-order moments, such as the bulk flow and shear, of the large-scale peculiar velocity field are sensitive probes of the matter density fluctuations on very large scales. In practice, however, peculiar velocity surveys are usually sparse and noisy, which can lead to the aliasing of small-scale power into what is meant to be a probe of the largest scales. Previously, we developed an optimal ‘minimum variance’ (MV) weighting scheme, designed to overcome this problem by minimizing the difference between the measured bulk flow (BF) and that which would be measured by an ideal survey. Here we extend this MV analysis to include the shear and octupole moments, which are designed to have almost no correlations between them so that they are virtually orthogonal. We apply this MV analysis to a compilation of all major peculiar velocity surveys, consisting of 4536 measurements. Our estimate of the BF on scales of ∼100 h−1 Mpc has a magnitude of |v| = 416 ± 78 km s −1 towards Galactic l= 282°± 11° and b= 6°± 6°. This result is in disagreement with Λ cold dark matter with Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe 5 (WMAP5) cosmological parameters at a high confidence level, but is in good agreement with our previous MV result without an orthogonality constraint, showing that the shear and octupole moments did not contaminate the previous BF measurement. The shear and octupole moments are consistent with WMAP5 power spectrum, although the measurement noise is larger for these moments than for the BF. The relatively low shear moments suggest that the sources responsible for the BF are at large distances.

Keywords: galaxies: kinematics and dynamics; galaxies: statistics; cosmology: observations; cosmology: theory; distance scale; large-scale structure of the Universe

Journal Article.  7808 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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