Journal Article

Effects of distant large-scale structure on the precision of weak lensing mass measurements

Henk Hoekstra, Jan Hartlap, Stefan Hilbert and Edo van Uitert

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 412, issue 3, pages 2095-2103
Published in print April 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.18053.x
Effects of distant large-scale structure on the precision of weak lensing mass measurements

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Weak gravitational lensing has become an important method to determine the masses of galaxy clusters. The intrinsic shapes of the galaxies are a dominant source of uncertainty, but there are other limitations to the precision that can be achieved. In this paper we revisit a typically ignored source of uncertainty: uncorrelated structure along the line of sight. Using results from the Millennium Simulation we confirm the validity of analytical calculations that have shown that such random projections are particularly important for studies of the cluster density profile. In general the contribution of distant large-scale structure to the total error budget is comparable to the statistical errors. We find that the precision of the mass measurement can be improved only slightly by modelling the uncorrelated large-scale structure using readily available data.

Keywords: galaxies: clusters; cosmology: observations; dark matter; large-scale structure of Universe

Journal Article.  7252 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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