Journal Article

Self-calibration technique for three-point intrinsic alignment correlations in weak lensing surveys

M. A. Troxel and M. Ishak

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 419, issue 2, pages 1804-1823
Published in print January 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Self-calibration technique for three-point intrinsic alignment correlations in weak lensing surveys

Show Summary Details


The intrinsic alignment (IA) of galaxies has been shown to be a significant barrier to precision cosmic shear measurements. Recently, Zhang proposed a self-calibration technique for the power spectrum to calculate the induced gravitational shear–galaxy intrinsic ellipticity correlation (GI) in weak lensing surveys with photo-z measurements, which is expected to reduce the IA contamination by at least a factor of 10 for currently proposed surveys. We confirm this using an independent analysis and propose an expansion to the self-calibration technique for the bispectrum in order to calculate the dominant IA gravitational shear–gravitational shear–intrinsic ellipticity correlation (GGI) contamination. We first establish an estimator to extract the galaxy density–density–intrinsic ellipticity (ggI) correlation from the galaxy ellipticity–density–density measurement for a photo-z galaxy sample. We then develop a relation between the GGI and ggI bispectra, which allows for the estimation and removal of the GGI correlation from the cosmic shear signal. We explore the performance of these two methods, compare to other possible sources of error, and show that the GGI self-calibration technique can potentially reduce the IA contamination by up to a factor of 5–10 for all but a few bin choices, thus reducing the contamination to the per cent level. The self-calibration is less accurate for adjacent bins, but still allows for a factor of 3 reduction in the IA contamination. The self-calibration thus promises to be an efficient technique to isolate both the two-point and three-point intrinsic alignment signals from weak lensing measurements.

Keywords: gravitational lensing: weak; cosmology: theory; large-scale structure of Universe

Journal Article.  10709 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.