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Exploring new frontiers with galaxy surveys

Grant number: 15/17199-0
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: April 01, 2016 - November 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Astronomy
Principal Investigator:Luis Raul Weber Abramo
Grantee:Luis Raul Weber Abramo
Home Institution: Instituto de Física (IF). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics experienced significant advances over the last few years, as they reaped the immense benefits allowed by large-area surveys such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (I-II-III), WiggleZ, and others. While the present generation of surveys (e.g., BOSS and DES) emphasize the exploration of cosmological parameters, in particular the attempts to measure the dark energy equation of state, there is now an increasing synergy (both theoretical and observational) between cosmology, large-scale structure, and galaxy evolution, which lacks a counterpart in terms of new astronomical instruments. Increasingly these fields are converging, and an unified description of the distribution of galaxies is being formed, based not only on the $\Lambda$CDM model, but also on more advanced concepts such as the Halo Model and HODs (halo occupation distributions). We have recently developed new statistical techniques for data analysis that allow the simultaneous study of both cosmological and astrophysical (i.e., those related to galaxy evolution) aspects in galaxy maps. With this project we will complete the testing and validation of these tools, and apply them in both mock catalogs and real ones. Our aim is, naturally, to use these tools for analyzing data from the future surveys.One of the main difficulties to advance further in this program is the limited statistics for galaxies of different redshifts, luminosities, and morphological types. One of the astronomical instruments which promises to deliver huge amounts of data on extragalactic objects is J-PAS (the Javalambre Physics of the Acceleration of the Universe Astrophysical Survey). That instrument, hosted by the recently inaugurated OAJ (Observatorio Astronomico de Javalambre), in mainland Spain, is composed basically of a 2.6 m telescope (T250) with a 3$^\circ$-diameter field-of-view, and an 1.4 Gpixel panoramic camera (JPCam). J-PAS has an innovative strategy that consists in imaging more than 1/5 of the full sky in 57 filters (52 narrow-band, and 5 broad-band filters), to a depth of $\sim 22.5$ in the SDSS $r$ band. This will allow the observation of hundreds of millions of galaxies and AGNs, with extremely accurate measurements of their redshifts due to the measured fluxes in the narrow-band filters.This project will also help in two fronts critical to this project: 1) we will furnish the JPCam filter system unit (FSU) with an electronics control system (e-Box). The e-Box contains the sensors that inform the main controller whether or not the filters are in their proper positions, providing feedback from the mechanical parts of the filter trays, and is a key component of the FSU. 2) we will improve the storage capacity of the {\em Alpha Crucis} computing cluster at IAG-USP, by adding 12 drives of 4000-GB SAS 7200 RPM. As a result of its immense success, this computing facility has been oversubscribed by its users (including our group), and data storage is one of the main bottlenecks. With these additional drives we will improve the capacity and stability of the system. (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
RAUL ABRAMO, L.; BERTACCA, DANIELE. Disentangling the effects of Doppler velocity and primordial non-Gaussianity in galaxy power spectra. Physical Review D, v. 96, n. 12 DEC 29 2017. Web of Science Citations: 11.

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