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Past and present cosmic structure in the SDSS DR7 main sample


We present a chrono-cosmography project, aiming at the inference of the four dimensional formation history of the observed large scale structure from its origin to the present epoch. To do so, we perform a full-scale Bayesian analysis of the northern galactic cap of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 7 main galaxy sample, relying on a fully probabilistic, physical model of the non-linearly evolved density field. Besides inferring initial conditions from observations, our methodology naturally and accurately reconstructs non-linear features at the present epoch, such as walls and filaments, corresponding to high-order correlation functions generated by late-time structure formation. Our inference framework self-consistently accounts for typical observational systematic and statistical uncertainties such as noise, survey geometry and selection effects. We further account for luminosity dependent galaxy biases and automatic noise calibration within a fully Bayesian approach. As a result, this analysis provides highly-detailed and accurate reconstructions of the present density field on scales larger than ~ 3 Mpc/h, constrained by SDSS observations. This approach also leads to the first quantitative inference of plausible formation histories of the dynamic large scale structure underlying the observed galaxy distribution. The results described in this work constitute the first full Bayesian non-linear analysis of the cosmic large scale structure with the demonstrated capability of uncertainty quantification. Some of these results will be made publicly available along with this work. The level of detail of inferred results and the high degree of control on observational uncertainties pave the path towards high precision chrono-cosmography, the subject of simultaneously studying the dynamics and the morphology of the inhomogeneous Universe.

Dates and versions

insu-03644788 , version 1 (19-04-2022)



J. Jasche, F. Leclercq, B. D. Wandelt. Past and present cosmic structure in the SDSS DR7 main sample. JOURNAL OF COSMOLOGY AND ASTROPARTICLE PHYSICS, 2015, 2015, ⟨10.1088/1475-7516/2015/01/036⟩. ⟨insu-03644788⟩
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