Towards emulating cosmic shear data: Revisiting the calibration of the shear measurements for the Kilo-Degree Survey

Arun Kannawadi, Henk Hoekstra, Lance Miller, Massimo Viola, Ian Fenech Conti, Ricardo Herbonnet, Thomas Erben, Catherine Heymans, Hendrik Hildebrandt, Konrad Kuijken, Mohammadjavad Vakili, Angus H. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Exploiting the full statistical power of future cosmic shear surveys will necessitate improvements to the accuracy with which the gravitational lensing signal is measured. We present a framework for calibrating shear with image simulations that demonstrates the importance of including realistic correlations between galaxy morphology, size and more importantly, photometric redshifts. This realism is essential so that selection and shape measurement biases can be calibrated accurately for a tomographic cosmic shear analysis. We emulate Kilo-Degree Survey (KiDS) observations of the COSMOS field using morphological information from {\it Hubble} Space Telescope imaging, faithfully reproducing the measured galaxy properties from KiDS observations of the same field. We calibrate our shear measurements from lensfit, and find through a range of sensitivity tests that lensfit is robust and unbiased within the allowed 2 per cent tolerance of our study. Our results show that the calibration has to be performed by selecting the tomographic samples in the simulations, consistent with the actual cosmic shear analysis, because the joint distributions of galaxy properties are found to vary with redshift. Ignoring this redshift variation could result in misestimating the shear bias by an amount that exceeds the allowed tolerance. To improve the calibration for future cosmic shear analyses, it will be essential to also correctly account for the measurement of photometric redshifts, which requires simulating multi-band observations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages31
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Early online date17 Apr 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Apr 2019


  • astro-ph.CO


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