Consequences of using a smooth cosmic distance in a lumpy universe: I

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How do we appropriately fit a model based on an idealized Friedmann-Lemaître Robertson-Walker spacetime to observations made from a single location in a lumpy universe? We address this question for surveys that measure the imprints of the baryon acoustic oscillation in galaxy distribution and the peak apparent magnitude of the type 1A supernova. These observables are related to the cosmological model through the Alcock-Paczyński parameters and the distance-redshift relation. Using the corresponding inhomogeneous spacetime expressions of these as observed data, we perform a parameter inference assuming that the background Friedmann-Lemaître Robertson-Walker model is the correct model of the Universe. This process allows us to estimate the best fit Hubble rate and the deceleration parameter. We find that the inferred Hubble rate from the monopole of the Alcock-Paczyński parameters is in tension with the Hubble rate determined using the distance-redshift relation. The latter gives the best fit Hubble rate for the cosmological expansion. The constraint on the Hubble rate from the Alcock-Paczyński parameters is contaminated by the environment. When the environmental contribution is restricted to modes in the Hubble flow, we find about (9–12)% discrepancy in the Hubble rate. Finally, we comment on the insufficiency of the method of cosmography in constraining the deceleration parameter.
Original languageEnglish
Article number023514
Number of pages20
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number02
Early online date15 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2022


  • UKRI
  • STFC
  • ST/S000550/1


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