We search for a galaxy clustering bias due to a modulation of galaxy number with the baryon–dark matter relative velocity resulting from recombination-era physics. We find no detected signal and place the constraint bv < 0.01 on the relative velocity bias for the CMASS galaxies. This bias is an important potential systematic of baryon acoustic oscillation (BAO) method measurements of the cosmic distance scale using the two-point clustering. Our limit on the relative velocity bias indicates a systematic shift of no more than 0.3 per cent rms in the distance scale inferred from the BAO feature in the BOSS two-point clustering, well below the 1 per cent statistical error of this measurement. This constraint is the most stringent currently available and has important implications for the ability of upcoming large-scale structure surveys such as the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) to self-protect against the relative velocity as a possible systematic.
- cosmological parameters
- cosmology: observations