Euclid preparation. XXXI. The effect of the variations in photometric passbands on photometric-redshift accuracy

Euclid Collaboration, A. Amara

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The technique of photometric redshifts has become essential for the exploitation of multi-band extragalactic surveys. While the requirements on photo-zs for the study of galaxy evolution mostly pertain to the precision and to the fraction of outliers, the most stringent requirement in their use in cosmology is on the accuracy, with a level of bias at the sub-percent level for the Euclid cosmology mission. A separate, and challenging, calibration process is needed to control the bias at this level of accuracy. The bias in photo-zs has several distinct origins that may not always be easily overcome. We identify here one source of bias linked to the spatial or time variability of the passbands used to determine the photometric colours of galaxies. We first quantified the effect as observed on several well-known photometric cameras, and found in particular that, due to the properties of optical filters, the redshifts of off-axis sources are usually overestimated. We show using simple simulations that the detailed and complex changes in the shape can be mostly ignored and that it is sufficient to know the mean wavelength of the passbands of each photometric observation to correct almost exactly for this bias; the key point is that this mean wavelength is independent of the spectral energy distribution of the source}. We use this property to propose a correction that can be computationally efficiently implemented in some photo-z algorithms, in particular template-fitting. We verified that our algorithm, implemented in the new photo-z code Phosphoros, can effectively reduce the bias in photo-zs on real data using the CFHTLS T007 survey, with an average measured bias Delta z over the redshift range 0.4
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA66
Number of pages18
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2024


  • astro-ph.CO
  • galaxies: distances and redshifts
  • cosmology: observations
  • surveys
  • techniques: photometric
  • techniques: miscellaneous

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