Joint cosmological and gravitational-wave population inference using dark sirens and galaxy catalogues

R. Gray, Freija Beirnaert, Christos Karathanasis, Benoît Revenu, Cezary Turski, Anson Chen, Tessa Baker, Sergio Vallejo, Antonio Enea Romano, Tathagata Ghosh, Archisman Ghosh, Konstantin Leyde, Simone Mastrogiovanni, Surhud More

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In the absence of numerous gravitational-wave detections with confirmed electromagnetic counterparts, the "dark siren" method has emerged as a leading technique of gravitational-wave cosmology. The method allows redshift information of such events to be inferred statistically from a catalogue of potential host galaxies. Due to selection effects, dark siren analyses necessarily depend on the mass distribution of compact objects and the evolution of their merger rate with redshift. Informative priors on these quantities will impact the inferred posterior constraints on the Hubble constant (H0). It is thus crucial to vary these unknown distributions during anH0 inference. This was not possible in earlier analyses due to the high computational cost, restricting them to either excluding galaxy catalogue information, or fixing the gravitational-wave population mass distribution and risking introducing bias to the H0measurement. This paper introduces a significantly enhanced version of the Python packagegwcosmo, which allows joint estimation of cosmological and compact binary population parameters. This thereby ensures the analysis is now robust to a major source of potential bias. The gravitational-wave events from the Third Gravitational-Wave Transient Catalogue are reanalysed with the GLADE+ galaxy catalogue, and an updated, more reliable measurement of H0 = 69+12-7 km s-1 Mpc-1 is found (maximum a posteriori probability and 68% highest density interval). This improved method will enable cosmological analyses with future gravitational-wave detections to make full use of the information available (both from galaxy catalogues and the compact binary population itself), leading to promising new independent bounds on the Hubble constant.
Original languageEnglish
Article number023
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2023


  • astro-ph.CO
  • gravitational waves / sources
  • Bayesian reasoning
  • galaxy surveys
  • UKRI
  • STFC
  • ST/V005634/1

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