TDCOSMO IV: Hierarchical time-delay cosmography -- joint inference of the Hubble constant and galaxy density profiles

S. Birrer, A. J. Shajib, A. Galan, M. Millon, T. Treu, A. Agnello, M. Auger, G. C. -F. Chen, L. Christensen, T. Collett, F. Courbin, C. D. Fassnacht, L. V. E. Koopmans, P. J. Marshall, C. E. Rusu, D. Sluse, C. Spiniello, S. H. Suyu, S. Wagner-Carena, K. C. WongM. Barnabè, A. S. Bolton, O. Czoske, X. Ding, J. A. Frieman, L. Van de Vyvere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The H0LiCOW collaboration inferred via gravitational lensing time delays a Hubble constant $H_0=73.3^{+1.7}_{-1.8}$ km s$^{-1}{\rm Mpc}^{-1}$, describing deflector mass density profiles by either a power-law or stars plus standard dark matter halos. The mass-sheet transform (MST) that leaves the lensing observables unchanged is considered the dominant source of residual uncertainty in $H_0$. We quantify any potential effect of the MST with flexible mass models that are maximally degenerate with H0. Our calculation is based on a new hierarchical approach in which the MST is only constrained by stellar kinematics. The approach is validated on hydrodynamically simulated lenses. We apply the method to the TDCOSMO sample of 7 lenses (6 from H0LiCOW) and measure $H_0=74.5^{+5.6}_{-6.1}$ km s$^{-1}{\rm Mpc}^{-1}$. In order to further constrain the deflector mass profiles, we then add imaging and spectroscopy for 33 strong gravitational lenses from the SLACS sample. For 9 of the SLAC lenses we use resolved kinematics to constrain the stellar anisotropy. From the joint analysis of the TDCOSMO+SLACS sample, we measure $H_0=67.4^{+4.1}_{-3.2}$ km s$^{-1}{\rm Mpc}^{-1}$, assuming that the TDCOSMO and SLACS galaxies are drawn from the same parent population. The blind H0LiCOW, TDCOSMO-only and TDCOSMO+SLACS analyses are in mutual statistical agreement. The TDCOSMO+SLACS analysis prefers marginally shallower mass profiles than H0LiCOW or TDCOSMO-only. While our new analysis does not statistically invalidate the mass profile assumptions by H0LiCOW, and thus their $H_0$ measurement relying on those, it demonstrates the importance of understanding the mass density profile of elliptical galaxies. The uncertainties on $H_0$ derived in this paper can be reduced by physical or observational priors on the form of the mass profile, or by additional data, chiefly spatially resolved kinematics of lens galaxies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 6 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • astro-ph.CO
  • astro-ph.GA

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