We present direct constraints on galaxy intrinsic alignments (IAs) using the Dark Energy Survey Year 3 (DES Y3), the Extended Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (eBOSS), and its precursor, the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS). Our measurements incorporate photometric red sequence (redMaGiC) galaxies from DES with median redshift z ∼0.2-1.0, luminous red galaxies from eBOSS at z ∼0.8, and also an SDSS-III BOSS CMASS sample at z ∼0.5. We measure two-point IA correlations, which we fit using a model that includes lensing, magnification, and photometric redshift error. Fitting on scales 6 Mpc h-1 < rp < 70 Mpc h-1, we make a detection of IAs in each sample, at 5σ-22σ (assuming a simple one-parameter model for IAs). Using these red samples, we measure the IA-luminosity relation. Our results are statistically consistent with previous results, but offer a significant improvement in constraining power, particularly at low luminosity. With this improved precision, we see detectable dependence on colour between broadly defined red samples. It is likely that a more sophisticated approach than a binary red/blue split, which jointly considers colour and luminosity dependence in the IA signal, will be needed in future. We also compare the various signal components at the best-fitting point in parameter space for each sample, and find that magnification and lensing contribute of the total signal. As precision continues to improve, it will certainly be necessary to account for these effects in future direct IA measurements. Finally, we make equivalent measurements on a sample of emission-line galaxies from eBOSS at z ∼ 0.8. We constrain the non-linear alignment amplitude to be (|A1| < 0.78 at 95 per cent CL).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2195-2223
Number of pages29
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Early online date6 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023


  • cosmological parameters
  • cosmology: observations
  • galaxies: statistics
  • gravitational lensing: weak

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