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Sibling Rivalry: SNeIa Diversity and the Hubble Tension

Presentation #326.02 in the session Dark Matter & Dark Energy.

Published onJul 01, 2023
Sibling Rivalry: SNeIa Diversity and the Hubble Tension

Thermonuclear supernovae, or Type-Ia supernovae (SNeIa), are an essential tool of cosmology. Precise cosmological constraints are extracted from a Hubble diagram defined by homogeneous distance indicators, but supernova homogeneity is not guaranteed. The degree of heterogeneity within the SNeIa parent population is unknown. In addition, event selections and standardization procedures are based on empirical, optically-measured observables rather than fundamental thermonuclear properties. Systematics are a natural consequence of event selection from a diverse parent population. Quantifying the impact of diversity-driven systematics is crucial to optimizing SNeIa as cosmic probes. In this work, the empirical observables are used to calibrate previously unidentified diversity-driven systematic uncertainties. The foundation of this approach is the concept of “supernova siblings”, two or more supernovae hosted by the same parent galaxy. Sibling-based calibrations isolate intrinsic differences between supernovae; they control for source distance and host galaxy dependencies that can conceal systematics or lead to their underestimation. Newly calibrated distance modulus uncertainties are approximately an order of magnitude larger than previously reported. The physical origin of these uncertainties is plausibly attributed to the diverse thermonuclear scenarios responsible for SNeIa and the inhomogeneous apparent magnitudes induced by this diversity. Systematics mitigation strategies are discussed. Cosmological parameter constraints extracted from a re-analysis of the Pantheon+ SNeIa dataset are weaker than previously reported. Agreement with early-Universe parameter estimates is achieved for a Lambda-CDM cosmology, including a reduction of the Hubble Tension from ~5σ to <1σ.

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