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Recovering the H II region size statistics from 21-cm tomography
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC).
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Number of Authors: 10
2017 (English)In: Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, ISSN 0035-8711, E-ISSN 1365-2966, Vol. 471, no 2, 1936-1954 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We introduce a novel technique, called 'granulometry', to characterize and recover the mean size and the size distribution of HII regions from 21-cm tomography. The technique is easy to implement, but places the previously not very well-defined concept of morphology on a firm mathematical foundation. The size distribution of the cold spots in 21-cm tomography can be used as a direct tracer of the underlying probability distribution of HII region sizes. We explore the capability of the method using large-scale reionization simulations and mock observational data cubes while considering capabilities of SquareKilometreArray 1 (SKA1) low and a future extension to SKA2. We show that the technique allows the recovery of the HII region size distribution with a moderate signal-to-noise ratio from wide-field imaging (SNR less than or similar to 3), for which the statistical uncertainty is sample variance dominated. We address the observational requirements on the angular resolution, the field of view, and the thermal noise limit for a successful measurement. To achieve a full scientific return from 21-cm tomography and to exploit a synergy with 21-cm power spectra, we suggest an observing strategy using widefield imaging (several tens of square degrees) by an interferometric mosaicking/multibeam observation with additional intermediate baselines (similar to 2-4 km) in an SKA phase 2.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 471, no 2, 1936-1954 p.
Keyword [en]
radiative transfer, methods: data analysis, techniques: image processing, intergalactic medium, dark ages, reionization, first stars, cosmology: theory
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-146946DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stx1568ISI: 000409022700045OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-146946DiVA: diva2:1142483
Available from: 2017-09-19 Created: 2017-09-19 Last updated: 2017-09-19Bibliographically approved

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Mellema, Garrelt
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Department of AstronomyThe Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC)
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