Comparing simulations and observations of the Lyα forest. I. Methodology

Cathy E. Petry, Chris D. Impey, Neal Katz, David H. Weinberg, Lars E. Hernquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We describe techniques for comparing spectra extracted from cosmological simulations and observational data, using the same methodology to link Lyα properties derived from the simulations with properties derived from observational data. The eventual goal is to measure the coherence or clustering properties of Lyα absorbers using observations of quasar pairs and groups. We quantify the systematic underestimate in opacity that is inherent in the continuum-fitting process of observed spectra over a range of resolution and signal-to-noise ratio (S/N). We present an automated process for detecting and selecting absorption features over the range of resolution and S/N of typical observational data on the Lyα forest. Using these techniques, we detect coherence over transverse scales out to 500 h50-1 kpc in spectra extracted from a cosmological simulation at z = 2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-50
Number of pages21
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - Feb 10 2002


  • Intergalactic medium
  • Large-scale structure of universe
  • Methods: data analysis
  • Methods: n-body simulations
  • Quasars: absorption lines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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