New Evidence for a Large Local Void From the UKIDSS LAS + SDSS
American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #221, id.432.01
Published in Jan 2013
Recent cosmological modeling efforts have shown that a local under-density on scales of a few hundred Mpc (out to z ~ 0.1) could produce the apparent acceleration of the expansion of the universe observed via type Ia supernovae. Several studies of galaxy counts in the near-infrared (NIR) have found that the local universe appears underdense by ~25 - 50% compared with regions a few hundred Mpc distant (e.g. Keenan et al., 2010). An accurate characterization of any such under-density will be important for studies seeking to understand the nature of dark energy. If the space density of galaxies is rising as a function of redshift, then the luminosity density, as measured via the NIR galaxy luminosity function (LF), should be rising as well. In Keenan et al. (2012), we presented a study of the NIR LF at z ~ 0.2 and found that the product φ*L* (the peak of the luminosity density distribution) at z ~ 0.2 is roughly ~ 30% higher than that measured at z ~ 0.05. Here we present the results from a study of the NIR LF derived from galaxies selected from the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Large Area Survey (UKIDSS LAS) combined with spectroscopy from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). We confirm the apparent rise in luminosity density found in Keenan et al. (2012) from z = 0.05 to z = 0.1 and provide the first self-consistent measurements of the NIR luminosity density out to z ~ 0.15.
(c) 2013: American Astronomical Society