Robust weak-lensing mass calibration of Planck galaxy clusters

Anja von der Linden, Adam Mantz, Steven W. Allen, Douglas E. Applegate, Patrick L. Kelly, R. Glenn Morris, Adam Wright, Mark T. Allen, Patricia R. Burchat, David L. Burke, David Donovan, Harald Ebeling

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181 Scopus citations


In light of the tension in cosmological constraints reported by the Planck team between their Sunyaev-Zel'dovich-selected cluster counts and Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) temperature anisotropies, we compare the Planck clustermass estimates with robust, weak-lensing mass measurements from the Weighing the Giants (WtG) project. For the 22 clusters in common between the Planck cosmology sample and WtG, we find an overall mass ratio of (MPlanck/MWtG) = 0.688 ± 0.072. Extending the sample to clusters not used in the Planck cosmology analysis yields a consistent value of (MPlanck/MWtG) = 0.698 ± 0.062 from 38 clusters in common. Identifying the weak-lensing masses as proxies for the true cluster mass (on average), these ratios are ~1.6σ lower than the default bias factor of 0.8 assumed in the Planck cluster analysis. Adopting the WtG weak-lensing-based mass calibration would substantially reduce the tension found between the Planck cluster count cosmology results and those from CMB temperature anisotropies, thereby dispensing of the need for 'new physics' such as uncomfortably large neutrino masses (in the context of the measured Planck temperature anisotropies and other data).We also find modest evidence (at 95 per cent confidence) for a mass dependence of the calibration ratio and discuss its potential origin in light of systematic uncertainties in the temperature calibration of the X-ray measurements used to calibrate the Planck cluster masses. Our results exemplify the critical role that robust absolute mass calibration plays in cluster cosmology, and the invaluable role of accurate weak-lensing mass measurements in this regard.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1973-1978
Number of pages6
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • Cosmology: observations
  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Gravitational lensing: weak


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