Large-scale power spectrum from peculiar velocities via likelihood analysis

Saleem Zaroubi, Idit Zehavi, Avishai Dekel, Yehuda Hoffman, Tsafrir Kolatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The power spectrum (PS) of mass density fluctuations, independent of "biasing," is estimated from the Mark III catalog of peculiar velocities using Bayesian statistics. A parametric model is assumed for the PS, and the free parameters are determined by maximizing the probability of the model given the data. The method has been tested using detailed mock catalogs. It has been applied to generalized CDM models with and without COBE normalization. The robust result for all the models is a relatively high PS, with P(k)Ω1.2 = (4.8 ± 1.5) × 103(h-1 Mpc)3 at k = 0.1 h Mpc-1. An extrapolation to smaller scales using the different CDM models yields σ8Ω0.6 = 0.88 ± 0.15. The peak is weakly constrained to the range 0.02 ≤ k ≤ 0.06 h Mpc-1. These results are consistent with a direct computation of the PS. When compared to galaxy-density surveys, the implied values for β (≡Ω0.6/b) are of order unity to within 25%. The parameters of the COBE-normalized, flat CDM model are confined by a 90% likelihood contour of the sort Ωh50μnν = 0.8 ± 0.2, where μ = 1.3 and v = 3.4, 2.0 for models with and without tensor fluctuations, respectively. For open CDM the powers are μ = 0.95 and ν = 1.4 (no tensor fluctuations). A Γ-shape model free of COBE normalization yields only a weak constraint: Γ = 0.4 ± 0.2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-31
Number of pages11
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Cosmology: theory
  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: distances and redshifts
  • Large scale structure of universe
  • Methods: statistical


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