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Testing Velocity-field Lensing on IllustrisTNG Galaxies

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Weak gravitational lensing shear could be measured far more precisely if information about unlensed attributes of source galaxies were available. Disk galaxy velocity fields supply such information, at least in principle, with idealized models predicting orders of magnitude more Fisher information when velocity-field observations are used to complement images. To test the level at which realistic features of disk galaxies (warps, bars, spiral arms, and other substructure) inject noise or bias into such shear measurements, we fit an idealized disk model, including shear, to unsheared galaxies in the Illustris TNG100 simulation. The inferred shear thus indicates the extent to which unmodeled galaxy features inject noise and bias. We find that γ +, the component of shear parallel to the galaxy’s first principal axis, is highly biased and noisy because disks violate the assumption of face-on circularity, displaying a range of intrinsic axis ratios (0.85 ± 0.11). The other shear component, γ ×, shows little bias and is well-described by a double Gaussian distribution with central core scatter σ core ≈ 0.03, with low-amplitude, broad wings. This is the first measurement of the natural noise floor in the proposed velocity-field lensing technique. We conclude that the technique will achieve impressive precision gains for measurements of γ ×, but little gain for measurements of γ +

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