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Sub-percent calibration of the extragalactic distance scale in the era of big surveys

Objective

After detection of the accelerated expansion of the Universe (Nobel prize 2011) and the existence of an enigmatic “dark energy” component of the matter-energy content of the Universe the physical explanation of the nature of dark energy has become a major challenge for astronomers and physicists in recent years. The recent empirical determinations of H0 complicated even more our understanding of the Universe since they differ by about 4σ from the value obtained from Planck data and the ΛCDM model, which suggest that new physics might be required in the models.

We will calibrate two geometrical methods which will yield 1% distances a thousand times further out than Gaia parallaxes. The great advantage of our approach is the full control on all potential errors affecting the distance determinations, including systematic errors elusive in most other methods. In addition, we will provide mutual crosschecks at the sub-percent accuracy level with three completely independent geometrical methods. This will allow for the first time to verify the accuracy (and not only precision) at this unprecedented level of precision. Applying these methods we will calibrate the extragalactic distance scale with an unprecedented precision and accuracy. This will allow for a 1% H0 determination with Cepheids and SN Ia. Novel reverberation studies of AGN continua will allow us to determine H0 completely independently, and provide direct insight into the larger redshift Universe, including the H(z) dependence which will constrain other cosmological parameters.

Our results will have strong impact on many fields of modern astrophysics. In particular they will definitively answer the question if new physics beyond the standard cosmological model is required. They will also be central to understand the physical nature of dark energy which constitutes about 72% of the matter-energy of the Universe.

Call for proposal

ERC-2020-SyG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-SyG - Synergy grant

Host institution

CENTRUM ASTRONOMICZNE IM. MIKOLAJAKOPERNIKA POLSKIEJ AKADEMII NAUK
Address
Bartycka, 18
00716 Warszawa
Poland
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 10 608 962,50

Beneficiaries (5)

CENTRUM ASTRONOMICZNE IM. MIKOLAJAKOPERNIKA POLSKIEJ AKADEMII NAUK
Poland
EU contribution
€ 10 608 962,50
Address
Bartycka, 18
00716 Warszawa
Activity type
Research Organisations
OBSERVATOIRE DE PARIS
France
EU contribution
€ 1 220 555
Address
Avenue De L Observatoire 61
75014 Paris
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSIDAD DE CONCEPCION
Chile
EU contribution
€ 927 000
Address
Victor Lamas 1290
4070386 Concepcion
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Centrum Fizyki Teoretycznej Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Poland
EU contribution
€ 501 169
Address
Al. Lotnikow 32/46
02-668 Warszawa
Activity type
Research Organisations
HITS GGMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 739 389,50
Address
Schloss Wolfsbrunnenweg 35
69118 Heidelberg
Activity type
Research Organisations