The effect of Limber and flat-sky approximations on galaxy weak lensing

10 Aug 2017

We review the effect of the commonly-used Limber and flat-sky approximations on the calculation of shear power spectra and correlation functions for galaxy weak lensing. These approximations are accurate at small scales, but it has been claimed recently that their impact on low multipoles could lead to an increase in the amplitude of the mass fluctuations inferred from surveys such as CFHTLenS, reducing the tension between galaxy weak lensing and the amplitude determined by Planck from observations of the cosmic microwave background. Here, we explore the impact of these approximations on cosmological parameters derived from weak lensing surveys, using the CFHTLenS data as a test case. We conclude that the use of small-angle approximations for cosmological parameter estimation is negligible for current data, and does not contribute to the tension between current weak lensing surveys and Planck.