Improved Constraints on the 21 cm EoR Power Spectrum and the X-Ray Heating of the IGM with HERA Phase I Observations

The HERA Collaboration: Zara Abdurashidova, Tyrone Adams, James E. Aguirre, Paul Alexander, Zaki S. Ali, Rushelle Baartman, Yanga Balfour, Rennan Barkana, Adam P. Beardsley, Gianni Bernardi, Tashalee S. Billings, Judd D. Bowman, Richard F. Bradley, Daniela Breitman, Philip Bull, Jacob Burba, Steve Carey, Chris L. Carilli, Carina Cheng, Samir ChoudhuriDavid R. DeBoer, Eloy de Lera Acedo, Matt Dexter, Joshua S. Dillon, John Ely, Aaron Ewall-Wice, Nicolas Fagnoni, Anastasia Fialkov, Randall Fritz, Steven R. Furlanetto, Kingsley Gale-Sides, Hugh Garsden, Brian Glendenning, Adélie Gorce, Deepthi Gorthi, Bradley Greig, Jasper Grobbelaar, Ziyaad Halday, Bryna J. Hazelton, Stefan Heimersheim, Jacqueline N. Hewitt, Jack Hickish, Daniel C. Jacobs, Austin Julius, Nicholas S. Kern, Joshua Kerrigan, Piyanat Kittiwisit, Saul A. Kohn, Matthew Kolopanis, Adam Lanman, Paul La Plante, David Lewis, Adrian Liu, Anita Loots, Yin Zhe Ma, David H.E. MacMahon, Lourence Malan, Keith Malgas, Cresshim Malgas, Matthys Maree, Bradley Marero, Zachary E. Martinot, Lisa McBride, Andrei Mesinger, Jordan Mirocha, Mathakane Molewa, Miguel F. Morales, Tshegofalang Mosiane, Julian B. Muñoz, Steven G. Murray, Vighnesh Nagpal, Abraham R. Neben, Bojan Nikolic, Chuneeta D. Nunhokee, Hans Nuwegeld, Aaron R. Parsons, Robert Pascua, Nipanjana Patra, Samantha Pieterse, Yuxiang Qin, Nima Razavi-Ghods, James Robnett, Kathryn Rosie, Mario G. Santos, Peter Sims, Saurabh Singh, Craig Smith, Hilton Swarts, Jianrong Tan, Nithyanandan Thyagarajan, Michael J. Wilensky, Peter K.G. Williams, Pieter van Wyngaarden, Haoxuan Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report the most sensitive upper limits to date on the 21 cm epoch of reionization power spectrum using 94 nights of observing with Phase I of the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA). Using similar analysis techniques as in previously reported limits, we find at 95% confidence that Δ2(k = 0.34 h Mpc−1) ≤ 457 mK2 at z = 7.9 and that Δ2(k = 0.36 h Mpc−1) ≤ 3496 mK2 at z = 10.4, an improvement by a factor of 2.1 and 2.6, respectively. These limits are mostly consistent with thermal noise over a wide range of k after our data quality cuts, despite performing a relatively conservative analysis designed to minimize signal loss. Our results are validated with both statistical tests on the data and end-to-end pipeline simulations. We also report updated constraints on the astrophysics of reionization and the cosmic dawn. Using multiple independent modeling and inference techniques previously employed by HERA Collaboration, we find that the intergalactic medium must have been heated above the adiabatic cooling limit at least as early as z = 10.4, ruling out a broad set of so-called “cold reionization” scenarios. If this heating is due to high-mass X-ray binaries during the cosmic dawn, as is generally believed, our result’s 99% credible interval excludes the local relationship between soft X-ray luminosity and star formation and thus requires heating driven by evolved low-metallicity stars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number124
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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