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Understanding the WMAP Cold Spot mystery

Naselsky, P. D., Christensen, P. R., Coles, Peter, Verkhodanov, O. V., Novikov, D. I. and Kim, Ja. 2010. Understanding the WMAP Cold Spot mystery. Astrophysical Bulletin 65 (2) , pp. 101-120. 10.1134/S199034131002001X

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Abstract

The Cold Spot (CS) at galactic coordinates (b = −57°, l = 209°) was discovered in the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP)data as a cosmic background anomaly. In order to assess the cosmological significance of the Spot, we examine its properties using the cluster analysis of the local extrema in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) signal. We also check the hypothesis that the CMB signal has a non-Gaussian tail, localized in the low-multipole components. We constructed a linear filter, dividing the signal into two parts: non-Gaussian and Gaussian. Using the filter scale as a variable, we can maximize the skewness and kurtosis of the smoothed signal and minimize these statistics. We discovered that the shape of the CS is formed primarily by the components of the CMB signal represented by the multipoles between 10 ≤ ℓ ≤ 20, with a corresponding angular scale of about 5°–10°. This signal leads to the modulation of the CMB on the whole sky, clearly seen at |b| > 30° in both the ILC andWCM maps, rather than in a single localized feature. After subtraction of this modulation, the remaining part of the CMB signal appears to be consistent with statistical homogeneity and Gaussianity. We therefore infer that the mystery of the WMAP Cold Spot reflects directly the peculiarities of low multipoles of the CMB signal, rather than a single local (isolated) defect or the manifestations of a globally anisotropic cosmology.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Uncontrolled Keywords: theoretical and observational cosmology
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1990-3413
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2019 03:44
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/23470

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