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Cosmic covariance and the low quadrupole anisotropy in the WMAP data

Chiang, Lung-Yih, Naselsky, Pavel D. and Coles, Peter 2008. Cosmic covariance and the low quadrupole anisotropy in the WMAP data. Modern Physics Letters A 23 (17-20) , pp. 1489-1497. 10.1142/S0217732308027874

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Low quadrupole power in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) temperature anisotropies has been a puzzle since WMAP data release. In this talk I will demonstrate that the minimum variance optimization (MVO), a methodology used by many authors including the WMAP science team to separate the CMB from foreground contamination, serves not only to extract the CMB, but to subtract the “cosmic covariance”, an intrinsic correlation between the CMB and the foregrounds. Such subtraction induces low variance in the signal via MVO, which in turn propagates into the multipoles, causing a quadrupole deficit with more than 90% CL. As we do not know the CMB and the foregrounds a priori, and their correlation is subtracted by the MVO in any case, there is therefore an unknown error in the quadrupole power even before the cosmic variance interpretation. We combine the MVO and Monte Carlo simulations, assuming CMB is a Gaussian random field, and the estimated [note: The estimate has been updated from WMAP 5-year data.] quadrupole power falls in [308.13, 401.97] μK2 (at 1 − σ level).

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cosmology: cosmic microwave background; cosmology: observations; methods: data analysis
Publisher: World Scientific Publishing
ISSN: 0217-7323
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2019 03:44

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