Cosmic Microwave Background (cosmic + microwave_background)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


Estimating the spectral indices of correlated astrophysical foregrounds by a second-order statistical approach

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2006
A. Bonaldi
ABSTRACT We present the first tests of a new method, the correlated component analysis (CCA) based on second-order statistics, to estimate the mixing matrix, a key ingredient to separate astrophysical foregrounds superimposed to the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). In the present application, the mixing matrix is parametrized in terms of the spectral indices of Galactic synchrotron and thermal dust emissions, while the free,free spectral index is prescribed by basic physics, and is thus assumed to be known. We consider simulated observations of the microwave sky with angular resolution and white stationary noise at the nominal levels for the Planck satellite, and realistic foreground emissions, with a position-dependent synchrotron spectral index. We work with two sets of Planck frequency channels: the low-frequency set, from 30 to 143 GHz, complemented with the Haslam 408 MHz map, and the high-frequency set, from 217 to 545 GHz. The concentration of intense free,free emission on the Galactic plane introduces a steep dependence of the spectral index of the global Galactic emission with Galactic latitude, close to the Galactic equator. This feature makes difficult for the CCA to recover the synchrotron spectral index in this region, given the limited angular resolution of Planck, especially at low frequencies. A cut of a narrow strip around the Galactic equator (|b| < 3°), however, allows us to overcome this problem. We show that, once this strip is removed, the CCA allows an effective foreground subtraction, with residual uncertainties inducing a minor contribution to errors on the recovered CMB power spectrum. [source]


Low-frequency line temperatures of the CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background)

ANNALEN DER PHYSIK, Issue 9 2009
R. Hofmann
Abstract Based on SU(2) Yang-Mills thermodynamics we interprete Aracde2's and the results of earlier radio-surveys on low-frequency cosmic microwave background (CMB) line temperatures as a phase-boundary effect. We explain the excess at low frequencies by evanescent, nonthermal photon fields of the CMB whose intensity is nulled by that of Planck distributed calibrator photons. The CMB baseline temperature thus is identified with the critical temperature of the deconfining-preconfining transition. [source]


Foreground removal from Planck Sky Model temperature maps using a MLP neural network

ASTRONOMISCHE NACHRICHTEN, Issue 8 2009
H.U. Nørgaard-Nielsen
Abstract Unfortunately, the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation is contaminated by emission originating in the Milky Way (synchrotron, free-free and dust emission). Since the cosmological information is statistically in nature, it is essential to remove this foreground emission and leave the CMB with no systematic errors. To demonstrate the feasibility of a simple multilayer perceptron (MLP) neural network for extracting the CMB temperature signal, we have analyzed a specific data set, namely the Planck Sky Model maps, developed for evaluation of different component separation methods before including them in the Planck data analysis pipeline. It is found that a MLP neural network can provide a CMB map of about 80 % of the sky to a very high degree uncorrelated with the foreground components. Also the derived power spectrum shows little evidence for systematic errors (© 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]


Signals from the epoch of cosmological recombination , Karl Schwarzschild Award Lecture 2008

ASTRONOMISCHE NACHRICHTEN, Issue 7 2009
R. A. Sunyaev
Abstract The physical ingredients to describe the epoch of cosmological recombination are amazingly simple and well-understood. This fact allows us to take into account a very large variety of physical processes, still finding potentially measurable consequences for the energy spectrum and temperature anisotropies of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). In this contribution we provide a short historical overview in connection with the cosmological recombination epoch and its connection to the CMB. Also we highlight some of the detailed physics that were studied over the past few years in the context of the cosmological recombination of hydrogen and helium. The impact of these considerations is two-fold: (i) The associated release of photons during this epoch leads to interesting and unique deviations of the CosmicMicrowave Background (CMB) energy spectrum from a perfect blackbody, which, in particular at decimeter wavelength and the Wien part of the CMB spectrum, may become observable in the near future. Despite the fact that the abundance of helium is rather small, it still contributes a sizeable amount of photons to the full recombination spectrum, leading to additional distinct spectral features. Observing the spectral distortions from the epochs of hydrogen and helium recombination, in principle would provide an additional way to determine some of the key parameters of the Universe (e.g. the specific entropy, the CMB monopole temperature and the pre-stellar abundance of helium). Also it permits us to confront our detailed understanding of the recombination process with direct observational evidence. In this contribution we illustrate how the theoretical spectral template of the cosmological recombination spectrum may be utilized for this purpose. We also show that because hydrogen and helium recombine at very different epochs it is possible to address questions related to the thermal history of our Universe. In particular the cosmological recombination radiation may allow us to distinguish between Compton y -distortions that were created by energy release before or after the recombination of the Universe finished. (ii) With the advent of high precision CMB data, e.g. as will be available using the PLANCK Surveyor or CMBPOL, a very accurate theoretical understanding of the ionization history of the Universe becomes necessary for the interpretation of the CMB temperature and polarization anisotropies. Here we show that the uncertainty in the ionization history due to several processes, which until now were not taken in to account in the standard recombination code RECFAST, reaches the percent level. In particular He II , He I recombination occurs significantly faster because of the presence of a tiny fraction of neutral hydrogen at z , 2400. Also recently it was demonstrated that in the case of H I Lyman , photons the timedependence of the emission process and the asymmetry between the emission and absorption profile cannot be ignored. However, it is indeed surprising how inert the cosmological recombination history is even at percent-level accuracy. Observing the cosmological recombination spectrum should in principle allow us to directly check this conclusion, which until now is purely theoretical. Also it may allow to reconstruct the ionization history using observational data (© 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]


Primordial magnetic fields and CMB anisotropies

ASTRONOMISCHE NACHRICHTEN, Issue 5-6 2006
K. Subramanian
Abstract Possible signatures of primordial magnetic fields on the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) temperature and polarization anisotropies are reviewed. The signals that could be searched for include excess temperature anisotropies particularly at small angular scales below the Silk damping scale, B-mode polarization, and non-Gaussian statistics. A field at a few nG level produces temperature anisotropies at the 5 µK level, and B-mode polarization anisotropies 10 times smaller, and is therefore potentially detectable via the CMB anisotropies. An even smaller field, with B0 < 0.1 nG, could lead to structure formation at high redshift z > 15, and hence naturally explain an early re-ionization of the Universe. (© 2006 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]


Detecting bispectral acoustic oscillations from inflation using a new flexible estimator

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 4 2010
Martin Bucher
ABSTRACT We present a new flexible estimator for comparing theoretical templates for the predicted bispectrum of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropy to observations. This estimator, based on binning in harmonic space, generalizes the ,optimal' estimator of Komatsu, Spergel and Wandelt by allowing an adjustable weighting scheme for masking possible foreground and other contaminants and detecting particular noteworthy features in the bispectrum. The utility of this estimator is illustrated by demonstrating how acoustic oscillations in the bispectrum and other details of the bispectral shape could be detected in the future Planck data provided that fNL is sufficiently large. The character and statistical weight of the acoustic oscillations and the decay tail are described in detail. [source]


Constraints on modified gravity from the observed X-ray luminosity function of galaxy clusters

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 2 2009
David Rapetti
ABSTRACT We use measurements of the growth of cosmic structure, as inferred from the observed evolution of the X-ray luminosity function (XLF) of galaxy clusters, to constrain departures from general relativity (GR) on cosmological scales. We employ the popular growth rate parameterization, ,m(z),, for which GR predicts a growth index ,, 0.55. We use observations of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), type Ia supernovae (SNIa) and X-ray cluster gas mass fractions (fgas), to simultaneously constrain the expansion history and energy content of the Universe, as described by the background model parameters: ,m, w and ,k, i.e. the mean matter density, the dark energy equation of state parameter and the mean curvature, respectively. Using conservative allowances for systematic uncertainties, in particular for the evolution of the mass,luminosity scaling relation in the XLF analysis, we find ,= 0.51+0.16,0.15 and ,m= 0.27 ± 0.02 (68.3 per cent confidence limits), for a flat cosmological constant, cold dark matter (,CDM) background model. Allowing w to be a free parameter, we find ,= 0.44+0.17,0.15. Relaxing the flatness prior in the ,CDM model, we obtain ,= 0.51+0.19,0.16. When in addition to the XLF data we use the CMB data to constrain , through the ISW effect, we obtain a combined constraint of ,= 0.45+0.14,0.12 for the flat ,CDM model. Our analysis provides the tightest constraints to date on the growth index. We find no evidence for departures from GR on cosmological scales. [source]


Optimal integrated Sachs,Wolfe detection and joint likelihood for cosmological parameter estimation

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2008
M. Frommert
ABSTRACT We analyse the local variance effect in the standard method for detecting the integrated Sachs,Wolfe (ISW) effect via cross-correlating the cosmic microwave background (CMB) with the large-scale structure (LSS). Local variance is defined as the systematic noise in the ISW detection that originates in the realization of the matter distribution in the observed Universe. We show that the local variance contributes about 11 per cent to the total variance in the standard method if a perfect and complete LSS survey up to z, 2 is assumed. Due to local variance, the estimated detection significance and cosmological parameter constraints in the standard method are biased. In this work, we present an optimal method of how to reduce the local variance effect in the ISW detection by working conditional on the LSS data. The variance of the optimal method, and hence the signal-to-noise ratio, depends on the actual realization of the matter distribution in the observed Universe. We show that for an ideal galaxy survey, the average signal-to-noise ratio is enhanced by about 7 per cent in the optimal method, as compared to the standard method. In the framework of our method, it is straightforward to correct for the magnification bias coming from gravitational lensing effects. Furthermore, there is no need to estimate the covariance matrix by Monte Carlo simulations as in the standard method, which saves time and increases the accuracy. Finally, we derive the correct joint likelihood function for cosmological parameters given CMB and LSS data within the linear LSS formation regime, which includes a small coupling of the two data sets due to the ISW effect. [source]


Probability density of the multipole vectors for a Gaussian cosmic microwave background

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 2 2008
Mark R. Dennis
ABSTRACT We review Maxwell's multipole vectors, and elucidate some of their mathematical properties, with emphasis on the application of this tool to the cosmic microwave background (CMB). In particular, for a completely random function on the sphere (corresponding to the statistically isotropic Gaussian model of the CMB), we derive the full probability density function of the multipole vectors. This function is used to analyse the internal configurations of the third-year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe quadrupole and octopole, and we show that the observations are consistent with the Gaussian prediction. A particular aspect is the planarity of the octopole, which we find not to be anomalous. [source]


Constraining dark energy anisotropic stress

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 2 2007
David F. Mota
ABSTRACT We investigate the possibility of using cosmological observations to probe and constrain an imperfect dark energy fluid. We consider a general parametrization of the dark energy component accounting for an equation of state, speed of sound and viscosity. We use present and future data from the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation, large-scale structures and Type Ia supernovae. We find that both the speed of sound and viscosity parameters are difficult to nail down with the present cosmological data. Also, we argue that it will be hard to improve the constraints significantly with future CMB data sets. The implication is that a perfect fluid description might ultimately turn out to be a phenomenologically sufficient description of all the observational consequences of dark energy. The fundamental lesson is, however, that even then one cannot exclude, by appealing to observational evidence alone, the possibility of imperfectness in dark energy. [source]


Error analysis in cross-correlation of sky maps: application to the Integrated Sachs,Wolfe detection

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 4 2007
Anna Cabré
ABSTRACT Constraining cosmological parameters from measurements of the Integrated Sachs,Wolfe effect requires developing robust and accurate methods for computing statistical errors in the cross-correlation between maps. This paper presents a detailed comparison of such error estimation applied to the case of cross-correlation of cosmic microwave background (CMB) and large-scale structure data. We compare theoretical models for error estimation with Monte Carlo simulations where both the galaxy and the CMB maps vary around a fiducial autocorrelation and cross-correlation model which agrees well with the current concordance , cold dark matter cosmology. Our analysis compares estimators both in harmonic and configuration (or real) space, quantifies the accuracy of the error analysis and discusses the impact of partial sky survey area and the choice of input fiducial model on dark energy constraints. We show that purely analytic approaches yield accurate errors even in surveys that cover only 10 per cent of the sky and that parameter constraints strongly depend on the fiducial model employed. Alternatively, we discuss the advantages and limitations of error estimators that can be directly applied to data. In particular, we show that errors and covariances from the jackknife method agree well with the theoretical approaches and simulations. We also introduce a novel method in real space that is computationally efficient and can be applied to real data and realistic survey geometries. Finally, we present a number of new findings and prescriptions that can be useful for analysis of real data and forecasts, and present a critical summary of the analyses done to date. [source]


Cosmic microwave background signal in Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe three-year data with fastica

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 4 2007
D. Maino
ABSTRACT We present an application of the fast Independent Component Analysis (fastica) to the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) three-year data with the goal of extracting the cosmic microwave background (CMB) signal. We evaluate the confidence of our results by means of Monte Carlo simulations including the CMB, foreground contaminations and instrumental noise specific to each WMAP frequency band. We perform a complete analysis involving all or a subset of the WMAP channels in order to select the optimal combination for CMB extraction, using the frequency scaling of the reconstructed component as a figure of merit. We find that the combination KQVW provides the best CMB frequency scaling, indicating that the low-frequency foreground contamination in Q, V and W bands is better traced by the emission in the K band. The CMB angular power spectrum is recovered up to the degree scale; it is consistent within errors for all WMAP channel combinations considered, and in close agreement with the WMAP three-year results. A power spectrum analysis is made of the sky map divided into two hemispheres that have been previously reported as showing evidence of an asymmetric ratio of power on large angular scales. We then confirm the findings of several previous works with independent techniques. [source]


Cosmological hydrogen recombination: populations of the high-level substates

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 4 2007
J. Chluba
ABSTRACT We present results for the spectral distortions of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) arising due to bound,bound transitions during the epoch of cosmological hydrogen recombination at frequencies down to ,,100 MHz. We extend our previous treatment of the recombination problem now including the main collisional processes and following the evolution of all the hydrogen angular momentum substates for up to 100 shells. We show that, due to the low baryon density of the Universe, even within the highest considered shell full statistical equilibrium (SE) is not reached and that at low frequencies the recombination spectrum is significantly different when assuming full SE for n > 2. We also directly compare our results for the ionization history to the output of the recfast code, showing that especially at low redshifts rather big differences arise. In the vicinity of the Thomson visibility function the electron fraction differs by roughly ,0.6 per cent which affects the temperature and polarization power spectra by , 1 per cent. Furthermore, we shortly discuss the influence of free,free absorption and line broadening due to electron scattering on the bound,bound recombination spectrum and the generation of CMB angular fluctuations due to scattering of photons within the high shells. [source]


Foreground contamination of the WMAP CMB maps from the perspective of the matched circle test

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2006
H. Then
ABSTRACT Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe has provided cosmic microwave background (CMB) maps of the full sky. The raw data are subject to foreground contamination, in particular near to the Galactic plane. Foreground-cleaned maps have been derived, e.g. the internal linear combination map of Bennett et al., and the reduced foreground TOH map of Tegmark et al. Using S statistics, we examine whether residual foreground contamination is left over in the foreground-cleaned maps. In particular, we specify which parts of the foreground-cleaned maps are sufficiently accurate for the circle-in-the-sky signature. We generalize the S statistic, called D statistic, such that the circle test can deal with CMB maps in which the contaminated regions of the sky are excluded with masks. [source]


Detecting Sunyaev,Zel'dovich clusters with Planck, II.

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 4 2006
Foreground components, optimized filtering schemes
ABSTRACT The Planck mission is the most sensitive all-sky cosmic microwave background (CMB) experiment currently planned. The High-Frequency Instrument (HFI) will be especially suited for observing clusters of galaxies by their thermal Sunyaev,Zel'dovich (SZ) effect. In order to assess Planck's SZ capabilities in the presence of spurious signals, a simulation is presented that combines maps of the thermal and kinetic SZ effects with a realization of the CMB, in addition to Galactic foregrounds (synchrotron emission, free,free emission, thermal emission from dust, CO-line radiation) as well as the submillimetric emission from celestial bodies of our Solar system. Additionally, observational issues such as the finite angular resolution and spatially non-uniform instrumental noise of Planck's sky maps are taken into account, yielding a set of all-sky flux maps, the autocorrelation and cross-correlation properties of which are examined in detail. In the second part of the paper, filtering schemes based on scale-adaptive and matched filtering are extended to spherical data sets, that enable the amplification of the weak SZ signal in the presence of all contaminations stated above. The theory of scale-adaptive and matched filtering in the framework of spherical maps is developed, the resulting filter kernel shapes are discussed and their functionality is verified. [source]


1.4-GHz polarimetric observations of the two fields imaged by the DASI experiment

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 4 2006
G. Bernardi
ABSTRACT We present results of polarization observations at 1.4 GHz of the two fields imaged by the DASI experiment (,= 23h30m, ,=,55° and ,= 00h30m, ,=,55°, respectively). Data were taken with the Australia Telescope Compact Array with 3.4-arcmin resolution and ,0.18-mJy beam,1 sensitivity. The emission is dominated by point sources, and we do not find evidence for diffuse synchrotron radiation even after source subtraction. This allows to estimate an upper limit of the diffuse polarized emission. The extrapolation to 30 GHz suggests that the synchrotron radiation is lower than the polarized signal measured by the DASI experiment by at least two orders of magnitude. This further supports the conclusions drawn by the DASI team itself about the negligible Galactic foreground contamination in their data set, improving by a factor of ,5 the upper limit estimated by Leitch et al. The dominant point-source emission allows us to estimate the contamination of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) by extragalactic foregrounds. We computed the power spectrum of their contribution, and its extrapolation to 30 GHz provides a framework where the CMB signal should dominate. However, our results do not match the conclusions of the DASI team about the negligibility of point-source contamination, suggesting taking into account a source subtraction from the DASI data. [source]


The circles-in-the-sky signature for three spherical universes

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2006
R. Aurich
ABSTRACT The mysteriously low cosmic microwave background (CMB) power on the largest scales might point to a Universe which consists of a multi-connected space. In addition to a suppression of large-scale power, a multi-connected space can be revealed by its circles-in-the-sky signature. In this paper, a detailed search for this signature is carried out for those three homogeneous multi-connected spherical space forms that lead to the smallest large-scale power. A simultaneous search for all occurring paired circles is made using filtered CMB sky maps which enhance the ordinary Sachs,Wolfe contribution. A marginal hint is found for the right-handed Poincaré dodecahedron at ,tot, 1.015 and for the right-handed binary tetrahedral space at ,tot, 1.068. However, due to the complicated noise and foreground structure of the available microwave sky maps, we cannot draw firm conclusions from our findings. [source]


Template fitting and the large-angle cosmic microwave background anomalies

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 4 2006
Kate Land
ABSTRACT We investigate two possible explanations for the large-angle anomalies in the cosmic microwave background (CMB): an intrinsically anisotropic model and an inhomogeneous model. We take as an example of the former a Bianchi model (which leaves a spiral pattern in the sky) and of the latter a background model that already contains a non-linear long-wavelength plane wave (leaving a stripy pattern in the sky). We make use of an adaptation of the ,template' formalism, previously designed to detect galactic foregrounds, to recognize these patterns and produce confidence levels for their detection. The ,corrected' maps, from which these patterns have been removed, are free of anomalies, in particular their quadrupole and octopole are not planar and their intensities are not low. We stress that although the ,template' detections are not found to be statistically significant they do correct statistically significant anomalies. [source]


A very extended reionization epoch?

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2005
A. Melchiorri
ABSTRACT The recent observations of cross temperature,polarization power spectra of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) made by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) satellite are in better agreement with a high value of the Thomson scattering optical depth ,, 0.17. This value is close to ,= 0.3, which is taken as the upper limit in the parameter extraction analysis made by the WMAP team. However, models with ,, 0.3 provide a good fit to current CMB data and are not significantly excluded when combined with large-scale structure data. By making use of a self-consistent reionization model, we verify the astrophysical feasibility of models with ,, 0.3. It turns out that current data on various observations related to the thermal and ionization history of the intergalactic medium are not able to rule out ,, 0.3. The possibility of a very extended reionization epoch can significantly undermine the WMAP constraints on crucial cosmological parameters such as the Hubble constant, the spectral index of primordial fluctuations and the amplitude of dark matter clustering. [source]


Reionization history from coupled cosmic microwave background/21-cm line data

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2005
R. Salvaterra
ABSTRACT We study cosmic microwave background (CMB) secondary anisotropies produced by inhomogeneous reionization by means of cosmological simulations coupled with the radiative transfer code crash. The reionization history is consistent with the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe Thomson optical depth determination. We find that the signal arising from this process dominates over the primary CMB component for l, 4000 and reaches a maximum amplitude of l(l+ 1)Cl/2,, 1.6 × 10,13 on arcmin scales (i.e. l as large as several thousands). We then cross-correlate secondary CMB anisotropy maps with neutral hydrogen 21-cm line emission fluctuations obtained from the same simulations. The two signals are highly anticorrelated on angular scales corresponding to the typical size of H ii regions (including overlapping) at the 21-cm map redshift. We show how the CMB/21-cm cross-correlation can be used: (i) to study the nature of the reionization sources; (ii) to reconstruct the cosmic reionization history; (iii) to infer the mean cosmic ionization level at any redshift. We discuss the feasibility of the proposed experiment with forthcoming facilities. [source]


Constraining dark energy with X-ray galaxy clusters, supernovae and the cosmic microwave background

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 2 2005
David Rapetti
ABSTRACT We present new constraints on the evolution of dark energy from an analysis of cosmic microwave background, supernova and X-ray galaxy cluster data. Our analysis employs a minimum of priors and exploits the complementary nature of these data sets. We examine a series of dark energy models with up to three free parameters: the current dark energy equation of state w0, the early-time equation of state wet, and the scalefactor at transition at. From a combined analysis of all three data sets, assuming a constant equation of state and that the Universe is flat, we measure w0=,1.05+0.10,0.12. Including wet as a free parameter and allowing the transition scalefactor to vary over the range 0.5 < at < 0.95 where the data sets have discriminating power, we measure w0=,1.27+0.33,0.39 and wet=,0.66+0.44,0.62. We find no significant evidence for evolution in the dark energy equation-of-state parameter with redshift. Marginal hints of evolution in the supernovae data become less significant when the cluster constraints are also included in the analysis. The complementary nature of the data sets leads to a tight constraint on the mean matter density ,m and alleviates a number of other parameter degeneracies, including that between the scalar spectral index ns, the physical baryon density ,bh2 and the optical depth ,. This complementary nature also allows us to examine models in which we drop the prior on the curvature. For non-flat models with a constant equation of state, we measure w0=,1.09+0.12,0.15 and obtain a tight constraint on the current dark energy density ,de= 0.70 ± 0.03. For dark energy models other than a cosmological constant, energy,momentum conservation requires the inclusion of spatial perturbations in the dark energy component. Our analysis includes such perturbations, assuming a sound speed c2s= 1 in the dark energy fluid as expected for quintessence scenarios. For our most general dark energy model, not including such perturbations would lead to spurious constraints on wet, which would be tighter than those mentioned above by approximately a factor of 2 with the current data. [source]


Scalar statistics on the sphere: application to the cosmic microwave background

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2005
C. Monteserín
ABSTRACT A method to compute several scalar quantities of cosmic microwave background (CMB) maps on the sphere is presented. We consider here four type of scalars: the Hessian matrix scalars, the distortion scalars, the gradient-related scalars and the curvature scalars. Such quantities are obtained directly from the spherical harmonic coefficients a,m of the map. We also study the probability density function of these quantities for the case of a homogeneous and isotropic Gaussian field, which are functions of the power spectrum of the initial field. From these scalars it is possible to construct a new set of scalars which are independent of the power spectrum of the field. We test our results using simulations and find good agreement between the theoretical probability density functions and those obtained from simulations. Therefore, these quantities are proposed to investigate the presence of non-Gaussian features in CMB maps. Finally, we show how to compute the scalars in the presence of anisotropic noise and realistic masks. [source]


Non-thermal X-rays, a high-abundance ridge and fossil bubbles in the core of the Perseus cluster of galaxies

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2005
J. S. Sanders
ABSTRACT Using a deep Chandra observation of the Perseus cluster of galaxies, we find a high-abundance shell 250 arcsec (93 kpc) from the central nucleus. This ridge lies at the edge of the Perseus radio mini-halo. In addition we identify two H, filaments pointing towards this shell. We hypothesize that this ridge is the edge of a fossil radio bubble, formed by entrained enriched material lifted from the core of the cluster. There is a temperature jump outside the shell, but the pressure is continuous indicating a cold front. A non-thermal component is mapped over the core of the cluster with a morphology similar to the mini-halo. Its total luminosity is 4.8 × 1043 erg s,1, extending in radius to ,75 kpc. Assuming the non-thermal emission to be the result of inverse Compton scattering of the cosmic microwave background and infrared emission from NGC 1275, we map the magnetic field over the core of the cluster. [source]


The temperature of the intergalactic medium and the Compton y parameter

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 2 2004
Pengjie Zhang
ABSTRACT The thermal Sunyaev,Zeldovich (SZ) effect directly probes the thermal energy of the Universe. Its precision modelling and future high-accuracy measurements will provide a powerful way to constrain the thermal history of the Universe. In this paper, we focus on the precision modelling of the gas density weighted temperature and the mean SZ Compton y parameter. We run high-resolution adiabatic hydrodynamic simulations adopting the WMAP cosmology to study the temperature and density distribution of the intergalactic medium (IGM). To quantify possible simulation limitations, we run n=,1, , 2 self-similar simulations. Our analytical model on is based on energy conservation and matter clustering and has no free parameter. Combining both simulations and analytical models thus provides the precision modelling of and . We find that the simulated temperature probability distribution function and shows good convergence. For the WMAP cosmology, our highest-resolution simulation (10243 cells, 100 Mpc h,1 box size) reliably simulates with better than 10 per cent accuracy for z, 0.5. Toward z= 0, the simulation mass-resolution effect becomes stronger and causes the simulated to be slightly underestimated (at z= 0, ,20 per cent underestimated). Since is mainly contributed by the IGM at z, 0.5, this simulation effect on is no larger than ,10 per cent. Furthermore, our analytical model is capable of correcting this artefact. It passes all tests of self-similar simulations and WMAP simulations and is able to predict and to several per cent accuracy. For a low matter density ,CDM cosmology, the present is 0.32 (,8/0.84)(,m/0.268) keV, which accounts for 10,8 of the critical cosmological density and 0.024 per cent of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) energy. The mean y parameter is 2.6 × 10,6 (,8/0.84)(,m/0.268). The current upper limit of y < 1.5 × 10,5 measured by FIRAS has already ruled out combinations of high ,8, 1.1 and high ,m, 0.5. [source]


Large-scale cosmic microwave background anisotropies and dark energy

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2003
J. Weller
ABSTRACT In this paper we investigate the effects of perturbations in a dark energy component with a constant equation of state on large-scale cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropies. The inclusion of perturbations increases the large-scale power. We investigate more speculative dark energy models with w < ,1 and find the opposite behaviour. Overall the inclusion of perturbations in the dark energy component increases the degeneracies. We generalize the parametrization of the dark energy fluctuations to allow for an arbitrary constant sound speed, and we show how constraints from CMB experiments change if this is included. Combining CMB with large-scale structure, Hubble parameter and supernovae observations we obtain w=,1.02 ± 0.16 (1,) as a constraint on the equation of state, which is almost independent of the sound speed chosen. With the presented analysis we find no significant constraint on the constant speed of sound of the dark energy component. [source]


What can we learn on the thermal history of the Universe from future cosmic microwave background spectrum measurements at long wavelengths?

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 2 2003
C. Burigana
ABSTRACT We analyse the implications of future observations of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) absolute temperature at centimetre and decimetre wavelengths, where both ground, balloon and space experiments are currently under way to complement the accurate COBE/FIRAS data available at ,, 1 cm. Our analysis shows that forthcoming ground and balloon measurements will allow a better understanding of free,free distortions but will not be able to significantly improve the constraints already provided by the FIRAS data on the possible energy exchanges in the primeval plasma. The same holds even for observations with sensitivities up to ,10 times better than those of forthcoming experiments. Thus, we have studied the impact of very high-quality data, such as those, in principle, achievable with a space experiment such as the Diffuse Microwave Emission Survey (DIMES) planned to measure the CMB absolute temperature at 0.5 ,,, 15 cm with a sensitivity of ,0.1 mK, close to that of FIRAS. We have demonstrated that such high-quality data would improve by a factor of ,50 the FIRAS results on the fractional energy exchanges, ,,/,i, associated with dissipation processes possibly occurred in a wide range of cosmic epochs, at intermediate and high redshifts (yh, 1), and that the energy dissipation epoch could also be significantly constrained. By jointly considering two dissipation processes occurring at different epochs, we demonstrated that the sensitivity and frequency coverage of a DIMES -like experiment would allow one to accurately recover the epoch and the amount of energy possibly injected into the radiation field at early and intermediate epochs even in the presence of a possible late distortion, while the constraints on the energy possibly dissipated at late epochs can be improved by a factor of ,2. In addition, such measurements can provide an independent and very accurate cross-check of FIRAS calibration. Finally, a DIMES -like experiment will be able to provide indicative independent estimates of the baryon density: the product ,bH20 can be recovered within a factor of ,2,5 even in the case of (very small) early distortions with ,,/,i, (5,2) × 10,6. On the other hand, for ,b (H0/50)2, 0.2, an independent baryon density determination with an accuracy at , per cent level, comparable to that achievable with CMB anisotropy experiments, would require an accuracy of ,1 mK or better in the measurement of possible early distortions but up to a wavelength from , few × dm to ,7 dm, according to the baryon density value. [source]


Setting new constraints on the age of the Universe

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 4 2001
Ignacio Ferreras
There are three independent techniques for determining the age of the Universe: via cosmochronology of long-lived radioactive nuclei, via stellar modelling and population synthesis of the oldest stellar populations, and, most recently, via the precision cosmology that has become feasible with the mapping of the acoustic peaks in the cosmic microwave background. We demonstrate that all three methods give completely consistent results, and enable us to set rigorous bounds on the maximum and minimum ages that are allowed for the Universe. We present new constraints on the age of the Universe by performing a multiband colour analysis of bright cluster ellipticals over a large redshift range , which allows us to infer the ages of their stellar populations over a wide range of possible formation redshifts and metallicities. Applying a prior to Hubble's constant of we find the age of the Universe to be (1,), in agreement with the estimates from Type Ia supernovae, as well as with the latest uranium decay estimates, which yield an age for the Milky Way of . If we combine the results from cluster ellipticals with the analysis of the angular power spectrum of the cosmic microwave background and with the observations of Type Ia supernovae at high redshift, we find a similar age: . Without the assumption of any priors, universes older than 18 Gyr are ruled out by the data at the 90 per cent confidence level. [source]


Redshift-space distortions in the PSCz galaxy catalogue

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2001
A.N. Taylor
We apply a spherical harmonic analysis to the Point Source Redshift Survey (PSCz), to compute the real-space galaxy power spectrum and the degree of redshift distortion caused by peculiar velocities. We employ new parameter eigenvector and hierarchical data compression techniques, allowing a much larger number of harmonic modes to be included, and correspondingly smaller error bars. Using 4644 harmonic modes, compressed to 2278, we find that the IRAS redshift-space distortion parameter is and the amplitude of galaxy clustering on a scale of is . Combining these we find the amplitude of mass perturbations is . While this is compatible with results from the cosmic microwave background (CMB), with a small degree of tilt, it disagrees with the amplitude of matter perturbations estimated from the abundance of clusters by a factor of 2, independent of cosmology. A preliminary model fitting analysis combining the CMB with either the PSCz or cluster abundances shows that the cosmological matter density parameter , and the IRAS bias parameter . However, the cluster abundances suggest that and , while the PSCz requires and . Given the physics of galaxy formation is poorly constrained, we conclude that IRAS galaxies and mass are only partially correlated. [source]


The discriminating power of wavelets to detect non-Gaussianity in the cosmic microwave background

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2001
R.B. Barreiro
We investigate the power of wavelets in detecting non-Gaussianity in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). We use a wavelet-based method on small simulated patches of the sky to discriminate between a pure inflationary model and inflationary models that also contain a contribution from cosmic strings. We show the importance of the choice of a good test statistic in order to optimize the discriminating power of the wavelet technique. In particular, we construct the Fisher discriminant function, which combines all the information available in the different wavelet scales. We also compare the performance of different decomposition schemes and wavelet bases. For our case, we find that the Mallat and a`trous algorithms are superior to the 2D-tensor wavelets. Using this technique, the inflationary and strings models are clearly distinguished even in the presence of a superposed Gaussian component with twice the rms amplitude of the original cosmic string map. [source]


The radio source counts at 15 GHz and their implications for cm-wave CMB imaging

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2001
Angela C. Taylor
We use the preliminary results of a new survey of radio sources made using the Ryle Telescope at 15.2 GHz, to estimate the impact of foreground sources on cm-wave cosmic microwave background (CMB) images. This is the highest frequency survey that is relevant to the issue of radio source contamination in CMB experiments. The differential source count of the 66 sources found in 63 deg2 is , from ,20 to ,500 mJy. Extrapolating this to 34 GHz (where many cm-wave CMB experiments operate) gives an estimated temperature contribution of sources in a CMB image, with a beam corresponding to multipole . A means of source subtraction is evidently necessary, otherwise the signal-to-noise ratio in CMB images will be limited to 4 or 5, becoming worse at higher resolution. We compare the population of sources observed in this new survey to that predicted by extrapolation from lower frequency surveys, finding that source flux densities, and indeed the existence of many sources, cannot be determined by extrapolation. [source]