NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2006A-0355

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Proposal Information for 2006A-0355


PI: Hugo E. Schwarz, NOAO-S, hschwarz@ctio.noao.edu
Address: CTIO-SOAR, Casilla 603, La Serena, Coquimbo, Chile

CoI: David N. Spergel, Princeton
CoI: Steve Majewski, Virginia
CoI: Rick Patterson, Virginia
CoI: Antonio Mario Magalhaes, Univ. of Sao Paulo

Title: Clearing our Dust, Looking back to the Big Bang

Abstract: Observations of the polarized microwave background fluctuations with WMAP have confirmed basic inflationary theory, tested the physics of recombination, and provided the first signature of early star formation. The WMAP high frequency data are limited mainly by galactic foreground polarization, not by instrumental sensitivity. We therefore propose to use the Magalhaes polarimeter to measure the galactic interstellar polarization to 1000 bright halo stars selected from the NASA Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) grid star sample, and estimate that we can reduce this foreground polarization contamination by about 75%, effectively doubling the WMAP data sensitivity to gravity waves and improving its measurements of early star formation. For Planck's higher frequency data (up to 900 GHz) this is even more important.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2006A-0355

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