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WMAP polarization observations: seeing through the Galaxy

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Current polarization measurements from WMAP provide information about the reionization epoch. However, WMAP observes significant levels of polarized radiation from our Galaxy. I will present a sampling method for estimating the polarized CMB maps, marginalizing over Galactic contributions. I will show the application of this method to the five year WMAP data, where we find that the large scale polarized CMB signal is consistent with the standard ‘template-cleaned’ result. The synchrotron emission is found to have mean index ~ -3.0 in regions of high signal to noise. The large scale polarized CMB is also used to search for a background of gravitational waves from inflation in the early universe, so I’ll discuss the application to future estimation of this primordial signal.

This talk is part of the Cosmology lunch series.

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