Journal Article

A model for polarized microwave foreground emission from interstellar dust

D. T. O’Dea, C. N. Clark, C. R. Contaldi and C. J. MacTavish

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 419, issue 2, pages 1795-1803
Published in print January 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
A model for polarized microwave foreground emission from interstellar dust

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The upcoming generation of cosmic microwave background experiments face a major challenge in detecting the weak cosmic B-mode signature predicted as a product of primordial gravitational waves. To achieve the required sensitivity these experiments must have impressive control of systematic effects and detailed understanding of the foreground emission that will influence the signal. In this paper, we present templates of the intensity and polarization of emission from one of the main Galactic foregrounds, interstellar dust. These are produced using a model which includes a three-dimensional description of the Galactic magnetic field, examining both large and small scales. We also include in the model the details of the dust density, grain alignment and the intrinsic polarization of the emission from an individual grain. We present here Stokes parameter template maps at 150 GHz and provide an online repository ( for these and additional maps at frequencies that will be targeted by upcoming experiments such as EBEX, Spider and SPTpol.

Keywords: gravitational waves; polarization; galaxies: magnetic fields

Journal Article.  5504 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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