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A Constraint on Primordial B-modes from the First Flight of the Spider Balloon-borne Telescope

Ade, P. A. R. and Amiri, M. and Benton, S. J. and Bergman, A. S. and Bihary, R. and Bock, J. J. and Bond, J. R. and Bonetti, J. A. and Bryan, S. A. and Chiang, H. C. and Contaldi, C. R. and Doré, O. and Duivenvoorden, A. J. and Eriksen, H. K. and Farhang, M. and Filippini, J. P. and Fraisse, A. A. and Freese, K. and Galloway, M. and Gambrel, A. E. and Gandilo, N. N. and Ganga, K. and Gualtieri, R. and Gudmundsson, J. E. and Halpern, M. and Hartley, J. and Hasselfield, M. and Hilton, G. and Holmes, W. and Hristov, V. V. and Huang, Z. and Irwin, K. D. and Jones, W. C. and Karakci, A. and Kuo, C. L. and Kermish, Z. D. and Leung, J. S. -Y. and Li, S. and Mak, D. S. Y. and Mason, P. V. and Megerian, K. and Moncelsi, L. and Morford, T. A. and Nagy, J. M. and Netterfield, C. B. and Nolta, M. and O'Brient, R. and Osherson, B. and Padilla, I. L. and Racine, B. and Rahlin, A. S. and Reintsema, C. and Ruhl, J. E. and Runyan, M. C. and Ruud, T. M. and Shariff, J. A. and Shaw, E. C. and Shiu, C. and Soler, J. D. and Song, X. and Trangsrud, A. and Tucker, C. and Tucker, R. S. and Turner, A. D. and van der List, J. F. and Weber, A. C. and Wehus, I. K. and Wen, S. and Wiebe, D. V. and Young, E. Y. (2022) A Constraint on Primordial B-modes from the First Flight of the Spider Balloon-borne Telescope. Astrophysical Journal, 927 (2). Art. No. 174. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ac20df.

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We present the first linear polarization measurements from the 2015 long-duration balloon flight of Spider, which is an experiment that is designed to map the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) on degree angular scales. The results from these measurements include maps and angular power spectra from observations of 4.8% of the sky at 95 and 150 GHz, along with the results of internal consistency tests on these data. While the polarized CMB anisotropy from primordial density perturbations is the dominant signal in this region of sky, Galactic dust emission is also detected with high significance. Galactic synchrotron emission is found to be negligible in the Spider bands. We employ two independent foreground-removal techniques to explore the sensitivity of the cosmological result to the assumptions made by each. The primary method uses a dust template derived from Planck data to subtract the Galactic dust signal. A second approach, which constitutes a joint analysis of Spider and Planck data in the harmonic domain, assumes a modified-blackbody model for the spectral energy distribution of the dust with no constraint on its spatial morphology. Using a likelihood that jointly samples the template amplitude and r parameter space, we derive 95% upper limits on the primordial tensor-to-scalar ratio from Feldman–Cousins and Bayesian constructions, finding r < 0.11 and r < 0.19, respectively. Roughly half the uncertainty in r derives from noise associated with the template subtraction. New data at 280 GHz from Spider's second flight will complement the Planck polarization maps, providing powerful measurements of the polarized Galactic dust emission.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Ade, P. A. R.0000-0002-5127-0401
Bock, J. J.0000-0002-5710-5212
Doré, O.0000-0002-5009-7563
Mason, P. V.0000-0002-7963-7420
Moncelsi, L.0000-0002-4242-3015
O'Brient, R.0000-0002-4987-6375
Additional Information:© 2022. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Received 2021 April 6; revised 2021 August 5; accepted 2021 August 15; published 2022 March 14. Spider is supported in the U.S. by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under grants NNX07AL64G, NNX12AE95G, and NNX17AC55G issued through the Science Mission Directorate and by the National Science Foundation through PLR-1043515. Logistical support for the Antarctic deployment and operations is provided by the NSF through the U.S. Antarctic Program. Support in Canada is provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Space Agency. Support in Norway is provided by the Research Council of Norway. Support in Sweden is provided by the Swedish Research Council through the Oskar Klein Centre (Contract No. 638-2013-8993) as well as a grant from the Swedish Research Council (dnr. 2019-93959) and a grant from the Swedish Space Agency (dnr. 139/17). The Dunlap Institute is funded through an endowment established by the David Dunlap family and the University of Toronto. The multiplexing readout electronics were developed with support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund. KF holds the Jeff & Gail Kodosky Endowed Chair at UT Austin and is grateful for that support. W.C.J. acknowledges the generous support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, which has been crucial to the success of the project. C.R.C. was supported by UKRI Consolidated Grants, ST/P000762/1, ST/N000838/1, and ST/T000791/1. Some of the results in this paper have been derived using the HEALPix package (Gorski et al. 2005). The computations described in this paper were performed on four computing clusters: Hippo at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Feynman at Princeton University, and the GPC and Niagara supercomputers at the SciNet HPC Consortium (Loken et al. 2010; Ponce et al. 2019). SciNet is funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation under the auspices of Compute Canada, the Government of Ontario, Ontario Research Fund—Research Excellence, and the University of Toronto. This collaboration is grateful to the British Antarctic Survey, particularly Sam Burrell, and to the Alfred Wegener Institute and the crew of R.V. Polarstern for invaluable assistance with the recovery of the data and payload after the 2015 flight. Brendan Crill and Tom Montroy made significant contributions to Spider's development. Paul Steinhardt provided very helpful comments regarding the status of early-universe models. This project, like so many others that he founded and supported, owes much to the vision and leadership of the late Professor Andrew E. Lange.
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
Canadian Space Agency (CSA)UNSPECIFIED
Research Council of NorwayUNSPECIFIED
Swedish Research Council638-2013-8993
Swedish Research Council2019-93959
Swedish Space Agency139/17
David Dunlap FamilyUNSPECIFIED
University of TorontoUNSPECIFIED
Canada Foundation for InnovationUNSPECIFIED
British Columbia Knowledge Development FundUNSPECIFIED
University of Texas at AustinUNSPECIFIED
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/P000762/1
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/N000838/1
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/T000791/1
Ontario Research Fund-Research ExcellenceUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Cosmic microwave background radiation; Observational cosmology; Cosmological parameters; Interstellar emissions
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Cosmic microwave background radiation (322); Observational cosmology (1146); Cosmological parameters (339); Interstellar emissions (840)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210409-121742575
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:P. A. R. Ade et al 2022 ApJ 927 174
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108675
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:11 Apr 2021 23:11
Last Modified:25 Mar 2022 20:13

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