A Caltech Library Service

A space mission to map the entire observable universe using the CMB as a backlight. Voyage 2050 science white paper

Basu, Kaustuv and Remazeilles, Mathieu and Melin, Jean-Baptiste and Alonso, David and Bartlett, James G. and Battaglia, Nicholas and Chluba, Jens and Churazov, Eugene and Delabrouille, Jacques and Erler, Jens and Ferraro, Simone and Hernández-Monteagudo, Carlos and Hill, J. Colin and Hotinli, Selim C. and Khabibullin, Ildar and Madhavacheril, Mathew and Mroczkowski, Tony and Nagai, Daisuke and Raghunathan, Srinivasan and Rubino Martin, Jose Alberto and Sayers, Jack and Scott, Douglas and Sugiyama, Naonori and Sunyaev, Rashid and Zubeldia, Íñigo (2021) A space mission to map the entire observable universe using the CMB as a backlight. Voyage 2050 science white paper. Experimental Astronomy . ISSN 0922-6435. doi:10.1007/s10686-021-09748-2. (In Press)

[img] PDF - In Press Version
Creative Commons Attribution.

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


This Science White Paper, prepared in response to the ESA Voyage 2050 call for long-term mission planning, aims to describe the various science possibilities that can be realized with an L-class space observatory that is dedicated to the study of the interactions of cosmic microwave background (CMB) photons with the cosmic web. Our aim is specifically to use the CMB as a backlight – and survey the gas, total mass, and stellar content of the entire observable Universe by means of analyzing the spatial and spectral distortions imprinted on it. These distortions result from two major processes that impact on CMB photons: scattering by free electrons and atoms (Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect in diverse forms, Rayleigh scattering, resonant scattering) and deflection by gravitational potential (lensing effect). Even though the list of topics collected in this White Paper is not exhaustive, it helps to illustrate the exceptional diversity of major scientific questions that can be addressed by a space mission that will reach an angular resolution of 1.5 arcmin (goal 1 arcmin), have an average sensitivity better than 1 μK-arcmin, and span the microwave frequency range from roughly 50 GHz to 1 THz. The current paper also highlights the synergy of our BACKLIGHT mission concept with several upcoming and proposed ground-based CMB experiments.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access Paper
Basu, Kaustuv0000-0001-5276-8730
Madhavacheril, Mathew0000-0001-6740-5350
Mroczkowski, Tony0000-0003-3816-5372
Nagai, Daisuke0000-0002-6766-5942
Raghunathan, Srinivasan0000-0003-1405-378X
Rubino Martin, Jose Alberto0000-0001-5289-3021
Sayers, Jack0000-0002-8213-3784
Scott, Douglas0000-0002-6878-9840
Additional Information:© The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit Received 06 August 2020; Accepted 29 March 2021; Published 26 April 2021. This work has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement No 725456, CMBSPEC) as well as the Royal Society (grants UF130435 and RG140523). Carlos Hernández-Monteagudo acknowledges the support of the Spanish Ministry of Science through project PGC2018-097585-B-C21. Daisuke Nagai acknowledges Yale University for granting a triennial leave and the Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik for hospitality. Jose Alberto Rubino Martin acknowledges financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN) under the project AYA2017-84185-P, and from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement 687312 (RADIOFOREGROUNDS). Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
European Research Council (ERC)725456
Royal SocietyUF130435
Royal SocietyRG140523
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MCINN)PGC2018-097585-B-C21
Yale UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (MINECO)AYA2017-84185-P
European Research Council (ERC)687312
Subject Keywords:Cosmic microwave background; Clusters of galaxies; Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect; Gravitational lensing; Microwave polarimetry
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210506-091740516
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Basu, K., Remazeilles, M., Melin, JB. et al. A space mission to map the entire observable universe using the CMB as a backlight. Exp Astron (2021).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108985
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:06 May 2021 18:52
Last Modified:06 May 2021 18:52

Repository Staff Only: item control page