WOMBAT & FORECAST: Making Realistic Maps of the Microwave Sky

Research paper by Andrew H. Jaffe, Eric Gawiser, Douglas Finkbeiner, Joanne C. Baker, Amedeo Balbi, Marc Davis, Shaul Hanany, William Holzapfel, Mark Krumholz, Leonidas Moustakas, James Robinson, Evan Scannapieco, George F. Smoot, Joseph Silk

Indexed on: 16 Mar '99Published on: 16 Mar '99Published in: Astrophysics


The Wavelength-Oriented Microwave Background Analysis Team (WOMBAT) is constructing microwave maps which will be more realistic than previous simulations. Our foreground models represent a considerable improvement: where spatial templates are available for a given foreground, we predict the flux and spectral index of that component at each place on the sky and estimate uncertainties. We will produce maps containing simulated CMB anisotropy combined with expected foregrounds. The simulated maps will be provided to the community as the WOMBAT Challenge, so such maps can be analyzed to extract cosmological parameters by scientists who are unaware of their input values. This will test the efficacy of foreground subtraction, power spectrum analysis, and parameter estimation techniques and help identify the areas most in need of progress. These maps are also part of the FORECAST project, which allows web-based access to the known foreground maps for the planning of CMB missions.