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

We present the first linear polarization measurements from the 2015 long-duration balloon flight ofSpider, 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 theSpiderbands. 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 fromPlanckdata to subtract the Galactic dust signal. A second approach, which constitutes a joint analysis ofSpiderandPlanckdata 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 andrparameter space, we derive 95% upper limits on the primordial tensor-to-scalar ratio from Feldman–Cousins and Bayesian constructions, more » findingr< 0.11 andr< 0.19, respectively. Roughly half the uncertainty inrderives from noise associated with the template subtraction. New data at 280 GHz fromSpider’s second flight will complement thePlanckpolarization maps, providing powerful measurements of the polarized Galactic dust emission.

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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Article No. 174
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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