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  1. Abstract Observing in six frequency bands from 27 to 280 GHz over a large sky area, the Simons Observatory (SO) is poised to address many questions in Galactic astrophysics in addition to its principal cosmological goals. In this work, we provide quantitative forecasts on astrophysical parameters of interest for a range of Galactic science cases. We find that SO can: constrain the frequency spectrum of polarized dust emission at a level of Δ β d ≲ 0.01 and thus test models of dust composition that predict that β d in polarization differs from that measured in total intensity; measure the correlation coefficient between polarized dust and synchrotron emission with a factor of two greater precision than current constraints; exclude the nonexistence of exo-Oort clouds at roughly 2.9 σ if the true fraction is similar to the detection rate of giant planets; map more than 850 molecular clouds with at least 50 independent polarization measurements at 1 pc resolution; detect or place upper limits on the polarization fractions of CO(2–1) emission and anomalous microwave emission at the 0.1% level in select regions; and measure the correlation coefficient between optical starlight polarization and microwave polarized dust emission in 1° patches for allmore »lines of sight with N H ≳ 2 × 10 20 cm −2 . The goals and forecasts outlined here provide a roadmap for other microwave polarization experiments to expand their scientific scope via Milky Way astrophysics. 37 37 A supplement describing author contributions to this paper can be found at .« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023

    We report a significant detection of the hot intergalactic medium in the filamentary bridge connecting the galaxy clusters Abell 399 and Abell 401. This result is enabled by a low-noise, high-resolution map of the thermal Sunyaev–Zeldovich signal from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) and Planck satellite. The ACT data provide the 1.65 arcmin resolution that allows us to clearly separate the profiles of the clusters, whose centres are separated by 37 arcmin, from the gas associated with the filament. A model that fits for only the two clusters is ruled out compared to one that includes a bridge component at >5σ. Using a gas temperature determined from Suzaku X-ray data, we infer a total mass of $(3.3\pm 0.7)\times 10^{14}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$ associated with the filament, comprising about 8 per cent of the entire Abell 399–Abell 401 system. We fit two phenomenological models to the filamentary structure; the favoured model has a width transverse to the axis joining the clusters of ${\sim }1.9\, \mathrm{Mpc}$. When combined with the Suzaku data, we find a gas density of $(0.88\pm 0.24)\times 10^{-4}\, \mathrm{cm}^{-3}$, considerably lower than previously reported. We show that this can be fully explained by a geometry in which the axis joining Abell 399 and Abell 401more »has a large component along the line of sight, such that the distance between the clusters is significantly greater than the $3.2\, \mathrm{Mpc}$ projected separation on the plane of the sky. Finally, we present initial results from higher resolution (12.7 arcsec effective) imaging of the bridge with the MUSTANG-2 receiver on the Green Bank Telescope.

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  4. We measured the cross-correlation between galaxy weak lensing data from the Kilo Degree Survey (KiDS-1000, DR4) and cosmic microwave background (CMB) lensing data from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT, DR4) and the Planck Legacy survey. We used two samples of source galaxies, selected with photometric redshifts, (0.1 <  z B  < 1.2) and (1.2 <  z B  < 2), which produce a combined detection significance of the CMB lensing and weak galaxy lensing cross-spectrum of 7.7 σ . With the lower redshift galaxy sample, for which the cross-correlation was detected at a significance of 5.3 σ , we present joint cosmological constraints on the matter density parameter, Ω m , and the matter fluctuation amplitude parameter, σ 8 , marginalising over three nuisance parameters that model our uncertainty in the redshift and shear calibration as well as the intrinsic alignment of galaxies. We find our measurement to be consistent with the best-fitting flat ΛCDM cosmological models from both Planck and KiDS-1000. We demonstrate the capacity of CMB weak lensing cross-correlations to set constraints on either the redshift or shear calibration by analysing a previously unused high-redshift KiDS galaxy sample (1.2 <  z B  < 2), with the cross-correlation detected at a significance of 7 σ .more »This analysis provides an independent assessment for the accuracy of redshift measurements in a regime that is challenging to calibrate directly owing to known incompleteness in spectroscopic surveys.« less
  5. ABSTRACT We construct cosmic microwave background lensing mass maps using data from the 2014 and 2015 seasons of observations with the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT). These maps cover 2100 square degrees of sky and overlap with a wide variety of optical surveys. The maps are signal dominated on large scales and have fidelity such that their correlation with the cosmic infrared background is clearly visible by eye. We also create lensing maps with thermal Sunyaev−Zel’dovich contamination removed using a novel cleaning procedure that only slightly degrades the lensing signal-to-noise ratio. The cross-spectrum between the cleaned lensing map and the BOSS CMASS galaxy sample is detected at 10σ significance, with an amplitude of A = 1.02 ± 0.10 relative to the Planck best-fitting Lambda cold dark matter cosmological model with fiducial linear galaxy bias. Our measurement lays the foundation for lensing cross-correlation science with current ACT data and beyond.