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By G. De Zotti, C. Burigana, C. Baccigalupi and R. Ricci


We discuss the possible impact of astrophysical foregrounds on three recent exciting results of Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) experiments: the WMAP measurements of the temperature-polarization (TE) correlation power spectrum, the detection of CMB polarization fluctuations on degree scales by the DASI experiment, and the excess power on arcminute scales reported by the CBI and BIMA groups. A big contribution from the Galactic synchrotron emission to the TE power spectrum on large angular scales is indeed expected, in the lower frequency WMAP channels, based on current, albeit very uncertain, models; at higher frequencies the rapid decrease of the synchrotron signal may be, to some extent, compensated by polarized dust emission. Recent measurements of polarization properties of extragalactic radio sources at high radio frequency indicate that their contamination of the CMB polarization on degree scales at 30 GHz is substantially below the expected CMB E-mode amplitude. Adding the synchrotron contribution, we estimate that the overall foreground contamination of the signal detected by DASI may be significant but not dominant. The excess power on arc-min scales detected by the BIMA experiment may be due to galactic-scale Sunyaev-Zeldovich effects, if the proto-galactic gas is heated to its virial temperature and its cooling time is comparable to the Hubble time at the epoch of galaxy formation. A substantial contamination by radio sources of the signal reported by the CBI group on scales somewhat larger than BIMA’s cannot be easily ruled out. 1

Year: 2004
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