We present the first determination of the Galactic polarized emission at 353 GHz by Archeops. The data were taken during the Arctic night of February 7, 2002 after the balloon-borne instrument was launched by CNES from the Swedish Esrange base near Kiruna. In addition to the 143 GHz and 217 GHz frequency bands dedicated to CMB studies, Archeops had one 545 GHz and six 353 GHz bolometers mounted in three polarization-sensitive pairs that were used for Galactic foreground studies. We present maps of the I, Q, U Stokes parameters over 17% of the sky and with a 13 arcmin resolution at 353 GHz (850 μm). They show a significant Galactic large scale polarized emission coherent on the longitude ranges [100, 120] and [180, 200] deg. with a degree of polarization at the level of 4-5%, in agreement with expectations from starlight polarization measurements. Some regions in the Galactic plane (Gem OB1, Cassiopeia) show an even stronger degree of polarization in the range 10-20%. These findings provide strong evidence for a powerful grain alignment mechanism throughout the interstellar medium and a coherent magnetic field coplanar to the Galactic plane. This magnetic field pervades even some dense clouds. Extrapolated to high Galactic latitude, these results indicate that interstellar dust polarized emission is the major foreground for PLANCK-HFI CMB polarization measurements.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science
- Cosmology: cosmic microwave background
- Cosmology: observations
- ISM: dust, extinction