The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Likelihood for small-scale CMB data

J. Dunkley, E. Calabrese, J. Sievers, G. E. Addison, N. Battaglia, E. S. Battistelli, J. R. Bond, S. Das, M. J. Devlin, R. Dünner, J. W. Fowler, M. Gralla, A. Hajian, M. Halpern, M. Hasselfield, A. D. Hincks, R. Hlozek, J. P. Hughes, K. D. Irwin, A. KosowskyT. Louis, T. A. Marriage, D. Marsden, F. Menanteau, K. Moodley, M. Niemack, M. R. Nolta, L. A. Page, B. Partridge, N. Sehgal, D. N. Spergel, S. T. Staggs, E. R. Switzer, H. Trac, E. Wollack

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126 Scopus citations


The Atacama Cosmology Telescope has measured the angular power spectra of microwave fluctuations to arcminute scales at frequencies of 148 and 218 GHz, from three seasons of data. At small scales the fluctuations in the primordial Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) become increasingly obscured by extragalactic foregounds and secondary CMB signals. We present results from a nine-parameter model describing these secondary effects, including the thermal and kinematic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (tSZ and kSZ) power; the clustered and Poisson-like power from Cosmic Infrared Background (CIB) sources, and their frequency scaling; the tSZ-CIB correlation coefficient; the extragalactic radio source power; and thermal dust emission from Galactic cirrus in two different regions of the sky. In order to extract cosmological parameters, we describe a likelihood function for the ACT data, fitting this model to the multi-frequency spectra in the multipole range 500 < l < 10000. We extend the likelihood to include spectra from the South Pole Telescope at frequencies of 95, 150, and 220 GHz. Accounting for different radio source levels and Galactic cirrus emission, the same model provides an excellent fit to both datasets simultaneously, with χ2/dof= 675/697 for ACT, and 96/107 for SPT. We then use the multi-frequency likelihood to estimate the CMB power spectrum from ACT in bandpowers, marginalizing over the secondary parameters. This provides a simplified 'CMB-only' likelihood in the range 500 < l < 3500 for use in cosmological parameter estimation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number025
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


  • CMBR experiments
  • Cosmological parameters from CMBR
  • Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect


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