The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Microwave Intensity and Polarization Maps of the Galactic Center

Yilun Guan, Susan E. Clark, Brandon S. Hensley, Patricio A. Gallardo, Sigurd Naess, Cody J. Duell, Simone Aiola, Zachary Atkins, Erminia Calabrese, Steve K. Choi, Nicholas F. Cothard, Mark Devlin, Adriaan J. Duivenvoorden, Jo Dunkley, Rolando Dünner, Simone Ferraro, Matthew Hasselfield, John P. Hughes, Brian J. Koopman, Arthur B. KosowskyMathew S. Madhavacheril, Jeff McMahon, Federico Nati, Michael D. Niemack, Lyman A. Page, Maria Salatino, Emmanuel Schaan, Neelima Sehgal, Cristóbal Sifón, Suzanne Staggs, Eve M. Vavagiakis, Edward J. Wollack, Zhilei Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We present arcminute-resolution intensity and polarization maps of the Galactic center made with the Atacama Cosmology Telescope. The maps cover a 32 deg2 field at 98, 150, and 224 GHz with |l| ≤ 4 , |b| ≤ 2 . We combine these data with Planck observations at similar frequencies to create coadded maps with increased sensitivity at large angular scales. With the coadded maps, we are able to resolve many known features of the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) in both total intensity and polarization. We map the orientation of the plane-of-sky component of the Galactic magnetic field inferred from the polarization angle in the CMZ, finding significant changes in morphology in the three frequency bands as the underlying dominant emission mechanism changes from synchrotron to dust emission. Selected Galactic center sources, including Sgr A∗, the Brick molecular cloud (G0.253+0.016), the Mouse pulsar wind nebula (G359.23-0.82), and the Tornado supernova remnant candidate (G357.7-0.1), are examined in detail. These data illustrate the potential for leveraging ground-based cosmic microwave background polarization experiments for Galactic science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 10 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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