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Publication: First measurement of the bulk flow of nearby galaxies using the cosmic microwave background

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Title First measurement of the bulk flow of nearby galaxies using the cosmic microwave background
Authors/Editors* G Lavaux, N Afshordi, M J Hudson
Where published* Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
How published* Journal
Year* 2013
Volume
Number
Pages
Publisher Oxford journals
Keywords
Link http://mnras.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/02/11/mnras.sts698
Abstract
Peculiar velocities in the nearby Universe can be measured via the kinetic Sunyaev–Zel’dovich (kSZ) effect. Using a statistical method based on an optimized cross-correlation with nearby galaxies, we extract the kSZ signal generated by plasma halo of galaxies from the cosmic microwave background (CMB) temperature anisotropies observed by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP). Marginalizing over the thermal Sunyaev–Zel’dovich contribution from clusters of galaxies, possible unresolved point source contamination, and Galactic foregrounds, we find a kSZ bulk flow signal present at the ∼90 per cent confidence level in the seven-year WMAP data. When only galaxies within 50 h−1 Mpc are included in the kSZ template, we find a bulk flow in the CMB frame of |V| = 533 ± 263 km s−1, in the direction l = 324 ± 27, b = −7 ± 17, consistent with bulk flow measurements on a similar scale using classical distance indicators. We show how this comparison constrains, for the first time, the (ionized) baryonic budget in the local universe. On very large (∼500 h−1 Mpc) scales, we find a 95 per cent upper limit of 470 km s−1, inconsistent with some analyses of bulk flow of clusters from the kSZ. We estimate that the significance of the bulk flow signal may increase to 3σ–5σ using data from the Planck probe.

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