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Open Access Publications from the University of California

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

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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.

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