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Exploring cosmic origins with CORE: Extragalactic sources in cosmic microwave background maps


We discuss the potential of a next generation space-borne Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) experiment for studies of extragalactic sources. Our analysis has particular bearing on the definition of the future space project, CORE, that has been submitted in response to ESA's call for a Medium-size mission opportunity as the successor of the Planck satellite. Even though the effective telescope size will be somewhat smaller than that of Planck, CORE will have a considerably better angular resolution at its highest frequencies, since, in contrast with Planck, it will be diffraction limited at all frequencies. The improved resolution implies a considerable decrease of the source confusion, i.e. substantially fainter detection limits. In particular, CORE will detect thousands of strongly lensed high-z galaxies distributed over the full sky. The extreme brightness of these galaxies will make it possible to study them, via follow-up observations, in extraordinary detail. Also, the CORE resolution matches the typical sizes of high-z galaxy proto-clusters much better than the Planck resolution, resulting in a much higher detection efficiency; these objects will be caught in an evolutionary phase beyond the reach of surveys in other wavebands. Furthermore, CORE will provide unique information on the evolution of the star formation in virialized groups and clusters of galaxies up to the highest possible redshifts. Finally, thanks to its very high sensitivity, CORE will detect the polarized emission of thousands of radio sources and, for the first time, of dusty galaxies, at mm and sub-mm wavelengths, respectively.

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