"Using new techniques to separate the foreground light from the background, and taking into account effects like the motion of our Galaxy, we found that most of the claimed anomalies we studied, like the cold spot, stop being problematic," said lead researcher Anaïs Rassat, of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland.
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Rassat's team's work has been published today (Aug. 4) in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics.
When mapping such faint radiation that has been traveling through space-time for billions of years, it is difficult to separate the primordial signal from other microwave sources. Our galaxy, for example, swamps the universal vista with microwaves and, as we live inside the galactic disk, our microwave view is dominated by Milky Way emissions. It's a thick cosmic fog that needs to be subtracted.
Through complex algorithms and foreground emission subtraction techniques, these extraneous microwave sources can be effectively removed. But Rassat's team gave the data another pass, correcting for the motion of our galaxy and other impacts such as gravitational interference and distortions in the radiation itself.