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STScI Webcast

2017 Fall Science Colloquia

The Anomalous Microwave Emission: What Is It?

Presented by: Bruce Draine (Princeton University)
Category: Science Colloquia   Duration: 1 hour   Broadcast date: September 27, 2017
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The anomalous microwave emission (AME) is emission in the 20-60 GHz range that is correlated with interstellar dust. Discovered in 1996 by the COBE DMR experiment, the AME is a "foreground" that needs to be removed to study the CMB, but it is also an astrophysical puzzle: the emission mechanism remains uncertain. I will review the observational status of the AME, and discuss the pros and cons of different possible emission mechanisms (e.g., spinning dust, thermal fluctuations in magnetic grain materials) that could be responsible for the AME, and future prospects.