LiteBIRD Newsflash

Just a quick post to pass on the news that the space mission LiteBIRD has been selected as the next major mission by the Japanese Space Agency JAXA and  Institute for Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS).

LiteBIRD (which stands for `Lite (Light) satellite for the studies of B-mode polarization and Inflation from cosmic background Radiation Detection’) is a planned space observatory that aims to detect the footprint of the primordial gravitational waves on the cosmic microwave background (CMB) in a form of a B-mode polarization pattern. This is the signal that BICEP2 claimed to have detected five years ago to much excitement, but was later shown to be a caused by galactic dust.

It’s great news for a lot of CMB people all round the world that this mission has been selected – include some old friends from Cardiff University. Congratulations to all of them!

I’m not sure when the launch date will be, but the mission will last three years and will be at Earth-Sun Lagrange point known as L2.It will be a very difficult task to extract the B-mode signal from foregrounds and instrumental artifacts so although there’s joy that it has been selected, the real work starts now!

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One Response to “LiteBIRD Newsflash”

  1. Dark Energy Says:

    It has got a frequency coverage of 40GHz-400Ghz
    LFT and HFT for component separation and actively cooled
    some 2622 polarimeters that targets r~0.001. So if gravity wave induced B-mode is not detected I guess some serious rethinking will
    be needed about inflation. Who knows Ekpyrotic models
    are correct after all? Wonder which experiment is its
    main competitor in US and Europe (Simons Observatory)?
    While these experiments tend to focus at low ell (<100),
    what other CMB experiments are currently under progress that
    will be focusing on lensing of CMB that may not be as
    fundamental as B-mode detection but has a strong science case.

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