The effects of polarized foregrounds on 21 cm epoch of reionization power spectrum measurements

David F. Moore, James E. Aguirre, Aaron R. Parsons, Daniel Jacobs, Jonathan C. Pober

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Experiments aimed at detecting highly-redshifted 21 cm emission from the epoch of reionization (EoR) are plagued by the contamination of foreground emission. A potentially important source of contaminating foregrounds may be Faraday-rotated, polarized emission, which leaks into the estimate of the intrinsically unpolarized EoR signal. While these foregrounds' intrinsic polarization may not be problematic, the spectral structure introduced by the Faraday rotation could be. To better understand and characterize these effects, we present a simulation of the polarized sky between 120 and 180 MHz. We compute a single visibility, and estimate the three-dimensional power spectrum from that visibility using the delay spectrum approach presented in Parsons et al. Using the Donald C. Backer Precision Array to Probe the Epoch of Reionization as an example instrument, we show the expected leakage into the unpolarized power spectrum to be several orders of magnitude above the expected 21 cm EoR signal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number154
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013


  • cosmology: observations
  • instrumentation: interferometers
  • instrumentation: polarimeters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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