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Bayesian inference on the sphere beyond statistical isotropy

Abstract : We present a general method for Bayesian inference of the underlying covariance structure of random fields on a sphere. We employ the Bipolar Spherical Harmonic (BipoSH) representation of general covariance structure on the sphere. We illustrate the efficacy of the method as a principled approach to assess violation of statistical isotropy (SI) in the sky maps of Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) fluctuations. SI violation in observed CMB maps arise due to known physical effects such as Doppler boost and weak lensing; yet unknown theoretical possibilities like cosmic topology and subtle violations of the cosmological principle, as well as, expected observational artefacts of scanning the sky with a non-circular beam, masking, foreground residuals, anisotropic noise, etc. We explicitly demonstrate the recovery of the input SI violation signals with their full statistics in simulated CMB maps. Our formalism easily adapts to exploring parametric physical models with non-SI covariance, as we illustrate for the inference of the parameters of a Doppler boosted sky map. Our approach promises to provide a robust quantitative evaluation of the evidence for SI violation related anomalies in the CMB sky by estimating the BipoSH spectra along with their complete posterior.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 19, 2022 - 1:57:28 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 20, 2022 - 3:40:10 AM

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Santanu Das, Benjamin D. Wandelt, Tarun Souradeep. Bayesian inference on the sphere beyond statistical isotropy. JOURNAL OF COSMOLOGY AND ASTROPARTICLE PHYSICS, 2015, 2015, ⟨10.1088/1475-7516/2015/10/050⟩. ⟨insu-03644718⟩

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