Opening the 21 cm Epoch of reionization window: Measurements of foreground isolation with paper

Jonathan C. Pober, Aaron R. Parsons, James E. Aguirre, Zaki Ali, Richard F. Bradley, Chris L. Carilli, Dave Deboer, Matthew Dexter, Nicole E. Gugliucci, Daniel C. Jacobs, Patricia J. Klima, Dave MacMahon, Jason Manley, David F. Moore, Irina I. Stefan, William P. Walbrugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations


We present new observations with the Precision Array for Probing the Epoch of Reionization with the aim of measuring the properties of foreground emission for 21 cm epoch of reionization (EoR) experiments at 150 MHz. We focus on the footprint of the foregrounds in cosmological Fourier space to understand which modes of the 21 cm power spectrum will most likely be compromised by foreground emission. These observations confirm predictions that foregrounds can be isolated to a "wedge"-like region of two-dimensional (k ⊥, k ∥)-space, creating a window for cosmological studies at higher k ∥ values. We also find that the emission extends past the nominal edge of this wedge due to spectral structure in the foregrounds, with this feature most prominent on the shortest baselines. Finally, we filter the data to retain only this "unsmooth" emission and image its specific k ∥ modes. The resultant images show an excess of power at the lowest modes, but no emission can be clearly localized to any one region of the sky. This image is highly suggestive that the most problematic foregrounds for 21 cm EoR studies will not be easily identifiable bright sources, but rather an aggregate of fainter emission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL36
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 10 2013


  • cosmology: observations
  • dark ages, reionization, first stars
  • techniques: interferometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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