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Thread: WMAP Year Two Data?

  1. #1
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    WMAP Year Two Data?

    WMAP is almost done collecting Year Three data, but I have not seen one word of information about the Year Two data. Does anyone know when that data is going to be released? Does anyone know why the WMAP team and website are so quiet about their data, and why it seems less public than the data from most probes?
    Forming opinions as we speak

  2. #2
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    The WMAP site has the basics, with nothing new... like you said. I don't know why, though. The page I linked to said it was updated on 5/24, but it looks like the same data we got a year ago...

  3. #3
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    I looked too, and came across the LAMBDA site, which seems to have updates to April 04. Nothing about the 2nd year observation there either though.

    Still looking.

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    I got an email responce from Paul Butterworth of the WMAP image team. He says the results of year two will be released in a matter of weeks, not months.

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by Duane@May 29 2004, 11:10 PM
    the results of year two will be released in a matter of weeks, not months.
    Here's another paper about some year-one data [four or five MONTHS after Butterworth's response].

    CMB and foregrounds in WMAP first year data

    I wonder if perhaps the WMAP team is underfunded. There's really no other excuse for being THIS tardy with the data. The year three data should be complete by now. Where the heck is the year two data?
    Forming opinions as we speak

  6. #6
    folkhemmet Guest
    I to am wondering when the second year WMAP data will be released.

    I have some info that may help with these inquiries...

    http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/blog/ar...ves/000092.html

    Witten replaces WMAP
    Witten is giving a colloquium talk next week (Oct 21, 2004) at Princeton on the topic of "Supersymmetry Pro or Con". His talk is a last-minute replacement for one about "Recent Results from WMAP" by Lyman Page. WMAP was supposed to report the results from the analysis of the second year's worth of satellite data early this year, but this has been delayed quite a bit already, and evidently is being delayed even more. Does anyone know why?

    Posted by woit at October 11, 2004 05:11 P

    Maybe Lyman Page has rescheduled the talk to a later date not to far in the future.

    In addition, here is a quote from the Report of the Senior Review of Astronomy and Physics April 27-30, 2004,

    "We recommend continued funding of WMAP at the requested level in FY05 and FY06.... This recommedation is contingent on annual public releases of calibrated time-ordered data and polarized and unpolarized sky maps at the five observing frequencies within one year of data taking i.e. a 2-year release by September 2004, a 3-year release by September 2005, etc."

    We are past the first time frame, but If I had to guess, the WMAP team is probably going to release the second year data within the next three to four months. Perhaps right around the second year anniversary of the first year data release. Maybe they will release the second and third year results together in one package.

    Having said that, I think it's great that there are talented and dedicated men and women (on the WMAP team and with other missions) who are working hard at finding out about our cosmic origins. Also, I am gald they are taking the time to produce the best quality data set for us, even though it does seem like they should give us at least a rough idea as to when this data will come out.

  7. #7
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    I saw this note:
    August 2004

    Still no resolution of the mysteries in the WMAP data. The WMAP team is still struggling to determine whether the anomalies are real or merely the result of errors in the data analysis, and in the meantime they have not released the second-year data.
    and
    April 2004

    The second-year WMAP data, expected by February of this year, has been delayed due to some "surprises" in the data. The nature of the surprises is being kept secret while the WMAP team studies them in hopes of understanding their significance.

    The surprises may well be related to some anomalies discovered in the first-year data, such as statistically significant differences in the CMB between the northern and southern galactic hemispheres, and unsettling coincidences between the directions of the largest scale fluctuations and the plane of the solar system (the ecliptic). The latter suggest that the largest scale fluctuations on the microwave sky might not be coming from deep space after all, but rather from sources in or around the solar system, or could perhaps even be due to some still undiscovered error in the data analysis. Of course such speculation should be taken with a grain of salt until the WMAP team releases the second-year data along with their analysis of it.

    from http://www.geometrygames.org/ESoS/CosmologyNews.html

    This is the first thing I've seen that says there's something unexpected in the WMAP 2nd year data.
    Forming opinions as we speak

  8. #8
    folkhemmet Guest
    antoniseb,

    The quotes you presented are from Jeff Week's website. He is a freelance mathematician who has been studying the WMAP data in hopes of confirming the 'small universe' hypothesis. About this time last year he and a team of French cosmologists announced that, based on the lack of power at low multipoles, the universe is likely a giant expanding dodecahedron-- yet smaller than the visible universe. Other studies probably have refuted the dodecahedral model. For example, see the news section at

    http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmolog.htm

    In any case, although Week's is a very smart man, he is not a member of the WMAP team. So I am wondering how he would know that

    "The second-year WMAP data, expected by February of this year,
    has been delayed due to some "surprises" in the data."

    I found an article online at the New Scientist website that discussed the latest measurements of the CMB E-mode polarization. According to that article, the most up-to-date ground based observation of this radiation support the standard model of cosmology. I also found a hint as to when the next WMAP data might come out.

    Here is the URL/quote,

    http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?...p?id=ns99996506

    "One of those experiments, NASA's WMAP spacecraft - Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe - was launched in 2001 and looks at the entire sky across five frequency bands."

    WMAP team member Hinshaw says the first sky maps of polarisation may be completed in a matter of weeks. Those maps will help astronomers tease apart ancient polarised light from the polarised light produced in our own galaxy - a crucial step toward devising future studies of the B mode."

    The date of that article was October 7, so based on the info in that article the data should be out soon. Who knows though. I doubt they'll release the data this close to the the US presidential election.

    They did however update their mission status page on 10-25-04.

    Hope this helps.

  9. #9
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    the original cmb discovered by penzias and wilson was 4ghz

    the 5 wmap bands cover:

    23ghz
    33ghz
    41ghz
    61ghz
    94ghz

    is the 4ghz band not important now?...was there ever any explanation why it was not part of the measurements?

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by folkhemmet@Oct 27 2004, 12:55 AM
    I doubt they'll release the data this close to the the US presidential election.
    I understood why they held up the first release when it was due out a couple days after the Columbia disaster, but I do not see how the second year data could be pertinent to the Presidential election unless there is some really BIG surprise that would reflect badly on the President somehow. I can't imagine what THAT could be. It didn't keep the Cassini team from releasing images of Titan!
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  11. #11
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    I just got an email from Dr. Charles L. Bennett, the head of the WMAP team. It basically said that the official position is that there is much more data to be analysed for the second year data, and some new computational techniques, including work on polarization data have to be developed.

    Whatever we may have heard from rumor ["weeks not months"], he says that the second year data will not be released until work on it is complete, and he gives no timetable for that to occur.

    He makes no statement indicating that the anomalies mentioned above exist, or are a concern. He also will not publically speculate about what will be discovered in the second year data, or by the ESA's Planck probe, which covers the same science a little more deeply.
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  12. #12
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    Oxymoron: Civil Servant

    I share your frustration. Champ<bit>Champ. S.

  13. #13
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    I got a followup from him including this:
    It&#39;s hard to predict when we&#39;ll have the new release, but we&#39;re hard at work on it and we have come a long way. We know that people are eagerly awaiting the results, but that also means that we need to do our work carefully. We will release the data without delay as soon as our team is satisfied that we have satisfactorily completed our responsibilities
    If there are some local fluctuations being observed, that means there is some new science and discoveries to be announced, as such local stuff is rather unexpected. I expect that the team will want to have its story straight before announcing the unexpected. The team that discovered Sedna was pretty tight-lipped until the day of the release. I suspect this might be the same kind of deal.
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  14. #14
    folkhemmet Guest
    The reason why I said that the WMAP team probably won&#39;t release the data too close to the US presidential election is not because something in that data might &#39;reflect badly on the president.&#39; The reason would be because they would probably get next to nothing in the way of media attention during this time. Why is media attention important? Media attention is important because it increases public support for NASA (i.e. the HST is very much supported by the US public) and, more specifically, it increases public support for the science missions.

    As for the nature of the delay, it probably does have something to do with the complex nature of the polarisation signal. The temperature anisotropy has a much greater amplitude relative to the polarisation and is less technically complex. I think it is unlikely that the delay has to do with some paradigm shifting discovery. I do think that they should take their time to understand the results and produce the highest quality data set.

  15. #15
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    They did however update their mission status page on 10-25-04.
    Its nice to see things are moving forward again now, and the WMAP web site has been updated. I&#39;ll continue to ask around my contacts and let you know if I learn anything new. Reading all these threads the data is going to be thought provoking, and we may have to rethink our ideas of the Cosmos.

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by Richard0802@Oct 28 2004, 12:28 AM
    I&#39;ll continue to ask around my contacts and let you know if I learn anything new.
    Thanks Richard, I&#39;m sure that there is a great detective story going on in that group [mixed with a lot of detailed work]. I would love to know the process they&#39;re following.

    folkhemmet: Thanks, I see your point about the election and publicity.
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    Re: Funding & Publicity
    When it comes to scientific caution, it is easier to believe that the researchers are sincere in their desire to publish only accurate data. Their motives are not suspect, aside from the occasional priority squabble. For laboring in the vineyards, they deserve first crack at the obvious conclusions to be drawn from data. I don&#39;t begrudge.
    Politicians are of another stripe altogether. The same puddingheads who begrudged the proposed Hubble rescue missions, enabled several dark budget items for placement of equivalent payloads for "intelligence gathering" = spy satellites. The Gene Hackman character in Enemy of the State says there are over a hundred such, but consider the source. I can only definitely account for sixteen. So it goes. Warmest regards, Steve. :huh:

  18. #18
    folkhemmet Guest
    Here&#39;s some food for thought...

    http://www.fisica.uniroma2.it/~cosmo/seminars.html

    You&#39;ll see what I am talking about when you go to the above URL. I believe there is a hint there as to the answer to this post&#39;s main question.

    Peace. B)

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by folkhemmet@Nov 13 2004, 02:30 AM
    there is a hint
    Revealed on or before December 17th. OK&#33;
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  20. #20
    folkhemmet Guest
    Not to be pessimistic, but the data may not be released on or before Dec. 17 even though the astrophysics seminar title implies the opposite. The seminar could be cancelled or the topic changed. In each of these cases we will once again be in the dark as to the answer to this post’s main question.

    Just out of curiosity, what do you all think? Do you think the seminar will be canceled or the topic changed or do you think we’ll be granted the privilege of looking over state of the art cosmological data in less than 30 days?

    --Peace

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by folkhemmet@Nov 19 2004, 07:34 PM
    Do you think the seminar will be canceled or the topic changed or do you think we’ll be granted the privilege of looking over state of the art cosmological data in less than 30 days?
    Thanks for the insight. You are right about the possibilities.

    I&#39;m optimistic about the data coming out, but don&#39;t expect it to actually tell us much that is really exciting, new, and different. Yes, there will be new data about polarization, and some more depth in the temperature profiles. There may be some details about avoiding confusion from the SZ effect, but I think they&#39;ll still say the universe is 13.7 billion years old, and has pretty much the same ratio of Baryonic matter, CDM, HDM, and Dark Energy.

    Mind you these are all guesses based only on instinct and impressions, which in other threads we&#39;ve chided people for taking seriously. So I&#39;ll just wait and see.
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  22. #22
    folkhemmet Guest
    hey everyone,

    I found some more info from the same website that atoniseb found info regarding possible &#39;anomalies&#39; in the first year WMAP data.

    Here is the URL....
    http://www.geometrygames.org/ESoS/CosmologyNews.html

    Here is the quote

    "December 2004
    Cosmologists generally agree that the broad fluctuations observed in the first-year WMAP data are flawed, most likely due to some bug in the gathering and/or processing of the raw data. Unfortunately the WMAP team has not yet found the problem, nor have they released the second- or third-year data. So efforts to determine the shape of the universe are, for the moment, dead in the water.
    Even if the problems with the WMAP data never get fixed, we can look forward to the Planck satellite, due to launch in 2007, which will provide a fresh view of the microwave sky. "

    This may mean that the Dec. 17 astrophysics seminar may be cancelled. It&#39;s only three weeks away and it would make sense that since the WMAP is a US NASA mission that the data would be announced in the US. I guess we&#39;ll see.
    B)

  23. #23
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    Originally posted by folkhemmet@Nov 28 2004, 04:20 AM
    I found some more info from the same website that antoniseb found info regarding possible &#39;anomalies&#39; in the first year WMAP data.
    Thanks folkhemmet. I hadn&#39;t spotted that.

    Not that what folkhemmet found is wrong, I have no way to know, but I got email from Charles Bennett, the man leading the WMAP science investigation, and a separate one from another investigator on the team, both giving me what looked like solid reasons to disregard this site. They describe it as a crack-pot site [my term paraphrasing them] run by the guy who thinks there is evidence that the universe is a dodecahedron [a concept they say is in no way backed up by their data].

    So here&#39;s the dilemma, the "crack-pot" could be right, and really have some inside information, or Bennett could be telling the truth, and they could really have some complicated stuff to do, and have to repeat it for the whole sky, requiring a great amount of computer time, thought, and invention.

    I noticed that at the bottom of the Geometry of Space site was a note that the complete WMAP analysis isn&#39;t due out unitl 2006. In mid-December, we&#39;ll know if that talk was cancelled.
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  24. #24
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    Not even Coyote/Kokopele could pull off a joke on such cosmic scale&#33;&#33; SciAm ran an article a couple of years back exploring geometric options, among which there was one expressing dodecahedral symmetry. They also described what polarimetric signatures would show up... I&#39;m off to the archives. S

  25. #25
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    Originally posted by wstevenbrown@Nov 28 2004, 02:51 PM
    Not even Coyote/Kokopele could pull off a joke on such cosmic scale&#33;&#33;
    Even thinking his dodecahedral notion is completely bogus, I can&#39;t completely discount his alleged inside look at what&#39;s holding up the WMAP year two data. We&#39;ll know more in a few weeks.
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  26. #26
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    http://www.sciamdigital.com/browse.cfm?seq...1F69&sc=I100322

    Here is the archive listing—The principal author’s name is Luminet, Jean-Pierre. Might be easier to do your own search. If memory serves, the authors of this article made the point that the polarimetric signature of a universe having symmetry would look like systematic error, and require extensive verification. Best regards :huh: Steve

  27. #27
    folkhemmet Guest
    antoniseb, thanks for the info...

    There is indeed a dilemma. I would tend to take more stock in what the email from the two WMAP investigators had to say. I enjoy playing the fun games on the geometry games site, but I just don&#39;t see how the webmaster of that site could know what the status of the WMAP data is since he is not a member of the science team. He talks about the WMAP team not finding out what the &#39;anomalies&#39; are except how would he know this when the team is keeping the data secret. He even says that the &#39;data are being kept secret.&#39; How can he then say what they have or have not found in the data? B)

  28. #28
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    The SciAm article from 10/1/02 was J-P Luminet outlining, in general, the results of assuming various symmetric geometries. The &#39;scientific&#39; article cited by your buddy at GeometryGames is Luminet again (Nature 10/9/03), expounding the first assumption set he could curve-fit to the first year WMAP data. Geometry boy seems to have taken this as gospel for reasons of his own, which J-PL did not. Must agree with your friend&#39;s unkind assessment of the site.
    While I hold open geometric options, I don&#39;t think the temp data alone would substantiate any particular one. J-PL&#39;s method, in particular is coarse (and so were the data). The combination of temp and polarimetry could nail it, tho. I don&#39;t mind speculation, when it is labeled as such.
    So it&#39;s back to hurry-up-and-wait, and in copious spare time, speculate. When the data finally are released, ipso res loquatur.

  29. #29
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    Originally posted by folkhemmet@Nov 28 2004, 05:59 PM
    He talks about the WMAP team not finding out what the &#39;anomalies&#39; are except how would he know this when the team is keeping the data secret.
    There is a possibility that he has a friend of a friend on the team. I personally don&#39;t like the secrecy, but until we know something more concrete, we have to publicly take the team&#39;s statements at face value.
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    So does this mean that there is a release date for Year 2 data?

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