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Astrophysics Colloquium

Rethinking the Origin of the Anomalous Microwave Emission: A Case Against Spinning PAHs
Presented by Brandon Hensley
Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University

Monday, June 29, 2015
12:00 noon in 169-336

It is now widely accepted that the anomalous microwave emission (AME) -- dust-correlated emission peaking near 30 GHz -- is electric dipole radiation from spinning ultrasmall grains. Due to their abundance and ubiquity, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which give rise to prominent emission features in the infrared, are a natural choice for the carriers of this emission. Combining the fully-sky map of the AME produced by Planck component separation and WISE maps of the PAH emission, I demonstrate that the AME and PAH emission are largely uncorrelated, at variance with model predictions. Further, I argue that correlations between the AME and the radiation field are at odds with the generic predictions of the spinning dust model. Finally, I discuss alternatives to the spinning PAH hypothesis and upcoming observations that will help discriminate among them.

JPL Contact: Charles Lawrence (4-5307)

SVCP Astrophysics

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