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Wednesday, June 08, 2022
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Cahill, Hameetman Auditorium

Astronomy Colloquium

Early Science Results from the CO Mapping Array Project
Kieran Cleary, Associate Director, OVRO, Radio Astronomy, California Institute of Technology,

The CO Mapping Array Project (COMAP) aims to use line intensity mapping (LIM) of carbon monoxide (CO) to trace the distribution and global properties of galaxies over cosmic time, back to the Epoch of Reionization (EoR). To validate the technologies, observing strategies, and analysis techniques needed for this goal, a Pathfinder instrument has been constructed and fielded at the Owens Valley Radio Observatory. Sensitive to CO(1-0) emission from z=2.4-3.4 and a fainter contribution from CO(2-1) at z=6-8, the Pathfinder is surveying 12 sq. deg. in a 5-year observing campaign to detect the CO signal from z~3. Based on our first year of observations alone, we have obtained for the first time, a direct constraint on the clustering amplitude of the CO power spectrum at z~3, allowing us to rule out two models from the literature. At the conclusion of the 5-year Pathfinder survey, we forecast a detection of the clustering amplitude, molecular gas density and CO-galaxy cross-spectrum at high significance. The next phase of the experiment will add a new receiver that extends the reach of COMAP to the Epoch of Reionization.

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For more information, please contact Jim Fuller by email at [email protected] or visit