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Overcoming the Dominant Foreground of Inflationary B-modes: Tomography of Galactic Magnetic Dust via Measurements of Starlight Polarization

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 PASIPHAE project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the PASIPHAE project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "PASIPHAE" about.

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Project "PASIPHAE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: N PLASTIRA STR 100
postcode: 70013

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Greece [EL]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙887˙500 €
 EC max contribution 1˙887˙500 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2017-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-06-01   to  2023-05-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

An inflation-probing B-mode signal in the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) would be a discovery of utmost importance in physics. While such a signal is aggressively pursued by experiments around the world, recent Planck results have showed that this breakthrough is still out of reach, because of contamination from Galactic dust. To get to the primordial B-modes, we need to subtract polarized emission of magnetized interstellar dust with high accuracy. A critical piece of this puzzle is the 3D structure of the magnetic field threading dust clouds, which cannot be accessed through microwave observations alone, since they record integrated emission along the line of sight. Instead, observations of a large number of stars at known distances in optical polarization, tracing the same CMB-obscuring dust, can map the magnetic field between them. The Gaia mission is measuring distances to a billion stars, providing an opportunity to produce, the first-ever tomographic map of the Galactic magnetic field, using optical polarization of starlight. Such a map would not only boost CMB polarization foreground removal, but it would also have a profound impact in a wide range of astrophysical research, including interstellar medium physics, high-energy astrophysics, and galactic evolution. Taking advantage of our privately-funded, novel-technology, high-accuracy WALOP optopolarimeters currently under construction, we propose an ambitious optopolarimetric program of unprecedented scale that can meet this challenge: a survey of both northern and southern Galactic polar regions targeted by CMB experiments, covering >10,000 square degrees, which will measure linear optical polarization at 0.2% accuracy of over 360 stars per square degree (over 3.5M stars, a 1000-fold increase over the state of the art), combining wide-field-optimized instruments and an extraordinary commitment of observing time by Skinakas Observatory and the South African Astronomical Observatory.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 T. Cantat-Gaudin, A. Krone-Martins, N. Sedaghat, A. Farahi, R. S. de Souza, R. Skalidis, A. I. Malz, S. Macêdo, B. Moews, C. Jordi, A. Moitinho, A. Castro-Ginard, E. E. O. Ishida, C. Heneka, A. Boucaud, A. M. M. Trindade
Gaia DR2 unravels incompleteness of nearby cluster population: new open clusters in the direction of Perseus
published pages: A126, ISSN: 0004-6361, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201834453
Astronomy & Astrophysics 624 2020-02-05
2019 Georgia V. Panopoulou, Konstantinos Tassis, Raphael Skalidis, Dmitriy Blinov, Ioannis Liodakis, Vasiliki Pavlidou, Stephen B. Potter, Anamparambu N. Ramaprakash, Anthony C. S. Readhead, Ingunn K. Wehus
Demonstration of Magnetic Field Tomography with Starlight Polarization toward a Diffuse Sightline of the ISM
published pages: 56, ISSN: 1538-4357, DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/aafdb2
The Astrophysical Journal 872/1 2020-02-05
2020 D Paranjpye, A Mahabal, A N Ramaprakash, G V Panopoulou, K Cleary, A C S Readhead, D Blinov, K Tassis
Eliminating artefacts in polarimetric images using deep learning
published pages: 5151-5157, ISSN: 0035-8711, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stz3250
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 491/4 2020-02-05
2019 A N Ramaprakash, C V Rajarshi, H K Das, P Khodade, D Modi, G Panopoulou, S Maharana, D Blinov, E Angelakis, C Casadio, L Fuhrmann, T Hovatta, S Kiehlmann, O G King, N Kylafis, A Kougentakis, A Kus, A Mahabal, A Marecki, I Myserlis, G Paterakis, E Paleologou, I Liodakis, I Papadakis, I Papamastorakis, V Pavlidou, E Pazderski, T J Pearson, A C S Readhead, P Reig, A Słowikowska, K Tassis, J A Zensus
RoboPol: a four-channel optical imaging polarimeter
published pages: 2355-2366, ISSN: 0035-8711, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stz557
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 485/2 2020-02-05
2019 Georgia V. Panopoulou, Brandon S. Hensley, Raphael Skalidis, Dmitry Blinov, Konstantinos Tassis
Extreme starlight polarization in a region with highly polarized dust emission
published pages: L8, ISSN: 0004-6361, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201935266
Astronomy & Astrophysics 624 2020-02-05
2019 Carolina Casadio, Alan P. Marscher, Svetlana G. Jorstad, Dmitry A. Blinov, Nicholas R. MacDonald, Thomas P. Krichbaum, Biagina Boccardi, Efthalia Traianou, José L. Gómez, Iván Agudo, Bong-Won Sohn, Michael Bremer, Jeffrey Hodgson, Juha Kallunki, Jae-Young Kim, Karen E. Williamson, J. Anton Zensus
The magnetic field structure in CTA 102 from high-resolution mm-VLBI observations during the flaring state in 2016–2017
published pages: A158, ISSN: 0004-6361, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201834519
Astronomy & Astrophysics 622 2020-02-05
2019 I Liodakis, D Blinov
Probing the unidentified Fermi blazar-like population using optical polarization and machine learning
published pages: 3415-3422, ISSN: 0035-8711, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stz1008
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 486/3 2020-02-05
2018 Tassis, Konstantinos; Ramaprakash, Anamparambu N.; Readhead, Anthony C. S.; Potter, Stephen B.; Wehus, Ingunn K.; Panopoulou, Georgia V.; Blinov, Dmitry; Eriksen, Hans Kristian; Hensley, Brandon; Karakci, Ata; Kypriotakis, John A.; Maharana, Siddharth; Ntormousi, Evangelia; Pavlidou, Vasiliki; Pearson, Timothy J.; Skalidis, Raphael
PASIPHAE: A high-Galactic-latitude, high-accuracy optopolarimetric survey
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 1 2020-02-05
2019 Dmitry Blinov, Vasiliki Pavlidou
The RoboPol Program: Optical Polarimetric Monitoring of Blazars
published pages: 46, ISSN: 2075-4434, DOI: 10.3390/galaxies7020046
Galaxies 7/2 2020-02-05
2019 R. Skalidis, V. Pelgrims
Local Bubble contribution to the 353-GHz dust polarized emission
published pages: L11, ISSN: 0004-6361, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201936547
Astronomy & Astrophysics 631 2020-02-05

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