Winners of WSC19: Non-photographic media

The following post list the winners of WSC 2019.

Simulated polarization of Milky Way dust emission in microwave sky with a B-mode

The winning image of the non-photographic media category shows us the simulated polarization of Milky Way dust emission as measured from the Planck satellite. It was made by Uros Seljak.

Comment from the author:

I am a professor of physics and of astronomy at UC Berkeley and my research focus is cosmology. One of the main goals of cosmology is to elucidate the origins of our Universe.

We believe our Universe started with a rapid expansion called inflation, during which tiny quantum seeds were imprinted into the fabric of spacetime, leading in time to creation of galaxies, stars and planets, including the Earth. To prove this theory myself and my colleagues proposed to search for B-modes, a spiral type of polarization imprinted in the microwave sky. However, Milky Way emits dust, which is also polarized, and scientists must learn how to distinguish the two signals.

This image was created by taking dust emission as measured from the Planck satellite and converting its intensity into a polarization pattern. The bright yellow band is Milky Way as seen in the microwave sky. A B-mode was imprinted into a single spot by locally rotating the dust polarization pattern by 45 degrees. A hilly landscape was added at the bottom to represent that many of the B-mode experiments are ground based, in places from Antarctica to Atacama desert in Chile.

This picture is a great example of a teamwork in science and could not have been made without the input of numerous people. Special thanks to the Planck satellite team who observed and made public the data this is based on, Susan Clark for the original inspiration, Yu Feng for the data processing and Andrej Berlot for the post-processing.


[VIDEO] In-depth characterization of Deinococcus radiodurans cell cycle. Author: Kevin Floc’h from Switzerland
MRI self-portrait. Author: Tomas Diaz from the USA
Relief of Tenerife processed with the QGIS geographic information system and made from a digital LiDAR elevation model. Author: Ángel M. Felicísimo from Spain
[VIDEO] The growth of silver crystals on the surface of copper from a solution of silver nitrate. Author: Maxim Bilovitskiy from Estonia
Dripping with refractive index variation. The motion is created by a difference of surface tension between miscible fluids. Author: Simon Raffy from France
RNA polymerase (purple) with one DNA double helix strand (darker orange) and RNA (green). Authors: Maria Voigt and PDB-101 & David S. Goodsell and the RCSB PDB from the USA

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