Current PhD Thesis Fellows

umilta.jpgCaterina Umiltà

Born in Italy, I carried on my studies at the University of Bologna, where I obtained a master degree in Astrophysics and Cosmology in 2014. Later that year, I joined the Lagrange Institute and came to Paris to work on my PhD project at the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris where I work with Karim Benabed and Jean-François Cardoso.

The earliest picture we have of the universe is the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), which comes from the initial stages of evolution of the universe, at the epoch of the first recombination of atoms and electrons, after which the universe becomes transparent to light. The CMB has an almost perfect black body spectrum: the small deviations that we see, called anisotropies, are the imprint of the perturbations present at the recombination epoch and thus are the object of many cosmological studies.

The Planck satellite, launched in 2009, observed the whole sky at the microwave frequencies in order to map the CMB. However, the CMB is obfuscated by other emissions (foregrounds), such as for example galactic dust, which have to be subtracted before analysing the CMB maps. Modeling and removing these foregrounds from the maps is a crucial step for the cosmological analysis of the data. Thus my project is to improve the current foreground removal technique and to better characterize the foreground residual content in the maps, in order to increase the cosmological value of Planck data.

Contact: umilta[at]