Steerable wavelet analysis of CMB structures alignment

Patricio Vielva*, Yves Wiaux, Enrique Martínez-González, Pierre Vandergheynst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reviews the application of a novel methodology for analysing the isotropy of the universe by probing the alignment of local structures in the CMB. The strength of the proposed methodology relies on the steerable wavelet filtering of the CMB signal. One the one hand, the filter steerability renders the computation of the local orientation of the CMB features affordable in terms of computation time. On the other hand, the scale-space nature of the wavelet filtering allows to explore the alignment of the local structures at different scales, probing possible different phenomena. We present the WMAP first-year data analysis recently performed by the same authors (Wiaux et al.), where an extremely significant anisotropy was found. In particular, a preferred plane was detected, having a normal direction with a northern end position at (θ, φ{symbol}) = (34°, 331°), close to the northern end of the CMB dipole axis. In addition, a most preferred direction was found in that plane, with a northern end direction at (θ, φ{symbol}) = (71°, 91°), very close to the north ecliptic pole. This result synthesised for the first time previously reported anomalies identified in the direction of the dipole and the ecliptic poles axes. In a forthcoming paper (Vielva et al.), we have extended our analysis to the study of individual frequency maps finding first indications for discarding foregrounds as the origin of the anomaly. We have also tested that the preferred orientations are defined by structures homogeneously distributed in the sky, rather than from localised regions. We have also analysed the WMAP 3-year data, finding the same anomaly pattern, although at a slightly lower significance level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)880-888
Number of pages9
JournalNew Astronomy Reviews
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


  • Cosmic microwave background
  • Cosmology
  • Data analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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