The actual Rees-Sciama effect from the local universe
Zentrum für Astronomie, ITA, Universität Heidelberg, Albert-Überle-Str. 2, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, 85741 Garching, Germany
Accepted: 21 September 2007
Observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) have revealed an unexpected quadrupole-octopole alignment along a preferred axis pointing toward the Virgo cluster. We here investigate whether this feature can be explained in the framework of the concordance model by secondary anisotropies produced by the non-linear evolution of the gravitational potential, the so-called Rees-Sciama (RS) effect. We focus on the effect caused by the local superclusters, which we calculate using a constrained high-resolution hydrodynamical simulation, based on the IRAS 1.2-Jy all-sky galaxy redshift survey, which reproduces the main structures of our Universe out to a distance of 110 Mpc from our Galaxy. The resulting RS effect peaks at low multipoles and has a minimum/maximum amplitude of -6.6 μK/ 1.9 μK. Even though its quadrupole is well aligned with the one measured for the CMB, its amplitude is not sufficient to explain the observed magnitude of the quadrupole/octopole alignment. To have an effect comparable to the actual CMB fluctuations, photons traversing the local cosmic structures would need to experience a five/ten times larger gravitational redshift than would be expected in a standard scenario with dark matter and Newtonian gravity. In addition, we analyze the WMAP-3 data with a linear matched filter in an attempt to determine an upper limit for the RS signal amplitude on large scales. We found that it is possible to infer a weak upper limit of 30 μK for its maximum amplitude.
Key words: cosmic microwave background
© ESO, 2007