The lack of large-angle correlations in the observed microwave background temperature fluctuations persists in the final-year maps from WMAP and the first cosmological data release from Planck. We find a statistically robust and significant result: p-values for the missing correlations lying below 0.24 per cent (i.e. evidence at more than 3 sigma) for foreground cleaned maps, in complete agreement with previous analyses based upon earlier WMAP data. A conservative cut-sky analysis of the Planck HFI 100 GHz frequency band, the `cleanest CMB channel’, returns a p-value as small as 0.03 per cent, based on the conservative mask defined by WMAP. These findings are in stark contrast to expectations from the inflationary Lambda cold dark matter model and still lack a convincing explanation. If this lack of large-angle correlations is a true feature of our Universe, and not just a statistical fluke, then the cosmological dipole must be considerably smaller than that predicted in the best-fitting model.
Date added: Wed, 16 Oct 13