Date: March 18th 2020, 10.30am
Speaker: Florent Mertens (LERMA / Kapteyn Astronomical Institute)
Title: The challenges of observing the Epoch of Reionization and Cosmic Dawn
Low-frequency observations of the redshifted 21cm line promise to open a new window onto the first billion years of cosmic history, allowing us to directly study the astrophysical processes occurring during the Epoch of Reionization (EoR) and the Cosmic Dawn (CD). This exciting goal is challenged by the difficulty of extracting the feeble 21-cm signal buried under astrophysical foregrounds orders of magnitude brighter and contaminated by numerous instrumental systematics. Several experiments such as LOFAR, MWA, HERA, and NenuFAR are currently underway aiming at statistically detecting the 21-cm brightness temperature fluctuations from the EoR and CD. While no detection is yet in sight, considerable progress has been made recently. In this talk, I will review the many challenges faced by these difficult experiments and I will share the latest development of the LOFAR Epoch of Reionization and NenuFAR Cosmic Dawn key science projects.