Following up on the spectacular first year of data reported by the WMAP experiment in February 2003, results of analysis of the next year’s data were initially planned to be released a year later. The release of this data has been repeatedly delayed; for speculation about why, see here and here.
Over the last two years there have been a large number of scheduled colloquia by WMAP scientists that have been cancelled at the last moment. One relatively recent one was an astronomy colloquium at Caltech by Gary Hinshaw with the title “New Results from WMAP” that was initially scheduled for January 4, but was cancelled and now is scheduled for March 22.
From March 23-25 the new Center for Cosmology at UC Irvine will be hosting a workshop on Fundamental Physics With Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. On the 23rd four WMAP team members are scheduled to speak with titles: “WMAP 0, WMAP I, WMAP II, and WMAP III.”
Over at CosmoCoffee (where I first noticed this), Alessandro Mechiorri is spreading the rumor that data will be released next week, on March 14. There’s also discussion of this at the Bad Astronomy and Universe Today Forum. So, looks to me like it’s maybe next week, and if not, almost certainly the week after.
Update: More news about the state of WMAP from Urbano Franca here.
Update: Looks like it definitely will be very soon now, possibly some time this week. The WMAP Mission Status page says:
Second Data Release
While the first-year results were based mainly on temperature measurements, the continued mission operations are now primarily focused on the much weaker polarized signals – an invaluable “stretch” goal of the extended mission. Analyses of these weaker signals are more difficult. The calibration and systematic error analyses have been completed, and the data files have been documented for use by researchers. For an overview see RESULTS.
This last link is to a New Three Year Results page which right now just says:
Stay tuned for the release of the most recent results from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP). Very soon now….
Update: It’s official, the release will be on Thursday. Here’s the announcement:
We are pleased to announce that the next release of WMAP data, along with papers describing the results, are expected to be available on LAMBDA this coming Thursday, March 16 at 12 noon EST.
There will be no televised press activity associated with this release, so in an effort to reach as wide as possible an audience, please forward this announcement to colleagues of yours whom you think may be interested.
Thank you very much – we look forward to seeing your analyses of the data!
for the Legacy Archive for Microwave Background Data Analysis (LAMBDA)