Statistical anisotropies in temperature and polarization fluctuations from a scale-dependent trispectrum
We study statistical anisotropies generated in the observed two-point function of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) fluctuations if the primordial statistics are non-Gaussian. Focusing on the dipole modulations of the anisotropies, we find that the hemispherical power asymmetry observed in the CMB temperature fluctuations can be modeled by a local-type trispectrum with amplitude τNL(kp=0.05 Mpc-1)≈2 ×104 and a large red tilt n ≈-0.68 . We numerically evaluate the non-Gaussian covariance of the modulation estimators for both temperature and E-mode polarization fluctuations and discuss the prospects of constraining the model using Planck satellite data. We then discuss other effects of the scale-dependent trispectrum that could be used to distinguish this scenario from other explanations of the power asymmetry: higher-order modulations of the two-point function and the non-Gaussian angular power spectrum covariance. As an important consequence of the non-Gaussian power spectrum covariance, we discuss how the CMB-inferred spectral index of primordial scalar fluctuations can be significantly biased in the presence of a scale-dependent local-type trispectrum.