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The extragalactic infrared background touches on many topics: The rate at which energy was generated in stars at different epochs; the corresponding number counts of galaxies observed at different redshifts; the related rate at which non-primordial helium and the heavy chemical elements were produced at these same epochs; the abundances of these elements that can be found in damped Lyman-alpha absorbers at commensurate redshifts; the abundances of the same elements in Galactic stars formed at similar epochs; the integrated supernova rates over all epochs, and the number of neutron stars and black holes in our locale within the Universe today. The distances from which TeV gamma-rays at different energies can reach us are also intimately related to the infrared background spectrum. The purpose of this Symposium was to seek a coherent picture into which all these pieces of observational evidence can be satisfactorily fitted. This was the rationale in setting up the invited talks.
I review the assumptions and observations that motivate the concept of the extragalactic cosmic background radiation, and the issues of energy accounts and star formation history as a function of galaxy morphological type that figure in the interpretation of the measurements of the extragalactic infrared background.
This review is based on extensive work done in collaboration with N. Gorkavyi, J. Mather, and T. Taidakova, which aimed at physical modeling of the interplanetary dust (IPD) cloud in the Solar System, i.e., establishing a link between the observable characteristics of the zodiacal cloud and the dynamical and physical properties of the parent minor bodies. Our computational approach permits one to integrate the trajectories of hundreds of particles and to effectively store up to 1010–11 positions with modest computer resources, providing a high fidelity 3D distribution of the dust. Our numerical codes account for the major dynamical effects that govern the motion of IPD particles: Poynting-Robertson (P-R) drag and solar wind drag; solar radiation pressure; particle evaporation; gravitational scattering by the planets; and the influence of mean-motion resonances. The incorporation of secular resonances and collisions of dust particles (both mutual and with interstellar dust) is underway. We have demonstrated the efficacy of our codes by performing the following analyses: (i) simulation of the distribution of Centaurs (comets scattered in their journey from the Kuiper belt inward in the Solar System) and revealing the effects of the outer planets in producing ‘cometary belts’; (ii) detailed inspection of a rich resonant structure found in these belts, which predicts the existence of gaps similar to the Kirkwood gaps in the main asteroid belt; (iii) a preliminary 3-D physical model of the IPD cloud, which includes three dust components – asteroidal, cometary, and kuiperoidal – and is consistent with the available data of Pioneer and Voyager dust detectors; (iv) modeling of the IPD cloud, which provides a zodiacal light distribution in accord, to the order of 1%, with a subset of the COBE/DIRBE observations; and (v) showing that the resonant structure in dusty circumstellar disks of Vega and Epsilon Eridani is a signature of embedded extrasolar planets. Further improvements of our modeling and their importance for astronomy and cosmology are outlined.
Recognition of an isotropic cosmic near-infrared (NIR) and mid-infrared (MIR) background involves the removal of the zodiacal foreground (both scattered and reradiated), of the truly diffuse Galactic foreground (dominated by fluorescent bands of polcyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), and of resolved and unresolved Galactic point sources. I discuss model simulations of the near- and mid-infrared point source sky from which one can assess its particular contribution to the diffuse Galactic infrared foreground. I will also indicate the transitional stage which characterizes our knowledge of fundamental stellar parameters that are essential inputs to any such models. Using the latest version of the SKY model (Wainscoat et al. 1992; Cohen 1993; Cohen 1994; Cohen et al. 1994; Cohen 1995; Ruphy et al. 1997), I will demonstrate matches to deep point source counts for a variety of passbands and galactic latitudes, and will try to quantify the uncertainties achievable in model predictions of the integrated surface brightness due to the smearing of all these foreground point sources.
We review the present understanding of the interstellar dust contribution to the far-IR (λ > 100 μm) sky emission. We show how the contribution from the distinct ISM components (HI, H2, HII gas) are identified and characterized through spatial correlation with gas emission lines. We discuss the spectral energy distribution of the emission from cirrus dust associated with diffuse HI gas and from colder dust associated with molecular gas. We relate the drop in dust emission temperature from the diffuse interstellar medium to molecular gas to an evolution of dust affecting both the abundance of small dust grains and the far-IR emissivity of large grains.
We review here the unique opportunity provided by the sub-millimeter/millimeter domain to characterize both the warm intra-cluster plasma via the Sunyaev Zel'dovich Effect (SZE) on the cosmic microwave background, and the dust within this plasma via its thermal emission. However, multi-wavelength measurements are needed in order to separate these effects from the foreground galactic dust and the background infrared galaxies.
We make predictions for the diffuse far-infrared (FIR) emission from dust in the intracluster medium (ICM) of the Virgo cluster. The dust injection rate from known sources in the cluster is unlikely to give rise to a detectable diffuse FIR IC emission. However, the outer regions of dynamically young clusters have a further potential source of IC grains since they are still accreting freshly infalling spiral galaxies which are presumably contained in an accreting intergalactic medium (IGM). We show that cosmic ray driven winds from the infalling spirals can inject grains into a subvirial IGM that is external to the observed X-ray-emitting ICM. Predictions for the Virgo cluster are generalised to other clusters, and the possibility of detection of dynamically young clusters at cosmological distances is discussed. Although dominated by the discrete source emission from galactic disks, it is possible that diffuse submillimeter dust emission from the ICM could be detected in experiments similar to those designed to map the submillimeter excess due to the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect in distant clusters. We further discuss the implications of our proposed scenario for the optical extinction in clusters, as well as for the properties and dust content of the IGM. Further implications for the environmental effects on the chemical evolution of spiral galaxies are also considered.
The Byurakan-IRAS galaxy (BIG) sample is based on optical identifications of IRAS PSC sources (Beichman, C. A. et al., eds. 1988, Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) Catalogs and Atlases: The Point Source Catalog, NASA RP–1190, Washington, DC). It makes use of the IR colours, DSS images, and the First Byurakan Spectral Survey (Markarian, B. E. et al. 1989, Commun. Special Astrophys. Obs., 62, 5).
All IRAS sources in the region +61° < δ < 90° at high galactic latitudes (|b| >15°) in an area of 1487 deg2 have been revealed up to the limit of the IRAS survey. The BIG sample (Mickaelian, A. M. 2000, Afz, 43, 425 and references therein) consists of 1500 galaxies, including 870 that were previously known. A redshift survey for brighter objects is being carried out with the SAO (Russia) 6 m, Byurakan Observatory 2.6 m, and Observatoire de Haute Provence 1.93 m telescopes. Redshifts in the range of 0.009–0.173 have been measured. For fainter objects, including 30 empty fields corresponding to sources with IR colors typical of galaxies, deep imaging is being carried out to reveal faint objects and study their morphologies. These objects are candidate ULIRGs. Many are multiple galaxies and small groups. About half of the galaxies are radio sources, and a number are also X-ray sources. The IR luminosity may be due to normal star formation or triggered by interaction or active galactic nuclei (AGNs). The AGNs and interacting/merging systems among the nearest BIG objects are the most interesting cases: they provide understanding of the properties of activity, starburst, and interaction phenomena and their interrelation, thus allowing a study of the physics and evolution of galaxies in the Local Universe.
We discuss the ultraviolet to near-IR galaxy counts from the deepest imaging surveys, including the northern and southern Hubble Deep Fields. The logarithmic slope of the galaxy number-magnitude relation is flatter than 0.4 in all seven UBVIJHK optical passbands at faint magnitudes, i.e. the light from resolved galaxies has converged from the UV to the near-IR. Most of the galaxy contribution to the extragalactic background light (BEL) comes from relatively bright, low-redshift objects (50% at VAB ≲ 21 and 90% at VAB ≲ 25.5). We find a lower limit to the surface brightness of the optical EBL of about 15 nW m−2 sr−1, comparable to the intensity of the far-IR background from COBE data. Diffuse light, lost because of surface brightness selection effects, may add substantially to the EBL.
We searched for the near infrared extragalactic background light (IREBL) in data from the Near Infrared Spectrometer (NIRS) on the Infrared Telescope in Space (IRTS). After subtracting the contribution of faint stars and a modeled zodiacal component, a significant isotropic emission is detected whose in-band flux amounts to ~ 30 nWm−2sr−1. This brightness is consistent with upper limits of COBE/DIRBE, but is significantly brighter than the integrated light of faint galaxies. The star subtraction analyses from DIRBE data show essentially the same results apart from the uncertainty in the model of the zodiacal light. A significant fluctuation of the sky brightness was also detected. A 2-point correlation analysis indicates that the fluctuations have a characteristic spatial structure of 100 ~ 200 arcmin. This could be an indication of the large scale structure at high redshift. Combined with the far infrared and submillimeter EBL, the total energy flux amounts to 50 ~ 80 nWm−2sr−1 which is so bright that unknown energy sources at high redshifts are required.
The cosmic infrared background (CIB) radiation was a long-sought fossil of energetic processes associated with structure formation and chemical evolution since the Big Bang. The COBE Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment (DIRBE) and Far Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer (FIRAS) were specifically designed to search for this background from 1.25 μm to millimeter wavelengths. These two instruments provided high quality, absolutely calibrated all-sky maps which have enabled the first detections of the CIB, initially at far infrared and submillimeter wavelengths, and more recently in the near infrared as well. The aim of this paper is to review the status of determinations of the CIB based upon COBE measurements. The results show that the energy in the CIB from far infrared to millimeter wavelengths is comparable to that in the integrated light of galaxies from UV to near infrared wavelengths: the universe had a luminous but dusty past. On the assumption that nucleosynthesis in stars is the energy source for most of this light, the results also imply that 1–8% of cosmic baryons has been converted to helium and heavier elements in stars. The integrated background light from UV to millimeter wavelengths, 60–120 nW m−2 sr−1, is about 10% of that in the cosmic microwave background. Current knowledge of the CIB provides significant new constraints on models of the history of star formation and galaxy evolution.
We report estimates for the extragalactic background light (EBL) in the K band (2.2 μm), obtained by the integration of galaxy counts down to K=25 mag in the Subaru Deep Field (SDF, 2′ x 2′). We have obtained deep galaxy count data by using the 8.2m Subaru telescope, with a total integration time of 10 hours and an average seeing of about 0.4 arcsec. The 5-sigma limiting magnitude is K=23.5, and 350 objects are detected brighter than this magnitude. There has been a significant discrepancy between previous K-count observations, probably because of the systematic uncertainties in the completeness correction. To overcome this problem, we have paid special attention to selection effects and completeness corrections, with realistic theoretical galaxy models taken into account consistently. The faint-end slope is significantly flatter than some earlier observations of K counts, and our results suggest that the bulk of the extragalactic light in this band has been resolved as discrete sources. We estimate the value of the EBL flux obtained from the integration of our counts as 9.8 ± 1.0 nWm−2 sr−1.
From analysis of the DIRBE weekly averaged sky maps, we have detected substantial flux in the 60 μm and 100 μm channels in excess of expected zodiacal and Galactic emission (Finkbeiner, D.P., et al. 2000, ApJ, to be published, astro-ph/0004175). Two methods are used to separate zodiacal light from more distant emission. Both methods give consistent results at 60 μm and 100 μm. The observed signal is consistent with an isotropic background of vIv = 28.1 ± 1.8 ± 7 (syst) nWm−2sr−1 at 60 μm and 24.6 ± 2.5 ± 8 (syst) nW m−2 sr−1 at 100 μm.
The IR excess detected at 140 and 240 μm by these methods agrees with previous measurements, which are thought to be the cosmic infrared background (CIB). The detections at 60 and 100 μm are new. While this new excess is not necessarily the CIB, we have ruled out all known sources of emission in the solar system and Galaxy. We therefore tentatively interpret this signal as the CIB and consider the implications of such energy production from the viewpoint of star formation efficiency and black hole accretion efficiency. However, the IR excess exceeds limits on the CIB derived from the inferred opacity of the intergalactic medium to observed TeV photons, thus casting doubt on this interpretation. There is currently no satisfactory explanation for the 60 – 100 μm excess.
The extragalactic background at ultraviolet, X-ray and gamma ray energies is reviewed. Early work on the diffuse backgrounds in each of these bands was motivated, at least in part, by the idea that these fluxes were the result of processes which produced a truly diffuse flux with profound cosmological implications. As we will see, these processes were not observed. However, the study of this background has led to the discovery of unexpected processes at work in the Universe. Our current understanding of these backgrounds is presented.
In this paper, I will take a synoptic approach to determining the intergalactic infrared radiation field (IIRF). This approach draws on both the multi-TeV γ-ray observations and the infrared background observations and relates them via the semi-empirical modelling method of Malkan & Stecker. I discuss the evidence for an intergalactic infrared background obtained by an analysis of the HEGRA observations of the high energy γ-ray spectrum of Mrk 501 and from constraints from Mrk 421 deduced from the Whipple air Cherenkov telescope results. I will show that this evidence is in accord with the predictions made by Malkan & Stecker (1998) for the intergalactic infrared spectral energy distribution produced by galaxies. The Malkan-Stecker predictions are also in excellent agreement with mid-infrared galaxy counts. However, there may be potential problems relating these predictions with the results of the analysis of COBE–DIRBE far infrared data. The γ-ray and COBE–DIRBE observations may also need to be reconciled. I will discuss possible ways to resolve this situation including a partial nullification of the γ-ray absorption process which can hypothetically occur if Lorentz invariance is broken.
The spectral distribution of the extragalactic background light (EBL) in the infrared yields important information about the evolution of galaxies. The spectrum of a galaxy in the 0.1–200 μm region is a footprint of the intrinsic starlight at ~ 1μm and its extinction by dust with re-emission at ~ 100 μm. The overall spectral energy distribution of the EBL is then determined by the galaxy luminosity evolution. High-energy γ-rays are absorbed by the EBL photons through γγ → e+e- reactions. Such an effect has been seen recently in the Mkn 501 TeV spectrum measured by the HEGRA (High Energy Gamma Ray Astronomy) collaboration using an advanced system of imaging atmospheric Čerenkov telescopes (IACTs). The intrinsic spectra of AGNs in the 50 GeV-1 TeV energy range may be constrained by the X-ray fluxes measured with satellite instruments aboard missions such as RXTE, XMM, and ASCA. By reducing the energy threshold down to 50 GeV, forthcoming ground-based IACTs systems (CANGAROO IV, H.E.S.S., VERITAS) may be able to study the absorption cutoff in energy spectra of distant AGNs (z< 0.4), to unfold the true galaxy luminosity evolution function.
We describe a model for the evolution of the cosmic background radiation field from infrared to ultraviolet wavelengths tuned to observations of star formation and including the effects of reprocessing by dust and gas. With this model, we can compute the attenuation of gamma rays from extragalactic sources. The attenuation length for the vast majority of extragalactic gamma-ray sources (blazars and gamma-ray bursts at redshifts of order unity) depends on the evolving optical-to-ultraviolet background, whereas gamma-ray attenuation measurements of nearby sources-such as Mrk 501 probe the infrared background. We focus on the cosmological aspects of the model and discuss the effects of changing cosmological parameters, star formation rate, initial mass function, and dust opacity on the resulting gamma-ray attenuation. A plausible choice of parameters leads to fair agreement between our model in the infrared and the observed attenuation of gamma rays from Mrk 501.
We give a brief summary of the ongoing Abastumani Blazar Monitoring Program (ABMP) started in May 1997. More than ~50,000 frames of data have been collected during 370 nights of observations on about 50 target objects. Preliminary results of two years of monitoring of ten selected AGNs carried out in the framework of ABMP are presented. All observations were done in the BVRI bands using the CCD ST-6 based photometer attached to the 70-cm meniscus telescope's Newtonian focus. Image reductions were made using different software packages of image reduction systems such as IRAF, MIDAS and STARLINK. All objects under study show light variations exceeding one magnitude. The largest variation was observed for AO 0235+116, amounting to 4.0 mag in the R band.
Models of the zodiacal light are necessary to convert measured data taken from low Earth orbit into the radiation field outside the Solar System. The uncertainty in these models dominates the overall uncertainty in determining the extragalactic background light for wavelengths λ < 100 μm.