Determination of the Far-Infrared Cosmic Background Using COBE DIRBE and WHAM Data

Type Journal Article
Names N. Odegard, R. G. Arendt, E. Dwek, L. M. Haffner, M. G. Hauser, R. J. Reynolds
Publication The Astrophysical Journal
Volume 667
Issue 1
Pages 11-25
Date September 1, 2007
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract Determination of the cosmic infrared background (CIB) at far-infrared wavelengths using COBE DIRBE data is limited by the accuracy to which foreground interplanetary and Galactic dust emission can be modeled and subtracted. Most previous determinations of the far-infrared CIB were based on the detection of residual isotropic emission in sky maps from which the emission from interplanetary dust and the neutral interstellar medium were removed. In this paper we use the Wisconsin Hα Mapper (WHAM) Northern Sky Survey as a tracer of the ionized medium to examine the effect of this foreground component on determination of the CIB. We decompose DIRBE far-infrared data for five high Galactic latitude regions into H I- and Hα-correlated components and a residual component. We find the Hα-correlated component to be consistent with zero for each region, yielding CIB results that are essentially the same as those previously derived by the COBE DIRBE team: νIν(nW m-2 sr-1)<75, <32, =25+/-8, and =13+/-3 at 60, 100, 140, and 240 μm, respectively (upper limits are 2 σ). For comparison, the estimated integrated light from galaxies based on Spitzer 160 μm source counts is 13.7+/-1.7 and 10.7+/-1.4 nW m-2 sr-1 at 140 and 240 μm, respectively. We derive upper limits on the 100 μm emissivity of the ionized medium that are typically about 40% of the 100 μm emissivity of the neutral atomic medium. If Hα is not a reliable tracer of far-infrared emission, we show that our analysis would underestimate the emissivity of the ionized medium and could slightly overestimate the CIB.
Tags Cosmology: Diffuse Radiation, Galaxy: General, ISM: General, cosmology: observations, infrared: ISM
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