ARlogo Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 2005. 43: 727-768
Copyright © 2005 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved

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The CIB is the infrared part of the extragalactic background, the radiation content of the Universe today produced by galaxies at all redshifts and seen as an isotropic extragalactic background radiation. Patridge & Peebles (1967) predicted that observations of such a background could give powerful constraints on the cosmological evolution.

3.1. General Observations and Direct Cosmological Implications

The detection of the infrared part of the extragalactic background (the CIB for Cosmic Infrared Background) was the major objective of the DIRBE experiment aboard COBE. In fact, the CIB was first detected at long wavelengths by using the FIRAS spectrometer: lambda > 200 µm (Puget et al. 1996). The CIB has subsequently been detected by DIRBE at 2.4, 3.5, 100, 140, 240 µm (see Hauser & Dwek 2001 and Kashlinsky 2005 for two reviews). The extragalactic background at 2.4 and 3.5 µm is significantly larger than that predicted by the integrated galaxy counts and their extrapolation. Similarly, the extragalactic background in the optical has been finally evaluated in combining several methods by Bernstein et al. (2002) and found to be larger than the value given by the integrated fluxes of galaxies by a factor larger than 2. In the mid-infrared, the interplanetary zodiacal dust emission is so strong that only upper limits were obtained by DIRBE. The combination of number counts by ISO/ISOCAM at 15 µm (see Elbaz & Cesarsky 2003) and by Spitzer at 24 µm (e.g., Papovich et al. 2004) giving lower limits, with the observations of TeV gamma ray emission from distant AGNs (e.g., Renault et al. 2001; Dwek & Krennrich 2005), gives a good measurement of the background at these wavelengths. The full cosmic background spectrum is shown in Figure 2. Only most recent and strongly constraining measurements have been plotted for clarity.

Figure 2

Figure 2. The extragalactic background over three decades in frequency from the near UV to millimeter wavelengths. Only strongly constraining measurements have been reported. We show for comparison in grey an SED of M82 (Chanial, 2003) - a starburst galaxy at L = 3 × 1010 Lodot - normalized to the peak of the CIB at 140 µm. References for data points are given in Table 1.

Table 1. Extragalactic background references for Figure 2

Wavelength (µm) Experiment Measurement Reference

0.2 FOCA Number counts & model Armand et al. 1994
0.30, 0.56, 0.81 HST/Las Campanas Observatory Diffuse emission Bernstein et al. 2002, Mattila 2003
2.2 < lambda < 4 µm IRTS Diffuse emission Matsumoto et al. 2005
2.2, 3.3 DIRBE/Lick Diffuse emission Gorjian et al. 2000
1.25, 2.2 DIRBE/2MASS Diffuse emission Wright 2001
10, 15 CAT gamma rays Renault et al. 2001
15 ISOCAM Number counts Elbaz et al. 1999
24 Spitzer/MIPS Number counts Papovich et al. 2004
60 IRAS Power spectrum Miville-Deschênes et al. 2002
100 DIRBE Diffuse emission Renault et al. 2001
140, 240 DIRBE/WHAM Diffuse emission Lagache et al. 2000
140, 240 DIRBE Diffuse emission Hauser et al. 1998
850 SCUBA Number counts Smail et al. 2002
200 < lambda < 1200 FIRAS Diffuse emission Lagache et al. 2000

Figure 2 clearly shows that the optical and infrared cosmic backgrounds are well separated. The first surprising result is that the power in the infrared is comparable to the power in the optical. In contrast, we know that locally, the infrared output of galaxies is only one third of the optical output. This implies that infrared galaxies grow more luminous with increasing z faster than do optical galaxies. A second important property to note is that the slope of the long wavelength part of the CIB, Inu propto nu1.4 (Gispert et al. 2000), is much less steep than the long wavelengths spectrum of galaxies (as illustrated in Figure 2 with the M82 SED). This implies that the millimeter CIB is not due to the millimeter emission of the galaxies that account for the peak of the CIB (appeq 150 µm). The implications in terms of energy output have been drawn by, e.g. Gispert et al. (2000). The infrared production rate per comoving unit volume (a) evolves faster between redshift zero and 1 than the optical one and (b) has to stay roughly constant at higher redshifts up to redshift 3 at least.

3.2. The Status of Deep Surveys: Resolved Fraction of the > 10 µm CIB

Many surveys from the mid-infrared to the millimeter have aimed to resolve the CIB into discrete sources. From short to long wavelengths the significant surveys are the following:

Figure 3 shows the capabilities of the different surveys to find distant LIRGs. Spitzer observations at 24 µm are the most powerful tool to find LIRGs up to z ~ 2.2; ISOCAM was limited at z ~ 1.2. Distant ULIRGs are found by deep and large surveys at 24 and 850 µm. Note that capabilities have been computed using the model of Lagache et al. (2004). This empirical model is based on only two populations of galaxies; it aims only to model the redshift evolution of the average population. It reproduces all the observations from mid-infrared to the millimeter (see Appendix). Lewis et al. (2005) showed that a more sophisticated, bivariate SED does not much change the average properties although it does significantly change the dispersion. The Lagache et al. (2004) model is thus used in this paper as a tool to discuss observations and predictions.

Figure 3

Figure 3. Sensitivity to the bolometric luminosity and star-formation rate, assuming star forming galaxies of various infrared and submillimeter experiments. Detections of at least 10 sources in the surveys can be expected in the areas above the curves. We assumed the scenario of a typical deep survey (when available). IRAS 60 µm (Snu > 1 Jy, all sky); ISOCAM 15 µm (Snu > 250 µJy, 2 Sq. Deg.); ISOPHOT 170 µm (Snu > 180 mJy, 5 Sq. Deg.); Spitzer/MIPS 24 µm (Snu > 80 µJy, 5 Sq. Deg.); Spitzer/MIPS 70 µm (Snu > 25 mJy, 5 Sq. Deg.); Spitzer/MIPS 160 µm (Snu > 50 mJy, 5 Sq. Deg.); SCUBA 850 µm (Snu > 1 mJy, 1 Sq. Deg.). This plot makes use of the Lagache et al. (2004) model (see the Appendix).

3.3. Redshift Contribution to the CIB

From Figure 2, we see that contributions from galaxies at various redshifts are needed to fill the CIB SED shape. The bulk of the CIB in energy, i.e., the peak at about 150 µm, is not resolved in individual sources but one dominant contribution at the CIB peak can be inferred from the ISOCAM deep surveys. ISOCAM galaxies with a median redshift of ~ 0.7 resolve about 80% of the CIB at 15 µm. Elbaz et al. (2002) separate the 15 µm galaxies into different classes (ULIRGs, LIRGs, Starbursts, normal galaxies and AGNs) and extrapolate the 15 µm fluxes to 140 µm using template SEDs. A total brightness of (16 ± 5) nW m-2 sr-1 is found, which makes up about two thirds of the CIB observed at 140 µm by COBE/DIRBE. Hence, the galaxies detected by ISOCAM are responsible for a large fraction of energy of the CIB. About one half of the 140 µm CIB is due to LIRGs and about one third to ULIRGs. However, these ISOCAM galaxies make little contribution to the CIB in the millimeter and submillimeter. There, the CIB must be dominated by galaxies at rather high redshift for which the SED peak has been shifted. The redshift contribution to the CIB is illustrated in Figure 4. We clearly see that the submillimeter/millimeter CIB contains information on the total energy output by the high-redshift galaxies (z > 2). This is supported by the redshift distribution of the SCUBA sources at 850 µm with S850 geq 3 mJy that make about 30% of the CIB and have a median redshift of 2.2 (Chapman et al. 2005).

Figure 4

Figure 4. Cumulative contribution to the CIB of galaxies at various redshifts from 0.5 to 8, from the model of Lagache et al. (2004). Measurements of the CIB are reported with the same symbols as in Figure 2.

Figure 5 shows the fraction of resolved CIB as a function of redshift for selected wavelengths. Fifty percents of the CIB is due to galaxies at redshift below 1 at 15 and 70 µm, 1.3 at 24 and 160 µm, 2 at 350 µm, 3 at 850 µm and 3.5 at 2000 µm (see also Table 2). It is clear that from the far-infrared to the millimeter, the CIB at longer wavelengths probes sources at higher redshifts.

Figure 5

Figure 5. Cumulative fraction of the CIB content as a function of redshift for various wavelengths, from the model of Lagache et al. (2004).

Table 2. Redshift at which the CIB is resolved at 20%, 50%, or 80% (from the model of Lagache et al. 2004)

Wavelength 20% 50% 80%

15 µm 0.5 1.0 1.3
24 µm 0.5 1.3 2.0
70 µm 0.5 1.0 1.5
100 µm 0.7 1.0 1.7
160 µm 0.7 1.3 2.0
350 µm 1.0 2.0 3.0
850 µm 2.0 3.0 4.0
1.4 mm 2.5 3.5 4.5
2.1 mm 2.0 3.5 5.0

From Section 3.2, we see that the most constraining surveys in term of resolving the CIB are those at 15, 24 and 850 µm. Moreover, the capabilities of these surveys to find high-z objects are the best among all other existing surveys (see Figure 3). These surveys probe the CIB in well-defined and distinct redshift ranges, with median redshifts of 0.7 (Liang et al. 2004), ~ 1 (Caputi et al. 2005 and L. Yan, private communication), and 2.2 (Chapman et al. 2005) at 15, 24 and 850 µm, respectively. Such well-defined redshift ranges can be understood by looking at the K-correction. The K-correction is defined as:

Equation 1 (1)

where Lnu(z = 0) is the rest-frame luminosity. This correction is specific to the spectrum of the population considered at a given luminosity and redshift. Figure 6 shows the K-correction at 15, 24, 70, 160 and 850 µm. The broad plateau observed around z = 1 at 15 µm and around z = 2 at 24 µm is caused by the PAHs' features. At longer wavelengths, the slow decrease of the K-correction is caused by the shape of the starburst spectra around the peak of their emission. At 850 µm, the monotonic rise favors the detection of high-z objects.

Figure 6

Figure 6. K-correction at 15, 24, 70 and 160 and 850 µm for a typical LIRG with L = 2 × 1011 Lodot (from the model of Lagache et al. 2004).

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