Browsing by Subject "1ST DETECTIONS"

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  • Mattila, K.; Väisänen, P.; Lehtinen, K.; von Appen-Schnur, G.; Leinert, Ch. (2017)
    In a project aimed at measuring the optical extragalactic background light (EBL), we are using the shadow of a dark cloud. We have performed, with the ESO VLT/FORS, spectrophotometry of the surface brightness towards the high-galactic-latitude dark cloud Lynds 1642. A spectrum representing the difference between the opaque core of the cloud and several unobscured positions around the cloud was presented in Paper I. The topic of this paper is the separation of the scattered starlight from the dark cloud itself which is the only remaining foreground component in this difference. While the scattered starlight spectrum has the characteristic Fraunhofer lines and the discontinuity at 400 nm, typical of integrated light of galaxies, the EBL spectrum is a smooth one without these features. As template for the scattered starlight, we make use of the spectra at two semitransparent positions. The resulting EBL intensity at 400 nm is I-EBL = 2.9 +/- 1.1 10(-9) erg cm(-2) s(-1) sr(-1) angstrom(-1) or 11.6 +/- 4.4 nW m(-2) sr(-1), which represents a 2.6 sigma detection; the scaling uncertainty is +20 per cent/-16 per cent. At 520 nm, we have set a 2 sigma upper limit of I-EBL
  • Mattila, K.; Lehtinen, K.; Väisänen, P.; von Appen-Schnur, G.; Leinert, Ch. (2017)
    We present the method and observations for the measurement of the Extragalactic Background Light (EBL) utilizing the shadowing effect of a dark cloud. We measure the surface brightness difference between the opaque cloud core and its unobscured surroundings. In the difference the large atmospheric and Zodiacal light components are eliminated and the only remaining foreground component is the scattered starlight from the cloud itself. Although much smaller, its separation is the key problem in the method. For its separation we use spectroscopy. While the scattered starlight has the characteristic Fraunhofer lines and 400 nm discontinuity, the EBL spectrum is smooth and without these features. Medium resolution spectrophotometry at lambda = 380-580 nm was performed with VLT/FORS at ESO of the surface brightness in and around the high-galactic-latitude dark cloud Lynds 1642. Besides the spectrum for the core with AV greater than or similar to 15 mag, further spectra were obtained for intermediate-opacity cloud positions. They are used as proxy for the spectrum of the impinging starlight spectrum and to facilitate the separation of the scattered starlight (cf. Paper II; Mattila et al.). Our spectra reach a precision of less than or similar to 0.5 x 10(-9) erg cm(-2) s(-1) sr(-1) angstrom(-1) as required to measure an EBL intensity in range of similar to 1 to a few times 10(-9) erg cm(-2) s(-1) sr(-1) angstrom(-1). Because all surface brightness components are measured using the same equipment, the method does not require unusually high absolute calibration accuracy, a condition that has been a problem for some previous EBL projects.
  • Mattila, Kalevi; Vaisanen, Petri (2019)
    The Extragalactic Background Light (EBL) stands for the mean surface brightness of the sky as we would see it from a representative vantage point in the intergalactic space outside of our Milky Way Galaxy. Averaged over the whole 4 pi solid angle it represents the collective light from all luminous matter radiated throughout the cosmic history. Part of the EBL is resolved into galaxies that, with the increasing detecting power of giant telescopes and sensitive detectors, are seen to deeper and deeper limiting magnitudes. This resolved part is now known to contribute a substantial or even the major part of the EBL. There still remains, however, the challenge of finding out to what extent galaxies too faint or too diffuse to be discerned individually, individual stars or emission by gas outside the galaxies, or - more speculatively - some hitherto unknown light sources such as decaying elementary particles are accounting for the remaining EBL. We review the recent progress that has been made in the measurement of EBL. The current photometric results suggest that there is, beyond the resolved galaxies, an EBL component that cannot be explained by diffuse galaxy halos or intergalactic stars.