Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

A low level of extragalactic background light as revealed by big gamma-rays from blazars

Aharonian, F.; Akhperjanian, A.G.; Bazer-Bachi, A.R.; Beilicke, M.; Benbow, W.; Berge, D.; Bernlöhr, K.; Boisson, C.; Bolz, O.; Borrel, V.; Braun, I.; Breitling, F.; Brown, A.M.; Chadwick, P.M.; Chounet, L.M.; Cornils, R.; Costamante, L.; Degrange, B.; Dickinson, H.J.; Djannati-Ataï, A.; Drury, L.O.; Dubus, G.; Emmanoulopoulos, D.; Espigat, P.; Feinstein, F.; Fontaine, G.; Fuchs, Y.; Funk, S.; Gallant, Y.A.; Giebels, B.; Gillessen, S.; Glicenstein, J.F.; Goret, P.; Hadjichristidis, C.; Hauser, D.; Hauser, M.; Heinzelmann, G.; Henri, G.; Hermann, G.; Hinton, J.A.; Hofmann, W.; Holleran, M.; Horns, D.; Jacholkowska, A.; Jager de, O.C.; Khélifi, B.; Klages, S.; Komin, N.; Konopelko, A.; Latham, I.J.; Le Gallou, R.; Lemière, A.; Lemoine-Goumard, M.; Leroy, N.; Lohse, T.; Martin, J.M.; Martineau-Huynh, O.; Marcowith, A.; Masterson, C.; McComb, T.J.L.; Naurois de, M.; Nolan, S.J.; Noutsos, A.; Orford, K.J.; Osborne, J.L.; Ouchrif, M.; Panter, M.; Pelletier, G.; Pita, S.; Pühlhofer, G.; Punch...

Authors

F. Aharonian

A.G. Akhperjanian

A.R. Bazer-Bachi

M. Beilicke

W. Benbow

D. Berge

K. Bernlöhr

C. Boisson

O. Bolz

V. Borrel

I. Braun

F. Breitling

A.M. Brown

L.M. Chounet

R. Cornils

L. Costamante

B. Degrange

H.J. Dickinson

A. Djannati-Ataï

L.O. Drury

G. Dubus

D. Emmanoulopoulos

P. Espigat

F. Feinstein

G. Fontaine

Y. Fuchs

S. Funk

Y.A. Gallant

B. Giebels

S. Gillessen

J.F. Glicenstein

P. Goret

C. Hadjichristidis

D. Hauser

M. Hauser

G. Heinzelmann

G. Henri

G. Hermann

J.A. Hinton

W. Hofmann

M. Holleran

D. Horns

A. Jacholkowska

O.C. Jager de

B. Khélifi

S. Klages

N. Komin

A. Konopelko

I.J. Latham

R. Le Gallou

A. Lemière

M. Lemoine-Goumard

N. Leroy

T. Lohse

J.M. Martin

O. Martineau-Huynh

A. Marcowith

C. Masterson

T.J.L. McComb

M. Naurois de

A. Noutsos

K.J. Orford

M. Ouchrif

M. Panter

G. Pelletier

S. Pita

G. Pühlhofer

M. Punch

B.C. Raubenheimer

M. Raue

J. Raux

S.M. Rayner

A. Reimer

O. Reimer

J. Ripken

L. Rob

L. Rolland

G. Rowell

V. Sahakian

L. Saugé

S. Schlenker

R. Schlickeiser

C. Schuster

U. Schwanke

M. Siewert

H. Sol

D. Spangler

R. Steenkamp

C. Stegmann

J.P. Tavernet

R. Terrier

C.G. Théoret

M. Tluczykont

C. Eldik van

G. Vasileiadis

C. Venter

P. Vincent

HJ. Völk

S.J. Wagner



Abstract

The diffuse extragalactic background light consists of the sum of the starlight emitted by galaxies through the history of the Universe, and it could also have an important contribution from the 'first stars', which may have formed before galaxy formation began. Direct measurements are difficult and not yet conclusive, owing to the large uncertainties caused by the bright foreground emission associated with zodiacal light1. An alternative approach2, 3, 4, 5 is to study the absorption features imprinted on the -ray spectra of distant extragalactic objects by interactions of those photons with the background light photons6. Here we report the discovery of -ray emission from the blazars7 H 2356 - 309 and 1ES 1101 - 232, at redshifts z = 0.165 and z = 0.186, respectively. Their unexpectedly hard spectra provide an upper limit on the background light at optical/near-infrared wavelengths that appears to be very close to the lower limit given by the integrated light of resolved galaxies8. The background flux at these wavelengths accordingly seems to be strongly dominated by the direct starlight from galaxies, thus excluding a large contribution from other sources—in particular from the first stars formed9. This result also indicates that intergalactic space is more transparent to -rays than previously thought.

Citation

Aharonian, F., Akhperjanian, A., Bazer-Bachi, A., Beilicke, M., Benbow, W., Berge, D., …Wagner, S. (2006). A low level of extragalactic background light as revealed by big gamma-rays from blazars. Nature, 440(7087), 1018-1021. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature04680

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 22, 2006
Publication Date Apr 20, 2006
Deposit Date May 8, 2008
Publicly Available Date May 8, 2008
Journal Nature
Print ISSN 0028-0836
Electronic ISSN 1476-4687
Publisher Nature Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 440
Issue 7087
Pages 1018-1021
DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/nature04680
Keywords High-energy photons, MKN 501, Telescope, Space, Absorption, H1426+428, Spectrum, Universe, Stars, 2Mass.

Files





You might also like



Downloadable Citations