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Published August 20, 2015 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

HerMES: Current Cosmic Infrared Background Estimates Can Be Explained by Known Galaxies and Their Faint Companions at z < 4


We report contributions to cosmic infrared background (CIB) intensities originating from known galaxies and their faint companions at submillimeter wavelengths. Using the publicly available UltraVISTA catalog and maps at 250, 350, and 500 μm from the Herschel Multi-tiered Extragalactic Survey, we perform a novel measurement that exploits the fact that uncataloged sources may bias stacked flux densities—particularly if the resolution of the image is poor—and intentionally smooth the images before stacking and summing intensities. By smoothing the maps we are capturing the contribution of faint (undetected in K_S ~ 23.4) sources that are physically associated, or correlated, with the detected sources. We find that the cumulative CIB increases with increased smoothing, reaching 9.82 ± 0.78, 5.77 ± 0.43 and 2.32 ± 0.19 nWm^(-2) sr^(-1) at 250, 350, and 500 μm at 300 arscec FWHM. This corresponds to a fraction of the fiducial CIB of 0.94 ± 0.23, 1.07 ± 0.31, and 0.97 ± 0.26 at 250, 350, and 500 μm, where the uncertainties are dominated by those of the absolute CIB. We then propose, with a simple model combining parametric descriptions for stacked flux densities and stellar mass functions, that emission from galaxies with log(M/M⊙) > 8.5 can account for most of the measured total intensities and argue against contributions from extended, diffuse emission. Finally, we discuss prospects for future survey instruments to improve the estimates of the absolute CIB levels, and observe any potentially remaining emission at z > 4.

Additional Information

© 2015 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2015 May 22; accepted 2015 July 24; published 2015 August 17. M.P.V. warmly thanks Charlotte Clarke, Pete Hurley, Seb Oliver, and the University of Sussex for their hospitality during the development of this study, and Phil Hopkins for valuable discussions of the z > 4 universe. We also thank the anonymous referee, whose careful comments greatly improved this paper. SPIRE has been developed by a consortium of institutes led by Cardiff Univ. (UK) and including: Univ. Lethbridge (Canada); NAOC (China); CEA, LAM (France); IFSI, Univ. Padua (Italy); IAC (Spain); Stockholm Observatory (Sweden); Imperial College London, RAL, UCL-MSSL, UKATC, Univ. Sussex (UK); and Caltech, JPL, NHSC, Univ. Colorado (USA). This development has been supported by national funding agencies: CSA (Canada); NAOC (China); CEA, CNES, CNRS (France); ASI (Italy); MCINN (Spain); SNSB (Sweden); STFC, UKSA (UK); and NASA (USA). The SPIRE data for this paper were obtained as a part of proposal KPGT_soliver_1, with images made using the following OBSIDs: 1342222819-26, 1342222846-54, 1342222879-80, 1342222897-901.

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Published - Viero_2015.pdf

Submitted - 1505.06242v2.pdf


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August 20, 2023
October 24, 2023