Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2248/6707
Title: The mystery of the cosmic diffuse ultraviolet background radiation
Authors: Henry, R. C
Murthy, J
Overduin, James
Tyler, Joshua
Keywords: Dark matter;Dust, extinction;ISM: clouds
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2015
Publisher: IOP Publishing Ltd
Citation: The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 798, No. 1, 14
Abstract: The diffuse cosmic background radiation in the Galaxy Evolution Explorer far-ultraviolet (FUV, 1300–1700 Å) is deduced to originate only partially in the dust-scattered radiation of FUV-emitting stars: the source of a substantial fraction of the FUV background radiation remains a mystery. The radiation is remarkably uniform at both far northern and far southern Galactic latitudes and increases toward lower Galactic latitudes at all Galactic longitudes. We examine speculation that this might be due to interaction of the dark matter with the nuclei of the interstellar medium, but we are unable to point to a plausible mechanism for an effective interaction. We also explore the possibility that we are seeing radiation from bright FUV-emitting stars scattering from a "second population" of interstellar grains—grains that are small compared with FUV wavelengths. Such grains are known to exist, and they scatter with very high albedo, with an isotropic scattering pattern. However, comparison with the observed distribution (deduced from their 100 μm emission) of grains at high Galactic latitudes shows no correlation between the grains' location and the observed FUV emission. Our modeling of the FUV scattering by small grains also shows that there must be remarkably few such "smaller" grains at high Galactic latitudes, both north and south; this likely means simply that there is very little interstellar dust of any kind at the Galactic poles, in agreement with Perry and Johnston. We also review our limited knowledge of the cosmic diffuse background at ultraviolet wavelengths shortward of Lyα—it could be that our "second component" of the diffuse FUV background persists shortward of the Lyman limit and is the cause of the reionization of the universe.
Description: Open Access
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2248/6707
ISSN: 0004-637X
???metadata.dc.rights???: © The American Astronomical Society
???metadata.dc.relation.uri???: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/798/1/14
Appears in Collections:IIAP Publications

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