New Spectral Evidence of an Unaccounted Component of the Near-infrared Extragalactic Background Light from the CIBER

Shuji Matsuura, Toshiaki Arai, James J. Bock, Asantha Cooray, Phillip M. Korngut, Min Gyu Kim, Hyung Mok Lee, Dae Hee Lee, Louis R. Levenson, Toshio Matsumoto, Yosuke Onishi, Mai Shirahata, Kohji Tsumura, Takehiko Wada, Michael Zemcov

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64 Citations (Scopus)


The extragalactic background light (EBL) captures the total integrated emission from stars and galaxies throughout the cosmic history. The amplitude of the near-infrared EBL from space absolute photometry observations has been controversial and depends strongly on the modeling and subtraction of the zodiacal light (ZL) foreground. We report the first measurement of the diffuse background spectrum at 0.8-1.7 μm from the CIBER experiment. The observations were obtained with an absolute spectrometer over two flights in multiple sky fields to enable the subtraction of ZL, stars, terrestrial emission, and diffuse Galactic light. After subtracting foregrounds and accounting for systematic errors, we find the nominal EBL brightness, assuming the Kelsall ZL model, is nW m-2 sr-1 at 1.4 μm. We also analyzed the data using the Wright ZL model, which results in a worse statistical fit to the data and an unphysical EBL, falling below the known background light from galaxies at λ < 1.3 μm. Using a model-independent analysis based on the minimum EBL brightness, we find an EBL brightness of nWm-2 sr-1 at 1.4 μm. While the derived EBL amplitude strongly depends on the ZL model, we find that we cannot fit the spectral data to ZL, Galactic emission, and EBL from solely integrated galactic light from galaxy counts. The results require a new diffuse component, such as an additional foreground or an excess EBL with a redder spectrum than that of ZL.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Apr 10


  • cosmology: observations
  • dark ages, reionization, first stars
  • diffuse radiation
  • infrared: diffuse background
  • infrared: general
  • zodiacal dust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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