Spectral distortion of the CMB by the cumulative CO emission from galaxies throughout cosmic history

Natalie Mashian*, Abraham Loeb, Amiel Sternberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We show that the cumulative CO emission from galaxies throughout cosmic history distorts the spectrum of the cosmic microwave background at a level that is well above the detection limit of future instruments, such as the Primordial Inflation Explorer. The modelled CO signal has a prominent bump in the frequency interval 100-200 GHz, with a characteristic peak intensity of ~2 × 10-23 Wm-2 Hz-1 sr-1. Most of the CO foreground originates from modest redshifts, z ~ 2-5, and needs to be efficiently removed for more subtle distortions from the earlier Universe to be detected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L99-L103
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Volume458
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2016

Keywords

  • Cosmic background radiation
  • Cosmology: theory
  • Early universe
  • Intergalactic medium

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