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

Funding

FundersFunder number
National Science Foundation1312034, 1144152, DGE1144152, AST-1312034

    Keywords

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

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