Starbust galaxies and the X-ray background

M. Persic, Y. Rephaeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Integrated X-ray spectra of an evolving population of starburst galaxies (SBGs) are determined based on the observed spectra of local SBGs. In addition to emission from hot gas and binary systems, our model SBG spectrum includes a nonthermal component from Compton scattering of relativistic electrons by the intense ambient far-IR and the (steeply evolving) CMB radiation fields. We use these integrated spectra to calculate the levels of contribution of SBGs to the cosmic X-ray background assuming that their density evolves as (1 + z)q up to a maximal redshift of 5. We find that at energies ε ≲ 10 keV this contribution is at a level of few percent for q ≤ 3, and in the range of 5% - 15% for q ≃ 4.5. The Compton component is predicted to be the main SBG emission at high energies, and its relative contribution gets progressively higher for increasing redshift.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003


  • Galaxies: spiral
  • Stars: formation
  • X-ray: galaxies


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