Astronomy and Astrophysics – Astronomy
Far Infrared Radiation, Galactic Structure, Infrared Astronomy, Milky Way Galaxy, Rocket-Borne Instruments, Sky Brightness, Telescopes, Cosmic Dust, Extraterrestrial Radiation, Infrared Cirrus (Astronomy), Interstellar Extinction, Interstellar Matter, Molecular Clouds, Starburst Galaxies
We have measured the surface brightness of the far-infrared sky at lambda = 134, 154, and 186 micrometers at high Galactic latitude using a liquid-He-cooled, rocket-borne telescope. The telescope scanned over a 5 deg x 20 deg region which includes infrared cirrus, high-latitude molecular clouds, the starburst galaxy M82, and the H I Hole in Ursa Major, a region with uniquely low H I column density. The measured brightness at 134, 154, and 186 micrometers is well correlated with the 100 micrometers brightness measured by IRAS and, in regions excluding molecular clouds, with H I column density. The spectrum of the component correlated with H I is well fitted by a gray-body spectrum with a temperature of 16.4 (+2.3/-1.8) K, assuming an emissivity proportional to lambda-2. Assuming a constant far-infrared dust emissivity per hydrogen nucleus, the ratio of the H2 column density to the velocity-integrated CO intensity in the high-latitude molecular cloud is NH2/Wco = (1.6 +/- 0.3) x 1020/sq cm/(K km/s). The residual brightness after subtracting the emission correlated with H I column density is lambda Ilambda(154 micrometers) = (1.4 +/- 0.6) x 10-12 W/sq cm/sr, yielding an upper limit to the far-infrared extragalactic background radiation of lambda Ilambda(154 micrometers) is less than 2.6 x 10-12 W/sq cm/sr.
Mauskopf Phil D.
Richards Paul L.
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