An upper limit to the infrared background from observations of TeV gamma rays

Astronomy and Astrophysics – Astrophysics

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Background Radiation, Cosmic Rays, Diffuse Radiation, Flux Density, Gamma Ray Spectra, Infrared Radiation, Markarian Galaxies, Energy Distribution, Energy Spectra, Optical Thickness

Scientific paper

An upper bound to the energy density of infrared background radiation is derived from considering the effect of gamma-gamma interactions on the observed TeV gamma-ray spectrum of the active galaxy Markarian 421. This upper bound proves to be the most restrictive for the wavelength range of 10-12 micrometers. These constraints are presently limited by the uncertainty of extrapolating the source spectrum from 5 to 500 GeV. Observations in the regime less than 100 GeV would significantly improve these limits, allowing for a wide range of IR production models to be constrained.

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