The cosmic infrared background (CIB) contains emissions accumulated over the entire history of the Universe, including from objects inaccessible to individual telescopic studies. The near-infrared (∼1-10 μm) part of the CIB, and its fluctuations, reflects emissions from nucleosynthetic sources and gravitationally accreting black holes. If known galaxies are removed to sufficient depths the source-subtracted CIB fluctuations at near-infrared can reveal sources present in the first stars era and possibly new stellar populations at more recent times. This review discusses the recent progress in this newly emerging field which identified, with new data and methodology, significant source-subtracted CIB fluctuations substantially in excess of what can be produced by remaining known galaxies. The CIB fluctuations further appear coherent with unresolved cosmic x-ray background indicating a very high fraction of black holes among the new sources producing the CIB fluctuations. These observations have led to intensive theoretical efforts to explain the measurements and their properties. While current experimental configurations have limitations in decisively probing these theories, their potentially remarkable implications will be tested in the upcoming CIB measurements with the European Space Agency's Euclid dark energy mission. The goals and methodologies of LIBRAE (Looking at Infrared Background Radiation with Euclid), a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) selected project for CIB science with Euclid, which has the potential for transforming the field into a new area of precision cosmology, are described.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)