May 21, 1998 CfA Colloquium

Title: The COBE Search for the Cosmic Infrared Background

Speaker: Mike Hauser

Abstract: The cosmic infrared background radiation has been a long-sought clue to cosmic history. The Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment (DIRBE) on the COBE spacecraft, designed to permit a systematic search for this background radiation, has yielded detections of it in the far infrared, and upper limits at shorter wavelengths. Recent analyses of data from the COBE Far Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer (FIRAS) have confirmed the DIRBE detections and extended them to longer wavelengths. The COBE results suggest that a substantial fraction of cosmic starlight has been absorbed and reradiated by dust, and provide valuable new constraints on models of cosmic evolution.

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