Observational Cosmology in the Near Infra-Red
Although we have a fairly good understanding of the structure of the Universe at recent epochs, its history and evolution remain obscure. Clearly we still lack key pieces of the cosmic puzzle. The study of background radiations should be an effective means of elucidating the development of the Universe at early epochs. In what follows we give a brief overview of the known cosmological backgrounds and some of the major problems with current scenarios. Finally we focus our attention on the least studied of the cosmological backgrounds, namely the Near Infra-Red Background. For attempts to measure this background the problem of foreground contamination by local sources is severe. Most of the Universe is bright at 2–4 µm! In particular, emission from dust in the Solar System (ZL & IPD) and the Galaxy (‘cirrus’) needs to be better understood before the extragalactic background can be estimated with confidence.
KeywordsHigh Redshift Galaxy Formation Angular Scale Galaxy Evolution Deep Integration
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