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BLAST Large-scale Extragalactic Submillimeter Survey Reveals Half The Starlight In The Universe

Truch, M. D. P., Ade, Peter A. R., Aretxaga, I., Bock, J. J., Chapin, E. L., Devlin, M. J., Griffin, Matthew Joseph, Gundersen, J. O., Halpern, M., Hargrave, Peter, Hughes, D. H., Klein, J., Marsden, G., Martin, P. G., Mauskopf, Philip Daniel, Moncelsi, L., Netterfield, C. B., Ngo, H., Olmi, L., Pascale, Enzo, Patanchon, G., Rex, M., Scott, D., Semisch, C., Thomas, N., Tucker, Carole, Tucker, G. S., Viero, M. P. and Wiebe, D. V. 2009. BLAST Large-scale Extragalactic Submillimeter Survey Reveals Half The Starlight In The Universe. Presented at: 214th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, Pasadena, USA, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society,

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The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (BLAST) is a suborbital surveying experiment designed to study the evolutionary history and processes of star formation in local galaxies (including the Milky Way) and galaxies at cosmological distances. The BLAST continuum camera, which consists of 270 detectors distributed between three arrays, observes simultaneously in broadband (30%) spectral windows at 250, 350, and 500µm. The optical design is based on a 2m diameter telescope, providing nearly diffraction-limited resolution of 36” at 250µm. BLAST was flown in a test flight in 2003 and has since made two scientifically productive long-duration balloon flights: a 100 hour flight from ESRANGE (Kiruna), Sweden to Victoria Island, northern Canada in 2005 June; and a 250 hour, circumpolar flight from McMurdo Station, Antarctica in 2006 December. A deep, confusion limited, 0.8 deg² map nested in a wide, 8.6 deg² map in the direction of GOODS-South was made during the 2006 flight. Approximately half of all the light from stars is absorbed and reprocessed by dust. The resulting emission is grey body with a temperature near 30K. While it is believed that this radiation makes up the Far Infrared Background (FIRB) detected by the COBE satellite, it had not been resolved into individual galaxies. Combining BLAST data with data from Spitzer in the same region, we determine that at 500µm all of the FIRB comes from sources that are identified in deep 24µm surveys and that 70% of the FIRB comes from sources with z>1.2. Furthermore, we determine the number of galaxies as a function of flux and frequency in the submillimeter revealing a distinct evolution in the galaxy population from low to high redshift. The BLAST collaboration acknowledges the support of NASA, NSF Office of Polar Programs, the CSA (Canada), the STFC (UK), and NSERC (Canada).

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Publisher: Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2017 09:04

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