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A gamma-ray determination of the Universe's star formation history
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Number of Authors: 1302018 (English)In: Science, ISSN 0036-8075, E-ISSN 1095-9203, Vol. 362, no 6418, p. 1031-1034Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The light emitted by all galaxies over the history of the Universe produces the extragalactic background light (EBL) at ultraviolet, optical, and infrared wavelengths. The EBL is a source of opacity for gamma rays via photon-photon interactions, leaving an imprint in the spectra of distant gamma-ray sources. We measured this attenuation using 739 active galaxies and one gamma-ray burst detected by the Fermi Large Area Telescope. This allowed us to reconstruct the evolution of the EBL and determine the star formation history of the Universe over 90% of cosmic time. Our star formation history is consistent with independent measurements from galaxy surveys, peaking at redshift z similar to 2. Upper limits of the EBL at the epoch of reionization suggest a turnover in the abundance of faint galaxies at z similar to 6.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 362, no 6418, p. 1031-1034
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Physical Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-162835DOI: 10.1126/science.aat8123ISI: 000451609000039PubMedID: 30498122OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-162835DiVA, id: diva2:1269401
Available from: 2018-12-10 Created: 2018-12-10 Last updated: 2018-12-10Bibliographically approved

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Conrad, JanHelgason, K.
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Department of PhysicsThe Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC)
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