Background radiation of the Universe turned out to be twice as bright as theory predicts

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(ORDO NEWS) — Measurements of optical extragalactic radiation made by the New Horizons probe showed that all distant stars and galaxies are not able to create so much background light.

Even if you “turn off” the moon, stars and all other light sources in the night sky, it will glow faintly. Space is filled with photons born in ancient galaxies, supernovae, the vicinity of black holes and still rushing through outer space.

This extragalactic background radiation spans all ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum, effectively preserving a particle of all the light that has appeared in the universe throughout its history.

Astronomers try to register such a weak “echo” of the ancient luminaries as accurately as possible. However, it is extremely difficult to do this, especially in the visible range, which is “clogged” with the radiation of stars and other bright objects, but for now we are in the inner parts of the solar system, where there is a lot of dust, and also the light scattered on it.

Therefore, a new experiment to observe extragalactic background radiation was carried out using the New Horizons probe, which crossed the border of Pluto several years ago and today is located at the far periphery, at a distance of 51 astronomical units (equal to the radius of the earth’s orbit) from the Sun.

The LORRI telescope operating on the device was directed to the darkest part of the sky, devoid of stars and galaxies. And from the resulting picture, the contribution of scattered light from nearby sources and even heat from the spacecraft itself was “subtracted”.

The extragalactic background radiation turned out to be unexpectedly bright. The scientists looked at all the possible sources distant stars, galaxies, quasars that the Hubble telescope looked at in the vicinity of the same area of ​​the sky, and showed that they can only provide about half of the extragalactic background.

A similar discrepancy has been identified before , but now it is shown with greater reliability – and it turned out to be even more significant. However, sources of excess extragalactic background radiation are not yet known.

They can be many “orphan stars” thrown out of parent galaxies and clusters into intergalactic space and practically invisible.

Or tiny, dim and extremely distant galaxies that lie beyond the range of the Hubble telescope can create extra light. It is yet to be clarified: perhaps the authors of the work simply did not fully take into account the noise from other nearby sources, which create an excess of extragalactic light.


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