The Energy Output of the Universe from 0.1 to 1000 μm

Simon Peter Driver, Cristina C. Popescu, Richard J. Tuffs, Alister W. Graham, Jochen Liske, Ivan Baldry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The dominant source of electromagnetic energy in the universe today ( over ultraviolet, optical, and near-infrared wavelengths) is starlight. However, quantifying the amount of starlight produced has proved difficult due to interstellar dust grains that attenuate some unknown fraction of the light. Combining a recently calibrated galactic dust model with observations of 10,000 nearby galaxies, we find that (integrated over all galaxy types and orientations) only 11% +/- 2% of the 0.1 mu m photons escape their host galaxies; this value rises linearly (with log lambda) to 87% +/- 3% at 2.1 mu m. We deduce that the energy output from stars in the nearby universe is (1.6 +/- 0.2) x 10(35) W Mpc(-3), of which (0.9 +/- 0.1) x 10(35) W Mpc(-3) escapes directly into the intergalactic medium. Some further ramifications of dust attenuation are discussed, and equations that correct individual galaxy flux measurements for its effect are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L101-L104
Number of pages4
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume678
Issue number2
Early online date22 Apr 2008
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2008

Keywords

  • dust, extinction
  • galaxies : fundamental parameters
  • galaxies : photometry
  • galaxies : spiral
  • galaxies : structure
  • GALAXY LUMINOSITY FUNCTION
  • DIGITAL SKY SURVEY
  • STAR-FORMING GALAXIES
  • SPIRAL GALAXIES
  • SURFACE-BRIGHTNESS
  • DISK OPACITY
  • CATALOG
  • DUST
  • CALIBRATION
  • ULTRAVIOLET

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The Energy Output of the Universe from 0.1 to 1000 μm'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this