Volume 648, April 2021
The LOFAR Two Meter Sky Survey
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Published online||07 April 2021|
The contribution of discrete sources to the sky temperature at 144 MHz
Centre for Astrophysics Research, University of Hertfordshire,
AL10 9AB, UK
2 ASTRON, Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, Oude Hoogeveensedijk 4, Dwingeloo, 7991 PD, The Netherlands
3 GEPI, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, Université Paris Diderot, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92190 Meudon, France
4 Department of Physics & Electronics, Rhodes University, PO Box 94, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
5 SUPA, Institute for Astronomy, Royal Observatory, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh, EH9 3HJ, UK
6 Thüringer Landessternwarte, Sternwarte 5, 07778 Tautenburg, Germany
7 Astrophysics, Department of Physics, Keble Road, Oxford, OX1 3RH, UK
8 Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X17, Bellville, Cape Town 7535, South Africa
9 INAF – Istituto di Radioastronomia, Via P. Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
10 Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
11 Fakultät für Physik, Universität Bielefeld, Postfach 100131, 33501 Bielefeld, Germany
Accepted: 20 September 2020
In recent years, the level of the extragalactic radio background has become a point of considerable interest, with some lines of argument pointing to an entirely new cosmological synchrotron background. The contribution of the known discrete source population to the sky temperature is key to this discussion. Because of the steep spectral index of the excess over the cosmic microwave background, it is best studied at low frequencies where the signal is strongest. The Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) wide and deep sky surveys give us the best constraints yet on the contribution of discrete extragalactic sources at 144 MHz, and in particular allow us to include contributions from diffuse, low-surface-brightness emission that could not be fully accounted for in previous work. We show that, even with these new data, known sources can still only account for around a quarter of the estimated extragalactic sky temperature at LOFAR frequencies.
Key words: cosmic background radiation / radio continuum: general
© ESO 2021
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