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Title: Limits on dust and metallicity evolution of Lyalpha forest clouds from COBE
Authors: Nath, Biman B.
Ferrara, A.
Sethi, S.K.
Shchekinov, Yuri
Issue Date: Feb-1999
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing for the Royal Astronomical Society
Citation: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 1999, Vol.303, p301-308
Abstract: We consider the possible observational consequences of dust and metals in Lyalpha forest clouds. We relate the dust content, Ο_d^Lyalpha, to the metal evolution of the absorbers and assume that dust is heated by the ultraviolet background radiation and by the cosmic microwave background (CMB). We find that the dust temperature deviates from T_CMB by at most 10 per cent at redshift z=0. The Lyalpha cloud dust opacity to redshift ~ 5 sources around the observed wavelength lambda_0 ~ 1 mu m is tau ~ 0.13, and could affect observations of the distant universe in that band. The expected CMB spectral distortions arising from high-z dust in Ly alpha clouds is ~ 1.25-10 smaller than the current COBE upper limit, depending on the metallicity evolution of the clouds. If Ly alpha clouds are clustered, the corresponding CMB anisotropy due to dust is ~ 10^-1 on angular scales theta <= 10 arcsec at frequencies probed by various future/ongoing far-infrared (FIR) missions, which makes these fluctuations potentially detectable in the near future. Emission from C ii fine-structure transitions could considerably contribute to the submillimetre (submm) range of the FIR background radiation. Depending on the ionization of carbon and on the density of metal-enriched regions, this contribution can be comparable with the observed residual flux at lambda ~ 0.15 mm, after CMB subtraction. We argue that constraints on metal evolution versus redshift can be obtained from the observed flux in that range.
Description: Open Access
ISSN: 0004-6361
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Copyright: (1999) Royal Astronomical Society
Appears in Collections:Research Papers (A&A)

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