AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 70 Interstellar Medium
Oral, Tuesday, January 6, 2004, 2:00-3:30pm, Regency VII

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[70.01] First Star Signatures in the Infrared Background

A. Cooray (CalTech)

Recent cosmic microwave background anisotropy results from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe suggest that the universe was reionized at a redshift around 20. Such an early reionization could arise through the ionizing radiation emitted by first stars at redshifts of 15 and higher. We discuss a possibility to detect the presence of such stars through measurements of the near-infrared background surface brightness spatial fluctuations. We show that the spatial clustering of these stars at tens of arcminute scales generates a contribution to the angular power spectrum of the IR anisotropies at the same angular scales and this excess can be potentially detected when resolved foreground galaxies out to a redshift of a few are removed from the clustering analysis. We are planning a rocket-based experiment for this purpose and we will discuss the extent to which first stars can be identified with the Near Infrared Fluctuation Experiment (NIFE) and ASTRO-F. The second half of the talk will discuss observational signatures of supernovae associated with the first star population.

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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: asante@caltech.edu

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© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.