DIRBE Overview

DIRBE (Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment) - Infrared absolute sky brightness maps in the wavelength range 1.25 to 240 microns were obtained to carry out a search for the cosmic infrared background (CIB). The CIB was originally detected in the two longest DIRBE wavelength bands, 140 and 240 microns, and in the short-wavelength end of the FIRAS spectrum. Subsequent analyses have yielded detections of the CIB in the near-infrared DIRBE sky maps. The CIB represents a "core sample" of the Universe; it contains the cumulative emissions of stars and galaxies dating back to the epoch when these objects first began to form. The COBE CIB measurements constrain models of the cosmological history of star formation and the buildup over time of dust and elements heavier than hydrogen, including those of which living organisms are composed. Dust has played an important role in star formation throughout much of cosmic history.

A service of the HEASARC and of the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA/GSFC
Goddard Space Flight Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
HEASARC Director: Dr. Alan P. Smale
LAMBDA Director: Dr. Eric R. Switzer
NASA Official: Dr. Eric R. Switzer
Web Curator: Mr. Michael R. Greason