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Olbers's paradox and the spectral intensity of the extragalactic background light
Wesson, Paul S.
AA(California, University, Berkeley; Waterloo, University, Canada)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 367, Feb. 1, 1991, p. 399-406. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Background Radiation, Cosmology, Extraterrestrial Radiation, Relic Radiation, Astronomical Models, Galactic Evolution, Luminosity, Red Shift, Universe
Bibliographic Code:


In this paper, the intensity of the extragalactic background light (EBL) due to stars in galaxies is calculated, first in expanding uniform cosmological models and then in equivalent static models, making it possible to separate the influence of the expansion of the universe from that of the age of galaxies. It is shown that the EBL intensity is proportional to the age of the galaxies in a static model. However, the intensity also depends on the speed of light, the luminosity density of galaxies, and the form of a typical galaxy spectrum. The redshift effect present in the expression for an expanding model only causes a reduction of 3-4, confirming the conclusion of Harrison (1977, 1981) concerning the Olbers's paradox. Theoretical values for the intensity were found to agree with presently available limits on the EBL from observations.

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