Blast: Correlations in the cosmic far-infrared background at 250, 350, and 500 μm reveal clustering of star-forming galaxies

Marco P. Viero, Peter A.R. Ade, James J. Bock, Edward L. Chapin, Mark J. Devlin, Matthew Griffin, Joshua O. Gundersen, Mark Halpern, Peter C. Hargrave, David H. Hughes, Jeff Klein, Carrie J. MacTavish, Gaelen Marsden, Peter G. Martin, Philip Mauskopf, Lorenzo Moncelsi, Mattia Negrello, Calvin B. Netterfield, Luca Olmi, Enzo PascaleGuillaume Patanchon, Marie Rex, Douglas Scott, Christopher Semisch, Nicholas Thomas, Matthew D.P. Truch, Carole Tucker, Gregory S. Tucker, Donald V. Wiebe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


We detect correlations in the cosmic far-infrared background due to the clustering of star-forming galaxies in observations made with the Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope, at 250, 350, and 500 μm. We perform jackknife and other tests to confirm the reality of the signal. The measured correlations are well fitted by a power law over scales of 5′-25′, with ΔI/I = 15.1% 1.7%. We adopt a specific model for submillimeter sources in which the contribution to clustering comes from sources in the redshift ranges 1.3 ≤ z ≤ 2.2, 1.5 ≤ z ≤ 2.7, and 1.7 ≤ z ≤ 3.2, at 250, 350, and 500 μm, respectively. With these distributions, our measurement of the power spectrum, P(k θ), corresponds to linear bias parameters, b = 3.8 0.6, 3.9 0.6, and 4.4 0.7, respectively. We further interpret the results in terms of the halo model, and find that at the smaller scales, the simplest halo model fails to fit our results. One way to improve the fit is to increase the radius at which dark matter halos are artificially truncated in the model, which is equivalent to having some star-forming galaxies at z ≥ 1 located in the outskirts of groups and clusters. In the context of this model, we find a minimum halo mass required to host a galaxy is log(M min/M ) = 11.5+0.4 -0.1, and we derive effective biases b eff = 2.2 ± 0.2, 2.4 ± 0.2, and 2.6 ± 0.2, and effective masses , 12.8 ± 0.2, and 12.7 ± 0.2, at 250, 350 and 500 μm, corresponding to spatial correlation lengths of r 0 = 4.9, 5.0, and , respectively. Finally, we discuss implications for clustering measurement strategies with Herschel and Planck.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1766-1778
Number of pages13
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: high-redshift
  • Infrared: galaxies
  • Large-scale structure of universe
  • Submillimeter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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