The Extragalactic Background Light: Connecting Classical and High Energy Astronomy
The extragalactic background light (EBL) is the second most energetic diffuse background that fills our Universe. It is produced by star formation processes and supermassive black hole accretion over the history of the Universe. Thus, it contains fundamental information about galaxy evolution and cosmology. Interestingly, it brings together classical astronomy and high energy astrophysics since gamma-rays from extragalactic sources such as blazars and gamma-ray bursts interact by pair-production with EBL photons. Therefore, it is also essential for extragalactic gamma-ray astronomy to understand precisely and accurately the EBL in order to interpret correctly high energy observations. In this talk, I will review the present EBL knowledge, and describe how we can extract information, such as the value of the expansion rate of the Universe, from the EBL. Finally, the latest all-sky Fermi-LAT catalog of hard sources (E>50 GeV), called 2FHL, and future directions of EBL research will also be discussed.
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