Resolved diffuse sources

In most frequency bands, from radio to gamma-ray, the sky exhibits extended or diffuse emission in addition to point sources. This emission can be relatively localized like the emission from a supernova remnant such as the Crab nebula (a few arcmin in angular size) to emission that extends over the entire sky like the microwave background radiation which originated in the early universe. As stated previously, a diffuse source is one that can be resolved by a particular telescope because the source is larger in angle than the telescope beam or resolution. Recall (Chapter 5) that one can consider each pixel of an imaging detector at the focal plane of a telescope to have its own beam. The several quantities that allow one to measure and discuss diffuse emission are presented here.

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