▪ Abstract

The discovery of the Cosmic Infrared Background (CIB) in 1996, together with recent cosmological surveys from the mid-infrared to the millimeter, have revolutionized our view of star formation at high redshifts. It has become clear, in the last decade, that a population of galaxies that radiate most of their power in the far-infrared (the so-called infrared galaxies) contributes an important part of the whole galaxy build-up in the Universe. Since 1996, detailed (and often painful) investigations of the high-redshift infrared galaxies have resulted in the spectacular progress covered in this review. We outline the nature of the sources of the CIB, including their star-formation rate, stellar and total mass, morphology, metallicity, and clustering properties. We discuss their contribution to the stellar content of the Universe and their origin in the framework of the hierarchical growth of structures. We finally discuss open questions for a scenario of their evolution up to the present-day galaxies.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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