We use absolutely calibrated data from the ARCADE 2 flight in 2006 July to model Galactic emission at frequencies 3, 8, and 10 GHz. The spatial structure in the data is consistent with a superposition of free–free and synchrotron emission. Emission with spatial morphology traced by the Haslam 408 MHz survey has spectral index βsynch = −2.5±0.1, with free–free emission contributing 0.10±0.01 of the total Galactic plane emission in the lowest ARCADE 2 band at 3.15 GHz. We estimate the total Galactic emission toward the polar caps using either a simple plane-parallel model with csc |b| dependence or a model of high-latitude radio emission traced by the COBE/FIRAS map of C ii emission. Both methods are consistent with a single power law over the frequency range 22 MHz to 10 GHz, with total Galactic emission toward the north polar cap TGal = 10.12 ± 0.90 K and spectral index β = −2.55 ± 0.03 at reference frequency 0.31 GHz. Emission associated with the plane-parallel structure accounts for only 30% of the observed high-latitude sky temperature, with the residual in either a Galactic halo or an isotropic extragalactic background. The well-calibrated ARCADE 2 maps provide a new test for spinning dust emission, based on the integrated intensity of emission from the Galactic plane instead of cross-correlations with the thermal dust spatial morphology. The Galactic plane intensity measured by ARCADE 2 is fainter than predicted by models without spinning dust and is consistent with spinning dust contributing 0.4 ± 0.1 of the Galactic plane emission at 23 GHz.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2011. The American Astronomical Society. This article first appeared in The Astrophysical Journal 734, no. 1 (2011): 4. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/734/1/4.

Please note that downloads of the article are for private/personal use only.