Thursday, June 20, 2013

1306.4441 (Shu Wang et al.)

The Mid-Infrared Extinction Law and its Variation in the Coalsack Nebula    [PDF]

Shu Wang, Jian Gao, B. W. Jiang, Aigen Li, Yang Chen
In recent years the wavelength dependence of interstellar extinction from the ultraviolet (UV), optical, through the near- and mid-infrared (IR) has been studied extensively. Although it is well established that the UV/optical extinction law varies significantly among the different lines of sight, it is not clear how the IR extinction varies among various environments. In this work, using the color-excess method and taking red giants as the extinction tracer, we determine the interstellar extinction Alambda in the four Spitzer/IRAC bands of the Coalsack nebula, a nearby starless dark cloud, based on the data obtained from the 2MASS and Spitzer/GLIMPSE surveys. We select five individual regions across the nebula that span a wide variety of physical conditions, ranging from diffuse, translucent to dense environments, as traced by the visual extinction, the Spitzer/MIPS 24micron emission, and CO emission. We find that Alambda/AKs, the mid-IR extinction relative to AKs, decreases from diffuse to dense environments, which may be explained in terms of ineffective dust growth in dense regions. The mean extinction (relative to AKs) is calculated for the four IRAC bands as well, which exhibits a flat mid-IR extinction law, consistent with previous determinations for other regions. The extinction in the IRAC 4.5micron band is anomalously high, much higher than that of the other three IRAC bands. It cannot be explained in terms of CO and CO2 ices. The mid-IR extinction in the four IRAC bands have also been derived for four representative regions in the Coalsack Globule 2 which respectively exhibit strong ice absorption, moderate or weak ice absorption, and very weak or no ice absorption. The derived mid-IR extinction curves are all flat, with Alambda/AKs increasing with the decrease of the H2O ice absorption optical depth.
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