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Sample records for interstellar extinction band

  1. Interstellar Extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gontcharov, G. A.

    2016-12-01

    This review describes our current understanding of interstellar extinction. This differ substantially from the ideas of the 20th century. With infrared surveys of hundreds of millions of stars over the entire sky, such as 2MASS, SPITZER-IRAC, and WISE, we have looked at the densest and most rarefied regions of the interstellar medium at distances of a few kpc from the Sun. Observations at infrared and microwave wavelengths, where the bulk of the interstellar dust absorbs and radiates, have brought us closer to an understanding of the distribution of the dust particles on scales of the Galaxy and the universe. We are in the midst of a scientific revolution in our understanding of the interstellar medium and dust. Progress in, and the key results of, this revolution are still difficult to predict. Nevertheless, (a) a physically justified model has been developed for the spatial distribution of absorbing material over the nearest few kiloparsecs, including the Gould belt as a dust container, which gives an accurate estimate of the extinction for any object just by its galactic coordinates. It is also clear that (b) the interstellar medium contains roughly half the mass of matter in the galactic vicinity of the solar system (the other half is made up of stars, their remnants, and dark matter) and (c) the interstellar medium and, especially, dust, differ substantially in different regions of space and deep space cannot be understood by only studying near space.

  2. Gas Phase Spectroscopy of Cold PAH Ions: Contribution to the Interstellar Extinction and the Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Biennier, L.; Salama, F.; Allamandola, L. J.; Scherer, J. J.; OKeefe, A.

    2002-01-01

    Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon molecules (PAHs) are ubiquitous in the interstellar medium (ISM) and constitute the building blocks of interstellar dust grains. Despite their inferred important role in mediating the energetic and chemical processes in thc ISM, their exact contribution to the interstellar extinction, and in particular to the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) remains unclear. The DIBs are spectral absorption features observed in the line of sight of stars that are obscured by diffuse interstellar clouds. More than 200 bands have been reported to date spanning from the near UV to the near IR with bandwidths ranging from 0.4 to 40 Angstroms (Tielens & Snow 1995). The present consensus is that the DIBs arise from free flying, gas-phase, organic molecules and/or ions that are abundant under the typical conditions reigning in the diffuse ISM. PAHs have been proposed as possible carriers (Allamandola et al. 1985; Leger & DHendecourt 1985). The PAH hypothesis is consistent with the cosmic abundance of Carbon and Hydrogen and with the required photostability of the DIB carriers against the strong VUV radiation field in the diffuse interstellar clouds. A significant fraction of PAHs is expected to be ionized in the diffuse ISM.

  3. A Tale of Two Mysteries in Interstellar Astrophysics: The 2175 Å Extinction Bump and Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiang, F. Y.; Li, Aigen; Zhong, J. X.

    2011-06-01

    The diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are ubiquitous absorption spectral features arising from the tenuous material in the space between stars—the interstellar medium (ISM). Since their first detection nearly nine decades ago, over 400 DIBs have been observed in the visible and near-infrared wavelength range in both the Milky Way and external galaxies, both nearby and distant. However, the identity of the species responsible for these bands remains as one of the most enigmatic mysteries in astrophysics. An equally mysterious interstellar spectral signature is the 2175 Å extinction bump, the strongest absorption feature observed in the ISM. Its carrier also remains unclear since its first detection 46 years ago. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules have long been proposed as a candidate for DIBs as their electronic transitions occur in the wavelength range where DIBs are often found. In recent years, the 2175 Å extinction bump is also often attributed to the π-π* transition in PAHs. If PAHs are indeed responsible for both the 2175 Å extinction feature and DIBs, their strengths may correlate. We perform an extensive literature search for lines of sight for which both the 2175 Å extinction feature and DIBs have been measured. Unfortunately, we found no correlation between the strength of the 2175 Å feature and the equivalent widths of the strongest DIBs. A possible explanation might be that DIBs are produced by small free gas-phase PAH molecules and ions, while the 2175 Å bump is mainly from large PAHs or PAH clusters in condensed phase so that there is no tight correlation between DIBs and the 2175 Å bump.

  4. A TALE OF TWO MYSTERIES IN INTERSTELLAR ASTROPHYSICS: THE 2175 A EXTINCTION BUMP AND DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BANDS

    SciTech Connect

    Xiang, F. Y.; Zhong, J. X.; Li Aigen E-mail: lia@missouri.edu

    2011-06-01

    The diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are ubiquitous absorption spectral features arising from the tenuous material in the space between stars-the interstellar medium (ISM). Since their first detection nearly nine decades ago, over 400 DIBs have been observed in the visible and near-infrared wavelength range in both the Milky Way and external galaxies, both nearby and distant. However, the identity of the species responsible for these bands remains as one of the most enigmatic mysteries in astrophysics. An equally mysterious interstellar spectral signature is the 2175 A extinction bump, the strongest absorption feature observed in the ISM. Its carrier also remains unclear since its first detection 46 years ago. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules have long been proposed as a candidate for DIBs as their electronic transitions occur in the wavelength range where DIBs are often found. In recent years, the 2175 A extinction bump is also often attributed to the {pi}-{pi}* transition in PAHs. If PAHs are indeed responsible for both the 2175 A extinction feature and DIBs, their strengths may correlate. We perform an extensive literature search for lines of sight for which both the 2175 A extinction feature and DIBs have been measured. Unfortunately, we found no correlation between the strength of the 2175 A feature and the equivalent widths of the strongest DIBs. A possible explanation might be that DIBs are produced by small free gas-phase PAH molecules and ions, while the 2175 A bump is mainly from large PAHs or PAH clusters in condensed phase so that there is no tight correlation between DIBs and the 2175 A bump.

  5. Neutral and ionized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, diffuse interstellar bands and the ultraviolet extinction curve

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid; Allamandola, Louis John

    1993-01-01

    Neutral naphthalene C10H8, phenanthrene C14H10 and pyrene C16H10 absorb strongly in the ultraviolet region and may contribute to the extinction curve. High abundances are required to produce detectable structures. The cations of these polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) absorb in the visible C10H8(+) has 13 discrete absorption bands which fall between 6800 and 4500 A. The strongest band at 6741 A falls close to the weak 6742 A diffuse interstellar band (DIB). Five other weaker bands also match DIBs. The possibility that C10H8(+) is responsible for some of the DIBs can be tested by searching for new DIBs at 6520 and 6151 A, other strong naphthalene cation band positions. If C10H8(+) is indeed responsible for the 6742 A feature, it accounts for 0.3% of the cosmic carbon. The spectrum of C16H10(+) is dominated by a strong band at 4435 A in an Ar matrix and 4395 A in Ne, wavelengths which fall very close to the strongest DIB at 4430 A. If C16H10(+) or a closely related pyrene-like ion, is indeed responsible for the 4430 A feature, it accounts for 0.2% of the cosmic carbon. An intense, very broad UV-to-visible continuum is reported which is associated with both ions and could explain how PAHs convert interstellar UV and visible radiation into IR radiation.

  6. Neutral and ionized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, diffuse interstellar bands and the ultraviolet extinction curve

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid; Allamandola, Louis John

    1993-01-01

    Neutral naphthalene C10H8, phenanthrene C14H10 and pyrene C16H10 absorb strongly in the ultraviolet region and may contribute to the extinction curve. High abundances are required to produce detectable structures. The cations of these polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) absorb in the visible C10H8(+) has 13 discrete absorption bands which fall between 6800 and 4500 A. The strongest band at 6741 A falls close to the weak 6742 A diffuse interstellar band (DIB). Five other weaker bands also match DIBs. The possibility that C10H8(+) is responsible for some of the DIBs can be tested by searching for new DIBs at 6520 and 6151 A, other strong naphthalene cation band positions. If C10H8(+) is indeed responsible for the 6742 A feature, it accounts for 0.3% of the cosmic carbon. The spectrum of C16H10(+) is dominated by a strong band at 4435 A in an Ar matrix and 4395 A in Ne, wavelengths which fall very close to the strongest DIB at 4430 A. If C16H10(+) or a closely related pyrene-like ion, is indeed responsible for the 4430 A feature, it accounts for 0.2% of the cosmic carbon. An intense, very broad UV-to-visible continuum is reported which is associated with both ions and could explain how PAHs convert interstellar UV and visible radiation into IR radiation.

  7. Diffuse Interstellar Bands and the Ultraviolet Extinction Curves: The Missing Link Revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiang, F. Y.; Li, Aigen; Zhong, J. X.

    2017-01-01

    A large number of interstellar absorption features at ∼4000 Å–1.8 μm, known as the “diffuse interstellar bands” (DIBs), remains unidentified. Most recent works relate them to large polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules or ultrasmall carbonaceous grains which are also thought to be responsible for the 2175 \\mathringA extinction bump and/or the far-ultraviolet (UV) extinction rise at {λ }-1> 5.9 μ {{{m}}}-1. Therefore, one might expect some relation between UV extinction and DIBs. Such a relationship, if established, could put important constraints on the carrier of DIBs. Over the past four decades, whether DIBs are related to the shape of the UV extinction curves has been extensively investigated. However, the results are often inconsistent, partly due to the inconsistencies in characterizing UV extinction. Here we re-examine the connection between the UV extinction curve and DIBs. We compile the extinction curves and the equivalent widths of 40 DIBs along 97 sightlines. We decompose the extinction curve into three Drude-like functions composed of the visible/near-infrared component, the 2175 \\mathringA bump, and the far-UV (FUV) extinction at {λ }-1> 5.9 μ {{{m}}}-1. We argue that the wavelength-integrated FUV extinction derived from this decomposition technique best measures the strength of the FUV extinction. No correlation is found between the FUV extinction and most (∼90%) of the DIBs. We have also shown that the color excess E(1300{--}1700), the extinction difference at 1300 and 1700 \\mathringA often used to measure the strength of the FUV extinction, does not correlate with DIBs. Finally, we confirm the earlier findings of no correlation between the 2175 \\mathringA bump and DIBs or between the 2175 \\mathringA bump and the FUV extinction. Dedicated to J. Mayo Greenberg (1922.1.14–2001.11.29) and Naomi Greenberg (1923.4.23–2015.8.19), who had always been a source of inspiration.

  8. Interstellar Analogs from Defective Carbon Nanostructures Account for Interstellar Extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Zhenquan; Chihara, Hiroki; Koike, Chiyoe; Abe, Hiroya; Kaneko, Kenji; Sato, Kazuyoshi; Ohara, Satoshi

    2010-11-01

    Because interstellar dust is closely related to the evolution of matter in the galactic environment and many other astrophysical phenomena, the laboratory synthesis of interstellar dust analogs has received significant attention over the past decade. To simulate the ultraviolet (UV) interstellar extinction feature at 217.5 nm originating from carbonaceous interstellar dust, many reports focused on the UV absorption properties of laboratory-synthesized interstellar dust analogs. However, no general relation has been established between UV interstellar extinction and artificial interstellar dust analogs. Here, we show that defective carbon nanostructures prepared by high-energy collisions exhibit a UV absorption feature at 220 nm which we suggest accounts for the UV interstellar extinction at 217.5 nm. The morphology of some carbon nanostructures is similar to that of nanocarbons discovered in the Allende meteorite. The similarity between the absorption feature of the defective carbon nanostructures and UV interstellar extinction indicates a strong correlation between the defective carbon nanostructures and interstellar dust.

  9. INTERSTELLAR ANALOGS FROM DEFECTIVE CARBON NANOSTRUCTURES ACCOUNT FOR INTERSTELLAR EXTINCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Tan, Zhenquan; Abe, Hiroya; Sato, Kazuyoshi; Ohara, Satoshi; Chihara, Hiroki; Koike, Chiyoe; Kaneko, Kenji

    2010-11-15

    Because interstellar dust is closely related to the evolution of matter in the galactic environment and many other astrophysical phenomena, the laboratory synthesis of interstellar dust analogs has received significant attention over the past decade. To simulate the ultraviolet (UV) interstellar extinction feature at 217.5 nm originating from carbonaceous interstellar dust, many reports focused on the UV absorption properties of laboratory-synthesized interstellar dust analogs. However, no general relation has been established between UV interstellar extinction and artificial interstellar dust analogs. Here, we show that defective carbon nanostructures prepared by high-energy collisions exhibit a UV absorption feature at 220 nm which we suggest accounts for the UV interstellar extinction at 217.5 nm. The morphology of some carbon nanostructures is similar to that of nanocarbons discovered in the Allende meteorite. The similarity between the absorption feature of the defective carbon nanostructures and UV interstellar extinction indicates a strong correlation between the defective carbon nanostructures and interstellar dust.

  10. Interstellar extinction in the ultraviolet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bless, R. C.; Savage, B. D.

    1972-01-01

    Interstellar extinction curves over the region 3600-1100 A for 17 stars are presented. The observations were made by the two Wisconsin spectrometers onboard the OAO-2 with spectral resolutions of 10 A and 20 A. The extinction curves generally show a pronounced maximum at 2175 plus or minus 25 A, a broad minimum in the region 1800-1350 A, and finally a rapid rise to the far ultraviolet. Large extinction variations from star to star are found, especially in the far ultraviolet; however, with only two possible exceptions in this sample, the wavelength at the maximum of the extinction bump is essentially constant. These data are combined with visual and infrared observations to display the extinction behavior over a range in wavelength of about a factor of 20.

  11. Infrared diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galazutdinov, G. A.; Lee, Jae-Joon; Han, Inwoo; Lee, Byeong-Cheol; Valyavin, G.; Krełowski, J.

    2017-05-01

    We present high-resolution (R ˜ 45 000) profiles of 14 diffuse interstellar bands in the ˜1.45 to ˜2.45 μm range based on spectra obtained with the Immersion Grating INfrared Spectrograph at the McDonald Observatory. The revised list of diffuse bands with accurately estimated rest wavelengths includes six new features. The diffuse band at 15 268.2 Å demonstrates a very symmetric profile shape and thus can serve as a reference for finding the 'interstellar correction' to the rest wavelength frame in the H range, which suffers from a lack of known atomic/molecular lines.

  12. Investigation of ultraviolet interstellar extinction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Payne, C.; Haramundanis, K. L.

    1973-01-01

    Results concerning interstellar extinction in the ultraviolet are reported. These results were initially obtained by using data from main-sequence stars and were extended to include supergiants and emission stars. The principal finding of the analysis of ultraviolet extinction is not only that it is wavelength dependent, but that if changes with galactic longitude in the U3 passband (lambda sub eff = 1621 A); it does not change significantly in the U2 passband (lambda sub eff = 2308 A). Where data are available in the U4 passband (lambda sub eff = 1537 A), they confirm the rapid rise of extinction in the ultraviolet found by other investigators. However, in all cases, emission stars must be used with great caution. It is important to realize that while extinction continues to rise toward shorter wavelengths in the ultraviolet, including the shortest ultraviolet wavelengths measured (1100 A), it no longer plays an important role in the X-ray region (50 A).

  13. Interstellar grains: Effect of inclusions on extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katyal, N.; Gupta, R.; Vaidya, D. B.

    2011-10-01

    A composite dust grain model which simultaneously explains the observed interstellar extinction, polarization, IR emission and the abundance constraints, is required. We present a composite grain model, which is made up of a host silicate oblate spheroid and graphite inclusions. The interstellar extinction curve is evaluated in the spectral region 3.4-0.1 μm using the extinction efficiencies of composite spheroidal grains for three axial ratios. Extinction curves are computed using the discrete dipole approximation (DDA). The model curves are subsequently compared with the average observed interstellar extinction curve and with an extinction curve derived from the IUE catalogue data.

  14. Correlation properties of interstellar dust: Diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Somerville, W. B.

    1989-01-01

    Results are presented from a research program in which an attempt was made to establish the physical nature of the interstellar grains, and the carriers of the diffuse interstellar bands, by comparing relations between different observed properties; the properties used include the extinction in the optical and ultraviolet (including wavelength 2200 and the far-UV rise), cloud density, atomic depletions, and strengths of the diffuse bands. Observations and also data from literature were used, selecting particularly sight-lines where some observed property was found to have anomalous behavior.

  15. The Diffuse Interstellar Bands: Contributed papers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tielens, Alexander G. G. M. (Editor)

    1994-01-01

    Drawing a coherent picture of the observational characteristics of the Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIB's) and the physical and chemical properties of its proposed carriers was the focus of this NASA sponsored conference. Information relating to absoption spectra, diffuse radiation carriers, carbon compounds, stellar composition, and interstellar extinction involving T-Tauri stars, Reflection Nebulae, Red Giants, and accretion discs are discussed from those papers presented at the conference, which are included in this analytic.

  16. Interstellar fullerene compounds and diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Omont, Alain

    2016-05-01

    Recently, the presence of fullerenes in the interstellar medium (ISM) has been confirmed and new findings suggest that these fullerenes may possibly form from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the ISM. Moreover, the first confirmed identification of two strong diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) with the fullerene, C60+, connects the long standing suggestion that various fullerenes could be DIB carriers. These new discoveries justify reassessing the overall importance of interstellar fullerene compounds, including fullerenes of various sizes with endohedral or exohedral inclusions and heterofullerenes (EEHFs). The phenomenology of fullerene compounds is complex. In addition to fullerene formation in grain shattering, fullerene formation from fully dehydrogenated PAHs in diffuse interstellar clouds could perhaps transform a significant percentage of the tail of low-mass PAH distribution into fullerenes including EEHFs. But many uncertain processes make it extremely difficult to assess their expected abundance, composition and size distribution, except for the substantial abundance measured for C60+. EEHFs share many properties with pure fullerenes, such as C60, as regards stability, formation/destruction and chemical processes, as well as many basic spectral features. Because DIBs are ubiquitous in all lines of sight in the ISM, we address several questions about the interstellar importance of various EEHFs, especially as possible carriers of diffuse interstellar bands. Specifically, we discuss basic interstellar properties and the likely contributions of fullerenes of various sizes and their charged counterparts such as C60+, and then in turn: 1) metallofullerenes; 2) heterofullerenes; 3) fulleranes; 4) fullerene-PAH compounds; 5) H2@C60. From this reassessment of the literature and from combining it with known DIB line identifications, we conclude that the general landscape of interstellar fullerene compounds is probably much richer than heretofore realized

  17. Correlation between molecular lines and diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Szczerba, Richard; Krelowski, J.; Walker, G. A. H.; Kennelly, E. T.; Sneden, C.; Volk, Kevin; Hill, G.

    1994-01-01

    Observations are presented of the Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIB's) at 4726, 4763, and 4789 A and at 5780 and 5797 A together with the ultraviolet lines of CH and CN molecules for stars with different shapes of UV extinction curve. The new results concerning the relationship between different characteristics of the interstellar clouds; molecular lines, blue and yellow DIB's, and UV extinction curves are discussed.

  18. Investigation of ultraviolet interstellar extinction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Payne-Gaposchkin, C.; Haramundanis, K. L.

    1973-01-01

    The progress made during the past six months in utilizing Celescope OAO-2 data in a study of extinction is reported along with conclusions drawn from each inquiry. Areas recommended for further investigation are indicated.

  19. On the 2800 A interstellar extinction feature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karim, L. M.; Hoyle, F.; Wickramasinghe, N. C.

    1984-03-01

    Two criticisms of a finding that an interstellar feature near 2800 A is due to proteinaceous material in the interstellar medium are answered. While the astronomical data cannot be taken to imply uniquely the presence of interstellar tryptophan, they do serve as a consistency check of the bacterial grain model. The additional absorptions shortward of 2400 A which should be observed for tryptophan may be masked by over-whelmingly strong absorption due to graphite grains. In answer to the second criticism, it is argued that significant saturation effects could not have occurred in all of the sample spectra. Other IUE spectra published by other authors which imply a slight excess of extinction near 2800 A are shown, and their similarity to the expected behavior of coliform bacteria is noted.

  20. Spatial Variations of the Interstellar Polarization and Interstellar Extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gontcharov, G.

    2017-06-01

    For more than 5000 stars with accurate parallaxes from the HiPPARCOS and Gaia DR1 Tycho-Gaia astrometric solution (TGAS), Tycho-2 photometry, interstellar polarization from eight catalogues and interstellar extinction from eight 3D maps the largest up to date comparison of the polarization and extinction is provided. The direct comparison of the data from these catalogues for common stars shows that the data are free from considerable systematic errors and can be used together. The extinction maps give different estimations of the extinction and of the polarization efficiency as the polarization divided into extinction P/AV as well as of the percentage of the stars with the polarization efficiency higher than the limit of Serkowski P/AV>0.03. Using the Hipparcos parallaxes we found about 200 stars (4%, mainly OB stars) drop higher than the limit when we use any extinction map. However, the usage of more accurate TGAS parallaxes decreases them to only 17 stars (0.3%). The polarization and extinction are negligible inside the Local Bubble within 80 pc from the Sun. In the vast Bubble's shell at the distances 80-118 pc from the Sun the polarization and extinction rapidly grow with the distance whereas the position angle of the polarization is oriented predominantly along the shell of the Bubble. Outside the Bubble the polarization and extinction grow with the distance slowly. In addition, within a radius of 80-300 pc of the Sun a disc of some filamentary dust clouds (including well-known Markkanen cloud) is observed as in the polarization map as in the reddening one by Schlegel et al. In this disc the position angle of polarization is preferably oriented along the plane of the disk. For the regions further than 300 pc the position angle of polarization is preferably oriented along the Local spiral arm, i.e. Y coordinate axis. The polarization and its efficiency is lower in the dust layer in the Gould belt than in the equatorial dust layer. It may means different

  1. VUV spectroscopy of carbon dust analogs: contribution to interstellar extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gavilan, L.; Alata, I.; Le, K. C.; Pino, T.; Giuliani, A.; Dartois, E.

    2016-02-01

    Context. A full spectral characterization of carbonaceous dust analogs is necessary to understand their potential as carriers of observed astronomical spectral signatures such as the ubiquitous UV bump at 217.5 nm and the far-ultraviolet (FUV) rise common to interstellar extinction curves. Aims: Our goal is to study the spectral properties of carbonaceous dust analogs from the FUV to the mid-infrared (MIR) domain. We seek in particular to understand the spectra of these materials in the FUV range, for which laboratory studies are scarce. Methods: We produced analogs to carbonaceous interstellar dust encountered in various phases of the interstellar medium: amorphous hydrogenated carbons (a-C:H), for carbonaceous dust observed in the diffuse interstellar medium, and soot particles, for the polyaromatic component. Analogs to a-C:H dust were produced using a radio-frequency plasma reactor at low pressures, and soot nanoparticles films were produced in an ethylene (C2H4) flame. We measured transmission spectra of these thin films (thickness <100 nm) in the far-ultraviolet (190-250 nm) and in the vacuum-ultraviolet (VUV; 50-190 nm) regions using the APEX chamber at the DISCO beam line of the SOLEIL synchrotron radiation facility. These were also characterized through infrared microscopy at the SMIS beam line. Results: We successfully measured the transmission spectra of these analogs from λ = 1 μm to 50 nm. From these, we extracted the laboratory optical constants via Kramers-Kronig inversion. We used these constants for comparison to existing interstellar extinction curves. Conclusions: We extend the spectral measurements of these types of carbonaceous analogs into the VUV and link the spectral features in this range to the 3.4 μm band. We suggest that these two materials might contribute to different classes of interstellar extinction curves.

  2. Diffuse Interstellar Bands in Emission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, T. B.; Sarre, P.; Marshall, C. C. M.; Spekkens, K.; de Naray, R. Kuzio

    Recent Fabry-Pérot observations towards the galaxy NGC 1325 with the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) led to the serendipitous discovery of an emission feature centered at 661.3 nm arising from material in the interstellar medium (ISM) of our Galaxy; this emission feature lies at the wavelength of one of the sharper and stronger diffuse bands normally seen in absorption. The flux of the feature is 4.2 +/- 0.5 × 10-18 es-1 cm-2 arcsec-2. It appears that this is the first observation of emission from a diffuse band carrier in the ISM, excited in this case by the interstellar radiation field. We present the discovery spectra and describe follow-up measurements proposed for SALT.

  3. The ultraviolet and visible spectrum of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon C10H8(+) - Possible contributions to the diffuse interstellar bands and to the ultraviolet-visible extinction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, F.; Allamandola, L. J.

    1992-01-01

    The properties of the cation of the PAH naphthalene (C10H8(+)) isolated in inert gas matrices under conditions relevant to astrophysical environments are described. The band at 6741 A is the strongest and falls close to the weak 6742 A diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs). Five other weaker bands also fall remarkably close to the positions of known DIBs. A very intense and broad continuum extended from the UV to the visible, which seems to be associated with the ion, is reported. The molar absorption coefficient at the peak of the continuum is 2.0 x 10 exp 6 cu dm/mol cm. If a continuum is a general property of PAH cations, this characteristic will have a strong impact on the understanding of how PAHs convert interstellar UV and visible radiation into IR radiation.

  4. Diffuse Interstellar Bands: Families and Correlations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krełowski, J.

    2014-02-01

    The term ``families of diffuse bands'' (DIBs) appeared in 1986/87 when my collaborators: Gordon A.H. Walker, Bengt E. Westerlund and I found that the strength ratio of the major DIBs 5780 and 5797 is heavily variable. We proved that at the same E(B-V) the DIB intensities may vary by as much as a factor of three or more. A similar result was published by Karl Josafatsson and Ted Snow soon after. A decade later, we proved (with Chris Sneden) that certain DIB strength ratios seem to be related to intensities of the known features of simple molecular species; this led to the introduction of the so called σ and ζ type interstellar clouds. The former are characterized by very weak molecular features (but broad DIBs - very strong) while the latter by rather strong bands of simple radicals and weak broad DIBs. Currently we face a bunch of questions: are the DIB intensities related to those of certain molecular species, e.g. C2 as suggested by Lew Hobbs' and Ted Snow's group? Do the DIB profiles, found to be complex by Peter Sarre, depend on e.g. the rotational temperatures of simple, linear carbon species? Do the DIB profiles depend on the irradiation of interstellar clouds by nearby stars? The relative DIB strengths as well as those of the simple radicals seem to be related to the shapes of interstellar extinction curves. We thus face three players in the interstellar translucent clouds: dust particles, simple radicals and the DIB carriers. Apparently, their mutual relations depend on local physical parameters of intervening clouds; these relations are not clear yet.

  5. The Role of the Interstellar Extinction Law and Bandwidth Effects in Multicolor Photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sudzius, J.; Bobinas, V.; Raudeliunas, S.

    The new mean interstellar extinction law covering the spectral range from 0.15 to 250 mu m is derived. This extinction law yields RBV={A_V/E_{B-V}}=3.17 for OB stars. The very broad band structure of the extinction law in the visible region of the spectrum is confirmed. It is shown that the new interstellar extinction law is suitable for the investigation of reddening parameters of photometric systems. The dependences of reddening parameters upon MK spectral types of stars in three photometric systems, Vilnius, UBV and uvby are discussed.

  6. The 2200Å bump and the interstellar extinction curve

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zagury, F.

    2013-12-01

    The 2200 Å bump is a major figure of interstellar extinction. However, extinction curves with no bump exist and are, with no exception, linear from the near-infrared down to 2500 Å at least, often over all the visible-UV spectrum. The duality linear versus bump-like extinction curves can be used to re-investigate the relationship between the bump and the continuum of interstellar extinction, and answer questions as why do we observe two different kinds of extinction (linear or with a bump) in interstellar clouds? How are they related? How does the existence of two different extinction laws fits with the requirement that extinction curves depend exclusively on the reddening E(B-V) and on a single additional parameter? What is this free parameter? It will be found that (1) interstellar dust models, which suppose the existence of three different types of particles, each contributing to the extinction in a specific wavelength range, fail to account for the observations; (2) the 2200 Å bump is very unlikely to be absorption by some yet unidentified molecule; (3) the true law of interstellar extinction must be linear from the visible to the far-UV, and is the same for all directions including other galaxies (as the Magellanic Clouds). In extinction curves with a bump the excess of starlight (or the lack of extinction) observed at wavelengths less than {λ=4000} Å arises from a large contribution of light scattered by hydrogen on the line of sight. Although counter-intuitive this contribution is predicted by theory. The free parameter of interstellar extinction is related to distances between the observer, the cloud on the line of sight, and the star behind it (the parameter is likely to be the ratio of the distances from the cloud to the star and to the observer). The continuum of the extinction curve and the bump contain no information on the chemical composition of interstellar clouds.

  7. Study of interstellar extinction by aggregate dust model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharjee, C.; Das, H. S.; Sen, A. K.

    Extinction generally occurs whenever electromagnetic radiation propagates through a medium containing small particles. The spectral dependence of extinction, or extinction curve, is a function of the composition, structure and size distribution of the particles. The study of interstellar extinction is important because they provide essential information for understanding the properties of the dust. In this work we have considered the aggregate dust model to interpret the extinction efficiency (Qext) of interstellar dust in the wavelength range 0.11-3.4 µm. Using Superposition T-matrix code with Ballistic Cluster-Cluster Aggregate (BCCA) aggregate having 64 number of monomers with graphite, astronomical silicates and amorphous carbon, the normalized extinction efficiency has been calculated for a well defined size distribution within a size range 0.001 to 0.077 micron of extinction near wavelength 2175 Å. The calculated normalized extinction efficiency curve is well matched with observed extinction efficiency.

  8. Fundamental absorption in solids and the wavelength dependence of interstellar extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duley, W. W.; Whittet, D. C. B.

    1992-03-01

    It is found that the wavelength dependence of interstellar extinction between the 0.44-micron band an 8 microns follows a Tauc-Urbach law characteristic of amorphous semiconductors. This result implies that the majority of extinction in this wavelength range arises predominantly from an amorphous dust component. A comparison between laboratory and interstellar data suggests that this dust is likely to be amorphous carbon. The Tauc-Urbach dependence permits the ratio of total to selective extinction R(V) to be related to the optical properties of this dust component and provides a semiquantitative relation between R(V) and environmental conditions in the interstellar medium. It also supports an important connection between the physics of condensed matter and the optics of interstellar dust.

  9. Probing Galactic Reddening with the 8620 Å Diffuse Interstellar Band

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vidrih, S.; Zwitter, T.

    2005-01-01

    Using the correlation between the equivalent width of the diffuse interstellar band (DIB) at 8620 Å and the interstellar reddening reported by Munari (2000) Gaia could directly trace the interstellar extinction throughout the Galaxy. We checked for the magnitude and distance limitations of this method in 42 Galactic directions by simulating the RVS data on the stellar sample provided by the model of stellar population synthesis of the Galaxy (Robin et al. 2003). The simulation indicates that the imprint of the 8620 Å DIB will be detected in the RVS spectra of stars with magnitudes up to V ˜ 16 with sufficient accuracy to trace not only the distribution of the interstellar medium but also the radial component of its kinematic motion, i.e., the radial velocity of the mass centre of the dust cloud in the line of sight.

  10. Diffuse bands versus extinction parameters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wegner, Walter; Snow, Theodore P.; Sneden, C.; Krelowski, Jacek

    1994-01-01

    All recent available, high quality measurements of the strong diffuse bands 5780 A and 5797 A have been collected. This includes those measurement derived from the authors's recent observations (February, May, and November 1993, taken with a echelle spectrograph) as well as those from a coude spectrograph and from literature. Equivalent widths of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIB's) at 5780 A and 5797 A have been measured on spectrograms. The measured signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) on their own spectrograms ranged from 250 to 500. The Johnson UBV data were used to estimate the color excesses of our targets.

  11. Diffuse interstellar bands in reflection nebulae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fischer, O.; Henning, Thomas; Pfau, Werner; Stognienko, R.

    1994-01-01

    A Monte Carlo code for radiation transport calculations is used to compare the profiles of the lambda lambda 5780 and 6613 Angstrom diffuse interstellar bands in the transmitted and the reflected light of a star embedded within an optically thin dust cloud. In addition, the behavior of polarization across the bands were calculated. The wavelength dependent complex indices of refraction across the bands were derived from the embedded cavity model. In view of the existence of different families of diffuse interstellar bands the question of other parameters of influence is addressed in short.

  12. Diffuse Interstellar Bands in NGC 1448

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sollerman, J.; Cox, N.; Mattila, S.; Ehrenfreund, P.; Kaper, L.; Leibundgut, B.; Lundqvist, P.

    2005-01-01

    We present spectroscopic VLT/UVES observations of two emerging supernovae, the Type Ia SN 2001el and the Type II SN 2003hn, in the spiral galaxy NGC 1448. Our high resolution and high signal-to-noise spectra display atomic lines of Ca II, Na I, Ti II and K I in the host galaxy. In the line of sight towards SN 2001el, we also detect over a dozen diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) within NGC 1448. These DIBs have strengths comparable to low reddening galactic lines of sight, albeit with some variations. In particular, a good match is found with the line of sight towards the σ type diffuse cloud (HD 144217). The DIBs towards SN 2003hn are significantly weaker, and this line of sight has also lower sodium column density. The DIB central velocities show that the DIBs towards SN 2001el are closely related to the strongest interstellar Ca II and Na I components, indicating that the DIBs are preferentially produced in the same cloud. The ratio of the λ 5797 and λ 5780 DIB strengths (r ˜ 0.14) suggests a rather strong UV field in the DIB environment towards SN 2001el. We also note that the extinction estimates obtained from the sodium lines using multiple line fitting agree with reddening estimates based on the colors of the Type Ia SN 2001el. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Paranal, Chile (ESO Programmes 67.D-0227 and 71.D-0033). Table \\ref{tb:ISfit} and Figs. \\ref{fig:IS_MW} and \\ref{fig:6284} are only available in electronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org

  13. Ultraviolet photometry from the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory. II Interstellar extinction.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bless, R. C.; Savage, B. D.

    1972-01-01

    Evaluation of interstellar extinction curves over the region from 3600 to 1100 A for 17 stars. The observations were made by the two Wisconsin spectrometers on board the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory 2, with spectral resolutions of 10 and 20 A. The extinction curves generally show a pronounced maximum at 2175 plus or minus 25 A, a broad minimum in the region from 1800 to 1350 A, and finally a rapid rise to the far-ultraviolet. Large extinction variations from star to star are found, especially in the far-ultraviolet; however, with only two possible exceptions in this sample, the wavelength at the maximum of the extinction bump is essentially constant. These data are combined with visual and infrared observations to display the extinction behavior over a range in wavelength of about a factor of 20. The observations appear to require a multicomponent model of the interstellar dust.

  14. Ultraviolet photometry from the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory. II Interstellar extinction.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bless, R. C.; Savage, B. D.

    1972-01-01

    Evaluation of interstellar extinction curves over the region from 3600 to 1100 A for 17 stars. The observations were made by the two Wisconsin spectrometers on board the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory 2, with spectral resolutions of 10 and 20 A. The extinction curves generally show a pronounced maximum at 2175 plus or minus 25 A, a broad minimum in the region from 1800 to 1350 A, and finally a rapid rise to the far-ultraviolet. Large extinction variations from star to star are found, especially in the far-ultraviolet; however, with only two possible exceptions in this sample, the wavelength at the maximum of the extinction bump is essentially constant. These data are combined with visual and infrared observations to display the extinction behavior over a range in wavelength of about a factor of 20. The observations appear to require a multicomponent model of the interstellar dust.

  15. Infrared diffuse interstellar bands in the Galactic Centre region.

    PubMed

    Geballe, T R; Najarro, F; Figer, D F; Schlegelmilch, B W; de la Fuente, D

    2011-11-02

    The spectrum of any star viewed through a sufficient quantity of diffuse interstellar material reveals a number of absorption features collectively called 'diffuse interstellar bands' (DIBs). The first DIBs were reported about 90  years ago, and currently well over 500 are known. None of them has been convincingly identified with any specific element or molecule, although recent studies suggest that the DIB carriers are polyatomic molecules containing carbon. Most of the DIBs currently known are at visible and very near-infrared wavelengths, with only two previously known at wavelengths beyond one micrometre (10,000 ångströms), the longer of which is at 1.318 micrometres (ref. 6). Here we report 13 diffuse interstellar bands in the 1.5-1.8 micrometre interval on high-extinction sightlines towards stars in the Galactic Centre. We argue that they originate almost entirely in the Galactic Centre region, a considerably warmer and harsher environment than where DIBs have been observed previously. The relative strengths of these DIBs towards the Galactic Centre and the Cygnus OB2 diffuse cloud are consistent with their strengths scaling mainly with the extinction by diffuse material.

  16. Interstellar Dust Models Consistent with Extinction, Emission, and Abundance Constraints

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zubko, Viktor; Dwek, Eli; Arendt, Richard G.

    2004-01-01

    We present new interstellar dust models which have been derived by simultaneously fitting the far ultraviolet to near infrared extinction, the diffuse infrared emission, and, unlike previous models, the elemental abundances in dust for the diffuse interstellar medium. We found that dust models consisting of a mixture of spherical graphite and silicate grains, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules, in addition to porous composite particles containing silicate, organic refractory, and water ice, provide an improved .t to the UV-to-infrared extinction and infrared emission measurements, while consuming the amounts of elements well within the uncertainties of adopted interstellar abundances, including B star abundances. These models are a signi.cant improvement over the recent Li & Draine (2001, ApJ, 554, 778) model which requires an excessive amount of silicon to be locked up in dust: 48 ppm (atoms per million of H atoms), considerably more than the solar abundance of 34 ppm or the B star abundance of 19 ppm.

  17. Probing the diffuse interstellar medium with diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theodorus van Loon, Jacco; Bailey, Mandy; Farhang, Amin; Javadi, Atefeh; Khosroshahi, Habib

    2015-08-01

    For a century already, a large number of absorption bands have been known at optical wavelengths, called the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs). While their carriers remain unidentified, the relative strengths of these bands in various environments make them interesting new probes of the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM). We present the results from two large, dedicated campaigns to map the ISM using DIBs measured in the high signal-to-noise spectra of hundreds of early-type stars: [1] in and around the Local Bubble using ESO's New Technology Telescope and the Isaac Newton Telescope, and [2] across both Magellanic Clouds using the Very Large Telescope and the Anglo-Australian Telescope. We discuss the implications for the structure and dynamics of the ISM, as well as the constraints these maps place on the nature of the carriers of the DIBs. Partial results have appeared in the recent literature (van Loon et al. 2013; Farhang et al. 2015a,b; Bailey, PhD thesis 2014) with the remainder being prepared for publication now.

  18. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon ions and the diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, F.; Allamandola, L. J.

    1995-01-01

    Neutral naphthalene (C10H8), phenanthrene (C14H10), and pyrene (C16H10) absorb strongly in the ultraviolet and may contribute to the extinction curve. High abundances are required to produce detectable structures. The cations of these Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) absorb in the visible. C10H8(+) has 12 discrete absorption bands which fall between 6800 and 5000 A. The strongest band at 6741 A falls close to the weak 6742 A diffuse interstellar band (DIB). Five other weaker bands also match DIBs. The possibility that C10H8(+) is responsible for some of the DIBs can be tested by searching for new DIBS at 6520, 6151, and 5965 A, other moderately strong naphthalene cation band positions. If C10H8(+) is indeed responsible for the 6742 A feature, it accounts for 0.3% of the cosmic carbon. The spectrum of C16H10(+) is dominated by a strong band at 4435 A in an Ar matrix and 4395 A in a Ne matrix, a position which falls very close to the strongest DIB, that at 4430 A. If C16H10(+), or a closely related pyrene-like ion is indeed responsible for the 4430 A feature, it accounts for 0.2% of the cosmic carbon. We also report an intense, very broad UV-to-visible continuum which is associated with both ions and could explain how PAHs convert interstellar UV and visible radiation into IR.

  19. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon ions and the diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, F.; Allamandola, L. J.

    1995-01-01

    Neutral naphthalene (C10H8), phenanthrene (C14H10), and pyrene (C16H10) absorb strongly in the ultraviolet and may contribute to the extinction curve. High abundances are required to produce detectable structures. The cations of these Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) absorb in the visible. C10H8(+) has 12 discrete absorption bands which fall between 6800 and 5000 A. The strongest band at 6741 A falls close to the weak 6742 A diffuse interstellar band (DIB). Five other weaker bands also match DIBs. The possibility that C10H8(+) is responsible for some of the DIBs can be tested by searching for new DIBS at 6520, 6151, and 5965 A, other moderately strong naphthalene cation band positions. If C10H8(+) is indeed responsible for the 6742 A feature, it accounts for 0.3% of the cosmic carbon. The spectrum of C16H10(+) is dominated by a strong band at 4435 A in an Ar matrix and 4395 A in a Ne matrix, a position which falls very close to the strongest DIB, that at 4430 A. If C16H10(+), or a closely related pyrene-like ion is indeed responsible for the 4430 A feature, it accounts for 0.2% of the cosmic carbon. We also report an intense, very broad UV-to-visible continuum which is associated with both ions and could explain how PAHs convert interstellar UV and visible radiation into IR.

  20. Intrinsic Profiles of Strong Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    KreŁowski, J.; Schmidt, M.

    1997-03-01

    This paper presents a survey of the profiles of strong diffuse bands based on an extensive set of high-resolution spectra acquired with the echelle spectrograph installed at the Cassegrain focus of the 2.1 m telescope of the McDonald Observatory. Only targets characterized by narrow and symmetric lines of interstellar sodium, as well as by very high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N), have been selected. The surveyed diffuse interstellar bands are those at 5780, 5797, 5850, 6196, 6234, 6270, 6376, 6379, 6614, and 6660 Å. The possible modifications caused by stellar and telluric lines, as well as by Doppler splitting, are discussed together with methods of getting rid of them. The presented profiles are as free of the aforementioned contaminations as possible. The very broad features such as λ5778 and λ6177 are not discussed, as their profiles extracted from the echelle spectra are very uncertain. The λ6203/λ6205 feature is also not considered, as it is a mixture of two unresolvable diffuse bands of different origin. The very broad 6284 Å band is so contaminated with telluric features that its profile was also found to be too uncertain. The spectra are still not of high enough S/N to discuss the profiles of the numerous weak interstellar features discovered recently.

  1. Unidentified infrared bands in the interstellar medium across the Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahanpää, J.; Mattila, K.; Lehtinen, K.; Leinert, C.; Lemke, D.

    2003-07-01

    We present a set of 6-12 mu m ISOPHOT-S spectra of the general interstellar medium of the Milky Way. This part of the spectrum is dominated by a series of strong, wide emission features commonly called the Unidentified Infrared Bands. The sampled area covers the inner Milky Way from l = -60 degr to +60 degr with a ten-degree step in longitude and nominal latitudes b = 0 degr, +/-1 degr. For each grid position the actual observed direction was selected from IRAS 100 mu m maps to minimize contamination by point sources and molecular clouds. All spectra were found to display the same spectral features. Band ratios are independent of band strength and Galactic coordinates. A comparison of total observed flux in band features and IRAS 100 mu m emission, a tracer for large interstellar dust grains, shows high correlation at large as well as small (1 arcmin) scales. This implies a strong connection between large dust grains and the elusive band carriers; the evolutionary history and heating energy source of these populations must be strongly linked. The average mid-infrared spectrum of the Milky Way is found to be similar to the average spectrum of spiral galaxy NGC 891 and the spectra of other spirals. The common spectrum can therefore be used as a template for the 6-12 mu m emission of late-type spiral galaxies. Finally, we show that interstellar extinction only weakly influences the observed features even at lambda  = 10 mu m, where the silicate absorption feature is strongest. Table 2 is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?I/A+A/405/999

  2. Interstellar extinction curve variations towards the inner Milky Way: a challenge to observational cosmology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nataf, David M.; Gonzalez, Oscar A.; Casagrande, Luca; Zasowski, Gail; Wegg, Christopher; Wolf, Christian; Kunder, Andrea; Alonso-Garcia, Javier; Minniti, Dante; Rejkuba, Marina; Saito, Roberto K.; Valenti, Elena; Zoccali, Manuela; Poleski, Radosław; Pietrzyński, Grzegorz; Skowron, Jan; Soszyński, Igor; Szymański, Michał K.; Udalski, Andrzej; Ulaczyk, Krzysztof; Wyrzykowski, Łukasz

    2016-03-01

    We investigate interstellar extinction curve variations towards ˜4 deg2 of the inner Milky Way in VIJKs photometry from the OGLE-III (third phase of the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment) and VVV (VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea) surveys, with supporting evidence from diffuse interstellar bands and F435W, F625W photometry. We obtain independent measurements towards ˜2000 sightlines of AI, E(V - I), E(I - J) and E(J - Ks), with median precision and accuracy of 2 per cent. We find that the variations in the extinction ratios AI/E(V - I), E(I - J)/E(V - I) and E(J - Ks)/E(V - I) are large (exceeding 20 per cent), significant and positively correlated, as expected. However, both the mean values and the trends in these extinction ratios are drastically shifted from the predictions of Cardelli and Fitzpatrick, regardless of how RV is varied. Furthermore, we demonstrate that variations in the shape of the extinction curve have at least two degrees of freedom, and not one (e.g. RV), which we confirm with a principal component analysis. We derive a median value of = 13.44, which is ˜60 per cent higher than the `standard' value. We show that the Wesenheit magnitude WI = I - 1.61(I - J) is relatively impervious to extinction curve variations. Given that these extinction curves are linchpins of observational cosmology, and that it is generally assumed that RV variations correctly capture variations in the extinction curve, we argue that systematic errors in the distance ladder from studies of Type Ia supernovae and Cepheids may have been underestimated. Moreover, the reddening maps from the Planck experiment are shown to systematically overestimate dust extinction by ˜100 per cent and lack sensitivity to extinction curve variations.

  3. Extra-Galactic Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cox, N.; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Kaper, Lex; Spaans, Marco; Foing, Bernard

    Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs) have been observed ubiquitously along many sight-lines probing the interstellar medium of the Milky Way. Despite extensive efforts, their carrier(s) have not yet been identified, although they are very likely of a carbonaceous nature and reside in the gas phase. Possible candidates include, but are not limited to, polycyclic aromatic hydro- carbons (PAHs), fullerenes and carbon chains. To advance our understanding of DIB behaviour and thus DIB carrier properties we need to study environments inherently different from those observed in the Milky Way. Only recent advances in instrumentation and telescope capabilities are providing us with new exciting possibilities for extra-galactic DIB research. We present here a selection of our recent observational results for (extra)-galactic DIBs in the Local Group and beyond. In particular, DIBs in the Magellanic Clouds and in the spiral galaxy NGC1448. These first results show surprising similarities between certain DIB profiles as well as differences in DIB behaviour. Understanding diffuse cloud chemistry, in particular with respect to complex (carbonaceous) molecules, is crucial to any DIB carrier identification. In this respect, external galaxies offer a unique window as they exhibit local interstellar conditions (such as metallicity, UV-field and gas-to-dust ratio) very different from those observed in the Milky Way. We discuss briefly the effect of metallicity and the gas-to-dust ratio on the physi-chemical properties of diffuse clouds and the subsequent effects on the PAH charge state distribution and the DIB carriers.

  4. Diffuse Interstellar Bands: The Way Forward

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tielens, A. G. G. M.

    2014-02-01

    Rather than a summary of the conference, I present here an overview of the status of the field and our progress over the last two decades from the points of view of astronomy, molecular physics, spectroscopy, and astrochemistry. While at first sight, progress may seem slow, actually, we have made an important stride forward. We have recognized now that the problem is very complex and identifying the carriers of the Diffuse Interstellar Bands will require a concerted effort of astronomers, molecular physicists, spectroscopists, and astrochemists. While this is a daunting prospect, we have identified the tools that we need to make this happen.

  5. Interstellar medium. Pseudo-three-dimensional maps of the diffuse interstellar band at 862 nm.

    PubMed

    Kos, Janez; Zwitter, Tomaž; Wyse, Rosemary; Bienaymé, Olivier; Binney, James; Bland-Hawthorn, Joss; Freeman, Kenneth; Gibson, Brad K; Gilmore, Gerry; Grebel, Eva K; Helmi, Amina; Kordopatis, Georges; Munari, Ulisse; Navarro, Julio; Parker, Quentin; Reid, Warren A; Seabroke, George; Sharma, Sanjib; Siebert, Arnaud; Siviero, Alessandro; Steinmetz, Matthias; Watson, Fred G; Williams, Mary E K

    2014-08-15

    The diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are absorption lines observed in visual and near-infrared spectra of stars. Understanding their origin in the interstellar medium is one of the oldest problems in astronomical spectroscopy, as DIBs have been known since 1922. In a completely new approach to understanding DIBs, we combined information from nearly 500,000 stellar spectra obtained by the massive spectroscopic survey RAVE (Radial Velocity Experiment) to produce the first pseudo-three-dimensional map of the strength of the DIB at 8620 angstroms covering the nearest 3 kiloparsecs from the Sun, and show that it follows our independently constructed spatial distribution of extinction by interstellar dust along the Galactic plane. Despite having a similar distribution in the Galactic plane, the DIB 8620 carrier has a significantly larger vertical scale height than the dust. Even if one DIB may not represent the general DIB population, our observations outline the future direction of DIB research. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  6. Interstellar Extinction and its Variation in the Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford Schlafly, Edward; Rix, Hans-Walter; Finkbeiner, Douglas P.; Green, Gregory; Lee, Albert; Meisner, Aaron M.

    2016-01-01

    Dust reddening is an important diagnostic of the interstellar medium and the dust grain size distribution, as well as a pervasive observational nuisance. Detailed studies of the dust extinction curve and its variation have hithertofore been largely limited to samples of hundreds of specially chosen stars. We use spectroscopy from APOGEE in combination with photometry from Pan-STARRS1, 2MASS, and WISE to characterize the dust extinction curve throughout much of the nearest few kiloparsecs of the Galactic plane using tens of thousands of stars. We make new measurements of the dust extinction curve and its variation, finding that the extinction curve in the optical through infrared is well characterized by a one-parameter family of curves, described, for instance, by R(V). Our data show little evidence of any need for further parameters. The local curvature of the extinction curve increases with decreasing R(V) throughout most of the optical and infrared: the extinction curve in the infrared is not more ``universal'' than in the optical, in contrast to several widely-used extinction curve parameterizations. We find that the shape of the dust extinction curve is rather uniform, with σ(R(V)) = 0.2, and with less than two percent of sight lines having R(V) > 4. However, significant spatially coherent variations in R(V) do exist. The primary variations are on scales much larger than individual molecular clouds, indicating that grain growth in dense molecular cloud environments is not the primary driver of R(V) variations in dust at large. Indeed, we find no correlation between R(V) and dust column density out to E(B-V) ≈ 2.

  7. Extragalactic interstellar extinction curves: Indicators of local physical conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Cecchi-Pestellini, Cesare; Viti, Serena; Williams, David A. E-mail: sv@star.ucl.ac.uk

    2014-06-20

    Normalized interstellar extinction curves (ISECs) in the Milky Way and other galaxies show a variety of shapes. This variety is attributed to differences along different sight lines in the abundances of the several dust and gas components contributing to extinction. In this paper we propose that these abundance differences are not arbitrary but are a specific consequence of the physical conditions on those sight lines. If this proposal is correct, then it implies that ISECs contain information about physical conditions in the regions generating extinction. This may be particularly important for high redshift galaxies where information on the conditions may be difficult to obtain. We adopt a model of extinction carriers in which the solid and gaseous components are not immutable but respond time-dependently to the local physics. We validate this model by fitting extinction curves measured on sight lines in the Magellanic Clouds and obtained for the gamma-ray burst afterglow GRB 080605. We present results for this model as follows: (1) we show that computed ISECs are controlled by a small number of physical parameters, (2) we demonstrate the sensitivity of computed ISECs to these parameters, (3) we compute as examples ISECs for particular galaxy types, and (4) we note that different galaxy types have different shapes of ISEC.

  8. Diffuse interstellar bands: a comprehensive laboratory study.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Fred M

    2006-12-01

    As a result of the search for the identity of the chromophores responsible for producing the diffuse interstellar bands, a comprehensive exposition of experimental data is presented, which implicates the following molecules: (1) The extremely stable organic molecules, magnesium tetrabenzoporphyrin (MgTBP) and H(2)TBP. (2) A paraffin matrix (referred to as "grains") containing TBPs. (3) A low concentration of pyridine (also within the grains), whose transmission window at 2175 A, accounts for the ubiquitous UV bump. The blue emission spectra associated with the central star, HD44179, of the Red Rectangle displays the fluorescence excitation spectra of bare MgTBP. This unique spectrum matches the low temperature lab data of MgTBP in the vapor phase. An effective grain temperature of 2.728 K (+/-0.008) was deduced, based on MgTBP's lowest measured vibrational state of 341 GHz.

  9. New Interstellar Dust Models Consistent with Interstellar Extinction, Emission and Abundances Constraints

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zubko, V.; Dwek, E.; Arendt, R. G.; Oegerle, William (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    We present new interstellar dust models that are consistent with both, the FUV to near-IR extinction and infrared (IR) emission measurements from the diffuse interstellar medium. The models are characterized by different dust compositions and abundances. The problem we solve consists of determining the size distribution of the various dust components of the model. This problem is a typical ill-posed inversion problem which we solve using the regularization approach. We reproduce the Li Draine (2001, ApJ, 554, 778) results, however their model requires an excessive amount of interstellar silicon (48 ppM of hydrogen compared to the 36 ppM available for an ISM of solar composition) to be locked up in dust. We found that dust models consisting of PAHs, amorphous silicate, graphite, and composite grains made up from silicates, organic refractory, and water ice, provide an improved fit to the extinction and IR emission measurements, while still requiring a subsolar amount of silicon to be in the dust. This research was supported by NASA Astrophysical Theory Program NRA 99-OSS-01.

  10. MAPPING THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM WITH NEAR-INFRARED DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BANDS

    SciTech Connect

    Zasowski, G.; Ménard, B.; Bizyaev, D.; García-Hernández, D. A.; Pérez, A. E. García; Majewski, S. R.; Hayden, M. R.; Holtzman, J.; Kinemuchi, K.; Johnson, J. A.; Wilson, J. C.; Nidever, D. L.; Shetrone, M.

    2015-01-01

    We map the distribution and properties of the Milky Way's interstellar medium as traced by diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) detected in near-infrared stellar spectra from the SDSS-III/APOGEE survey. Focusing exclusively on the strongest DIB in the H band, at λ ∼ 1.527 μm, we present a projected map of the DIB absorption field in the Galactic plane, using a set of about 60,000 sightlines that reach up to 15 kpc from the Sun and probe up to 30 mag of visual extinction. The strength of this DIB is linearly correlated with dust reddening over three orders of magnitude in both DIB equivalent width (W {sub DIB}) and extinction, with a power law index of 1.01 ± 0.01, a mean relationship of W {sub DIB}/A{sub V} = 0.1 Å mag{sup –1} and a dispersion of ∼0.05 Å mag{sup –1} at extinctions characteristic of the Galactic midplane. These properties establish this DIB as a powerful, independent probe of dust extinction over a wide range of A{sub V} values. The subset of about 14,000 robustly detected DIB features have a W {sub DIB} distribution that follows an exponential trend. We empirically determine the intrinsic rest wavelength of this transition to be λ{sub 0} = 15 272.42 Å  and use it to calculate absolute radial velocities of the carrier, which display the kinematical signature of the rotating Galactic disk. We probe the DIB carrier distribution in three dimensions and show that it can be characterized by an exponential disk model with a scale height of about 100 pc and a scale length of about 5 kpc. Finally, we show that the DIB distribution also traces large-scale Galactic structures, including the Galactic long bar and the warp of the outer disk.

  11. Diffuse Interstellar Band at 8620 Å in RAVE: A New Method for Detecting the Diffuse Interstellar Band in Spectra of Cool Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kos, J.; Zwitter, T.; Grebel, E. K.; Bienayme, O.; Binney, J.; Bland-Hawthorn, J.; Freeman, K. C.; Gibson, B. K.; Gilmore, G.; Kordopatis, G.; Navarro, J. F.; Parker, Q.; Reid, W. A.; Seabroke, G.; Siebert, A.; Siviero, A.; Steinmetz, M.; Watson, F.; Wyse, R. F. G.

    2013-12-01

    Diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are usually observed in spectra of hot stars, where interstellar lines are rarely blended with stellar ones. The need for hot stars is a strong limitation in the number of sightlines we can observe and their distribution in the Galaxy, as hot stars are rare and concentrated in the Galactic plane. We are introducing a new method, where interstellar lines can be observed in spectra of cool stars in large spectroscopic surveys. The method is completely automated and does not require prior knowledge of the stellar parameters. The main step is a construction of the stellar spectrum, which is done by finding other observed spectra that lack interstellar features and are otherwise very similar to the spectrum in question. Such spectra are then combined into a single stellar spectrum template, matching the stellar component of the observed spectrum. We demonstrate the performance of this new method on a sample of 482,430 Radial Velocity Experiment survey spectra. However, many spectra have to be combined (48 on average) in order to achieve a signal-to-noise ratio high enough to measure the profile of the DIB at 8620 Å, hence limiting the spatial information about the interstellar medium. We compare its equivalent width with extinction maps and with Bayesian reddening, calculated for individual stars, and provide a linear relation between the equivalent width and reddening. Separately from the introduced method, we calculate equivalent widths of the DIB in spectra of hot stars with known extinction and compare all three linear relations.

  12. TRES Survey of Variable Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Law, Charles; Milisavljevic, Dan; Crabtree, Kyle; Johansen, Sommer; Patnaude, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are absorption features commonly observed in optical/near-infrared spectra of stars and thought to be associated with polyatomic molecules that comprise a significant reservoir of organic material in the universe. However, because the central wavelengths of DIBs do not correspond with electronic transitions of known atomic or molecular species, the specific physical nature of their carriers remains inconclusive despite decades of observational, theoretical, and experimental research. It is well established that DIB carriers must be located in the interstellar medium, but the recent discovery of time-varying DIBs in the spectra of the extragalactic supernova SN 2012ap suggests that some may be created in massive star environments. We report evidence of short time-scale (˜1-60 days) variations in DIB absorption line substructure toward 3 of 17 massive stars observed as part of a pathfinder survey of variable DIBs. The detections are made in high-resolution optical spectra (R ˜ 44000) from the Tillinghast Reflection Echelle Spectrograph on the 1.5m Tillinghast telescope at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory's Fred L. Whipple Observatory on Mt. Hopkins in Arizona. Our detections have signal-to-noise ratios of 5-15 around the features of interest, and are thus considered significant but requiring further investigation. We find that these changes are potentially consistent with interactions between stellar winds and DIB carriers in close proximity. Our findings motivate a larger survey to further characterize these variations and may establish a powerful new method for probing the poorly understood physical characteristics of DIB carriers.

  13. TRES survey of variable diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Law, Charles J.; Milisavljevic, Dan; Crabtree, Kyle N.; Johansen, Sommer L.; Patnaude, Daniel J.; Margutti, Raffaella; Parrent, Jerod T.; Drout, Maria R.; Sanders, Nathan E.; Kirshner, Robert P.; Latham, David W.

    2017-09-01

    Diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are absorption features commonly observed in optical/near-infrared spectra of stars and thought to be associated with polyatomic molecules that comprise a significant reservoir of organic material in the Universe. However, the central wavelengths of almost all DIBs do not correspond with electronic transitions of known atomic or molecular species and the specific physical nature of their carriers remains inconclusive despite decades of observational, theoretical and experimental research. It is well established that DIB carriers are located in the interstellar medium, but the recent discovery of time-varying DIBs in the spectra of the extragalactic supernova SN 2012ap suggests that some may be created in massive star environments. Here, we report evidence of short time-scale (∼10-60 d) changes in DIB absorption line substructure towards 3 of 17 massive stars observed as part of a pathfinder survey of variable DIBs conducted with the 1.5-m Tillinghast telescope and Tillinghast Reflector Echelle Spectrograph (TRES) at Fred L. Whipple Observatory. The detections are made in high-resolution optical spectra (R ∼ 44 000) having signal-to-noise ratios of 5-15 around the 5797 and 6614 Å features, and are considered significant but requiring further investigation. We find that these changes are potentially consistent with interactions between stellar winds and DIB carriers in close proximity. Our findings motivate a larger survey to further characterize these variations and may establish a powerful new method for probing the poorly understood physical characteristics of DIB carriers.

  14. NEW ULTRAVIOLET EXTINCTION CURVES FOR INTERSTELLAR DUST IN M31

    SciTech Connect

    Clayton, Geoffrey C.; Gordon, Karl D.; Bohlin, R. C.; Bianchi, Luciana C.; Massa, Derck L.; Wolff, Michael J.; Fitzpatrick, Edward L. E-mail: bohlin@stsci.edu E-mail: bianchi@jhu.edu E-mail: edward.fitzpatrick@villanova.edu

    2015-12-10

    New low-resolution UV spectra of a sample of reddened OB stars in M31 were obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope/STIS to study the wavelength dependence of interstellar extinction and the nature of the underlying dust grain populations. Extinction curves were constructed for four reddened sightlines in M31 paired with closely matching stellar atmosphere models. The new curves have a much higher signal-to-noise ratio than previous studies. Direct measurements of N(H i) were made using the Lyα absorption lines enabling gas-to-dust ratios to be calculated. The sightlines have a range in galactocentric distance of 5–14 kpc and represent dust from regions of different metallicities and gas-to-dust ratios. The metallicities sampled range from solar to 1.5 solar. The measured curves show similarity to those seen in the Milky Way and the Large Magellanic Cloud. The Maximum Entropy Method was used to investigate the dust composition and size distribution for the sightlines observed in this program, finding that the extinction curves can be produced with the available carbon and silicon abundances if the metallicity is super-solar.

  15. Probing interstellar extinction in the Tarantula Nebula with red giant stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Marchi, Guido; Panagia, N.; Girardi, L.; Sabbi, E.

    2014-01-01

    We have studied the properties of the interstellar extinction in a field of 3‧ × 3‧ located about 6‧ SW of 30 Doradus in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). The observations with with the WFPC 2 camera on board the Hubble Space Telescope in the U, B, V , I and H bands show the presence of patchy extinction in this field. In particular, the colour-magnitude diagram (CMD) reveals an elongated stellar sequence, running almost parallel to the main sequence (MS), which is in reality made up of stars belonging to the red giant clump (RC) and spread across the CMD by the considerable and uneven extinction in this region. This allows us to derive in a quantitative way both the extinction law in the range 3 000-8 000 Å and the values of the absolute extinction towards more than 100 objects, thereby setting statistically significant constraints on the properties of the extinction in this area. We find an extinction curve considerably flatter than the standard Galactic one and than those derived before towards a sample of sight lines in the LMC. The value of RV = 5.6 that we find implies that in this region large grains dominate. Comparing the extinction towards the individual RC stars and a similar number of stars in the upper MS reveals that the latter span a narrower range of E(B - V) values, contrary to what has been found elsewhere in the LMC. We are now extending these studies to 30 Doradus itself and to a large portion of the Tarantula nebula using existing HST observations at ultraviolet, optical and near infrared wavelengths.

  16. Accurate Modeling of X-ray Extinction by Interstellar Grains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffman, John; Draine, B. T.

    2016-02-01

    Interstellar abundance determinations from fits to X-ray absorption edges often rely on the incorrect assumption that scattering is insignificant and can be ignored. We show instead that scattering contributes significantly to the attenuation of X-rays for realistic dust grain size distributions and substantially modifies the spectrum near absorption edges of elements present in grains. The dust attenuation modules used in major X-ray spectral fitting programs do not take this into account. We show that the consequences of neglecting scattering on the determination of interstellar elemental abundances are modest; however, scattering (along with uncertainties in the grain size distribution) must be taken into account when near-edge extinction fine structure is used to infer dust mineralogy. We advertise the benefits and accuracy of anomalous diffraction theory for both X-ray halo analysis and near edge absorption studies. We present an open source Fortran suite, General Geometry Anomalous Diffraction Theory (GGADT), that calculates X-ray absorption, scattering, and differential scattering cross sections for grains of arbitrary geometry and composition.

  17. ACCURATE MODELING OF X-RAY EXTINCTION BY INTERSTELLAR GRAINS

    SciTech Connect

    Hoffman, John; Draine, B. T. E-mail: draine@astro.princeton.edu

    2016-02-01

    Interstellar abundance determinations from fits to X-ray absorption edges often rely on the incorrect assumption that scattering is insignificant and can be ignored. We show instead that scattering contributes significantly to the attenuation of X-rays for realistic dust grain size distributions and substantially modifies the spectrum near absorption edges of elements present in grains. The dust attenuation modules used in major X-ray spectral fitting programs do not take this into account. We show that the consequences of neglecting scattering on the determination of interstellar elemental abundances are modest; however, scattering (along with uncertainties in the grain size distribution) must be taken into account when near-edge extinction fine structure is used to infer dust mineralogy. We advertise the benefits and accuracy of anomalous diffraction theory for both X-ray halo analysis and near edge absorption studies. We present an open source Fortran suite, General Geometry Anomalous Diffraction Theory (GGADT), that calculates X-ray absorption, scattering, and differential scattering cross sections for grains of arbitrary geometry and composition.

  18. Optical spectroscopy of IRAS sources with infrared emission bands. 1: IRAS 21282+5050 and the diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, Martin; Jones, B. F.

    1987-01-01

    Spectroscopy of the starlike optical counterpart to IRAS 21282+5050, a source with the hydrocarbon infrared emission band spectrum, shows an 07(f)-(WC11) planetary nebula nucleus suffering an extinction of 5.7 mag. Emission line widths in the WC spectrum are only approx. 100 km/s, indicating a very slow stellar wind. Optical diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are prominent. Five DIBs are strongly enhanced, namely lamda lamda 5797, 6196, 6203, 6283, and 6613. The presence of circumstellar hydrocarbon molecules may explain both the infrared emission bands and the enhanced DIBs.

  19. INTERSTELLAR EXTINCTION LAW TOWARD THE GALACTIC CENTER III: J, H, K{sub S} BANDS IN THE 2MASS AND THE MKO SYSTEMS, AND 3.6, 4.5, 5.8, 8.0 {mu}m IN THE SPITZER/IRAC SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

    Nishiyama, Shogo; Nagata, Tetsuya; Tamura, Motohide; Hatano, Hirofumi; Kato, Daisuke; Tanabe, Toshihiko; Sugitani, Koji

    2009-05-10

    We have determined interstellar extinction law toward the Galactic center (GC) at the wavelength from 1.2 to 8.0 {mu}m, using point sources detected in the IRSF/SIRIUS near-infrared (NIR) survey and those in the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) and Spitzer/IRAC/GLIMPSE II catalogs. The central region |l | {approx}<3.{sup 0}0 and |b | {approx}<1.{sup 0}0 has been surveyed in the J, H, and K{sub S} bands with the IRSF telescope and the SIRIUS camera whose filters are similar to the Mauna Kea Observatories (MKO) NIR photometric system. Combined with the GLIMPSE II point source catalog, we made K{sub S} versus K{sub S} - {lambda} color-magnitude diagrams (CMDs) where {lambda}=3.6, 4.5, 5.8, and 8.0 {mu}m. The K{sub S} magnitudes of bulge red clump stars and the K{sub S} - {lambda} colors of red giant branches are used as a tracer of the reddening vector in the CMDs. From these magnitudes and colors, we have obtained the ratios of total-to-selective extinction A{sub K{sub S}}/E{sub K{sub S}}{sub -{lambda}} for the four IRAC bands. Combined with A{sub {lambda}}/A{sub K{sub S}} for the J and H bands derived by Nishiyama et al., we obtain A{sub J} :A{sub H} :A{sub K{sub S}}:A {sub [3.6]}:A {sub [4.5]}:A {sub [5.8]}:A {sub [8.0]} = 3.02:1.73:1:0.50:0.39:0.36:0.43 for the line of sight toward the GC. This confirms the flattening of the extinction curve at {lambda} {approx}> 3 {mu}m from a simple extrapolation of the power-law extinction at shorter wavelengths, in accordance with recent studies. The extinction law in the 2MASS J, H, and K{sub S} bands has also been calculated, and good agreement with that in the MKO system is found. Thus, it is established that the extinction in the wavelength range of J, H, and K{sub S} is well fitted by a power law of steep decrease A {sub {lambda}} {proportional_to} {lambda}{sup -2.0} toward the GC. In nearby molecular clouds and diffuse interstellar medium, the lack of reliable measurements of the total-to-selective extinction ratios

  20. T Tauri Stars in Taurus-Auriga Star-Forming Region: Reliable Interstellar Extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grankin, K. N.

    2017-07-01

    Long-term homogeneous photometry for 35 classical T Tauri stars (CTTS) in the Taurus-Auriga star-forming region (SFR) has been analyzed. The original method of interstellar absorption estimation on line of sight has been proposed, taking into account the effects that are caused by magnetospheric accretion, cold spots, and extended variable circumstellar extinction. Reliable values of the interstellar extinction for 35 CTTS have been determined.

  1. Extinction distances of Planetary Nebulae interacting with the interstellar medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pirzkal, N.; Kerber, F.; Roth, M.

    2000-12-01

    Distances to Planetary Nebulae (PNe) are notoriously unreliable. It is known that statistical methods such as the different versions of the Shklovsky--derived distance scales can not be applied to individual objects with any confidence. Various methods to estimate the distance of individual PN have been successfully applied in the past, e.g. using trigonometric parallaxes, radio and optical expansion rates, the central star's atmosphere, or the nature of companions in binary systems. However, these have the drawback of relying on some special properties of a PN, and require various combinations of very high S/N observations, of large time bases, and of extensive modeling. In the end, these methods can only be applied to a very small number of PNe. As a result, after more than 30 years of research, accurate and reliable distances are known for less than 5 2000 or so Galactic PNe. This is the largest single obstacle to a better understanding of the fundamental properties of PNe. One method which does not require us to make any assumptions about the PN and which can be applied to all PNe close to the Galactic plane is the extinction distance method. This method relies on the fact that most of the stars surrounding a target PN are either Main-Sequence stars or giants with known intrinsic colors. Using these, together with an a-priori dust extinction law, an extinction vs. distance relation can be determined for the field. We have applied this method to several PN fields which were observed in the B,V,Rc, and Ic bands. We report here on the first results and present extinction vs. distance relations in the direction of our target PNe. A discussion about the accuracy of the method and the derived distances is included.

  2. Centrosymmetric molecules as possible carriers of diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaźmierczak, M.; Schmidt, M. R.; Galazutdinov, G. A.; Musaev, F. A.; Betelesky, Y.; Krełowski, J.

    2010-11-01

    In this paper, we present new data with interstellar C2 (Phillips bands A 1 Πu-X1 Σ+g), from observations made with the Ultraviolet-Visual Echelle Spectrograph of the European Southern Observatory. We have determined the interstellar column densities and excitation temperatures of C2 for nine Galactic lines. For seven of these, C2 has never been observed before, so in this case the still small sample of interstellar clouds (26 lines of sight), where a detailed analysis of C2 excitation has been made, has increased significantly. This paper is a continuation of previous works where interstellar molecules (C2 and diffuse interstellar bands) have been analysed. Because the sample of interstellar clouds with C2 has increased, we can show that the width and shape of the profiles of some diffuse interstellar bands (6196 and 5797 Å) apparently depend on the gas kinetic and rotational temperatures of C2; the profiles are broader because of the higher values of the gas kinetic and rotational temperatures of C2. There are also diffuse interstellar bands (4964 and 5850 Å) for which this effect does not exist. Based on observations made with ESO telescopes at the Paranal Observatory under programme IDs 266.D-5655(A), 67.C-0281(A), 71.C-0513(C), 67.D-0439(A) and 082.C-0566(A) and at La Silla under programme IDs 078.C-0403(A), 076.C-0164(A) and 073.C-0337(A). Also based on observations made with the 1.8-m telescope in South Korea and the 2-m telescope at the International Centre for Astronomical and Medico-Ecological Research, Terskol, Russia. E-mail: kazmierczak@astri.uni.torun.pl (MK); schmidt@ncac.torun.pl (MRS); runizag@gmail.com (GAG); ybialets@eso.org (YB); jacek@astri.uni.torun.pl (JK)

  3. Fullerenes, Organics and the Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foing, Bernard H.

    2016-07-01

    The status of DIB research has strongly advanced since 20 years [1], as well as the quest for fullerenes, PAHs and large organics in space. In 1994 we reported the discovery of two near IR diffuse bands coincident with C60+, confirmed in subsequent years [2-6] and now by latest laboratory experiments. A number of DIB observational studies have been published, dealing with: DIB surveys [1,7-10]; measurements of DIB families, correlations and environment dependences [11-14]; extragalactic DIBs [15, 16]. Resolved substructures were detected [17,18] and compared to predicted rotational contours by large molecules [19]. Polarisation studies provided upper limits constraints [20, 21]. DIBs carriers have been linked with organic molecules observed in the interstellar medium [22-25] such as IR bands (assigned to PAHs), Extended Red Emission or recently detected Anomalous Microwave Emission (AME, assigned to spinning dust) and with spectroscopic IR emission bands measured with ISO or Spitzer. Fullerenes and PAHs have been proposed to explain some DIBs and specific molecules were searched in DIB spectra [eg 2-6, 26-31]. These could be present in various dehydrogenation and ionisation conditions [32,33]. Experiments in the laboratory and in space [eg 34-36] allow to measure the survival and by-products of these molecules. We review DIB observational results and their interpretation, and discuss the presence of large organics, fullerenes, PAHs, graphenes in space. References [1] Herbig, G. 1995 ARA&A33, 19; [2] Foing, B. & Ehrenfreund, P. 1994 Natur 369, 296; [3] Foing, B. & Ehrenfreund, P. 1997 A&A317, L59; [4] Foing, B. & Ehrenfreund, P. 1995 ASSL202, 65; [5] Ehrenfreund, P., Foing, B. H. 1997 AdSpR19, 1033; [6] Galazutdinov, G. A. et al. 2000 MNRAS317, 750; [7] Jenniskens, P., Desert, F.-X. 1994 A&AS106, 39; [8] Ehrenfreund, P. et al. 1997 A&A318, L28; [9] Tuairisg, S. Ó. et al. 2000 A&AS142, 225; [10] Cox, N. et al. 2005 A&A438, 187; [11] Cami, J. et al. 1997A&A.326, 822

  4. A bibliography of papers on the diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snow, Theodore P.; Barnes, Susan; Heitzmann, Maribeth

    1994-01-01

    Presented is a compilation of publications on the diffuse interstellar bands, found in the literature dating back to the first known mention of the bands. It has been attempted to make this list complete, but it must be recognized that some papers may be missing. Judgement was required in some cases where the diffuse bands are mentioned, but are not a central theme of a paper; in most instances we kept such papers in a list, rather than omitting them.

  5. Probing Milky Way Structure with Near-Infrared Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zasowski, Gail; Ménard, Brice; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Garcia-Hernandez, D.; García Pérez, Ana; Hayden, Michael R.; Hearty, Fred; Holtzman, Jon A.; Johnson, Jennifer; Kinemuchi, Karen; Majewski, Steven R.; Nidever, David L.; Sellgren, Kristen; Shetrone, Matthew D.; Whelan, David G.; Wilson, John C.

    2015-01-01

    Astronomers have studied the set of interstellar absorption features known as the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) for nearly a century, characterizing them into families and using them as probes of local interstellar medium (ISM) conditions even while trying to understand their origin. Though most DIB studies have focused on the optical features, recent DIB identifications at infrared (IR) wavelengths -- where extinction by interstellar dust is significantly decreased -- provide us with tracers of ISM along heavily extincted, previously inaccessible sightlines. This talk will briefly summarize results from a project using the strongest of these IR DIBs (detected in more than 60,000 sightlines towards cool, distant giant stars observed as part of the SDSS-III/APOGEE survey) to characterize the large-scale distribution and properties of the Galactic ISM, including in the heavily reddened bulge and inner disk. The DIB absorption's tight correlation with foreground reddening makes it a powerful, independent probe of line-of-sight dust extinction. For the first time, we map the velocity field of a DIB on large scales and find that it displays the signature of the rotating Galactic disk. Three-dimensional modeling of the carrier distribution reveals not only large-scale gradients consistent with other ISM components, but also substructures that coincide with particular Galactic bulge and disk features. Finally, we find that features that are outliers in the distribution of DIB profile shapes may have an origin in circumstellar, rather than interstellar, environments along these particular sightlines, and the properties of these atypical features may contain clues towards identifying the currently-unknown carrier molecule of this DIB.

  6. Catalogue of diffuse interstellar band measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snow, T. P., Jr.; York, D. G.; Welty, D. E.

    1976-01-01

    Diffuse-band data have been collected from the literature and reduced statistically to a common measurement system, enabling correlation analyses to be made with a larger quantity of data than previously possible. A full listing of the catalogued data is presented, along with some discussion of the correlations. One important application of such studies is the identification of cases of peculiar diffuse-band behavior, and a table is given showing all cases of band strengths deviating by more than twice the mean dispersion from the best-fit correlations. This table may be useful in planning further observations.

  7. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and the Diffuse Interstellar Bands: a Survey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, F.; Galazutdinov, G. A.; Krelowski, J.; Allamandola, L. J.; Musaev, F. A.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    We discuss the proposal relating the origin of some of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) to neutral and ionized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) present in interstellar clouds. Laboratory spectra of several PAHs, isolated at low temperature in inert gas matrices, are compared with an extensive set of astronomical spectra of reddened, early type stars. From this comparison, it is concluded that PAN ions are good candidates to explain some of the DIBs. Unambiguous assignments are difficult, however, due to the shift in wavelengths and the band broadening induced in the laboratory spectra by the solid matrix. Definitive band assignments and, ultimately, the test of the of the proposal that PAH ions carry some of the DIB must await the availability of gas-phase measurements in the laboratory. The present assessment offers a guideline for future laboratory experiments by allowing the preselection of promising PAH molecules to be studied in jet expansions.

  8. Diffuse interstellar bands and PAHs in the Galaxy and beyond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cox, Nick L. J.; Ehrenfreund, Pascale

    2006-09-01

    Diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are ubiquitously observed towards reddened stars throughout the Milky Way. In the past decade, DIBs have been observed in only a few extra-galactic lines of sight. The carriers of DIBs are likely large organic gas phase molecules that reside in the diffuse interstellar medium. However, ever since they were first observed in the 1920s their identity remains a mystery. Investigated candidate carriers include, but are not limited to, carbon chains, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), fullerenes and tubular PAHs. Recent advances and successes in laboratory and theoretical work have given a great boost to the study of large molecules under interstellar conditions, i.e. low temperature, gas phase. We present here a short overview of our recent (extra)-galactic DIBs observations and the related studies of PAH chemistry in these environments.

  9. A high-resolution study of near-infrared diffuse interstellar bands

    SciTech Connect

    Rawlings, M. G.; Adamson, A. J.; Kerr, T. H. E-mail: aadamson@gemini.edu

    2014-11-20

    We present high-resolution echelle spectroscopic observations of the two near-infrared (NIR) diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) at 13175 Å and 11797.5 Å. The DIBs have been observed in a number of diffuse interstellar medium sightlines that exhibit a wide range of visual extinctions. Band profiles are similar to those seen in narrow DIBs, clearly asymmetric and can be closely fitted in most cases using two simple Gaussian components. Gaussian fits were generally found to be more successful than fits based on a multiple-cloud model using a template DIB profile. For a sample of nine objects in which both bands are observed, the strength of both NIR DIBs generally increases with A(V), and we report a correlation between the two observed bands over a large A(V) range and widely separated lines of sight. The strength of the two bands is also compared against those of two visual DIBs and the diffuse ISM aliphatic dust absorption feature at 3.4 μm previously detected in the same sightlines. We find that the NIR DIBs do not exhibit notable (anti)correlations with either. Implications of these observations on possible DIB carrier species are discussed.

  10. A High-resolution Study of Near-infrared Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rawlings, M. G.; Adamson, A. J.; Kerr, T. H.

    2014-11-01

    We present high-resolution echelle spectroscopic observations of the two near-infrared (NIR) diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) at 13175 Å and 11797.5 Å. The DIBs have been observed in a number of diffuse interstellar medium sightlines that exhibit a wide range of visual extinctions. Band profiles are similar to those seen in narrow DIBs, clearly asymmetric and can be closely fitted in most cases using two simple Gaussian components. Gaussian fits were generally found to be more successful than fits based on a multiple-cloud model using a template DIB profile. For a sample of nine objects in which both bands are observed, the strength of both NIR DIBs generally increases with A(V), and we report a correlation between the two observed bands over a large A(V) range and widely separated lines of sight. The strength of the two bands is also compared against those of two visual DIBs and the diffuse ISM aliphatic dust absorption feature at 3.4 μm previously detected in the same sightlines. We find that the NIR DIBs do not exhibit notable (anti)correlations with either. Implications of these observations on possible DIB carrier species are discussed.

  11. Interstellar Extinction in the Vicinity of the Galactic Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cotera, Angela S.; Simpson, Janet P.; Erickson, Edwin F.; Colgan, Sean W. J.

    1998-01-01

    We present J (1.2 microns) H (1-6 microns) K' (2.11 microns) and Br(gamma) (2.166 microns) images from four large regions within the central 40 pc of the Galaxy. Localized variations in the extinction, as determined by observations of the stellar population, are examined using the median H-K' color as a function of position within each region. As the value of the derived extinction from the stars is dependent upon the intrinsic magnitude of the assumed stellar type, the J-H vs. H-K' diagrams are first used to investigate the distribution of stellar types in the four regions. We find that there is a distinct OB population, contrary to earlier assumptions, with the ratio of K and M giants and supergiants to OB stars approximately twice that of the solar neighborhood. Although the on the scale of approx. 1 min. fluctuations in the extinction are on the order of A(sub V) approx. greater than 2, throughout the entire region the extinction varies from A(sub V) approx. greater than 25 to A(sub V) approx. less than 40. We also examine whether there is any variation in the extinction and stellar number density relative to the unusual radio features in these regions and do not find a significant correlation. Spectral imaging in Br(gamma) 2.166 microns emission shows a strong morphological correspondence between the 6 cm radio images and the diffuse Br(gamma) emission. By comparing the theoretical Br(gamma) flux derived from the radio flux using recombination theory, with our measured Br(gamma) flux, we obtain a second, independent, estimate of the extinction. We compare the two data sets and find that the extinction as derived from the stars is consistently greater, sometimes by a factor of two, than the value of the extinction derived from the Br(gamma) images. The derived extinction in various regions, however, is insufficient for any of these regions to be located behind the molecular clouds as previously observed in the Galactic Center, consistent with the theory that

  12. Interstellar Extinction in the Vicinity of the Galactic Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cotera, Angela S.; Simpson, Janet P.; Erickson, Edwin F.; Colgan, Sean W. J.; Burton, Michael G.; Allen, David A.

    2000-01-01

    We present J (1.2 microns), H (1-6 microns), K' (2.11 microns) and Br(gamma) (2.166 microns) images from four large regions within the central 40 pc of the Galaxy. Localized variations in the extinction, as determined by observations of the stellar population, are examined using the median H-K' color as a function of position within each region. As the value of the derived extinction from the stars is dependent upon the intrinsic magnitude of the assumed stellar type, the J-H vs. H-K' diagrams are first used to investigate the distribution of stellar types in the four regions. We find that there is a distinct OB population, contrary to earlier assumptions, with the ratio of K and M giants and supergiants to OB stars approximately twice that of the solar neighborhood. Although the on the scale of approx. l' fluctuations in the extinction are on the order of A(sub V) approx. 2, throughout the entire region the extinction varies from A(sub V) approx. greater than 25 to A(sub V) approx. less than 40. We also examine whether there is any variation in the extinction and stellar number density relative to the usual radio features in these regions and do not find a significant correlation. Spectral imaging in Br(gamma) 2.166 microns emission shows a strong morphological correspondence between the 6 cm radio images and the diffuse Br(gamma) emission. By comparing the theoretical Br(gamma) flux derived from the radio flux using recombination theory, with our measured Br(gamma) flux, we obtain a second, independent, estimate of the extinction. We compare the two data sets and find that the extinction as derived from the stars is consistently greater, sometimes by a factor of two, than the value of the extinction derived from the Br(gamma) images. The derived extinction in various regions, however, is insufficient for any of these regions-to be located behind the molecular clouds as previously observed in the Galactic Center, consistent with the theory that the observed radio

  13. The diffuse interstellar bands: a tracer for organics in the diffuse interstellar medium?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, F.

    1998-01-01

    The diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are absorption bands seen in the spectra of stars obscured by interstellar dust. DIBs are recognized as a tracer for free, organic molecules in the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM). The potential molecular carriers for the DIBs are discussed with an emphasis on neutral and ionized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) for which the most focused effort has been made to date. From the combined astronomical, laboratory and theoretical study, it is concluded that a distribution of free neutral and ionized complex organics (PAHs, fullerenes, unsaturated hydrocarbons) represents the most promising class of candidates to account for the DIBs. The case for aromatic hydrocarbons appears particularly strong. The implied widespread distribution of complex organics in the diffuse ISM bears profound implications for our understanding of the chemical complexity of the ISM, the evolution of prebiotic molecules and its impact on the origin and the evolution of life on early Earth through the exogenous delivery (cometary encounters and metoritic bombardments) of prebiotic organics.

  14. Interstellar Extinction toward the Young Open Cluster NGC 1502

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Topasna, Gregory A.; Kaltcheva, Nadia

    2017-01-01

    We present new multi-wavelength polarization measurements of 20 stars in the direction of the open cluster NGC 1502. Polarimetric results are combined with uvbyβ photometric data to obtain precise estimates of the total-to-selective extinction and distance for each star. NGC 1502 is located at the periphery of the Cam OB1 association and probably within the Orion Spur, with published distance estimates varying between 0.7 and 1.5 kpc. Our analysis suggests that the stars studied here form two concentrations along the line of sight. If a value of 3.2 for the total-to-selective extinction is assumed, the stars group at 0.8 ± 0.02 kpc and 1.1 ± 0.05 kpc. However, using the wavelength of maximum polarization to calculate the total-to-selective extinction for each star yields 0.9 ± 0.03 kpc and 1.3 ± 0.04 kpc, respectively. This approach indicates that combining polarimetric and uvbyβ data provides a more detailed stellar distribution of this region. Acknowledgments: Part of this work was supported by NSF grant AST-1516932.

  15. A measurement of interstellar polarization and an estimation of Galactic extinction for the direction of the X-ray black hole binary V404 Cygni

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Itoh, Ryosuke; Tanaka, Yasuyuki T.; Kawabata, Koji S.; Uemura, Makoto; Watanabe, Makoto; Fukazawa, Yasushi; Kanda, Yuka; Akitaya, Hiroshi; Moritani, Yuki; Nakaoka, Tatsuya; Kawabata, Miho; Shiki, Kensei; Yoshida, Michitoshi; Oasa, Yumiko; Takahashi, Jun

    2017-02-01

    V404 Cygni is a well-known candidate for the black hole binary thought to have relativistic jets. It showed extreme outbursts in 2015 June, characterized by a large amplitude and short time variation of flux in the radio, optical, and X-ray bands. Not only disk emission but also synchrotron radiation from the relativistic jets was suggested by radio observations. However, it is difficult to measure the accurate spectral shape in the optical/near-infrared band because there are uncertainties of interstellar extinction. To estimate the extinction value for V404 Cygni, we performed photopolarimetric and spectroscopic observations of V404 Cygni and nearby field stars. Here, we estimate the Galactic extinction using interstellar polarization based on the observation that the origin of the optical polarization is the interstellar medium, and investigate the properties of interstellar polarization around V404 Cygni. We found a good correlation between the color excess and polarization degree in the field stars. We also confirmed that the wavelength dependence of the polarization degree in the highly polarized field stars was similar to that of V404 Cygni. Using the highly polarized field stars, we estimated the color excess for the (B - V) color and the extinction in the V band to be E(B - V) = 1.2 ± 0.2 and 3.0 < A(V) < 3.6, respectively. A tendency for a bluer peak of polarization (λmax < 5500 Å) was commonly seen in the highly polarized field stars, suggesting that the dust grains toward this region are generally smaller than the Galactic average. The corrected spectral energy distribution of V404 Cygni in the near-infrared and optical bands in our results indicated a spectral break between 2.5 × 1014 Hz and 3.7 × 1014 Hz, which might originate in the synchrotron self-absorption.

  16. A measurement of interstellar polarization and an estimation of Galactic extinction for the direction of the X-ray black hole binary V404 Cygni

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Itoh, Ryosuke; Tanaka, Yasuyuki T.; Kawabata, Koji S.; Uemura, Makoto; Watanabe, Makoto; Fukazawa, Yasushi; Kanda, Yuka; Akitaya, Hiroshi; Moritani, Yuki; Nakaoka, Tatsuya; Kawabata, Miho; Shiki, Kensei; Yoshida, Michitoshi; Oasa, Yumiko; Takahashi, Jun

    2017-04-01

    V404 Cygni is a well-known candidate for the black hole binary thought to have relativistic jets. It showed extreme outbursts in 2015 June, characterized by a large amplitude and short time variation of flux in the radio, optical, and X-ray bands. Not only disk emission but also synchrotron radiation from the relativistic jets was suggested by radio observations. However, it is difficult to measure the accurate spectral shape in the optical/near-infrared band because there are uncertainties of interstellar extinction. To estimate the extinction value for V404 Cygni, we performed photopolarimetric and spectroscopic observations of V404 Cygni and nearby field stars. Here, we estimate the Galactic extinction using interstellar polarization based on the observation that the origin of the optical polarization is the interstellar medium, and investigate the properties of interstellar polarization around V404 Cygni. We found a good correlation between the color excess and polarization degree in the field stars. We also confirmed that the wavelength dependence of the polarization degree in the highly polarized field stars was similar to that of V404 Cygni. Using the highly polarized field stars, we estimated the color excess for the (B - V) color and the extinction in the V band to be E(B - V) = 1.2 ± 0.2 and 3.0 < A(V) < 3.6, respectively. A tendency for a bluer peak of polarization (λmax < 5500 Å) was commonly seen in the highly polarized field stars, suggesting that the dust grains toward this region are generally smaller than the Galactic average. The corrected spectral energy distribution of V404 Cygni in the near-infrared and optical bands in our results indicated a spectral break between 2.5 × 1014 Hz and 3.7 × 1014 Hz, which might originate in the synchrotron self-absorption.

  17. STUDIES OF THE DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BANDS. III. HD 183143

    SciTech Connect

    Hobbs, L. M.; Thorburn, J. A.; York, D. G.; Bishof, M.; Oka, T.; Snow, T. P.; Friedman, S. D.; McCall, B. J.; Rachford, B.; Sonnentrucker, P.; Welty, D. E.

    2009-11-01

    Echelle spectra of HD 183143 [B7Iae, E(B - V) = 1.27] were obtained on three nights, at a resolving power R = 38,000 and with a signal-to-noise ratio approx 1000 at 6400 A in the final, combined spectrum. A catalog is presented of 414 diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) measured between 3900 and 8100 A in this spectrum. The central wavelengths, the widths (FWHM), and the equivalent widths of nearly all of the bands are tabulated, along with the minimum uncertainties in the latter. Among the 414 bands, 135 (or 33%) were not reported in four previous, modern surveys of the DIBs in the spectra of various stars, including HD 183143. The principal result of this study is that the great majority of the bands in the catalog are very weak and fairly narrow. Typical equivalent widths amount to a few mA, and the bandwidths (FWHM) are most often near 0.7 A. No preferred wavenumber spacings among the 414 bands are identified which could provide clues to the identities of the large molecules thought to cause the DIBs. At generally comparable detection limits in both spectra, the population of DIBs observed toward HD 183143 is systematically redder, broader, and stronger than that seen toward HD 204827 (Paper II). In addition, interstellar lines of C{sub 2} molecules have not been detected toward HD 183143, while a very high value of N(C{sub 2})/E(B - V) is observed toward HD 204827. Therefore, either the abundances of the large molecules presumed to give rise to the DIBs, or the physical conditions in the absorbing clouds, or both, must differ significantly between the two cases.

  18. Interstellar extinction in the vicinity of the North America and Pelican Nebulae. II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Straizys, V.; Kazlauskas, A.; Vansevicius, V.; Cernis, K.

    1993-01-01

    The results of photoelectric photometry of 564 stars in the Vilnius seven-color system in three areas near the North America and Pelican Nebulae are given. Photometric spectral types, absolute magnitudes, color excesses, interstellar extinction,s and distances to the stars are determined. We find that the dark cloud separating both nebulae is at 580 pc distance. A number of stars immersed in the dark cloud have been found. It seems that the dark cloud extends south down to 40 deg declination. The area southwest of alpha Cygni in the declination zones 42 deg and 43 deg is comparatively transparent at least up to 1 kpc.

  19. Interstellar Polarization and Extinction towards the Open Cluster NGC 457

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Topasna, Gregory A.; Daman, Eryn A.; Kaltcheva, Nadia T.

    2017-10-01

    NGC 457 is a moderately reddened and relatively young open cluster very rich in variable stars, particularly Be stars, but not associated with any prominent star-forming field. We combine new multi-wavelength polarization measurements with existing UBV and uvby photometries to obtain precise estimates of the total-to-selective extinction in the field of the cluster and re-evaluate its distance and age. The polarization measurements show a tight alignment of the polarization vectors with the Galactic plane and yield an average value of the total-to-selective extinction of 3.05 ± 0.17 for the cluster’s field. Using this value and the confirmed color excess E(B-V)=0.500+/- 0.030 mag, we obtain a distance modulus of 12.20 ± 0.39, corresponding to 2.75 ± 0.49 kpc and, assuming slightly sub-solar metallicity, an age of 15.8 Myr.

  20. VizieR Online Data Catalog: 3D map of reddening and interstellar extinction (Gontcharov, 2017)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gontcharov, G. A.

    2017-07-01

    This is a 3D map giving reddening and interstellar extinction for the net of X, Y, Z or l, b, R Galactic coordinates within R<1200 pc and |Z|<600 pc as well as for every point by trilinear interpolation. The quality of this map has been tested by successful positioning of the TGAS O-F main sequence stars on the HR diagram among the PARSEC and MIST theoretical isochrones. (2 data files).

  1. Very Large Interstellar Grains as Evidenced by the Mid-infrared Extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Shu; Li, Aigen; Jiang, B. W.

    2015-09-01

    The sizes of interstellar grains are widely distributed, ranging from a few angstroms to a few micrometers. The ultraviolet (UV) and optical extinction constrains the dust in the size range of a couple hundredths of micrometers to several submicrometers. The near and mid infrared (IR) emission constrains the nanometer-sized grains and angstrom-sized very large molecules. However, the quantity and size distribution of micrometer-sized grains remain unknown because they are gray in the UV/optical extinction and they are too cold and emit too little in the IR to be detected by IRAS, Spitzer, or Herschel. In this work, we employ the ˜3-8 μm mid-IR extinction, which is flat in both diffuse and dense regions to constrain the quantity, size, and composition of the μm-sized grain component. We find that, together with nano- and submicron-sized silicate and graphite (as well as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), μm-sized graphite grains with C/H ≈ 137 ppm and a mean size of ˜1.2 μm closely fit the observed interstellar extinction of the Galactic diffuse interstellar medium from the far-UV to the mid-IR, as well as the near-IR to millimeter thermal emission obtained by COBE/DIRBE, COBE/FIRAS, and Planck up to λ ≲ 1000 μm. The μm-sized graphite component accounts for ˜14.6% of the total dust mass and ˜2.5% of the total IR emission. Dedicated to the late Professor J. Mayo Greenberg (1922.1.14-2001.11.29), of Leiden University who first suggested the possible existence of very large grains in the interstellar space.

  2. The detection of a broad interstellar extinction feature near 1700 A

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carnochan, David J.

    1989-01-01

    A statistical examination of 126 extinction curves has revealed the presence of a second broad absorption feature similar in nature to the 2200 A feature. The feature is centered on wavelength 1706 A, has a full half-width of 350 A, and a mean central height of 0.21 magnitudes. The strength of the feature increases with E(B-V) supporting an interstellar origin, and on average it is 18 times weaker than the 2200 A feature.

  3. The 15 273 Å diffuse interstellar band in the dark cloud Barnard 68

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elyajouri, Meriem; Cox, Nick L. J.; Lallement, Rosine

    2017-09-01

    High obscuration of background stars behind dark clouds precludes the detection of optical diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) and hence our knowledge of DIB carriers in these environments. Taking advantage of the reduced obscuration of starlight in the near-infrared (NIR) we used one of the strongest NIR DIBs at 15 273 Å to probe the presence and properties of its carrier throughout the nearby interstellar dark cloud Barnard 68. We measured equivalent widths (EW) for different ranges of visual extinction AV, using VLT/KMOS H-band (1.46-1.85 μm) moderate-resolution (R 4000) spectra of 43 stars situated behind the cloud. To do so, we fitted the data with synthetic stellar spectra from the APOGEE project and TAPAS synthetic telluric transmissions appropriate for the observing site and time period. The results show an increase of DIB EW with increasing AV. However, the rate of increase is much flatter than expected from the EW-AV quasi-proportionality established for this DIB in the Galactic diffuse interstellar medium. Based on a simplified inversion assuming sphericity, it is found that the volume density of the DIB carrier is 2.7 and 7.9 times lower than this expected average value in the external and central regions of the cloud, which have nH≃ 0.4 and 3.5 × 105 cm-3, respectively. Further measurements with multiplex NIR spectrographs should allow detailed modeling of such an edge effect of this DIB and other bands and help clarify its actual origin. Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere under ESO programme 096.C-0931(A).

  4. Dust in the small Magellanic cloud. 1: Interstellar polarization and extinction data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Magalhaes, A. M.; Rodrigues, C. V.; Coyne, C. V.; Piirola, V.

    1996-01-01

    The typical extinction curve for the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), in contrast to that for the Galaxy, has no bump at 2175 A and has a steeper rise into the far ultraviolet. For the Galaxy the interpretation of the extinction and, therefore, the dust content of the interstellar medium has been greatly assisted by measurements of the wavelength dependence of the polarization. For the SMC no such measurements existed. Therefore, to further elucidate the dust properties in the SMC we have for the first time measured linear polarization with five colors in the optical region of the spectrum for a sample of reddened stars. For two of these stars, for which there were no existing UV spectrophotometric measurements, but for which we measured a relatively large polarization, we have also obtained data from the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) in order to study the extinction. We also attempt to correlate the SMC extinction and polarization data. The main results are: the wavelength of maximum polarization, lambda(sub max), in the SMC is typically smaller than that in the Galaxy; however, AZC 456, which shows the UV extinction bump, has a lambda(sub max) typical of that in the Galaxy, but its polarization curve is narrower and its bump is shifted to shorter wavelengths as compared to the Galaxy; and from an analysis of both the extinction and polarization data it appears that the SMC has typically smaller grains than those in the Galaxy. The absence of the extinction bump in the SMC has generally been thought to imply a lower carbon abundance in the SMC compared to the Galaxy. We interpret our results to mean that te size distribution of the interstellar grains, and not only the carbon abundance, is different in the SMC as compared to the Galaxy. In Paper 2 we present dust model fits to these observations.

  5. Deviations of interstellar extinctions from the mean R-dependent extinction law

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mathis, John S.; Cardelli, Jason A.

    1992-01-01

    An analysis is conducted of the deviations from the mean extinction law A(lambda)/A(V) over UV wavelengths emphasizing sightlines through bright nebulosities vs dark clouds. The stellar sample is subdivided into sight lines with defined properties, and different behavior is noted for the deviations in the dark-cloud and bright-nebula sight lines. The deviations are correlated within the same wavenumber interval, but unique shapes for the FUV rise in the deviations are observed. Distributions of silicate grains are considered to account for the extinctions at certain wavenumbers that would explain the observations. The FUV rise in the extinctions is theorized to be related to the UV extinction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

  6. Diffuse Interstellar Bands versus Known Atomic and Molecular Species in the Interstellar Medium of M82 toward SN 2014J

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welty, Daniel E.; Ritchey, Adam M.; Dahlstrom, Julie A.; York, Donald G.

    2014-09-01

    We discuss the absorption due to various constituents of the interstellar medium (ISM) of M82 seen in moderately high-resolution, high signal-to-noise ratio optical spectra of SN 2014J. Complex absorption from M82 is seen, at velocities 45 <~ v LSR <~ 260 km s-1, for Na I, K I, Ca I, Ca II, CH, CH+, and CN; many of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are also detected. Comparisons of the column densities of the atomic and molecular species and the equivalent widths of the DIBs reveal both similarities and differences in relative abundances, compared to trends seen in the ISM of our Galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds. Of the 10 relatively strong DIBs considered here, 6 (including λ5780.5) have strengths within ±20% of the mean values seen in the local Galactic ISM, for comparable N(K I); 2 are weaker by 20%-45% and 2 (including λ5797.1) are stronger by 25%-40%. Weaker than "expected" DIBs (relative to N(K I), N(Na I), and E(B - V)) in some Galactic sight lines and toward several other extragalactic supernovae appear to be associated with strong CN absorption and/or significant molecular fractions. While the N(CH)/N(K I) and N(CN)/N(CH) ratios seen toward SN 2014J are similar to those found in the local Galactic ISM, the combination of high N(CH+)/N(CH) and high W(5797.1)/W(5780.5) ratios has not been seen elsewhere. The centroids of many of the M82 DIBs are shifted relative to the envelope of the K I profile—likely due to component-to-component variations in W(DIB)/N(K I) that may reflect the molecular content of the individual components. We compare estimates for the host galaxy reddening E(B - V) and visual extinction A V derived from the various interstellar species with the values estimated from optical and near-IR photometry of SN 2014J.

  7. Diffuse interstellar bands versus known atomic and molecular species in the interstellar medium of M82 toward SN 2014J

    SciTech Connect

    Welty, Daniel E.; York, Donald G.; Ritchey, Adam M.; Dahlstrom, Julie A.

    2014-09-10

    We discuss the absorption due to various constituents of the interstellar medium (ISM) of M82 seen in moderately high-resolution, high signal-to-noise ratio optical spectra of SN 2014J. Complex absorption from M82 is seen, at velocities 45 ≲ v {sub LSR} ≲ 260 km s{sup –1}, for Na I, K I, Ca I, Ca II, CH, CH{sup +}, and CN; many of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are also detected. Comparisons of the column densities of the atomic and molecular species and the equivalent widths of the DIBs reveal both similarities and differences in relative abundances, compared to trends seen in the ISM of our Galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds. Of the 10 relatively strong DIBs considered here, 6 (including λ5780.5) have strengths within ±20% of the mean values seen in the local Galactic ISM, for comparable N(K I); 2 are weaker by 20%-45% and 2 (including λ5797.1) are stronger by 25%-40%. Weaker than 'expected' DIBs (relative to N(K I), N(Na I), and E(B – V)) in some Galactic sight lines and toward several other extragalactic supernovae appear to be associated with strong CN absorption and/or significant molecular fractions. While the N(CH)/N(K I) and N(CN)/N(CH) ratios seen toward SN 2014J are similar to those found in the local Galactic ISM, the combination of high N(CH{sup +})/N(CH) and high W(5797.1)/W(5780.5) ratios has not been seen elsewhere. The centroids of many of the M82 DIBs are shifted relative to the envelope of the K I profile—likely due to component-to-component variations in W(DIB)/N(K I) that may reflect the molecular content of the individual components. We compare estimates for the host galaxy reddening E(B – V) and visual extinction A {sub V} derived from the various interstellar species with the values estimated from optical and near-IR photometry of SN 2014J.

  8. AN ANALYSIS OF THE SHAPES OF INTERSTELLAR EXTINCTION CURVES. VI. THE NEAR-IR EXTINCTION LAW

    SciTech Connect

    Fitzpatrick, E. L.; Massa, D. E-mail: massa@derckmassa.net

    2009-07-10

    We combine new observations from the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera of Survey with existing data to investigate the wavelength dependence of near-IR (NIR) extinction. Previous studies suggest a power law form for NIR extinction, with a 'universal' value of the exponent, although some recent observations indicate that significant sight line-to-sight line variability may exist. We show that a power-law model for the NIR extinction provides an excellent fit to most extinction curves, but that the value of the power, {beta}, varies significantly from sight line to sight line. Therefore, it seems that a 'universal NIR extinction law' is not possible. Instead, we find that as {beta} decreases, R(V) {identical_to} A(V)/E(B - V) tends to increase, suggesting that NIR extinction curves which have been considered 'peculiar' may, in fact, be typical for different R(V) values. We show that the power-law parameters can depend on the wavelength interval used to derive them, with the {beta} increasing as longer wavelengths are included. This result implies that extrapolating power-law fits to determine R(V) is unreliable. To avoid this problem, we adopt a different functional form for NIR extinction. This new form mimics a power law whose exponent increases with wavelength, has only two free parameters, can fit all of our curves over a longer wavelength baseline and to higher precision, and produces R(V) values which are consistent with independent estimates and commonly used methods for estimating R(V). Furthermore, unlike the power-law model, it gives R(V)s that are independent of the wavelength interval used to derive them. It also suggests that the relation R(V) = -1.36 E(K-V)/(E(B-V)) - 0.79 can estimate R(V) to {+-}0.12. Finally, we use model extinction curves to show that our extinction curves are in accord with theoretical expectations, and demonstrate how large samples of observational quantities can provide useful constraints on the grain properties.

  9. VERY LARGE INTERSTELLAR GRAINS AS EVIDENCED BY THE MID-INFRARED EXTINCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Shu; Jiang, B. W.; Li, Aigen E-mail: bjiang@bnu.edu.cn E-mail: lia@missouri.edu

    2015-09-20

    The sizes of interstellar grains are widely distributed, ranging from a few angstroms to a few micrometers. The ultraviolet (UV) and optical extinction constrains the dust in the size range of a couple hundredths of micrometers to several submicrometers. The near and mid infrared (IR) emission constrains the nanometer-sized grains and angstrom-sized very large molecules. However, the quantity and size distribution of micrometer-sized grains remain unknown because they are gray in the UV/optical extinction and they are too cold and emit too little in the IR to be detected by IRAS, Spitzer, or Herschel. In this work, we employ the ∼3–8 μm mid-IR extinction, which is flat in both diffuse and dense regions to constrain the quantity, size, and composition of the μm-sized grain component. We find that, together with nano- and submicron-sized silicate and graphite (as well as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), μm-sized graphite grains with C/H ≈ 137 ppm and a mean size of ∼1.2 μm closely fit the observed interstellar extinction of the Galactic diffuse interstellar medium from the far-UV to the mid-IR, as well as the near-IR to millimeter thermal emission obtained by COBE/DIRBE, COBE/FIRAS, and Planck up to λ ≲ 1000 μm. The μm-sized graphite component accounts for ∼14.6% of the total dust mass and ∼2.5% of the total IR emission.

  10. DIBSyRCH: The Diffuse Interstellar Band Synchrotron Radiation Carrier Hunt: New Tools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stockett, M. H.; Wood, M. P.; Lawler, J. E.

    2010-11-01

    The identity of the carrier molecules of the Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs) is the most durable mystery of spectroscopic astronomy. The DIBs are persistent absorption features, >300 total, observed along many lines of sight through the Interstellar Medium (ISM). The DIBs are scattered throughout the visible and near infrared, with widths in the 2-100 cm-1 range. For nearly a century, laboratory spectroscopists have struggled to match astrophysical wavelengths to laboratory wavelengths of known molecules including a variety of stable molecules, radicals, cations, and anions. Many researchers have hypothesized that hydrocarbon molecules are responsible for the DIBs, due to the rich chemistry and high cosmic abundance of carbon and hydrogen. Though large Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are now suspected to be the source of the DIBs, no definitive matches have yet been made to laboratory PAH spectra. Aromatic clusters are also thought to be an important constituent of the interstellar dust distribution and may contribute to the 2175 Å "bump" in the interstellar extinction curve. The Diffuse Interstellar Band Synchrotron Radiation Carrier Hunt (DIBSyRCH) experiment has been built at the Synchrotron Radiation Center (SRC) to test these hypotheses by conducting a spectroscopic survey of a broad range of cold, gas phase and clustered PAH molecules and ions. Using a custom echelle spectrograph and the innovative Cryogenic Circulating Advective Multi-Pass (CCAMP) absorption cell, we routinely achieve a detection sensitivity to molecular densities on the order of 107 cm-3 with a signal-to-noise ratio of 10,000 in 60 seconds of data collection in the visible. This instrument, coupled with the high spectral radiance of the synchrotron radiation continuum from the SRC's White Light Beamline, permits rapid acquisition of spectra covering broad wavelength regions with resolution appropriate for the DIBs. In order to obtain astrophysically relevant spectra of low

  11. Interstellar extinction toward the Cas OB6 association: Where is the dust?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanson, Margaret Murray; Clayton, Geoffrey C.

    1993-01-01

    We have completed a multiband (ultraviolet, optical, and near-infrared) study of the interstellar extinction properties of nine massive stars in IC 1805 and IC 1848, which are both part of Cas OB6 in the Perseus spiral arm. Our analysis includes determination of absolute extinction over the wavelength range from 3 micrometers to 1250 A. We have attempted to distinguish between foreground dust and dust local to Cas OB6. This is done by quantitatively comparing extinction laws of the least reddened sightlines (sampling mostly foreground dust) versus the most reddened sightlines (sampling a larger fraction of the dust in the Cas OB6 region). We have combined previous investigations to better understand the evolution of the interstellar medium in this active star forming region. We found no variation of extinction curve behavior between moderately reddend and heavily reddened Cas OB6 stars. None of the curves show any significant deviation from the Cardelli-Clayton-Mathis (CCM) R(sub upsilon)-dependent extinction. They are all consistent with that seen from diffuse dust. Most or all of the dust along the line of sight may be foreground to Cas OB6. Massive star forming regions can show significant deviations from CCM behavior which have been attributed to processing of the dust grains. Any dust local to the association must exist far from the hot stars in IC 1805 and IC 1848. A previous episode of star formation may have already cleared out the region of most of the gas and dust. Evidence for this can be seen in H I and IRAS data of the region.

  12. Interstellar Extinction Law in the Vicinity of the North America and Pelican Nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Straižys, V.; Corbally, C. J.; Laugalys, V.

    The interstellar reddening law is derived for 15 heavily reddened stars in the area which includes the North America and Pelican nebulae and the dark cloud between them. The method is based on photometry of these stars in the Vilnius seven-color system and on their MK spectral types. The mean law in this area is very similar to the law for a much wider area in Cygnus derived earlier by other authors. It differs from the normal law by exhibiting somewhat stronger extinction in the violet and the near ultraviolet spectral region, i.e., it shows a smaller ``knee" in the blue part of the spectrum.

  13. Interstellar extinction in the area of the North America and Pelican Nebulae complex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Straizys, V.; Meistas, E.; Vansevicius, V.; Goldberg, E. P.

    1989-09-01

    Interstellar extinction is investigated in the area including the North America Nebula, the Pelican Nabula, the dark cloud separating both the nebulae, and the nearby area south of Alpha Cygni. Determination of spectral classes, absolute magnitudes, and color excesses of 249 stars is based on their photometry in the Vilnius seven-color photometric system. The distance of the dark cloud is found to be 550 + or - 100 pc. The area west of the Pelican Nebula and south of Alpha Cygni is comparatively transparent at least up to 700 pc.

  14. Interstellar Extinction Law in the Vicinity of the North America and Pelican Nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corbally, C.; Straižys, V.; Laugalys, V.

    1999-12-01

    The interstellar reddening law is derived for 15 heavily reddened stars in the area which includes the North America and Pelican Nebulae and the dark cloud between them. The method is based on photometry of these stars in the Vilnius seven-color system and on their MK spectral types. The mean law in this area is very similar to the law for a much wider area in Cygnus derived earlier by other authors. It differs from the normal law by exhibiting somewhat stronger extinction in the violet and the near ultraviolet spectral region, i.e., it shows a smaller `knee' in the blue part of the spectrum.

  15. Diffuse Interstellar Bands in (Proto-) Fullerene-Rich Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Hernández, D. A.

    2014-02-01

    The recent infrared detection of fullerenes (C60 and C70) in Planetary Nebulae (PNe) and R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars offers a beautiful opportunity for studying the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) in sources where fullerenes are abundant. Here we present for the first time a detailed inspection of the optical spectra of the hot RCB star DY Cen and two fullerene PNe (Tc 1 and M 1-20), which permits us to directly explore the fullerenes - DIB connection. The DIB spectrum of DY Cen (García-Hernández et al. 2012a) is remarkably different from that in fullerene PNe (García-Hernández & Díaz-Luis 2013). In particular, Tc 1 displays unusually strong 4428 Å and 6309 Å DIBs, which are normal (or not seen) in DY Cen. On the other hand, DY Cen displays an unusually strong 6284 Å DIB that is found to be normal in fullerene PNe. We also report the detection of new broad and unidentified features centered at 4000 Å and 6525 Å in DY Cen and Tc 1, respectively. We suggest that the new 4000 Å band seen in DY Cen may be related to the circumstellar proto-fullerenes seen at infrared wavelengths (García-Hernández et al. 2012a). However, the intense 4428 Å DIB (probably also the 6309 Å DIB and the new 6525 Å band) may be related to the presence of larger fullerenes (e.g., C80, C240, C320, and C540) and buckyonions (multishell fullerenes such as C60@C240 and C60@C240@C540) in the circumstellar envelope of Tc 1 (García-Hernández & Díaz-Luis 2013).

  16. A High-Resolution Study of the Near-Infrared Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rawlings, M.; Adamson, A.; McCall, B.; Kerr, T.

    2011-05-01

    Since their initial detection in 1922, the identification of the carriers of the Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs) has gone on to become one of the longest-standing problems in astrophysics, with several hundred DIBs now having been detected at visual wavelengths. Although the carriers are widely thought to be carbonaceous molecules/ions, an unambiguous carrier identification for most of the bands remains elusive. One strong observational constraint on the nature of the carriers, however, is the detection of DIB substructure via high-resolution echelle spectroscopy. In addition to the many visual DIBs found, two DIB detections were reported in the near-infrared by Joblin et al. (1990), near 11797.5 and 13175 Å. These remain the longest-wavelength DIBs observed, and consequently have further implications for the nature of the carriers. Despite this, there have been few follow-up observations of these DIBs. We present here high-resolution UKIRT echelle spectroscopy of the two NIR DIBs. Detections towards sightlines exhibiting a range of visual extinctions are presented, and variations in the properties and profile shapes of the bands are discussed.

  17. A High-Resolution Study of the Near-Infrared Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rawlings, M. G.; Adamson, A. J.; McCall, B. J.; Kerr, T. H.

    2011-10-01

    Since their initial detection by Heger in 1922, the identification of the carriers of the Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs) has gone on to become one of the longest standing problems in astrophysics, with several hundred DIBs now having been detected at visual wavelengths. Although the carriers are widely thought to be carbonaceous molecules/ions, an unambiguous carrier identification for most of the bands remains elusive. One strong observational constraint on the nature of the carriers, however, is the detection of DIB substructure via high-resolution echelle spectroscopy. In addition to the many visual DIBs found, two DIB detections were reported in the near-infrared by Joblin et al. (1990), near 11797.5 and 13175 Å. These remain the longest-wavelength DIBs observed, and consequently have further implications for the nature of the carriers. Despite this, there have been few follow-up observations of these DIBs. We present here high-resolution UKIRT echelle spectroscopy of the two NIR DIBs. Detections towards sightlines exhibiting a range of visual extinctions are presented, and variations in the properties and profile shapes of the bands are considered.

  18. The VLT-FLAMES Tarantula Survey. IX. The interstellar medium seen through diffuse interstellar bands and neutral sodium&

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Loon, J. Th.; Bailey, M.; Tatton, B. L.; Maíz Apellániz, J.; Crowther, P. A.; de Koter, A.; Evans, C. J.; Hénault-Brunet, V.; Howarth, I. D.; Richter, P.; Sana, H.; Simón-Díaz, S.; Taylor, W.; Walborn, N. R.

    2013-02-01

    Context. The Tarantula Nebula (a.k.a. 30 Dor) is a spectacular star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), seen through gas in the Galactic disc and halo. Diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) offer a unique probe of the diffuse, cool-warm gas in these regions. Aims: The aim is to use DIBs as diagnostics of the local interstellar conditions, whilst at the same time deriving properties of the yet-unknown carriers of these enigmatic spectral features. Methods: Spectra of over 800 early-type stars from the Very Large Telescope Flames Tarantula Survey (VFTS) were analysed. Maps were created, separately, for the Galactic and LMC absorption in the DIBs at 4428 and 6614 Å and - in a smaller region near the central cluster R 136 - neutral sodium (the Na i D doublet); we also measured the DIBs at 5780 and 5797 Å. Results: The maps show strong 4428 and 6614 Å DIBs in the quiescent cloud complex to the south of 30 Dor but weak absorption in the harsher environments to the north (bubbles) and near the OB associations. The Na maps show at least five kinematic components in the LMC and a shell-like structure surrounding R 136, and small-scale structure in the Milky Way. The strengths of the 4428, 5780, 5797 and 6614 Å DIBs are correlated, also with Na absorption and visual extinction. The strong 4428 Å DIB is present already at low Na column density but the 6614, 5780 and 5797 Å DIBs start to be detectable at subsequently larger Na column densities. Conclusions: The carriers of the 4428, 6614, 5780 and 5797 Å DIBs are increasingly prone to removal from irradiated gas. The relative strength of the 5780 and 5797 Å DIBs clearly confirm the Tarantula Nebula as well as Galactic high-latitude gas to represent a harsh radiation environment. The resilience of the 4428 Å DIB suggests its carrier is large, compact and neutral. Structure is detected in the distribution of cool-warm gas on scales between one and >100 pc in the LMC and as little as 0.01 pc in the Sun

  19. Is a pyrene-like molecular ion the cause of the 4,430-A diffuse interstellar absorption band?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, F.; Allamandola, L. J.

    1992-01-01

    The diffuse interstellar band (DIB) absorption features of astronomical spectra are suggested by recent results to be separable from the grains that cause visual extinction. Attention is presently given to laboratory measurements of the optical spectrum of the pyrene cation C16H10(+), which is one of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecular candidates proposed as carriers for DIBs. This ion exhibits an intense but strangely broad continuum similar to that of the naphthalene cation, so that this may be a common feature of all PAH cations and the basis of an explanation for PAHs' converting of an interstellar radiation fraction as large as that from the UV and visible range down to the IR.

  20. Analysis of interstellar extinction towards the hypergiant Cyg OB2 No. 12

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maryeva, O. V.; Chentsov, E. L.; Goranskij, V. P.; Karpov, S. V.

    The Cyg OB2 stellar association hosts an entire zoo of unique objects, and among them -- an enigmatic star Cyg OB2 No. 12 (Schulte 12, MT 304). MT 304 is enigmatic not only due to its highest luminosity (according to various estimates, it is one of the brightest stars in the Galaxy), but also because its reddening is anomalously large, greater than the mean reddening in the association. To explain the nature of anomalous reddening (AV≃ 10 mag) of MT 304, we carried out spectrophotometric observations of 25 stars located in its vicinity. We mapped interstellar extinction within the 2.5 arcmin radius and found it to increase towards MT 304. According to our results, the two most reddened stars in the association after MT 304 are J203240.35+411420.1 and J203239.90+411436.2, both located about 15 arcsec from it. Interstellar extinction AV towards these stars is about 9 mag. Our results favor the hypothesis of the circumstellar nature of reddening excess. In the second part of the paper we present the results of our modeling of MT 282 (B1 IV) and MT 343 (B1 V), which belong to the older population of the association and have ages greater than 10 Myr.

  1. A Principal Component Analysis of the Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ensor, T.; Cami, J.; Bhatt, N. H.; Soddu, A.

    2017-02-01

    We present a principal component (PC) analysis of 23 line-of-sight parameters (including the strengths of 16 diffuse interstellar bands, DIBs) for a well-chosen sample of single-cloud sightlines representing a broad range of environmental conditions. Our analysis indicates that the majority (˜93%) of the variations in the measurements can be captured by only four parameters The main driver (i.e., the first PC) is the amount of DIB-producing material in the line of sight, a quantity that is extremely well traced by the equivalent width of the λ5797 DIB. The second PC is the amount of UV radiation, which correlates well with the λ5797/λ5780 DIB strength ratio. The remaining two PCs are more difficult to interpret, but are likely related to the properties of dust in the line of sight (e.g., the gas-to-dust ratio). With our PCA results, the DIBs can then be used to estimate these line-of-sight parameters.

  2. Properties of interstellar dust responsible for extinction laws with unusually low total-to-selective extinction ratios of RV=1-2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nozawa, Takaya

    2016-11-01

    It is well known that the extinction properties along lines of sight to Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) are described by steep extinction curves with unusually low total-to-selective extinction ratios of RV = 1.0 - 2.0 . In order to reveal the properties of interstellar dust that causes such peculiar extinction laws, we perform the fitting calculations to the measured extinction curves by applying a two-component dust model composed of graphite and silicate. As for the size distribution of grains, we consider two function forms of the power-law and lognormal distributions. We find that the steep extinction curves derived from the one-parameter formula by Cardelli et al. (1989) with RV=2.0, 1.5, and 1.0 can be reasonably explained even by the simple power-law dust model that has a fixed power index of - 3.5 with the maximum cut-off radii of amax ≃ 0.13 μm , 0.094 μm, and 0.057 μm , respectively. These maximum cut-off radii are smaller than amax ≃ 0.24 μm considered to be valid in the Milky Way, clearly demonstrating that the interstellar dust responsible for steep extinction curves is highly biased to smaller sizes. We show that the lognomal size distribution can also lead to good fits to the extinction curves with RV = 1.0 - 3.1 by taking the appropriate combinations of the relevant parameters. We discuss that the extinction data at ultraviolet wavelengths are essential for constraining the composition and size distribution of interstellar dust.

  3. Probing the Local Bubble with Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Loon, Jacco Th.; Farhang, A.; Javadi, A.; Bailey, M.; Khosroshahi, H. G.

    The Sun lies in the middle of an enormous cavity of a million degree gas, known as the Local Bubble. The Local Bubble is surrounded by a wall of denser neutral and ionized gas. The Local Bubble extends around 100 pc in the plane of Galaxy and hundreds of parsecs vertically, but absorption-line surveys of neutral sodium and singly-ionized calcium have revealed a highly irregular structure and the presence of neutral clouds within an otherwise tenuous and hot gas. We have undertaken an all-sky, European-Iranian survey of the Local Bubble in the absorption of a number of diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) to offer a novel view of our neighbourhood. Our dedicated campaigns with ESO's New Technology Telescope and the ING's Isaac Newton Telescope comprise high signal-to-noise, medium-resolution spectra, concentrating on the 5780 and 5797 Å bands which trace ionized/irradiated and neutral/shielded environments, respectively; their carriers are unknown but likely to be large carbonaceous molecules. With about 660 sightlines towards early-type stars distributed over distances up to about 200 pc, our data allow us to reconstruct the first ever 3D DIB map of the Local Bubble, which we present here. While we confirm our expectations that the 5780 Å DIB is relatively strong compared to the 5797 Å DIB in hot/irradiated regions such as which prevail within the Local Bubble and its walls, and the opposite is true for cooler/shielded regions beyond the confines of the Local Bubble, we unexpectedly also detect DIB cloudlets inside of the Local Bubble. These results reveal new insight into the structure of the Local Bubble, as well as helping constrain our understanding of the carriers of the DIBs.

  4. Near Infrared Diffuse Interstellar Bands Toward the Cygnus OB2 Association

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamano, Satoshi; Kobayashi, Naoto; Kondo, Sohei; Sameshima, Hiroaki; Nakanishi, Kenshi; Ikeda, Yuji; Yasui, Chikako; Mizumoto, Misaki; Matsunaga, Noriyuki; Fukue, Kei; Yamamoto, Ryo; Izumi, Natsuko; Mito, Hiroyuki; Nakaoka, Tetsuya; Kawanishi, Takafumi; Kitano, Ayaka; Otsubo, Shogo; Kinoshita, Masaomi; Kawakita, Hideyo

    2016-04-01

    We obtained the near-infrared (NIR) high-resolution (R ≡ λ/Δλ ∼ 20,000) spectra of the seven brightest early-type stars in the Cygnus OB2 association for investigating the environmental dependence of diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs). The WINERED spectrograph mounted on the Araki 1.3 m telescope in Japan was used to collect data. All 20 of the known DIBs within the wavelength coverage of WINERED (0.91 < λ < 1.36 μm) were clearly detected along all lines of sight because of their high flux density in the NIR wavelength range and the large extinction. The equivalent widths (EWs) of DIBs were not correlated with the column densities of C2 molecules, which trace the patchy dense component, suggesting that the NIR DIB carriers are distributed mainly in the diffuse component. On the basis of the correlations among the NIR DIBs both for stars in Cyg OB2 and stars observed previously, λλ10780, 10792, 11797, 12623, and 13175 are found to constitute a “family,” in which the DIBs are correlated well over the wide EW range. In contrast, the EW of λ10504 is found to remain almost constant over the stars in Cyg OB2. The extinction estimated from the average EW of λ10504 (AV ∼ 3.6 mag) roughly corresponds to the lower limit of the extinction distribution of OB stars in Cyg OB2. This suggests that λ10504 is absorbed only by the foreground clouds, implying that the carrier of λ10504 is completely destroyed in Cyg OB2, probably by the strong UV radiation field. The different behaviors of the DIBs may be caused by different properties of the DIB carriers.

  5. NEAR INFRARED DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BANDS TOWARD THE CYGNUS OB2 ASSOCIATION

    SciTech Connect

    Hamano, Satoshi; Kondo, Sohei; Sameshima, Hiroaki; Nakanishi, Kenshi; Kawakita, Hideyo; Kobayashi, Naoto; Ikeda, Yuji; Yasui, Chikako; Mizumoto, Misaki; Matsunaga, Noriyuki; Fukue, Kei; Yamamoto, Ryo; Izumi, Natsuko; Mito, Hiroyuki; Nakaoka, Tetsuya; Kawanishi, Takafumi; Kitano, Ayaka; Otsubo, Shogo; Kinoshita, Masaomi

    2016-04-10

    We obtained the near-infrared (NIR) high-resolution (R ≡ λ/Δλ ∼ 20,000) spectra of the seven brightest early-type stars in the Cygnus OB2 association for investigating the environmental dependence of diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs). The WINERED spectrograph mounted on the Araki 1.3 m telescope in Japan was used to collect data. All 20 of the known DIBs within the wavelength coverage of WINERED (0.91 < λ < 1.36 μm) were clearly detected along all lines of sight because of their high flux density in the NIR wavelength range and the large extinction. The equivalent widths (EWs) of DIBs were not correlated with the column densities of C{sub 2} molecules, which trace the patchy dense component, suggesting that the NIR DIB carriers are distributed mainly in the diffuse component. On the basis of the correlations among the NIR DIBs both for stars in Cyg OB2 and stars observed previously, λλ10780, 10792, 11797, 12623, and 13175 are found to constitute a “family,” in which the DIBs are correlated well over the wide EW range. In contrast, the EW of λ10504 is found to remain almost constant over the stars in Cyg OB2. The extinction estimated from the average EW of λ10504 (A{sub V} ∼ 3.6 mag) roughly corresponds to the lower limit of the extinction distribution of OB stars in Cyg OB2. This suggests that λ10504 is absorbed only by the foreground clouds, implying that the carrier of λ10504 is completely destroyed in Cyg OB2, probably by the strong UV radiation field. The different behaviors of the DIBs may be caused by different properties of the DIB carriers.

  6. Fullerenes and Buckyonions in the Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iglesias Groth, S.

    2004-09-01

    We have studied the contribution of single fullerenes and buckyonions to the interstellar extinction. The photoabsorption spectra of these molecules is predicted and compared with some of the most relevant features of interstellar extinction, the UV bump, far UV rise and the diffuse interstellar bands. We conclude that fullerenes and buckyonions may explain these features and make a preliminary estimate of the carbon fraction locked in these molecules.

  7. Laboratory investigation of the contribution of complex aromatic/aliphatic polycyclic hybrid molecular structures to interstellar ultraviolet extinction and infrared emission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arnoult, K. M.; Wdowiak, T. J.; Beegle, L. W.

    2000-01-01

    We have demonstrated by experiment that, in an energetic environment, a simple polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) such as naphthalene will undergo chemical reactions that produce a wide array of more complex species (an aggregate). For a stellar wind of a highly evolved star (post-asymptotic giant branch [post-AGB]), this process would be in addition to what is expected from reactions occurring under thermodynamic equilibrium. A surprising result of that work was that produced in substantial abundance are hydrogenated forms that are hybrids of polycyclic aromatic and polycyclic alkanes. Infrared spectroscopy described here reveals a spectral character for these materials that has much in common with that observed for the constituents of circumstellar clouds of post-AGB stars. It can be demonstrated that a methylene (-CH2-) substructure, as in cycloalkanes, is the likely carrier of the 6.9 microns band emission of dust that has recently been formed around IRAS 22272+5433, NGC 7027, and CPD -56 8032. Ultraviolet spectroscopy previously done with a lower limit of 190 nm had revealed that this molecular aggregate can contribute to the interstellar extinction feature at 2175 angstroms. We have now extended our UV spectroscopy of these materials to 110 nm by a vacuum ultraviolet technique. That work, described here, reveals new spectral characteristics and describes how material newly formed during the late stages of stellar evolution could have produced an extinction feature claimed to exist at 1700 angstroms in the spectrum of HD 145502 and also how the newly formed hydrocarbon material would be transformed/aged in the general interstellar environment. The contribution of this molecular aggregate to the rise in interstellar extinction at wavelengths below 1500 angstroms is also examined. The panspectral measurements of the materials produced in the laboratory, using plasmas of H, He, N, and O to convert the simple PAH naphthalene to an aggregate of complex species

  8. Laboratory investigation of the contribution of complex aromatic/aliphatic polycyclic hybrid molecular structures to interstellar ultraviolet extinction and infrared emission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arnoult, K. M.; Wdowiak, T. J.; Beegle, L. W.

    2000-01-01

    We have demonstrated by experiment that, in an energetic environment, a simple polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) such as naphthalene will undergo chemical reactions that produce a wide array of more complex species (an aggregate). For a stellar wind of a highly evolved star (post-asymptotic giant branch [post-AGB]), this process would be in addition to what is expected from reactions occurring under thermodynamic equilibrium. A surprising result of that work was that produced in substantial abundance are hydrogenated forms that are hybrids of polycyclic aromatic and polycyclic alkanes. Infrared spectroscopy described here reveals a spectral character for these materials that has much in common with that observed for the constituents of circumstellar clouds of post-AGB stars. It can be demonstrated that a methylene (-CH2-) substructure, as in cycloalkanes, is the likely carrier of the 6.9 microns band emission of dust that has recently been formed around IRAS 22272+5433, NGC 7027, and CPD -56 8032. Ultraviolet spectroscopy previously done with a lower limit of 190 nm had revealed that this molecular aggregate can contribute to the interstellar extinction feature at 2175 angstroms. We have now extended our UV spectroscopy of these materials to 110 nm by a vacuum ultraviolet technique. That work, described here, reveals new spectral characteristics and describes how material newly formed during the late stages of stellar evolution could have produced an extinction feature claimed to exist at 1700 angstroms in the spectrum of HD 145502 and also how the newly formed hydrocarbon material would be transformed/aged in the general interstellar environment. The contribution of this molecular aggregate to the rise in interstellar extinction at wavelengths below 1500 angstroms is also examined. The panspectral measurements of the materials produced in the laboratory, using plasmas of H, He, N, and O to convert the simple PAH naphthalene to an aggregate of complex species

  9. Unusual relative strengths of the diffuse interstellar bands in some interstellar dust clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krelowski, J.; Walker, G. A. H.

    1986-01-01

    Some of the diffuse interstellar features (DIBs) in the spectra of certain stars at high galactic latitudes (1 is greater than 15 degrees) are unusually weak or absent while others have the strength expected for their color excess. In some cases the stars are probably reddened by single interstellar clouds. There appear to be three families of DIBs. The effects of these families are examined. The existance of the three families implies that at least three agents cause the DIBs and that the proportions of the agents or the physical conditions giving rise to the DIBs can vary from cloud to cloud.

  10. Interstellar polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: the infrared emission bands, the excitation/emission mechanism, and the astrophysical implications.

    PubMed

    Allamandola, L J; Tielens, A G; Barker, J R

    1989-12-01

    -frequency modes (for example, the 3040 cm-1, 3.3 micrometers band), the thermal approach overestimates the emission intensities. For calculations of molecular reactions (such as H-loss, deuterium enrichment, and carbon skeleton rearrangement) a thermal approximation is invalid. The relationship between PAH molecules and amorphous carbon particles is presented and their production in circumstellar shells is described. The most likely interstellar PAH molecular structures are discussed and the possibility of destructive reactions with interstellar oxygen and hydrogen atoms is considered in detailed and found to be unimportant. Interstellar PAH size and abundance estimates are made. On the order of a few percent of the available interstellar carbon is tied up in the small (20-40 carbon atom) PAHs which are responsible for the sharp features, and a similar amount is tied up in the larger (200-500 carbon atom) PAHs or PAH clusters and amorphous carbon particles which are responsible for the broad components underlying the 1600-1100 and 900-770 cm-1 (6-9 and 11-13 micrometers) regions. It is shown that the spectroscopic structure these PAHs and PAH-related materials produce in the UV portion of the interstellar extinction curve lie just below current detection limits but fall in the range detectable by the Hubble Space Telescope. Finally, the influence of PAH charge on the ultraviolet, visible, and infrared regions is described.

  11. VizieR Online Data Catalog: 3D interstellar extinct. map within nearest kpc (Gontcharov, 2012)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gontcharov, G. A.

    2016-07-01

    The product of the previously constructed 3D maps of stellar reddening (2010AstL...36..584G) and Rv variations (2012AstL...38...12G) has allowed us to produce a 3D interstellar extinction map within the nearest kiloparsec from the Sun with a spatial resolution of 100pc and an accuracy of 0.2m. This map is compared with the 2D reddening map by Schlegel et al. (1998ApJ...500..525S), the 3D extinction map at high latitudes by Jones et al. (2011AJ....142...44J), and the analytical 3D extinction models by Arenou et al. (1992A&A...258..104A) and Gontcharov (2009AstL...35..780G). In all cases, we have found good agreement and show that there are no systematic errors in the new map everywhere except the direction toward the Galactic center. We have found that the map by Schlegel et al. (1998ApJ...500..525S) reaches saturation near the Galactic equator at E(B-V)>0.8m, has a zero-point error and systematic errors gradually increasing with reddening, and among the analytical models those that take into account the extinction in the Gould Belt are more accurate. Our extinction map shows that it is determined by reddening variations at low latitudes and Rv variations at high ones. This naturally explains the contradictory data on the correlation or anticorrelation between reddening and Rv available in the literature. There is a correlation in a thin layer near the Galactic equator, because both reddening and Rv here increase toward the Galactic center. There is an anticorrelation outside this layer, because higher values of Rv correspond to lower reddening at high and middle latitudes. Systematic differences in sizes and other properties of the dust grains in different parts of the Galaxy manifest themselves in this way. The largest structures within the nearest kiloparsec, including the Local Bubble, the Gould Belt, the Great Tunnel, the Scorpius, Perseus, Orion, and other complexes, have manifested themselves in the constructed map. (1 data file).

  12. SWIFT ULTRAVIOLET OBSERVATIONS OF SUPERNOVA 2014J IN M82: LARGE EXTINCTION FROM INTERSTELLAR DUST

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Peter J.; Smitka, Michael T.; Wang, Lifan; Krisciunas, Kevin; Breeveld, Alice; Kuin, N. Paul; Page, Mat; De Pasquale, Massimiliano; Hartmann, Dieter H.; Milne, Peter A.; Siegel, Michael

    2015-05-20

    We present optical and ultraviolet (UV) photometry and spectra of the very nearby and highly reddened supernova (SN) 2014J in M82 obtained with the Swift Ultra-Violet/Optical Telescope (UVOT). Comparison of the UVOT grism spectra of SN 2014J with Hubble Space Telescope observations of SN2011fe or UVOT grism spectra of SN 2012fr are consistent with an extinction law with a low value of R{sub V} ∼1.4. The high reddening causes the detected photon distribution in the broadband UV filters to have a much longer effective wavelength than for an unreddened SN. The light curve evolution is consistent with this shift and does not show a flattening due to photons being scattered back into the line of sight (LOS). The light curve shapes and color evolution are inconsistent with a contribution scattered into the LOS by circumstellar dust. We conclude that most or all of the high reddening must come from interstellar dust. We show that even for a single dust composition, there is not a unique reddening law caused by circumstellar scattering. Rather, when considering scattering from a time-variable source, we confirm earlier studies that the reddening law is a function of the dust geometry, column density, and epoch. We also show how an assumed geometry of dust as a foreground sheet in mixed stellar/dust systems will lead to a higher inferred R{sub V}. Rather than assuming the dust around SNe is peculiar, SNe may be useful probes of the interstellar reddening laws in other galaxies.

  13. Is a pyrene-like molecular ion the cause of the 4,430-angstroms diffuse interstellar absorption band?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, F.; Allamandola, L. J.

    1992-01-01

    The diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs), ubiquitous absorption features in astronomical spectra, have been known since early this century and now number more than a hundred. Ranging from 4,400 angstroms to the near infrared, they differ markedly in depth, width and shape, making the concept of a single carrier unlikely. Whether they are due to gas or grains is not settled, but recent results suggest that the DIB carriers are quite separate from the grains that cause visual extinction. Among molecular candidates the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been proposed as the possible carriers of some of the DIBs, and we present here laboratory measurements of the optical spectrum of the pyrene cation C16H10+ in neon and argon matrices. The strongest absorption feature falls at 4,435 +/- 5 angstroms in the argon matrix and 4,395 +/- 5 angstroms in the neon matrix, both close to the strong 4,430-angstroms DIB. If this or a related pyrene-like species is responsible for this particular band, it must account for 0.2% of all cosmic carbon. The ion also shows an intense but puzzling broad continuum, extending from the ultraviolet to the visible, similar to what is seen in the naphthalene cation and perhaps therefore a common feature of all PAH cations. This may provide an explanation of how PAHs convert a large fraction of interstellar radiation from ultraviolet and visible wavelengths down to the infrared.

  14. The Gaia-ESO Survey: Extracting diffuse interstellar bands from cool star spectra. DIB-based interstellar medium line-of-sight structures at the kpc scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puspitarini, L.; Lallement, R.; Babusiaux, C.; Chen, H.-C.; Bonifacio, P.; Sbordone, L.; Caffau, E.; Duffau, S.; Hill, V.; Monreal-Ibero, A.; Royer, F.; Arenou, F.; Peralta, R.; Drew, J. E.; Bonito, R.; Lopez-Santiago, J.; Alfaro, E. J.; Bensby, T.; Bragaglia, A.; Flaccomio, E.; Lanzafame, A. C.; Pancino, E.; Recio-Blanco, A.; Smiljanic, R.; Costado, M. T.; Lardo, C.; de Laverny, P.; Zwitter, T.

    2015-01-01

    Aims: We study how diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) measured toward distance-distributed target stars can be used to locate dense interstellar (IS) clouds in the Galaxy and probe a line-of-sight (LOS) kinematical structure, a potentially useful tool when gaseous absorption lines are saturated or not available in the spectral range. Cool target stars are numerous enough for this purpose. Methods: We devised automated DIB-fitting methods appropriate for cool star spectra and multiple IS components. The data were fitted with a combination of a synthetic stellar spectrum, a synthetic telluric transmission, and empirical DIB profiles. The initial number of DIB components and their radial velocity were guided by HI 21 cm emission spectra, or, when available in the spectral range, IS neutral sodium absorption lines. For NaI, radial velocities of NaI lines and DIBs were maintained linked during a global simultaneous fit. In parallel, stellar distances and extinctions were estimated self-consistently by means of a 2D Bayesian method from spectroscopically-derived stellar parameters and photometric data. Results: We have analyzed Gaia-ESO Survey (GES) spectra of 225 stars that probe between ~2 and 10 kpc long LOS in five different regions of the Milky Way. The targets are the two CoRoT fields, two open clusters (NGC 4815 and γ Vel), and the Galactic bulge. Two OGLE fields toward the bulge observed before the GES are also included (205 target stars). Depending on the observed spectral intervals, we extracted one or more of the following DIBs: λλ 6283.8, 6613.6, and 8620.4. For each field, we compared the DIB strengths with the Bayesian distances and extinctions, and the DIB Doppler velocities with the HI emission spectra. Conclusions: For all fields, the DIB strength and the target extinction are well correlated. For targets that are widely distributed in distance, marked steps in DIBs and extinction radial distance profiles match each other and broadly correspond to the

  15. Update of the Catalogue of Diffuse Interstellar Bands by Snow et al. [1977

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guarinos, J.

    1988-05-01

    This bibliographic search has been undertaken in order to gather all data concerning four diffuse interstellar bands (4430 Å, 5780 Å, 5797 Å, 6284 Å) published since the Swow, York, and Welty (1977) catalogue (see Abstr. 19.131.102), and up to 1987.0.

  16. The dark cloud TGU H994 P1 (LDN 1399, LDN 1400, and LDN 1402): Interstellar extinction and distance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Straižys, V.; Čepas, V.; Boyle, R. P.; Munari, U.; Zdanavičius, J.; Maskoliūnas, M.; Kazlauskas, A.; Zdanavičius, K.

    2016-01-01

    The results of CCD photometry in the seven-colour Vilnius system, for about 1000 stars down to V = 20 mag and their two-dimensional spectral types, are used to investigate the interstellar extinction in a 1.5 square degree area in the direction of the dark cloud TGU H994 P1 (LDN 1399, LDN 1400 and LDN 1402) in Camelopardalis. Photometric classification of 18 brightest stars down to V = 12 mag was verified by the spectra obtained with the 1.22 m telescope of the Asiago Observatory. The interstellar extinction run with distance is investigated with the results of photometry in the Vilnius system, and 504 red clump giants, identified by combining the results of infrared photometry from the 2MASS and WISE surveys. A possible distance of 140 ± 11 pc to the TGU H994 P1 cloud seems to be acceptable. Alternative distances of the cloud are discussed. The complex of the Camelopardalis clouds probably has a considerable depth along the line of sight, similar to that observed in the Taurus-Auriga complex. The maximum extinction AV in the dark filaments is found to be about 6.5 mag. Full Table 2 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/585/A31

  17. FUSE Measurements of Rydberg Bands of Interstellar CO between 925 and 1150 Å

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheffer, Y.; Federman, S. R.; Andersson, B.-G.

    2003-11-01

    We report the detection of 11 Rydberg bands of CO in FUSE spectra of the sight line toward HD 203374A. Eight of these electronic bands are seen in the interstellar medium for the first time. Our simultaneous fit of five non-Rydberg A-X bands together with the strongest Rydberg band of CO, C-X (0-0), yields a four-component cloud structure toward the stellar target. With this model we synthesize the other Rydberg bands in order to derive their oscillator strengths. We find that the strength of some bands was underestimated in previously published results from laboratory measurements. The implication is important for theoretical calculations of the abundance of interstellar CO, because its dissociation and self-shielding depend on oscillator strengths for these bands. Based on observations made with the NASA-CNES-CSA Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE), which is operated for NASA by the Johns Hopkins University under NASA contract NAS5-32985.

  18. Constant Intensities of Diffuse Interstellar Bands in the Spectrum of AE Aur

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krełowski, J.; Galazutdinov, G. A.; Bondar, A.; Byeong-Cheol, L.

    2017-03-01

    Using spectra of the star AE Aur (HD 34078), covering the period 1997-2016, we prove that all strong diffuse interstellar bands are of the same intensity during the whole period of observations (inside 3-5% of the intensity). This is in sharp contrast to the behavior of both CH and CH+ features which, during the last six years, declined sharply by 13% and 28% respectively. Diffuse bands seem to behave more or less as interstellar atomic lines. We checked also the behavior of CaII lines which should be of constant intensities as the carrier fills the space evenly. Our observations confirm this and allow us to re-estimate the distance to HD 34078.

  19. ESO Diffuse Interstellar Bands Large Exploration Survey (EDIBLES) - Merging Observations and Laboratory Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid

    2016-01-01

    The Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs) are a set of 500 absorption bands that are detected in the spectra of stars with interstellar clouds in the line of sight. DIBs are found from the NUV to the NIR in the spectra of reddened stars spanning different interstellar environments in our local, and in other galaxies. DIB carriers are a significant part of the interstellar chemical inventory. They are stable and ubiquitous in a broad variety of environments and play a unique role in interstellar physics/chemistry. It has long been realized that the solving of the DIB problem requires a strong synergy between astronomical observations, laboratory astrophysics, and astrophysical modeling of line-of-sights. PAHs are among the molecular species that have been proposed as DIB carriers. We will present an assessment of the PAH-DIB model in view of the progress and the advances that have been achieved over the past years through a series of studies involving astronomical observations of DIBs, laboratory simulation of interstellar analogs for neutrals and ionized PAHs, theoretical calculations of PAH spectra and the modelization of diffuse and translucent interstellar clouds. We will present a summary of what has been learned from these complementary studies, the constraints that can now be derived for the PAHs as DIB carriers in the context of the PAH-DIB model and how these constraints can be applied to the EDIBLES project. The spectra of several neutral and ionized PAHs isolated in the gas phase at low temperature have been measured in the laboratory under experimental conditions that mimic interstellar conditions and are compared with an extensive set of astronomical spectra of reddened, early type stars. The comparisons of astronomical and laboratory data provide upper limits for the abundances of specific neutral PAH molecules and ions along specific lines-of-sight. Something that is not attainable from infrared observations alone. We present the characteristics of the

  20. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Suppl. to Diffuse Interstellar Band Measurements (Guarinos 1988)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guarinos, J.

    1997-02-01

    This bibliographic search has been undertaken in order to gather all data concerning four diffuse interstellar bands (DIB) published since the Snow, York, and Welty (1977) catalogue, and up to 1987.0. These four DIB are : 4430, 5780, 5797, and 6284 Angstrom. In the present set of data, no statistical reduction to a unique system has been made because most of the lists contain only few data. (1 data file).

  1. Electronic Spectroscopy of [FePAH](+) Complexes in the Region of the Diffuse Interstellar Bands: Multireference Wave Function Studies on [FeC6H6](+).

    PubMed

    Lanza, Mathieu; Simon, Aude; Ben Amor, Nadia

    2015-06-11

    The low-energy states and electronic spectrum in the near-infrared-visible region of [FeC6H6](+) are studied by theoretical approaches. An exhaustive exploration of the potential energy surface of [FeC6H6](+) is performed using the density functional theory method. The ground state is found to be a (4)A1 state. The structures of the lowest energy states ((4)A2 and (4)A1) are used to perform multireference wave function calculations by means of the multistate complete active space with perturbation at the second order method. Contrary to the density functional theory results ((4)A1 ground state), multireference perturbative calculations show that the (4)A2 state is the ground state. The vertical electronic spectrum is computed and compared with the astronomical diffuse interstellar bands, a set of near-infrared-visible bands detected on the extinction curve in our and other galaxies. Many transitions are found in this domain, corresponding to d → d, d → 4s, or d → π* excitations, but few are allowed and, if they are, their oscillation strengths are small. Even though some band positions could match some of the observed bands, the relative intensities do not fit, making the contribution of the [Fe-C6H6](+) complexes to the diffuse interstellar bands questionable. This work, however, lays the foundation for the studies of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) complexed to Fe cations that are more likely to possess d → π* and π → π* transitions in the diffuse interstellar bands domain. PAH ligands indeed possess a larger number of π and π* orbitals, respectively, higher and lower in energy than those of C6H6, which are expected to lead to lower energy d → π* and π → π* transitions in [FePAH](+) than in [FeC6H6](+) complexes.

  2. Further Studies of λ 5797.1 Diffuse Interstellar Band

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oka, Takeshi; Hobbs, L. M.; Welty, Daniel E.; York, Donald G.; Dahlstrom, Julie; Witt, Adolf N.

    2015-06-01

    The λ~5797.1 DIB is unique with its sharp central feature. We simulated the spectrum based on three premises: (1) Its carrier molecule is polar as concluded from the anomalous spectrum toward the star Herschel 36. (2) The central feature is Q-branch of a parallel band of a prolate top. (3) The radiative temperature of the environment is T_r = 2.73 K. A comparison with observed spectrum indicated that the carrier contains 5-7 heavy atoms. To further strengthen this hypothesis, we have looked for vibronic satellites of the λ~5797.1 DIB. Since its anomaly toward Her 36 was ascribed to the lengthening of bonds upon the electronic excitation, vibronic satellites involving stretch vibrations are expected. Among the 73 DIBs observed toward HD 183143 to the blue of 5797.1 Å, two DIBs, λ~5545.1 and λ~5494.2 stand out as highly correlated with λ~5797.1 DIB. Their correlation coefficients 0.941 and 0.943, respectively, are not sufficiently high to establish the vibronic relation by themselves but can be explained as due to high uncertainties due to their weakness and their stellar blends. They are above the λ~5797.1 DIB by 784.0 cm-1 and 951.2 cm-1, respectively, approximately expected for stretching vibrations. Another observations which may possibly be explained by our hypothesis is the emission at 5800 Å from the Red Rectangle Nebula called RR 5800. Our analysis suggests that λ~5797.1 DIB and RR 5800 are consistently explained as caused by the same molecule. T.H. Kerr, R.E. Hibbins, S.J. Fossey, J.R. Miles, P.J. Sarre, ApJ 495, 941 (1998) T. Oka, D.E. Welty, S. Johnson, D.G. York, J. Dahlstrom, L.M. Hobbs, ApJ 773, 42 (2013) J. Huang, T. Oka, Mol. Phys. J.P. Maier Special Issue in press. G.D. Schmidt, A.N. Witt, ApJ 383, 698 (1991)

  3. SMALL-SCALE STRUCTURE OF THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM TOWARD {rho} Oph STARS: DIFFUSE BAND OBSERVATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Cordiner, M. A.; Smith, A. M.; Sarre, P. J.; Fossey, S. J.

    2013-02-10

    We present an investigation of small-scale structure in the distribution of large molecules/dust in the interstellar medium through observations of diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs). High signal-to-noise optical spectra were recorded toward the stars {rho} Oph A, B, C, and DE using the University College London Echelle Spectrograph on the Anglo-Australian Telescope. The strengths of some of the DIBs are found to differ by about 5%-9% between the close binary stars {rho} Oph A and B, which are separated by a projected distance on the sky of only c. 344 AU. This is the first star system in which such small-scale DIB strength variations have been reported. The observed variations are attributed to differences between a combination of carrier abundance and the physical conditions present along each sightline. The sightline toward {rho} Oph C contains relatively dense, molecule-rich material and has the strongest {lambda}{lambda}5850 and 4726 DIBs. The gas toward DE is more diffuse and is found to exhibit weak ''C{sub 2}'' (blue) DIBs and strong yellow/red DIBs. The differences in diffuse band strengths between lines of sight are, in some cases, significantly greater in magnitude than the corresponding variations among atomic and diatomic species, indicating that the DIBs can be sensitive tracers of interstellar cloud conditions.

  4. A framework for resolving the origin, nature and evolution of the diffuse interstellar band carriers?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Anthony P.

    2014-10-01

    The carriers of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) still remain an unknown commodity. Both dust and molecules have been suggested as carriers but none proposed have yet been able to explain the nature and the diversity of the DIBs. Hence, it is perhaps time to review the problem in terms of the intermediate-sized nano-particles. It is here proposed that the DIB carriers are the nm-sized and sub-nm-sized products of the UV photo-fragmentation of hydrogenated amorphous carbon grains, a-C(:H), and their heteroatom-doped variants, a-C:H:X (where X may be O, N, Mg, Si, Fe, S, Ni, P, …). An interstellar hydrogenated amorphous carbon dust evolutionary framework is described within which a solution to the age-old DIB problem could perhaps be found.

  5. PROBING THE LOCAL BUBBLE WITH DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BANDS. III. THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE DATA AND CATALOG

    SciTech Connect

    Farhang, Amin; Khosroshahi, Habib G.; Javadi, Atefeh; Van Loon, Jacco Th.

    2015-02-01

    We present new high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) observations of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) in the Local Bubble and its surroundings. We observed 432 sightlines and obtain the equivalent widths of the λ5780 and λ5797 Å DIBs up to a distance of ∼200 pc. All of the observations were carried out using the Intermediate Dispersion Spectrograph on the 2.5 m Isaac Newton Telescope, during three years, to reach a minimum S/N of ∼2000. All of the λ5780 and λ5797 absorptions are presented in this paper and we tabulate the observed values of the interstellar parameters, λ5780, λ5797, Na ID{sub 1}, and Na ID{sub 2}, including the uncertainties.

  6. Probing the Local Bubble with Diffuse Interstellar Bands. III. The Northern Hemisphere Data and Catalog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farhang, Amin; Khosroshahi, Habib G.; Javadi, Atefeh; van Loon, Jacco Th.

    2015-02-01

    We present new high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) observations of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) in the Local Bubble and its surroundings. We observed 432 sightlines and obtain the equivalent widths of the λ5780 and λ5797 Å DIBs up to a distance of ~200 pc. All of the observations were carried out using the Intermediate Dispersion Spectrograph on the 2.5 m Isaac Newton Telescope, during three years, to reach a minimum S/N of ~2000. All of the λ5780 and λ5797 absorptions are presented in this paper and we tabulate the observed values of the interstellar parameters, λ5780, λ5797, Na ID1, and Na ID2, including the uncertainties.

  7. Parsec-scale structures and diffuse bands in a translucent interstellar medium at z≃ 0.079

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srianand, R.; Gupta, N.; Rahmani, H.; Momjian, E.; Petitjean, P.; Noterdaeme, P.

    2013-01-01

    We present a detailed study of the QSO-galaxy pair [SDSS J163956.35+112758.7 (zq = 0.993) and SDSS J163956.38+112802.1 (zg = 0.079)] based on observations carried out using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), the Very Large Baseline Array (VLBA), the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the ESO New Technology Telescope. We show that the interstellar medium of the galaxy probed by the QSO line of sight has near-solar metallicity [12+log(O/H) = 8.47 ± 0.25] and dust extinction [E(B - V) ˜ 0.83 ± 0.11] typical of what is usually seen in translucent clouds. We report the detection of absorption in the λ6284 diffuse interstellar band (DIB) with a rest equivalent width of 1.45 ± 0.20 Å. Our GMRT spectrum shows a strong 21-cm absorption at the redshift of the galaxy with an integrated optical depth of 15.70 ± 0.13 km s-1. Follow-up VLBA observations show that the background radio source is resolved into three components with a maximum projected separation of 89 pc at the redshift of the galaxy. One of these components is too weak to provide useful 21-cm H i information. The integrated H i optical depth towards the other two components are higher than that measured in our GMRT spectrum and differ by a factor 2. By comparing the GMRT and VLBA spectra we show the presence of structures in the 21-cm optical depth on parsec scales. We discuss the implications of such structures for the spin-temperature measurements in high-z damped Lyman α systems. The analysis presented here suggests that this QSO-galaxy pair is an ideal target for studying the DIBs and molecular species using future observations in optical and radio wavebands.

  8. IDENTIFICATION OF H{sub 2}CCC AS A DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BAND CARRIER

    SciTech Connect

    Maier, J. P.; Mazzotti, F. J.; Raghunandan, R.; Fulara, J.; Garkusha, I.; Nagy, A.; Walker, G. A. H.; Bohlender, D. A. E-mail: gordonwa@uvic.ca

    2011-01-01

    We present strong evidence that the broad, diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) at 4881 and 5450 A are caused by the B{sup 1} B{sub 1} <- X{sup 1} A{sub 1} transition of H{sub 2}CCC (l-C{sub 3}H{sub 2}). The large widths of the bands are due to the short lifetime of the B{sup 1} B{sub 1} electronic state. The bands are predicted from absorption measurements in a neon matrix and observed by cavity ring-down in the gas phase and show exact matches to the profiles and wavelengths of the two broad DIBs. The strength of the 5450 A DIB leads to a l-C{sub 3}H{sub 2} column density of {approx}5 x 10{sup 14} cm{sup -2} toward HD 183143 and {approx}2 x 10{sup 14} cm{sup -2} to HD 206267. Despite similar values of E(B - V), the 4881 and 5450 A DIBs in HD 204827 are less than one-third their strength in HD 183143, while the column density of interstellar C{sub 3} is unusually high for HD 204827 but undetectable for HD 183143. This can be understood if C{sub 3} has been depleted by hydrogenation to species such as l-C{sub 3}H{sub 2} toward HD 183143. There are also three rotationally resolved sets of triplets of l-C{sub 3}H{sub 2} in the 6150-6330 A region. Simulations, based on the derived spectroscopic constants and convolved with the expected instrumental and interstellar line broadening, show credible coincidences with sharp, weak DIBs for the two observable sets of triplets. The region of the third set is too obscured by the {alpha}-band of telluric O{sub 2}.

  9. On the affinities of lambda 5778 and other broad diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcintosh, Alan; Webster, Adrian

    1994-01-01

    The authors examined the broad band 5778 A because of the quantity and quality of data that exists in literature. To investigate the affinity of that band with the bands of Family 1, the ratio W(sub lambda)(4430)/W(sub lambda)(5797) was formed. If the two band belong to the same family then the ratio should be a constant from star to star and it should not be possible to find an independent variable with which the ratio is correlated. If, however, a variable is found which does produce a statistically significant correlation with the ratio of equivalent widths then the bands cannot be in the same family. To test the affinity of the band at 5778 A with the other families the procedure was repeated using the bands at 5780 and 5787 A as being representative of Families 2 and 3 respectively. The measurement results of this test are shown using 21 stars taken from Herbig. Statistically significant correlations resulted when the band at 5778 A was tested against the bands of Families 1 and 2 but there was no correlation with Family 3. It is concluded that lambda 5778 is unlikely a member of Family 1 and so all the broad bands do not have their origin in a single carrier. Also, lambda 5778 does not appear to be a member of Family 2 either, but may be a member of Family 3. It appears that either a single carrier can be the origin of both broad and narrow bands or that the bands are produced by different carriers which exist in similar interstellar habitats. This latter possibility would require the introduction of a fourth family of bands.

  10. Ion irradiation of carbonaceous interstellar analogues. Effects of cosmic rays on the 3.4 μm interstellar absorption band

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godard, M.; Féraud, G.; Chabot, M.; Carpentier, Y.; Pino, T.; Brunetto, R.; Duprat, J.; Engrand, C.; Bréchignac, P.; D'Hendecourt, L.; Dartois, E.

    2011-05-01

    Context. A 3.4 μm absorption band (around 2900 cm-1), assigned to aliphatic C-H stretching modes of hydrogenated amorphous carbons (a-C:H), is widely observed in the diffuse interstellar medium, but disappears or is modified in dense clouds. This spectral difference between different phases of the interstellar medium reflects the processing of dust in different environments. Cosmic ray bombardment is one of the interstellar processes that make carbonaceous dust evolve. Aims: We investigate the effects of cosmic rays on the interstellar 3.4 μm absorption band carriers. Methods: Samples of carbonaceous interstellar analogues (a-C:H and soot) were irradiated at room temperature by swift ions with energy in the MeV range (from 0.2 to 160 MeV). The dehydrogenation and chemical bonding modifications that occurred during irradiation were studied with IR spectroscopy. Results: For all samples and all ions/energies used, we observed a decrease of the aliphatic C-H absorption bands intensity with the ion fluence. This evolution agrees with a model that describes the hydrogen loss as caused by the molecular recombination of two free H atoms created by the breaking of C-H bonds by the impinging ions. The corresponding destruction cross section and asymptotic hydrogen content are obtained for each experiment and their behaviour over a large range of ion stopping powers are inferred. Using elemental abundances and energy distributions of galactic cosmic rays, we investigated the implications of these results in different astrophysical environments. The results are compared to the processing by UV photons and H atoms in different regions of the interstellar medium. Conclusions: The destruction of aliphatic C-H bonds by cosmic rays occurs in characteristic times of a few 108 years, and it appears that even at longer time scales, cosmic rays alone cannot explain the observed disappearance of this spectral signature in dense regions. In diffuse interstellar medium, the formation

  11. Assessment of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-diffuse interstellar band proposal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, F.; Bakes, E. L.; Allamandola, L. J.; Tielens, A. G.

    1996-01-01

    The potential link between neutral and/or ionized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the diffuse interstellar band (DIB) carriers is examined. Based on the study of the general physical and chemical properties of PAHs, an assessment is made of their possible contribution to the DIB carriers. It is found that, under the conditions reigning in the diffuse interstellar medium, PAHs can be present in the form of neutral molecules as well as positive and/or negative ions. The charge distribution of small PAHs is dominated, however, by two charge states at one time with compact PAHs present only in the neutral and cationic forms. Each PAH has a distinct spectral signature depending on its charge state. Moreover, the spectra of ionized PAHs are always clearly dominated by a single band in the DIB spectral range. In the case of compact PAH ions, the strongest absorption band is of type A (i.e., the band is broad, falls in the high-energy range of the spectrum, and possesses a large oscillator strength), and seems to correlate with strong and broad DIBs. For noncompact PAH ions, the strongest absorption band is of type I (i.e., the band is narrow, falls in the low-energy range of the spectrum, and possesses a small oscillator strength), and seems to correlate with weak and narrow DIBs. Potential molecular size and structure constraints for interstellar PAHs are derived by comparing known DIB characteristics to the spectroscopic properties of PAHs. It is found that (i) only neutral PAHs larger than about 30 carbon atoms could, if present, contribute to the DIBs. (ii) For compact PAHs, only ions with less than about 250 carbon atoms could, if present, contribute to the DIBs. (iii) The observed distribution of the DIBs between strong/moderate and broad bands on the one hand and weak and narow bands on the other can easily be interpreted in the context of the PAH proposal by a distribution of compact and noncompact PAH ions, respectively. A plausible correlation

  12. Assessment of the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon-Diffuse Interstellar Band Proposal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid; Bakes, F.; Allamandola, L.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Witteborn, Fred C. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    The potential link between neutral and/or ionized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the diffuse interstellar band (DIB) carriers is examined. Based on the study of the general physical and chemical properties of PAHs, an assessment is made of their possible contribution to the DIB carriers. It is found that, under the conditions reigning in the diffuse interstellar medium, PAHs can be present in the form of neutral molecules as well as positive and/or negative ions. The charge distribution of small PAHs is dominated, however, by two charge states at one time with compact PAHs present only in the neutral and cationic forms. Each PAH has a distinct spectral signature depending on its charge state. Moreover, the spectra of ionized PAHs are always clearly dominated by a single band in the DIB spectral range. In the case of compact PAH ions, the strongest absorption band is of type A (i.e., the band is broad, falls in the high energy range of the spectrum, and possess a large oscillator strength), and seems to correlate with strong and broad DIBs. In the case of non-compact PAH ions, the strongest absorption band is of type I (i.e., the band is narrow, falls in the low energy range of the spectrum, and possess a small oscillator strength), and seems to correlate with weak and narrow DIBs. Potential molecular size and structure constraints for interstellar PAHs are derived by comparing known DIB characteristics to the spectroscopic properties of PAHs. It is found that: (i) Only neutral PAHs larger than about 30 carbon atoms could, if present, contribute to the DIBs. (ii) For compact PAHs, only ions with less than about 250 carbon atoms could, if present, contribute to the DIBs. (iii) The observed distribution of the DIBs between strong/moderate and broad bands on the one hand and weak and narrow bands on the other hand can easily be interpreted in the context of the PAH proposal by a distribution between compact and non-compact PAH ions, respectively. A

  13. Assessment of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-diffuse interstellar band proposal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, F.; Bakes, E. L.; Allamandola, L. J.; Tielens, A. G.

    1996-01-01

    The potential link between neutral and/or ionized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the diffuse interstellar band (DIB) carriers is examined. Based on the study of the general physical and chemical properties of PAHs, an assessment is made of their possible contribution to the DIB carriers. It is found that, under the conditions reigning in the diffuse interstellar medium, PAHs can be present in the form of neutral molecules as well as positive and/or negative ions. The charge distribution of small PAHs is dominated, however, by two charge states at one time with compact PAHs present only in the neutral and cationic forms. Each PAH has a distinct spectral signature depending on its charge state. Moreover, the spectra of ionized PAHs are always clearly dominated by a single band in the DIB spectral range. In the case of compact PAH ions, the strongest absorption band is of type A (i.e., the band is broad, falls in the high-energy range of the spectrum, and possesses a large oscillator strength), and seems to correlate with strong and broad DIBs. For noncompact PAH ions, the strongest absorption band is of type I (i.e., the band is narrow, falls in the low-energy range of the spectrum, and possesses a small oscillator strength), and seems to correlate with weak and narrow DIBs. Potential molecular size and structure constraints for interstellar PAHs are derived by comparing known DIB characteristics to the spectroscopic properties of PAHs. It is found that (i) only neutral PAHs larger than about 30 carbon atoms could, if present, contribute to the DIBs. (ii) For compact PAHs, only ions with less than about 250 carbon atoms could, if present, contribute to the DIBs. (iii) The observed distribution of the DIBs between strong/moderate and broad bands on the one hand and weak and narow bands on the other can easily be interpreted in the context of the PAH proposal by a distribution of compact and noncompact PAH ions, respectively. A plausible correlation

  14. Assessment of the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon-Diffuse Interstellar Band Proposal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid; Bakes, F.; Allamandola, L.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Witteborn, Fred C. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    The potential link between neutral and/or ionized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the diffuse interstellar band (DIB) carriers is examined. Based on the study of the general physical and chemical properties of PAHs, an assessment is made of their possible contribution to the DIB carriers. It is found that, under the conditions reigning in the diffuse interstellar medium, PAHs can be present in the form of neutral molecules as well as positive and/or negative ions. The charge distribution of small PAHs is dominated, however, by two charge states at one time with compact PAHs present only in the neutral and cationic forms. Each PAH has a distinct spectral signature depending on its charge state. Moreover, the spectra of ionized PAHs are always clearly dominated by a single band in the DIB spectral range. In the case of compact PAH ions, the strongest absorption band is of type A (i.e., the band is broad, falls in the high energy range of the spectrum, and possess a large oscillator strength), and seems to correlate with strong and broad DIBs. In the case of non-compact PAH ions, the strongest absorption band is of type I (i.e., the band is narrow, falls in the low energy range of the spectrum, and possess a small oscillator strength), and seems to correlate with weak and narrow DIBs. Potential molecular size and structure constraints for interstellar PAHs are derived by comparing known DIB characteristics to the spectroscopic properties of PAHs. It is found that: (i) Only neutral PAHs larger than about 30 carbon atoms could, if present, contribute to the DIBs. (ii) For compact PAHs, only ions with less than about 250 carbon atoms could, if present, contribute to the DIBs. (iii) The observed distribution of the DIBs between strong/moderate and broad bands on the one hand and weak and narrow bands on the other hand can easily be interpreted in the context of the PAH proposal by a distribution between compact and non-compact PAH ions, respectively. A

  15. Towards DIB mapping in galaxies beyond 100 Mpc. A radial profile of the λ5780.5 diffuse interstellar band in AM 1353-272 B

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monreal-Ibero, A.; Weilbacher, P. M.; Wendt, M.; Selman, F.; Lallement, R.; Brinchmann, J.; Kamann, S.; Sandin, C.

    2015-04-01

    Context. Diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are non-stellar weak absorption features of unknown origin found in the spectra of stars viewed through one or several clouds of the interstellar medium (ISM). Research of DIBs outside the Milky Way is currently very limited. In particular, spatially resolved investigations of DIBs outside of the Local Group are, to our knowledge, inexistent. Aims: In this contribution, we explore the capability of the high-sensitivity integral field spectrograph, MUSE, as a tool for mapping diffuse interstellar bands at distances larger than 100 Mpc. Methods: We used MUSE commissioning data for AM 1353-272 B, the member with the highest extinction of the Dentist's Chair, an interacting system of two spiral galaxies. High signal-to-noise spectra were created by co-adding the signal of many spatial elements distributed in a geometry of concentric elliptical half-rings. Results: We derived decreasing radial profiles for the equivalent width of the λ5780.5 DIB both in the receding and approaching side of the companion galaxy up to distances of ~4.6 kpc from the centre of the galaxy. The interstellar extinction as derived from the Hα/Hβ line ratio displays a similar trend, with decreasing values towards the external parts. This translates into an intrinsic correlation between the strength of the DIB and the extinction within AM 1353-272 B, consistent with the currently existing global trend between these quantities when using measurements for Galactic and extragalactic sightlines. Conclusions: It seems feasible to map the DIB strength in the Local Universe, which has up to now only been performed for the Milky Way. This offers a new approach to studying the relationship between DIBs and other characteristics and species of the ISM in addition to using galaxies in the Local Group or sightlines towards very bright targets outside the Local Group. Based on observations made with ESO telescopes at the La Silla Paranal Observatory under program

  16. Dark clouds in the vicinity of the emission nebula Sh2-205: interstellar extinction and distances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Straižys, V.; Čepas, V.; Boyle, R. P.; Zdanavičius, J.; Maskoliūnas, M.; Kazlauskas, A.; Zdanavičius, K.; Černis, K.

    2016-05-01

    Results of CCD photometry in the seven-colour Vilnius system for 922 stars down to V = 16-17 mag and for 302 stars down to 19.5 mag are used to investigate the interstellar extinction in an area of 1.5 square degrees in the direction of the P7 and P8 clumps of the dark cloud TGU H942, which lies in the vicinity of the emission nebula Sh2-205. In addition, we used 662 red clump giants that were identified by combining the 2MASS and WISE infrared surveys. The resulting plots of extinction versus distance were compared with previous results of the distribution and radial velocities of CO clouds and with dust maps in different passbands of the IRAS and WISE orbiting observatories. A possible distance of the front edge of the nearest cloud layer at 130 ± 10 pc was found. This dust layer probably covers all the investigated area, which results in extinction of up to 1.8 mag in some directions. A second rise of the extinction seems to be present at 500-600 pc. Within this layer, the clumps P7 and P8 of the dust cloud TGU H942, the Sh2-205 emission nebula, and the infrared cluster FSR 655 are probably located. In the direction of these clouds, we identified 88 young stellar objects and a new infrared cluster. Full Tables 1 and 2 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/590/A21

  17. Perspective: C60+ and laboratory spectroscopy related to diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, E. K.; Maier, J. P.

    2017-04-01

    In the last 30 years, our research has focused on laboratory measurements of the electronic spectra of organic radicals and ions. Many of the species investigated were selected based on their potential astrophysical relevance, particularly in connection with the identification of appealing candidate molecules for the diffuse interstellar absorptions. Notably, carbon chains and derivatives containing hydrogen and nitrogen atoms in their neutral and ionic forms were studied. These data could be obtained after developing appropriate techniques to record spectra at low temperatures relevant to the interstellar medium. The measurement of gas phase laboratory spectra has enabled direct comparisons with astronomical data to be made and though many species were found to have electronic transitions in the visible where the majority of diffuse bands are observed, none of the absorptions matched the prominent interstellar features. In 2015, however, the first carrier molecule was identified: C60 + . This was achieved after the measurement of the electronic spectrum of C60 + -He at 6K in a radiofrequency ion trap.

  18. Dust in the small Magellanic Cloud. 2: Dust models from interstellar polarization and extinction data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rodrigues, C. V.; Magalhaes, A. M.; Coyne, G. V.

    1995-01-01

    We study the dust in the Small Magellanic Cloud using our polarization and extinction data (Paper 1) and existing dust models. The data suggest that the monotonic SMC extinction curve is related to values of lambda(sub max), the wavelength of maximum polarization, which are on the average smaller than the mean for the Galaxy. On the other hand, AZV 456, a star with an extinction similar to that for the Galaxy, shows a value of lambda(sub max) similar to the mean for the Galaxy. We discuss simultaneous dust model fits to extinction and polarization. Fits to the wavelength dependent polarization data are possible for stars with small lambda(sub max). In general, they imply dust size distributions which are narrower and have smaller mean sizes compared to typical size distributions for the Galaxy. However, stars with lambda(sub max) close to the Galactic norm, which also have a narrower polarization curve, cannot be fit adequately. This holds true for all of the dust models considered. The best fits to the extinction curves are obtained with a power law size distribution by assuming that the cylindrical and spherical silicate grains have a volume distribution which is continuous from the smaller spheres to the larger cylinders. The size distribution for the cylinders is taken from the fit to the polarization. The 'typical', monotonic SMC extinction curve can be fit well with graphite and silicate grains if a small fraction of the SMC carbon is locked up in the grain. However, amorphous carbon and silicate grains also fit the data well. AZV456, which has an extinction curve similar to that for the Galaxy, has a UV bump which is too blue to be fit by spherical graphite grains.

  19. Experimental indication of a naphthalene-base molecular aggregate for the carrier of the 2175 angstroms interstellar extinction feature

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beegle, L. W.; Wdowiak, T. J.; Robinson, M. S.; Cronin, J. R.; McGehee, M. D.; Clemett, S. J.; Gillette, S.

    1997-01-01

    Experiments where the simple polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) naphthalene (C10H8) is subjected to the energetic environment of a plasma have resulted in the synthesis of a molecular aggregate that has ultraviolet spectral characteristics that suggest it provides insight into the nature of the carrier of the 2175 angstroms interstellar extinction feature and may be a laboratory analog. Ultraviolet, visible, infrared, and mass spectroscopy, along with gas chromatography, indicate that it is a molecular aggregate in which an aromatic double ring ("naphthalene") structural base serves as the electron "box" chromophore that gives rise to the envelope of the 2175 angstroms feature. This chromophore can also provide the peak of the feature or function as a mantle in concert with another peak provider such as graphite. The molecular base/chromophore manifests itself both as a structural component of an alkyl-aromatic polymer and as a substructure of hydrogenated PAH species. Its spectral and molecular characteristics are consistent with what is generally expected for a complex molecular aggregate that has a role as an interstellar constituent.

  20. Experimental indication of a naphthalene-base molecular aggregate for the carrier of the 2175 angstroms interstellar extinction feature

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beegle, L. W.; Wdowiak, T. J.; Robinson, M. S.; Cronin, J. R.; McGehee, M. D.; Clemett, S. J.; Gillette, S.

    1997-01-01

    Experiments where the simple polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) naphthalene (C10H8) is subjected to the energetic environment of a plasma have resulted in the synthesis of a molecular aggregate that has ultraviolet spectral characteristics that suggest it provides insight into the nature of the carrier of the 2175 angstroms interstellar extinction feature and may be a laboratory analog. Ultraviolet, visible, infrared, and mass spectroscopy, along with gas chromatography, indicate that it is a molecular aggregate in which an aromatic double ring ("naphthalene") structural base serves as the electron "box" chromophore that gives rise to the envelope of the 2175 angstroms feature. This chromophore can also provide the peak of the feature or function as a mantle in concert with another peak provider such as graphite. The molecular base/chromophore manifests itself both as a structural component of an alkyl-aromatic polymer and as a substructure of hydrogenated PAH species. Its spectral and molecular characteristics are consistent with what is generally expected for a complex molecular aggregate that has a role as an interstellar constituent.

  1. Red spectra of the brightest stars in Cygnus OB2 - Possible detection of two new interstellar bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres-Dodgen, Ana V.

    1990-12-01

    The stellar and interstellar spectra of the 12 brightest stars in the Cygnus OB2 association are described. The observations were made in the wavelength range 5800 A-8500 A, at about 7 A resolution. Two new lines, centered near 7430 A and 7932 A, may be previously undetected interstellar bands. The former may be formed in the interstellar medium as well as in the dust environment of Cyg OB2, while the latter may be formed only in the dust environment of Cyg OB2.

  2. Laboratory evidence for highly unsaturated hydrocarbons as carriers of some of the diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fulara, J.; Lessen, D.; Freivogel, P.; Maier, J. P.

    1993-12-01

    THERE are many absorption lines in the visible and near-infrared spectra of stars located on the far side of diffuse interstellar clouds. The origin of these 'diffuse interstellar bands' (DIBs) has remained an unanswered question since their discovery almost 70 years ago1,2. There are now over 100 known bands1,3-6 and it is clear from the range of line widths, depths and shapes that the lines are unlikely to come from a single 'carrier'. Many of the proposed carriers, such as gas-phase carbon chains7, fullerenes8 and dust grains9, fail in having ultraviolet absorption lines where none has yet been observed in the stellar spectra. Poly cyclic aromatic species such as Ci16H10+ (ref. 10) and C10H8 (ref. 11) were recently claimed to be good candidates for carriers of some of the DIBs. Here we present laboratory evidence that highly unsaturated hydrocarbons with carbon numbers 6-12 may be the carriers of some of the DIBs in the range 480-1,000 nm. We deposit mass-selected molecules in a neon matrix at 5 K and measure their near-infrared, visible and ultraviolet spectra. Not only do these species have visible and near-infrared lines corresponding to fifteen DIBs, but they also show no absorption lines in the ultraviolet, consistent with astronomical observations.

  3. Differences in concentration lengths computed using band-averaged mass extinction coefficients and band-averaged transmittance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farmer, W. Michael

    1990-09-01

    An understanding of how broad-band transmittance is affected by the atmosphere is crucial to accurately predicting how broad-band sensors such as FLIRs will perform. This is particularly true for sensors required to function in an environment where countermeasures such as smokes/obscurants have been used to limit sensor performance. A common method of estimating the attenuation capabilities of smokes/obscurants released in the atmosphere to defeat broad-band sensors is to use a band averaged extinction coefficient with concentration length values in the Beer-Bouguer transmission law. This approach ignores the effects of source spectra, sensor response, and normal atmospheric attenuation, and can lead to results for band averages of the relative transmittance that are significantly different from those obtained using the source spectra, sensor response, and normal atmospheric transmission. In this paper we discuss the differences that occur in predicting relative transmittance as a function of concentration length using band-averaged mass extinction coefficients or computing the band-averaged transmittance as a function of source spectra. Two examples are provided to illustrate the differences in results. The first example is applicable to 8- to l4-um band transmission through natural fogs. The second example considers 3- to 5-um transmission through phosphorus smoke produced at 17% and 90% relative humidity. The results show major differences in the prediction of concentration length values by the two methods when the relative transmittance falls below about 20%.

  4. Mapping atomic and diffuse interstellar band absorption across the Magellanic Clouds and the Milky Way

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailey, Mandy; van Loon, Jacco Th.; Sarre, Peter J.; Beckman, John E.

    2015-12-01

    Diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) trace warm neutral and weakly ionized diffuse interstellar medium (ISM). Here we present a dedicated, high signal-to-noise spectroscopic survey of two of the strongest DIBs, at 5780 and 5797 Å, in optical spectra of 666 early-type stars in the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds, along with measurements of the atomic Na I D and Ca II K lines. The resulting maps show for the first time the distribution of DIB carriers across large swathes of galaxies, as well as the foreground Milky Way ISM. We confirm the association of the 5797 Å DIB with neutral gas, and the 5780 Å DIB with more translucent gas, generally tracing the star-forming regions within the Magellanic Clouds. Likewise, the Na I D line traces the denser ISM whereas the Ca II K line traces the more diffuse, warmer gas. The Ca II K line has an additional component at ˜200-220 km s-1 seen towards both Magellanic Clouds; this may be associated with a pan-Magellanic halo. Both the atomic lines and DIBs show sub-pc-scale structure in the Galactic foreground absorption; the 5780 and 5797 Å DIBs show very little correlation on these small scales, as do the Ca II K and Na I D lines. This suggests that good correlations between the 5780 and 5797 Å DIBs, or between Ca II K and Na I D, arise from the superposition of multiple interstellar structures. Similarity in behaviour between DIBs and Na I in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and Milky Way suggests the abundance of DIB carriers scales in proportion to metallicity.

  5. A Catalog of 1.5273 um Diffuse Interstellar Bands Based on APOGEE Hot Telluric Calibrators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elyajouri, M.; Monreal-Ibero, A.; Remy, Q.; Lallement, R.

    2016-08-01

    High resolution stellar spectroscopic surveys provide massive amounts of diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) measurements. Data can be used to study the distribution of the DIB carriers and those environmental conditions that favor their formation. In parallel, recent studies have also proved that DIBs extracted from stellar spectra constitute new tools for building the 3D structure of the Galactic interstellar medium (ISM). The amount of details on the structure depends directly on the quantity of available lines of sight. Therefore there is a need to construct databases of high-quality DIB measurements as large as possible. We aim at providing the community with a catalog of high-quality measurements of the 1.5273 μm DIB toward a large fraction of the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) hot stars observed to correct for the telluric absorption and not used for ISM studies so far. This catalog would complement the extensive database recently extracted from the APOGEE observations and used for 3D ISM mapping. We devised a method to fit the stellar continuum of the hot calibration stars and extracted the DIB from the normalized spectrum. Severe selection criteria based on the absorption characteristics are applied to the results. In particular limiting constraints on the DIB widths and Doppler shifts are deduced from the H i 21 cm measurements, following a new technique of decomposition of the emission spectra. From ˜16,000 available hot telluric spectra we have extracted ˜6700 DIB measurements and their associated uncertainties. The statistical properties of the extracted absorptions are examined and our selection criteria are shown to provide a robust dataset. The resulting catalog contains the DIB total equivalent widths, central wavelengths and widths. We briefly illustrate its potential use for the stellar and interstellar communities.

  6. Identification of New Near-Infrared Diffuse Interstellar Bands in the Orion Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Misawa, Toru; Gandhi, Poshak; Hida, Akira; Tamagawa, Toru; Yamaguchi, Tomohiro

    2009-08-01

    Large organic molecules and carbon clusters are basic building blocks of life, but their existence in the universe has not been confirmed beyond doubt. A number of unidentified absorption features (arising in the diffuse interstellar medium), usually called "Diffuse Interstellar Bands" (DIBs), are hypothesized to be produced by large molecules. Among these, buckminsterfullerene C60 has gained much attention as a candidate for DIB absorbers because of its high stability in space. Two DIBs at λ ~ 9577 Å and 9632 Å have been reported as possible features of C+ 60. However, it is still not clear how their existence depends on their environment. We obtained high-resolution spectra of three stars in/around the Orion Nebula, to search for any correlations of the DIB strength with carrier's physical conditions, such as dust abundance and UV radiation field. We find three DIBs at λ ~ 9017 Å, 9210 Å, and 9258 Å as additional C+ 60 feature candidates, which could support this identification. These DIBs have asymmetric profiles similar to the longer wavelength features. However, we also find that the relative strengths of DIBs are close to unity and differ from laboratory measurements, a similar trend as noticed for the 9577/9632 DIBs. Based on data collected at Subaru Telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

  7. An investigation of the 661.3 nm diffuse interstellar band in Cepheid spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashuba, S. V.; Andrievsky, S. M.; Chekhonadskikh, F. A.; Luck, R. E.; Kovtyukh, V. V.; Korotin, S. A.; Krełowski, J.; Galazutdinov, G. A.

    2016-09-01

    We have investigated the diffuse interstellar band (DIB) at 661.3 nm seen in the spectra of Cepheid stars. After removal of the blending lines of ionized yttrium and neutral iron, we determined the equivalent widths (EWs) of the DIB and used these values to investigate the E(B - V)-DIB EW relation. The relation found from Cepheids matches that found in B stars. This relation can help to find the reddening for newly discovered Cepheids without extensive photometric data, and thus determine their distances. The relation between E(B - V) and the DIB EW does not yield precise reddening values. It is not a substitute for better photometric or spectroscopic methods. At best, it is indicative, but it provides some information that may not be otherwise available. Defining R* = E(B - V)/DIB EW, which we consider to be the analogue of R = E(B - V)/Av, we investigated the Galactic longitudinal dependence of R* assuming that the DIB EW value is representative of the interstellar absorption Av. We found that there is an apparent increase of the R* value that corresponds to the abnormal absorption seen towards Cygnus constellation. Finally, we constructed a 2D map of the DIB EW distribution in the Galactic disc basing on our rather limited sample of 253 spectra of 176 Cepheids.

  8. A possible isotope shift in the spectrum of a diffuse interstellar band

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webster, Adrian

    1996-10-01

    The regular series of peaks observed in the spectrum of the diffuse interstellar absorption band at 6614Angstroms is interpreted in terms of an isotope shift. It is supposed that the band is an electronic transition of some carbon-rich molecular species in the gaseous phase; that the electronic transition is accompanied by a simultaneous change in the vibrational state; and that the isotope shift is inertial, the consequence of the dependence of the vibrational frequency on the extent to which the more abundant ^12C atoms in the molecule are replaced by the more massive ^13C. A model is presented in which each isotopic variety of the molecule gives rise to a narrow absorption feature, the central wavelength of which is shifted by an amount proportional to the number of ^13C atoms in the molecule, and the intensity of which is given by the Poisson law governing the relative abundance of different isotopic varieties. The resulting synthetic spectrum resembles the observed spectrum most closely when the parameters of the model are given values appropriate to a molecule containing something like 30-100 carbon atoms. The sharpness of the peaks in the spectrum of lambda6614 implies that the molecule may have a high symmetry, of a kind to be found in cyclic polyynes, in fullerenes such as the soccer-ball molecule C_60 and in some of the derivatives such as the fulleranes C_60H_m, but not in linear polyynes or in planar molecules such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The isotope shift is capable of producing a variety of band profiles, but gives rise to asymmetric profiles with extended blue wings only when the molecule is already vibrating at the time of the absorption event; this condition seems unlikely to be met at the low temperature of the interstellar medium, so the observed scarcity of narrow diffuse bands with this kind of asymmetry may have a simple explanation. The diffuseness of lambda6614 and most of the other narrow bands may owe more to the shading

  9. Anomalously Broad Diffuse Interstellar Bands and Excited CH+ Absorption in the Spectrum of Herschel 36

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    York, D. G.; Dahlstrom, J.; Welty, D. E.; Oka, T.; Hobbs, L. M.; Johnson, S.; Friedman, S. D.; Jiang, Z.; Rachford, B. L.; Snow, T. P.; Sherman, R.; Sonnentrucker, P.

    2014-02-01

    Anomalously broad diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) at 5780.5, 5797.1, 6196.0, and 6613.6 Å are found in absorption along the line of sight to Herschel 36, an O star system next to the bright Hourglass nebula of the Hii region Messier 8. Excited lines of CH and CH+ are seen as well. We show that the region is very compact and itemize other anomalies of the gas. An infrared-bright star within 400 AU is noted. The combination of these effects produces anomalous DIBs, interpreted by Oka et al. (2013, see also this volume) as being caused predominantly by infrared pumping of rotational levels of relatively small molecules.

  10. Excitation temperature of C2 and broadening of the 6196 Å diffuse interstellar band

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaźmierczak, M.; Gnaciński, P.; Schmidt, M. R.; Galazutdinov, G.; Bondar, A.; Krełowski, J.

    2009-05-01

    This paper presents a finding of the correlation between the width of a strong diffuse interstellar band at 6196 Å and the excitation temperature of C2 based on high resolution and high signal-to-noise ratio spectra. The excitation temperature was determined from absorption lines of the Phillips A1Π_u-X1Σ+g and Mulliken D1Σ+_u-X1Σ+g systems. The width and shape of the narrow 6196 Å DIB profile apparently depend on the C2 temperature, being broader for higher values. Based on data collected at the ESO (8 m telescope at Paranal, 3.6 m and 2.2 m telescopes at La Silla) and observations made with the 1.8 m telescope in South Korea and the Cassegrain Fiber Environment in Hawaii.

  11. Interstellar scattering effects on the detection of narrow-band signals

    SciTech Connect

    Cordes, J.M.; Lazio, T.J. )

    1991-07-01

    The detection and decoding of narrow-band radio signals are investigated after propagation through the turbulent, ionized interstellar medium. For most lines of sight through the Galaxy, spectral broadening due to scattering below about 0.1 Hz at 1 GHz occurs. Spectral broadening is therefore unimportant for the detection of hypothesized signals from extraterrestrial intelligence. Intensity scintillations, however, are of considerable importance. They both help and hinder detection: signals too weak to be detected without the scattering medium may be modulated above the detection threshold while, conversely, signals above threshold can be modulated below. In strong scattering (distances above about 100 pc at 1 GHz), multiple observations of a given target comprise a strategy that is superior to single observations even when the total time per target is held fixed. Decoding information carrying signals may encounter difficulties due to intensity scintillations. 49 refs.

  12. {{{\\rm{C}}}_{60}}^{+} and the Diffuse Interstellar Bands: An Independent Laboratory Check

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spieler, Steffen; Kuhn, Martin; Postler, Johannes; Simpson, Malcolm; Wester, Roland; Scheier, Paul; Ubachs, Wim; Bacalla, Xavier; Bouwman, Jordy; Linnartz, Harold

    2017-09-01

    In 2015, Campbell et al. presented spectroscopic laboratory gas phase data for the fullerene cation, {{{{C}}}60}+, that coincide with the reported astronomical spectra of two diffuse interstellar band (DIB) features at 9633 and 9578 Å. In the following year, additional laboratory spectra were linked to three other and weaker DIBs at 9428, 9366, and 9349 Å. The laboratory data were obtained using wavelength-dependent photodissociation spectroscopy of small (up to three) He-tagged {{{{C}}}60}+{--}{{He}}n ion complexes, yielding rest wavelengths for the bare {{{{C}}}60}+ cation by correcting for the He-induced wavelength shifts. Here we present an alternative approach to derive the rest wavelengths of the four most prominent {{{{C}}}60}+ absorption features, using high-resolution laser dissociation spectroscopy of {{{{C}}}60}+ embedded in ultracold He droplets. Accurate wavelengths of the bare fullerene cation are derived from linear wavelength shifts recorded for {{He}}n {{{{C}}}60}+ species with n up to 32. A careful analysis of all of the available data results in precise rest wavelengths (in air) for the four most prominent {{{{C}}}60}+ bands: 9631.9(1) Å, 9576.7(1) Å, 9427.5(1) Å, and 9364.9(1) Å. The corresponding bandwidths have been derived and the relative band intensity ratios are discussed.

  13. FIRST INFRARED BAND STRENGTHS FOR AMORPHOUS CO{sub 2}, AN OVERLOOKED COMPONENT OF INTERSTELLAR ICES

    SciTech Connect

    Gerakines, Perry A.; Hudson, Reggie L.

    2015-08-01

    Solid carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) has long been recognized as a component of both interstellar and solar system ices, but a recent literature search has revealed significant qualitative and quantitative discrepancies in the laboratory spectra on which the abundances of extraterrestrial CO{sub 2} are based. Here we report new infrared (IR) spectra of amorphous CO{sub 2}-ice along with band intensities (band strengths) of four mid-IR absorptions, the first such results in the literature. A possible thickness dependence for amorphous-CO{sub 2} IR band shapes and positions also is investigated, and the three discordant reports of amorphous CO{sub 2} spectra in the literature are addressed. Applications of our results are discussed with an emphasis on laboratory investigations and results from astronomical observations. A careful comparison with earlier work shows that the IR spectra calculated from several databases for CO{sub 2} ices, all ices being made near 10 K, are not for amorphous CO{sub 2}, but rather for crystalline CO{sub 2} or crystalline-amorphous mixtures.

  14. The 2140 cm-1 (4.673 microns) solid CO band: the case for interstellar O2 and N2 and the photochemistry of nonpolar interstellar ice analogs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elsila, J.; Allamandola, L. J.; Sandford, S. A.

    1997-01-01

    The infrared spectra of CO frozen in nonpolar ices containing N2, CO2, O2, and H2O and the UV photochemistry of these interstellar/precometary ice analogs are reported. The spectra are used to test the hypothesis that the narrow 2140 cm-1 (4.673 microns) interstellar absorption feature attributed to solid CO might be produced by CO frozen in ices containing nonpolar species such as N2 and O2. It is shown that mixed molecular ices containing CO, N2, O2, and CO2 provide a good match to the interstellar band at all temperatures between 12 and 30 K both before and after photolysis. The optical constants (real and imaginary parts of the index of refraction) in the region of the solid CO feature are reported for several of these ices. The N2 and O2 absorptions at 2328 cm-1 (4.296 microns) and 1549 cm-1 (6.456 microns), respectively, are also shown. The best matches between the narrow interstellar band and the feature in the laboratory spectra of nonpolar ices are for samples which contain comparable amounts of N2, O2, CO2, and CO. Co-adding the CO band from an N2:O2:CO2:CO = 1:5:1/2:1 ice with that of an H2O:CO = 20:1 ice provides an excellent fit across the entire interstellar CO feature. The four-component, nonpolar ice accounts for the narrow 2140 cm-1 portion of the feature which is associated with quiescent regions of dense molecular clouds. Using this mixture, and applying the most recent cosmic abundance values, we derive that between 15% and 70% of the available interstellar N is in the form of frozen N2 along several lines of sight toward background stars. This is reduced to a range of 1%-30% for embedded objects with lines of sight more dominated by warmer grains. The cosmic abundance of O tied up in frozen O2 lies in the 10%-45% range toward background sources, and it is between 1% and 20% toward embedded objects. The amount of oxygen tied up in CO and CO2 frozen in nonpolar ices can be as much as 2%-10% toward background sources and on the order of 0

  15. Probing the Local Bubble with diffuse interstellar bands. I. Project overview and southern hemisphere survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailey, Mandy; van Loon, Jacco Th.; Farhang, Amin; Javadi, Atefeh; Khosroshahi, Habib G.; Sarre, Peter J.; Smith, Keith T.

    2016-01-01

    Context. The Sun traverses a low-density, hot entity called the Local Bubble. Despite its relevance to life on Earth, the conditions in the Local Bubble and its exact configuration are not very well known. Besides that, there is some unknown interstellar substance that causes a host of absorption bands across the optical spectrum, called diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs). Aims: We have started a project to chart the Local Bubble in a novel way and learn more about the carriers of the DIBs, by using DIBs as tracers of diffuse gas and environmental conditions. Methods: We conducted a high signal-to-noise spectroscopic survey of 670 nearby early-type stars to map DIB absorption in and around the Local Bubble. The project started with a southern hemisphere survey conducted at the European Southern Observatory's New Technology Telescope and has since been extended to an all-sky survey using the Isaac Newton Telescope. Results: In this first paper in the series, we introduce the overall project and present the results from the southern hemisphere survey. We make available a catalogue of equivalent-width measurements of the DIBs at 5780, 5797, 5850, 6196, 6203, 6270, 6283, and 6614 Å, of the interstellar Na i D lines at 5890 and 5896 Å, and of the stellar He i line at 5876 Å. We find that the 5780 Å DIB is relatively strong throughout, as compared to the 5797 Å DIB, but especially within the Local Bubble and at the interface with a more neutral medium. The 6203 Å DIB shows similar behaviour with respect to the 6196 Å DIB. Some nearby stars show surprisingly strong DIBs, whereas some distant stars show very weak DIBs, indicating small-scale structure within, as well as outside, the Local Bubble. The sight lines with non-detections trace the extent of the Local Bubble especially clearly and show it opening out into the halo. Conclusions: The Local Bubble has a wall that is in contact with hot gas and/or a harsh interstellar radiation field. That wall is perforated

  16. Anomalous Diffuse Interstellar Bands in the Spectrum of Herschel 36. II. Analysis of Radiatively Excited CH+, CH, and Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oka, Takeshi; Welty, Daniel E.; Johnson, Sean; York, Donald G.; Dahlstrom, Julie; Hobbs, L. M.

    2013-08-01

    Absorption spectra toward Herschel 36 (Her 36) for the \\tilde{A}^1\\Pi \\leftarrow \\tilde{X}^1\\Sigma transitions of CH+ in the J = 1 excited rotational level and for the \\tilde{A}^2\\Delta \\leftarrow \\tilde{X}^2\\Pi transitions of CH in the J = 3/2 excited fine structure level have been analyzed. These excited levels are above their ground levels by 40.1 K and ~25.7 K and indicate high radiative temperatures of the environment of 14.6 K and 6.7 K, respectively. The effect of the high radiative temperature is more spectacular in some diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) observed toward Her 36; remarkable extended tails toward red (ETRs) were observed. We interpret these ETRs as being due to a small decrease of the rotational constants upon excitation of the excited electronic states. Along with radiative pumping of a great many high-J rotational levels, this causes the ETRs. In order to study this effect quantitatively, we have developed a model calculation in which the effects of collisions and radiation are treated simultaneously. The simplest case of linear molecules is considered. It has been found that the ETR is reproduced if the fraction of the variation of the rotational constant, β ≡ (B' - B)/B, is sufficiently high (3%-5%) and the radiative temperature is high (T r > 50 K). Although modeling for general molecules is beyond the scope of this paper, the results indicate that the prototypical DIBs λ5780.5, λ5797.1, and λ6613.6 which show the pronounced ETRs are due to polar molecules that are sensitive to the radiative excitation. The requirement of high β favors relatively small molecules with three to six heavy atoms. DIBs λ5849.8, λ6196.0, and λ6379.3 that do not show the pronounced ETRs are likely due to non-polar molecules or large polar molecules with small β.

  17. ANOMALOUS DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BANDS IN THE SPECTRUM OF HERSCHEL 36. II. ANALYSIS OF RADIATIVELY EXCITED CH{sup +}, CH, AND DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BANDS

    SciTech Connect

    Oka, Takeshi; Welty, Daniel E.; Johnson, Sean; York, Donald G.; Hobbs, L. M.; Dahlstrom, Julie

    2013-08-10

    Absorption spectra toward Herschel 36 (Her 36) for the A-bar{sup 1}{Pi} Leftwards-Open-Headed-Arrow X-tilde{sup 1}{Sigma} transitions of CH{sup +} in the J = 1 excited rotational level and for the A-bar{sup 2}{Delta} Leftwards-Open-Headed-Arrow X-tilde{sup 2}{Pi} transitions of CH in the J = 3/2 excited fine structure level have been analyzed. These excited levels are above their ground levels by 40.1 K and {approx}25.7 K and indicate high radiative temperatures of the environment of 14.6 K and 6.7 K, respectively. The effect of the high radiative temperature is more spectacular in some diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) observed toward Her 36; remarkable extended tails toward red (ETRs) were observed. We interpret these ETRs as being due to a small decrease of the rotational constants upon excitation of the excited electronic states. Along with radiative pumping of a great many high-J rotational levels, this causes the ETRs. In order to study this effect quantitatively, we have developed a model calculation in which the effects of collisions and radiation are treated simultaneously. The simplest case of linear molecules is considered. It has been found that the ETR is reproduced if the fraction of the variation of the rotational constant, {beta} {identical_to} (B' - B)/B, is sufficiently high (3%-5%) and the radiative temperature is high (T{sub r} > 50 K). Although modeling for general molecules is beyond the scope of this paper, the results indicate that the prototypical DIBs {lambda}5780.5, {lambda}5797.1, and {lambda}6613.6 which show the pronounced ETRs are due to polar molecules that are sensitive to the radiative excitation. The requirement of high {beta} favors relatively small molecules with three to six heavy atoms. DIBs {lambda}5849.8, {lambda}6196.0, and {lambda}6379.3 that do not show the pronounced ETRs are likely due to non-polar molecules or large polar molecules with small {beta}.

  18. The 9577 and 9632 Å Diffuse Interstellar Bands: {{\\rm{C}}}_{60}^{+} as Carrier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, G. A. H.; Campbell, E. K.; Maier, J. P.; Bohlender, D.

    2017-07-01

    Galazutdinov et al. (2017) recently claimed that the relative strengths of the 9577 and 9632 Å diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are too poorly correlated to be caused by a single source, the {{{C}}}60+ ion. Their conclusion is based on theoretical modeling of contaminating stellar Mg ii lines at 9631.9 and 9632.4 Å and UVES spectra. This contradicts their earlier result and those of several others that the two DIBs are closely correlated and, within the errors and effects of stellar blends, exhibit an intensity ratio consistent with that found in the 6 K laboratory spectrum of {{{C}}}60+. We consider the use of close spectral standards to be superior to model atmosphere calculations in correcting for contamination by the Mg ii lines. We have examined some of the same UVES spectra and demonstrate that a lack of suitably observed telluric standards makes it impossible to adequately correct for telluric water vapor contamination, leading to unreliable continuum levels. The possible effects of higher temperatures, in the 30-100 K range, on the {{{C}}}60+ electronic absorption band profiles, and their relative intensities, are also considered.

  19. Exploring the diffuse interstellar bands with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lan, Ting-Wen; Ménard, Brice; Zhu, Guangtun

    2015-10-01

    We use star, galaxy and quasar spectra taken by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to map out the distribution of diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) induced by the Milky Way. After carefully removing the intrinsic spectral energy distribution of each source, we show that by stacking thousands of spectra, it is possible to measure statistical flux fluctuations at the 10-3 level, detect more than 20 DIBs and measure their strength as a function of position on the sky. We create a map of DIB absorption covering about 5000 deg2 and measure correlations with various tracers of the interstellar medium: atomic and molecular hydrogen, dust and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). After recovering known correlations, we show that each DIB has a different dependence on atomic and molecular hydrogen: while they are all positively correlated with N_{H I}, they exhibit a range of behaviours with N_{H_2} showing positive, negative or no correlation. We show that a simple parametrization involving only N_{H I} and N_{H_2} applied to all the DIBs is sufficient to reproduce a large collection of observational results reported in the literature: it allows us to naturally describe the relations between DIB strength and dust reddening (including the so-called skin effect), the related scatter, DIB pair-wise correlations and families, the affinity for σ/ζ-type environments and other correlations related to molecules. Our approach allows us to characterize DIB dependencies in a simple manner and provides us with a metric to characterize the similarity between different DIBs.

  20. Near-infrared Diffuse Interstellar Bands in 0.91-1.32 μm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamano, Satoshi; Kobayashi, Naoto; Kondo, Sohei; Ikeda, Yuji; Nakanishi, Kenshi; Yasui, Chikako; Mizumoto, Misaki; Matsunaga, Noriyuki; Fukue, Kei; Mito, Hiroyuki; Yamamoto, Ryo; Izumi, Natsuko; Nakaoka, Tetsuya; Kawanishi, Takafumi; Kitano, Ayaka; Otsubo, Shogo; Kinoshita, Masaomi; Kobayashi, Hitomi; Kawakita, Hideyo

    2015-02-01

    We present a comprehensive survey of diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) in 0.91-1.32 μm with the newly developed near-infrared (NIR) spectrograph WINERED mounted on the Araki 1.3 m telescope in Japan. We obtained high-resolution (R = 28, 300) spectra of 25 early-type stars with color excesses of 0.07 < E(B - V) < 3.4. In addition to the 4 DIBs previously detected in this wavelength range, we identified 15 new DIBs, 7 of which were reported as DIB "candidates" by Cox. We analyze the correlations among NIR DIBs, strong optical DIBs, and the reddening of the stars. Consequently, we found that all NIR DIBs show weaker correlations with the reddening rather than the optical DIBs, suggesting that the equivalent widths of NIR DIBs depend on some physical conditions of the interstellar clouds, such as UV flux. Three NIR DIBs, λλ10780, 10792, and 11797, are found to be classifiable as a "family," in which the DIBs are well correlated with each other, suggesting that the carriers of these DIBs are connected with some chemical reactions and/or have similar physical properties such as ionization potential. We also found that the three strongest NIR DIBs, λλ10780, 11797, and 13175 are well correlated with the optical DIB λ5780.5, whose carrier is proposed to be a cation molecule with high ionization potential, indicating that the carriers of the NIR DIBs could be cation molecules. Based on data collected at the Araki 1.3m telescope, which is operated by the Koyama Astronomical Observatory, Kyoto Sangyo University.

  1. Prediction of broadband attenuation computed using band-averaged mass extinction coefficients and band-averaged transmittance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farmer, W. M.

    1991-09-01

    A common method of estimating the attenuation capabilities of military smokes/obscurants is to use a band-averaged mass-extinction coefficient with concentration-length values in the Beer-Bouguer transmission law. This approach ignores the effects of source spectra, sensor response, and normal atmospheric attenuation on broadband transmittance characteristics, which can significantly affect broadband transmittance. The differences that can occur in predicting relative transmittance as a function of concentration length by using band-averaged mass-extinction coefficients as opposed to more properly computing the band-averaged transmittance are discussed in this paper. Two examples are provided to illustrate the differences in results. The first example considers 3- to 5-micron and 8- to 14-micron band transmission through natural fogs. The second example considers 3- to 5-micron and 8- to 12-micron transmission through phosphorus-derived smoke (a common military obscurant) produced at 17 percent and at 90 percent relative humidity. Major differences are found in the values of concentration lengths predicted by the two methods when the transmittance relative to an unobscured atmosphere falls below about 20 percent. These results can affect conclusions concerning the detection of targets in smokes screens, smoke concentration lengths required to obscure a target, and radiative transport through polluted atmospheres.

  2. CH^+ Spectrum and Diffuse Interstellar Bands Toward Herschel 36 Excited by Dust Emission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahlstrom, Julie; Oka, Takeshi; Johnson, Sean; Welty, Daniel E.; Hobbs, Lew M.; York, Donald G.

    2012-06-01

    All electronic CH^+ interstellar absorption lines so far observed had been limited to the R(0) transition starting from the J = 0 ground level; this is because of the very rapid J = 1 → 0 spontaneous emission with the life time of ˜ 140 s. We have observed the R(1) and Q(1) lines of the A^1π ← X^1Σ band from the excited J = 1 level 40.08 K (27.86 cm-1) above the J = 0 level toward Herschel 36 indicating high radiative temperature of T_r = 17.5 K. The high temperature is most likely due to far infrared dust emission from the Her 36 SE. We have also observed the R_1(3/2) line of CH starting from the excited fine structure level J = 3/2 which is 25.76 - 25.57 K above the J = 1/2 level. The effect of high radiative temperature is also noticed as unique lineshapes of diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) observed toward Her 36. We have examined seven DIBs including λ 5780.5, λ 5797.1, λ 6190.0, and λ 6613.0 that are correlated with each other with correlation coefficients > 0.93. While for ordinary sightlines the lineshapes of these DIBs are more or less symmetric, those toward Her 36 show a long tail toward the red. This is due to far infrared pumping of high J rotational levels of polar carriers of the DIBs by the dust emission. We have developed a model calculation of relaxation taking into account of both radiative and collisional processes. A linear molecule with about 6 carbon atoms can explain some of the DIBs. For the DIBs we have examined, probably the carriers are of this size since we cannot explain the large difference between the DIBs toward ordinary sightlines and toward Her 36 with larger molecules. Goto, M., Stecklum, B., Linz, H., Feldt, M., Henning, Th., Pascucci, I., and Usuda, T. 2006, ApJ, {649} 299.

  3. THE DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BANDS AND ANOMALOUS MICROWAVE EMISSION MAY ORIGINATE FROM THE SAME CARRIERS

    SciTech Connect

    Bernstein, L. S.; Cline, J. A.; Clark, F. O.; Lynch, D. K. E-mail: jcline@spectral.com E-mail: dave@thulescientific.com

    2015-11-10

    We argue that the observed spectroscopic and statistical properties of the diffuse interstellar band (DIB) carriers are those that are needed to produce the anomalous microwave emission (AME). We explore this idea using a carrier-impartial model for AME based on the observed DIB statistical properties. We show that an observed distribution of profile widths for narrow DIBs can be mapped into an AME spectrum. The mapping model is applied to width distributions observed for HD 204827 and HD 183143, selected because their spectroscopic and statistical properties bracket those for most other sight lines. The predicted AME spectra for these sight lines agree well with the range of spectral shapes, and peak frequencies, ∼23–31 GHz, typically observed for AME. We use the AME spectral profiles to derive a strong constraint between the average carrier size and its rotational temperature. The constraint is applied to a variety of postulated molecular carrier classes, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, fulleranes, hydrocarbon chains, and amorphous hydrocarbon clusters. The constraint favors small, cold carriers with average sizes of ∼8–15 carbon atoms, and average rotational temperatures of ∼3–10 K, depending on carrier type. We suggest new observations, analyses, and modeling efforts to help resolve the ambiguities with regard to carrier size and class, and to further clarify the DIB–AME relationship.

  4. PROBING THE LOCAL BUBBLE WITH DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BANDS. II. THE DIB PROPERTIES IN THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE

    SciTech Connect

    Farhang, Amin; Khosroshahi, Habib G.; Javadi, Atefeh; Molaeinezhad, Alireza; Tavasoli, Saeed; Habibi, Farhang; Kourkchi, Ehsan; Rezaei, Sara; Saberi, Maryam; Van Loon, Jacco Th.; Bailey, Mandy; Hardy, Liam

    2015-02-10

    We present a new high signal-to-noise ratio spectroscopic survey of the Northern hemisphere to probe the Local Bubble and its surroundings using the λ5780 Å and λ5797 Å diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs). We observed 432 sightlines to a distance of 200 pc over a duration of three years. In this study, we establish the λ5780 and λ5797 correlations with Na I, Ca II and E {sub B-V}, for both inside and outside the Local Bubble. The correlations show that among all neutral and ionized atoms, the correlation between Ca II and λ5780 is stronger than its correlation with λ5797, suggesting that λ5780 is more associated with regions where Ca{sup +} is more abundant. We study the λ5780 correlation with λ5797, which shows a tight correlation within and outside the Local Bubble. In addition, we investigate the DIB properties in UV irradiated and UV shielded regions. We find that, within and beyond the Local Bubble, λ5797 is located in denser parts of clouds, protected from UV irradiation, while λ5780 is located in the low-density regions of clouds.

  5. PAHs and the Diffuse Interstellar Bands. What have we Learned from the New Generation of Laboratory and Observational Studies?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid

    2005-01-01

    Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are an important and ubiquitous component of carbon-bearing materials in space. PAHs are the best-known candidates to account for the IR emission bands (UIR bands) and PAH spectral features are now being used as new probes of the ISM. PAHs are also thought to be among the carriers of the diffuse interstellar absorption bands (DIBs). In the model dealing with the interstellar spectral features, PAHs are present as a mixture of radicals, ions and neutral species. PAH ionization states reflect the ionization balance of the medium while PAH size, composition, and structure reflect the energetic and chemical history of the medium. A major challenge for laboratory astrophysics is to reproduce (in a realistic way) the physical conditions that exist in the emission and/or absorption interstellar zones, An extensive laboratory program has been developed at NASA Ames to characterize the physical and chemical properties of PAHs in astrophysical environments and to describe how they influence the radiation and energy balance in space and the interstellar chemistry. In particular, laboratory experiments provide measurements of the spectral characteristics of interstellar PAH analogs from the ultraviolet and visible range to the infrared range for comparison with astronomical data. This paper will focus on the recent progress made in the laboratory to measure the direct absorption spectra of neutral and ionized PAHs in the gas phase in the near-W and visible range in astrophysically relevant environments. These measurements provide data on PAHs and nanometer-sized particles that can now be directly compared to astronomical observations. The harsh physical conditions of the IS medium - characterized by a low temperature, an absence of collisions and strong V W radiation fields - are simulated in the laboratory by associating a molecular beam with an ionizing discharge to generate a cold plasma expansion. PAH ions are formed from the neutral

  6. PAHs and the Diffuse Interstellar Bands. What have we Learned from the New Generation of Laboratory and Observational Studies?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid

    2005-01-01

    Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are an important and ubiquitous component of carbon-bearing materials in space. PAHs are the best-known candidates to account for the IR emission bands (UIR bands) and PAH spectral features are now being used as new probes of the ISM. PAHs are also thought to be among the carriers of the diffuse interstellar absorption bands (DIBs). In the model dealing with the interstellar spectral features, PAHs are present as a mixture of radicals, ions and neutral species. PAH ionization states reflect the ionization balance of the medium while PAH size, composition, and structure reflect the energetic and chemical history of the medium. A major challenge for laboratory astrophysics is to reproduce (in a realistic way) the physical conditions that exist in the emission and/or absorption interstellar zones, An extensive laboratory program has been developed at NASA Ames to characterize the physical and chemical properties of PAHs in astrophysical environments and to describe how they influence the radiation and energy balance in space and the interstellar chemistry. In particular, laboratory experiments provide measurements of the spectral characteristics of interstellar PAH analogs from the ultraviolet and visible range to the infrared range for comparison with astronomical data. This paper will focus on the recent progress made in the laboratory to measure the direct absorption spectra of neutral and ionized PAHs in the gas phase in the near-W and visible range in astrophysically relevant environments. These measurements provide data on PAHs and nanometer-sized particles that can now be directly compared to astronomical observations. The harsh physical conditions of the IS medium - characterized by a low temperature, an absence of collisions and strong V W radiation fields - are simulated in the laboratory by associating a molecular beam with an ionizing discharge to generate a cold plasma expansion. PAH ions are formed from the neutral

  7. Time Dependent Density Functional Theory Calculations of Large Compact PAH Cations: Implications for the Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisman, Jennifer L.; Lee, Timothy J.; Salama, Farid; Gordon-Head, Martin; Kwak, Dochan (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    We investigate the electronic absorption spectra of several maximally pericondensed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon radical cations with time dependent density functional theory calculations. We find interesting trends in the vertical excitation energies and oscillator strengths for this series containing pyrene through circumcoronene, the largest species containing more than 50 carbon atoms. We discuss the implications of these new results for the size and structure distribution of the diffuse interstellar band carriers.

  8. Interstellar reddening information system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burnashev, V. I.; Grigorieva, E. A.; Malkov, O. Yu.

    2013-10-01

    We describe an electronic bibliographic information system, based on a card catalog, containing some 2500 references (publications of 1930-2009) on interstellar extinction. We have classified the articles according to their content. We present here a list of articles devoted to two categories: maps of total extinction and variation of interstellar extinction with the distance to the object. The catalog is tested using published data on open clusters, and conclusions on the applicability of different maps of interstellar extinctions for various distances are made.

  9. Observational Constraints on Reddening and Diffuse Interstellar Bands in Early Epoch Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawton, Brandon L.; Churchill, C. W.; York, B. A.; Ellison, S. L.; Snow, T. P.; Rupke, D. S.; Veilleux, S.; Johnson, R. A.; Ryan, S. G.

    2007-12-01

    The diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are absorption profiles thought to be due to organic molecules such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These molecules are ubiquitous in the Galaxy and may be of astrobiological importance. Observations of DIBs in the Galaxy are fairly mature and increasing rapidly in the Magellanic Clouds; however, studies of DIBs in other extragalactic sources are rare. We present a survey of DIBs in hydrogen (HI) rich galaxies known as damped Lyman-alpha (DLAs) systems and starbursting galaxies. These galaxies allow us to test the strengths of the DIBs in environments with varying amounts of gas, metallicity, reddening, and ionizing radiation. Understanding the environmental factors that enhance or inhibit the DIBs will give insight into the types of galaxies and cosmological epochs where these organic molecules arise. We have DIB limits in six DLAs and DIB detections in the DLA with the highest HI content (z=0.5). The results suggest that DIBs in DLAs do not follow the Galactic HI-DIB relation, but they are not inconsistent with the DIBs in the Magellanic Clouds. Reddening is an important environmental factor for DIBs in DLAs. Our detection is consistent with the Galactic reddening-DIB relation. The limits indicate that DLAs are low in reddening suggesting that the environments of DLAs are not conducive to sustaining the organics that produce the DIBs. We also present preliminary findings of DIBs in 19 starbursting galaxies. Starbursting galaxies have significant reddening suggesting that DIBs may be more plentiful in starbursting galaxies than DLAs. Detections of DIBs in the z=0.5 DLA proves that the organics responsible for the DIBs existed in the Universe 5 billion years ago. More observations will allow us to determine the evolution of DIBs in cosmic time. Brandon Lawton acknowledges the support of NASA via the GSRP fellowship which helped fund this research dissertation.

  10. On a common carrier hypothesis for the 6613.6 and 6196.0 Å diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glinski, R. J.; Eller, M. W.

    2016-09-01

    We explore via spectroscopic modeling whether the highly correlated diffuse interstellar bands at 6613.6 and 6196.0 Å might originate from a single molecule. Efforts were made to simulate the band contours of the DIBs along the three lines-of-sight, which have been observed by others at high resolution: HD179406, HD174165, and Her 36. Reasonable simultaneous fits were obtained using a prolate symmetric top molecule that exhibits transitions of two different band types, type-a parallel and type-b perpendicular bands. Two different excited states of a long- or heavy-chain, forked molecule are proposed. A minimum number of adjustable parameters were used including ground and excited state A and B rotational constants, an excited state centrifugal distortion constant, and three different rotational excitation temperatures. Points in favor and against the hypothesis are discussed.

  11. A SURVEY OF DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BANDS IN THE ANDROMEDA GALAXY: OPTICAL SPECTROSCOPY OF M31 OB STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Cordiner, Martin A.; Cox, Nick L. J.; Evans, Christopher J.; Trundle, Carrie; Smith, Keith T.; Sarre, Peter J.; Gordon, Karl D.

    2011-01-01

    We present the largest sample to date of intermediate-resolution blue-to-red optical spectra of B-type supergiants in M31 and undertake the first survey of diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) in this galaxy. Spectral classifications, radial velocities, and interstellar reddenings are presented for 34 stars in three regions of M31. Based on a subset of these stars with foreground-corrected reddening E{sup M31}{sub B-V}{>=} 0.05, the strengths of the M31 DIBs are analyzed with respect to the amount of dust, ultraviolet radiation field strength, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emission flux. Radial velocities and equivalent widths are given for the {lambda}5780 and {lambda}6283 DIBs toward 11 stars. Equivalent widths are also presented for the following DIBs detected in three sightlines in M31: {lambda}{lambda}4428, 5705, 5780, 5797, 6203, 6269, 6283, 6379, 6613, 6660, and 6993. All of these M31 DIB carriers reside in clouds at radial velocities matching those of interstellar Na I and/or H I. The relationships between DIB equivalent widths and reddening (E{sup M31}{sub B-V}) are consistent with those observed in the local interstellar medium (ISM) of the Milky Way (MW). Many of the observed sightlines show DIB strengths (per unit reddening) which lie at the upper end of the range of Galactic values. DIB strengths per unit reddening are found (with 68% confidence) to correlate with the interstellar UV radiation field strength. The strongest DIBs are observed where the interstellar UV flux is lowest. The mean Spitzer 8/24 {mu}m emission ratio in our three fields is slightly lower than that measured in the MW, but we identify no correlation between this ratio and the DIB strengths in M31. Interstellar oxygen abundances derived from the spectra of three M31 H II regions in one of the fields indicate that the average metallicity of the ISM in that region is 12 + log [O/H] = 8.54 {+-} 0.18, which is approximately equal to the value in the solar neighborhood.

  12. A Survey of Diffuse Interstellar Bands in the Andromeda Galaxy: Optical Spectroscopy of M31 OB Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cordiner, Martin A.; Cox, Nick L. J.; Evans, Christopher J.; Trundle, Carrie; Smith, Keith T.; Sarre, Peter J.; Gordon, Karl D.

    2011-01-01

    We present the largest sample to date of intermediate-resolution blue-to-red optical spectra of B-type supergiants in M31 and undertake the first survey of diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) in this galaxy. Spectral classifications, radial velocities, and interstellar reddenings are presented for 34 stars in three regions of M31. Based on a subset of these stars with foreground-corrected reddening E M 31 B-V >= 0.05, the strengths of the M31 DIBs are analyzed with respect to the amount of dust, ultraviolet radiation field strength, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emission flux. Radial velocities and equivalent widths are given for the λ5780 and λ6283 DIBs toward 11 stars. Equivalent widths are also presented for the following DIBs detected in three sightlines in M31: λλ4428, 5705, 5780, 5797, 6203, 6269, 6283, 6379, 6613, 6660, and 6993. All of these M31 DIB carriers reside in clouds at radial velocities matching those of interstellar Na I and/or H I. The relationships between DIB equivalent widths and reddening (E M 31 B-V ) are consistent with those observed in the local interstellar medium (ISM) of the Milky Way (MW). Many of the observed sightlines show DIB strengths (per unit reddening) which lie at the upper end of the range of Galactic values. DIB strengths per unit reddening are found (with 68% confidence) to correlate with the interstellar UV radiation field strength. The strongest DIBs are observed where the interstellar UV flux is lowest. The mean Spitzer 8/24 μm emission ratio in our three fields is slightly lower than that measured in the MW, but we identify no correlation between this ratio and the DIB strengths in M31. Interstellar oxygen abundances derived from the spectra of three M31 H II regions in one of the fields indicate that the average metallicity of the ISM in that region is 12 + log [O/H] = 8.54 ± 0.18, which is approximately equal to the value in the solar neighborhood.

  13. Fulleranes and Carbon Nanostructures in the Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iglesias-Groth, Susana; Cataldo, Franco

    We review the potential contribution of single fullerenes and buckyonions to interstellar extinction. Photoabsorption spectra of these molecules are compared with some of the most relevant features of interstellar extinction, the UV bump, the far UV rise and the diffuse interstellar bands. According to semiempirical models, photoabsorption by fullerenes (single and multishell) could explain the shape, width and peak energy of the most prominent feature of the interstellar absorption, the UV bump at 2,175 Å. Other weaker transitions are predicted in the optical and near-infrared providing a potential explanation for diffuse interstellar bands. In particular, several fullerenes could contribute to the well known strong DIB at 4,430 Å comparing cross sections and available data for this DIB and the UV bump we estimate a density of fullerenes in the diffuse interstellar medium of 0.1-0.2 ppm. These molecules could then be a major reservoir for interstellar carbon. We give an estimation of the carbon fraction locked in these molecules. We discuss the rotation rates and electric dipole emission of hydrogenated icosahedral fullerenes in various phases of the interstellar medium. These molecules could be the carriers of the anomalous microwave emission detected by Watson et al. (Astrophys. J. 624:L89, 2005) in the Perseus molecular complex and Cassasus et al. (2006) in the dark cloud LDN 1622. Hydrogenated forms of fullerenes may account for the dust-correlated microwave emission detected in our Galaxy by Cosmic Microwave Background experiments.

  14. Laboratory Determination of the Infrared Band Strengths of Pyrene Frozen in Water Ice: Implications for the Composition of Interstellar Ices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hardegree-Ullman, E.E.; Gudipati, M.S.; Boogert, A.C.A.; Lignell, H.; Allamandola, L.J.; Stapelfeldt, K. R.; Werner, M.

    2014-01-01

    Broad infrared emission features (e.g., at 3.3, 6.2, 7.7, 8.6, and 11.3 micrometers) from the gas phase interstellar medium have long been attributed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). A significant portion (10 to 20%) of the Milky Way's carbon reservoir is locked in PAH molecules, which makes their characterization integral to our understanding of astrochemistry. In molecular clouds and the dense envelopes and disks of young stellar objects (YSOs), PAHs are expected to be frozen in the icy mantles of dust grains where they should reveal themselves through infrared absorption. To facilitate the search for frozen interstellar PAHs, laboratory experiments were conducted to determine the positions and strengths of the bands of pyrene mixed with H2O and deuterium oxide ices. The deuterium oxide mixtures are used to measure pyrene bands that are masked by the strong bands of H2O, leading to the first laboratory determination of the band strength for the CH stretching mode of pyrene in water ice near 3.25 micrometers. Our infrared band strengths were normalized to experimentally determined ultraviolet (UV) band strengths, and we find that they are generally approximately 50% larger than those reported by Bouwman et al. (2011) based on theoretical strengths. These improved band strengths were used to reexamine YSO spectra published by Boogert et al. (2008) to estimate the contribution of frozen PAHs to absorption in the 5 to 8 micrometer spectral region, taking into account the strength of the 3.25 micrometer CH stretching mode. It is found that frozen neutral PAHs contain 5 to 9% of the cosmic carbon budget, and account for 2 to 9% of the unidentified absorption in the 5 to 8 micrometer region.

  15. Laboratory determination of the infrared band strengths of pyrene frozen in water ice: Implications for the composition of interstellar ices

    SciTech Connect

    Hardegree-Ullman, E. E.; Gudipati, M. S.; Werner, M.; Boogert, A. C. A.; Lignell, H.; Allamandola, L. J.; Stapelfeldt, K. R. E-mail: gudipati@jpl.nasa.gov

    2014-04-01

    Broad infrared emission features (e.g., at 3.3, 6.2, 7.7, 8.6, and 11.3 μm) from the gas phase interstellar medium have long been attributed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). A significant portion (10%-20%) of the Milky Way's carbon reservoir is locked in PAH molecules, which makes their characterization integral to our understanding of astrochemistry. In molecular clouds and the dense envelopes and disks of young stellar objects (YSOs), PAHs are expected to be frozen in the icy mantles of dust grains where they should reveal themselves through infrared absorption. To facilitate the search for frozen interstellar PAHs, laboratory experiments were conducted to determine the positions and strengths of the bands of pyrene mixed with H{sub 2}O and D{sub 2}O ices. The D{sub 2}O mixtures are used to measure pyrene bands that are masked by the strong bands of H{sub 2}O, leading to the first laboratory determination of the band strength for the CH stretching mode of pyrene in water ice near 3.25 μm. Our infrared band strengths were normalized to experimentally determined ultraviolet band strengths, and we find that they are generally ∼50% larger than those reported by Bouwman et al. based on theoretical strengths. These improved band strengths were used to reexamine YSO spectra published by Boogert et al. to estimate the contribution of frozen PAHs to absorption in the 5-8 μm spectral region, taking into account the strength of the 3.25 μm CH stretching mode. It is found that frozen neutral PAHs contain 5%-9% of the cosmic carbon budget and account for 2%-9% of the unidentified absorption in the 5-8 μm region.

  16. Redshift--Independent Distances of Spiral Galaxies: II. Internal Extinction at I Band

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giovanelli, R.; Haynes, M. P.; Salzer, J. J.; Wegner, G.; Dacosta, L. N.; Freudling, W.; Chamaraux, P.

    1993-12-01

    We analyze the photometric properties of a sample of 1450 Sbc--Sc galaxies with known redshifts, single--dish HI profiles and CCD I band images to derive laws that relate the measured isophotal radius at mu_I =23.5, magnitude, scale length and HI flux to the face--on aspect. Our results show that the central regions of spiral galaxies are substantially less transparent than most previous determinations suggest, but not as opaque as claimed by Valentijn (1990). Regions in the disk farther than two or three scale lengths from the center are close to completely transparent. In addition to statistically derived relations for the inclination dependence of photometric parameters, we present the results of a modelling exercise that utilizes the ``triplex'' model of Disney et al. (1989). Within the framework of that model, late spiral disks at I band have central optical depths on the order of tau_I ~ 5 and dust absorbing layers with scale heights on the order of half that of the stellar component. We discuss our results in light of previous determinations of internal extinction relations and point out the substantial impact of internal extinction on the scatter of the Tully--Fisher relation. We also find that the visual diameters by which large catalogs are constructed (UGC, ESO--Uppsala) are nearly proportional to face--on isophotal diameters.

  17. Observations and Analysis of Extended Tail Toward Red in the Diffuse Interstellar Bands of Herschel 36

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oka, Takeshi; Welty, Daniel E.; Johnson, Sean; York, Donald G.; Hobbs, Lew M.; Dahlstrom, Julie

    2013-06-01

    In the studies of the Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs), the sightline toward Herschel 36 near the center of the HII region Messier 8 is unique. It shows spectra of CH^+ and CH in the first excited level indicating the presence of a cloud with high radiative temperature. The heating is most likely due to far infrared emission from the adjacent intense infrared source Her 36 SE at a distance of 0.25" from Her 36. The effect of the high radiative temperature on some DIBs is spectacular. It produces on a normally symmetric bell-shape line a very prominent Extended Tail toward Red (ETR) on prototypical DIBs λ 5780.5, λ 5797.1, and λ 6613 while other DIBs λ 5849.8, λ 6196.0, and λ 6379.3 are little affected. We interpret this as indicating that the carriers of the former 3 DIBs that are seriously affected by the radiation are polar molecules and the pronounced ETRs are the result of the decrease of rotational constant B (3 - 5 %) upon electronic excitation. High J rotational levels are pumped radiatively and with the negative (B' - B) produces the ETR. We have developed a model calculation of rotational distribution taking into account of both radiative and collisional processes. In view of the complexity of the problem linear molecules are considered. 7 parameters enter into the calculation but we find the fractional variation of B and the radiative temperature T_r are the most decisive. Although molecules with a general shape is beyond the scope of this work, we conclude that the 3 DIBs which show the pronounced ETRs are due to polar molecules and the requirement of high variation of B indicates that the molecules are not that large perhaps composed of 3-6 heavy atoms. The 3 DIBs that do not show the pronounced ETRs are likely due to non-polar molecules or large polar molecules with small fractional variation of B. Goto, M., Stecklum, B., Linz, H., Feldt, M., Henning, Th., Pascucci, I., and Usuda, T. 2006, ApJ, 649 299. Oka, T., Welty, D. E., Johnson, S., York

  18. VLT/X-Shooter survey of near-infrared diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cox, N. L. J.; Cami, J.; Kaper, L.; Ehrenfreund, P.; Foing, B. H.; Ochsendorf, B. B.; van Hooff, S. H. M.; Salama, F.

    2014-09-01

    Context. The unknown identity of the diffuse interstellar band (DIB) carriers poses one of the longest standing unresolved problems in astrophysics. While the presence, properties, and behaviour of hundreds of optical DIBs between 4000 Å and 9000 Å have been well established, information on DIBs in both the ultra-violet and near-infrared (NIR) ranges is limited. Aims: In this paper, we present a spectral survey of the NIR range, from 0.9 μm to 2.5 μm. Our observations were designed to detect new DIBs, confirm previously proposed NIR DIBs, and characterise their behaviour with respect to known line-of-sight properties (including the optical DIBs present in our spectra). Methods: Using the X-Shooter instrument mounted on the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) we obtained medium-resolution spectra of eight known DIB targets and one telluric reference star, from 3000 Å to 25 000 Å in one shot. Results: In addition to the known 9577, 9632, 10 780, 11 797, and 13 175 Å NIR DIBs, we confirm 9 out of the 13 NIR DIBs that were presented by Geballe et al. (2011, Nature, 479, 200). Furthermore, we report 11 new NIR DIB candidates. The strengths of the strongest NIR DIBs show a general correlation with reddening, E(B - V), but with a large scatter. Several NIR DIBs are more strongly correlated with the 5780 Å DIB strength than with E(B - V); this is especially the case for the 15 268 Å DIB. The NIR DIBs are strong: the summed equivalent widths of the five strongest NIR DIBs represent a small percent of the total equivalent width of the entire average DIB spectrum (per unit reddening). The NIR DIBs towards the translucent cloud HD 147889 are all weak with respect to the general trend. No direct match was found between observed NIR DIBs and laboratory matrix-isolation spectroscopic data of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Conclusions: The strong correlation between the 5780-15 268 DIB pair implies that (Nf)5780/(Nf)15 268 = 14. However, the reduced strength of the

  19. On the Nature of Interstellar Grains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoyle, F.; Wickramasinghe, C.

    Data on interstellar extinction are interpreted to imply an identification of interstellar grains with naturally freeze-dried bacteria and algae. The total mass of such bacterial and algal cells in the galaxy is enormous, ~1040 g. The identification is based on Mie scattering calculations for an experimentally determined size distribution of bacteria. Agreement between our model calculations and astronomical data is remarkably precise over the wavelength intervals 1 μ-1 < λ-1 < 1.94 μ-1 and 2.5 μ-1 < λ-1 < 3.0 μ-1. Over the more restricted waveband 4000-5000 Å an excess interstellar absorption is found which is in uncannily close agreement with the absorption properties of phytoplankton pigments. The strongest of the diffuse interstellar bands are provisionally assigned to carotenoid-chlorophyll pigment complexes such as exist in algae and pigmented bacteria. The λ2200 Å interstellar absorption feature could be due to `degraded' cellulose strands which form spherical graphitic particles, but could equally well be due to protein-lipid-nucleic acid complexes in bacteria and viruses. Interstellar extinction at wavelengths λ < 1800 Å could be due to scattering by virus particles.

  20. On The Nature of Interstellar Grains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoyle, F.; Wickramasinghe, C.

    Data on interstellar extinction are interpreted to imply an identification of interstellar grains with naturally freeze-dried bacteria and algae. The total mass of such bacterial and algal cells in the galaxy is enormous, ~ 10^40 g. The identification is based on Mie scattering calculations for an experimentally determined size distribution of bacteria. Agreement between our model calculations and astronomical data is remarkably precise over the wavelength intervals 1 μ^-1 < λ^-1 < 1.94 μ^-1 and 2.5 μ^-1 < λ^-1 < 3.0 μ^-1. Over the more restricted waveband 4000-5000 Å an excess interstellar absorption is found which is in uncannily close agreement with the absorption properties of phytoplankton pigments. The strongest of the diffuse interstellar bands are provisionally assigned to carotenoid-chlorophyll pigment complexes such as exist in algae and pigmented bacteria. The λ2200 Å interstellar absorption feature could be due to `degraded' cellulose strands which form spherical graphitic particles, but could equally well be due to protein-lipid-nucleic acid complexes in bacteria and viruses. Interstellar extinction at wavelengths λ < 1800 Å could be due to scattering by virus particles.

  1. Measuring diffuse interstellar bands with cool stars. Improved line lists to model background stellar spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monreal-Ibero, A.; Lallement, R.

    2017-03-01

    Context. Diffuse stellar bands (DIBs) are ubiquitous in stellar spectra. Traditionally, they have been studied through their extraction from hot (early-type) stars because of their smooth continuum. In an era in which there are several ongoing or planned massive Galactic surveys using multi-object spectrographs, cool (late-type) stars constitute an appealing set of targets. However, from the technical point of view, the extraction of DIBs in their spectra is more challenging because of the complexity of the continuum. Aims: In this contribution we provide the community with an improved set of stellar lines in the spectral regions associated with the strong DIBs at λ6196.0, λ6269.8, λ6283.8, and λ6379.3. These lines allow for the creation of better stellar synthetic spectra, reproducing the background emission and a more accurate extraction of the magnitudes associated with a given DIB (e.g., equivalent width, radial velocity). Methods: The Sun and Arcturus were used as representative examples of dwarf and giant stars, respectively. A high quality spectrum for each of them was modeled using TURBOSPECTRUM and the Vienna Atomic Line Database (VALD) stellar line list. The oscillator strength log (gf) and wavelength of specific lines were modified to create synthetic spectra in which the residuals in both the Sun and Arcturus were minimized. Results: The TURBOSPECTRUM synthetic spectra, based on improved line lists, reproduce the observed spectra for the Sun and Arcturus in the mentioned spectral ranges with greater accuracy. Residuals between the synthetic and observed spectra are always ≲10%, which is much better than residuals with previously existing options. We tested the new line lists with some characteristic spectra from a variety of stars, including both giant and dwarf stars, and under different degrees of extinction. As occurred with the Sun and Arcturus, residuals in the fits used to extract the DIB information are smaller when using synthetic spectra

  2. Interaction Between the Broad-Lined Type Ic Supernova 2012ap and Carriers of Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Milisavljevic, Dan; Margutti, Raffaella; Crabtree, Kyle N.; Foster, Jonathan B.; Soderberg, Alicia M.; Fesen, Robert A.; Parrent, Jerod T.; Sanders, Nathan E.; Drout, Maria R.; Kamble, Atish; hide

    2014-01-01

    The diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are absorption features observed in optical and near-infrared spectra that are thought to be associated with carbon-rich polyatomic molecules in interstellar gas. However, because the central wavelengths of these bands do not correspond with electronic transitions of any known atomic or molecular species, their nature has remained uncertain since their discovery almost a century ago. Here we report on unusually strong DIBs in optical spectra of the broad- lined Type Ic supernova SN2012ap that exhibit changes in equivalent width over short (. 30 days) timescales. The 4428 A and 6283 A DIB features get weaker with time, whereas the 5780 A feature shows a marginal increase. These nonuniform changes suggest that the supernova is interacting with a nearby source of the DIBs and that the DIB carriers possess high ionization potentials, such as small cations or charged fullerenes. We conclude that moderate-resolution spectra of supernovae with DIB absorptions obtained within weeks of outburst could reveal unique information about the mass-loss environment of their progenitor systems and provide new constraints on the properties of DIB carriers.

  3. INTERACTION BETWEEN THE BROAD-LINED TYPE Ic SUPERNOVA 2012ap AND CARRIERS OF DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BANDS

    SciTech Connect

    Milisavljevic, Dan; Margutti, Raffaella; Crabtree, Kyle N.; Soderberg, Alicia M.; Sanders, Nathan E.; Drout, Maria R.; Kamble, Atish; Chakraborti, Sayan; Kirshner, Robert P.; Foster, Jonathan B.; Fesen, Robert A.; Parrent, Jerod T.; Pickering, Timothy E.; Cenko, S. Bradley; Silverman, Jeffrey M.; Marion, G. H. Howie; Vinko, Jozsef; Filippenko, Alexei V.; Mazzali, Paolo; Maeda, Keiichi; and others

    2014-02-10

    Diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are absorption features observed in optical and near-infrared spectra that are thought to be associated with carbon-rich polyatomic molecules in interstellar gas. However, because the central wavelengths of these bands do not correspond to electronic transitions of any known atomic or molecular species, their nature has remained uncertain since their discovery almost a century ago. Here we report on unusually strong DIBs in optical spectra of the broad-lined Type Ic supernova SN 2012ap that exhibit changes in equivalent width over short (≲ 30 days) timescales. The 4428 Å and 6283 Å DIB features get weaker with time, whereas the 5780 Å feature shows a marginal increase. These nonuniform changes suggest that the supernova is interacting with a nearby source of DIBs and that the DIB carriers possess high ionization potentials, such as small cations or charged fullerenes. We conclude that moderate-resolution spectra of supernovae with DIB absorptions obtained within weeks of outburst could reveal unique information about the mass-loss environment of their progenitor systems and provide new constraints on the properties of DIB carriers.

  4. Radio Search for H2CCC toward HD 183143 as a Candidate for a Diffuse Interstellar Band Carrier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araki, Mitsunori; Takano, Shuro; Yamabe, Hiromichi; Tsukiyama, Koichi; Kuze, Nobuhiko

    2012-07-01

    To clarify the authenticity of a recently proposed identification of H2CCC (linear-C3H2) as a diffuse interstellar band (DIB) carrier, we searched for the rotational transition of H2CCC at a frequency of 103 GHz toward HD 183143 using the 45 m telescope at the Nobeyama Radio Observatory. Although rms noise levels of 32 mK in the antenna temperature were achieved, detection of H2CCC was unsuccessful, producing a 3σ upper limit corresponding to a column density of 2.0 × 1013 cm-2. The upper limit indicates that the contribution of H2CCC to the DIB at 5450 Å is less than 1/25; thus, it is unlikely that the laboratory bands of the B 1 B 1-X 1 A 1 transition of H2CCC and the DIBs at 5450 Å (and also 4881 Å) toward HD 183143 are related.

  5. Interstellar Dust: Contributed Papers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tielens, Alexander G. G. M. (Editor); Allamandola, Louis J. (Editor)

    1989-01-01

    A coherent picture of the dust composition and its physical characteristics in the various phases of the interstellar medium was the central theme. Topics addressed included: dust in diffuse interstellar medium; overidentified infrared emission features; dust in dense clouds; dust in galaxies; optical properties of dust grains; interstellar dust models; interstellar dust and the solar system; dust formation and destruction; UV, visible, and IR observations of interstellar extinction; and quantum-statistical calculations of IR emission from highly vibrationally excited polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules.

  6. Interstellar Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds and Astrophysics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hodgins, Douglas M.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs), a class of organic molecules whose structures are characterized by the presence of two or more fused aromatic rings, have been the subject of astrophysical interest for nearly two decades. Large by interstellar standards (from as few as 20 to perhaps as many as several hundred atoms), it has been suggested that these species are among the most abundant interstellar molecules impacting a wide range of astrophysical phenomena including: the ubiquitous family of infrared emission bands observed in an ever-increasing assortment of astronomical objects; the subtle but rich array of discrete visible/near-infrared interstellar molecular absorption features known as the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs); the broad near-infrared quasi-continuum observed in a number of nebulae known as excess red emission (ERE); the interstellar ultraviolet extinction curve and broad '2200 Angstrom bump'; the heating/cooling mechanisms of interstellar clouds. Nevertheless, until recently a lack of good-quality laboratory spectroscopic data on PACs under astrophysically relevant conditions (i.e. isolated, ionized molecules; ionized molecular clusters, etc.) has hindered critical evaluation and extension of this model

  7. Studies of Diffuse Interstellar Bands V. Pairwise Correlations of Eight Strong DIBs and Neutral Hydrogen, Molecular Hydrogen, and Color Excess

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friedman, Scott D.; York, Donald G.; McCall, Benjamin J.; Dahlstrom, Julie; Sonnentrucker, Paule; Welty, Daniel E.; Drosback, Meredith M.; Hobbs, L. M.; Rachford, Brian L.; Snow, Theodore P.

    2011-01-01

    We establish correlations between equivalent widths of eight diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs), and examine their correlations with atomic hydrogen, molecular hydrogen, and E B-V . The DIBs are centered at λλ 5780.5, 6204.5, 6283.8, 6196.0, 6613.6, 5705.1, 5797.1, and 5487.7, in decreasing order of Pearson's correlation coefficient with N(H) (here defined as the column density of neutral hydrogen), ranging from 0.96 to 0.82. We find the equivalent width (EW) of λ5780.5 is better correlated with column densities of H than with E B-V or H2, confirming earlier results based on smaller data sets. We show that the same is true for six of the seven other DIBs presented here. Despite this similarity, the eight strong DIBs chosen are not correlated well enough with each other to suggest they come from the same carrier. We further conclude that these eight DIBs are more likely to be associated with H than with H2, and hence are not preferentially located in the densest, most UV shielded parts of interstellar clouds. We suggest that they arise from different molecules found in diffuse H regions with very little H2 (molecular fraction f < 0.01). Of the 133 stars with available data in our study, there are three with significantly weaker λ5780.5 than our mean H-λ5780.5 relationship, all of which are in regions of high radiation fields, as previously noted by Herbig. The correlations will be useful in deriving interstellar parameters when direct methods are not available. For instance, with care, the value of N(H) can be derived from W λ(5780.5).

  8. The intrinsic and interstellar broad-band linear polarization of nearby FGK dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cotton, Daniel V.; Marshall, Jonathan P.; Bailey, Jeremy; Kedziora-Chudczer, Lucyna; Bott, Kimberly; Marsden, Stephen C.; Carter, Bradley D.

    2017-05-01

    We present linear polarization measurements of nearby FGK dwarfs to parts-per-million (ppm) precision. Before making any allowance for interstellar polarization, we found that the active stars within the sample have a mean polarization of 28.5 ± 2.2 ppm, while the inactive stars have a mean of 9.6 ± 1.5 ppm. Amongst inactive stars, we initially found no difference between debris disc host stars (9.1 ± 2.5 ppm) and the other FGK dwarfs (9.9 ± 1.9 ppm). We develop a model for the magnitude and direction of interstellar polarization for nearby stars. When we correct the observations for the estimated interstellar polarization, we obtain 23.0 ± 2.2 ppm for the active stars, 7.8 ± 2.9 ppm for the inactive debris disc host stars and 2.9 ± 1.9 ppm for the other inactive stars. The data indicate that whilst some debris disc host stars are intrinsically polarized most inactive FGK dwarfs have negligible intrinsic polarization, but that active dwarfs have intrinsic polarization at levels ranging up to ˜45 ppm. We briefly consider a number of mechanisms, and suggest that differential saturation of spectral lines in the presence of magnetic fields is best able to explain the polarization seen in active dwarfs. The results have implications for current attempts to detect polarized reflected light from hot Jupiters by looking at the combined light of the star and planet.

  9. The 2140 cm(exp -1) (4.673 Microns) Solid CO Band: The Case for Interstellar O2 and N2 and the Photochemistry of Non-Polar Interstellar Ice Analogs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elsila, Jamie; Allamandola, Louis J.; Sandford, Scott A.; Witteborn, Fred C. (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    The infrared spectra of CO frozen in non-polar ices containing N2, CO2, O2, and H2O, and the ultraviolet photochemistry of these interstellar/precometary ice analogs are reported. The spectra are used to test the hypothesis that the narrow 2140/cm (4.673 micrometer) interstellar absorption feature attributed to solid CO might be produced by CO frozen in ices containing non-polar species such as N2 and O2. It is shown that mixed molecular ices containing CO, N2, O2, and CO2 provide a very good match to the interstellar band at all temperatures between 12 and 30 K both before and after photolysis. The optical constants (real and imaginary parts of the index of refraction) in the region of the solid CO feature are reported for several of these ices.

  10. Three sets of fine extinction bands in a tectonically deformed vein-quartz single crystal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Derez, Tine; Van der Donck, Tom; Pennock, Gill; Drury, Martyn; Sintubin, Manuel

    2014-05-01

    Intracrystalline fine extinction bands (FEBs) in quartz, are narrow (less than 5µm thick), planar microstructures with a misorientation up to 5° with respect to the host crystal, occurring in closely spaced sets (spacing of 4-5μm). FEBs have been commonly attributed to a large range of brittle and/or crystal-plastic mechanisms, revealing considerable disagreement on the responsible crystal-plastic slip systems and the ambient conditions. Another question that arises, is whether or not the FEBs rotate from a basal plane orientation to orientations ranging between the basal and prism planes. Usually only one set of FEBs occurs in a single crystal, though two sets are observed, in particular with increasing strain. Tentatively, a maximum of two sets of sub-basal FEBs has been postulated to develop in a single quartz crystal in a tectonic context. However, we identified several crystals in naturally deformed vein-quartz containing three sets of FEBs. The vein-quartz has been deformed under sub-greenschist metamorphic conditions, during the late Palaeozoic Variscan orogeny, in the High-Ardenne slate belt (Belgium). The vein-quartz has been subjected to bulging dynamic recrystallisation and shows a high degree of undulatory extinction, abundant subgrains and wide extinction bands sub-parallel to the c-axis. We attempted to characterise these three sets of FEBs by means of light microscopy, EBSD-OIM and universal stage microscopy. In both cases studied the c-axis is inclined less than 8° with respect to the thin-section plane. The different sets of FEBs show a consistent orientation with respect to the c-axis. One set of FEBs deviates maximum 10° from the basal plane. The other two sets deviate between 15 and 35° from a basal plane orientation. Corresponding FEBs, at the same angle with respect to the c-axis, have similar morphologies. In relative EBSD orientation maps FEBs show a maximum misorientation of 3°, and have a lower pattern quality than the host crystal

  11. The interstellar C-H stretching band near 3.4 microns - Constraints on the composition of organic material in the diffuse interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandford, S. A.; Allamandola, L. J.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Pendleton, Y.; Sellgren, K.

    1991-01-01

    The composition and history of dust in the diffuse ISM was studied using 3600-2700/cm absorption spectra of objects which have widely varying amounts of visual extinctions along different lines of sight. The 3300/cm and 2950/cm features are attributed to O-H and C-H stretching vibrations, respectively. The O-H feature in OH 32.8-0.3 is suggestive of circumstellar water ice and is probably not due to material in the diffuse ISM. The features in the 3100-2700/cm region are attributed either to C-H vibrations or to M stars. The spectra of the latter show a series of narrow features in this region that are identified with photospheric OH. Objects in which these bands are seen include OH 01-477, T629-5, and the Galactic center source IRS 7. The C-H stretch feature of diffuse ISM dust has subpeaks which fall within 5/cm of C-H stretching vibrations in the -CH2- and -CH3 groups of saturated aliphatic hydrocarbons.

  12. HIGH-RESOLUTION OPTICAL SPECTROSCOPY OF DY Cen: DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BANDS IN A PROTO-FULLERENE CIRCUMSTELLAR ENVIRONMENT?

    SciTech Connect

    Garcia-Hernandez, D. A.; Lambert, David L. E-mail: nkrao@iiap.res.in

    2012-11-01

    We search high-resolution and high-quality VLT/UVES optical spectra of the hot R Coronae Borealis star DY Cen for electronic transitions of the C{sub 60} molecule and diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs). We report the non-detection of the strongest C{sub 60} electronic transitions (e.g., those at {approx}3760, 3980, and 4024 A). The absence of C{sub 60} absorption bands may support recent laboratory results, which show that the {approx}7.0, 8.5, 17.4, and 18.8 {mu}m emission features seen in DY Cen-and other similar objects with polycyclic-aromatic-hydrocarbon-like dominated IR spectra-are attributable to proto-fullerenes or fullerene precursors rather than to C{sub 60}. DIBs toward DY Cen are normal for its reddening; the only exception is the DIB at 6284 A (possibly also the 7223 A DIB) which is found to be unusually strong. We also report the detection of a new broad (FWHM {approx} 2 A) and unidentified feature centered at {approx}4000 A. We suggest that this new band may be related to the circumstellar proto-fullerenes seen at infrared wavelengths.

  13. Dust evolution, a global view: II. Top-down branching, nanoparticle fragmentation and the mystery of the diffuse interstellar band carriers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, A. P.

    2016-12-01

    The origin of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs), one of the longest-standing mysteries of the interstellar medium (ISM), is explored within the framework of The Heterogeneous dust Evolution Model for Interstellar Solids (THEMIS). The likely nature of the DIB carriers and their evolution is here explored within the framework of the structures and sub-structures inherent to doped hydrogenated amorphous carbon grains in the ISM. Based on the natural aromatic-rich moieties (asphaltenes) recovered from coal and oil, the likely structure of their interstellar analogues is investigated within the context of the diffuse band problem. It is here proposed that the top-down evolution of interstellar carbonaceous grains, and, in particular, a-C(:H) nanoparticles, is at the heart of the formation and evolution of the DIB carriers and their associations with small molecules and radicals, such as C2, C3, CH and CN. It is most probable that the DIBs are carried by dehydrogenated, ionized, hetero-cyclic, olefinic and aromatic-rich moieties that form an integral part of the contiguous structure of hetero-atom-doped hydrogenated amorphous carbon nanoparticles and their daughter fragmentation products. Within this framework, it is proposed that polyene structures in all their variants could be viable DIB carrier candidates.

  14. Dust evolution, a global view: II. Top-down branching, nanoparticle fragmentation and the mystery of the diffuse interstellar band carriers

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The origin of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs), one of the longest-standing mysteries of the interstellar medium (ISM), is explored within the framework of The Heterogeneous dust Evolution Model for Interstellar Solids (THEMIS). The likely nature of the DIB carriers and their evolution is here explored within the framework of the structures and sub-structures inherent to doped hydrogenated amorphous carbon grains in the ISM. Based on the natural aromatic-rich moieties (asphaltenes) recovered from coal and oil, the likely structure of their interstellar analogues is investigated within the context of the diffuse band problem. It is here proposed that the top-down evolution of interstellar carbonaceous grains, and, in particular, a-C(:H) nanoparticles, is at the heart of the formation and evolution of the DIB carriers and their associations with small molecules and radicals, such as C2, C3, CH and CN. It is most probable that the DIBs are carried by dehydrogenated, ionized, hetero-cyclic, olefinic and aromatic-rich moieties that form an integral part of the contiguous structure of hetero-atom-doped hydrogenated amorphous carbon nanoparticles and their daughter fragmentation products. Within this framework, it is proposed that polyene structures in all their variants could be viable DIB carrier candidates. PMID:28083089

  15. Dust evolution, a global view: II. Top-down branching, nanoparticle fragmentation and the mystery of the diffuse interstellar band carriers.

    PubMed

    Jones, A P

    2016-12-01

    The origin of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs), one of the longest-standing mysteries of the interstellar medium (ISM), is explored within the framework of The Heterogeneous dust Evolution Model for Interstellar Solids (THEMIS). The likely nature of the DIB carriers and their evolution is here explored within the framework of the structures and sub-structures inherent to doped hydrogenated amorphous carbon grains in the ISM. Based on the natural aromatic-rich moieties (asphaltenes) recovered from coal and oil, the likely structure of their interstellar analogues is investigated within the context of the diffuse band problem. It is here proposed that the top-down evolution of interstellar carbonaceous grains, and, in particular, a-C(:H) nanoparticles, is at the heart of the formation and evolution of the DIB carriers and their associations with small molecules and radicals, such as C2, C3, CH and CN. It is most probable that the DIBs are carried by dehydrogenated, ionized, hetero-cyclic, olefinic and aromatic-rich moieties that form an integral part of the contiguous structure of hetero-atom-doped hydrogenated amorphous carbon nanoparticles and their daughter fragmentation products. Within this framework, it is proposed that polyene structures in all their variants could be viable DIB carrier candidates.

  16. RADIO SEARCH FOR H{sub 2}CCC TOWARD HD 183143 AS A CANDIDATE FOR A DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BAND CARRIER

    SciTech Connect

    Araki, Mitsunori; Yamabe, Hiromichi; Tsukiyama, Koichi; Takano, Shuro; Kuze, Nobuhiko

    2012-07-01

    To clarify the authenticity of a recently proposed identification of H{sub 2}CCC (linear-C{sub 3}H{sub 2}) as a diffuse interstellar band (DIB) carrier, we searched for the rotational transition of H{sub 2}CCC at a frequency of 103 GHz toward HD 183143 using the 45 m telescope at the Nobeyama Radio Observatory. Although rms noise levels of 32 mK in the antenna temperature were achieved, detection of H{sub 2}CCC was unsuccessful, producing a 3{sigma} upper limit corresponding to a column density of 2.0 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 13} cm{sup -2}. The upper limit indicates that the contribution of H{sub 2}CCC to the DIB at 5450 Angstrom-Sign is less than 1/25; thus, it is unlikely that the laboratory bands of the B{sup 1} B{sub 1}-X{sup 1} A{sub 1} transition of H{sub 2}CCC and the DIBs at 5450 Angstrom-Sign (and also 4881 Angstrom-Sign ) toward HD 183143 are related.

  17. Modeling Linear Molecules as Carriers of the λ5797 Å and λ6613 Å Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Jane; Oka, Takeshi

    2014-06-01

    Electronic transitions of polar linear molecules have been modeled and compared to archival high resolution spectra of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) at 5797 and 6613 Å. These two bands are notable for fine structure that has most commonly been attributed to the rotational structure of electronic transitions of gas-phase molecules. Most strikingly, the 5797 DIB has a sharp, narrow center peak that is characteristic of the Q branch of parallel transitions with non-zero Λ. This work is also motivated by Oka et al.'s analysis of the anomalously extended redward tails seen in certain DIBs toward Herschel 36, which are reminiscent of electronic transitions of polar linear molecules at high radiative temperatures. The determination of rotational distributions, which includes radiative and collisional effects, is based on the model presented in the earlier work. Thus far, the most promising models are a ^2Π ← ^2Π transition for the 5797 DIB and a ^2Δ ← ^2Π transition for the 6613 DIB, with the effects of spin-orbit coupling examined in each case. The degree of consistency of these transitions with respect to the anomalous DIBs toward Herschel 36 is also discussed. Sarre, P. J., Miles, J. R., Kerr, T. H. et al. 1995, MNRAS, 177L 41 Oka, T., Welty, D. E., Johnson, S. et al. 2013, ApJ, 773 42

  18. H2 Molecular Clusters with Embedded Molecules and Atoms as the Source of the Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernstein, L. S.; Clark, F. O.; Lynch, D. K.

    2013-05-01

    We suggest that the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) arise from absorption lines of electronic transitions in molecular clusters primarily composed of a single molecule, atom, or ion ("seed"), embedded in a single-layer shell of H2 molecules. Less abundant variants of the cluster, including two seed molecules and/or a two-layer shell of H2 molecules, may also occur. The lines are broadened, blended, and wavelength-shifted by interactions between the seed and surrounding H2 shell. We refer to these clusters as contaminated H2 clusters (CHCs). We show that CHC spectroscopy matches the diversity of observed DIB spectral profiles and provides good fits to several DIB profiles based on a rotational temperature of 10 K. CHCs arise from ~centimeter-sized, dirty H2 ice balls, called contaminated H2 ice macro-particles (CHIMPs), formed in cold, dense, giant molecular clouds (GMCs), and later released into the interstellar medium (ISM) upon GMC disruption. Attractive interactions, arising from Van der Waals and ion-induced dipole potentials, between the seeds and H2 molecules enable CHIMPs to attain centimeter-sized dimensions. When an ultraviolet (UV) photon is absorbed in the outer layer of a CHIMP, it heats the icy matrix and expels CHCs into the ISM. While CHCs are quickly destroyed by absorbing UV photons, they are replenished by the slowly eroding CHIMPs. Since CHCs require UV photons for their release, they are most abundant at, but not limited to, the edges of UV-opaque molecular clouds, consistent with the observed, preferred location of DIBs. An inherent property of CHCs, which can be characterized as nanometer size, spinning, dipolar dust grains, is that they emit in the radio-frequency region. We also show that the CHCs offer a natural explanation for the anomalous microwave emission feature in the ~10-100 GHz spectral region.

  19. Extinction in young massive clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Marchi, Guido; Panagia, Nino

    2016-01-01

    Up to ages of ~100 Myr, massive clusters are still swamped in large amounts of gas and dust, causing considerable and uneven levels of extinction. At the same time, large grains (ices?) produced by type II supernovae profoundly alter the interstellar medium (ISM), thus resulting in extinction properties very different from those of the diffuse ISM. To obtain physically meaningful parameters of stars (luminosities, effective temperatures, masses, ages, etc.) we must understand and measure the local extinction law. We have developed a powerful method to unambiguously determine the extinction law everywhere across a cluster field, using multi-band photometry of red giant stars belonging to the red clump (RC) and are applying it to young massive clusters in the Local Group. In the Large Magellanic Cloud, with about 20 RC stars per arcmin2, for each field we can easily derive an accurate extinction curve over the entire wavelength range of the photometry. As an example, we present the extinction law of the Tarantula nebula (30 Dor) based on thousands of stars observed as part of the Hubble Tarantula Treasury Project. We discuss how the incautious adoption of the Milky Way extinction law in the analysis of massive star forming regions may lead to serious underestimates of the fluxes and of the star formation rates by factors of 2 or more.

  20. Infrared extinction in the inner Milky Way through red clump giants

    SciTech Connect

    González-Fernández, C.; Asensio Ramos, A.; Garzón, F.; Cabrera-Lavers, A.; Hammersley, P. L.

    2014-02-20

    While the shape of the extinction curve in the infrared is considered to be set and the extinction ratios between infrared bands are usually taken to be approximately constant, a number of recent studies point to either a spatially variable behavior of the exponent of the power law or a different extinction law altogether. In this paper, we propose a method to analyze the overall behavior of the interstellar extinction by means of the red-clump population, and we apply it to those areas of the Milky Way where the presence of interstellar matter is heavily felt: areas located in 5° < l < 30° and b = 0°. We show that the extinction ratios traditionally used for the near infrared could be inappropriate for the inner Galaxy and we analyze the behavior of the extinction law from 1 μm to 8 μm.

  1. Evidence for biodegradation products in the interstellar medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rauf, Kani; Wickramasinghe, Chandra

    2010-01-01

    The interstellar absorption band centred on 2175 Å that is conventionally attributed to monodisperse graphite spheres of radii 0.02 μm is more plausibly explained as arising from biologically derived aromatic molecules. On the basis of panspermia models, interstellar dust includes a substantial fraction of biomaterial in various stages of degradation. We have modeled such an ensemble of degraded biomaterial with laboratory spectroscopy of algae, grass pigments, bituminous coal and anthracite. The average ulrtraviolet absorption profile for these materials is centred at 2175 Å with a full width at half maximum of 250 Å, in precise agreement with the interstellar extinction observations. Mid-infrared spectra also display general concordance with the unidentified interstellar absorption features found in a wide variety of astronomoical sources.

  2. Cholinergic neuronal lesions in the medial septum and vertical limb of the diagonal bands of Broca induce contextual fear memory generalization and impair acquisition of fear extinction.

    PubMed

    Knox, Dayan; Keller, Samantha M

    2016-06-01

    Previous research has shown that the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and hippocampus (Hipp) are critical for extinction memory. Basal forebrain (BF) cholinergic input to the vmPFC and Hipp is critical for neural function in these substrates, which suggests BF cholinergic neurons may be critical for extinction memory. In order to test this hypothesis, we applied cholinergic lesions to different regions of the BF and observed the effects these lesions had on extinction memory. Complete BF cholinergic lesions induced contextual fear memory generalization, and this generalized fear was resistant to extinction. Animals with complete BF cholinergic lesions could not acquire cued fear extinction. Restricted cholinergic lesions in the medial septum and vertical diagonal bands of Broca (MS/vDBB) mimicked the effects that BF cholinergic lesions had on contextual fear memory generalization and acquisition of fear extinction. Cholinergic lesions in the horizontal diagonal band of Broca and nucleus basalis (hDBB/NBM) induced a small deficit in extinction of generalized contextual fear memory with no accompanying deficits in cued fear extinction. The results of this study reveal that MS/vDBB cholinergic neurons are critical for inhibition and extinction of generalized contextual fear memory, and via this process, may be critical for acquisition of cued fear extinction. Further studies delineating neural circuits and mechanisms through which MS/vDBB cholinergic neurons facilitate these emotional memory processes are needed. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Cholinergic neuronal lesions in the medial septum and vertical limb of the Diagonal Bands of Broca induce contextual fear memory generalization and impair acquisition of fear extinction

    PubMed Central

    Knox, Dayan; Keller, Samantha M.

    2017-01-01

    Previous research has shown that the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and hippocampus (Hipp) are critical for extinction memory. Basal forebrain (BF) cholinergic input to the vmPFC and Hipp is critical for neural function in these substrates, which suggests BF cholinergic neurons may be critical for extinction memory. In order to test this hypothesis, we applied cholinergic lesions to different regions of the BF and observed the effects these lesions had on extinction memory. Complete BF cholinergic lesions induced contextual fear memory generalization, and this generalized fear was resistant to extinction. Animals with complete BF cholinergic lesions could not acquire cued fear extinction. Restricted cholinergic lesions in the medial septum and vertical diagonal bands of Broca (MS/vDBB) mimicked the effects that BF cholinergic lesions had on contextual fear memory generalization and acquisition of fear extinction. Cholinergic lesions in the horizontal diagonal band of Broca and nucleus basalis (hDBB/NBM) induced a small deficit in extinction of generalized contextual fear memory with no accompanying deficits in cued fear extinction. The results of this study reveal that MS/vDBB cholinergic neurons are critical for inhibition and extinction of generalized contextual fear memory, and via this process, may be critical for acquisition of cued fear extinction. Further studies delineating neural circuits and mechanisms through which MS/vDBB cholinergic neurons facilitate these emotional memory processes are needed. PMID:26606423

  4. Interstellar and Cometary Dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mathis, John S.

    1997-01-01

    'Interstellar dust' forms a continuum of materials with differing properties which I divide into three classes on the basis of observations: (a) diffuse dust, in the low-density interstellar medium; (b) outer-cloud dust, observed in stars close enough to the outer edges of molecular clouds to be observed in the optical and ultraviolet regions of the spectrum, and (c) inner-cloud dust, deep within the cores of molecular clouds, and observed only in the infrared by means of absorption bands of C-H, C=O, 0-H, C(triple bond)N, etc. There is a surprising regularity of the extinction laws between diffuse- and outer-cloud dust. The entire mean extinction law from infrared through the observable ultraviolet spectrum can be characterized by a single parameter. There are real deviations from this mean law, larger than observational uncertainties, but they are much smaller than differences of the mean laws in diffuse- and outer-cloud dust. This fact shows that there are processes which operate over the entire distribution of grain sizes, and which change size distributions extremely efficiently. There is no evidence for mantles on grains in local diffuse and outer-cloud dust. The only published spectra of the star VI Cyg 12, the best candidate for showing mantles, does not show the 3.4 micro-m band which appreciable mantles would produce. Grains are larger in outer-cloud dust than diffuse dust because of coagulation, not accretion of extensive mantles. Core-mantle grains favored by J. M. Greenberg and collaborators, and composite grains of Mathis and Whiffen (1989), are discussed more extensively (naturally, I prefer the latter). The composite grains are fluffy and consist of silicates, amorphous carbon, and some graphite in the same grain. Grains deep within molecular clouds but before any processing within the solar system are presumably formed from the accretion of icy mantles on and within the coagulated outer-cloud grains. They should contain a mineral

  5. Infrared Spectra and Band Strengths of CH3SH, an Interstellar Molecule

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hudson, R. L.

    2016-01-01

    Three solid phases of CH3SH (methanethiol or methyl mercaptan) have been prepared and their mid-infrared spectra recorded at 10-110 degrees Kelvin, with an emphasis on the 17-100 degrees Kelvin region. Refractive indices have been measured at two temperatures and used to estimate ice densities and infrared band strengths. Vapor pressures for the two crystalline phases of CH3SH at 110 degrees Kelvin are estimated. The behavior of amorphous CH3SH on warming is presented and discussed in terms of Ostwald's step rule. Comparisons to CH3OH under similar conditions are made, and some inconsistencies and ambiguities in the CH3SH literature are examined and corrected.

  6. Infrared Spectra and Band Strengths of CH3SH, an Interstellar Molecule

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hudson, R. L.

    2016-01-01

    Three solid phases of CH3SH (methanethiol or methyl mercaptan) have been prepared and their mid-infrared spectra recorded at 10-110 degrees Kelvin, with an emphasis on the 17-100 degrees Kelvin region. Refractive indices have been measured at two temperatures and used to estimate ice densities and infrared band strengths. Vapor pressures for the two crystalline phases of CH3SH at 110 degrees Kelvin are estimated. The behavior of amorphous CH3SH on warming is presented and discussed in terms of Ostwald's step rule. Comparisons to CH3OH under similar conditions are made, and some inconsistencies and ambiguities in the CH3SH literature are examined and corrected.

  7. Mechanisms of fine extinction band development in vein quartz: new insights from correlative light and electron microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Derez, Tine; Van Der Donck, Tom; Plümper, Oliver; Muchez, Philippe; Pennock, Gill; Drury, Martyn R.; Sintubin, Manuel

    2017-07-01

    Fine extinction bands (FEBs) (also known as deformation lamellae) visible with polarized light microscopy in quartz consist of a range of nanostructures, inferring different formation processes. Previous transmission electron microscopy studies have shown that most FEB nanostructures in naturally deformed quartz are elongated subgrains formed by recovery of dislocation slip bands. Here we show that three types of FEB nanostructure occur in naturally deformed vein quartz from the low-grade metamorphic High-Ardenne slate belt (Belgium). Prismatic oriented FEBs are defined by bands of dislocation walls. Dauphiné twin boundaries present along the FEB boundaries probably formed after FEB formation. In an example of two sub-rhombohedral oriented FEBs, developed as two sets in one grain, the finer FEB set consists of elongated subgrains, similar to FEBs described in previous transmission electron microscopy studies. The second wider FEB set consists of bands with different dislocation density and fluid-inclusion content. The wider FEB set is interpreted as bands with different plastic strain associated with the primary growth banding of the vein quartz grain. The nanometre-scale fluid inclusions are interpreted to have formed from structurally bounded hydroxyl groups that moreover facilitated formation of the elongate subgrains. Larger fluid inclusions aligned along FEBs are explained by fluid-inclusion redistribution along dislocation cores. The prismatic FEB nanostructure and the relation between FEBs and growth bands have not been recognized before, although related structures have been reported in experimentally deformed quartz.

  8. Interstellar magnesium abundances

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murray, M. J.; Dufton, P. L.; Hibbert, A.; York, D. G.

    1984-01-01

    An improved evaluation of the Mg II 1240 A doublet oscillator strength is used in conjunction with recently published Copernicus observations to derive accurate Mg II column densities toward 74 stars. These imply an average of 40 percent of interstellar magnesium is in the gaseous phase. Magnesium depletion is examined as a function of various interstellar extinction and density parameters, and the results are briefly discussed in terms of current depletion theories.

  9. OBSERVATIONS OF THE NEAR- TO MID-INFRARED UNIDENTIFIED EMISSION BANDS IN THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM OF THE LARGE MAGELLANIC CLOUD

    SciTech Connect

    Mori, Tamami I.; Sakon, Itsuki; Onaka, Takashi; Ohsawa, Ryou; Kaneda, Hidehiro; Umehata, Hideki E-mail: isakon@astron.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp

    2012-01-01

    We present the results of near- to mid-infrared slit spectroscopic observations (2.55-13.4 {mu}m) of the diffuse emission toward nine positions in the Large Magellanic Cloud with the infrared camera on board AKARI. The target positions are selected to cover a wide range of the intensity of the incident radiation field. The unidentified infrared bands at 3.3, 6.2, 7.7, 8.6, and 11.3 {mu}m are detected toward all the targets and ionized gas signatures; hydrogen recombination lines and ionic forbidden lines are detected toward three of them. We classify the targets into two groups: those without the ionized gas signatures (Group A) and those with the ionized signatures (Group B). Group A includes molecular clouds and photodissociation regions, whereas Group B consists of H II regions. In Group A, the band ratios of I{sub 3.3{mu}m}/I{sub 11.3{mu}m}, I{sub 6.2{mu}m}/I{sub 11.3{mu}m}, I{sub 7.7{mu}m}/I{sub 11.3{mu}m}, and I{sub 8.6{mu}m}/I{sub 11.3{mu}m} show positive correlation with the IRAS and AKARI colors, but those of Group B do not follow the correlation. We discuss the results in terms of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) model and attribute the difference to the destruction of small PAHs and an increase in the recombination due to the high electron density in Group B. In the present study, the 3.3 {mu}m band provides crucial information on the size distribution and/or the excitation conditions of PAHs and plays a key role in the distinction of Group A from B. The results suggest the possibility of the diagram of I{sub 3.3{mu}m}/I{sub 11.3{mu}m} versus I{sub 7.7{mu}m}/I{sub 11.3{mu}m} as an efficient diagnostic tool to infer the physical conditions of the interstellar medium.

  10. Near-Infrared Band Strengths of Molecules Diluted in N2 and H2O Ice Mixtures Relevant to Interstellar and Planetary Ices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richey, Christina Rae; Gerakines, P.A.

    2012-01-01

    The relative abundances of ices in astrophysical environments rely on accurate laboratory measurements of physical parameters, such as band strengths (or absorption intensities), determined for the molecules of interest in relevant mixtures. In an extension of our previous study on pure-ice samples, here we focus on the near-infrared absorption features of molecules in mixtures with the dominant components of interstellar and planetary ices, H2O and N2. We present experimentally measured near-infrared spectral information (peak positions, widths, and band strengths) for both H2O- and N2-dominated mixtures of CO (carbon monoxide), CO2 (carbon dioxide), CH4 (methane), and NH3 (ammonia). Band strengths were determined during sample deposition by correlating the growth of near-infrared features (10,000-4000 per centimeter, 1-2.5 micrometers) with better-known mid-infrared features (4000-400 per centimeter, 2.5-25 micrometers) at longer wavelengths.

  11. MID-INFRARED EXTINCTION AND ITS VARIATION WITH GALACTIC LONGITUDE

    SciTech Connect

    Gao Jian; Jiang, B. W.; Li Aigen E-mail: bjiang@bnu.edu.c

    2009-12-10

    Based on the data obtained from the Spitzer/Galactic Legacy Infrared Midplane Survey Extraordinaire (GLIPMSE) Legacy Program and the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) project, we derive the extinction in the four IRAC bands, [3.6], [4.5], [5.8], and [8.0] mum, relative to the 2MASS K{sub s} band (at 2.16 mum) for 131 GLIPMSE fields along the Galactic plane within |l| <= 65 deg., using red giants and red clump giants as tracers. As a whole, the mean extinction in the IRAC bands (normalized to the 2MASS K{sub s} band), A{sub [3.6]}/A{sub K{sub s}}approx0.63+-0.01, A{sub [4.5]}/A{sub K{sub s}}approx0.57+-0.03, A{sub [5.8]}/A{sub K{sub s}}approx0.49+-0.03, A{sub [8.0]}/A{sub K{sub s}}approx0.55+-0.03, exhibits little variation with wavelength (i.e., the extinction is somewhat flat or gray). This is consistent with previous studies and agrees with that predicted from the standard interstellar grain model for R{sub V} = 5.5 by Weingartner and Draine. As far as individual sightline is concerned, however, the wavelength dependence of the mid-infrared interstellar extinction A{sub l}ambda/A{sub K{sub s}} varies from one sightline to another, suggesting that there may not exist a 'universal' IR extinction law. We, for the first time, demonstrate the existence of systematic variations of extinction with Galactic longitude which appears to correlate with the locations of spiral arms as well as with the variation of the far-infrared luminosity of interstellar dust.

  12. The Type Ia Supernova 2004S, a Clone of SN 2001el, and the Optimal Photometric Bands for Extinction Estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krisciunas, Kevin; Garnavich, Peter M.; Stanishev, Vallery; Suntzeff, Nicholas B.; Prieto, Jose Luis; Espinoza, Juan; Gonzalez, David; Salvo, Maria Elena; Elias de la Rosa, Nancy; Smartt, Stephen J.; Maund, Justyn R.; Kudritzki, Rolf-Peter

    2007-01-01

    We present optical (UBVRI) and near-IR (YJHK) photometry of the normal Type Ia supernova (SN) 2004S. We also present eight optical spectra and one near-IR spectrum of SN 2004S. The light curves and spectra are nearly identical to those of SN 2001el. This is the first time we have seen optical and IR light curves of two Type Ia SNe match so closely. Within the one parameter family of light curves for normal Type Ia SNe, that two objects should have such similar light curves implies that they had identical intrinsic colors and produced similar amounts of 56Ni. From the similarities of the light-curve shapes we obtain a set of extinctions as a function of wavelength that allows a simultaneous solution for the distance modulus difference of the two objects, the difference of the host galaxy extinctions, and RV. Since SN 2001el had roughly an order of magnitude more host galaxy extinction than SN 2004S, the value of RV=2.15+0.24-0.22 pertains primarily to dust in the host galaxy of SN 2001el. We have also shown via Monte Carlo simulations that adding rest-frame J-band photometry to the complement of BVRI photometry of Type Ia SNe decreases the uncertainty in the distance modulus by a factor of 2.7. A combination of rest-frame optical and near-IR photometry clearly gives more accurate distances than using rest-frame optical photometry alone. Based in part on observations taken at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc., under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. Also based on observations made with ESO telescopes at the La Silla and Paranal Observatories under program IDs 074.D-0340 and 074.A-9008.

  13. Anomalous Diffuse Interstellar Bands in the Spectrum of Herschel 36. I. Observations of Rotationally Excited CH and CH+ Absorption and Strong, Extended Redward Wings on Several DIBs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahlstrom, Julie; York, Donald G.; Welty, Daniel E.; Oka, Takeshi; Hobbs, L. M.; Johnson, Sean; Friedman, Scott D.; Jiang, Zihao; Rachford, Brian L.; Sherman, Reid; Snow, Theodore P.; Sonnentrucker, Paule

    2013-08-01

    Anomalously broad diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) at 5780.5, 5797.1, 6196.0, and 6613.6 Å are found in absorption along the line of sight to Herschel 36, the star illuminating the bright Hourglass region of the H II region Messier 8. Interstellar absorption from excited CH+ in the J = 1 level and from excited CH in the J = 3/2 level is also seen. To our knowledge, neither those excited molecular lines nor such strongly extended DIBs have previously been seen in absorption from interstellar gas. These unusual features appear to arise in a small region near Herschel 36 which contains most of the neutral interstellar material in the sight line. The CH+ and CH in that region are radiatively excited by strong far-IR radiation from the adjacent infrared source Her 36 SE. Similarly, the broadening of the DIBs toward Herschel 36 may be due to radiative pumping of closely spaced high-J rotational levels of relatively small, polar carrier molecules. If this picture of excited rotational states for the DIB carriers is correct and applicable to most DIBs, the 2.7 K cosmic microwave background may set the minimum widths (about 0.35 Å) of known DIBs, with molecular processes and/or local radiation fields producing the larger widths found for the broader DIBs. Despite the intense local UV radiation field within the cluster NGC 6530, no previously undetected DIBs stronger than 10 mÅ in equivalent width are found in the optical spectrum of Herschel 36, suggesting that neither dissociation nor ionization of the carriers of the known DIBs by this intense field creates new carriers with easily detectable DIB-like features. Possibly related profile anomalies for several other DIBs are noted. Based in part on data obtained from the ESO Science Archive Facility by user DWELTY.

  14. Photochemistry of interstellar molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stief, L. J.

    1971-01-01

    The photochemistry of two diatomic and eight polyatomic molecules is discussed quantitatively. For an interstellar molecule, the lifetime against photodecomposition depends upon the absorption cross section, the quantum yield or probability of dissociation following photon absorption, and the interstellar radiation field. The constant energy density of Habing is used for the unobserved regions of interstellar radiation field, and the field in obscuring clouds is estimated by combining the constant flux with the observed interstellar extinction curve covering the visible and ultraviolet regions. Lifetimes against photodecomposition in the unobscured regions and as a function of increasing optical thickness in obscuring clouds are calculated for the ten species. The results show that, except for CO, all the molecules have comparable lifetimes of less than one hundred years. Thus they can exist only in dense clouds and can never have been exposed to the unobscured radiation. The calculations further show that the lifetimes in clouds of moderate opacity are of the order of one million years.

  15. Hubble Tarantula Treasury Project - IV. The extinction law

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Marchi, Guido; Panagia, Nino; Sabbi, Elena; Lennon, Daniel; Anderson, Jay; van der Marel, Roeland; Cignoni, Michele; Grebel, Eva K.; Larsen, Søren; Zaritsky, Dennis; Zeidler, Peter; Gouliermis, Dimitrios; Aloisi, Alessandra

    2016-02-01

    We report on the study of interstellar extinction across the Tarantula Nebula (30 Doradus), in the Large Magellanic Cloud, using observations from the Hubble Tarantula Treasury Project in the 0.3-1.6 μm range. The considerable and patchy extinction inside the nebula causes about 3500 red clump stars to be scattered along the reddening vector in the colour-magnitude diagrams, thereby allowing an accurate determination of the reddening slope in all bands. The measured slope of the reddening vector is remarkably steeper in all bands than in the the Galactic diffuse interstellar medium. At optical wavelengths, the larger ratio of total-to-selective extinction, namely RV = 4.5 ± 0.2, implies the presence of a grey component in the extinction law, due to a larger fraction of large grains. The extra large grains are most likely ices from supernova ejecta and will significantly alter the extinction properties of the region until they sublimate in 50-100 Myr. We discuss the implications of this extinction law for the Tarantula Nebula and in general for regions of massive star formation in galaxies. Our results suggest that fluxes of strongly star-forming regions are likely to be underestimated by a factor of about 2 in the optical.

  16. High energy electron irradiation of interstellar carbonaceous dust analogs: Cosmic ray effects on the carriers of the 3.4 µm absorption band.

    PubMed

    Maté, Belén; Molpeceres, Germán; Jiménez-Redondo, Miguel; Tanarro, Isabel; Herrero, Víctor J

    2016-11-01

    The effects of cosmic rays on the carriers of the interstellar 3.4 μm absorption band have been investigated in the laboratory. This band is attributed to stretching vibrations of CH3 and CH2 in carbonaceous dust. It is widely observed in the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM), but disappears in dense clouds. Destruction of CH3 and CH2 by cosmic rays could become relevant in dense clouds, shielded from the external ultraviolet field. For the simulations, samples of hydrogenated amorphous carbon (a-C:H) have been irradiated with 5 keV electrons. The decay of the band intensity vs electron fluence reflects a-C:H dehydrogenation, which is well described by a model assuming that H2 molecules, formed by the recombination of H atoms liberated through CH bond breaking, diffuse out of the sample. The CH bond destruction rates derived from the present experiments are in good accordance with those from previous ion irradiation experiments of HAC. The experimental simplicity of electron bombardment has allowed the use of higher energy doses than in the ion experiments. The effects of cosmic rays on the aliphatic components of cosmic dust are found to be small. The estimated cosmic ray destruction times for the 3.4 μm band carriers lie in the 10(8) yr range and cannot account for the disappearance of this band in dense clouds, which have characteristic lifetimes of 3 × 10(7) yr. The results invite a more detailed investigation of the mechanisms of CH bond formation and breaking in the intermediate region between diffuse and dense clouds.

  17. High energy electron irradiation of interstellar carbonaceous dust analogs: Cosmic ray effects on the carriers of the 3.4 µm absorption band

    PubMed Central

    Maté, Belén; Molpeceres, Germán; Jiménez-Redondo, Miguel; Tanarro, Isabel; Herrero, Víctor J.

    2017-01-01

    The effects of cosmic rays on the carriers of the interstellar 3.4 μm absorption band have been investigated in the laboratory. This band is attributed to stretching vibrations of CH3 and CH2 in carbonaceous dust. It is widely observed in the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM), but disappears in dense clouds. Destruction of CH3 and CH2 by cosmic rays could become relevant in dense clouds, shielded from the external ultraviolet field. For the simulations, samples of hydrogenated amorphous carbon (a-C:H) have been irradiated with 5 keV electrons. The decay of the band intensity vs electron fluence reflects a-C:H dehydrogenation, which is well described by a model assuming that H2 molecules, formed by the recombination of H atoms liberated through CH bond breaking, diffuse out of the sample. The CH bond destruction rates derived from the present experiments are in good accordance with those from previous ion irradiation experiments of HAC. The experimental simplicity of electron bombardment has allowed the use of higher energy doses than in the ion experiments. The effects of cosmic rays on the aliphatic components of cosmic dust are found to be small. The estimated cosmic ray destruction times for the 3.4 μm band carriers lie in the 108 yr range and cannot account for the disappearance of this band in dense clouds, which have characteristic lifetimes of 3 × 107 yr. The results invite a more detailed investigation of the mechanisms of CH bond formation and breaking in the intermediate region between diffuse and dense clouds. PMID:28133388

  18. High-energy Electron Irradiation of Interstellar Carbonaceous Dust Analogs: Cosmic-ray Effects on the Carriers of the 3.4 μm Absorption Band

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maté, Belén; Molpeceres, Germán; Jiménez-Redondo, Miguel; Tanarro, Isabel; Herrero, Víctor J.

    2016-11-01

    The effects of cosmic rays on the carriers of the interstellar 3.4 μm absorption band have been investigated in the laboratory. This band is attributed to stretching vibrations of CH3 and CH2 in carbonaceous dust. It is widely observed in the diffuse interstellar medium, but disappears in dense clouds. Destruction of CH3 and CH2 by cosmic rays could become relevant in dense clouds, shielded from the external ultraviolet field. For the simulations, samples of hydrogenated amorphous carbon (a-C:H) have been irradiated with 5 keV electrons. The decay of the band intensity versus electron fluence reflects a-C:H dehydrogenation, which is well described by a model assuming that H2 molecules, formed by the recombination of H atoms liberated through CH bond breaking, diffuse out of the sample. The CH bond destruction rates derived from the present experiments are in good accordance with those from previous ion irradiation experiments of HAC. The experimental simplicity of electron bombardment has allowed the use of higher-energy doses than in the ion experiments. The effects of cosmic rays on the aliphatic components of cosmic dust are found to be small. The estimated cosmic-ray destruction times for the 3.4 μm band carriers lie in the 108 yr range and cannot account for the disappearance of this band in dense clouds, which have characteristic lifetimes of 3 × 107 yr. The results invite a more detailed investigation of the mechanisms of CH bond formation and breaking in the intermediate region between diffuse and dense clouds.

  19. Observational Evidence for Radiative Interstellar Grain Alignment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersson, B.; Potter, S. B.; Andersson, B.; Potter, S.

    2011-11-01

    The alignment mechanisms of interstellar dust grains is a long standing astrophysical problem. Interstellar polarization was first discovered in 1949 and soon thereafter attributed to dichroic extinction caused by asymmetric dust grains aligned with the magnetic field. For a long time the alignment mechanism was thought to involve paramagnetic relaxation in rapidly spinning dust grains. Modern theory indicates that the classical alignment mechanisms are likely not efficient, but rather favor alignment through direct radiative torques. We have used multi-band polarimetry towards stars probing six nearby clouds to show that the wavelength of maximum polarization is linearly correlated with the visual extinction (Andersson & Potter 2007; AP07; where further details can be found). We find a universal relation with a common positive slope between the clouds and a DC offset correlated with the average of the total-to-selective extinction < RV > . These results provide strong observational support for radiatively driven grain alignment. Recent observations of an additional set of ≍60 sightlines in the Taurus cloud confirm and strengthen these results.

  20. Galactic Extinction and Reddening from the South Galactic Cap u-band Sky Survey: u-band Galaxy Number Counts and u ‑ r  Color Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Linlin; Shen, Shiyin; Hou, Jinliang; Yuan, Fangting; Zhong, Jing; Zou, Hu; Zhou, Xu; Jiang, Zhaoji; Peng, Xiyan; Fan, Dongwei; Fan, Xiaohui; Fan, Zhou; He, Boliang; Jing, Yipeng; Lesser, Michael; Li, Cheng; Ma, Jun; Nie, Jundan; Wang, Jiali; Wu, Zhenyu; Zhang, Tianmeng; Zhou, Zhimin

    2017-02-01

    We study the integral Galactic extinction and reddening based on the galaxy catalog of the South Galactic Cap u-band Sky Survey (SCUSS), where u-band galaxy number counts and u ‑ r color distribution are used to derive the Galactic extinction and reddening respectively. We compare these independent statistical measurements with the reddening map of Schlegel et al. (SFD) and find that both the extinction and reddening from the number counts and color distribution are in good agreement with the SFD results at low extinction regions (E{(B-V)}{SFD}< 0.12 mag). However, for high extinction regions (E{(B-V)}{SFD}> 0.12 mag), the SFD map overestimates the Galactic reddening systematically, which can be approximated by a linear relation {{Δ }}E{(B-V)=0.43[E(B-V)}{SFD}-0.12]. By combining the results from galaxy number counts and color distribution, we find that the shape of the Galactic extinction curve is in good agreement with the standard RV = 3.1 extinction law of O’Donnell.

  1. Towards a comprehensive electronic database of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and its application in constraining the identities of possible carriers of the diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Xiaofeng

    2009-01-01

    A theoretical approach is developed to pre-select individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) as possible carriers of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs). In this approach, a computer program is used to enumerate all PAH molecules with up to a specific number of fused benzene rings. Fast quantum chemical calculations are then employed to calculate the electronic transition energies, oscillator strengths, and rotational constants of these molecules. An electronic database of all PAHs with up to any specific number of benzene rings can be constructed this way. Comparison of the electronic transition energies, oscillator strengths, and rotational band contours of all PAHs in the database with astronomical spectra allows one to constrain the identities of individual PAHs as possible carriers of some of the intense narrow DIBs. Using the current database containing up to 10 benzene rings we have pre-selected 8 closed-shell PAHs as possible carriers of the famous λ6614 DIB.

  2. On the Source of the Dust Extinction in Type Ia Supernovae and the Discovery of Anomalously Strong Na I Absorption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, M. M.; Simon, Joshua D.; Morrell, Nidia; Burns, Christopher R.; Cox, Nick L. J.; Foley, Ryan J.; Karakas, Amanda I.; Patat, F.; Sternberg, A.; Williams, R. E.; Gal-Yam, A.; Hsiao, E. Y.; Leonard, D. C.; Persson, Sven E.; Stritzinger, Maximilian; Thompson, I. B.; Campillay, Abdo; Contreras, Carlos; Folatelli, Gastón; Freedman, Wendy L.; Hamuy, Mario; Roth, Miguel; Shields, Gregory A.; Suntzeff, Nicholas B.; Chomiuk, Laura; Ivans, Inese I.; Madore, Barry F.; Penprase, B. E.; Perley, Daniel; Pignata, G.; Preston, G.; Soderberg, Alicia M.

    2013-12-01

    High-dispersion observations of the Na I D λλ5890, 5896 and K I λλ7665, 7699 interstellar lines, and the diffuse interstellar band at 5780 Å in the spectra of 32 Type Ia supernovae are used as an independent means of probing dust extinction. We show that the dust extinction of the objects where the diffuse interstellar band at 5780 Å is detected is consistent with the visual extinction derived from the supernova colors. This strongly suggests that the dust producing the extinction is predominantly located in the interstellar medium of the host galaxies and not in circumstellar material associated with the progenitor system. One quarter of the supernovae display anomalously large Na I column densities in comparison to the amount of dust extinction derived from their colors. Remarkably, all of the cases of unusually strong Na I D absorption correspond to "Blueshifted" profiles in the classification scheme of Sternberg et al. This coincidence suggests that outflowing circumstellar gas is responsible for at least some of the cases of anomalously large Na I column densities. Two supernovae with unusually strong Na I D absorption showed essentially normal K I column densities for the dust extinction implied by their colors, but this does not appear to be a universal characteristic. Overall, we find the most accurate predictor of individual supernova extinction to be the equivalent width of the diffuse interstellar band at 5780 Å, and provide an empirical relation for its use. Finally, we identify ways of producing significant enhancements of the Na abundance of circumstellar material in both the single-degenerate and double-degenerate scenarios for the progenitor system. This paper includes data gathered with the 6.5 m Magellan telescopes at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile.

  3. On the source of the dust extinction in type Ia supernovae and the discovery of anomalously strong Na I absorption

    SciTech Connect

    Phillips, M. M.; Morrell, Nidia; Hsiao, E. Y.; Campillay, Abdo; Contreras, Carlos; Simon, Joshua D.; Burns, Christopher R.; Persson, Sven E.; Thompson, I. B.; Freedman, Wendy L.; Cox, Nick L. J.; Foley, Ryan J.; Karakas, Amanda I.; Patat, F.; Sternberg, A.; Williams, R. E.; Gal-Yam, A.; Leonard, D. C.; Stritzinger, Maximilian; Folatelli, Gastón; and others

    2013-12-10

    High-dispersion observations of the Na I D λλ5890, 5896 and K I λλ7665, 7699 interstellar lines, and the diffuse interstellar band at 5780 Å in the spectra of 32 Type Ia supernovae are used as an independent means of probing dust extinction. We show that the dust extinction of the objects where the diffuse interstellar band at 5780 Å is detected is consistent with the visual extinction derived from the supernova colors. This strongly suggests that the dust producing the extinction is predominantly located in the interstellar medium of the host galaxies and not in circumstellar material associated with the progenitor system. One quarter of the supernovae display anomalously large Na I column densities in comparison to the amount of dust extinction derived from their colors. Remarkably, all of the cases of unusually strong Na I D absorption correspond to 'Blueshifted' profiles in the classification scheme of Sternberg et al. This coincidence suggests that outflowing circumstellar gas is responsible for at least some of the cases of anomalously large Na I column densities. Two supernovae with unusually strong Na I D absorption showed essentially normal K I column densities for the dust extinction implied by their colors, but this does not appear to be a universal characteristic. Overall, we find the most accurate predictor of individual supernova extinction to be the equivalent width of the diffuse interstellar band at 5780 Å, and provide an empirical relation for its use. Finally, we identify ways of producing significant enhancements of the Na abundance of circumstellar material in both the single-degenerate and double-degenerate scenarios for the progenitor system.

  4. Determination of the extinction law of dust in SNRs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Bin; Jiang, Biwei

    2016-06-01

    Dust plays an important role in astrophysics, and the demand to characterize and understand dust is increasingly appreciated. In addition to asymptotic giant branch stars evolved from low- and intermediate-mass star, supernovae (SNe) are an important contributor to interstellar dust. On the other hand, SNe destroy interstellar dust due to its violent shock waves. How much SNe contribute to and affect interstellar dust is very unclear. The estimation of amount of dust from per SN has an uncertainty of three orders. Rather than from the dust emission, we study the dust property of SNR through its extinction, which has the advantage of avoiding the very uncertain dust temperature. The SNR S147 is chosen as the first target. Based on the LAMOST spectroscopic survey and the UCAC4 photometric catalog, the intrinsic color index is derived with its relation to the effective temperature given the spectral luminosity and metallicity in a way similar to Wang & Jiang (2014). Based on the color excess in various bands, the extinction curve is derived. Finally, we present a dust model to fit the extinction curve, which explores the properties of the dust in S147 including the dust size distribution, dust composition and shape etc. The properties are compared with that of the normal interstellar dust.

  5. BROAD BALMER WINGS IN BA HYPER/SUPERGIANTS DISTORTED BY DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BANDS: FIVE EXAMPLES IN THE 30 DORADUS REGION FROM THE VLT-FLAMES TARANTULA SURVEY

    SciTech Connect

    Walborn, Nolan R.; Sana, Hugues; Sabbi, Elena E-mail: hsana@stsci.edu; and others

    2015-08-10

    Extremely broad emission wings at Hβ and Hα have been found in VLT-FLAMES Tarantula Survey data for five very luminous BA supergiants in or near 30 Doradus in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The profiles of both lines are extremely asymmetrical, which we have found to be caused by very broad diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) in the longward wing of Hβ and the shortward wing of Hα. These DIBs are well known to interstellar but not to many stellar specialists, so that the asymmetries may be mistaken for intrinsic features. The broad emission wings are generally ascribed to electron scattering, although we note difficulties for that interpretation in some objects. Such profiles are known in some Galactic hyper/supergiants and are also seen in both active and quiescent Luminous Blue Variables (LBVs). No prior or current LBV activity is known in these 30 Dor stars, although a generic relationship to LBVs is not excluded; subject to further observational and theoretical investigation, it is possible that these very luminous supergiants are approaching the LBV stage for the first time. Their locations in the HRD and presumed evolutionary tracks are consistent with that possibility. The available evidence for spectroscopic variations of these objects is reviewed, while recent photometric monitoring does not reveal variability. A search for circumstellar nebulae has been conducted, with an indeterminate result for one of them.

  6. Broad Balmer Wings in BA Hyper/Supergiants Distorted by Diffuse Interstellar Bands: Five Examples in the 30 Doradus Region from the VLT-FLAMES Tarantula Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walborn, Nolan R.; Sana, Hugues; Evans, Christopher J.; Taylor, William D.; Sabbi, Elena; Barbá, Rodolfo H.; Morrell, Nidia I.; Maíz Apellániz, Jesús; Sota, Alfredo; Dufton, Philip L.; McEvoy, Catherine M.; Clark, J. Simon; Markova, Nevena; Ulaczyk, Krzysztof

    2015-08-01

    Extremely broad emission wings at Hβ and Hα have been found in VLT-FLAMES Tarantula Survey data for five very luminous BA supergiants in or near 30 Doradus in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The profiles of both lines are extremely asymmetrical, which we have found to be caused by very broad diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) in the longward wing of Hβ and the shortward wing of Hα. These DIBs are well known to interstellar but not to many stellar specialists, so that the asymmetries may be mistaken for intrinsic features. The broad emission wings are generally ascribed to electron scattering, although we note difficulties for that interpretation in some objects. Such profiles are known in some Galactic hyper/supergiants and are also seen in both active and quiescent Luminous Blue Variables (LBVs). No prior or current LBV activity is known in these 30 Dor stars, although a generic relationship to LBVs is not excluded; subject to further observational and theoretical investigation, it is possible that these very luminous supergiants are approaching the LBV stage for the first time. Their locations in the HRD and presumed evolutionary tracks are consistent with that possibility. The available evidence for spectroscopic variations of these objects is reviewed, while recent photometric monitoring does not reveal variability. A search for circumstellar nebulae has been conducted, with an indeterminate result for one of them.

  7. THE SEARCH FOR THE DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BANDS AND OTHER MOLECULES IN COMETS 17P (HOLMES) AND C/2007 W1 (BOATTINI)

    SciTech Connect

    O'Malia, K. K. J.; Snow, T. P.; Thorburn, J. A.; Hammergren, M.; Dembicky, J.; Hobbs, L. M.; York, D. G.

    2010-01-01

    We present the search for both diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) and molecules in Comet 17P (Holmes) and Comet C/2007 W1 (Boattini) occultation observations. Absorption spectra were taken during stellar occultations by Comet Holmes of 31 and beta Persei, and the occultation of BD+22 216 by Comet Boattini. While no signature of the comets was detected, we present upper limits for some common cometary molecules such as C{sub 2}, C{sub 3}, CH, CN and for the most common DIBs. We did not detect either comet in absorption, most likely because of the large distance between the line of sight to the star and the nucleus of the comet. Interstellar sight lines with comparable reddening to what was measured in Comet Holmes have DIB equivalent widths between 5 and 50 mA. However, future observations with closer approaches to a background star have great potential for spatially mapping molecule distributions in comets, and in discovering DIBs, if they are present, in comets. Future observations could detect DIBs and molecules if they are done: (1) less than approx10{sup 4}-10{sup 3} km from the nucleus (2) with a signal to noise in the background star of approx300 and (3) with a resolving power of at least 38,000.

  8. NEAR-INFRARED BAND STRENGTHS OF MOLECULES DILUTED IN N{sub 2} AND H{sub 2}O ICE MIXTURES RELEVANT TO INTERSTELLAR AND PLANETARY ICES

    SciTech Connect

    Richey, C. R.; Gerakines, P. A. E-mail: gerak@uab.edu

    2012-11-01

    The relative abundances of ices in astrophysical environments rely on accurate laboratory measurements of physical parameters, such as band strengths (or absorption intensities), determined for the molecules of interest in relevant mixtures. In an extension of our previous study on pure-ice samples, here we focus on the near-infrared absorption features of molecules in mixtures with the dominant components of interstellar and planetary ices, H{sub 2}O and N{sub 2}. We present experimentally measured near-infrared spectral information (peak positions, widths, and band strengths) for both H{sub 2}O- and N{sub 2}-dominated mixtures of CO (carbon monoxide), CO{sub 2} (carbon dioxide), CH{sub 4} (methane), and NH{sub 3} (ammonia). Band strengths were determined during sample deposition by correlating the growth of near-infrared features (10,000-4000 cm{sup -1}, 1-2.5 {mu}m) with better-known mid-infrared features (4000-400 cm{sup -1}, 2.5-25 {mu}m) at longer wavelengths.

  9. Carriers of the mid-IR emission bands in PNe reanalysed. Evidence of a link between circumstellar and interstellar aromatic dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joblin, C.; Szczerba, R.; Berné, O.; Szyszka, C.

    2008-10-01

    Context: It has been shown that the diversity of the aromatic emission features can be rationalized into different classes of objects, in which differences between circumstellar and interstellar matter are emphasised. Aims: We probe the links between the mid-IR emitters observed in planetary nebulae (PNe) and their counterparts in the interstellar medium in order to probe a scenario in which the latter have been formed in the circumstellar environment of evolved stars. Methods: The mid-IR (6-14 μm) emission spectra of PNe and compact H II regions were analysed on the basis of previous work on photodissociation regions (PDRs). Galactic, Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), and Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) objects were considered in our sample. Results: We show that the mid-IR emission of PNe can be decomposed as the sum of six components. Some components made of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and very small grain (VSG) populations are similar to those observed in PDRs. Others are fitted in an evolutionary scenario involving the destruction of the aliphatic component observed in the post-AGB stage, as well as strong processing of PAHs in the extreme conditions of PNe that leads to a population of very large ionized PAHs. This species called PAHx are proposed as the carriers of a characteristic band at 7.90 μm. This band can be used as part of diagnostics that identify PNe in nearby galaxies and is also observed in galactic compact H II regions. Conclusions: These results support the formation of the aromatic very small dust particles in the envelopes of evolved stars, in the Milky Way, as well as in the LMC and SMC, and their subsequent survival in the interstellar medium. This work is based on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA. Based on observations with ISO, an ESA project with instruments funded by ESA Member States (especially the

  10. Extinction coefficients of CC and CC bands in ethyne and ethene molecules interacting with Cu+ and Ag+ in zeolites--IR studies and quantumchemical DFT calculations.

    PubMed

    Kozyra, Paweł; Góra-Marek, Kinga; Datka, Jerzy

    2015-02-05

    The values of extinction coefficients of CC and CC IR bands of ethyne and ethene interacting with Cu+ and Ag+ in zeolites were determined in quantitative IR experiments and also by quantumchemical DFT calculations with QM/MM method. Both experimental and calculated values were in very good agreement validating the reliability of calculations. The values of extinction coefficients of ethyne and ethene interacting with bare cations and cations embedded in zeolite-like clusters were calculated. The interaction of organic molecules with Cu+ and Ag+ in zeolites ZSM-5 and especially charge transfers between molecule, cation and zeolite framework was also discussed in relation to the values of extinction coefficients. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Interstellar PAHs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allamandola, Louis J.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Tremendous strides have been made in our understanding of interstellar material over the past twenty years thanks to significant, parallel developments in two closely related areas: observational astronomy and laboratory astrophysics. Twenty years ago the composition of interstellar dust was largely guessed at and the notion of abundant, gas phase, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) anywhere in the interstellar medium (ISM) considered impossible. Today the dust composition of the diffuse and dense ISM is reasonably well constrained and the spectroscopic case for interstellar PAHs, shockingly large molecules by early interstellar chemistry standards, is very strong.

  12. Interstellar molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Townes, C. H.

    1976-01-01

    Progress in the discovery and study of interstellar molecules is summarized. The 36 molecular species thus far identified in interstellar space are listed in several groups which include simple hydrides, oxides, and sulfides, various derivatives of ammonia, molecules involving linear carbon chains, cyanides, and molecules related in structure to formaldehyde, alcohols, or ethers. Several free radicals are described, the discovery of molecules in external galaxies is discussed, and possible mechanisms for molecular formation are noted. Methods for examining relative isotopic abundances by measuring molecules in interstellar clouds are outlined, mechanisms for the excitation of interstellar molecules are reviewed, and values are presented for the C-12/C-13 abundance ratio in a number of interstellar clouds. The detection of interstellar masers is discussed along with pumping mechanisms and masing transitions in H2CO, CH, OH, and SiO. The nature of dense interstellar clouds is examined in terms of several simple and complex cloud models, with emphasis on multiple condensation models.

  13. Interstellar initiatives

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Drysdale, Alan; Vick, Jerry

    1991-01-01

    Issues related to space exploration beyond the solar system are introduced and discussed including the interstellar medium and interstellar probes and communication. The characteristics of the interstellar medium cannot be accurately predicted, and four probes are described that are intended to travel beyond the solar system and transmit data regarding the interstellar medium. Interstellar communication is shown to be technically feasible with existing technology, and the problems associated with manned interstellar travel are listed. Factors limiting the possibilities of such travel include propulsion options, energy requirements, and the amount of time required for a given mission to a nearby star. Interstellar space is shown to be of interest to astronomers because of the possibilities of long-baseline observations in a clean observational environment.

  14. Near-infrared absorption spectroscopy of interstellar hydrocarbon grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pendleton, Y. J.; Sandford, S. A.; Allamandola, L. J.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Sellgren, K.

    1994-01-01

    We present new 3600 - 2700/cm (2.8 - 3.7 micrometer) spectra of objects whose extinction is dominated by dust in the diffuse interstellar medium. The observations presented here augment an ongoing study of the organic component of the diffuse interstellar medium. These spectra contain a broad feature centered near 3300/cm (3.0 micrometers) and/or a feature with a more complex profile near 2950/cm (3.4 micrometers), the latter of which is attributed to saturated aliphatic hydrocarbons in interstellar grains and is the primary interest of this paper. As in our earlier work, the similarity of the absorption bands near 2950/cm (3.4 micrometers) along different lines of sight and the correlation of these features with interstellar extinction reveal that the carrier of this band lies in the dust in the diffuse interstellar medium (DISM). At least 2.5% of the cosmic carbon in the local interstellar medium and 4% toward the Galactic center is tied up in the carrier of the 2950/cm (3.4 micrometer) band. The spectral structure of the diffuse dust hydrocarbon C-H stretch absorption features is reasonably similar to UV photolyzed laboratory ice residues and is quite similar to the carbonaceous component of the Murchison meteorite. The similarity between the DISM and the meteoritic spectrum suggests that some of the interstellar material originally incorporated into the solar nebula may have survived relatively untouched in primitive solar system bodies. Comparisons of the DISM spectrum to hydrogenated amorphous carbon and quenched carbonaceous composite are also presented. The A(sub V)/tau ratio for the 2950/cm (3.4 micrometer) feature is lower toward the Galactic center than toward sources in the local solar neighborhood (approximately 150 for the Galactic center sources vs. approximately 250 for the local ISM sources). A similar trend has been observed previously for silicates in the diffuse medium by Roche & Aitken, suggesting that (1) the silicate and carbonaceous

  15. Detection of organic matter in interstellar grains.

    PubMed

    Pendleton, Y J

    1997-06-01

    Star formation and the subsequent evolution of planetary systems occurs in dense molecular clouds, which are comprised, in part, of interstellar dust grains gathered from the diffuse interstellar medium (DISM). Radio observations of the interstellar medium reveal the presence of organic molecules in the gas phase and infrared observational studies provide details concerning the solid-state features in dust grains. In particular, a series of absorption bands have been observed near 3.4 microns (approximately 2940 cm-1) towards bright infrared objects which are seen through large column densities of interstellar dust. Comparisons of organic residues, produced under a variety of laboratory conditions, to the diffuse interstellar medium observations have shown that aliphatic hydrocarbon grains are responsible for the spectral absorption features observed near 3.4 microns (approximately 2940 cm-1). These hydrocarbons appear to carry the -CH2- and -CH3 functional groups in the abundance ratio CH2/CH3 approximately 2.5, and the amount of carbon tied up in this component is greater than 4% of the cosmic carbon available. On a galactic scale, the strength of the 3.4 microns band does not scale linearly with visual extinction, but instead increases more rapidly for objects near the Galactic Center. A similar trend is noted in the strength of the Si-O absorption band near 9.7 microns. The similar behavior of the C-H and Si-O stretching bands suggests that these two components may be coupled, perhaps in the form of grains with silicate cores and refractory organic mantles. The ubiquity of the hydrocarbon features seen in the near infrared near 3.4 microns throughout out Galaxy and in other galaxies demonstrates the widespread availability of such material for incorporation into the many newly forming planetary systems. The similarity of the 3.4 microns features in any organic material with aliphatic hydrocarbons underscores the need for complete astronomical observational

  16. Laboratory Astrochemistry: Interstellar PAHs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are now considered to be an important and ubiquitous component of the organic material in space. PAHs are found in a large variety of extraterrestrial materials such as interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) and meteoritic materials. PAHs are also good candidates to account for the infrared emission bands (UIRs) and the diffuse interstellar optical absorption bands (DIBs) detected in various regions of the interstellar medium. The recent observations made with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) have confirmed the ubiquitous nature of the UIR bands and their carriers. PAHs are thought to form through chemical reactions in the outflow from carbon-rich stars in a process similar to soot formation. Once injected in the interstellar medium, PAHs are further processed by the interstellar radiation field, interstellar shocks and energetic particles. A major, dedicated, laboratory effort has been undertaken to measure the physical and chemical characteristics of these complex molecules and their ions under experimental conditions that mimic the interstellar conditions. These measurements require collision-free conditions where the molecules and ions are cold and chemically isolated. The spectroscopy of PAHs under controlled conditions represents an essential diagnostic tool to study the evolution of extraterrestrial PAHs. The Astrochemistry Laboratory program will be discussed through its multiple aspects: (1) objectives, (2) approach and techniques adopted, (3) adaptability to the nature of the problem(s), and (4) results and implications for astronomy as well as for molecular spectroscopy. A review of the data generated through laboratory simulations of space environments and the role these data have played in our current understanding of the properties of interstellar PAHs will be presented. The discussion will also introduce the newest generation of laboratory experiments that are currently being developed in order to provide a

  17. A new model for the interpretation of the unidentified infrared bands (UIBS) of the diffuse interstellar medium and of the protoplanetary nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cataldo, Franco; Keheyan, Yeghis; Heymann, Dieter

    2002-04-01

    In this work we started from the basic idea that the pure polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) cannot be the real carriers of the unidentified infrared bands (UIBs), the emission spectra coming from a large variety of astronomical objects. Instead we propose a new model taken from petroleum chemistry which, we can show, is able to match both the UIBs and even the protoplanetary nebulae (PPNe) spectra. PAHs such as phenanthrene, benzoperylene, coronene and pentacene, are too pure and too specific to really exist in the interstellar medium. Instead our model proposes that the carrier of UIBs and PPNe are complex molecular mixtures like those obtained as fractions during the petroleum refining processes. These molecular mixtures are so complex that practically the investigators did not try to identify each individual component but characterized the mixture with an average molecular structure that takes into account both the average molecular weight and the average content of aromatic, naphtenic (cycloaliphatic) and aliphatic (paraffinic) fraction. We show by infrared spectroscopy that petroleum fractions obtained at certain steps of the refining process are able to match the UIBs and the PPNe infrared bands with the advantage of not being so specific as PAHs are. Namely we have used as samples a distillate aromatic extract (DAE) a treated residual aromatic extract (T-RAE) and finally a naphtenic oil. Among the three samples examined, the DAE sample was the best in matching the UIBs and PPNe spectra.

  18. Laboratory optical spectroscopy of the thiophenoxy radical and its profile simulation as a diffuse interstellar band based on rotational distribution by radiation and collisions

    SciTech Connect

    Araki, Mitsunori; Niwayama, Kei; Tsukiyama, Koichi

    2014-11-01

    The gas-phase optical absorption spectrum of the thiophenoxy radical (C{sub 6}H{sub 5}S), a diffuse interstellar band (DIB) candidate molecule, was observed in the discharge of thiophenol using a cavity ringdown spectrometer. The ground-state rotational constants of the thiophenoxy radical were theoretically calculated, and the excited-state rotational constants were determined from the observed rotational profile. The rotational profile of a near prolate molecule having C {sub 2v} symmetry was simulated on the basis of a rotational distribution model by radiation and collisions. Although the simulated profile did not agree with the observed DIBs, the upper limit of the column density for the thiophenoxy radical in the diffuse clouds toward HD 204827 was evaluated to be 2 × 10{sup 13} cm{sup –2}. The profile simulation indicates that rotational distribution by radiation and collisions is important to reproduce a rotational profile for a DIB candidate and that the near prolate C {sub 2v} molecule is a possible candidate for DIB with a band width variation dependent on the line of sight.

  19. A new model of composite interstellar grains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voshchinnikov, N. V.; Il'in, V. B.; Henning, Th.; Dubkova, D. N.

    The approach to model composite interstellar dust grains using the exact solution to the light scattering problem for multi-layered spheras suggested by Voshchinnikov & Mathis (1999) is further developed. Heterogeneous scatterers are represented by particles with very large numof shells each including a homogeneous layer per material considered (here amorphous carbon, astronomical silicate and vacuum). It is demonstrated that the scattering characteristics (cross-sections, albedo, asymmetry factor, etc.) well converge with the increase of the number of shells (layers) and each of the characteristics has the same limit independent of the layer order in the shells. The limit obviously corresponds to composite particles consisting of several well mixed materials. However, our results indicate that layered particles with even a few shells (layers) have the characteristics close enough to these limits. The applicability of the effective medium theory (EMT) mostly utilized earlier to approximate inhomogeneous interstellar grains is examined on the base of the model. It is shown that the used EMT rules generally have the accuracy of several percents in the whole range of particle sizes provided the porosity does not exceed about 50%. For larger porosity, the rules give wrong results. Using the model we reanalyze basics of interpretation of various manifestations of cosmic dust --- interstellar extinction, scattered radiation, infrared radiation, radiation pressure, etc. It is found that an increase of porosity typically leads to the increase of cross-sections, albedo and the sweeping efficiency of small grains as well as to the decrease of dust temperature and the strength of infrared bands (the EMT fails to produce these effects). We also conclude that pure iron even in negligible amount (<˜1 % by the volume fractis unlikely to form a layer on or inside a grain because of peculiar absorption of radiation by such particles. As an example of the potential of the model, it

  20. Are Silicon Nanoparticles an Interstellar Dust Component?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Aigen; Draine, B. T.

    2002-01-01

    Silicon nanoparticles (SNPs) with oxide coatings have been proposed as the source of the observed ``extended red emission'' (ERE) from interstellar dust. We calculate the thermal emission expected from such particles, both in a reflection nebula such as NGC 2023 and in the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM). It is shown that Si/SiO2 SNPs (both neutral and charged) would produce a strong emission feature at 20 μm. The observational upper limit on the 20 μm feature in NGC 2023 imposes an upper limit of less than 0.2 parts per million in Si/SiO2 SNPs. The observed ERE intensity from NGC 2023 then gives a lower bound on the product ηPLf0, where ηPL<1 is the photoluminescence efficiency for a neutral SNP and f0<=1 is the fraction of SNPs that are uncharged. For foreground extinction A0.68μm=1.2mag, we find ηPLf0>0.24 for Si/SiO2 SNPs in NGC 2023. Measurement of the R-band extinction toward the ERE-emitting region could strengthen this lower limit. The ERE emissivity of the diffuse interstellar medium appears to require >~42% of solar Si abundance in Si/SiO2 SNPs even with ηPLf0=1. We predict IR emission spectra and show that DIRBE photometry appears to rule out such high abundances of free-flying SNPs in the diffuse ISM. We conclude that if the ERE is due to SNPs, they must be either in clusters or attached to larger grains.

  1. THE MID-INFRARED EXTINCTION LAW AND ITS VARIATION IN THE COALSACK NEBULA

    SciTech Connect

    Wang Shu; Gao Jian; Jiang, B. W.; Chen Yang; Li Aigen E-mail: jiangao@bnu.edu.cn E-mail: cheny@bnu.edu.cn

    2013-08-10

    In recent years, the wavelength dependence of interstellar extinction from the ultraviolet (UV) to 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 IR extinction varies among various environments. In this work, using the color-excess method and taking red giants as the extinction tracer, we determine interstellar extinction A{sub {lambda}} in the four Spitzer/IRAC bands in [3.6], [4.5], [5.8], [8.0] {mu}m (relative to A{sub K{sub s}}, extinction in the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) K{sub s} band at 2.16 {mu}m) 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 and translucent to dense environments, as traced by the visual extinction, the Spitzer/MIPS 24 {mu}m emission, and CO emission. We find that A{sub {lambda}}/A{sub K{sub s}}, mid-IR extinction relative to A{sub K{sub s}}, decreases from diffuse to dense environments, which may be explained in terms of ineffective dust growth in dense regions. The mean extinction (relative to A{sub K{sub s}}) is calculated for the four IRAC bands as well and exhibits a flat mid-IR extinction law consistent with previous determinations for other regions. Extinction in the IRAC 4.5 {mu}m band is anomalously high, much higher than that of the other three IRAC bands, and cannot be explained in terms of CO and CO{sub 2} ice. Mid-IR extinction in the four IRAC bands has 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 A{sub {lambda}}/A{sub K{sub s}} increasing with the decrease of the

  2. Multispectral observations of the diffuse interstellar medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, Mary Marsha

    This work describes observations of the diffuse interstellar medium in the three wavelength bands; ultraviolet (1000 to 1300 A covered by the Copernicus satellite), far-ultraviolet (500 to 1800 A from the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft), and optical (3800 to 4300 A obtained from ground based observations). Chapter two deals with the abundance and depletion of elements in the interstellar medium. Although Copernicus was limited to brighter stars, we obtained abundances and depletions for the lines of sight to sigma Sco and theta Car. We find that for these and other lines of sight, the element-to-element depletion pattern is remarkably stable. Chapter three discusses extinction along the line of sight to several O and B stars which were observed by Voyager 1 and 2. By observing stars which were generally unreddened and comparing them to reddened stars, the interstellar extinction curve has been extended below 1000 A. The results show that for all the cases we have studied, the selective extinction continues to rise for shorter wavelengths. Chapter four deals with ground-based observations of CH(+). The overabundance of CH(+) in the interstellar medium is a problem in that the radiative reaction rate of C(+) and H is much too slow to give the abundance seen, and also because CH(+) is easily destroyed. An endothermic reaction of C(+) and H2 may create enough CH(+), but it requires shock waves that provide the 0.4 eV of energy needed for the reaction to proceed. In many previous studies, the amount of CH(+) seems to increase as E(B - V) increases, which is not what we would expect if the shock formation model is correct. However, these studies deal primarily with bright stars with E(B - V) less than 0.5. In the work described in this chapter, we have looked at stars with E(B - V) up to +1.13, and have found that the abundance of CH(+) does not appear to increase for more reddened stars.

  3. Atmospheric Extinction Coefficients in the Ic Band for Several Major International Observatories: Results from the BiSON Telescopes, 1984-2016

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hale, S. J.; Chaplin, W. J.; Davies, G. R.; Elsworth, Y. P.; Howe, R.; Lund, M. N.; Moxon, E. Z.; Thomas, A.; Pallé, P. L.; Rhodes, E. J., Jr.

    2017-09-01

    Over 30 years of solar data have been acquired by the Birmingham Solar Oscillations Network (BiSON), an international network of telescopes used to study oscillations of the Sun. Five of the six BiSON telescopes are located at major observatories. The observational sites are, in order of increasing longitude: Mount Wilson (Hale) Observatory (MWO), California, USA; Las Campanas Observatory, Chile; Observatorio del Teide, Izaña, Tenerife, Canary Islands; the South African Astronomical Observatory, Sutherland, South Africa; Carnarvon, Western Australia; and the Paul Wild Observatory, Narrabri, New South Wales, Australia. The BiSON data may be used to measure atmospheric extinction coefficients in the {{{I}}}{{c}} band (approximately 700-900 nm), and presented here are the derived atmospheric extinction coefficients from each site over the years 1984-2016.

  4. The Origin and Evolution of Interstellar Dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dwek, Eli; Houches, Les

    2006-01-01

    In this lecture I will discuss the many different manifestation of interstellar dust, and current dust models that satisfy interstellar extinction, diffuse infrared emission, and interstellar abundances constraints. Dust is made predominantly in AGB stars and Type I1 supernovae, and I will present observational evidence for the presence of dust in these sources. I will then present chemical evolution models that follow the abundance of dust which is determined by the combined processes of formation, destruction by interstellar shock waves, and accretion in molecular clouds. The model will be applied to the evolution of PAHs and the evolution of dust in the high-redshift galaxy (z=6.42) JD11.

  5. The Origin and Evolution of Interstellar Dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dwek, Eli; Houches, Les

    2006-01-01

    In this lecture I will discuss the many different manifestation of interstellar dust, and current dust models that satisfy interstellar extinction, diffuse infrared emission, and interstellar abundances constraints. Dust is made predominantly in AGB stars and Type I1 supernovae, and I will present observational evidence for the presence of dust in these sources. I will then present chemical evolution models that follow the abundance of dust which is determined by the combined processes of formation, destruction by interstellar shock waves, and accretion in molecular clouds. The model will be applied to the evolution of PAHs and the evolution of dust in the high-redshift galaxy (z=6.42) JD11.

  6. Circumstellar grain extinction properties of recently discovered post AGB stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buss, Richard H., Jr.; Lamers, Henny J. G. L. M.; Snow, Theodore P., Jr.

    1989-01-01

    The circumstellar grains of two hot evolved post asymptotic giant branch (post AGB) stars, HD 89353 and HD 213985 were examined. From ultraviolet spectra, energy balance of the flux, and Kurucz models, the extinction around 2175 A was derived. With visual spectra, an attempt was made to detect 6614 A diffuse band absorption arising from the circumstellar grains so that we could examine the relationship of these features to the infrared features. For both stars, we did not detect any diffuse band absorption at 6614 A, implying the carrier of this diffuse band is not the carrier of the unidentified infrared features not of the 2175 A bump. The linear ultraviolet extinction of the carbon-rich star HD 89353 was determined to continue across the 2175 A region with no sign of the bump; for HD 213985 it was found to be the reverse: a strong, wide bump in the mid-ultraviolet. The 213985 bump was found to be positioned at 2340 A, longward of its usual position in the interstellar medium. Since HD 213985 was determined to have excess carbon, the bump probably arises from a carbonaceous grain. Thus, in view of the ultraviolet and infrared properties of the two post AGB stars, ubiquitous interstellar infrared emission features do not seem to be associated with the 2175 A bump. Instead, the infrared features seem related to the linear ultraviolet extinction component: hydrocarbon grains of radius less than 300 A are present with the linear HD 89353 extinction; amorphous anhydrous carbonaceous grains of radius less than 50 A might cause the shifted ultraviolet extinction bump of HD 213985.

  7. Observation of interstellar ammonia ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knacke, R. F.; Mccorkle, S.; Puetter, R. C.; Erickson, E. F.; Kraetschmer, W.

    1982-01-01

    An absorption band probably due to solid ammonia on interstellar grains has been detected in the infrared spectrum at 2.97 microns of the Becklin-Neugebauer object and probably in NGC 2264-IR. An ammonia-water amorphous ice mixture can explain the structure of the new band and of the 3.07 microns interstellar absorption. Laboratory data suggest that a long wavelength wind extending to 3.5 microns in interstellar dust spectra may be absorption by NH3-H2O complexes in the ices. In the molecular cloud obscuring the BN object, about 20 times as much NH3 is frozen in grains as exists in the gas phase, suggesting the gas-grain interactions may be important in the ammonia chemistry of molecular clouds. Arguments are given that interstellar features at 6.0 and 6.8 microns are also ammonia-related absorptions.

  8. Physical Properties of White Dwarfs from Multi-Band Photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raddi, R.

    2017-03-01

    We describe a hierarchical Bayesian model to measure the physical parameters (mass, cooling age, distance, interstellar extinction) of single white dwarfs using only multi-band UV to IR photometry. We test our model on a set of known white dwarfs with well-assessed atmospheric parameters, determined via optical spectroscopy. Looking forward to the results of the ESA Gaia mission, we derive the posterior distributions of white dwarf parameters in two different scenarios with known or unknown parallaxes.

  9. Heteroatom-doped hydrogenated amorphous carbons, a-C:H:X. "Volatile" silicon, sulphur and nitrogen depletion, blue photoluminescence, diffuse interstellar bands and ferro-magnetic carbon grain connections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, A. P.

    2013-07-01

    Context. Hydrogenated amorphous carbons, a-C:H, can incorporate a variety of heteroatoms, which can lead to interesting effects. Aims: We investigate the doping of interstellar a-C:H grains with, principally, Si, O, N and S atoms within the astrophysical context. Methods: A search of the literature on doped a-C:H reveals a number of interesting phenomena of relevance to astrophysics. Results: X dopants in a-C:H:X materials can affect the sp3/sp2 ratio (X = Si, O and N), lead to blue photoluminescence (undoped or X = N), induce ferromagnetic-like behaviour (X = N and S) or simply be incorporated (depleted) into the structure (X = Si, O, N and S). Si and N atoms could also incorporate into fullerenes, possibly forming colour-centres that could mimic diffuse interstellar bands. Conclusions: Doped a-C:H grains could explain several dust-related conundrums, such as: "volatile" Si in photo-dissociation regions, S and N depletion in molecular clouds, blue luminescence, some diffuse interstellar bands and ferromagnetism in carbonaceous grains.

  10. Interstellar Matters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verschuur, Gerrit L.

    In this provocative new book, radio astronomer and author Gerrit L. Verschuur describes the phenomena of scientific curiosity and discovery by following the exciting story of interstellar matter. The discovery of "stuff between the stars" was the result of decades of work by hundreds of astronomers, and the evolving recognition of its existence has profoundly changed the way we view the Universe. Verschuur begins with E.E. Barnard, who puzzled for a quarter century over the interpretation of photographs of dark patches between the stars. Verschuur then traces the tortuous path to acceptance of the existence of interstellar matter. He shares with us the thrill of discovery that motivates astronomers, the use of metaphors and modeling by scientist, and other tricks of the astronomical trade. Finally, we learn about the modern study of interstellar matter: the discovery of complex organic molecules between the stars and how they may have seeded the early earth with the precursors for life, new insights into star formation, the structure of the Milky Way and the elusive interstellar magnetic field. More than a history, Interstellar Matters is a detective story that evokes the excitement and serendipity of science against the background of a century of shared effort by the world community of astronomers. From the reviews: "I can't imagine anyone interested in astronomy who won't enjoy this book - it's chocked full of science, personalities and insights. We are products of the stuff between the stars - Verschuur tells the fascinating story of how its existence was discovered. Interstellar Matters is his best book, I think. It's certainly one of the best astronomy popularizations I've read." Leif J. Robinson, Sky and Teleskope#1

  11. Interstellar Grain Mantles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Witteborn, F.; Goebel, J.; Bregman, J.; Allamandola, Louis J.; Dhendecourt, L. B.; Tielens, Alexander G. G. M.

    1984-01-01

    Techniques for determining the composition of small dust grains in interstellar matter are discussed. The best way to study the composition of interstellar grain mantles is by infrared spectroscopy. The absorption features in a complete infrared spectrum from 2 to 15 microns can be used as fingerprints to identify the absorbing molecule. Ground-based observations around 3 microns confirmed the presence of H2O ice in interstellar grain mantles, through the detection of the 3.08 micron OH stretching vibration. The detection of other molecules, in particular the carbon bearing molecules, is however hampered by atmospheric absorption in the 5-8 micron region and the presence of the strong ice and silicate bands, which dominate the 3 and 10 micron region respectively. Kuiper Airborne Observatory observations of the 5-8 micron region of the spectrum are therefore extremely important to determine the composition of interstellar grain mantles. The 5 to 8 micron spectra of molecular cloud sources was obtained using a 24 detector grating spectrometer. An important characteristic of this spectrometer is that the whole spectrum is obtained simultaneously. It is therefore relatively easy to correct for atmospheric transmission.

  12. The structure and evolution of hydrogenated amorphous carbon grains and mantles in the interstellar medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, A. P.; Duley, W. W.; Williams, D. A.

    1990-12-01

    Hydrogenated amorphous carbons (HACs) have been proposed as the major constituent of interstellar dust. The HAC model can account successfully for observed properties of interstellar dust, and has great predictive power. A review is presented of relevant laboratory data on amorphous carbon, known to exist in three major phases: graphitic, diamondlike, and polymeric. These data indicate the probable nature of HAC in the interstellar medium. The properties of the HAC dust model, the deposition of HAC in the interstellar medium, and its evolution as interstellar conditions change are summarized. The properties of laboratory HAC in its various forms account successfully for observed interstellar extinction and for variations in extinction, for infrared emission features, and for extended red emission seen in reflection nebulae. A full evolutionary sequence that links the various HAC modifications found in different interstellar environments is proposed. It is concluded that the interstellar dust is an active component of the interstellar medium, responsive to its environment.

  13. ANOMALOUS DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BANDS IN THE SPECTRUM OF HERSCHEL 36. I. OBSERVATIONS OF ROTATIONALLY EXCITED CH AND CH{sup +} ABSORPTION AND STRONG, EXTENDED REDWARD WINGS ON SEVERAL DIBs

    SciTech Connect

    Dahlstrom, Julie; York, Donald G.; Welty, Daniel E.; Oka, Takeshi; Johnson, Sean; Jiang Zihao; Sherman, Reid; Hobbs, L. M.; Friedman, Scott D.; Sonnentrucker, Paule; Rachford, Brian L.; Snow, Theodore P.

    2013-08-10

    Anomalously broad diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) at 5780.5, 5797.1, 6196.0, and 6613.6 A are found in absorption along the line of sight to Herschel 36, the star illuminating the bright Hourglass region of the H II region Messier 8. Interstellar absorption from excited CH{sup +} in the J = 1 level and from excited CH in the J = 3/2 level is also seen. To our knowledge, neither those excited molecular lines nor such strongly extended DIBs have previously been seen in absorption from interstellar gas. These unusual features appear to arise in a small region near Herschel 36 which contains most of the neutral interstellar material in the sight line. The CH{sup +} and CH in that region are radiatively excited by strong far-IR radiation from the adjacent infrared source Her 36 SE. Similarly, the broadening of the DIBs toward Herschel 36 may be due to radiative pumping of closely spaced high-J rotational levels of relatively small, polar carrier molecules. If this picture of excited rotational states for the DIB carriers is correct and applicable to most DIBs, the 2.7 K cosmic microwave background may set the minimum widths (about 0.35 A) of known DIBs, with molecular processes and/or local radiation fields producing the larger widths found for the broader DIBs. Despite the intense local UV radiation field within the cluster NGC 6530, no previously undetected DIBs stronger than 10 mA in equivalent width are found in the optical spectrum of Herschel 36, suggesting that neither dissociation nor ionization of the carriers of the known DIBs by this intense field creates new carriers with easily detectable DIB-like features. Possibly related profile anomalies for several other DIBs are noted.

  14. Extinction properties of infinitely long graphite cylinders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jazbi, B.; Hoyle, F.; Wickramasinghe, N. C.

    1991-12-01

    The extinction efficiencies of randomly oriented infinite graphite cylinders, including hollow cylinders are calculated, using the rigorous Kerker-Matijevic formulas. The peak in the mid-UV extinction varies in wavelength with particle radius and cavity size in a way that makes such particles of limited interest as models of interstellar grains.

  15. Laboratory Astrochemistry: Interstellar PAH Analogs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are now considered to be an important and ubiquitous component of the organic material in space. PAHs are found in a large variety of extraterrestrial materials such as interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) and meteoritic materials. PAHs are also good candidates to account for the infrared emission bands (UIRs) and the diffuse interstellar optical absorption bands (DIBs) detected in various regions of the interstellar medium. The recent observations made with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) have confirmed the ubiquitous nature of the UIR bands and their carriers. PAHs are though to form through chemical reactions in the outflow from carbon-rich stars in a process similar to soot formation. Once injected in the interstellar medium, PAHs are further processed by the interstellar radiation field, interstellar shocks and energetic particles. A major, dedicated, laboratory effort has been undertaken over the past years to measure the physical and chemical characteristics of these complex molecules and their ions under experimental conditions that mimic the interstellar conditions. These measurements require collision-free conditions where the molecules and ions are cold and chemically isolated. The spectroscopy of PAHs under controlled conditions represents an essential diagnostic tool to study the evolution of extraterrestrial PAHs. The Astrochemistry Laboratory program will be discussed through its multiple aspects: objectives, approach and techniques adopted, adaptability to the nature of the problem(s), results and implications for astronomy as well as for molecular spectroscopy. A review of the data generated through laboratory simulations of space environments and the role these data have played in our current understanding of the properties of interstellar PAHs will be presented. The discussion will also introduce the newest generation of laboratory experiments that are currently being developed in order to provide a

  16. A Search for Interstellar Carbon-60

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nuccitelli, Dana; Richter, Matthew J.; McCall, Benjamin J.

    Carbon-60 has been proposed as a potentially important interstellar molecule. While there is a mounting body of indirect evidence suggesting that interstellar C60 exists, no direct spectroscopic detection toward an astronomical object has been made.We present here the results of our search for interstellar C60 in five sources using TEXES (the Texas Echelon Cross Echelle Spectrograph; Lacy et al. 2002). 1. Introduction The discovery of Buckminsterfullerene, C60, by Kroto et al. (1985) launched a new branch of chemical research. It is sometimes forgotten that the impetus for the experimental discovery of "buckyballs" was an attempt to understand the formation of long-chain carbon molecules in interstellar and circumstellar material. The stability of the molecule was recognized immediately and led to the suggestion that C60 may be widely distributed in the interstellar medium. Currently, only indirect evidence exists for interstellar C60. Because the ionization potential of C60 is relatively low the majority of C60 along optical/UV lines-of-sight will be ionized. Two electronic transitions of C60+, observed in rare gas matrices, lie near two diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) near 9600Å (Foing & Ehrenfreund 1997). Detecting neutral C60 may be easier toward an embedded source using infrared vibrational bands, such as the one near 1184 cm-1 (&lambda=8.45 μm). The exact location and width of the band depends on the gas temperature. Assuming the average temperature is fairly low (T<100 K), the band structure should be be fairly narrow, which argues for high spectral resolution. 2. Observations We searched for the C60 1184 cm-1 vibrational band in three high- extinction molecular cloud sources (AFGL 2136, AFGL 2591, NGC 7538 IRS 1), the mass-loss star NML Cygni, and R Corona Borealis.We used TEXES, the Texas Echelon-cross-Echelle Spectrograph, a high resolution, mid-IR spectrograph (Lacy et al. 2002) on the 3m NASA IRTF. In highresolution mode, TEXES provides resolving

  17. The peculiar extinction of Herschel 36

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donn, B.; Hecht, J. H.; Helfer, H. L.; Wolf, J.; Pipher, J. L.

    1982-01-01

    The extinction of Herschel 36 was measured and found to be peculiar in the same sense as that observed in Orion. Following the treatment of Mathis and Wallenhorst, this can be explained by the presence of large silicate and graphite grains than are normally found in the interstellar medium. Correcting the stellar flux for foreground extinction results in a residual extinction curve for the associated dust cloud, with an unusually small normalized extinction (less than 1.0) at 1500 A. This low UV extinction may be due to the effects of scattering by the dust cloud material.

  18. A study of the fundamental characteristics of 2175A extinction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cardelli, Jason A.; Savage, Blair D.

    1987-01-01

    The characteristics of interstellar extinction were studied in the region of the 2175 A feature for lines of sight which appear to exhibit unusually weak ultraviolet extinction. The analysis was based upon a parameterization of the observed extinction via fitting specific mathematical functions in order to determine the position and width of the 2175 A feature. The data are currently being analyzed.

  19. THE MID-INFRARED EXTINCTION LAW IN THE OPHIUCHUS, PERSEUS, AND SERPENS MOLECULAR CLOUDS

    SciTech Connect

    Chapman, Nicholas L.; Mundy, Lee G.; Lai, Shih-Ping; Evans, Neal J. II

    2009-01-01

    We compute the mid-IR extinction law from 3.6 to 24 {mu}m in three molecular clouds-Ophiuchus, Perseus, and Serpens-by combining data from the 'Cores to Disks' Spitzer Legacy Science program with deep JHK{sub s} imaging. Using a new technique, we are able to calculate the line-of-sight (LOS) extinction law toward each background star in our fields. With these LOS measurements, we create, for the first time, maps of the {chi}{sup 2} deviation of the data from two extinction law models. Because our {chi}{sup 2} maps have the same spatial resolution as our extinction maps, we can directly observe the changing extinction law as a function of the total column density. In the Spitzer Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) bands, 3.6-8 {mu}m, we see evidence for grain growth. Below A{sub K{sub s}}= 0.5, our extinction law is well fitted by the Weingartner and Draine R{sub V} = 3.1 diffuse interstellar-medium dust model. As the extinction increases, our law gradually flattens, and for A{sub K{sub s}}{>=}1, the data are more consistent with the Weingartner and Draine R{sub V} = 5.5 model that uses larger maximum dust grain sizes. At 24 {mu}m, our extinction law is 2-4 times higher than the values predicted by theoretical dust models, but is more consistent with the observational results of Flaherty et al. Finally, from our {chi}{sup 2} maps we identify a region in Perseus where the IRAC extinction law is anomalously high considering its column density. A steeper near-IR extinction law than the one we have assumed may partially explain the IRAC extinction law in this region.

  20. Interstellar grains within interstellar grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bernatowicz, Thomas J.; Amari, Sachiko; Zinner, Ernst K.; Lewis, Roy S.

    1991-01-01

    Five interstellar graphite spherules extracted from the Murchison carbonaceous meteorite are studied. The isotopic and elemental compositions of individual particles are investigated with the help of an ion microprobe, and this analysis is augmented with structural studies of ultrathin sections of the grain interiors by transmission electron microscopy. As a result, the following procedure for the formation of the interstellar graphite spherule bearing TiC crystals is inferred: (1) high-temperature nucleation and rapid growth of the graphitic carbon spherule in the atmosphere of a carbon-rich star, (2) nucleation and growth of TiC crystals during continued growth of the graphitic spherule and the accretion of TiC onto the spherule, (3) quenching of the graphite growth process by depletion of C or by isolation of the spherule before other grain types could condense.

  1. Interstellar grains within interstellar grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bernatowicz, Thomas J.; Amari, Sachiko; Zinner, Ernst K.; Lewis, Roy S.

    1991-01-01

    Five interstellar graphite spherules extracted from the Murchison carbonaceous meteorite are studied. The isotopic and elemental compositions of individual particles are investigated with the help of an ion microprobe, and this analysis is augmented with structural studies of ultrathin sections of the grain interiors by transmission electron microscopy. As a result, the following procedure for the formation of the interstellar graphite spherule bearing TiC crystals is inferred: (1) high-temperature nucleation and rapid growth of the graphitic carbon spherule in the atmosphere of a carbon-rich star, (2) nucleation and growth of TiC crystals during continued growth of the graphitic spherule and the accretion of TiC onto the spherule, (3) quenching of the graphite growth process by depletion of C or by isolation of the spherule before other grain types could condense.

  2. Variations in the Peak Position of the 6.2 micron Interstellar Emission Feature: A Tracer of N in the Interstellar Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Population

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hudgins, Douglas M.; Bauschlicher, Charles W.; Allamandola, L. J.

    2005-01-01

    more nitrogen atoms within the interior of the carbon skeleton of a PAH cation induces a significant blueshift in the position of the dominant CC stretching feature of these compounds that is suf6cient to account for the position of the interstellar bands. Subsequent studies of the effects of substitution by other heteroatoms (O and Si), metal ion complexation (Fe(+), Mg(+), and Mg(2+)), and molecular symmetry variation-all of which fail to reproduce the blueshift observed in the PANH cations-indicate that N appears to be unique in its ability to accommodate the position of the interstellar 6.2 micron bands while simultaneously satisfying the other constraints of the astrophysical problem. This result implies that the peak position of the interstellar feature near 6.2 micron traces the degree of nitrogen substitution in the population, that most of the PAHs responsible for the interstellar IR emission features incorporate nitrogen within their aromatic networks, and that a lower limit of 1%-2% of the cosmic nitrogen is sequestered within the interstellar PAH population. Finally, in view of the ubiquity and abundance of interstellar PAHs and the permanent dipoles and distinctive electronic structures of these nitrogen-substituted variants, this work impacts a wide range of observational phenomena outside of the infrared region of the spectrum including the forest of unidentified molecular rotational features and the anomalous Galactic foreground emission in the microwave, and the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) and other structure in the interstellar extinction curve in the ulhviolet/visible. These astrophysical ramifications are discussed, and the dipole moments and rotational constants are tabulated to facilitate further investigations of the astrophysical role of nitrogen-substituted aromatic compounds.

  3. Interstellar chemistry

    PubMed Central

    Klemperer, William

    2006-01-01

    In the past half century, radioastronomy has changed our perception and understanding of the universe. In this issue of PNAS, the molecular chemistry directly observed within the galaxy is discussed. For the most part, the description of the molecular transformations requires specific kinetic schemes rather than chemical thermodynamics. Ionization of the very abundant molecular hydrogen and atomic helium followed by their secondary reactions is discussed. The rich variety of organic species observed is a challenge for complete understanding. The role and nature of reactions involving grain surfaces as well as new spectroscopic observations of interstellar and circumstellar regions are topics presented in this special feature. PMID:16894148

  4. Dust and Diffuse Interstellar Bands in the z{sub a} = 0.524 Absorption System toward AO 0235+164

    SciTech Connect

    Junkkarinen, V.

    2004-08-06

    The authors present new HST STIS NUV-MAMA and STIS CCD observations of the BL Lac object AO 0235+164 and the intervening damped Ly {alpha} (DLA) line at z{sub {alpha}} = 0.524. The line profile gives N(HI) = 5 {+-} 1 x 10{sup 21} cm{sup -2} and, combined with the H I 21 cm absorption data leads to a spin temperature of Ts = 220 K {+-} 60 K. Those spectra also show a strong, broad feature at the expected position of the 2175 {angstrom} graphitic dust feature at z{sup {alpha}} = 0.524. Assuming a Galactic type dust extinction curve at z{sub {alpha}} = 0.524 gives a dust-to-gas ratio of 0.19 Galactic, but the fit, assuming the underlying, un-reddened spectrum is a single power-law, is poor in the far-UV. A dust-to-gas ratio of 0.19 Galactic is similar to the LMC, but the AO 0235+164 spectrum does not fit the LMC extinction curve, or the SMC extinction curve (which has practically no 2175 {angstrom} feature). A possible interpretation includes dust similar to Galactic, but with less of the small particles that produce the far-UV extinction. The metallicity of the z{sub {alpha}} = 0.524 absorber, estimated from the observed N(HI) and excess X-ray absorption (beyond Galactic) derived from contemporaneous and archival ASCA and ROSAT.

  5. Infrared emission from interstellar PAHs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allamandola, L. J.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Barker, J. R.

    1987-01-01

    The mid-IR absorption and Raman spectra of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the mechanisms determining them are reviewed, and the implications for observations of similar emission spectra in interstellar clouds are considered. Topics addressed include the relationship between PAHs and amorphous C, the vibrational spectroscopy of PAHs, the molecular emission process, molecular anharmonicity, and the vibrational quasi-continuum. Extensive graphs, diagrams, and sample spectra are provided, and the interstellar emission bands are attributed to PAHs with 20-30 C atoms on the basis of the observed 3.3/3.4-micron intensity ratios.

  6. Infrared emission from interstellar PAHs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allamandola, L. J.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Barker, J. R.

    1987-01-01

    The mid-IR absorption and Raman spectra of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the mechanisms determining them are reviewed, and the implications for observations of similar emission spectra in interstellar clouds are considered. Topics addressed include the relationship between PAHs and amorphous C, the vibrational spectroscopy of PAHs, the molecular emission process, molecular anharmonicity, and the vibrational quasi-continuum. Extensive graphs, diagrams, and sample spectra are provided, and the interstellar emission bands are attributed to PAHs with 20-30 C atoms on the basis of the observed 3.3/3.4-micron intensity ratios.

  7. A search for diffuse band profile variations in the rho Ophiuchi cloud

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snow, T. P.; Timothy, J. G.; Sear, S.

    1982-01-01

    High signal-to-noise profiles of the broad diffuse interstellar band at 4430 A were obtained on the 2.2-m telescope at the Mauna Kea Observatory, using the newly-developed pulse-counting multi-anode microchannel array detector system in an effort to determine whether the band profile varies with mean grain size as expected if the band is produced by absorbers embedded in grain lattices. The lack of profile variability over several lines of sight where independent evidence indicates that the mean grain size varies shows that lambda 4430 is probably not formed by the same grains that are responsible for interstellar extinction at visible wavelengths. The possibility that this band is created by a population of very small ( approximately 100 A) grains is still viable, as is the hypothesis that it has a molecular origin.

  8. Search for diffuse band profile variations in the rho Ophiuchi cloud

    SciTech Connect

    Snow, T.P.; Timothy, J.G.; Sear, S.

    1982-01-01

    High signal-to-noise profiles of the broad diffuse interstellar band at 4430 A were obtained on the 2.2-m telescope at the Mauna Kea Observatory, using the newly-developed pulse-counting multi-anode microchannel array detector system in an effort to determine whether the band profile varies with mean grain size as expected if the band is produced by absorbers embedded in grain lattices. The lack of profile variability over several lines of sight where independent evidence indicates that the mean grain size varies shows that lambda 4430 is probably not formed by the same grains that are responsible for interstellar extinction at visible wavelengths. The possibility that this band is created by a population of very small ( approximately 100 A) grains is still viable, as is the hypothesis that it has a molecular origin.

  9. Radar Detection of Interstellar Dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baggaley, J.

    2003-04-01

    As primordial building material of complexes like our own solar system, dust is centrally important in the evolution of such planetary systems. Circumstellar dust can be sensed associated with Young Stellar Objects, IR excess stars and forms the ejecta of red giants, carbon-rich stars and supernovae. Interstellar dust can be cumulatively sensed over astronomically long sight-lines by the extinction, scattering and polarisation of starlight. The direct detection of interstellar dust (ISD) particles flowing into the solar system is important because such observations can directly probe the local cloud interstellar dust environment and can sense discrete stellar sources. The Advanced Meteor Orbit Radar (AMOR) is a facility designed to measure the trajectories of dust impacting the Earth's atmosphere: the continuously operating radar is able to archive a large (˜ 10^6) data-base of dust trajectories and so is able to map the inflow directions of interstellar material into the solar system. Such Earth-based mapping of ISD dynamics complements the in-situ impact detections by space missions such as Ulysses and Stardust.

  10. The Coalsack: Interstellar dust and star formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seidensticker, K. J.

    1990-11-01

    The Coalsack is compared to three other dark clouds similar in mass and distance from the Sun, but with very different star formation efficiencies. Nearly all investigations up to date found the Coalsack to be a stable and inactive nebula without any sign for young stellar objects. A model of interstellar extinction curves is applied to stars associated with the clouds under consideration. It is found that in clouds with active star formation the UV extinction, called U(x), is drastically reduced compared to the general interstellar medium, whereas the variations in the strength of the 2200 angstrom bump component are much smaller. These large variations of U(x) can occur either in violent or in calm environments, suggesting different depletion processes of the particles responsible for the UV extinction.

  11. Absorbing ice model of interstellar grains.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swamy, K. S. K.; Jackson, W. M.; Donn, B. D.

    1971-01-01

    Extinction curves have been calculated for Mie scattering by grains with a refractive index m equals to n - ik, where n was between 1.3 and 2.0 and k varied from 0 to 0.5. A good fit for the observed interstellar extinction in the wavelength region of 0.1 to 2.0 microns was obtained for particles with a radius of 0.1 micron and m equal to 1.3 - 0.2i. Inclusion of the changes in the refractive index in the vacuum ultraviolet region due to the strong absorptions of methane, ammonia and water does not appreciably alter these results. Theoretical extinction curves for the composite medium of H2O, NH3, CH4, and graphite show a general agreement with the observed interstellar reddening curve over the whole spectral range, in addition to producing kinks in the far-ultraviolet region.

  12. Dust models post-Planck: constraining the far-infrared opacity of dust in the diffuse interstellar medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fanciullo, L.; Guillet, V.; Aniano, G.; Jones, A. P.; Ysard, N.; Miville-Deschênes, M.-A.; Boulanger, F.; Köhler, M.

    2015-08-01

    Aims: We compare the performance of several dust models in reproducing the dust spectral energy distribution (SED) per unit extinction in the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM). We use our results to constrain the variability of the optical properties of big grains in the diffuse ISM, as published by the Planck collaboration. Methods: We use two different techniques to compare the predictions of dust models to data from the Planck HFI, IRAS, and SDSS surveys. First, we fit the far-infrared emission spectrum to recover the dust extinction and the intensity of the interstellar radiation field (ISRF). Second, we infer the ISRF intensity from the total power emitted by dust per unit extinction, and then predict the emission spectrum. In both cases, we test the ability of the models to reproduce dust emission and extinction at the same time. Results: We identify two issues. Not all models can reproduce the average dust emission per unit extinction: there are differences of up to a factor ~2 between models, and the best accord between model and observation is obtained with the more emissive grains derived from recent laboratory data on silicates and amorphous carbons. All models fail to reproduce the variations in the emission per unit extinction if the only variable parameter is the ISRF intensity: this confirms that the optical properties of dust are indeed variable in the diffuse ISM. Conclusions: Diffuse ISM observations are consistent with a scenario where both ISRF intensity and dust optical properties vary. The ratio of the far-infrared opacity to the V band extinction cross-section presents variations of the order of ~20% (40-50% in extreme cases), while ISRF intensity varies by ~30% (~60% in extreme cases). This must be accounted for in future modelling. Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  13. Interstellar abundances - Gas and dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Field, G. B.

    1974-01-01

    Data on abundances of interstellar atoms, ions and molecules in front of zeta Oph are assembled and analyzed. The gas-phase abundances of at least 11 heavy elements are significantly lower, relative to hydrogen, than in the solar system. The abundance deficiencies of certain elements correlate with the temperatures derived theoretically for particle condensation in stellar atmospheres or nebulae, suggesting that these elements have condensed into dust grains near stars. There is evidence that other elements have accreted onto such grains after their arrival in interstellar space. The extinction spectrum of zeta Oph can be explained qualitatively and, to a degree, quantitatively by dust grains composed of silicates, graphite, silicon carbide, and iron, with mantles composed of complex molecules of H, C, N, and O. This composition is consistent with the observed gas-phase deficiencies.

  14. Are extinction opinions extinct?

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Extinction models vary in the information they require, the simplest considering the rate of certain sightings only. More complicated methods include uncertain sightings and allow for variation in the reliability of uncertain sightings. Generally extinction models require expert opinion, either as a prior belief that a species is extinct, or to establish the quality of a sighting record, or both. Is this subjectivity necessary? We present two models to explore whether the individual quality of sightings, judged by experts, is strongly informative of the probability of extinction: the ‘quality breakpoint method’ and the ‘quality as variance method’. For the first method we use the Barbary lion as an exemplar. For the second method we use the Barbary lion, Alaotra grebe, Jamaican petrel and Pohnpei starling as exemplars. The ‘quality breakpoint method’ uses certain and uncertain sighting records, and the quality of uncertain records, to establish whether a change point in the rate of sightings can be established using a simultaneous Bayesian optimisation with a non-informative prior. For the Barbary lion, there is a change in subjective quality of sightings around 1930. Unexpectedly sighting quality increases after this date. This suggests that including quality scores from experts can lead to irregular effects and may not offer reliable results. As an alternative, we use quality as a measure of variance around the sightings, not a change in quality. This leads to predictions with larger standard deviations, however the results remain consistent across any prior belief of extinction. Nonetheless, replacing actual quality scores with random quality scores showed little difference, inferring that the quality scores from experts are superfluous. Therefore, we deem the expensive process of obtaining pooled expert estimates as unnecessary, and even when used we recommend that sighting data should have minimal input from experts in terms of assessing the

  15. Interstellar Alcohols

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Charnley, S. B.; Kress, M. E.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Millar, T. J.

    1995-01-01

    We have investigated the gas-phase chemistry in dense cores where ice mantles containing ethanol and other alcohols have been evaporated. Model calculations show that methanol, ethanol, propanol, and butanol drive a chemistry leading to the formation of several large ethers and esters. Of these molecules, methyl ethyl ether (CH3OC2H5) and diethyl ether (C2H5)2O attain the highest abundances and should be present in detectable quantities within cores rich in ethanol and methanol. Gas-phase reactions act to destroy evaporated ethanol and a low observed abundance of gas-phase C,H,OH does not rule out a high solid-phase abundance. Grain surface formation mechanisms and other possible gas-phase reactions driven by alcohols are discussed, as are observing strategies for the detection of these large interstellar molecules.

  16. Near-Infrared Band Strengths of Molecules Diluted in N2 and H20 Ice Mixtures Relevant to Interstellar and Planetary Ices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richey, C. R.; Richey, Christina R.

    2012-01-01

    In order to determine the column density of a component of an ice from its infrared absorption features, the strengths of these features must be known. The peak positions, widths, profiles, and strengths of a certain ice component's infrared absorption features are affected be the overall composition of the ice. Many satellites within the solar system have surfaces that are dominated by H2O or N2 and ices in the interstellar medium (ISM) are primarily composed of H2O. The experiments presented here focus on the near-infrared absorption features of CO, CO2, CH4, and NH3 (nu=10,000-4,000/cm, lambda=1-2.5 microns) and the effects of diluting these molecules in N2 or H2O ice (mixture ratio of 5:1). This is a continuation of previous results published by our research group.

  17. Enigmatic extinction: An investigation of the 2175 A extinction bump in M101, the Pinwheel Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danowski, Meredith Elaine

    Dust is a critical component of the universe, affecting energy flow and the dynamics of star and planetary disk evolution. The light we measure when observing the universe is absorbed and scattered (extinguished) by dust. Studies indicate that active formation of high mass stars modifies the ultraviolet (UV) dust extinction curve, removing the characteristic bump at 2175 A. For a half century, the source of this bump has not been positively identified. Dust grain models suggest that a leading contender is polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The spiral galaxy M101 is an ideal laboratory, with many HII regions, plus steep metallicity and ionization gradients. The role of environment in this enigmatic "bump-less'' extinction was investigated in M101 with observations from both a sounding rocket mission and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST).. The Interstellar Absorption Gradient Experiment Rocket (IMAGER) mission was designed to probe the correlations between dust extinction and environment through photometric observations of the apparent strengths of the 2175 A bump and UV continuum in M101. IMAGER flew and collected data on November 21, 2012. Although in-flight anomalies caused significant cross-talk, the mission demonstrated the feasibility of simultaneous imaging in three medium-width UV bands. With angular resolution poorer than one arcminute in all bands, and inadequate signal in the field-of-view, these data proved unsuitable for aperture photometry. This analysis method cannot be used with these data to draw conclusions about the correlations between environment and ultraviolet extinction. Spectroscopic observations were performed with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) instrument aboard the HST. With additional data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, and radiative transfer and stellar evolution models, the correlation between the bump and the aromatic features was probed across HII regions spanning wide ranges of metallicity and radiation field

  18. Extinction maps toward the Milky Way bulge: Two-dimensional and three-dimensional tests with apogee

    SciTech Connect

    Schultheis, M.; Zasowski, G.; Allende Prieto, C.; Beaton, R. L.; García Pérez, A. E.; Majewski, S. R.; Beers, T. C.; Bizyaev, D.; Frinchaboy, P. M.; Ge, J.; Hearty, F.; Schneider, D. P.; Holtzman, J.; Muna, D.; Nidever, D.; Shetrone, M. E-mail: gail.zasowski@gmail.com

    2014-07-01

    Galactic interstellar extinction maps are powerful and necessary tools for Milky Way structure and stellar population analyses, particularly toward the heavily reddened bulge and in the midplane. However, due to the difficulty of obtaining reliable extinction measures and distances for a large number of stars that are independent of these maps, tests of their accuracy and systematics have been limited. Our goal is to assess a variety of photometric stellar extinction estimates, including both two-dimensional and three-dimensional extinction maps, using independent extinction measures based on a large spectroscopic sample of stars toward the Milky Way bulge. We employ stellar atmospheric parameters derived from high-resolution H-band Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) spectra, combined with theoretical stellar isochrones, to calculate line-of-sight extinction and distances for a sample of more than 2400 giants toward the Milky Way bulge. We compare these extinction values to those predicted by individual near-IR and near+mid-IR stellar colors, two-dimensional bulge extinction maps, and three-dimensional extinction maps. The long baseline, near+mid-IR stellar colors are, on average, the most accurate predictors of the APOGEE extinction estimates, and the two-dimensional and three-dimensional extinction maps derived from different stellar populations along different sightlines show varying degrees of reliability. We present the results of all of the comparisons and discuss reasons for the observed discrepancies. We also demonstrate how the particular stellar atmospheric models adopted can have a strong impact on this type of analysis, and discuss related caveats.

  19. Interstellar isomers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Defrees, D.; Mclean, D.; Herbst, E.

    1986-01-01

    Both observational and theoretical studies of molecular clouds are hindered by many difficulties. One way to partially circumvent the difficulties of characterizing the chemistry within these objects is to study the relative abundances of isomers which are synthesized from a common set of precursors. Unfortunately, only one such system has been confirmed, the HCN/HNC pair of isomers. While the basic outlines of its chemistry have been known for some years, there are still many aspects of the chemistry which are unclear. Another potential pair of isomers is HCO+/HOC+; HCO+ is an abundant instellar molecule and a tentative identification of HOC+ has been made in Sgr B2. This identification is being challenged, however, based on theoretical and laboratory evidence that HOC+ reacts with H2. Another potential pair of interstellar isomers is methyl cyanide (CH3CN, acetonitrile) and methyl isocyanide (CH3NC). The cyanide is well known, however the isocyanide has yet to be observed despite theoretical predictions that appreciable quantities should be present.

  20. Interstellar nomads

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finney, B. R.; Jones, E. M.

    The possibility that free-wandering comets, those not tied to the gravitational influence of any star, can support a significant human population is considered. The energy sources of such a population would be deuterium from the comets and starlight gathered by gigantic mirrors. The energy budgets of such communities and their possible social structures are addressed from an anthropological perspective. A typical grouping or tribe might comprise 500 people and be divided into bands of about 25 individuals living in spacious habitats built of cometary materials and tending a 'farm' of starlight mirrors about 30,000 km across. The bands would exchange marriageable youths and gather at intervals for community rituals.

  1. Interstellar Dust Models Towards Some IUE Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katyal, N.; Gupta, R.; Vaidya, D. B.

    2013-12-01

    We study the extinction properties of the composite dust grains, consisting of host silicate spheroids and graphite as inclusions, using discrete dipole approximation (DDA). We calculate the extinction cross sections of the composite grains in the ultraviolet spectral region, 1200\\AA -3200\\AA and study the variation in extinction as a function of the volume fraction of the inclusions. We compare the model extinction curves with the observed interstellar extinction curves obtained from the data given by the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite. Our results for the composite grains show a distinct variation in the extinction efficiencies with the variation in the volume fraction of the inclusions. In particular, it is found that the wavelength of peak absorption at `2175\\AA' shifts towards the longer wavelength with the variation in the volume fraction of inclusions. We find that the composite grain models with the axial ratios viz. 1.33 and 2.0 fit the observed extinction reasonably well with a grain size distribution, a = 0.005-0.250$\\mu m$. Moreover, our results of the composite grains clearly indicate that the inhomogeneity in the grain structure, composition and the surrounding media modifies the extinction properties of the grains.

  2. PAHs in Translucent Interstellar Clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salama, Farid; Galazutdinov, G.; Krelowski, J.; Biennier, L.; Beletsky, Y.; Song, I.

    2011-05-01

    We discuss the proposal of relating the origin of some of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) to neutral polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) present in translucent interstellar clouds. The spectra of several cold, isolated gas-phase PAHs have been measured in the laboratory under experimental conditions that mimic the interstellar conditions and are compared with an extensive set of astronomical spectra of reddened, early type stars. This comparison provides - for the first time - accurate upper limits for the abundances of specific PAH molecules along specific lines-of-sight. Something that is not attainable from IR observations alone. The comparison of these unique laboratory data with high resolution, high S/N ratio astronomical observations leads to two major findings: (1) a finding specific to the individual molecules that were probed in this study and, which leads to the clear and unambiguous conclusion that the abundance of these specific neutral PAHs must be very low in the individual translucent interstellar clouds that were probed in this survey (PAH features remain below the level of detection) and, (2) a general finding that neutral PAHs exhibit intrinsic band profiles that are similar to the profile of the narrow DIBs indicating that the carriers of the narrow DIBs must have close molecular structure and characteristics. This study is the first quantitative survey of neutral PAHs in the optical range and it opens the way for unambiguous quantitative searches of PAHs in a variety of interstellar and circumstellar environments. // Reference: F. Salama et al. (2011) ApJ. 728 (1), 154 // Acknowledgements: F.S. acknowledges the support of the NASA's Space Mission Directorate APRA Program. J.K. acknowledges the financial support of the Polish State (grant N203 012 32/1550). The authors are deeply grateful to the ESO archive as well as to the ESO staff members for their active support.

  3. Interstellar Predation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cockell, C. S.; Lee, M.

    Although chemosynthesis and photosynthesis can theoretically supply enough energy for intelligence, for reasons elucidated here, heterotrophy and specifically phagotrophy (ingestion of prey) are likely to make predation a characteristic of life and extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI). Here, the Earth's biota is used to consider the nature of interstellar predation. The ability of the ETI to directly ingest a biota will be determined by the chiral preference of the ETI, the compatibility of the biochemistry used in life on Earth with the molecules required by the ETI and the potential toxicity of the macromolecules. If chirality is determined by astrophysical factors and not by the specificities of terrestrial origins of life and if molecules found in terrestrial organisms are also represented in ETIs (which could plausibly include hydrated carbohydrides and many amino acids that are similar or identical to amino acids found in meteoritic or cometary material) then the Earth might represent a universally appreciated resource. The Earth's biota could be used as an energy supply or, if other forms of technology have advanced to the point where bioreactors can be exclusively used to supply a civilization with food, as a culinary curiosity. Even in the absence of metabolic compatibility, technology can be used to extract useful products from an undigestible biota, similarly to the industrial biotransformation of cellulose. The value of the resource will also be determined by the availability of prey. Planets at stages in biological evolution where the surface is dominated by just one or several large (>5kg), abundant, easily captured organisms are particu- larly attractive to predators because harvesting techniques can be standardized. We discuss implications for exobiology and the `Fermi Paradox'.

  4. EXTINCTION IN STAR-FORMING DISK GALAXIES FROM INCLINATION-DEPENDENT COMPOSITE SPECTRA

    SciTech Connect

    Yip, Ching-Wa; Szalay, Alex S.; Wyse, Rosemary F. G.; Budavari, Tamas; Dobos, Laszlo; Csabai, Istvan E-mail: szalay@pha.jhu.ed

    2010-02-01

    Extinction in galaxies affects their observed properties. In scenarios describing the distribution of dust and stars in individual disk galaxies, the amplitude of the extinction can be modulated by the inclination of the galaxies. In this work, we investigate the inclination dependency in composite spectra of star-forming disk galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 5. In a volume-limited sample within a redshift range 0.065-0.075 and a r-band Petrosian absolute magnitude range -19.5 to -22 mag which exhibits a flat distribution of inclination, the inclined relative to face-on extinction in the stellar continuum is found empirically to increase with inclination in the g, r, and i bands. Within the central 0.5 intrinsic half-light radius of the galaxies, the g-band relative extinction in the stellar continuum for the highly inclined objects (axis ratio b/a = 0.1) is 1.2 mag, agreeing with previous studies. The extinction curve of the disk galaxies is given in the rest-frame wavelengths 3700-8000 A, identified with major optical emission and absorption lines in diagnostics. The Balmer decrement, Halpha/Hbeta, remains constant with inclination, suggesting a different kind of dust configuration and/or reddening mechanism in the H II region from that in the stellar continuum. One factor is shown to be the presence of spatially non-uniform interstellar extinction, presumably caused by clumped dust in the vicinity of the H II region.

  5. Rethinking Extinction

    PubMed Central

    Dunsmoor, Joseph E.; Niv, Yael; Daw, Nathaniel; Phelps, Elizabeth A.

    2015-01-01

    Extinction serves as the leading theoretical framework and experimental model to describe how learned behaviors diminish through absence of anticipated reinforcement. In the past decade, extinction has moved beyond the realm of associative learning theory and behavioral experimentation in animals and has become a topic of considerable interest in the neuroscience of learning, memory, and emotion. Here, we review research and theories of extinction, both as a learning process and as a behavioral technique, and consider whether traditional understandings warrant a re-examination. We discuss the neurobiology, cognitive factors, and major computational theories, and revisit the predominant view that extinction results in new learning that interferes with expression of the original memory. Additionally, we reconsider the limitations of extinction as a technique to prevent the relapse of maladaptive behavior, and discuss novel approaches, informed by contemporary theoretical advances, that augment traditional extinction methods to target and potentially alter maladaptive memories. PMID:26447572

  6. Rethinking Extinction.

    PubMed

    Dunsmoor, Joseph E; Niv, Yael; Daw, Nathaniel; Phelps, Elizabeth A

    2015-10-07

    Extinction serves as the leading theoretical framework and experimental model to describe how learned behaviors diminish through absence of anticipated reinforcement. In the past decade, extinction has moved beyond the realm of associative learning theory and behavioral experimentation in animals and has become a topic of considerable interest in the neuroscience of learning, memory, and emotion. Here, we review research and theories of extinction, both as a learning process and as a behavioral technique, and consider whether traditional understandings warrant a re-examination. We discuss the neurobiology, cognitive factors, and major computational theories, and revisit the predominant view that extinction results in new learning that interferes with expression of the original memory. Additionally, we reconsider the limitations of extinction as a technique to prevent the relapse of maladaptive behavior and discuss novel approaches, informed by contemporary theoretical advances, that augment traditional extinction methods to target and potentially alter maladaptive memories.

  7. The Voyager interstellar mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finnerty, Dan F.

    1989-01-01

    The life expectancy of the Voyager spacecraft as they enter interstellar space, and what they will find along the way, are examined. The range of options available to mission planners as to which instruments to keep alive and which to shut off for the interstellar voyage is addressed. The way that the spacecraft will be operated in interstellar space is described.

  8. Dust extinction and absorption: the challenge of porous grains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voshchinnikov, N. V.; Il'in, V. B.; Henning, Th.; Dubkova, D. N.

    2006-01-01

    In many models of dusty objects in space the grains are assumed to be composite or fluffy. However, the computation of the optical properties of such particles is still a very difficult problem. We analyze how the increase of grain porosity influences basic features of cosmic dust - interstellar extinction, dust temperature, infrared bands and millimeter opacity. It is found that an increase of porosity leads to an increase of extinction cross sections at some wavelengths and a decrease at others depending on the grain model. However, this behaviour is sufficient to reproduce the extinction curve in the direction of the star σ Sco using current solar abundances. In the case of the star ζ Oph our model requires larger amounts of carbon and iron in the dust-phase than is available. Porous grains can reproduce the flat extinction across the 3 - 8 μm wavelength range measured for several lines of sight by ISO and Spitzer. Porous grains are generally cooler than compact grains. At the same time, the temperature of very porous grains becomes slightly larger in the case of the EMT-Mie calculations in comparison with the results found from the layered-sphere model. The layered-sphere model predicts a broadening of infrared bands and a shift of the peak position to larger wavelengths as porosity grows. In the case of the EMT-Mie model variations of the feature profile are less significant. It is also shown that the millimeter mass absorption coefficients grow as porosity increases with a faster growth occurring for particles with Rayleigh/non-Rayleigh inclusions. As a result, for very porous particles the coefficients given by two models can differ by a factor of about 3.

  9. A search for interstellar anthracene towards the Perseus anomalous microwave emission region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iglesias-Groth, S.; Manchado, A.; Rebolo, R.; González Hernández, J. I.; García-Hernández, D. A.; Lambert, D. L.

    2010-10-01

    We report the discovery of a new broad interstellar (or circumstellar) band at 7088.8 +/- 2.0 Å coincident to within the measurement uncertainties with the strongest band of the anthracene cation (C14H10+) as measured in gas-phase laboratory spectroscopy at low temperatures. The band is detected in the line of sight of star Cernis 52, a likely member of the very young star cluster IC 348, and is probably associated with cold absorbing material in an intervening molecular cloud of the Perseus star-forming region where various experiments have recently detected anomalous microwave emission. From the measured intensity and available oscillator strength we find a column density of implying that ~0.008 per cent of the carbon in the cloud could be in the form of C14H10+. A similar abundance has been recently claimed for the naphthalene cation in this cloud. This is the first location outside the Solar system where specific polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are identified. We report observations of interstellar lines of CH and CH+ that support a rather high column density for these species and for molecular hydrogen. The strength ratio of the two prominent diffuse interstellar bands at 5780 and 5797 Å suggests the presence of a `zeta'-type cloud in the line of sight (consistent with steep far-ultraviolet extinction and high molecular content). The presence of PAH cations and other related hydrogenated carbon molecules which are likely to occur in this type of clouds reinforces the suggestion that electric dipole radiation from fast-spinning PAHs is responsible of the anomalous microwave emission detected towards Perseus.

  10. The Optical-infrared Extinction Curve and Its Variation in the Milky Way

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlafly, E. F.; Meisner, A. M.; Stutz, A. M.; Kainulainen, J.; Peek, J. E. G.; Tchernyshyov, K.; Rix, H.-W.; Finkbeiner, D. P.; Covey, K. R.; Green, G. M.; Bell, E. F.; Burgett, W. S.; Chambers, K. C.; Draper, P. W.; Flewelling, H.; Hodapp, K. W.; Kaiser, N.; Magnier, E. A.; Martin, N. F.; Metcalfe, N.; Wainscoat, R. J.; Waters, C.

    2016-04-01

    The dust extinction curve is a critical component of many observational programs and an important diagnostic of the physics of the interstellar medium. Here we present new measurements of the dust extinction curve and its variation toward tens of thousands of stars, a hundred-fold larger sample than in existing detailed studies. We use data from the APOGEE spectroscopic survey in combination with ten-band photometry from Pan-STARRS1, the Two Micron All-Sky Survey, and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. We find that the extinction curve in the optical through infrared is well characterized by a one-parameter family of curves described by R(V). The extinction curve is more uniform than suggested in past works, with σ (R(V))=0.18, and with less than one percent of sight lines having R(V)\\gt 4. Our data and analysis have revealed two new aspects of Galactic extinction: first, we find significant, wide-area variations in R(V) throughout the Galactic plane. These variations are on scales much larger than individual molecular clouds, indicating that R(V) variations must trace much more than just grain growth in dense molecular environments. Indeed, we find no correlation between R(V) and dust column density up to E(B-V)≈ 2. Second, we discover a strong relationship between R(V) and the far-infrared dust emissivity.

  11. Preliminary results on interstellar reddening as deduced from filter photometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laget, M.

    1972-01-01

    Filter photometry has been used to derive the interstellar reddening law from stars through the study of a single spectral type, B0. The deficiency in the far ultraviolet flux of a supergiant relative to a main sequence star is compared with the difference in the flux distribution due to a change of one spectral class. Individual interstellar reddening curves show the general feature reported by Stecher (1969) and by Bless and Savage (1970). There is a large amount of scatter in the far ultraviolet which may be partially due to a real difference in interstellar extinction and partially due to observational inaccuracy.

  12. X-ray Haloes and Scattering by Interstellar Grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dwek, Eliahu

    2003-01-01

    The presence of dust in the general interstellar medium is inferred f r o m the general extinction of starlight, the diffuse infrared emission, and the elemental abundance constraints. X-ray haloes around X-ray sources, produced by small angle scattering from intervening interstellar dust particles provide a new probe into the nature of interstellar dust. In this talk I will review the physics of X-ray scattering by dust particles, and present an analysis of dust properties around select X-ray sources.

  13. X-ray Haloes and Scattering by Interstellar Grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dwek, Eliahu

    2003-01-01

    The presence of dust in the general interstellar medium is inferred from the general extinction of starlight, the diffuse infrared emission, and the elemental abundance constraints. X-ray haloes around X-ray sources, produced by small angle scattering from intervening interstellar dust particles provide a new probe into the nature of interstellar dust. In this talk I will review the physics of X-ray scattering by dust particles, and present an analysis of dust properties around select X-ray sources.

  14. X-ray Haloes and Scattering by Interstellar Grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dwek, Eliahu

    2003-01-01

    The presence of dust in the general interstellar medium is inferred f r o m the general extinction of starlight, the diffuse infrared emission, and the elemental abundance constraints. X-ray haloes around X-ray sources, produced by small angle scattering from intervening interstellar dust particles provide a new probe into the nature of interstellar dust. In this talk I will review the physics of X-ray scattering by dust particles, and present an analysis of dust properties around select X-ray sources.

  15. X-ray Haloes and Scattering by Interstellar Grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dwek, Eliahu

    2003-01-01

    The presence of dust in the general interstellar medium is inferred from the general extinction of starlight, the diffuse infrared emission, and the elemental abundance constraints. X-ray haloes around X-ray sources, produced by small angle scattering from intervening interstellar dust particles provide a new probe into the nature of interstellar dust. In this talk I will review the physics of X-ray scattering by dust particles, and present an analysis of dust properties around select X-ray sources.

  16. Experiments and calculations on the extinction of starlight by iron or magnetite grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hecht, J.; Nuth, J.

    1982-01-01

    Both iron and magnetite have previously been proposed as constituents of interstellar grains. If either type of magnetic grain exists, it would help to explain the polarization of starlight which is thought to be caused by grains aligned by the interstellar magnetic field. A description is presented of laboratory measurements and computer calculations of the optical properties of small (approximately 25 nm radius) Fe and Fe304 grains. These results are discussed in terms of the effect of such particles on the extinction observed in the interstellar medium or in circumstellar shells. It is found that Fe is probably not responsible for the 220 nm feature in the interstellar extinction curve. Calculations show that if Fe304 is responsible for the very broad structure (VBS) in the interstellar extinction curve, then it would also be a significant contributor to the extinction in the near-UV.

  17. Interstellar PAHs and Dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tielens, A. G. G. M.

    Interstellar dust and large polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs) molecules are important components of the Interstellar Medium of galaxies where, among other things, they regulate the opacity, influence the heating and cooling of neutral atomic and molecular gas, and provide active surfaces for chemistry. Through this interaction with gas, photons, and energetic ions, dust and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon molecules influence key processes in the evolution of the interstellar medium and in turn are modified in their physical and chemical properties. This complex feedback drives the evolution of galaxies and its observational characteristics. In this chapter, our understanding of interstellar dust and large polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon molecules is described. Besides observations and their analysis, this chapter describes the physical processes involved, the life cycle of interstellar dust, and some aspects of the role of interstellar dust and PAHs in the evolution of the interstellar medium.

  18. Do you know the extinction in your young massive cluster?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Marchi, Guido; Panagia, Nino; Sabbi, Elena; HTTP Team

    2015-08-01

    Up to ages of a few 100 Myr, massive clusters are still swamped in large amounts of gas and dust from their primordial cocoons. This causes considerable and uneven levels of extinction across the cluster that we must understand and measure if we want to extract any physically meaningful parameters, from basic luminosities and effective temperatures to masses and ages. We have developed a powerful method to unambiguously determine the extinction law and the absolute value of the extinction in a uniform way across a cluster field, using multi-band photometry of red giant stars belonging to the red clump (RC). Since these stars share very similar physical properties, they allow us to derive the absolute extinction in a straightforward and reliable way. In the Magellanic Clouds, with about 20 RC stars arcmin-2 or ~150 objects in a typical HST pointing, we can easily derive a solid and self-consistent absolute extinction curve over the entire wavelength range of the photometry, with no need for spectroscopy.I will show an application of this method to the Hubble Tarantula Treasury Project's observations of the Tarantula nebula, containing the massive R136 cluster. We have measured the absolute extinction towards about 3600 objects and the extinction law in the range 0.3 - 1.6 μm. At optical wavelengths, the extinction curve is almost parallel to that of the diffuse Galactic interstellar medium (ISM), but the value of RV = AV/E(B-V) = 4.5 ± 0.2 that we measure indicates that in the optical there is an extra grey component due to a larger fraction of large grains. Using the RV = 3.1 value typical of the diffuse Galactic ISM would severely underestimate the luminosities and masses and overestimate the ages of the stars in the cluster. At wavelengths longer than ~ 1 μm, the contribution of this additional component tapers off as λ-1.5, like in the Milky Way, suggesting that the nature of the grains is otherwise similar to those in our Galaxy, but with a ~ 2 times higher

  19. Near-infrared extinction with discretised stellar colours

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juvela, M.; Montillaud, J.

    2016-01-01

    Context. Near-infrared (NIR) extinction remains one of the most reliable methods of measuring the column density of dense interstellar clouds. Extinction can be estimated using the reddening of the light of background stars. Several methods exist (e.g., NICE, NICER, NICEST, GNICER) to combine observations of several NIR bands into extinction maps. Aims: We present a new method of estimating extinction based on NIR multiband observations and examine its performance. Methods: Our basic method uses a discretised version of the distribution of intrinsic stellar colours directly. The extinction of individual stars and the average over a resolution element are estimated with Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods. Several variations of the basic method are tested, and the results are compared to NICER calculations. Results: In idealised settings or when photometric errors are large, the results of the new method are very close to those of NICER. Clear advantages can be seen when the distribution of intrinsic colours cannot be described well with a single covariance matrix. The MCMC framework makes it easy to consider additional effects such as those of completeness limits and contamination by galaxies or foreground stars. A priori information about relative column density variations at sub-beam scales can result in a significant increase in accuracy. For observations of high photometric precision, the results could be further improved by considering the magnitude dependence of the intrinsic colours. Conclusions: The MCMC computations are time-consuming, but the calculation of large extinction maps is already practical. The same methods can be used with direct optimisation, with significantly less computational work. Faster methods, like NICER, perform very well in many cases even when the basic assumptions no longer hold. The new methods are useful mostly when photometric errors are small, the distribution of intrinsic colours is well known, or one has prior knowledge

  20. Organic molecules in translucent interstellar clouds.

    PubMed

    Krełowski, Jacek

    2014-09-01

    Absorption spectra of translucent interstellar clouds contain many known molecular bands of CN, CH+, CH, OH, OH(+), NH, C2 and C3. Moreover, one can observe more than 400 unidentified absorption features, known as diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs), commonly believed to be carried by complex, carbon-bearing molecules. DIBs have been observed in extragalactic sources as well. High S/N spectra allow to determine precisely the corresponding column densities of the identified molecules, rotational temperatures which differ significantly from object to object in cases of centrosymmetric molecular species, and even the (12)C/(13)C abundance ratio. Despite many laboratory based studies of possible DIB carriers, it has not been possible to unambiguously link these bands to specific species. An identification of DIBs would substantially contribute to our understanding of chemical processes in the diffuse interstellar medium. The presence of substructures inside DIB profiles supports the idea that DIBs are very likely features of gas phase molecules. So far only three out of more than 400 DIBs have been linked to specific molecules but none of these links was confirmed beyond doubt. A DIB identification clearly requires a close cooperation between observers and experimentalists. The review presents the state-of-the-art of the investigations of the chemistry of interstellar translucent clouds i.e. how far our observations are sufficient to allow some hints concerning the chemistry of, the most common in the Galaxy, translucent interstellar clouds, likely situated quite far from the sources of radiation (stars).

  1. Observational evidence of dust evolution in galactic extinction curves

    SciTech Connect

    Cecchi-Pestellini, Cesare; Casu, Silvia; Mulas, Giacomo; Zonca, Alberto E-mail: silvia@oa-cagliari.inaf.it E-mail: azonca@oa-cagliari.inaf.it

    2014-04-10

    Although structural and optical properties of hydrogenated amorphous carbons are known to respond to varying physical conditions, most conventional extinction models are basically curve fits with modest predictive power. We compare an evolutionary model of the physical properties of carbonaceous grain mantles with their determination by homogeneously fitting observationally derived Galactic extinction curves with the same physically well-defined dust model. We find that a large sample of observed Galactic extinction curves are compatible with the evolutionary scenario underlying such a model, requiring physical conditions fully consistent with standard density, temperature, radiation field intensity, and average age of diffuse interstellar clouds. Hence, through the study of interstellar extinction we may, in principle, understand the evolutionary history of the diffuse interstellar clouds.

  2. Molecular Spectroscopy in Astrophysics: Interstellar PAHs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are now considered to be an important and ubiquitous component of the organic material in space. PAHs are found in a large variety of extraterrestrial materials such as interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) and meteoritic materials. PAHs are also good candidates to account for the infrared emission bands (UIRs) and the diffuse interstellar optical absorption bands (DIBs) detected in various regions of the interstellar medium. The recent observations made with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) have confirmed the ubiquitous nature of the UIR bands and their carriers. PAHs are thought to form through chemical reactions in the outflow from carbon-rich stars in a process similar to soot formation. Once injected in the interstellar medium, PAHs are further processed by the interstellar radiation field, interstellar shocks and energetic particles. A long-term laboratory effort has been undertaken to measure the physical and chemical characteristics of these carbon molecules and their ions under experimental conditions that mimic the interstellar conditions. These measurements require collision-free conditions where the molecules and ions are cold and chemically isolated. The spectroscopy of PAHs under controlled conditions represents an essential diagnostic tool to study the evolution of extraterrestrial PAHs. The laboratory results will be discussed as well as the implications for astronomy and for molecular spectroscopy. A review of the data generated through laboratory simulations of space environments and the role these data have played in our current understanding of the properties of interstellar PAHs will be presented. We will also present the new generation of laboratory experiments that are currently being developed in order to provide a closer simulation of space environments and a better support to space missions.

  3. Molecular Spectroscopy in Astrophysics: Interstellar PAHs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are now considered to be an important and ubiquitous component of the organic material in space. PAHs are found in a large variety of extraterrestrial materials such as interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) and meteoritic materials. PAHs are also good candidates to account for the infrared emission bands (UIRs) and the diffuse interstellar optical absorption bands (DIBs) detected in various regions of the interstellar medium. The recent observations made with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) have confirmed the ubiquitous nature of the UIR bands and their carriers. PAHs are thought to form through chemical reactions in the outflow from carbon-rich stars in a process similar to soot formation. Once injected in the interstellar medium, PAHs are further processed by the interstellar radiation field, interstellar shocks and energetic particles. A long-term laboratory effort has been undertaken to measure the physical and chemical characteristics of these carbon molecules and their ions under experimental conditions that mimic the interstellar conditions. These measurements require collision-free conditions where the molecules and ions are cold and chemically isolated. The spectroscopy of PAHs under controlled conditions represents an essential diagnostic tool to study the evolution of extraterrestrial PAHs. The laboratory results will be discussed as well as the implications for astronomy and for molecular spectroscopy. A review of the data generated through laboratory simulations of space environments and the role these data have played in our current understanding of the properties of interstellar PAHs will be presented. We will also present the new generation of laboratory experiments that are currently being developed in order to provide a closer simulation of space environments and a better support to space missions.

  4. Laboratory Studies of Interstellar PAH Analogs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are now considered to be an important and ubiquitous component of the organic material in space. PAHs are found in a large variety of extraterrestrial materials such as interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) and meteoritic materials. PAHs are also good candidates to account for the infrared emission bands (UIRs) and the diffuse interstellar optical absorption bands (DIBs) detected in various regions of the interstellar medium. The recent observations made with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) have confirmed the ubiquitous nature of the UIR bands and their carriers. PAHs are though to form through chemical reactions in the outflow from carbon-rich stars in a process similar to soot formation. Once injected in the interstellar medium, PAHs are further processed by the interstellar radiation field, interstellar shocks and energetic particles. A major, dedicated, laboratory effort has been undertaken over the past years to measure the physical and chemical characteristics of these complex molecules and their ions under experimental conditions that mimic the interstellar conditions. These measurements require collision-free conditions where the molecules and ions are cold and chemically isolated. The spectroscopy of PAHs under controlled conditions represents an essential diagnostic tool to study the evolution of extraterrestrial PAHs. The Astrochemistry Laboratory program will be discussed through its multiple aspects: objectives, approach and techniques adopted, adaptability to the nature of the problem(s), results and implications for astronomy as well as for molecular spectroscopy. A review of the data generated through laboratory simulations of space environments and the role these data have played in our current understanding of the properties of interstellar PAHs will be presented. The discussion will also introduce the newest generation of laboratory experiments that are currently being developed in order to provide a

  5. Ultraviolet spectra of quenched carbonaceous composite derivatives: Comparison to the '217 nanometer' interstellar absorption feature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakata, Akira; Wada, Setsuko; Tokunaga, Alan T.; Narisawa, Takatoshi; Nakagawa, Hidehiro; Ono, Hiroshi

    1994-07-01

    QCCs (quenched carbonaceous composite) are amorphous carbonaceous material formed from a hydrocarbon plasma. We present the UV-visible spectra of 'filmy QCC; (obtained outside of the beam ejected from the hydrocarbon plasma) and 'dark QCC' (obtained very near to the beam) for comparison to the stellar extinction curve. When filmy QCC is heated to 500-700 C (thermally altered), the wavelength of the absorption maximum increases form 204 nm to 220-222 nm. The dark QCC has an absorption maximum at 217-222 nm. In addition, the thermally altered filmy QCC has a slope change at about 500 nm which resembles that in the interstellar extinction curve. The resemblance of the extinction curve of the QCCs to that of the interstellar medium suggests that QCC derivatives may be representative of the type of interstellar material that produces the 217 nm interstellar medium feature. The peak extinction of the dark QCC is higher than the average interstellar extinction curve while that of the thermally altered filmy QCC is lower, so that a mixture of dark and thermally altered filmy QCC can match the peak extinction observed in the interstellar medium. It is shown from electron micrographs that most of the thermally altered filmy QCC is in the form of small grainy structure less than 4 nm in diameter. This shows that the structure unit causing the 217-222 nm feature in QCC is very small.

  6. Ultraviolet spectra of quenched carbonaceous composite derivatives: Comparison to the '217 nanometer' interstellar absorption feature

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sakata, Akira; Wada, Setsuko; Tokunaga, Alan T.; Narisawa, Takatoshi; Nakagawa, Hidehiro; Ono, Hiroshi

    1994-01-01

    QCCs (quenched carbonaceous composite) are amorphus carbonaceous material formed from a hydrocarbon plasma. We present the UV-visible spectra of 'filmy QCC; (obtained outside of the beam ejected from the hydrocarbon plasma) and 'dark QCC' (obtained very near to the beam) for comparison to the stellar extinction curve. When filmy QCC is heated to 500-700 C (thermally altered), the wavelength of the absorption maximum increases form 204 nm to 220-222 nm. The dark QCC has an absorption maximum at 217-222 nm. In addition, the thermally altered filmy QCC has a slope change at about 500 nm which resmbles that in the interstellar extinction curve. The resemblance of the extinction curve of the QCCs to that of the interstellar medium suggests that QCC derivatives may be representative of the type of interstellar material that produces the 217 nm interstellar medium feature. The peak extinction of the dark QCC is higher than the average interstellar extinction curve while that of the thermally altered filmy QCC is lower, so that a mixture of dark and thermally altered filmy QCC can match the peak extinction observed in the interstellar medium. It is shown from electron micrographs that most of the thermally altered flimy QCC is in the form of small grainy structure less than 4 nm in diameter. This shows that the structure unit causing the 217-222 nm feature in QCC is very small.

  7. Science with the Galactic O-Star Spectroscopic Survey (GOSSS): the relationship between DIBs, the ISM, and extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penades Ordaz, M.; Maíz Apellániz, J.; Sota, A.; Alfaro, E. J.; Walborn, N. R.; Barbá, R. H.; Morrell, N. I.; Arias, J. I.; Gamen, R. C.

    2011-11-01

    In this poster we show our preliminary analysis of DIBs (Diffuse Interstellar Bands) and other interstellar absorption lines with the purpose of understanding their origin and their relationship with extinction. We use the biggest Galactic O-star blue-violet spectroscopic sample ever (GOSSS, see Maíz Apellániz, these proceedings). This sample allows a new insight on this topic because of the adequacy of O-star spectra, the sample number (700 by early 2010 and increasing; 400 are used here), and their distribution in the Milky Way disk. We confirm the high correlation coefficients between different DIBs and E(B-V), though the detailed behavior of each case shows small differences. We also detect a moderately low correlation coefficient between CaII lambda 3934 (Ca K) and E(B-V) with a peculiar spatial distribution that we ascribe to the relationship between line saturation and velocity profiles for CaII lambda 3934.

  8. The Extinction Properties of and Distance to the Highly Reddened Type IA Supernova 2012CU

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, X.; Raha, Z.; Aldering, G.; Antilogus, P.; Bailey, S.; Baltay, C.; Barbary, K.; Baugh, D.; Boone, K.; Bongard, S.; Buton, C.; Chen, J.; Chotard, N.; Copin, Y.; Fagrelius, P.; Fakhouri, H. K.; Feindt, U.; Fouchez, D.; Gangler, E.; Hayden, B.; Hillebrandt, W.; Kim, A. G.; Kowalski, M.; Leget, P.-F.; Lombardo, S.; Nordin, J.; Pain, R.; Pecontal, E.; Pereira, R.; Perlmutter, S.; Rabinowitz, D.; Rigault, M.; Rubin, D.; Runge, K.; Saunders, C.; Smadja, G.; Sofiatti, C.; Stocker, A.; Suzuki, N.; Taubenberger, S.; Tao, C.; Thomas, R. C.; Nearby Supernova Factory, (The

    2017-02-01

    Correcting Type Ia Supernova brightnesses for extinction by dust has proven to be a vexing problem. Here we study the dust foreground to the highly reddened SN 2012cu, which is projected onto a dust lane in the galaxy NGC 4772. The analysis is based on multi-epoch, spectrophotometric observations spanning from 3300–9200 Å, obtained by the Nearby Supernova Factory. Phase-matched comparison of the spectroscopically twinned SN 2012cu and SN 2011fe across 10 epochs results in the best-fit color excess of (E(B-V), RMS) = (1.00, 0.03) and total-to-selective extinction ratio of (R V , RMS) = (2.95, 0.08) toward SN 2012cu within its host galaxy. We further identify several diffuse interstellar bands and compare the 5780 Å band with the dust-to-band ratio for the Milky Way (MW). Overall, we find the foreground dust-extinction properties for SN 2012cu to be consistent with those of the MW. Furthermore, we find no evidence for significant time variation in any of these extinction tracers. We also compare the dust extinction curve models of Cardelli et al., O’Donnell, and Fitzpatrick, and find the predictions of Fitzpatrick fit SN 2012cu the best. Finally, the distance to NGC4772, the host of SN 2012cu, at a redshift of z = 0.0035, often assigned to the Virgo Southern Extension, is determined to be 16.6 ± 1.1 Mpc. We compare this result with distance measurements in the literature.

  9. On the Optical-to-silicate Extinction Ratio as a Probe of the Dust Size in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shao, Zhenzhen; Jiang, B. W.; Li, Aigen

    2017-05-01

    Dust plays a central role in the unification theory of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Whether the dust that forms the torus around an AGN is micron-sized, like interstellar grains, or much larger, has a profound impact on correcting for the obscuration of the dust torus to recover the intrinsic spectrum and luminosity of the AGN. Here we show that the ratio of the optical extinction in the visual band ({A}{{V}}) to the optical depth of the 9.7 μm silicate absorption feature ({{Δ }}{τ }9.7) could potentially be an effective probe of the dust size. The anomalously lower ratio of {A}{{V}}/{{Δ }}{τ }9.7 ≈ 5.5 of AGNs compared to that of the Galactic diffuse interstellar medium of {A}{{V}}/{{Δ }}{τ }9.7 ≈ 18 reveals that the dust in AGN tori could be substantially larger than the interstellar grains of the Milky Way and those of the Small Magellanic Cloud, and therefore, one could expect a flat extinction curve for AGNs.

  10. Interstellar grain chemistry and organic molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allamandola, L. J.; Sandford, S. A.

    1990-01-01

    The detection of prominant infrared absorption bands at 3250, 2170, 2138, 1670 and 1470 cm(-1) (3.08, 4.61, 4.677, 5.99 and 6.80 micron m) associated with molecular clouds show that mixed molecular (icy) grain mantles are an important component of the interstellar dust in the dense interstellar medium. These ices, which contain many organic molecules, may also be the production site of the more complex organic grain mantles detected in the diffuse interstellar medium. Theoretical calculations employing gas phase as well as grain surface reactions predict that the ices should be dominated only by the simple molecules H2O, H2CO, N2, CO, O2, NH3, CH4, possibly CH3OH, and their deuterated counterparts. However, spectroscopic observations in the 2500 to 1250 cm(-1)(4 to 8 micron m) range show substantial variation from source reactions alone. By comparing these astronomical spectra with the spectra of laboratory-produced analogs of interstellar ices, one can determine the composition and abundance of the materials frozen on the grains in dense clouds. Experiments are described in which the chemical evolution of an interstellar ice analog is determined during irradiation and subsequent warm-up. Particular attention is paid to the types of moderately complex organic materials produced during these experiments which are likely to be present in interstellar grains and cometary ices.

  11. Parameterizing the interstellar dust temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hocuk, S.; Szűcs, L.; Caselli, P.; Cazaux, S.; Spaans, M.; Esplugues, G. B.

    2017-08-01

    The temperature of interstellar dust particles is of great importance to astronomers. It plays a crucial role in the thermodynamics of interstellar clouds, because of the gas-dust collisional coupling. It is also a key parameter in astrochemical studies that governs the rate at which molecules form on dust. In 3D (magneto)hydrodynamic simulations often a simple expression for the dust temperature is adopted, because of computational constraints, while astrochemical modelers tend to keep the dust temperature constant over a large range of parameter space. Our aim is to provide an easy-to-use parametric expression for the dust temperature as a function of visual extinction (AV) and to shed light on the critical dependencies of the dust temperature on the grain composition. We obtain an expression for the dust temperature by semi-analytically solving the dust thermal balance for different types of grains and compare to a collection of recent observational measurements. We also explore the effect of ices on the dust temperature. Our results show that a mixed carbonaceous-silicate type dust with a high carbon volume fraction matches the observations best. We find that ice formation allows the dust to be warmer by up to 15% at high optical depths (AV> 20 mag) in the interstellar medium. Our parametric expression for the dust temperature is presented as Td = [ 11 + 5.7 × tanh(0.61 - log 10(AV) ]χuv1/5.9, where χuv is in units of the Draine (1978, ApJS, 36, 595) UV field.

  12. Observations of interstellar zinc

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jura, M.; York, D.

    1981-01-01

    The International Ultraviolet Explorer observations of interstellar zinc toward 10 stars are examined. It is found that zinc is at most only slightly depleted in the interstellar medium; its abundance may serve as a tracer of the true metallicity in the gas. The local interstellar medium has abundances that apparently are homogeneous to within a factor of two, when integrated over paths of about 500 pc, and this result is important for understanding the history of nucleosynthesis in the solar neighborhood. The intrinsic errors in detecting weak interstellar lines are analyzed and suggestions are made as to how this error limit may be lowered to 5 mA per target observation.

  13. Local Interstellar Medium. International Astronomical Union Colloquium No. 81

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kondo, Y. (Editor); Bruhweiler, F. C. (Editor); Savage, B. D. (Editor)

    1984-01-01

    Helium and hydrogen backscattering; ultraviolet and EUV absorption spectra; optical extinction and polarization; hot gases; soft X-ray observations; infrared and millimeter wavelengths; radio wavelengths and theoretical models of the interstellar matter within about 150 parsecs of the Sun were examined.

  14. NASA's IBEX Observes Interstellar Matter

    NASA Image and Video Library

    The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) has directly sampled multiple heavy elements from the Local Interstellar Cloud for the first time. It turns out that this interstellar material is not like...

  15. CaFe interstellar clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bondar, A.; Kozak, M.; Gnaciński, P.; Galazutdinov, G. A.; Beletsky, Y.; Krełowski, J.

    2007-07-01

    A new kind of interstellar cloud is proposed. These are rare (just a few examples among ~300 lines of sight) objects with the CaI 4227-Å, FeI 3720-Å and 3860-Å lines stronger than those of KI (near 7699 Å) and NaI (near 3302 Å). We propose the name `CaFe' for these clouds. Apparently they occupy different volumes from the well-known interstellar HI clouds where the KI and ultraviolet NaI lines are dominant features. In the CaFe clouds we have not found either detectable molecular features (CH, CN) or diffuse interstellar bands which, as commonly believed, are carried by some complex, organic molecules. We have found the CaFe clouds only along sightlines toward hot, luminous (and thus distant) objects with high rates of mass loss. In principle, the observed gas-phase interstellar abundances reflect the combined effects of the nucleosynthetic history of the material, the depletion of heavy elements into dust grains and the ionization state of these elements which may depend on irradiation by neighbouring stars. Based on data collected using the Maestro spectrograph at the Terskol 2-m telescope, Russia; and on data collected using the ESO Feros spectrograph; and on data obtained from the ESO Science Archive Facility acquired with the UVES spectrograph, Chile. E-mail: `arctur'@rambler.ru (AB); marizak@astri.uni.torun.pl (MK); pg@iftia.univ.gda.pl (PG); gala@boao.re.kr (GAG); ybialets@eso.org (YB); jacek@astri.uni.torun.pl (JK)

  16. Effects of particle shape on volume and mass estimates of interstellar grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greenberg, J. M.; Hong, S. S.

    1975-01-01

    Mass estimates of interstellar grain materials based on visual extinction characteristics are shown to be insensitive to shape and, so long as the wavelength dependence of extinction is defined well into the infrared, they are also insensitive to size distribution. Spheroidal particles are treated by an approximate analytical method. Spheres and cylinders (core mantle as well as homogeneous) are treated by exact methods.

  17. Polarimetry of the Interstellar Medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandford, Scott; Witteborn, Fred C. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    The talk will review what is known about the composition of ices and organics in the dense and diffuse interstellar media (ISM). Mixed molecular ices make up a significant fraction of the solid materials in dense molecular clouds and it is now known that thermal and radiation processing of these ices results in the production of more complex organic species, some of which may survive transport into forming stellar systems and the diffuse ISM. Molecular species identified in interstellar ices include H2O, CH3OH, CO, CH4, CO2, and somewhat surprisingly, H2. Theoretical and laboratory studies of the processing of interstellar analog ices containing these species indicate that species like HCO, H2CO, CH3, and NH3 are readily made and should also be present. The irradiation of mixed molecular ices containing these species, when followed by warming, leads to the production of a large variety of more complex species, including ethanol (CH3CH2OH), formamide (HC(=O)NH2), acetamide (CH3C(=O)NH2), nitriles or isonitriles (R-CN or R-NC hexamethylenetetramine (HMT; C6H12N4), a number of polymeric species related to polyoxymethylene [POM,(-CH2O-)n], and ketones {R-C(=O)-R'}. Spectral studies of dust in the diffuse ISM indicate the presence of fairly complex organics, some of which may be related to the organics produced in dense molecular clouds. Spectral comparisons indicate that the diffuse ISM organics may be quite similar to meteoritic kerogens, i.e. they may consist largely of aromatic moieties interlinked by short aliphatic bridges. Interestingly, recent evidence indicates that the galactic distribution of this material closely matches that of silicates, but does not correlate directly with visual extinction. This implies that a large fraction of the visual extinction is caused by a material other than these organics and silicates and that this other material has a significantly different distribution within the galaxy.

  18. Polarimetry of the Interstellar Medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandford, Scott; Witteborn, Fred C. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    The talk will review what is known about the composition of ices and organics in the dense and diffuse interstellar media (ISM). Mixed molecular ices make up a significant fraction of the solid materials in dense molecular clouds and it is now known that thermal and radiation processing of these ices results in the production of more complex organic species, some of which may survive transport into forming stellar systems and the diffuse ISM. Molecular species identified in interstellar ices include H2O, CH3OH, CO, CH4, CO2, and somewhat surprisingly, H2. Theoretical and laboratory studies of the processing of interstellar analog ices containing these species indicate that species like HCO, H2CO, CH3, and NH3 are readily made and should also be present. The irradiation of mixed molecular ices containing these species, when followed by warming, leads to the production of a large variety of more complex species, including ethanol (CH3CH2OH), formamide (HC(=O)NH2), acetamide (CH3C(=O)NH2), nitriles or isonitriles (R-CN or R-NC hexamethylenetetramine (HMT; C6H12N4), a number of polymeric species related to polyoxymethylene [POM,(-CH2O-)n], and ketones {R-C(=O)-R'}. Spectral studies of dust in the diffuse ISM indicate the presence of fairly complex organics, some of which may be related to the organics produced in dense molecular clouds. Spectral comparisons indicate that the diffuse ISM organics may be quite similar to meteoritic kerogens, i.e. they may consist largely of aromatic moieties interlinked by short aliphatic bridges. Interestingly, recent evidence indicates that the galactic distribution of this material closely matches that of silicates, but does not correlate directly with visual extinction. This implies that a large fraction of the visual extinction is caused by a material other than these organics and silicates and that this other material has a significantly different distribution within the galaxy.

  19. Extinctions of life

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1988-01-01

    This meeting presentation examines mass extinctions through earth's history. Extinctions are charted for marine families and marine genera. Timing of marine genera extinctions is discussed. Periodicity in extinctions during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras is plotted and compared with Paleozoic extinction peaks. The role of extinction in evolution and mankind's role in present extinctions are examined.

  20. Boussard Interstellar Ramjet Engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The Boussard Interstellar Ramjet engine concept uses interstellar hydrogen scooped up from its environment as the spacecraft passes by to provide propellant mass. The hydrogen is then ionized and then collected by an electromagentic field. In this image, an onboard laser is uded to heat the plasma, and the laser or electron beam is used to trigger fusion pulses thereby creating propulsion.

  1. Mass extinctions and missing matter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stothers, R. B.

    1984-01-01

    The possible influence of 'invisible matter' on the solar system's comet halo, and therefore on quasi-periodic cometary bombardment of the earth and consequent mass extinctions, is briefly addressed. Invisible matter consisting of small or cold interstellar molecular clouds could significantly modulate the comet background flux, while invisible matter consisting of a large population of old, dead stars with a relatively small galactic concentration probably could not. It is also shown that the downward force exerted by the Galaxy will perturb the halo, but will not produce any periodicity.

  2. Mass extinctions and missing matter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stothers, R. B.

    1984-01-01

    The possible influence of 'invisible matter' on the solar system's comet halo, and therefore on quasi-periodic cometary bombardment of the earth and consequent mass extinctions, is briefly addressed. Invisible matter consisting of small or cold interstellar molecular clouds could significantly modulate the comet background flux, while invisible matter consisting of a large population of old, dead stars with a relatively small galactic concentration probably could not. It is also shown that the downward force exerted by the Galaxy will perturb the halo, but will not produce any periodicity.

  3. Is interstellar archeology possible?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrigan, Richard A.

    2012-09-01

    Searching for signatures of cosmic-scale archeological artifacts such as Dyson spheres is an interesting alternative to conventional radio SETI. Uncovering such an artifact does not require the intentional transmission of a signal on the part of the original civilization. This type of search is called interstellar archeology or sometimes cosmic archeology. A variety of interstellar archeology signatures is discussed including non-natural planetary atmospheric constituents, stellar doping, Dyson spheres, as well as signatures of stellar, and galactic-scale engineering. The concept of a Fermi bubble due to interstellar migration is reviewed in the discussion of galactic signatures. These potential interstellar archeological signatures are classified using the Kardashev scale. A modified Drake equation is introduced. With few exceptions interstellar archeological signatures are clouded and beyond current technological capabilities. However SETI for so-called cultural transmissions and planetary atmosphere signatures are within reach.

  4. Infrared Emission From Interstellar PAHs, New Probes of the Interstellar Medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hudgins, D. M.; Allamandola, L. J.

    2002-01-01

    Tremendous strides have been made in the understanding of interstellar material over the past twenty years thanks to significant, parallel developments in two closely related areas: observational IR astronomy and laboratory astrophysics. Twenty years ago the composition of interstellar dust was largely unknown and the notion of abundant, gas phase, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) anywhere in the interstellar medium (ISM) considered impossible. Today the dust composition of the diffuse and dense ISM is reasonably well constrained and the spectroscopic case for interstellar PAHs, impossibly large molecules by early interstellar chemistry standards, is very strong. PAH spectral features are now being used as new probes of the ISM. PAH ionization states reflect the ionization balance of the medium while PAH size and structure reflect the energetic and chemical history of the medium. Aromatic carbon-rich materials ranging in size from PAHs and PAH nanoclusters, to sub-micron and micron-sized dust grains represent an important component of the ISM. These species: (1) dominate the heating and cooling of interstellar clouds via energetic photoelectron ejection and infrared (IR) emission; (2) moderate the ionization balance in photodissociation regions and molecular clouds; (3) moderate the composition of the gas phase and play an important role in determining the chemistry of the ISM; (4) contribute to the interstellar extinction in the near IR, visible, and UV spectral regions; and (5) convert UV, visible, and near-IR radiation to mid- and far-IR radiation in the ISM and, as such, are responsible for the well known, widespread family of mid-IR emission features with major components near 3.3, 6.2, 7.7, 8.6, and 11.3 microns.

  5. A prelude to interstellar flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jaffe, L. D.; Norton, H. N.

    1980-01-01

    A 20 to 50 year interstellar precursor mission extending 400 to 1000 AU from the solar system is outlined as a means of bringing out and solving engineering problems inherent in a star mission, and of studying the heliopause, the interstellar medium, and cosmic rays outside the heliosphere. Solar or laser sailing combined with a 500 kWe nuclear-electric propulsion system using fission would achieve a heliocentric excess velocity of 100km/s for the 32,000 kg spacecraft having a Shuttle derivative as a launch vehicle, and containing a Pluto flyby or separate orbiter powered by radioiosotope thermoelectric generators. X-band transmission using 40 w of power, a 15 m diameter spacecraft antenna and a 100 m receiving antenna on earth and providing 100 b/s is proposed, but a rate of 2 to 4 kb/s via 500 to 1000 w of power using the K-band and a 300 m diameter receiving antenna located on an Orbiting Deep Space Relay Station is also considered.

  6. PAH in the laboratory and interstellar space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wdowiak, Thomas J.; Flickinger, Gregory C.; Boyd, David A.

    1989-01-01

    The theory that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a constituent of the interstellar medium, and a source of the IR emission bands at 3.3, 6.2, 7.7, 8.6, and 11.3 microns is being studied using PAH containing acid insoluble residue of the Orgueil CI meteorite and coal tar. FTIR spectra of Orgueil PAH material that has undergone thermal treatment, and a solvent insoluble fraction of coal tar that has been exposed to hydrogen plasma are presented. The UV excided luminescence spectrum of a solvent soluble coal tar film is also shown. Comparison of the lab measurements with observations appears to support the interstellar PAH theory, and shows the process of dehydrogenation expected to take place in the interstellar medium.

  7. The Organic Component of Interstellar Dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pendleton, Yvonne

    2003-01-01

    The distribution, chemical structure, and formation of organic matter in the interstellar medium are important to our understanding of the overall evolution of dust. The exchange of dust between the dense and diffuse interstellar medium, and the effects of processing on dust within dense clouds will affect the inventory of material available for incorporation into newly forming star and planetary systems. Observational ground-based studies have confirmed the widespread distribution of the 3.4 pm absorption band attributed to aliphatic hydrocarbons in the diffuse interstellar medium of our own galaxy, and in the dusty spectra of a few nearby galaxies, while space based observations from IS0 probed the signatures of corresponding mid-infrared features. Laboratory experiments which utilize both thermal processes and energetic processing by high energy photons and cosmic rays, produce candidate materials which offer close matches to the observed diffuse interstellar medium and extragalactic hydrocarbon absorption features. Through an analysis of the 4000 to 1000 cm (2.5 to 10 micrometers) region of the spectrum of diffuse interstellar medium (DISM) dust compared with the spectra of thirteen chemical entities produced in the laboratory which serve as analogs to the interstellar material, significant constraints have been placed on the applicability of proposed candidate materials to explain the interstellar features. The results indicate that the organic refractory material in the diffuse interstellar medium is predominantly hydrocarbon in nature, possessing little nitrogen or oxygen, with the carbon distributed between the aromatic and aliphatic forms. Long alkane chains H3C-(CH2),- with n much greater than 4 or 5 are not major constituents of this material. Comparisons to laboratory analogs indicate the DISM organic material resembles plasma processed pure hydrocarbon residues much more so than energetically processed ice residues. This result is consistent with a

  8. Australian Extinctions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Science Teacher, 2005

    2005-01-01

    Massive extinctions of animals and the arrival of the first humans in ancient Australia--which occurred 45,000 to 55,000 years ago--may be linked. Researchers at the Carnegie Institution, University of Colorado, Australian National University, and Bates College believe that massive fires set by the first humans may have altered the ecosystem of…

  9. Australian Extinctions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Science Teacher, 2005

    2005-01-01

    Massive extinctions of animals and the arrival of the first humans in ancient Australia--which occurred 45,000 to 55,000 years ago--may be linked. Researchers at the Carnegie Institution, University of Colorado, Australian National University, and Bates College believe that massive fires set by the first humans may have altered the ecosystem of…

  10. Laboratory evidence for ionized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Szczepanski, Jan; Vala, Martin

    1993-01-01

    The infrared absorption from neutrals and cations of four PAHs - naphthalene, anthracene, pyrene, and perylene - integrated over the spectral regions corresponding to the interstellar bands are compared with astronomical observations. It is found that the interstellar bands cannot be explained solely on the basis of neutral PAH species, but that cations must be a significant, and in some cases dominant, component.

  11. Laboratory evidence for ionized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Szczepanski, Jan; Vala, Martin

    1993-01-01

    The infrared absorption from neutrals and cations of four PAHs - naphthalene, anthracene, pyrene, and perylene - integrated over the spectral regions corresponding to the interstellar bands are compared with astronomical observations. It is found that the interstellar bands cannot be explained solely on the basis of neutral PAH species, but that cations must be a significant, and in some cases dominant, component.

  12. Extinction in SC galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giovanelli, Riccardo; Haynes, Martha P.; Salzer, John J.; Wegner, Gary; da Costa, Luiz N.; Freudling, Wolfram

    1994-06-01

    We analyze the photometric properties of a sample of Sbc-Sc galaxies with known redshifts, single-dish H I profiles, and Charge Coupled Device (CCD) I band images. We derive laws that relate the measured isophotal radius at muI = 23.5, magnitude, scale length, and H I flux to the face-on aspect. We find spiral galaxies to be substantially less transparent than suggested in most previous determinations, but not as opaque as claimed by Valentijn (1990). Regions in the disk farther than two or three scale lengths from the center are close to completely transparent. In addition to statistically derived relations for the inclination dependence of photometric parameters, we present the results of a modeling exercise that utilizes the 'triplex' model of Disney et al. (1989) to obtain upper limits of the disk opacity. Within the framework of that model, and with qualitative consideration of the effects of scattering on extinction, we estimate late spiral disks at I band to have central optical depths tauI(0) less than 5 and dust absorbing layers with scale heights on the order of half that of the stellar component or less. We discuss our results in light of previous determinations of internal extinction relations and point out the substantial impact of internal extinction on the scatter of the Tully-Fisher relation. We also find that the visual diameters by which large catalogs are constructed (UGC, ESO-Uppsala) are nearly proportional to face-on isophotal diameters.

  13. Influence of the nature of the absorption band on the potential performance of high molar extinction coefficient ruthenium(II) polypyridinic complexes as dyes for sensitized solar cells.

    PubMed

    Gajardo, Francisco; Barrera, Mauricio; Vargas, Ricardo; Crivelli, Irma; Loeb, Barbara

    2011-07-04

    When tested in solar cells, ruthenium polypyridinic dyes with extended π systems show an enhanced light-harvesting capacity that is not necessarily reflected by a high (collected electrons)/(absorbed photons) ratio. Provided that metal-to-ligand charge transfer bands, MLCT, are more effective, due to their directionality, than intraligand (IL) π-π* bands for the electron injection process in the solar cell, it seems important to explore and clarify the nature of the absorption bands present in these types of dyes. This article aims to elucidate if all the absorbed photons of these dyes are potentially useful in the generation of electric current. In other words, their potentiality as dyes must also be analyzed from the point of view of their contribution to the generation of excited states potentially useful for direct injection. Focusing on the assignment of the absorption bands and the nature of the emitting state, a systematic study for a series of ruthenium complexes with 4,4'-distyryl-2,2'-dipyridine (LH) and 4,4'-bis[p-(dimethylamino)-α-styryl]-2,2'-bipyridine (LNMe(2)) "chromophoric" ligands was undertaken. The observed experimental results were complemented with TDDFT calculations to elucidate the nature of the absorption bands, and a theoretical model was proposed to predict the available energy that could be injected from a singlet or a triplet excited state. For the series studied, the results indicate that the percentage of MLCT character to the anchored ligand for the lower energy absorption band follows the order [Ru(deebpy)(2)(LNMe(2))](PF(6))(2) > [Ru(deebpy)(2)(LH)](PF(6))(2) > [Ru(deebpy)(LH)(2)](PF(6))(2), where deebpy is 4,4'-bis(ethoxycarbonyl)-2,2'-bipyridine, predicting that, at least from this point of view, their efficiency as dyes should follow the same trend.

  14. The galactic distribution of aliphatic hydrocarbons in the diffuse interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandford, Scott A.; Pendleton, Yvonne J.; Allamandola, Louis J.

    1995-01-01

    The infrared absorption feature near 2950(exp -1) (3.4 micron), characteristic of dust in the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM), is attributed to C-H stretching vibrations of aliphatic hydrocarbons. We show here that the strength of the band does not scale linearly with visual extinction everywhere, but instead increases more rapidly for objects near the center of the Galaxy, a behavior that parallels that of the Si-O stretching band due to silicate materials in the diffuse ISM. This implies that the grains responsible for the diffuse medium aliphatic C-H and silicate Si-O stretching bands are different from those responsible for much of the observed visual extinction. It also suggests that the distribution of the carbonaceous component of the diffuse ISM is not uniform throughout the Galaxy, but instead may increase in density toward the center of the Galaxy. The similar behavior of the C-H and Si-O stretching bands suggests that these two components may be coupled, perhaps in the form of silicate-core, organic-mantle grains. Several possible models of the distribution of this material are presented and it is demonstrated that the inner parts of the Galaxy has a carrier density that is 5 to 35 times higher than in the local ISM. Depending on the model used, the density of aliphatic material in the local ISM is found to be about 1 to 2 -CH3 groups m(exp -3) and about 2 to 5 -CH2- groups m(exp -3). These densities are consistent with the strengths of the 2955 and 2925 cm(exp -1) (3.4 micron) band being described by the relations A(sub nu)/tau(sub 2955 cm(exp -1)) = 270 +/- 40 and A(sub nu)/tau(sub 2925 cm(exp -1)) = 250 +/- 40 in the local diffuse ISM.

  15. Presolar/Interstellar Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandford, Scott A.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    This talk will review much of our current understanding of the origins, nature, and evolution of materials in circumstellar and interstellar space. I will begin by familiarizing the audience with some of the nomenclature associated the field, reviewing the lifecycle of dust in space, and pointing out where the speakers that follow will address portions of the lifecycle in greater detail. I will then address the different techniques used to study interstellar materials, paying particular attention to (i) telescopic remote sensing of the dust currently in interstellar space, (ii) laboratory studies of individual interstellar grains found in meteorites and other extraterrestrial materials, and (iii) laboratory simulation experiments. To complete the talk, I will focus on the nature of interstellar organic compounds as a particular example of how these disparate techniques can be used to improve our understanding of interstellar matter. While interstellar organics will be addressed in general, particular attention will be made to that portion of the organic inventory that may play a role in the origin and evolution of life on planetary surfaces.

  16. Extinction and the Dimming of KIC 8462852

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Huan Y. A.; Rieke, George; Dubois, Franky; Kennedy, Grant; Marengo, Massimo; Siegel, Michael; Su, Kate; Trueba, Nicolas; Wyatt, Mark; Boyajian, Tabetha; Lisse, C. M.; Logie, Ludwig; Rau, Steve; Vanaverbeke, Sigfried

    2017-10-01

    To test alternative hypotheses for the behavior of KIC 8462852, we obtained measurements of the star over a wide wavelength range from the UV to the mid-infrared from 2015 October through 2016 December, using Swift, Spitzer and AstroLAB IRIS. The star faded in a manner similar to the long-term fading seen in Kepler data about 1400 days previously. The dimming rate for the entire period reported is 22.1 ± 9.7 mmag yr‑1 in the Swift wavebands, with amounts of 21.0 ± 4.5 mmag in the ground-based B measurements, 14.0 ± 4.5 mmag in V, and 13.0 ± 4.5 in R, and a rate of 5.0 ± 1.2 mmag yr‑1 averaged over the two warm Spitzer bands. Although the dimming is small, it is seen at ≳3σ by three different observatories operating from the UV to the IR. The presence of long-term secular dimming means that previous spectral energy distribution models of the star based on photometric measurements taken years apart may not be accurate. We find that stellar models with {T}{eff}=7000{--}7100 K and {A}V∼ 0.73 best fit the Swift data from UV to optical. These models also show no excess in the near-simultaneous Spitzer photometry at 3.6 and 4.5 μm, although a longer wavelength excess from a substantial debris disk is still possible (e.g., as around Fomalhaut). The wavelength dependence of the fading favors a relatively neutral color (i.e., {R}V≳ 5, but not flat across all the bands) compared with the extinction law for the general interstellar medium ({R}V=3.1), suggesting that the dimming arises from circumstellar material.

  17. Pathway to the identification of C60+ in diffuse interstellar clouds.

    PubMed

    Maier, John P; Campbell, Ewen K

    2016-09-13

    The origin of the attenuation of starlight in diffuse clouds in interstellar space at specific wavelengths ranging from the visible to the near-infrared has been unknown since the first astronomical observations around a century ago. The absorption features, termed the diffuse interstellar bands, have subsequently been the subject of much research. Earlier this year four of these interstellar bands were shown to be due to the absorption by cold, gas phase [Formula: see text] molecules. This discovery provides the first answer to the problem of the diffuse interstellar bands and leads naturally to fascinating questions regarding the role of fullerenes and derivatives in interstellar chemistry. Here, we review the identification process placing special emphasis on the laboratory studies which have enabled spectroscopic measurement of large cations cooled to temperatures prevailing in the interstellar medium.This article is part of the themed issue 'Fullerenes: past, present and future, celebrating the 30th anniversary of Buckminster Fullerene'.

  18. Pathway to the identification of C60+ in diffuse interstellar clouds

    PubMed Central

    Maier, John P.; Campbell, Ewen K.

    2016-01-01

    The origin of the attenuation of starlight in diffuse clouds in interstellar space at specific wavelengths ranging from the visible to the near-infrared has been unknown since the first astronomical observations around a century ago. The absorption features, termed the diffuse interstellar bands, have subsequently been the subject of much research. Earlier this year four of these interstellar bands were shown to be due to the absorption by cold, gas phase molecules. This discovery provides the first answer to the problem of the diffuse interstellar bands and leads naturally to fascinating questions regarding the role of fullerenes and derivatives in interstellar chemistry. Here, we review the identification process placing special emphasis on the laboratory studies which have enabled spectroscopic measurement of large cations cooled to temperatures prevailing in the interstellar medium. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Fullerenes: past, present and future, celebrating the 30th anniversary of Buckminster Fullerene’. PMID:27501976

  19. Carriers of the astronomical 2175 ? extinction feature

    SciTech Connect

    Bradley, J; Dai, Z; Ernie, R; Browning, N; Graham, G; Weber, P; Smith, J; Hutcheon, I; Ishii, H; Bajt, S; Floss, C; Stadermann, F

    2004-07-20

    The 2175 {angstrom} extinction feature is by far the strongest spectral signature of interstellar dust observed by astronomers. Forty years after its discovery the origin of the feature and the nature of the carrier remain controversial. The feature is enigmatic because although its central wavelength is almost invariant its bandwidth varies strongly from one sightline to another, suggesting multiple carriers or a single carrier with variable properties. Using a monochromated transmission electron microscope and valence electron energy-loss spectroscopy we have detected a 5.7 eV (2175 {angstrom}) feature in submicrometer-sized interstellar grains within interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) collected in the stratosphere. The carriers are organic carbon and amorphous silicates that are abundant and closely associated with one another both in IDPs and in the interstellar medium. Multiple carriers rather than a single carrier may explain the invariant central wavelength and variable bandwidth of the astronomical 2175 {angstrom} feature.

  20. Interstellar Dust - A Review

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid

    2012-01-01

    The study of the formation and the destruction processes of cosmic dust is essential to understand and to quantify the budget of extraterrestrial organic materials. Although dust with all its components plays an important role in the evolution of interstellar physics and chemistry and in the formation of organic materials, little is known on the formation and destruction processes of carbonaceous dust. Laboratory experiments that are performed under conditions that simulate interstellar and circumstellar environments to provide information on the nature, the size and the structure of interstellar dust particles, the growth and the destruction processes of interstellar dust and the resulting budget of extraterrestrial organic molecules. A review of the properties of dust and of the laboratory experiments that are conducted to study the formation processes of dust grains from molecular precursors will be given.

  1. The Extinction properties of and distance to the highly reddened Type~Ia supernova SN 2012cu

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Xiaosheng; Raha, Zachary; Aldering, Greg Scott; Antilogus, Pierre; Bailey, Stephen J.; Charles, Baltay; Barbary, Kyle H.; Baugh, Derek; Boone, Kyle; Bongard, Sebastien; Buton, Clement; Chen, Juncheng; Chotard, Nicolas; Copin, Yannick; Fagrelius, Parker; Fakhouri, Hannah; Feindt, Ulrich; Fouchez, Dominique; Gangler, Emmanuel; Hayden, Brian; Hillebrandt, Wolfgang; Kim, Alex G.; Kowalski, Marek; Leget, Pierre-Francois; Lombardo, Simona; Nordin, Jakob; Pain, Reynald; Pecontal, Emmanuel; Pereira, Rui; Perlmutter, Saul; Rabinowitz, David L.; Rigault, Mickael; Rubin, David; Runge, Karl; Saunders, Clare; Smadja, Gerard; Sofiatti, Caroline; Stocker, Andrew; Suzuki, Nao; Taubenberger, Stefan; Tao, Charling; Thomas, Rollin

    2017-01-01

    Correction of Type Ia SN brightnesses for extinction by dust has proven to be a vexing problem. Here we study the dust foreground to the highly reddened SN 2012cu, which is projected onto a dust lane in the galaxy NGC 4772. The analysis is based on multi-epoch, spectrophotometric observations spanning 3,300 - 9,200 A, obtained by the Nearby Supernova Factory. Phase-matched comparison of the spectroscopically twinned SN 2012cu and SN 2011fe across 10 epochs results in the best-fit color excess of (E(B - V ), RMS) = (1.00, 0.03) and total-to-selective extinction ratio of (RV , RMS) = (2.95, 0.09) toward SN 2012cu within its host galaxy. We further identify several diffuse interstellar bands, and compare the 5780 A band with the dust-to-band ratio for the Milky Way. Overall, we find the foreground dust-extinction properties for SN 2012cu to be consistent with those of the Milky Way. Furthermore we find no evidence for significant time variation in any of these extinction tracers. We also compare the dust extinction curves of Cardelli et al. (1989), O’Donnell (1994), and Fitzpatrick (1999), and find the predictions of Fitzpatrick (1999) fit SN 2012cu the best. Finally, the distance to NGC4772, the host of SN 2012cu, at a redshift of z = 0.0035, often assigned to the Virgo Southern Extension, is determined to be 16.6±1.1 Mpc. We compare this result with distance measurements in the literature.

  2. Observations of interstellar zinc

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    York, D. G.; Jura, M.

    1982-01-01

    IUE observations toward 10 stars have shown that zinc is not depleted in the interstellar medium by more than a factor of two, suggesting that its abundance may serve as a tracer of the true metallicity in the gas. A result pertinent to the history of nucleosynthesis in the solar neighborhood is that the local interstellar medium has abundances that appear to be homogeneous to within a factor of two, when integrated over paths of about 500 pc.

  3. Interstellar organic chemistry.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sagan, C.

    1972-01-01

    Most of the interstellar organic molecules have been found in the large radio source Sagittarius B2 toward the galactic center, and in such regions as W51 and the IR source in the Orion nebula. Questions of the reliability of molecular identifications are discussed together with aspects of organic synthesis in condensing clouds, degradational origin, synthesis on grains, UV natural selection, interstellar biology, and contributions to planetary biology.

  4. Discovery of interstellar rubidium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jura, M.; Smith, W. H.

    1981-01-01

    Interstellar rubidium is detected through observations of the resonance line of Rb I at 7800 A towards zeta Oph. The abundance ratio of rubidium to potassium is estimated to be approximately solar, and if rubidium is generally found to have an abundance similar to potassium, it is indicated that the local interstellar medium is well mixed with a wide variety of the products of nucleosynthesis.

  5. Interstellar Propulsion Concepts Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forward, Robert L.

    2000-01-01

    NASA is investigating the feasibility of conducting extra-solar and interstellar missions over the next 10 to 50 years. An assessment of technologies supporting these near and far term objectives is required. To help meet these objectives the Principal Investigator assessed the feasibility of candidate propulsion systems for the proposed 'Interstellar Probe', a mission to send a spacecraft to the Heliopause at 250 AU and beyond.

  6. Interstellar organic chemistry.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sagan, C.

    1972-01-01

    Most of the interstellar organic molecules have been found in the large radio source Sagittarius B2 toward the galactic center, and in such regions as W51 and the IR source in the Orion nebula. Questions of the reliability of molecular identifications are discussed together with aspects of organic synthesis in condensing clouds, degradational origin, synthesis on grains, UV natural selection, interstellar biology, and contributions to planetary biology.

  7. Interstellar Light Sails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matloff, G. L.

    The light sail, which is pushed through space by momentum exchange from impacting and reflected photons, is the only suggested method of interstellar propulsion that has thus far been successfully tested in space. The solar photon sail, unfurled as close to the Sun as possible, offers the possibility of ~2,000-year duration voyages to Alpha Centauri using currently existing sail materials and departure from the present-day Sun. Improvements in sail material technology and departure from more luminous stars may greatly reduce interstellar transit time. During interstellar cruise, the sail could be wrapped around the habitat to provide cosmic ray shielding. The sail could be unfurled late in the flight to decelerate the spacecraft to planetary velocities. Collimated laser and maser beams, projected from power stations closer to the Sun than the starship, could overcome the limitations imposed by the inverse-square law and allow higher interstellar cruise velocities, if beam aim and collimation can be maintained over trillion-kilometer distances. This paper reviews progress on interstellar light sailing, discusses combination with other interstellar propulsion modes, and indicates some directions for future research.

  8. SEARCHING FOR NAPHTHALENE CATION ABSORPTION IN THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM

    SciTech Connect

    Searles, Justin M.; Destree, Joshua D.; Snow, Theodore P.; Salama, Farid; York, Donald G.; Dahlstrom, Julie E-mail: destree@colorado.edu E-mail: Farid.Salama@nasa.gov E-mail: jdahlstrom1@carthage.edu

    2011-05-01

    Interstellar naphthalene cations (C{sub 10}H{sup +}{sub 8}) have been proposed by a study to be the carriers of a small number of diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs). Using an archive of high signal-to-noise spectra obtained at the Apache Point Observatory, we used two methods to test the hypothesis. Both methods failed to detect significant absorption at lab wavelengths of interstellar spectra with laboratory spectra. We thereby conclude that C{sub 10}H{sup +}{sub 8} is not a DIB carrier in typical reddened sight lines.

  9. Infrared spectral identification of complex organic molecules in interstellar grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greenberg, J. M.; Schutte, W.

    1985-01-01

    The chemical evolution of interstellar grains leads ultimately to a comparison consisting largely of complex organic molecules. Comparison of infrared absorption spectra of laboratory produced analogue materials with astronomical observations confirm the the presence of similar molecules in interstellar space. The abundance of this complex organic matter derived from the strength of the absorption bands is of the order of ten million solar masses and is almost certainly as large or larger than all conceivable planets.

  10. Enabling interstellar probe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNutt, Ralph L.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F.; International Interstellar Probe Team

    2011-04-01

    The scientific community has advocated a scientific probe to the interstellar medium for over 30 years. While the Voyager spacecraft have passed through the termination shock of the solar wind, they have limited lifetimes as their radioisotope power supplies decay. It remains unclear whether they can reach the heliopause, the boundary between shocked solar wind and interstellar plasmas, and, in any case, they will not reach the undisturbed interstellar medium. As with most exploratory space missions, their ongoing observations continue to raise even more questions about the nature of the interaction of our heliosphere and the interstellar medium. Scientific questions including: What is the nature of the nearby interstellar medium? How do the Sun and galaxy affect the dynamics of the heliosphere? What is the structure of the heliosphere? How did matter in the solar system and interstellar medium originate and evolve? can only be answered by an "interstellar precursor" probe. Such a mission is required to make in situ measurements in the interaction region and interstellar medium itself at distances far from the Sun, but in a finite mission lifetime. By launching a probe toward the incoming "interstellar wind," whose direction is known, the distance to be traveled can be minimized but is still large. The current consensus is that a scientifically compelling mission must function to at least a distance of 200 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun and return a reasonable stream of data during the voyage. The central problem is that of providing a means of propulsion to accelerate a probe from the Solar System. Even with a low-mass payload and spacecraft, achieving the high speeds needed, even with gravity assists, have remained problematic. Voyager 1, the fastest object ever to leave the system is now traveling ˜3.6 AU/yr, and a credible probe must reach at least 2-3 times this speed. The use of an Ares V is an approach for enabling a fast interstellar precursor

  11. Interstellar C2 molecules toward Zeta Ophiuchi

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hobbs, L. M.; Campbell, B.

    1982-01-01

    Ten weak interstellar absorption lines of the (2-0) Phillips band of C2 near 8760 A are detected in the spectrum of Zeta Ophiuchi. All of the lines have equivalent widths smaller than 2 mA, and originate from the six lowest rotational levels of C2. The resulting total column density is equal to about 1.7 x 10 to the 13th/sq cm, and the excitation temperature is 130 + or - 10 K.

  12. Interstellar Antifreeze: Ethylene Glycol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hollis, J. M.; Lovas, F. J.; Jewell, P. R.; Coudert, L. H.

    2002-05-01

    Interstellar ethylene glycol (HOCH2CH2OH) has been detected in emission toward the Galactic center source Sagittarius B2(N-LMH) by means of several millimeter-wave rotational torsional transitions of its lowest energy conformer. The types and kinds of molecules found to date in interstellar clouds suggest a chemistry that favors aldehydes and their corresponding reduced alcohols-e.g., formaldehyde (H2CO)/methanol (CH3OH), acetaldehyde (CH3CHO)/ethanol (CH3CH2OH). Similarly, ethylene glycol is the reduced alcohol of glycolaldehyde (CH2OHCHO), which has also been detected toward Sgr B2(N-LMH). While there is no consensus as to how any such large complex molecules are formed in the interstellar clouds, atomic hydrogen (H) and carbon monoxide (CO) could form formaldehyde on grain surfaces, but such surface chemistry beyond that point is uncertain. However, laboratory experiments have shown that the gas-phase reaction of atomic hydrogen (H) and solid-phase CO at 10-20 K can produce formaldehyde and methanol and that alcohols and other complex molecules can be synthesized from cometary ice analogs when subject to ionizing radiation at 15 K. Thus, the presence of aldehyde/reduced alcohol pairs in interstellar clouds implies that such molecules are a product of a low-temperature chemistry on grain surfaces or in grain ice mantles. This work suggests that aldehydes and their corresponding reduced alcohols provide unique observational constraints on the formation of complex interstellar molecules.

  13. Interstellar Antifreeze: Ethylene Glycol

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hollis, J. M.; Lovas, F. J.; Jewell, P. R.; Coudert, L. H.

    2002-01-01

    Interstellar ethylene glycol (HOCH2CH2,OH) has been detected in emission toward the Galactic center source Sagittarius B2(N-LMH) by means of several millimeter-wave rotational torsional transitions of its lowest energy conformer. The types and kinds of molecules found to date in interstellar clouds suggest a chemistry that favors aldehydes and their corresponding reduced alcohols-e.g., formaldehyde (H2CO)/methanol (CH3OH), acetaldehyde (CH3CHO)/ethanol (CH3CH2OH). Similarly, ethylene glycol is the reduced alcohol of glycolaldehyde (CH2OHCHO), which has also been detected toward Sgr B2(N-LMH). While there is no consensus as to how any such large complex molecules are formed in the interstellar clouds, atomic hydrogen (H) and carbon monoxide (CO) could form formaldehyde on grain surfaces, but such surface chemistry beyond that point is uncertain. However, laboratory experiments have shown that the gas-phase reaction of atomic hydrogen (H) and solid-phase CO at 10-20 K can produce formaldehyde and methanol and that alcohols and other complex molecules can be synthesized from cometary ice analogs when subject to ionizing radiation at 15 K. Thus, the presence of aldehyde/ reduced alcohol pairs in interstellar clouds implies that such molecules are a product of a low-temperature chemistry on grain surfaces or in grain ice mantles. This work suggests that aldehydes and their corresponding reduced alcohols provide unique observational constraints on the formation of complex interstellar molecules.

  14. Interstellar Antifreeze: Ethylene Glycol

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hollis, J. M.; Lovas, F. J.; Jewell, P. R.; Coudert, L. H.

    2002-01-01

    Interstellar ethylene glycol (HOCH2CH2,OH) has been detected in emission toward the Galactic center source Sagittarius B2(N-LMH) by means of several millimeter-wave rotational torsional transitions of its lowest energy conformer. The types and kinds of molecules found to date in interstellar clouds suggest a chemistry that favors aldehydes and their corresponding reduced alcohols-e.g., formaldehyde (H2CO)/methanol (CH3OH), acetaldehyde (CH3CHO)/ethanol (CH3CH2OH). Similarly, ethylene glycol is the reduced alcohol of glycolaldehyde (CH2OHCHO), which has also been detected toward Sgr B2(N-LMH). While there is no consensus as to how any such large complex molecules are formed in the interstellar clouds, atomic hydrogen (H) and carbon monoxide (CO) could form formaldehyde on grain surfaces, but such surface chemistry beyond that point is uncertain. However, laboratory experiments have shown that the gas-phase reaction of atomic hydrogen (H) and solid-phase CO at 10-20 K can produce formaldehyde and methanol and that alcohols and other complex molecules can be synthesized from cometary ice analogs when subject to ionizing radiation at 15 K. Thus, the presence of aldehyde/ reduced alcohol pairs in interstellar clouds implies that such molecules are a product of a low-temperature chemistry on grain surfaces or in grain ice mantles. This work suggests that aldehydes and their corresponding reduced alcohols provide unique observational constraints on the formation of complex interstellar molecules.

  15. Impossible Extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cockell, Charles S.

    2003-03-01

    Every 225 million years the Earth, and all the life on it, completes one revolution around the Milky Way Galaxy. During this remarkable journey, life is influenced by calamitous changes. Comets and asteroids strike the surface of the Earth, stars explode, enormous volcanoes erupt, and, more recently, humans litter the planet with waste. Many animals and plants become extinct during the voyage, but humble microbes, simple creatures made of a single cell, survive this journey. This book takes a tour of the microbial world, from the coldest and deepest places on Earth to the hottest and highest, and witnesses some of the most catastrophic events that life can face. Impossible Extinction tells this remarkable story to the general reader by explaining how microbes have survived on Earth for over three billion years. Charles Cockell received his doctorate from the University of Oxford, and is currently a microbiologist with rhe Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI), based at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, UK. His research focusses on astrobiology, life in the extremes and the human exploration of Mars. Cockell has been on expeditions to the Arctic, Antarctic, Mongolia, and in 1993 he piloted a modified insect-collecting ultra-light aircraft over the Indonesian rainforests. He is Chair of the Twenty-one Eleven Foundation for Exploration, a charity that supports expeditions that forge links between space exploration and environmentalism.

  16. Photodissociation of interstellar N2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, X.; Heays, A. N.; Visser, R.; Ubachs, W.; Lewis, B. R.; Gibson, S. T.; van Dishoeck, E. F.

    2013-07-01

    Context. Molecular nitrogen is one of the key species in the chemistry of interstellar clouds and protoplanetary disks, but its photodissociation under interstellar conditions has never been properly studied. The partitioning of nitrogen between N and N2 controls the formation of more complex prebiotic nitrogen-containing species. Aims: The aim of this work is to gain a better understanding of the interstellar N2 photodissociation processes based on recent detailed theoretical and experimental work and to provide accurate rates for use in chemical models. Methods: We used an approach similar to that adopted for CO in which we simulated the full high-resolution line-by-line absorption + dissociation spectrum of N2 over the relevant 912-1000 Å wavelength range, by using a quantum-mechanical model which solves the coupled-channels Schrödinger equation. The simulated N2 spectra were compared with the absorption spectra of H2, H, CO, and dust to compute photodissociation rates in various radiation fields and shielding functions. The effects of the new rates in interstellar cloud models were illustrated for diffuse and translucent clouds, a dense photon dominated region and a protoplanetary disk. Results: The unattenuated photodissociation rate in the Draine (1978, ApJS, 36, 595) radiation field assuming an N2 excitation temperature of 50 K is 1.65 × 10-10 s-1, with an uncertainty of only 10%. Most of the photodissociation occurs through bands in the 957-980 Å range. The N2 rate depends slightly on the temperature through the variation of predissociation probabilities with rotational quantum number for some bands. Shielding functions are provided for a range of H2 and H column densities, with H2 being much more effective than H in reducing the N2 rate inside a cloud. Shielding by CO is not effective. The new rates are 28% lower than the previously recommended values. Nevertheless, diffuse cloud models still fail to reproduce the possible detection of interstellar N2

  17. TIME VARIATION OF AV AND RV FOR TYPE Ia SUPERNOVAE BEHIND INTERSTELLAR DUST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Xiaosheng; Biederman, M.; Herger, B.; Aldering, G. S.

    2014-01-01

    TIME VARIATION OF AV AND RV FOR TYPE Ia SUPERNOVAE BEHIND NON-UNIFORM INTERSTELLAR DUST ABSTRACT We investigate the time variation of the visual extinction, AV, and the total-to-selective extinction ratio, RV, resulting from interstellar dust in front of an expanding photospheric disk of a type Ia supernova (SN Ia). We simulate interstellar dust clouds according to a power law power spectrum and produce extinction maps that either follow a pseudo-Gaussian distribution or a lognormal distribution. The RV maps are produced through a correlation between AV and RV. With maps of AV and RV generated in each case (pseudo-Gaussian and lognormal), we then compute the effective AV and RV for a SN as its photospheric disk expands behind the dust screen. We find for a small percentage of SNe the AV and RV values can vary by a large factor from day to day in the first 40 days after explosion.

  18. The interstellar gas experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lind, D. L.; Geiss, J.; Buehler, F.; Eugster, O.

    1992-01-01

    The Interstellar Gas Experiment (IGE) exposed thin metallic foils to collect neutral interstellar gas particles. These particles penetrate the solar system due to their motion relative to the sun. Thus, it is possible to entrap them in the collecting foils along with precipitating magnetospheric and perhaps some ambient atmospheric particles. For the entire duration of the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) mission, seven of these foils collected particles arriving from seven different directions as seen from the spacecraft. In the mass spectroscopic analysis of the noble gas component of these particles, we have detected the isotopes of He-3, He-4, Ne-20, and Ne-22. In the foil analyses carried out so far, we find a distribution of particle arrival directions which shows that a significant part of the trapped particles are indeed interstellar atoms. The analysis needed to subtract the competing fluxes of magnetospheric and atmospheric particles is still in progress.

  19. Interstellar H(3)(+).

    PubMed

    Oka, Takeshi

    2006-08-15

    Protonated molecular hydrogen, H(3)(+), is the simplest polyatomic molecule. It is the most abundantly produced interstellar molecule, next only to H(2), although its steady state concentration is low because of its extremely high chemical reactivity. H(3)(+) is a strong acid (proton donor) and initiates chains of ion-molecule reactions in interstellar space thus leading to formation of complex molecules. Here, I summarize the understandings on this fundamental species in interstellar space obtained from our infrared observations since its discovery in 1996 and discuss the recent observations and analyses of H(3)(+) in the Central Molecular Zone near the Galatic center that led to a revelation of a vast amount of warm and diffuse gas existing in the region.

  20. Interstellar H3+

    PubMed Central

    Oka, Takeshi

    2006-01-01

    Protonated molecular hydrogen, H3+, is the simplest polyatomic molecule. It is the most abundantly produced interstellar molecule, next only to H2, although its steady state concentration is low because of its extremely high chemical reactivity. H3+ is a strong acid (proton donor) and initiates chains of ion-molecule reactions in interstellar space thus leading to formation of complex molecules. Here, I summarize the understandings on this fundamental species in interstellar space obtained from our infrared observations since its discovery in 1996 and discuss the recent observations and analyses of H3+ in the Central Molecular Zone near the Galatic center that led to a revelation of a vast amount of warm and diffuse gas existing in the region. PMID:16894171

  1. The interstellar redding law in the ultraviolet deduced from filter photometry obtained by the OAO-2 satellite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laget, M.

    1972-01-01

    Filter photometry has been obtained of 16 BO stars at ten effective wavelengths in the range 4250-1430 A. The wavelength dependence of the interstellar reddening law, deduced from a least squares fit of the observed values to the reddening line at each band, is found in satisfactory agreement with that derived by Bless and Savage (1972). Toward the shorter wavelengths the increase of the computed probable error of the slope of the mean reddening line suggests that large fluctuations in the law may occur from star to star. Similar computations, separating main-sequence stars and supergiants, indicate that the large fluctuations of the law appear to be well related to the luminosity of the stars; the supergiants show systematically less extinction, this deficiency becoming large toward the far UV. The small number in the sample however, does not allow a general conclusion to be drawn.

  2. Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination (ISPE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westphal, A. J.; Allen, C.; Bajt, S.; Basset, R.; Bastien, R.; Bechtel, H.; Bleuet, P.; Borg, J.; Brenker, F.; Bridges, J.; Brownlee, D. E.; Burchell, M.; Burghammer, M.; Butterworth, A. L.; Cloetens, P.; Cody, G.; Ferroir, T.; Floss, C.; Flynn, G. J.; Frank, D.; Gainsforth, Z.; Grün, E.; Hoppe, P.; Kearsley, A.; Lemelle, L.; Leroux, H.; Lettieri, R.; Marchant, W.; Mendez, B.; Nittler, L. R.; Ogliore, R.; Postberg, F.; Sandford, S. A.; Schmitz, S.; Silversmit, G.; Simionovici, A.; Srama, R.; Stadermann, F. J.; Stephan, T.; Stroud, R. M.; Susini, J.; Sutton, S.; Trieloff, M.; Tsou, P.; Tsuchiyama, A.; Tyliczszak, T.; Vekemans, B.; Vincze, L.; Warren, J.; Zolensky, M. E.

    2009-03-01

    The Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination (ISPE) is a three-year effort to characterize the Stardust interstellar dust collection and collector using non-destructive techniques. We summarize the status of the ISPE.

  3. Interstellar Deuterium Chemistry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandford, S. A.

    2003-01-01

    The presence of isotopic anomalies is the most unequivocal demonstration that meteoritic material contains circumstellar or interstellar components. In the case of organic compounds in meteorites and interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), the most useful isotopic tracer of interstellar components has been deuterium (D) excesses. In some cases these enrichments are seen in bulk meteoritic materials, but D enrichments have also been observed in meteoritic subfractions and even within specific classes of molecular species, such as amino and carboxylic acids. These anomalies are not thought to be the result of nucleosynthetic processes, but are instead ascribed to chemical and physical processes occurring in the interstellar medium (ISM). The traditional explanation of these D excesses has been to invoke the presence of materials made in the ISM by low temperature gas phase ion-molecule reactions. Indeed, the DM ratios seen in the simple interstellar gas phase molecules in cold dense clouds amenable to measurement using radio spectral techniques are generally considerably higher than the values seen in enriched Solar System materials. However, the true linkage between the DM ratios in interstellar and meteoritic materials is obscured by several effects. First, current observations of D enrichment in the ISM have been made of only a few simple molecules, molecules that are not the main carriers of D in Solar System materials. Second, some of the interstellar D enrichment is likely to reside on labile moieties that will have exchanged to some degree with more isotopically normal material during incorporation into the warm protosolar nebula, parent body processing, delivery, recovery, and analysis. Third, ion-molecule reactions represent only one of at least four processes that can produce strong D-H fractionation in the ISM.

  4. A Rigorous Attempt to Verify Interstellar Glycine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, L. E.; Lovas, F. J.; Hollis, J. M.; Friedel, D. N.; Jewell, P. R.; Remijan, A.; Ilyushin, V. V.; Alekseev, E. A.; Dyubko, S. F.

    2004-01-01

    In 2003, Kuan, Charnley, and co-workers reported the detection of interstellar glycine (NH2CH2COOH) based on observations of 27 lines in 19 different spectral bands in one or more of the sources Sgr BP(N-LMH), Orion KL, and W51 e1/e2. They supported their detection report with rotational temperature diagrams for all three sources. In this paper, we present essential criteria which can be used in a straightforward analysis technique to confirm the identity of an interstellar asymmetric rotor such as glycine. We use new laboratory measurements of glycine as a basis for applying this analysis technique, both to our previously unpublished 12 m telescope data and to the previously published SEST data of Nummelin and colleagues. We conclude that key lines necessary for an interstellar glycine identification have not yet been found. We identify several common molecular candidates that should be examined further as more likely carriers of the lines reported as glycine. Finally, we illustrate that rotational temperature diagrams used without the support of correct spectroscopic assignments are not a reliable tool for the identification of interstellar molecules. Subject headings: ISM: abundances - ISM: clouds - ISM: individual (Sagittarius B2[N-

  5. Voyager Interstellar Mission (VIM)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rudd, R.; Textor, G.

    1991-01-01

    The DSN (Deep Space Network) mission support requirements for the Voyager Interstellar Mission (VIM) are summarized. The general objectives of the VIM are to investigate the interplanetary and interstellar media and to continue the Voyager program of ultraviolet astronomy. The VIM will utilize both Voyager spacecraft for the period from January 1990 through December 2019. The mission objectives are outlined and the DSN support requirements are defined through the presentation of tables and narratives describing the spacecraft flight profile; DSN support coverage; frequency assignments; support parameters for telemetry, control and support systems; and tracking support responsibility.

  6. Time-dependent interstellar chemistry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glassgold, A. E.

    1985-01-01

    Some current problems in interstellar chemistry are considered in the context of time-dependent calculations. The limitations of steady-state models of interstellar gas-phase chemistry are discussed, and attempts to chemically date interstellar clouds are reviewed. The importance of studying the physical and chemical properties of interstellar dust is emphasized. Finally, the results of a series of studies of collapsing clouds are described.

  7. Estimating extinction using unsupervised machine learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meingast, Stefan; Lombardi, Marco; Alves, João

    2017-05-01

    Dust extinction is the most robust tracer of the gas distribution in the interstellar medium, but measuring extinction is limited by the systematic uncertainties involved in estimating the intrinsic colors to background stars. In this paper we present a new technique, Pnicer, that estimates intrinsic colors and extinction for individual stars using unsupervised machine learning algorithms. This new method aims to be free from any priors with respect to the column density and intrinsic color distribution. It is applicable to any combination of parameters and works in arbitrary numbers of dimensions. Furthermore, it is not restricted to color space. Extinction toward single sources is determined by fitting Gaussian mixture models along the extinction vector to (extinction-free) control field observations. In this way it becomes possible to describe the extinction for observed sources with probability densities, rather than a single value. Pnicer effectively eliminates known biases found in similar methods and outperforms them in cases of deep observational data where the number of background galaxies is significant, or when a large number of parameters is used to break degeneracies in the intrinsic color distributions. This new method remains computationally competitive, making it possible to correctly de-redden millions of sources within a matter of seconds. With the ever-increasing number of large-scale high-sensitivity imaging surveys, Pnicer offers a fast and reliable way to efficiently calculate extinction for arbitrary parameter combinations without prior information on source characteristics. The Pnicer software package also offers access to the well-established Nicer technique in a simple unified interface and is capable of building extinction maps including the Nicest correction for cloud substructure. Pnicer is offered to the community as an open-source software solution and is entirely written in Python.

  8. Do you know the extinction in your young massive cluster?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Marchi, Guido; Panagia, Nino; Sabbi, Elena

    2017-03-01

    Up to ages of ~ 100 Myr, massive clusters are still swamped in large amounts of gas and dust, with considerable and uneven levels of extinction. At the same time, large grains (ices?) produced by type II supernovae profoundly alter the interstellar medium (ISM), thus resulting in extinction properties very different from those of the diffuse ISM. To obtain physically meaningful parameters of stars, from basic luminosities and effective temperatures to masses and ages, we must understand and measure the local extinction law. This problem affects all the massive young clusters discussed in his volume.

  9. Interstellar molecular clouds.

    PubMed

    Bally, J

    1986-04-11

    The interstellar medium in our galaxy contains matter in a variety of states ranging from hot plasma to cold and dusty molecular gas. The molecular phase consists of giant clouds, which are the largest gravitationally bound objects in the galaxy, the primary reservoir of material for the ongoing birth of new stars, and the medium regulating the evolution of galactic disks.

  10. The Voyager Interstellar Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rudd, R. P.; Hall, J. C.; Spradlin, G. L.

    1997-01-01

    The Voyager Interstellar Mission began on January 1, 1990, with the primary objective being to characterize the interplanetary medium beyond Neptune and to search for the transition region between the interplanetary medium and the interstellar medium. At the start of this mission, the two Voyager spacecraft had already been in flight for over twelve years, having successfully returned a wealth of scientific information about the planetary systems of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, and the interplanetary medium between Earth and Neptune. The two spacecraft have the potential to continue returning science data until around the year 2020. With this extended operating lifetime, there is a high likelihood of one of the two spacecraft penetrating the termination shock and possibly the heliopause boundary, and entering interstellar space before that time. This paper describes the Voyager Interstellar Mission--the mission objectives, the spacecraft and science payload, the mission operations system used to support operations, and the mission operations strategy being used to maximize science data return even in the event of certain potential spacecraft subsystem failures. The implementation of automated analysis tools to offset and enable reduced flight team staffing levels is also discussed.

  11. The Voyager Interstellar Mission.

    PubMed

    Rudd, R P; Hall, J C; Spradlin, G L

    1997-01-01

    The Voyager Interstellar Mission began on January 1, 1990, with the primary objective being to characterize the interplanetary medium beyond Neptune and to search for the transition region between the interplanetary medium and the interstellar medium. At the start of this mission, the two Voyager spacecraft had already been in flight for over twelve years, having successfully returned a wealth of scientific information about the planetary systems of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, and the interplanetary medium between Earth and Neptune. The two spacecraft have the potential to continue returning science data until around the year 2020. With this extended operating lifetime, there is a high likelihood of one of the two spacecraft penetrating the termination shock and possibly the heliopause boundary, and entering interstellar space before that time. This paper describes the Voyager Interstellar Mission--the mission objectives, the spacecraft and science payload, the mission operations system used to support operations, and the mission operations strategy being used to maximize science data return even in the event of certain potential spacecraft subsystem failures. The implementation of automated analysis tools to offset and enable reduced flight team staffing levels is also discussed.

  12. Evolution of Interstellar Grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allamandola, Lou J.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    During the past two decades observations combined with laboratory simulations, have revolutionized our understanding of interstellar ice and dust, the raw materials from which planets, comets and stars form. Most interstellar material is concentrated in large molecular clouds where simple molecules are formed by dust-grain and gas-phase reactions. Gaseous species striking the cold (10K) dust stick, forming an icy grain mantle. This accretion, coupled with UV photolysis, produces a complex chemical mixture containing volatile, non-volatile, and isotopically fractionated species. Ices in molecular clouds contain the very simple molecules H2O, CH3OH, CO, CO2, H2, and perhaps some NH3 and H2CO, as well as more complex species. The evidence for these compounds, as well as carbon-rich materials, will be reviewed and the possible connections with comets and meteorites will be presented in the first part of the talk . The second part of the presentation will focus on interstellar/precometary ice photochemical evolution and the species likely to be found in comets. The chemical composition and photochemical evolution of realistic interstellar/pre-cometary ice analogs will be discussed. Ultraviolet photolysis of these ices produces H2, H2CO, CO2, CO, CH4, HCO, and more complex molecules. When ices representative of interstellar grains and comets are exposed to UV radiation at low temperature a series of moderately complex organic molecules are formed in the ice including: CH3CH2OH (ethanol), HC(=O)NH2 (formamide), CH3C(=O)NH2 (acetamide), and R-C=N (nitriles). Several of these are already known to be in the interstellar medium, and their presence indicates the importance of grain processing. After warming to room temperature an organic residue remains. This is composed primarily of hexamethylenetetramine (HMT, C6H12N4), with lesser amounts of polyoxymethylene-related species (POMs), amides, and ketones. This is in sharp contrast to the organic residues produced by

  13. Evolution of Interstellar Grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allamandola, Lou J.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    During the past two decades observations combined with laboratory simulations, have revolutionized our understanding of interstellar ice and dust, the raw materials from which planets, comets and stars form. Most interstellar material is concentrated in large molecular clouds where simple molecules are formed by dust-grain and gas-phase reactions. Gaseous species striking the cold (10K) dust stick, forming an icy grain mantle. This accretion, coupled with UV photolysis, produces a complex chemical mixture containing volatile, non-volatile, and isotopically fractionated species. Ices in molecular clouds contain the very simple molecules H2O, CH3OH, CO, CO2, H2, and perhaps some NH3 and H2CO, as well as more complex species. The evidence for these compounds, as well as carbon-rich materials, will be reviewed and the possible connections with comets and meteorites will be presented in the first part of the talk . The second part of the presentation will focus on interstellar/precometary ice photochemical evolution and the species likely to be found in comets. The chemical composition and photochemical evolution of realistic interstellar/pre-cometary ice analogs will be discussed. Ultraviolet photolysis of these ices produces H2, H2CO, CO2, CO, CH4, HCO, and more complex molecules. When ices representative of interstellar grains and comets are exposed to UV radiation at low temperature a series of moderately complex organic molecules are formed in the ice including: CH3CH2OH (ethanol), HC(=O)NH2 (formamide), CH3C(=O)NH2 (acetamide), and R-C=N (nitriles). Several of these are already known to be in the interstellar medium, and their presence indicates the importance of grain processing. After warming to room temperature an organic residue remains. This is composed primarily of hexamethylenetetramine (HMT, C6H12N4), with lesser amounts of polyoxymethylene-related species (POMs), amides, and ketones. This is in sharp contrast to the organic residues produced by

  14. Airborne and laboratory studies of interstellar PAHs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allamandola, L. J.; Sandford, S. A.; Hudgins, D. M.; Witteborn, Fred C.

    1995-01-01

    A brief history of the observations which have led to the hypothesis that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH's) are the carriers of the widespread interstellar emission features near 3050, 1615, '1300' and 890 cm(exp -1) (3.29, 6.2, '7.7', and 11.2 mu m) is presented. The central role of airborne spectroscopy is stressed. The principal reason for the assignment to PAH's was the resemblance of the interstellar emission spectrum to the laboratory absorption spectra of PAH's and PAH-like materials. Since precious little information was available on the properties of PAH's in the forms that are thought to exist under interstellar conditions -isolated and ionized in the emission zones, with the smallest PAH's being dehydrogenated- there was a need for a spectral data base on PAH's taken in these states. Here, the relevant infrared spectroscopic properties of PAH's will be reviewed. These laboratory spectra show that relative band intensities are severely altered and that band frequencies shift. It is shown that these new data alleviate several of the spectroscopic criticisms previously leveled at the hypothesis.

  15. Airborne and laboratory studies of interstellar PAHs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allamandola, L. J.; Sandford, S. A.; Hudgins, D. M.; Witteborn, Fred C.

    1995-01-01

    A brief history of the observations which have led to the hypothesis that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH's) are the carriers of the widespread interstellar emission features near 3050, 1615, '1300' and 890 cm(exp -1) (3.29, 6.2, '7.7', and 11.2 mu m) is presented. The central role of airborne spectroscopy is stressed. The principal reason for the assignment to PAH's was the resemblance of the interstellar emission spectrum to the laboratory absorption spectra of PAH's and PAH-like materials. Since precious little information was available on the properties of PAH's in the forms that are thought to exist under interstellar conditions -isolated and ionized in the emission zones, with the smallest PAH's being dehydrogenated- there was a need for a spectral data base on PAH's taken in these states. Here, the relevant infrared spectroscopic properties of PAH's will be reviewed. These laboratory spectra show that relative band intensities are severely altered and that band frequencies shift. It is shown that these new data alleviate several of the spectroscopic criticisms previously leveled at the hypothesis.

  16. Interstellar dust at our doorstep

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sterken, V. J.

    2013-12-01

    Interstellar dust has long been researched by astronomical methods to learn about its size distribution, grain properties and composition. However, interstellar dust grains also move through the solar system. They were detected for the first time in-situ with the Ulysses dust detector in 1993. In addition, in 2006, the Stardust mission returned three interstellar dust grain candidates back to Earth after a collection period of 195 days. In this talk we elaborate on how the current in-situ ISD measurement methods are a valuable addition to the knowledge about interstellar dust inferred from classical astronomy. We also discuss the role of interstellar dust dynamics and simulations herein.

  17. Search for interstellar adenine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakrabarti, Sandip K.; Majumdar, Liton; Das, Ankan; Chakrabarti, Sonali

    2015-05-01

    It is long debated if pre-biotic molecules are indeed present in the interstellar medium. Despite substantial works pointing to their existence, pre-biotic molecules are yet to be discovered with a complete confidence. In this paper, our main aim is to study the chemical evolution of interstellar adenine under various circumstances. We prepare a large gas-grain chemical network by considering various pathways for the formation of adenine. Majumdar et al. (New Astron. 20:15, 2013) proposed that in the absence of adenine detection, one could try to trace two precursors of adenine, namely, HCCN and NH2CN. Recently Merz et al. (J. Phys. Chem. A 118:3637-3644, 2014), proposed another route for the formation of adenine in interstellar condition. They proposed two more precursor molecules. But it was not verified by any accurate gas-grain chemical model. Neither was it known if the production rate would be high or low. Our paper fills this important gap. We include this new pathways to find that the contribution through this pathways for the formation of Adenine is the most dominant one in the context of interstellar medium. We propose that observers may look for the two precursors (C3NH and HNCNH) in the interstellar media which are equally important for predicting abundances of adenine. We perform quantum chemical calculations to find out spectral properties of adenine and its two new precursor molecules in infrared, ultraviolet and sub-millimeter region. Our present study would be useful for predicting abundance of adenine.

  18. Extinction and dust properties in a clumpy medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scicluna, P.; Siebenmorgen, R.

    2015-12-01

    The dust content of the universe is primarily explored via its interaction with stellar photons, which are absorbed or scattered by the dust, producing the effect known as interstellar extinction. However, owing to the physical extension of the observing beam, real observations may detect a significant number of dust-scattered photons. This may result in a change in the observed (or effective) extinction with a dependence on the spatial distribution of the dust and the spatial resolution of the instrument. We investigate the influence of clumpy dust distributions on the effective extinction toward both embedded sources and those seen through the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM). We use a Monte Carlo radiative transfer code to examine the effective extinction for various geometries. By varying the number, optical depth and volume-filling factor of clumps inside the model for spherical shells and the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM), we explore the evolution of the extinction curve and effective optical depth. Depending on the number of scattering events in the beam, the extinction curve is observed to steepen in homogeneous media and flatten in clumpy media. As a result, clumpy dust distributions are able to reproduce extinction curves with arbitrary RV,eff, the effective ratio of total-to-selective extinction. The flattening is also able to "wash out" the 2175 Å bump and results in a shift of the peak to shorter wavelengths. The mean RV,eff of a shell is shown to correlate with the optical depth of an individual clump and the wavelength at which a clump becomes optically thick. Similar behaviour is seen for edge-on discs or tori. However, at grazing inclinations the combination of extinction and strong forward scattering results in chaotic behaviour. Caution is therefore advised when attempting to measure extinction in AGN tori for example or toward SNIa or GRB afterglows. In face-on discs, the shape of the scattered continuum is observed to change significantly

  19. CHIPS: The Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dixon, W. V.; Hurwitz, M.; Jelinsky, P.; Welsh, B. Y.; Edelstein, J. E.; Siegmund, O. H. W.; McKee, C. F.; Malina, R. F.; Hawkins, I.; Vallerga, J. V.; Breitschwerdt, D.; Slavin, J.

    1998-12-01

    The Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer (CHIPS), a University-Class Explorer (UNEX) mission, will carry out all-sky spectroscopy of the diffuse background at wavelengths from 90 to 260 Angstroms with a peak resolution of lambda / 150 (about 0.5 eV). CHIPS data will help determine the electron temperature, ionization conditions, and cooling mechanisms of the million-degree plasma believed to fill the local interstellar bubble. The majority of the luminosity from diffuse million-degree plasma is expected to emerge in the poorly-explored CHIPS band, making CHIPS data of relevance in a wide variety of Galactic and extragalactic astrophysical environments. The compact CHIPS instrument will be accommodated aboard a commercial FAISAT communications spacecraft currently scheduled for launch in mid to late 2001.

  20. Dust Grain Alignment in the Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaillancourt, J.; Andersson, B. G.; Lazarian, A.

    The first observations of interstellar polarization at visible wavelengths over 60 years ago were quickly attributed to the net alignment of irregular dust grains with local magnetic fields. This mechanism provides a method to measure the topology and strength of the magnetic field and to probe the physical characteristics of the dust (e.g., material, size, and shape). However, to do so with confidence, the physics and variability of the alignment mechanism(s) must be quantitatively understood. The description of the physical alignment mechanism has a long history with key contributions spanning decades; the last 15 years have seen major advances in both the theoretical and observational understanding of the problem. For example, it is now clear that the canonical process of paramagnetic relaxation, in which grain rotational components perpendicular to the magnetic field are damped out, is inadequate to align grains on the necessary timescales (compared to damping via collisions) for typical interstellar medium conditions. However, the modern theory of radiative alignment has been more successful; in this theory grains are aligned with respect to the magnetic field via photon-grain interactions that impart the necessary torques to the rotation axes of grains. Here we highlight key observational tests of these alignment mechanisms, especially those involving spectropolarimetry of both dust extinction at near-optical wavelengths and dust emission at far-infrared through millimeter wavelengths. Observations in both these regimes can place limits on such grain aspects as their size and temperature. To date, most observations of the polarized emission have been in the densest regions of the interstellar medium where interpretation in terms of grain alignment models is complicated by regions containing embedded stars and a wide range of temperatures. Additionally, direct comparison of the optical extinction polarization (AV . 10 magnitudes) with dust emission

  1. Interstellar dust from the Milky Way to the Magellanic Clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pei, Yichuan C.

    1992-01-01

    Interstellar dust in the Magellanic Clouds, with a weak or nearly absent 2175 A extinction feature, may be of interest in studies of galaxies in early stages of chemical evolution. To this inquiry, we extend the graphite-silicate grain model, introduced by Mathis, Rumpl, and Nordsieck and developed by Draine and Lee (1984) from the Milky Way to the Magellanic Clouds. We find that the empirical extinction curves in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds can be reproduced by adjusting only the relative abundances of graphite and silicate grains, while leaving all other model properties fixed to those appropriate for the Galactic extinction curve. Using the graphite-silicate models, we calculate the absorption and scattering optical depths, the mass-density ratio of interstellar dust to neutral hydrogen, and the Kramers-Kronig relation for all three galaxies. We also present a fitting function for the three extinction curves, valid not only over the observed range of wavelengths but also over the full range as predicted by the models. All the quantities we derived here are independent of the dust-to-gas ratios in the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds, and can be applied to other galaxies if they contain Galactic or Magellanic-type dust.

  2. Search for fullerenes and PAHs in the diffuse interstellar medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehrenfreund, P.; Foing, B. H.

    1995-02-01

    Recent studies suggest carbon-containing molecules as the best candidates for carriers of the unidentified diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs). considering their abundance and ability to form stable bonds in interstellar space. We have searched for new DIBs in the near-IR and have detected two new diffuse bands that are consistent with laboratory measurements of C 60+ in a neon matrix. Criteria for this possible identification are discussed. From these observations and the DIB treasured absorption. we estimate that up to 0.9% of interstellar carbon could be in the form of C 60+ We also searched for poly cyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) canons and have derived corresponding limits for the presence of the coronene C 24H 12 and ovalene C 32H 14 cations in space. We have studied the ionization properties of these PAH cations, which could explain their selective destruction. From these results we discuss the role of fullerenes and PAHs as possible DIB carriers.

  3. Detecting interstellar migrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matloff, Gregory L.; Pazmino, John

    1997-01-01

    Interstellar migrations may occur when a civilization's star enters the red giant phase, thereby dooming the life-bearing planet. Ecologically self-contained 'world ships', massing billions of kilograms and propelled by hyperthin, space manufactured solar sails thousands of kilometers in diameter unfurled near the home star are possible vehicles to transfer a threatened civilization to a neighboring star. Consideration of the nearest red giants reveals that Pollux is the nearest formerly solar-type red giant. Known stellar neighbors of Pollux are surveyed to determine likely directions for an interstellar migration departing Pollux. Such migrations might consist of many world ships launched over millennia on voyages of about 1000 terrestrial-year duration; discovery of such events will be serendipitous. The difficulties of observing solar-sail star ships near Pollux are considered. A facility dedicated to imaging extrasolar planets within 10 parsecs might be capable of detecting these large spacecraft.

  4. Confirmation of interstellar methylene

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hollis, J. M.; Jewell, P. R.; Lovas, F. J.

    1995-01-01

    Four spectral emission features of the N(sub KK) = 4(sub 04) -3(sub 13) rotational transition of methylene (CH2) have been detected at signal levels 5-7 sigma above noise toward the hot core of the Orion-KL nebula and the molecular cloud in proximity to the continuum source W51 M. Specifically, in both sources we have resolved the F = 6-5, 5-4, and 4-3 hyperfine transitions of the J = 5-4 fine-structure levels and detected the blended hyperfine structure of the J = 4-3 fine structure levels. At the J = 3-2 fine-structure levels, we have observed new transitions of NS, a known interstellar molecule, which severely contaminates the search for CH2 hyperfine transitions. These new sensitive observations finally confirm the existence of interstellar CH2 which was tentatively reported by us some years ago.

  5. Interstellar hydrogen sulfide.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thaddeus, P.; Kutner, M. L.; Penzias, A. A.; Wilson, R. W.; Jefferts, K. B.

    1972-01-01

    Hydrogen sulfide has been detected in seven Galactic sources by observation of a single line corresponding to the rotational transition from the 1(sub 10) to the 1(sub 01) levels at 168.7 GHz. The observations show that hydrogen sulfide is only a moderately common interstellar molecule comparable in abundance to H2CO and CS, but somewhat less abundant than HCN and much less abundant than CO.

  6. Interstellar hydrogen sulfide.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thaddeus, P.; Kutner, M. L.; Penzias, A. A.; Wilson, R. W.; Jefferts, K. B.

    1972-01-01

    Hydrogen sulfide has been detected in seven Galactic sources by observation of a single line corresponding to the rotational transition from the 1(sub 10) to the 1(sub 01) levels at 168.7 GHz. The observations show that hydrogen sulfide is only a moderately common interstellar molecule comparable in abundance to H2CO and CS, but somewhat less abundant than HCN and much less abundant than CO.

  7. The Voyager Interstellar Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinett, Karen H.

    1990-01-01

    Voyager 2's successful encounter with Neptune in August of 1989 marked the completion of the Grand Tour of the outer solar system by Voyager 1 and 2. In actuality, however, it is but a beginning. Both spacecraft have entered a new exploratory phase known as the Voyager Interstellar Mission or VIM. This journey ultimately may prove as enlightening and ennobling as the Voyager's planetary encounters during their first twelve years in flight.

  8. Interstellar Grain Surface Chemistry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tielens, Alexander G. G. M.; Cuzzi, Jeffrey N. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    Chemistry on grain surfaces plays an Important role in the formation of interstellar Ices, It can also influence the composition of the gas phase through outgassing near luminous, newly formed stars. This paper reviews the chemical processes taking place on Interstellar grain surfaces with the emphasis on those transforming CO into other hydrocarbons. At low, molecular cloud temperatures (approximately equal to 10K), physisorption processes dominate interstellar grain surface chemistry and GO is largely hydrogenated through reactions with atomic H and oxidized through reactions with atomic O. The former will lead to the formation of H2CO and CH3OH ices, while the latter results in CO2 ice. The observational evidence for these ices in molecular clouds will be discussed. Very close to protostars, the gas and grain temperatures are much higher (approximately equal to 500K) and chemisorption processes, including catalytic surface reactions, becomes important. This will be illustrated based upon our studies of the Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis of CH4 from CO on metallic surfaces. Likely, this process has played an important role in the early solar nebula. Observational consequences will be pointed out.

  9. The Interstellar Medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tielens, Alexander G. G. M.

    1995-01-01

    The Interstellar Medium (ISM) forms an integral part of the lifecycle of stars and the galaxy. Stars are formed by gravitational contraction of interstellar clouds. Over their life, stars return much of their mass to the ISM through winds and supernova explosions, resulting in a slow enrichment in heavy elements. Understanding the origin and evolution of the ISM is a key problem within astrophysics. The KAO has made many important contributions to studies of the interstellar medium both on the macro and on the micro scale. In this overview, I will concentrate on two breakthroughs in the last decade in which KAO observations have played a major role: (1) the importance of large Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules for the ISM (section 3) and (2) the study of Photodissociation Regions (PDRs) as an analog for the diffuse ISM at large (section 4). Appropriately, the micro and macro problem are intricately interwoven in these problems. Finally, section 5 reviews the origin of the (CII) emission observed by COBE.

  10. Infrared emission spectra of candidate interstellar aromatic molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schlemmer, S.; Balucani, N.; Wagner, D. R.; Steiner, B.; Saykally, R. J.

    1996-01-01

    Interstellar dust is responsible, through surface reactions, for the creation of molecular hydrogen, the main component of the interstellar clouds in which new stars form. Intermediate between small, gas-phase molecules and dust are the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Such molecules could account for 2-30% of the carbon in the Galaxy, and may provide nucleation sites for the formation of carbonaceous dust. Although PAHs have been proposed as the sources of the unidentified infrared emission bands that are observed in the spectra of a variety of interstellar sources, the emission characteristics of such molecules are still poorly understood. Here we report laboratory emission spectra of several representative PAHs, obtained in conditions approximating those of the interstellar medium, and measured over the entire spectral region spanned by the unidentified infrared bands. We find that neutral PAHs of small and moderate size can at best make only a minor contribution to these emission bands. Cations of these molecules, as well as much larger PAHs and their cations, remain viable candidates for the sources of these bands.

  11. Detection of buckminsterfullerene emission in the diffuse interstellar medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berné, O.; Cox, N. L. J.; Mulas, G.; Joblin, C.

    2017-08-01

    Emission of fullerenes in their infrared vibrational bands has been detected in space near hot stars. The proposed attribution of the diffuse interstellar bands at 9577 and 9632 Å to electronic transitions of the buckminsterfullerene cation (i.e. C) was recently supported by new laboratory data, confirming the presence of this species in the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM). In this Letter, we present the detection, also in the diffuse ISM, of the 17.4 and 18.9 μm emission bands commonly attributed to vibrational bands of neutral C60 . According to classical models that compute the charge state of large molecules in space, C60 is expected to be mostly neutral in the diffuse ISM. This is in agreement with the abundances of diffuse C60 we derive here from observations.

  12. The structure and evolution of interstellar grains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenberg, J. M.

    1984-06-01

    A mixture of water, methane, ammonia, and additional simple molecules are introduced into an experimental chamber, and the evolution of interstellar grains and the gaseous clouds in which they are found is consequently proposed. A grain begins in a diffuse cloud and already has a mantle of yellow stuff. The cloud becomes denser, and the grains accrete a layer of ices. Ultraviolet irradiation generates radicals in the grains' icy mantle, and subsequent collisions among the grains heat the mantle enough for radicals to recombine. The mantle may explode and repopulate the gaseous phase of the cloud. In the densest areas of the cloud, gravitational collapse of gas and dust effects star formation; the icy grain mantle is evaporated and the yellow stuff remains. Grains not included in the star formation return to the diffuse cloud environment. Consideration is also given to the extinction of starlight by interstellar grains, the spectrum of the Becklin-Neugebauer object, the infrared spectrum of the yellow stuff, and the spectrum of an infrared source designated W33.

  13. Filling the gap --near UV, optical and near IR extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Massa, Derck

    2014-10-01

    We propose a SNAP program to obtain STIS low resolution near-UV, optical and near-IR (G430L and G750L) spectra for a set of O7-B7 class III-V stars in the Galaxy and Magellanic Clouds with available IUE or HST/STIS UV spectropotometry, optical photometry and 2MASS IR photometry. Together with the existing data, the new observations will provide complete photometric and spectrophotometric coverage from 1150 to 10000 A and enable us to produce complete extinction curves from the far-UV to the near-IR, with well-determined values of R(V). The proposed set of 150 program sight lines includes the full range of interstellar extinction curve types from both the Galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds. The new data will allow us to examine variability in the near-UV through near-IR spectral regions, including the UV-optical "knee", and the "Very Broad Structure" and to verify the applicability of the near IR extinction law recently derived by Fitzpatrick and Massa (2009). We will examine the response of these features to different interstellar environments and their relationship to other curve features. These are largely unexplored aspects of the extinction curves which will provide additional constraints on the properties of interstellar grains. The curves will be derived using model atmospheres for the program stars, eliminating the need for standard stars.

  14. The hot interstellar medium in NGC 1399

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Loewenstein, Michael; Serlemitsos, Peter J.

    1993-01-01

    The first two high signal-to-noise, broad bandpass x-ray spectra of elliptical galaxies were obtained with the Broad Band X-ray Telescope (BBXRT) as part of the December 1990 Astro mission. These observations provided unprecedented information on the thermal and metallicity structure of the hot interstellar media in two ellipticals: NGC 1399, the central galaxy in the Fornax cluster, and NGC 4472, the brightest galaxy in the Virgo cluster. The finalized analysis and interpretation of the approximately 4000 sec of BBXRT data on NGC 1399 is reported.

  15. Interstellar PAH Analogs in the Laboratory: Comparison with Astronomical Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid

    2005-01-01

    Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are an important and ubiquitous component of carbon-bearing materials in space. PAHs are the best-known candidates to account for the IR emission bands (UIR bands) and PAH spectral features are now being used as new probes of the ISM. PAHs are also thought to be among the carriers of the diffuse interstellar absorption bands (DIBs). In the model dealing with the interstellar spectral features, PAHs are present as a mixture of radicals, ions and neutral species. PAH ionization states reflect the ionization balance of the medium while PAH size, composition, and structure reflect the energetic and chemical history of the medium. A major challenge for laboratory astrophysics is to reproduce (in a realistic way) the physical conditions that exist in the emission and/or absorption interstellar zones. An extensive laboratory program has been developed at NASA Ames to assess the physical and chemical properties of PAHs in such environments and to describe how they influence the radiation and energy balance in space and the interstellar chemistry. In particular, laboratory experiments provide measurements of the spectral characteristics of interstellar PAH analogs from the ultraviolet and visible range to the infrared range for comparison with astronomical data. This paper will focus on the recent progress made in the laboratory to measure the direct absorption spectra of neutral and ionized PAHs in the near-UV and visible range. Intrinsic band profiles and band positions of cold gas-phase PAHs can now be measured with high-sensitivity spectroscopy and directly compared to the astronomical data. Preliminary conclusions from the comparison of the laboratory data with astronomical observations will also be presented.

  16. Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westphal, A.; Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examation Team: http://www. ssl. berkeley. edu/~westphal/ISPE/

    2011-12-01

    A. J. Westphal, C. Allen, A. Ansari, S. Bajt, R. S. Bastien, H. A. Bechtel, J. Borg, F. E. Brenker, J. Bridges, D. E. Brownlee, M. Burchell, M. Burghammer, A. L. Butterworth, A. M. Davis, P. Cloetens, C. Floss, G. Flynn, D. Frank, Z. Gainsforth, E. Grün, P. R. Heck, J. K. Hillier, P. Hoppe, G. Huss, J. Huth, B. Hvide, A. Kearsley, A. J. King, B. Lai, J. Leitner, L. Lemelle, H. Leroux, R. Lettieri, W. Marchant, L. R. Nittler, R. Ogliore, F. Postberg, M. C. Price, S. A. Sandford, J.-A. Sans Tresseras, T. Schoonjans, S. Schmitz, G. Silversmit, A. Simionovici, V. A. Solé, R. Srama, T. Stephan, V. Sterken, J. Stodolna, R. M. Stroud, S. Sutton, M. Trieloff, P. Tsou, A. Tsuchiyama, T. Tyliszczak, B. Vekemans, L. Vincze, D. Zevin, M. E. Zolensky, >29,000 Stardust@home dusters ISPE author affiliations are at http://www.ssl.berkeley.edu/~westphal/ISPE/. In 2000 and 2002, a ~0.1m2 array of aerogel tiles and alumi-num foils onboard the Stardust spacecraft was exposed to the interstellar dust (ISD) stream for an integrated time of 200 days. The exposure took place in interplanetary space, beyond the orbit of Mars, and thus was free of the ubiquitous orbital debris in low-earth orbit that precludes effective searches for interstellar dust there. Despite the long exposure of the Stardust collector, <<100 ISD particles are expected to have been captured. The particles are thought to be ~1μm or less in size, and the total ISD collection is probably <10-6 by mass of the collection of cometary dust parti-cles captured in the Stardust cometary dust collector from the coma of the Jupiter-family comet Wild 2. Thus, although the first solid sample from the local interstellar medium is clearly of high interest, the diminutive size of the particles and the low numbers of particles present daunting challenges. Nevertheless, six recent developments have made a Preliminary Examination (PE) of this sample practical: (1) rapid automated digital optical scanning microscopy for three

  17. Innovative interstellar explorer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNutt, Ralph L.; Gold, Robert E.; Krimigis, Tom; Roelof, Edmond C.; Gruntman, Mike; Gloeckler, George; Koehn, Patrick L.; Kurth, William S.; Oleson, Steven R.; Fiehler, Douglas I.; Horanyi, Mihaly; Mewaldt, Richard A.; Leary, James C.; Anderson, Brian J.

    2006-09-01

    An interstellar ``precursor'' mission has been under discussion in the scientific community for at least 30 years. Fundamental scientific questions about the interaction of the Sun with the interstellar medium can only be answered with in situ measurements that such a mission can provide. The Innovative Interstellar Explorer (IIE) and its use of Radioisotope Electric Propulsion (REP) is being studied under a NASA ``Vision Mission'' grant. Speed is provided by a combination of a high-energy launch, using current launch vehicle technology, a Jupiter gravity assist, and long-term, low-thrust, continuous acceleration provided by an ion thruster running off electricity provided by advanced radioisotope electric generators. A payload of ten instruments with an aggregate mass of ~35 kg and requiring ~30 W has been carefully chosen to address the compelling science questions. The nominal 20-day launch window opens on 22 October 2014 followed by a Jupiter gravity assist on 5 February 2016. The REP system accelerates the spacecraft to a ``burnout'' speed of 7.8 AU per year at 104 AU on 13 October 2032 (Voyager 1's current speed is ~3.6 AU/yr). The spacecraft will return at least 500 bits per second from at least 200 AU ~30 years after launch. Additional (backup) launch opportunities occur every 13 months to early 2018. In addition to addressing basic heliospheric science, the mission will ensure continued information on the far-heliospheric galactic cosmic ray population after the Voyagers have fallen silent and as the era of human Mars exploration begins.

  18. Voyager in Interstellar Space

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-09-12

    Suzanne Dodd, Voyager project manager, NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) speaks at a news conference on NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 at NASA Headquarters in Washington. NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft officially is the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. The 36-year-old probe is about 12 billion miles (19 billion kilometers) from our sun. New and unexpected data indicate Voyager 1 has been traveling for about one year through plasma, or ionized gas, present in the space between stars. A report on the analysis of this new data is published in Thursday's edition of the journal Science. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  19. The Local Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferlet, Roger

    Substantial progress in the field of the Local Interstellar Medium has been largely due to recent launches of space missions, mostly in the UV and X-ray domains, but also to ground-based observations, mainly in high resolution spectroscopy. However, a clear gap seems to remain between the wealth of new data and the theoretical understanding. This paper gives an overview of some observational aspects, with no attempt of completeness or doing justice to all the people involved in the field. As progress rarely evolves in straight paths, we can expect that our present picture of the solar system surroundings is not definitive.

  20. The Interstellar Heliopause Probe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyngvi, A.; Falkner, P.; Peacock, A.

    The Interstellar Heliopause Probe (IHP) is one of four Technology Reference Missions (TRM) introduced by the Planetary Exploration Studies Section of the Science Payload & Advanced Concepts Office (SCI-A) at ESA. The overall purpose of the TRMs is to focus the development of strategically important technologies of likely relevance to future science missions. This is accomplished through the study of several technologically demanding and scientifically interesting missions, which are currently not part of the ESA science programme. The TRM baseline uses small satellites (< 200kg), with highly miniaturized and highly integrated payload suites. The motivation for this is to use low resource spacecraft in a phased approach, which will reduce the risk and cost, compared to a single, high resource mission. Equipped with a Highly Integrated Payload Suite (HIPS) the IHP will answer scientific questions concerning the nature of the interstellar medium, how the interstellar medium affects our solar system and how the solar system impacts the interstellar medium. The HIPS, which is a standard element in all TRMs miniaturize through resource reduction, by using miniaturized components and sensors, and by sharing common structures and payload functionality. To achieve the scientific requirements of the mission the spacecraft is to leave the solar system as close to the heliosphere nose as possible and reach a distance of 200 AU from the Sun within 25 years. The requirement of all TRMs is to use a Souyz-Fregat version 2B or equivalent low cost launch vehicle. With this constraint no current propulsion system is capable of delivering the necessary mass to the final destination. Technologies are therefore needed to enable this mission. The current alternatives are using nuclear propulsion, either with radioisotope or reactor power system or solar sailing. All these alternatives are currently being investigated. Other challenges exist as well such as designing a communication link

  1. Voyager in Interstellar Space

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-09-12

    Don Gurnett, Voyager plasma wave investigation principal investigator, University of Iowa, speaks at a news conference on NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 at NASA Headquarters in Washington. NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft officially is the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. The 36-year-old probe is about 12 billion miles (19 billion kilometers) from our sun. New and unexpected data indicate Voyager 1 has been traveling for about one year through plasma, or ionized gas, present in the space between stars. A report on the analysis of this new data is published in Thursday's edition of the journal Science. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  2. Voyager in Interstellar Space

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-09-12

    Dwayne Brown, Senior Public Affairs Officer, NASA Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, kicks off a news conference on NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 in Washington. NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft officially is the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. The 36-year-old probe is about 12 billion miles (19 billion kilometers) from our sun. New and unexpected data indicate Voyager 1 has been traveling for about one year through plasma, or ionized gas, present in the space between stars. A report on the analysis of this new data is published in Thursday's edition of the journal Science. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  3. Voyager in Interstellar Space

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-09-12

    Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist, California Institute of Technology, holds a model of NASA's Voyager spacecraft at a news conference, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 at NASA Headquarters in Washington. NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft officially is the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. The 36-year-old probe is about 12 billion miles (19 billion kilometers) from our sun. New and unexpected data indicate Voyager 1 has been traveling for about one year through plasma, or ionized gas, present in the space between stars. A report on the analysis of this new data is published in Thursday's edition of the journal Science. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  4. A 3D extinction map of the northern Galactic plane based on IPHAS photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sale, S. E.; Drew, J. E.; Barentsen, G.; Farnhill, H. J.; Raddi, R.; Barlow, M. J.; Eislöffel, J.; Vink, J. S.; Rodríguez-Gil, P.; Wright, N. J.

    2014-10-01

    We present a 3D map of extinction in the northern Galactic plane derived using photometry from the INT/WFC Photometric Hα Survey of the northern Galactic plane. The map has fine angular ( ˜ 10 arcmin) and distance (100 pc) sampling allied to a significant depth (≳5 kpc). We construct the map using a method based on a hierarchical Bayesian model described in a previous article by Sale. In addition to mean extinction, we also measure differential extinction, which arises from the fractal nature of the interstellar medium, and show that it will be the dominant source of uncertainty in estimates of extinction to some arbitrary position. The method applied also furnishes us with photometric estimates of the distance, extinction, effective temperature, surface gravity, and mass for ˜38 million stars. Both the extinction map and the catalogue of stellar parameters are made publicly available via http://www.iphas.org/extinction.

  5. Charting the Interstellar Magnetic Field causing the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) Ribbon of Energetic Neutral Atoms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frisch, P. C.; Berdyugin, A.; Piirola, V.; Magalhaes, A. M.; Seriacopi, D. B.; Wiktorowicz, S. J.; Andersson, B.-G.; Funsten, H. O.; McComas, D. J.; Schwadron, N. A.; Slavin, J. D.; Hanson, A. J.; Fu, C.-W.

    2015-12-01

    .8}-27.6+23.5 between {B}{POL} and the bulk LSR velocity the local interstellar material indicates a geometry that is consistent with an expanding superbubble. The efficiency of grain alignment in the local interstellar medium has been assessed using stars where both polarization data and hydrogen column density data are available. Nearby stars appear to have larger polarizations than expected based on reddened sightlines, which is consistent with previous results, but uncertainties are large. Optical polarization and color excess E(B - V) data indicate the presence of nearby interstellar dust in the BICEP2 field. Color excess E(B - V) indicates an optical extinction of AV > 0.6 in the BICEP2 field, while the polarization data indicate that AV > 0.09 mag. The IBEX Ribbon ISMF extends to the boundaries of the BICEP2 region.

  6. The nature of extinction.

    PubMed

    Delord, Julien

    2007-09-01

    The phenomenon of species extinction raises more and more concern among ecologists facing the actual crisis of biodiversity. Scientific investigations of the causes and effects of extinction must be completed by a philosophical analysis of the concept of extinction that aims to clarify the meanings of the term 'extinction' and to analyse modalities, criteria and degrees of extinction. We will focus our attention on the apparent paradox of the possible 'resurrection' of species in the near future with the help of genetic biotechnology and cloning techniques. The ontological background of the extinction concept is analysed in relation to the idea of species as classes. We will also show that there is no simple analogy between death and species extinction, and develop a conceptualist and dualistic system of supra-individual entities (species vs. population), supported by an instrumentalist approach to genetic manipulations which transform species into interactive kinds, which can go extinct and be recreated.

  7. Molecular diagnostics of interstellar shocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartquist, T. W.; Dalgarno, A.; Oppenheimer, M.

    1980-01-01

    The chemistry of molecules in shocked regions of the interstellar gas is considered and calculations are carried out for a region subjected to a shock at a velocity of 8 km/sec. Substantial enhancements are predicted in the concentrations of the molecules H2S, SO, and SiO compared to those anticipated in cold interstellar clouds.

  8. Molecular diagnostics of interstellar shocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartquist, T. W.; Dalgarno, A.; Oppenheimer, M.

    1980-02-01

    The chemistry of molecules in shocked regions of the interstellar gas is considered and calculations are carried out for a region subjected to a shock at a velocity of 8 km/sec. Substantial enhancements are predicted in the concentrations of the molecules H2S, SO, and SiO compared to those anticipated in cold interstellar clouds.

  9. Grey Milky Way extinction from SDSS stellar photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorbikov, Evgeny; Brosch, Noah

    2010-01-01

    We report results concerning the distribution and properties of galactic extinction at high galactic latitudes derived from stellar statistics using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). We use the classical Wolf diagram method to identify regions with extinction, and derive the extinction and the extinction law of the dust using all five SDSS spectral bands. We estimate the distance to the extinguishing medium using simple assumptions about the stellar populations in the line of sight. We report the identification of three extinguishing clouds, each a few tens of pc wide, producing 0.2-0.4 mag of g'-band extinction, located 1-2 kpc away or 0.5-1 kpc above the Galactic plane. All clouds exhibit grey extinction, i.e. almost wavelength independent in the limited spectral range of the SDSS. We discuss the implication of this finding on general astrophysical questions.

  10. Visualizing Interstellar's Wormhole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, Oliver; von Tunzelmann, Eugénie; Franklin, Paul; Thorne, Kip S.

    2015-06-01

    Christopher Nolan's science fiction movie Interstellar offers a variety of opportunities for students in elementary courses on general relativity theory. This paper describes such opportunities, including: (i) At the motivational level, the manner in which elementary relativity concepts underlie the wormhole visualizations seen in the movie; (ii) At the briefest computational level, instructive calculations with simple but intriguing wormhole metrics, including, e.g., constructing embedding diagrams for the three-parameter wormhole that was used by our visual effects team and Christopher Nolan in scoping out possible wormhole geometries for the movie; (iii) Combining the proper reference frame of a camera with solutions of the geodesic equation, to construct a light-ray-tracing map backward in time from a camera's local sky to a wormhole's two celestial spheres; (iv) Implementing this map, for example, in Mathematica, Maple or Matlab, and using that implementation to construct images of what a camera sees when near or inside a wormhole; (v) With the student's implementation, exploring how the wormhole's three parameters influence what the camera sees—which is precisely how Christopher Nolan, using our implementation, chose the parameters for Interstellar's wormhole; (vi) Using the student's implementation, exploring the wormhole's Einstein ring and particularly the peculiar motions of star images near the ring, and exploring what it looks like to travel through a wormhole.

  11. Interstellar protonated molecular species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Etim, Emmanuel E.; Gorai, Prasanta; Das, Ankan; Arunan, Elangannan

    2017-08-01

    Majority of the known interstellar cations are protonated species believed to be the natural precursors for their corresponding neutral analogues formed via the dissociative recombination process. The protonation of a neutral species can occur in more than one position on the molecular structure thus resulting in more than one proton binding energy value and different protonated species for the same neutral species. In the present work, ab initio quantum calculations are employed to calculate accurate proton binding energies for over 100 neutral interstellar molecules of which majority of the neutral molecules are protonated in more than one position. From the results, protonated species resulting from a high proton binding energy prefers to remain protonated rather than transferring a proton and returning to its neutral form as compared to its analogue that gives rise to a lower proton binding energy (PBE) from the same neutral species. For two protonated species resulting from the same neutral molecule, the one that results in a higher PBE is more stable as compared to its counterpart that is responsible for the lower PBE for the same neutral species. Here, the most stable species are highlighted for all the systems considered.

  12. An interstellar precursor mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jaffe, L. D.; Ivie, C.; Lewis, J. C.; Lipes, R.; Norton, H. N.; Stearns, J. W.; Stimpson, L. D.; Weissman, P.

    1980-01-01

    A mission out of the planetary system, launched about the year 2000, could provide valuable scientific data as well as test some of the technology for a later mission to another star. Primary scientific objectives for the precursor mission concern characteristics of the heliopause, the interstellar medium, stellar distances (by parallax measurements), low-energy cosmic rays, interplanetary gas distribution, and the mass of the solar system. Secondary objectives include investigation of Pluto. The mission should extend to 400-1000 AU from the sun. A heliocentric hyperbolic escape velocity of 50-100 km/sec or more is needed to attain this distance within a reasonable mission duration (20-50 years). The trajectory should be toward the incoming interstellar gas. For a year 2000 launch, a Pluto encounter and orbiter can be included. A second mission targeted parallel to the solar axis would also be worthwhile. The mission duration is 20 years, with an extended mission to a total of 50 years. A system using one or two stages of nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) was selected as a possible baseline. The most promising alternatives are ultralight solar sails or laser sailing, with the lasers in earth orbit, for example. The NEP baseline design allows the option of carrying a Pluto orbiter as a daughter spacecraft.

  13. Interstellar molecules and dense clouds.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rank, D. M.; Townes, C. H.; Welch, W. J.

    1971-01-01

    Current knowledge of the interstellar medium is discussed on the basis of recent published studies. The subjects considered include optical identification of interstellar molecules, radio molecular lines, interstellar clouds, isotopic abundances, formation and disappearance of interstellar molecules, and interstellar probing techniques. Diagrams are plotted for the distribution of galactic sources exhibiting molecular lines, for hydrogen molecule, hydrogen atom and electron abundances due to ionization, for the densities, velocities and temperature of NH3 in the direction of Sagitarius B2, for the lower rotational energy levels of H2CO, and for temporal spectral variations in masing H2O clouds of the radio source W49. Future applications of the maser and of molecular microscopy in this field are visualized.

  14. ULTRAVIOLET EXTINCTION AT HIGH GALACTIC LATITUDES

    SciTech Connect

    Peek, J. E. G.; Schiminovich, David

    2013-07-01

    In order to study the properties and effects of high Galactic latitude dust, we present an analysis of 373,303 galaxies selected from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer All-Sky Survey and Wide-field Infrared Explorer All-Sky Data Release. By examining the variation in aggregate ultraviolet colors and number density of these galaxies, we measure the extinction curve at high latitude. We additionally consider a population of spectroscopically selected galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to measure extinction in the optical. We find that dust at high latitude is neither quantitatively nor qualitatively consistent with standard reddening laws. Extinction in the FUV and NUV is {approx}10% and {approx}35% higher than expected, with significant variation across the sky. We find that no single R{sub V} parameter fits both the optical and ultraviolet extinction at high latitude, and that while both show detectable variation across the sky, these variations are not related. We propose that the overall trends we detect likely stem from an increase in very small silicate grains in the interstellar medium.

  15. Interstellar clouds containing optically thin H2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jura, M.

    1975-01-01

    The theory of Black and Delgarno that the relative populations of the excited rotational levels of H2 can be understood in terms of cascading following absorption in the Lyman and Werner bands is employed to infer the gas densities and radiation fields within diffuse interstellar clouds containing H2 that is optically thin in those bands. The procedure is described for computing the populations of the different rotation levels, the relative distribution among the different rotation levels of newly formed H2 is determined on the basis of five simplified models, and the rate of H2 formation is estimated. The results are applied to delta Ori, two components of iota Ori, the second components of rho Leo and zeta Ori, tau Sco, gamma Vel, and zeta Pup. The inferred parameters are summarized for each cloud.

  16. Is extinction forever?

    PubMed

    Smith-Patten, Brenda D; Bridge, Eli S; Crawford, Priscilla H C; Hough, Daniel J; Kelly, Jeffrey F; Patten, Michael A

    2015-05-01

    Mistrust of science has seeped into public perception of the most fundamental aspect of conservation-extinction. The term ought to be straightforward, and yet, there is a disconnect between scientific discussion and public views. This is not a mere semantic issue, rather one of communication. Within a population dynamics context, we say that a species went locally extinct, later to document its return. Conveying our findings matters, for when we use local extinction, an essentially nonsensical phrase, rather than extirpation, which is what is meant, then we contribute to, if not create outright, a problem for public understanding of conservation, particularly as local extinction is often shortened to extinction in media sources. The public that receives the message of our research void of context and modifiers comes away with the idea that extinction is not forever or, worse for conservation as a whole, that an extinction crisis has been invented. © The Author(s) 2015.

  17. Is extinction forever?

    PubMed Central

    Bridge, Eli S.; Crawford, Priscilla H. C.; Hough, Daniel J.; Kelly, Jeffrey F.; Patten, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    Mistrust of science has seeped into public perception of the most fundamental aspect of conservation—extinction. The term ought to be straightforward, and yet, there is a disconnect between scientific discussion and public views. This is not a mere semantic issue, rather one of communication. Within a population dynamics context, we say that a species went locally extinct, later to document its return. Conveying our findings matters, for when we use local extinction, an essentially nonsensical phrase, rather than extirpation, which is what is meant, then we contribute to, if not create outright, a problem for public understanding of conservation, particularly as local extinction is often shortened to extinction in media sources. The public that receives the message of our research void of context and modifiers comes away with the idea that extinction is not forever or, worse for conservation as a whole, that an extinction crisis has been invented. PMID:25711479

  18. Optical spectroscopy of IRAS sources with infrared emission bands. II - IRAS 04324+5106, 06114+1745, 20319+3958, and 22539+5758

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, Martin; Jones, B. F.; Walker, H. J.

    1989-01-01

    The paper presents long-slit optical spectra and microwave CO spectra of four nebulous counterparts to IRAS sources showing PAH emission features: 04324+5106, 06114+1745, 20319+3958, and 22539+5758. IRAS 22539+5758 is associated with a bipolar nebula. All are allied with B-type stars that suffer appreciable circumstellar extinction, and whose environs show atomic emission lines; three represent mixed reflection/emission nebulosities. Three show spectroscopic evidence for outflows at about 100 km/s. One, 06114+1745, exhibits indications of enhanced diffuse interstellar bands. It is concluded that extinction alone is insufficient to yield enhanced DIBs and that peculiar circumstellar abundances and/or physical conditions must play a role.

  19. Optical spectroscopy of IRAS sources with infrared emission bands. II. IRAS 04324+5106, 06114+1745, 20319+3958, and 22539+5758

    SciTech Connect

    Cohen, M.; Jones, B.F.; Walker, H.J.; Lick Observatory, Santa Cruz, CA; Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute, Los Altos, CA )

    1989-06-01

    The paper presents long-slit optical spectra and microwave CO spectra of four nebulous counterparts to IRAS sources showing PAH emission features: 04324+5106, 06114+1745, 20319+3958, and 22539+5758. IRAS 22539+5758 is associated with a bipolar nebula. All are allied with B-type stars that suffer appreciable circumstellar extinction, and whose environs show atomic emission lines; three represent mixed reflection/emission nebulosities. Three show spectroscopic evidence for outflows at about 100 km/s. One, 06114+1745, exhibits indications of enhanced diffuse interstellar bands. It is concluded that extinction alone is insufficient to yield enhanced DIBs and that peculiar circumstellar abundances and/or physical conditions must play a role. 20 refs.

  20. An interstellar precursor mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jaffe, L. D.; Ivie, C.; Lewis, J. C.; Lipes, R. G.; Norton, H. N.; Stearns, J. W.; Stimpson, L.; Weissman, P.

    1977-01-01

    A mission out of the planetary system, with launch about the year 2000, could provide valuable scientific data as well as test some of the technology for a later mission to another star. Primary scientific objectives for the precursor mission concern characteristics of the heliopause, the interstellar medium, stellar distances (by parallax measurements), low energy cosmic rays, interplanetary gas distribution, and mass of the solar system. Secondary objectives include investigation of Pluto. Candidate science instruments are suggested. Individual spacecraft systems for the mission were considered, technology requirements and problem areas noted, and a number of recommendations made for technology study and advanced development. The most critical technology needs include attainment of 50-yr spacecraft lifetime and development of a long-life NEP system.

  1. Interstellar carbon in meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swart, P. K.; Grady, M. M.; Pillinger, C. T.; Lewis, R. S.; Anders, E.

    1983-01-01

    The Murchison and Allende chondrites contain up to 5 parts per million carbon that is enriched in carbon-13 by up to +1100 per mil (the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-13 is approximately 42, compared to 88 to 93 for terrestrial carbon). This 'heavy' carbon is associated with neon-22 and with anomalous krypton and xenon showing the signature of the s-process (neutron capture on a slow time scale). It apparently represents interstellar grains ejected from late-type stars. A second anomalous xenon component ('CCFXe') is associated with a distinctive, light carbon (depleted in carbon-13 by 38 per mil), which, however, falls within the terrestrial range and hence may be of either local or exotic origin.

  2. Voyager in Interstellar Space

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-09-12

    Suzanne Dodd, Voyager project manager, NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) holds a replica of the golden record carried on Voyager at a news conference on NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The Golden Record was intended to communicate a story of our world to extraterrestrials. NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft officially is the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. The 36-year-old probe is about 12 billion miles (19 billion kilometers) from our sun. New and unexpected data indicate Voyager 1 has been traveling for about one year through plasma, or ionized gas, present in the space between stars. A report on the analysis of this new data is published in Thursday's edition of the journal Science. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  3. Interstellar sulfur chemistry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prasad, S. S.; Huntress, W. T., Jr.

    1980-01-01

    The results of a chemical model of SO, CS, and OCS chemistry in dense clouds are summarized. The results are obtained from a theoretical study of sulfur chemistry in dense interstellar clouds using a large-scale time-dependent model of gas-phase chemistry. Among the results are the following: (1) owing to activation energy, the reaction of CS with O atoms is efficient as a loss mechanism of CS during the early phases of cloud evolution or in hot and oxygen-rich sources such as the KL nebula; (2) if sulfur is not abnormally depleted in dense clouds, then the observed abundances of SO, SO2, H2S, CS, OCS, H2CS, and SiS indicate that sulfur is mostly atomic in dense clouds; and (3) OCS is stable against reactions with neutral atoms and radicals in dense clouds.

  4. Voyager in Interstellar Space

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-09-12

    Gary Zank, (second from right) Department of Space Sciences, Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomics Research (CSPAR), University of Alabama in Huntsville, speaks at a news conference on NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 at NASA Headquarters in Washington. NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft officially is the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. The 36-year-old probe is about 12 billion miles (19 billion kilometers) from our sun. New and unexpected data indicate Voyager 1 has been traveling for about one year through plasma, or ionized gas, present in the space between stars. A report on the analysis of this new data is published in Thursday's edition of the journal Science. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  5. Voyager in Interstellar Space

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-09-12

    Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist, California Institute of Technology, is seen as he speaks at a news conference on NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 at NASA Headquarters in Washington. NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft officially is the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. The 36-year-old probe is about 12 billion miles (19 billion kilometers) from our sun. New and unexpected data indicate Voyager 1 has been traveling for about one year through plasma, or ionized gas, present in the space between stars. A report on the analysis of this new data is published in Thursday's edition of the journal Science. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  6. Voyager in Interstellar Space

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-09-12

    Gary Zank, Department of Space Sciences, Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomics Research (CSPAR), University of Alabama in Huntsville, speaks at a news conference on NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 at NASA Headquarters in Washington. NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft officially is the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. The 36-year-old probe is about 12 billion miles (19 billion kilometers) from our sun. New and unexpected data indicate Voyager 1 has been traveling for about one year through plasma, or ionized gas, present in the space between stars. A report on the analysis of this new data is published in Thursday's edition of the journal Science. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  7. Very Small Interstellar Spacecraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peck, Mason A.

    2007-02-01

    This paper considers lower limits of length scale in spacecraft: interstellar vehicles consisting of little more material than found in a typical integrated-circuit chip. Some fundamental scaling principles are introduced to show how the dynamics of the very small can be used to realize interstellar travel with minimal advancements in technology. Our recent study for the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts provides an example: the use of the Lorentz force that acts on electrically charged spacecraft traveling through planetary and stellar magnetospheres. Schaffer and Burns, among others, have used Cassini and Voyager imagery to show that this interaction is responsible for some of the resonances in the orbital dynamics of dust in Jupiter's and Saturn's rings. The Lorentz force turns out to vary in inverse proportion to the square of this characteristic length scale, making it a more effective means of propelling tiny spacecraft than solar sailing. Performance estimates, some insight into plasma interactions, and some hardware concepts are offered. The mission architectures considered here involve the use of these propellantless propulsion techniques for acceleration within our solar system and deceleration near the destination. Performance estimates, some insight into plasma interactions, and some hardware concepts are offered. The mission architectures considered here involve the use of these propellantless propulsion techniques for acceleration within our solar system and deceleration near the destination. We might envision a large number of such satellites with intermittent, bursty communications set up as a one-dimensional network to relay signals across great distances using only the power likely from such small spacecraft. Conveying imagery in this fashion may require a long time because of limited power, but the prospect of imaging another star system close-up ought to be worth the wait.

  8. Infrared absorption and emission characteristics of interstellar PAHs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barker, J. R.; Allamandola, Louis J.; Tielens, Alexander G. G. M.; Barker, J. R.; Barker, J. R.

    1986-01-01

    The mid-infrared interstellar emission spectrum with features at 3.28, 6.2, 7.7, 8.7 and 11.3 microns is discussed in terms of the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) hypothesis, which is based on the suggestive, but inconclusive comparison between the interstellar emission spectrum with the infrared absorption and Raman spectra of a few PAHs. The fundamental vibrations of PAHs and PAH-like species which determine the IR and Raman properties are discussed. Interstellar IR band emission is due to relaxation from highly vibrationally excited PAHs excited by ultraviolet photons. The excitation/emission process is described and the IR fluorescence from one PAH, chrysene, is traced. Generally, there is sufficient energy to populate several vibrational levels in each mode. Molecular vibrational potentials are anharmonic and emission from these higher levels will fall at lower frequencies and produce weak features to the red of the stronger fundamentals. This process is also described and can account for some spectroscopic details of the interstellar emission spectra previously unexplained. Analysis of the interstellar spectrum shows that PAHs contain between 20 and 30 carbon atoms are responsible for the emission.

  9. Four Interstellar Dust Candidates from the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westphal, A. J.; Allen, C.; Bajt, S.; Bechtel, H. A.; Borg, J.; Brenker, F.; Bridges, J.; Brownlee, D. E.; Burchell, M.; Burghammer, M.; hide

    2011-01-01

    In January 2006, the Stardust sample return capsule returned to Earth bearing the first solid samples from a primitive solar system body, Comet 81P/Wild2, and a collector dedicated to the capture and return of contemporary interstellar dust. Both collectors were approx. 0.1 sq m in area and were composed of aerogel tiles (85% of the collecting area) and aluminum foils. The Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector (SIDC) was exposed to the interstellar dust stream for a total exposure factor of 20 sq m/day. The Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination (ISPE) is a consortium-based project to characterize the collection using nondestructive techniques. The goals and restrictions of the ISPE are described . A summary of analytical techniques is described.

  10. Interstellar scattering and resolution limitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dennison, Brian

    Density irregularities in both the interplanetary medium and the ionized component of the interstellar medium scatter radio waves, resulting in limitations on the achievable resolution. Interplanetary scattering (IPS) is weak for most observational situations, and in principle the resulting phase corruption can be corrected for when observing with sufficiently many array elements. Interstellar scattering (ISS), on the other hand, is usually strong at frequencies below about 8 GHz, in which case intrinsic structure information over a range of angular scales is irretrievably lost. With the earth-space baselines now planned, it will be possible to search directly for interstellar refraction, which is suspected of modulating the fluxes of background sources.

  11. Extraordinary optical extinctions through dual metallic gratings.

    PubMed

    Tardieu, Clément; Estruch, Thomas; Vincent, Grégory; Jaeck, Julien; Bardou, Nathalie; Collin, Stéphane; Haïdar, Riad

    2015-02-15

    We report on multiple extraordinary optical extinction (EOE) phenomena achieved through encapsulated dual metallic gratings. They are evidenced in TM polarization by angularly and spectrally resolved transmission measurements in the mid-infrared wavelength range. We show that EOE can be achieved on both sides of the extraordinary optical transmission (EOT) resonance, leading to pass-band filters with an improved rejection rate.

  12. The Interstellar Medium in the Small Magellanic Cloud: Results from MCELS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winkler, P. F.; Smith, R. C.; Points, S. D.; MCELS Team

    2015-05-01

    The interstellar medium (ISM) provides the playing field where gas and dust are cycled into and out of stars through dynamic and complex interactions, including H II regions, planetary nebulae, supernovae and their remnants, superbubbles, and gigantic supershells. The relative proximity and low extinction make the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds ideal venues for studying the ISM: its constituents, energetics, and interaction with the underlying stellar populations. The Magellanic Cloud Emission Line Survey (MCELS) surveyed both the LMC and SMC over six years using the Curtis Schmidt Telescope at CTIO to produce deep images in Hα, [S II] and [O III] lines, plus matched red and green continuum bands for star subtraction. The survey covers the central 8×8 degrees of the LMC and 4.5× 3.5 degrees of the SMC—most of the gaseous extent of both galaxies—at a resolution of 5″ or better. This enables us to identify and study structures on scales ranging from 1 pc to global. In this paper we highlight some of the results from MCELS, concentrating on the SMC. These include deep inventories of PNe and SNRs, analysis of H II regions and their optical depth, and extended structures on the scale of the entire galaxy. We also include some brief historical anecdotes.

  13. The extinction law from photometric data: linear regression methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ascenso, J.; Lombardi, M.; Lada, C. J.; Alves, J.

    2012-04-01

    Context. The properties of dust grains, in particular their size distribution, are expected to differ from the interstellar medium to the high-density regions within molecular clouds. Since the extinction at near-infrared wavelengths is caused by dust, the extinction law in cores should depart from that found in low-density environments if the dust grains have different properties. Aims: We explore methods to measure the near-infrared extinction law produced by dense material in molecular cloud cores from photometric data. Methods: Using controlled sets of synthetic and semi-synthetic data, we test several methods for linear regression applied to the specific problem of deriving the extinction law from photometric data. We cover the parameter space appropriate to this type of observations. Results: We find that many of the common linear-regression methods produce biased results when applied to the extinction law from photometric colors. We propose and validate a new method, LinES, as the most reliable for this effect. We explore the use of this method to detect whether or not the extinction law of a given reddened population has a break at some value of extinction. Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, Chile (ESO programmes 069.C-0426 and 074.C-0728).

  14. Using M Dwarfs to Map Extinction in the Local Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, David; West, A. A.; Foster, J.

    2011-01-01

    We use spectra of more than 56,000 M dwarfs from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) to create a high-latitude extinction map of the local Galaxy. Our technique compares spectra from low-extinction lines of sight as determined by Schlegel, Finkbeiner, & Davis to other SDSS spectra in order to derive improved distances and accurate extinctions for the stars in the SDSS data release 7 M dwarf sample. Unlike most previous studies, which have used a two-color method to determine extinction, we fit extinction curves to fluxes across the entire spectral range from 5700 to 9200 angstroms for every star in our sample. Our result is an extinction map that extends from a few tens of pc to approximately 2 kpc from the Sun. We also use a similar technique to create a map of Rv values within approximately 1 kpc of the Sun and find that they are roughly consistent with the widely accepted diffuse interstellar medium value of 3.1. Using our extinction data, we derive a dust scale height for the local galaxy of 176 ± 15 parsecs.

  15. ON GALACTIC DENSITY MODELING IN THE PRESENCE OF DUST EXTINCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Bovy, Jo; Rix, Hans-Walter; Schlafly, Edward F.; Green, Gregory M.; Finkbeiner, Douglas P.

    2016-02-20

    Inferences about the spatial density or phase-space structure of stellar populations in the Milky Way require a precise determination of the effective survey volume. The volume observed by surveys such as Gaia or near-infrared spectroscopic surveys, which have good coverage of the Galactic midplane region, is highly complex because of the abundant small-scale structure in the three-dimensional interstellar dust extinction. We introduce a novel framework for analyzing the importance of small-scale structure in the extinction. This formalism demonstrates that the spatially complex effect of extinction on the selection function of a pencil-beam or contiguous sky survey is equivalent to a low-pass filtering of the extinction-affected selection function with the smooth density field. We find that the angular resolution of current 3D extinction maps is sufficient for analyzing Gaia sub-samples of millions of stars. However, the current distance resolution is inadequate and needs to be improved by an order of magnitude, especially in the inner Galaxy. We also present a practical and efficient method for properly taking the effect of extinction into account in analyses of Galactic structure through an effective selection function. We illustrate its use with the selection function of red-clump stars in APOGEE using and comparing a variety of current 3D extinction maps.

  16. MODELING GALACTIC EXTINCTION WITH DUST AND 'REAL' POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS

    SciTech Connect

    Mulas, Giacomo; Casu, Silvia; Cecchi-Pestellini, Cesare; Zonca, Alberto E-mail: silvia@oa-cagliari.inaf.it E-mail: azonca@oa-cagliari.inaf.it

    2013-07-01

    We investigate the remarkable apparent variety of galactic extinction curves by modeling extinction profiles with core-mantle grains and a collection of single polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Our aim is to translate a synthetic description of dust into physically well-grounded building blocks through the analysis of a statistically relevant sample of different extinction curves. All different flavors of observed extinction curves, ranging from the average galactic extinction curve to virtually 'bumpless' profiles, can be described by the present model. We prove that a mixture of a relatively small number (54 species in 4 charge states each) of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons can reproduce the features of the extinction curve in the ultraviolet, dismissing an old objection to the contribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to the interstellar extinction curve. Despite the large number of free parameters (at most the 54 Multiplication-Sign 4 column densities of each species in each ionization state included in the molecular ensemble plus the 9 parameters defining the physical properties of classical particles), we can strongly constrain some physically relevant properties such as the total number of C atoms in all species and the mean charge of the mixture. Such properties are found to be largely independent of the adopted dust model whose variation provides effects that are orthogonal to those brought about by the molecular component. Finally, the fitting procedure, together with some physical sense, suggests (but does not require) the presence of an additional component of chemically different very small carbonaceous grains.

  17. Carbon chain abundance in the diffuse interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allamandola, L. J.; Hudgins, D. M.; Bauschlicher, C. W. Jr; Langhoff, S. R.

    1999-01-01

    Thanks to the mid-IR sensitivities of the ISO and IRTS orbiting spectrometers it is now possible to search the diffuse interstellar medium for heretofore inaccessible molecular emission. In view of the recent strong case for the presence of C(7-) (Kirkwood et al. 1998, Tulej et al. 1998),and the fact that carbon chains possess prominent infrared active modes in a very clean portion of the interstellar spectrum, we have analyzed the IRTS spectrum of the diffuse interstellar medium for the infrared signatures of these species. Theoretical and experimental infrared band frequencies and absolute intensities of many different carbon chain species are presented. These include cyanopolyynes, neutral and anionic linear carbon molecules, and neutral and ionized, even-numbered, hydrogenated carbon chains. We show that--as a family--these species have abundances in the diffuse ISM on the order of 10(-10) with respect to hydrogen, values consistent with their abundances in dense molecular clouds. Assuming an average length of 10 C atoms per C-chain implies that roughly a millionth of the cosmically available carbon is in the form of carbon chains and that carbon chains can account for a few percent of the visible to near-IR diffuse interstellar band (DIB) total equivalent width (not DIB number).

  18. POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBON CLUSTERS AS SOURCES OF INTERSTELLAR INFRARED EMISSION

    SciTech Connect

    Roser, J. E.; Ricca, A.

    2015-03-10

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (or PAHs) have been the subject of astrochemical research for several decades as principal sources of the interstellar aromatic infrared emission bands. PAH clusters could possibly contribute to these emission bands, but a lack of data on their infrared properties has made this hypothesis difficult to evaluate. Here we investigate homogeneous neutral PAH clusters by measuring the mid-infrared absorption spectra of the five nonlinear PAH molecules phenanthrene, chrysene, pyrene, perylene, and benzo[ghi]perylene within solid argon ice at a fixed temperature of 5 K. We attribute observed spectral shifts in their principal absorption bands as a function of argon/PAH ratio to clustering of the PAH molecules within the argon matrix. These shifts are related to the cluster structures forming in the matrix and the topology of the monomer PAH molecule. We predict that interstellar PAH molecules that are relatively large (no fewer than 50 carbon atoms per molecule) and compact will have clusters that contribute to the asymmetrically red-shaded profile of the interstellar 11.2 μm emission band.

  19. PAH Clusters as Sources of Interstellar Infrared Emission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roser, J. E.; Ricca, A.

    2015-03-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (or PAHs) have been the subject of astrochemical research for several decades as principal sources of the interstellar aromatic infrared emission bands. PAH clusters could possibly contribute to these emission bands, but a lack of data on their infrared properties has made this hypothesis difficult to evaluate. Here we investigate homogeneous neutral PAH clusters by measuring the mid-infrared absorption spectra of the five nonlinear PAH molecules phenanthrene, chrysene, pyrene, perylene, and benzo[ghi]perylene within solid argon ice at a fixed temperature of 5 K. We attribute observed spectral shifts in their principal absorption bands as a function of argon/PAH ratio to clustering of the PAH molecules within the argon matrix. These shifts are related to the cluster structures forming in the matrix and the topology of the monomer PAH molecule. We predict that interstellar PAH molecules that are relatively large (no fewer than 50 carbon atoms per molecule) and compact will have clusters that contribute to the asymmetrically red-shaded profile of the interstellar 11.2 μm emission band.

  20. Theoretical Modeling of Interstellar Chemistry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Charnley, Steven

    2009-01-01

    The chemistry of complex interstellar organic molecules will be described. Gas phase processes that may build large carbon-chain species in cold molecular clouds will be summarized. Catalytic reactions on grain surfaces can lead to a large variety of organic species, and models of molecule formation by atom additions to multiply-bonded molecules will be presented. The subsequent desorption of these mixed molecular ices can initiate a distinctive organic chemistry in hot molecular cores. The general ion-molecule pathways leading to even larger organics will be outlined. The predictions of this theory will be compared with observations to show how possible organic formation pathways in the interstellar medium may be constrained. In particular, the success of the theory in explaining trends in the known interstellar organics, in predicting recently-detected interstellar molecules, and, just as importantly, non-detections, will be discussed.

  1. The Interstellar Gas Experiment (IGE)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lind, Don

    1991-01-01

    The Interstellar Gas Experiment (IGE) exposed thin metallic foils in order to collect neutral particles from the interstellar gas. These particles were entrapped in the foils along with precipitating magnetospheric and ambient atmospheric particles. Seven of these foils collected particles arriving from seven different directions as seen from the spacecraft for the entire duration of the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) mission. The authors' mass spectroscopy analysis of the noble gas component of these interstellar particles detected isotopes of helium and neon. These preliminary measurements suggest that the various isotopes are occurring in approximately the expected amounts and that their distribution in direction of arrival is close to what models predict. The analysis to subtract the background fluxes of magnetospheric and atmospheric particles is still in progress. The hope of this experiment is to investigate the noble gas isotopic ratios of this interstellar sample of matter which originated outside the solar system.

  2. Secondary extinctions of biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Brodie, Jedediah F; Aslan, Clare E; Rogers, Haldre S; Redford, Kent H; Maron, John L; Bronstein, Judith L; Groves, Craig R

    2014-12-01

    Extinctions beget further extinctions when species lose obligate mutualists, predators, prey, or hosts. Here, we develop a conceptual model of species and community attributes affecting secondary extinction likelihood, incorporating mechanisms that buffer organisms against partner loss. Specialized interactors, including 'cryptic specialists' with diverse but nonredundant partner assemblages, incur elevated risk. Risk is also higher for species that cannot either evolve new traits following partner loss or obtain novel partners in communities reorganizing under changing environmental conditions. Partner loss occurs alongside other anthropogenic impacts; multiple stressors can circumvent ecological buffers, enhancing secondary extinction risk. Stressors can also offset each other, reducing secondary extinction risk, a hitherto unappreciated phenomenon. This synthesis suggests improved conservation planning tactics and critical directions for research on secondary extinctions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. A Science-enhanced Database of GALEX UV spectra to Characterize Interstellar Dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bianchi, Luciana

    The Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) has performed the first surveys of the sky in the Ultraviolet (UV). Its unprecedented database, including almost 300 million photometric source measurements in far-UV (FUV) and near-UV (NUV), offers unique sensitivity for studying selected classes of astrophysical objects, such as hot stars, star-forming galaxies, and z<2 QSOs. GALEX imaging data have been amply mined; science-enhanced source catalogs enable comprehensive investigations long after the mission is concluded. GALEX has also collected 125,564 UV spectra (range 1344-2831Ang; resolution about 200(FUV) - 120(NUV)): a homogeneous template tenfold larger and at fainter fluxes than the IUE target sample. Yet, this unique resource has hardly been exploited, due to poor calibration and lack of standard quality assessment of the complex grism spectral extraction. The homogeneous set of >120,000 UV spectra distributed all over the sky will enable - among other investigations - derivation of UV extinction curves for thousands of sightlines throughout the Milky Way (MW), yielding information on properties of interstellar dust that cannot be obtained otherwise, and, furthermore, validating extinction maps derived from vastly larger photometric samples. Our proposed map of MW dust properties will be 3D, since Gaia will provide accurate distances for all stellar sources. The first step to make this study possible will be to classify all sources in the [grism, hence serendipitous] GALEX spectroscopic sample, and to assess quality and flux calibration. We will combine multi-band photometry of the spectral sources (GALEX, SDSS, Pan-STARRs, ...), any existing information (e.g., from SIMBAD), available IUE spectra (about 100) and SDSS spectra (8,000), besides examining the UV spectral features. Hot stellar sources constitute over half of the GALEX spectroscopic sample. For those with spectra of sufficient quality (about 9,000 in NUV, >1,000 in FUV+NUV) we will derive UV extinction

  4. Modelling interstellar organics: relevance for the identification of unidentified interstellar features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malloci, Giuliano

    2003-02-01

    This thesis is part of the research activity of the Astrochemistry Group of the Cagliari Astronomical Observatory and the Physics Department at the University of Cagliari. The subjects of this work are two specific astrophysical problems concerning the Interstellar Medium (ISM) analysis: 1) the identification of Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs) - Unidentified Infrared Bands (UIBs); 2) the identification of the Extended Red Emission (ERE). A new theoretical approach to the spectroscopic identification of these specific Unidentified Interstellar Features is presented.Concerning the DIBs-UIBs, this work is an extension of a computational Monte-Carlo model developed in the past few years by our group (Mulas G. A&A 1998,338,243) with the aim to integrate quantum-chemical ab initio tecnhiques in it and thus produce a self-contained molecular simulator. Concerning ERE, a general recipe is developed in order to extrapolate the expected photoluminescence of small particles starting from available laboratory results obtained on bulk samples. All the numerical results were obtained for interstellar carbonaceous compounds, hence the title ``Modelling interstellar organics'' given to the thesis. In particular, a specific molecule belonging to the class of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is chosen as a test case to discuss the PAHs-DIBs-UIBs proposal, while the optical properties of laboratory samples of hydrogenated amorphous carbon (HAC) are used to obtain numerical results to be compared with luminescence phenomena such as ERE originating from some solid component of the ISM. The introductive chapter is intended to introduce the unfamiliar reader to the specific topic under study, and a short overview of the scientific scenario involved is given. Then, Part I and II discuss separately the two models above and represent the body of the work; each chapter follows a standard article format: introduction, theoretical method, numerical results, discussion and

  5. Probing the Grains Responsible for Extinction Using Small Magellanic Cloud Sightlines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, Karl

    2002-07-01

    Small Magellanic Cloud sightlines have the greatest potential to relate specific interstellar extinction features to distinct grain properties. The reasons for this are 1} prominent extinction features such as the 2175 Angstrom bump and the far-ultraviolet rise vary among SMC targets and 2} grain types may be very different from those in the Galaxy. Specifically, Welty et al. {2001} recently identified an SMC sightline that contains dust, but no silicate grains. Silicates are a dominant source of extinction in all dust models; the SMC may be the only location where the importance of silicates can be verified or disproven. We propose to explore the relationship between grain types and extinction toward 2 SMC stars with very different extinction curves; AzV 18 lacks a 2175 Angstrom bump and has a strong far-UV rise while the extinction curve towards the SMC star AzV 456 has a prominent 2175 Angstrom bump and a much weaker far-UV rise. We will compare the interstellar abundances of atoms that are prevalent in silicates {Si, Mg, Fe} toward these 2 stars and use the results to constrain dust extinction models. These SMC observations, which can only be obtained with STIS, are the only direct way to probe the connection between grain types/environments and extinction. The results from this study will be useful for modeling and understanding all regions that contain dust {AGN, circumstellar disks, star formation regions, etc.}.

  6. Interstellar Glycolaldehyde: The First Sugar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hollis, J. M.; Lovas, F. J.; Jewell, P. R.

    2000-09-01

    Interstellar glycolaldehyde (CH2OHCHO) has been detected in emission toward the Galactic center source Sagittarius B2(N) by means of millimeter-wave rotational transitions. Glycolaldehyde is an important biomarker since it is structurally the simplest member of the monosaccharide sugars that heretofore have gone undetected in interstellar clouds. There is no consensus as to how any such large complex molecules are formed in the interstellar clouds. It may be that the typical environment of dense interstellar clouds is favorable to glycolaldehyde synthesis by means of the polymerization of formaldehyde (H2CO) molecules either on grain surfaces or in the gas phase. Alternatively, we speculate that glycolaldehyde and other complex molecules may undergo assembly from functional molecular groups on grain surfaces. Utilizing common chemical precursors, a chance process could account for the high degree of isomerism observed in complex interstellar molecules (e.g., methyl formate, acetic acid, and glycolaldehyde). This work suggests that the phenomenon of isomerism be investigated further as a means of potentially constraining interstellar chemistry routes for those individual sources where the condition of good source-beam coupling can be achieved.

  7. A realistic interstellar explorer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNutt, R. L.; Andrews, G. B.; Gold, R. E.; Bokulic, R. S.; Boone, B. G.; Haley, D. R.; McAdams, J. V.; Williams, B. D.; Boyle, M. P.; Starstrom, G.; Riggin, J.; Lester, D.; Lyman, R.; Ewing, M.; Krishnan, R.; Read, D.; Naes, L.; McPherson, M.; Deters, R.

    2004-01-01

    For more than 20 years, an "Interstellar Precursor Mission" has been discussed as a high-priority mission for multiple scientific objectives. The chief difficulty with actually carrying out such a mission is the need for reaching significant penetration into the interstellar medium (˜1000 Astronomical Units (AU)) within the working lifetime of the initiators (<50 years). While there has been much speculation on various aspects of such a mission, we have systematically considered all of the components required, using realistic extrapolations of current and near-current technology. To provide a first-order cut at many of the engineering realities associated with such a mission, we consider a probe that can be launched with available vehicles and infrastructure. To implement the mission, we have revisited an old idea: the probe and a perihelion carrier are launched initially to Jupiter as a combined package and then fall to the Sun where a large propulsive maneuver propels the package on a high-energy, ballistic escape trajectory from the solar system. Outbound in deep space, the two separate, and the probe takes data with its onboard instruments and autonomously downlinks the data to Earth at regular intervals. The implementation requires a low-mass, highly-integrated spacecraft. Engineering issues separate into (1) the systems constraints imposed on the perihelion package by the combination of the propulsion system, carrying the needed propellant into perihelion, and the associated thermal and mechanical constraints, and (2) the requirements of power, autonomous operations, and data downlink from the probe itself. System trades define the minimum mass and power required for such a probe. We find that many of the requirements for a low-mass probe that operates autonomously for this mission are common for either this propulsion concept or more advanced low-thrust concepts, e.g., solar sails and ion propulsion. We describe an implementation, including science

  8. A realistic interstellar explorer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNutt, R.

    For more than 20 years, an Interstellar Precursor Mission has been discussed as a high-priority mission for multiple scientific objectives. The chief difficulty with actually carrying out such a mission is the need for reaching significant penetration into the interstellar medium (~1000 Astronomical Units (AU)) within the working lifetime of the initiators (<50 years). While there has been much speculation on various aspects of such a mission, we have systematically considered all of the components required, using realistic extrapolations of current and near-current technology. To provide a firstorder cut at many of the engineering realities associated with such a mission, we consider a probe that can be launched with available vehicles and infrastructure. To implement the mission, we have revisited an old idea: the probe and a perihelion carrier are launched initially to Jupiter as a combined package and then fall to the Sun where a large propulsive maneuver propels the package on a high-energy, ballistic escape trajectory from the solar system. Outbound in deep space, the two separate, and the probe takes data with its onboard instruments and autonomously downlinks the data to Earth at regular intervals. The implementation requires a low-mass, highly-integrated spacecraft. Engineering issues separate into (1) the systems constraints imposed on the perihelion package by the combination of the propulsion system, carrying the needed propellant into perihelion, and the associated thermal and mechanical constraints, and (2) the requirements of power, autonomous operations, and data downlink from the probe itself. System trades define the minimum mass and power required for such a probe. We find that many of the requirements for a low-mass probe that operates autonomously for this mission are common for either this propulsion concept or more advanced low-thrust concepts, e.g., solar sails and ion propulsion. We describe an implementation, including science

  9. The Interstellar Conspiracy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Matloff, Gregory L.

    2005-01-01

    If we were designing a human-carrying starship that could be launched in the not-too-distant future, it would almost certainly not use a warp drive to instantaneously bounce around the universe, as is done in Isaac Asimov's classic Foundation series or in episodes of Star Trek or Star Wars. Sadly, those starships that seem to be within technological reach could not even travel at high relativistic speeds, as does the interstellar ramjet in Poul Anderson's Tau Zero. Warp-speeds seem to be well outside the realm of currently understood physical law; proton-fusing ramjets may never be technologically feasible. Perhaps fortunately in our terrorist-plagued world, the economics of antimatter may never be attractive for large-scale starship propulsion. But interstellar travel will be possible within a few centuries, although it will certainly not be as fast as we might prefer. If humans learn how to hibernate, perhaps we will sleep our way to the stars, as do the crew in A. E. van Vogt's Far Centaurus. However, as discussed in a landmark paper in The Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, the most feasible approach to transporting a small human population to the planets (if any) of Alpha Centauri is the worldship. Such craft have often been featured in science fiction. See for example Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama, and Robert A. Heinlein's Orphans of the Sky. Worldships are essentially mobile versions of the O Neill free-space habitats. Constructed mostly from lunar and/or asteroidal materials, these solar-powered, multi-kilometer-dimension structures could house 10,000 to 100,000 humans in Earth-approximating environments. Artificial gravity would be provided by habitat rotation, and cosmic ray shielding would be provided by passive methods, such as habitat atmosphere and mass shielding, or magnetic fields. A late 21st century space-habitat venture might support itself economically by constructing large solar-powered satellites to beam energy back to

  10. Extinction law in the range 0.4-4.8 μm and the 8620 Å DIB towards the stellar cluster Westerlund 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Damineli, A.; Almeida, L. A.; Blum, R. D.; Damineli, D. S. C.; Navarete, F.; Rubinho, M. S.; Teodoro, M.

    2016-12-01

    The young stellar cluster Westerlund 1 (Wd 1: l = 339.6°, b = -0.4°) is one of the most massive in the local Universe, but accurate parameters are pending on better determination of its extinction and distance. Based on our photometry and data collected from other sources, we have derived a reddening law for the cluster line-of-sight representative of the Galactic plane (-5° < b <+5°) in the window 0.4-4.8 μm: The power-law exponent α = 2.13 ± 0.08 is much steeper than those published a decade ago (1.6-1.8) and our index RV = 2.50 ± 0.04 also differs from them, but in very good agreement with recent works based on deep surveys in the inner Galaxy. As a consequence, the total extinction AKs = 0.74 ± 0.08 (AV = 11.40 ± 2.40) is substantially smaller than previous results (0.91-1.13), part of which (AKs = 0.63 or AV = 9.66) is from the interstellar medium. The extinction in front of the cluster spans a range of ΔAV ˜8.7 with a gradient increasing from SW to NE across the cluster face, following the same general trend of warm dust distribution. The map of the J - Ks colour index also shows a trend of reddening in this direction. We measured the equivalent width of the diffuse interstellar band at 8620 Å (the `GAIA DIB') for Wd 1 cluster members and derived the relation AKs = 0.612 EW - 0.191 EW2. This extends the Munari et al. relation, valid for EB-V < 1, to the non-linear regime (AV > 4).

  11. Mass extinction: a commentary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raup, D. M.

    1987-01-01

    Four neocatastrophist claims about mass extinction are currently being debated; they are that: 1, the late Cretaceous mass extinction was caused by large body impact; 2, as many as five other major extinctions were caused by impact; 3, the timing of extinction events since the Permian is uniformly periodic; and 4, the ages of impact craters on Earth are also periodic and in phase with the extinctions. Although strongly interconnected the four claims are independent in the sense that none depends on the others. Evidence for a link between impact and extinction is strong but still needs more confirmation through bed-by-bed and laboratory studies. An important area for future research is the question of whether extinction is a continuous process, with the rate increasing at times of mass extinctions, or whether it is episodic at all scales. If the latter is shown to be generally true, then species are at risk of extinction only rarely during their existence and catastrophism, in the sense of isolated events of extreme stress, is indicated. This is line of reasoning can only be considered an hypothesis for testing. In a larger context, paleontologists may benefit from a research strategy that looks to known Solar System and Galactic phenomena for predictions about environmental effects on earth. The recent success in the recognition of Milankovitch Cycles in the late Pleistocene record is an example of the potential of this research area.

  12. Mass extinction: a commentary.

    PubMed

    Raup, D M

    1987-01-01

    Four neocatastrophist claims about mass extinction are currently being debated; they are that: 1, the late Cretaceous mass extinction was caused by large body impact; 2, as many as five other major extinctions were caused by impact; 3, the timing of extinction events since the Permian is uniformly periodic; and 4, the ages of impact craters on Earth are also periodic and in phase with the extinctions. Although strongly interconnected the four claims are independent in the sense that none depends on the others. Evidence for a link between impact and extinction is strong but still needs more confirmation through bed-by-bed and laboratory studies. An important area for future research is the question of whether extinction is a continuous process, with the rate increasing at times of mass extinctions, or whether it is episodic at all scales. If the latter is shown to be generally true, then species are at risk of extinction only rarely during their existence and catastrophism, in the sense of isolated events of extreme stress, is indicated. This is line of reasoning can only be considered an hypothesis for testing. In a larger context, paleontologists may benefit from a research strategy that looks to known Solar System and Galactic phenomena for predictions about environmental effects on earth. The recent success in the recognition of Milankovitch Cycles in the late Pleistocene record is an example of the potential of this research area.

  13. Gradual extinction reduces reinstatement

    PubMed Central

    Shiban, Youssef; Wittmann, Jasmin; Weißinger, Mara; Mühlberger, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    The current study investigated whether gradually reducing the frequency of aversive stimuli during extinction can prevent the return of fear. Thirty-one participants of a three-stage procedure (acquisition, extinction and a reinstatement test on day 2) were randomly assigned to a standard extinction (SE) and gradual extinction (GE) procedure. The two groups differed only in the extinction procedure. While the SE group ran through a regular extinction process without any negative events, the frequency of the aversive stimuli during the extinction phase was gradually reduced for the GE group. The unconditioned stimulus (US) was an air blast (5 bar, 10 ms). A spider and a scorpion were used as conditioned stimuli (CS). The outcome variables were contingency ratings and physiological measures (skin conductance response, SCR and startle response). There were no differences found between the two groups for the acquisition and extinction phases concerning contingency ratings, SCR, or startle response. GE compared to SE significantly reduced the return of fear in the reinstatement test for the startle response but not for SCR or contingency ratings. This study was successful in translating the findings in rodent to humans. The results suggest that the GE process is suitable for increasing the efficacy of fear extinction. PMID:26441581

  14. Current status of the Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer (CHIPS) university-class explorer mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurwitz, Mark

    2003-12-01

    We present a status report on CHIPS, the Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer. CHIPS is the first NASA University-Class Explorer (UNEX) project, and was launched on January 13, 2003. The grazing incidence CHIPS spectrograph is surveying selected regions of the sky for diffuse emission in the comparatively unexplored wavelength band between 90 and 260 Å. These data are providing important new constraints on the temperature, ionization state, and emission measure of hot plasma in the "local bubble" of the interstellar medium.

  15. L(alpha)-induced two-photon absorption of visible light emitted from an O-type star by H2(+) ions located near the surface of the Stromgren sphere surrounding the star: A possible explanation for the diffuse interstellar absorption bands (DIDs)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glownia, James H.; Sorokin, Peter P.

    1994-01-01

    In this paper, a new model is proposed to account for the DIB's (Diffuse Interstellar Bands). In this model, the DIB's result from a non-linear effect: resonantly-enhanced two-photon absorption of H(2+) ions located near the surface of the Stromgren sphere that surrounds an O- or B- type star. The strong light that is required to 'drive' the two-photon transition is provided by L(alpha) light emerging from the Stromgren sphere that bounds the H II region surrounding the star. A value of approximately 100 micro W/sq cm is estimated for the L(alpha) flux at the Stromgren radius, R(s), of a strong (O5) star. It is shown that a c.w. L(alpha) flux of this intensity should be sufficient to induce a few percent absorption for visible light radiated by the same star at a frequency (omega2) that completes an allowed two-photon transition, provided (1) the L(alpha) radiation happens to be nearly resonant with the frequency of a fully-allowed absorber transition that effectively represents the first step in the two-photon transition, and (2) an effective column density approximately 10(sup18)/sq cm of the absorber is present near the Stromgren sphere radius, R(sub s).

  16. Interstellar molecular clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bally, J.

    1986-04-01

    The physical properties of the molecular phase of the interstellar medium are studied with regard to star formation and the structure of the Galaxy. Most observations of molecular clouds are made with single-dish, high-surface precision radio telescopes, with the best resolution attainable at 0.2 to 1 arcmin; the smallest structures that can be resolved are of order 10 to the 17th cm in diameter. It is now believed that: (1) most of the mass of the Galaxy is in the form of giant molecular clouds; (2) the largest clouds and those responsible for most massive star formation are concentrated in spiral arms; (3) the molecular clouds are the sites of perpetual star formation, and are significant in the chemical evolution of the Galaxy; (4) giant molecular clouds determine the evolution of the kinematic properties of galactic disk stars; (5) the total gas content is diminishing with time; and (6) most clouds have supersonic internal motions and do not form stars on a free-fall time scale. It is concluded that though progress has been made, more advanced instruments are needed to inspect the processes operating within stellar nurseries and to study the distribution of the molecular clouds in more distant galaxies. Instruments presently under construction which are designed to meet these ends are presented.

  17. Propulsion Options For Interstellar Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Leifer, Stephanie

    2000-01-01

    NASA is considering missions to explore near-interstellar space (40 - 250 Astronomical Units) early in the next decade as the first step toward a vigorous interstellar exploration program. A key enabling technology for such an ambitious science and exploration effort is a propulsion system capable of providing fast trip times, yet which has low enough mass to allow for the use of inexpensive launch vehicles. Advanced propulsion technologies that might support the First interstellar precursor mission by the end of the first decade of the new millennium include solar sails and nuclear electric propulsion. Solar sails and electric propulsion are two technology areas that may hold promise for the next generation of interstellar precursor missions as well - perhaps a thousand astronomical units traveled in a professional lifetime. Future missions to far beyond the Heliosphere will require the development of propulsion technologies that are only at the conceptual stage today. For years, the scientific community has been interested in solar sail and electric propulsion technologies to support robotic exploration of the solar system. Progress in thin-film materials fabrication and handling, and advancement in technologies that may enable the deployment of large sails in space are only now maturing to the point where ambitious interstellar precursor missions using sails can be considered. Xenon ion propulsion is now being demonstrated for planetary exploration by the Deep Space 1 mission. The primary issues for the adaptation of electric propulsion to interstellar precursor applications include the development of low specific mass nuclear power systems, engine lifetime, and high power operation. Recent studies of interstellar precursor mission scenarios that use these propulsion systems will be described, and the range of application of each technology will be explored.

  18. Stardust interstellar preliminary examination (ISPE).

    SciTech Connect

    Westphal, A.J.; Allen, C.; Bajt, S.; Basset, R.; Flynn, G.L.; Sutton, S.

    2009-03-23

    The Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination (ISPE) is a three-year effort to characterize the Stardust interstellar dust collection and collector using non-destructive techniques. We summarize the status of the ISPE. In January 2006 the Stardust sample return capsule returned to Earth bearing the first solid samples from a primitive solar system body, Comet 81P/Wild2, and a collector dedicated to the capture and return of contemporary interstellar dust. Both collectors were {approx}0.1 m{sup 2} in area and were composed of aerogel tiles (85% of the collecting area) and aluminum foils. The Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector (SIDC) was exposed to the interstellar dust stream for a total exposure factor of 20 m{sup 2}-day during two periods before the cometary encounter. The Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination (ISPE) is a three-year effort to characterize the collection using nondestructive techniques. The goals and restrictions of the ISPE are described in Westphal et al. The ISPE consists of six interdependent projects: (1) Candidate identification through automated digital microscopy and a massively distributed, calibrated search; (2) Candidate extraction and photodocumentation; (3) Characterization of candidates through synchrotron-based Fourier-Tranform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Scanning X-Ray Fluoresence Microscopy (SXRF), and Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy (STXM); (4) Search for and analysis of craters in foils through FESEM scanning, Auger Spectroscopy and synchrotron-based Photoemission Electron Microscopy (PEEM); (5) Modeling of interstellar dust transport in the solar system; and (6) Laboratory simulations of hypervelocity dust impacts into the collecting media.

  19. The relationship between infrared, optical, and ultraviolet extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardelli, Jason A.; Clayton, Geoffrey C.; Mathis, John S.

    1989-10-01

    The parameterized extinction data of Fitzpatrick and Massa (1986, 1988) for the ultraviolet and various sources for the optical and near-infrared are used to derive a meaningful average extinction law over the 3.5 micron to 0.125 wavelength range which is applicable to both diffuse and dense regions of the interstellar medium. The law depends on only one parameter R(V) = A(V)/E(B-V). An analytic formula is given for the mean extinction law which can be used to calculate color excesses or to deredden observations. The validity of the law over a large wavelength interval suggests that the processes which modify the sizes and compositions of grains are stochastic in nature and very efficient.

  20. Laboratory Formation and Analysis of the Materials Comprising Interstellar Dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, Alan Douglas

    The optical properties of interstellar dust analogs are investigated. Thin, solid, amorphous films are deposited on a substrate through excimer laser ablation. This process is analogous to the vapour deposition of atoms and ions which is thought to occur in stellar outflows and the interstellar medium (ISM). Refractive indices are calculated for typical polymeric hydrogenated amorphous carbon (HAC) films. Thickness dependent void structure is shown to influence the resultant density of the substance. Refractive indices are also determined for amorphous magnesium silicates in both the pyroxene (MgSiO3) and olivine (Mg2SiO4) composites. A plausible dust grain model is constructed which successfully reproduces the major features of the diffuse interstellar extinction. The effects of thermal annealing and dehydrogenation of HAC are investigated. The resulting graphitized HAC is shown to exhibit a spectral signature which is commonly associated with gas phase polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Thermal emission from HAC is observed for the first time and is shown to be an excellent match to various anomalous unidentified infrared (UIR) emitters. The emission from HAC closely resembles those rare sources labelled Type B UIR emitters in recent works by Geballe (1996) and Tokunaga (1996). Near threshold laser ionization mass spectroscopy (LIMS) of HAC is shown to produce large ionized molecular clusters including fullerenes. The astrophysical implications of these results are discussed.

  1. Ultraviolet interstellar polarization observed with the Hubble Space Telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Somerville, W. B.; Allen, R. G.; Carnochan, D. J.; He, Lida; Mcnally, D.; Martin, P. G.; Morgan, D. H.; Nandy, K.; Walsh, J. R.; Whittet, D. C. B.

    1994-01-01

    We have used the Faint Object Spectrograph of the Hubble Space Telescope to observe interstellar linear polarization from 1300 to 3300 A in two stars with well-studied interstellar polarization at visible wavelenths. The wavelength dependence of linear polarization declines smoothly with decreasing wavelength and is devoid of structure associated with the prominent 2175 A absorption bump in the interstellar extinction curve. The data for one star (HD 161056) are consistent with an extrapolation based on the Serkowski formula of a fit to the ground-based polariztion; the other star (HD 7252) shows excess (super-Serkowski) polarization relative to the extrapolation. Out of a total of 10 stars now studied by means of spectropolarimetry in the satellite ultraviolet, including eight obseved with the Wisconsin Ultraviolet Photopolarimeter, five (those of longest lambda (sub max)) show Serkowski behavior, and four others show super-Serkowski behavior; only one (HD 197770) shows evidence for polarization associated with the 2175 A bump. These results place important constraints on the nature of the bump feature.

  2. Ultraviolet interstellar polarization observed with the Hubble Space Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Somerville, W. B.; Allen, R. G.; Carnochan, D. J.; He, Lida; McNally, D.; Martin, P. G.; Morgan, D. H.; Nandy, K.; Walsh, J. R.; Whittet, D. C. B.; Wilson, R.; Wolff, M. J.

    1994-05-01

    We have used the Faint Object Spectrograph of the Hubble Space Telescope to observe interstellar linear polarization from 1300 to 3300 A in two stars with well-studied interstellar polarization at visible wavelenths. The wavelength dependence of linear polarization declines smoothly with decreasing wavelength and is devoid of structure associated with the prominent 2175 A absorption bump in the interstellar extinction curve. The data for one star (HD 161056) are consistent with an extrapolation based on the Serkowski formula of a fit to the ground-based polariztion; the other star (HD 7252) shows excess (super-Serkowski) polarization relative to the extrapolation. Out of a total of 10 stars now studied by means of spectropolarimetry in the satellite ultraviolet, including eight obseved with the Wisconsin Ultraviolet Photopolarimeter, five (those of longest lambda max) show Serkowski behavior, and four others show super-Serkowski behavior; only one (HD 197770) shows evidence for polarization associated with the 2175 A bump. These results place important constraints on the nature of the bump feature.

  3. Radical formation, chemical processing, and explosion of interstellar grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greenberg, J. M.

    1976-01-01

    The ultraviolet radiation in interstellar space is shown to create a sufficient steady-state density of free radicals in the grain mantle material consisting of oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen to satisfy the critical condition for initiation of chain reactions. The criterion for minimum critical particle size for maintaining the chain reaction is of the order of the larger grain sizes in a distribution satisfying the average extinction and polarization measures. The triggering of the explosion of interstellar grains leading to the ejection of complex interstellar molecules is shown to be most probable where the grains are largest and where radiation is suddenly introduced; i.e., in regions of new star formation. Similar conditions prevail at the boundaries between very dark clouds and H II regions. When the energy released by the chemical activity of the free radicals is inadequate to explode the grain, the resulting mantle material must consist of extremely large organic molecules which are much more resistant to the hostile environment of H II regions than the classical dirty-ice mantles made up of water, methane, and ammonia.

  4. Beliefs about Human Extinction

    SciTech Connect

    Tonn, Bruce Edward

    2009-11-01

    This paper presents the results of a web-based survey about futures issues. Among many questions, respondents were asked whether they believe humans will become extinct. Forty-five percent of the almost 600 respondents believe that humans will become extinct. Many of those holding this believe felt that humans could become extinct within 500-1000 years. Others estimated extinction 5000 or more years into the future. A logistic regression model was estimated to explore the bases for this belief. It was found that people who describe themselves a secular are more likely to hold this belief than people who describe themselves as being Protestant. Older respondents and those who believe that humans have little control over their future also hold this belief. In addition, people who are more apt to think about the future and are better able to imagine potential futures tend to also believe that humans will become extinct.

  5. Extinction and climate change.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Chris D; Williamson, Mark

    2012-02-22

    Arising from F. He & S. P. Hubbell 473, 368-371 (2011). Statistical relationships between habitat area and the number of species observed (species-area relationships, SARs) are sometimes used to assess extinction risks following habitat destruction or loss of climatic suitability. He and Hubbell argue that the numbers of species confined to-rather than observed in-different areas (endemics-area relationships, EARs) should be used instead of SARs, and that SAR-based extinction estimates in the literature are too high. We suggest that He and Hubbell's SAR estimates are biased, that the empirical data they use are not appropriate to calculate extinction risks, and that their statements about extinction risks from climate change do not take into account non-SAR-based estimates or recent observations. Species have already responded to climate change in a manner consistent with high future extinction risks.

  6. Interstellar Sweat Equity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, M. H.; Becker, R. E.; O'Donnell, D. J.; Brody, A. R.

    So, you have just launched aboard the Starship, headed to an exoplanet light years from Earth. You will spend the rest of your natural life on this journey in the expectation and hope that your grandchildren will arrive safely, land, and build a new settlement. You will need to govern the community onboard the Starship. This system of governance must meet unique requirements for participation, representation, and decision-making. On a spaceship that can fly and operate by itself, what will the crewmembers do for their generations in transit? Certainly, they will train and train again to practice the skills they will need upon arrival at a new world. However, this vicarious practice neither suffices to prepare the future pioneers for their destiny at a new star nor will it provide them with the satisfaction in their own work. To hone the crewmembers' inventive and technical skills, to challenge and prepare them for pioneering, the crew would build and expand the interstellar ship in transit. This transstellar ``sweat equity'' gives a stake in the enterprise to all the people, providing meaningful and useful activity to the new generations of crewmembers. They build all the new segments of the vessel from raw materials - including atmosphere - stored on board. Construction of new pressure shell modules would be one option, but they also reconstruct or fill-in existing pressurized volumes. The crew makes new life support system components and develops new agricultural modules in anticipation of their future needs. Upon arrival at the new star or planet, the crew shall apply these robustly developed skills and self-sufficient spirit to their new home.

  7. Dust Extinction toward Supernova 2014J in M82

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Jian; Jiang, B. W.; Li, Aigen; Li, Jun; Wang, Xiaofeng

    2015-08-01

    Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) are powerful cosmological “standardizable candles” and the most precise distance indicators. However, the ultimate limiting factor in their use for precision cosmology rests on our ability to correct for the dust extinction toward them. SN 2014J in the starburst galaxy M82, the closest detected SN Ia in three decades, provides unparalleled opportunities to study the dust extinction. In order to derive the extinction as a function of wavelength, we model the color excesses toward SN 2014J observationally derived over a wide wavelength range in terms of dust models consisting of a mixture of silicate and graphite. The resulting extinction laws steeply rise toward the far ultraviolet, even steeper than that of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). We infer a visual extinction of AV≈1.9 mag, a reddening of E(B-V)≈1.1 mag, and a total-to-selective extinction ratio of RV≈1.7, consistent with that previously derived from photometric, spectroscopic and polarimetric observations. The size distributions of the dust in the interstellar medium toward SN 2014J are skewed toward substantially smaller grains than that of the Milky Way and the SMC.

  8. Interstellar Propulsion Research Within NASA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Cook, Stephen (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    NASA is actively conducting advanced propulsion research and technology development in various in-space transportation technologies with potential application to interstellar missions and precursors. Within the last few years, interest in the scientific community in interstellar missions as well as outer heliospheric missions, which could function as interstellar precursor missions, has increased. A mission definition team was charted by NASA to define such a precursor, The Interstellar Probe, which resulted in a prioritization of relatively near-term transportation technologies to support its potential implementation. In addition, the goal of finding and ultimately imaging extra solar planets has raised the issue of our complete inability to mount an expedition to such as planet, should one be found. Even contemplating such a mission with today's technology is a stretch of the imagination. However, there are several propulsion concepts, based on known physics, that have promise to enable interstellar exploration in the future. NASA is making small, incremental investments in some key advanced propulsion technologies in an effort to advance their state-of-the-art in support potential future mission needs. These technologies, and their relative maturity, are described.

  9. Depolarization canals and interstellar turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fletcher, A.; Shukurov, A.

    Recent radio polarization observations have revealed a plethora of unexpected features in the polarized Galactic radio background that arise from propagation effects in the random (turbulent) interstellar medium. The canals are especially striking among them, a random network of very dark, narrow regions clearly visible in many directions against a bright polarized Galactic synchrotron background. There are no obvious physical structures in the ISM that may have caused the canals, and so they have been called Faraday ghosts. They evidently carry information about interstellar turbulence but only now is it becoming clear how this information can be extracted. Two theories for the origin of the canals have been proposed; both attribute the canals to Faraday rotation, but one invokes strong gradients in Faraday rotation in the sky plane (specifically, in a foreground Faraday screen) and the other only relies on line-of-sight effects (differential Faraday rotation). In this review we discuss the physical nature of the canals and how they can be used to explore statistical properties of interstellar turbulence. This opens studies of magnetized interstellar turbulence to new methods of analysis, such as contour statistics and related techniques of computational geometry and topology. In particular, we can hope to measure such elusive quantities as the Taylor microscale and the effective magnetic Reynolds number of interstellar MHD turbulence.

  10. Interstellar Hydride Spectroscopy with Herschel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerin, Maryvonne

    2011-06-01

    The Herschel satellite is now giving access with unprecedented sensitivity to the THz spectral range. In particular ground state lines of simple neutral and ionized hydrides have been detected in a wide range of interstellar environments, leading to a renewed understanding of the formation processes of interstellar molecules in the diffuse interstellar medium. In this talk, I will present recent results obtained with the Herschel HIFI and PACS instruments on the carbon, oxygen and nitrogen hydrides. I will discuss how CH and HF can be used as tracers of molecular hydrogen in the diffuse interstellar matter, the new diagnostic capabilities of the cosmic ray ionization rate opened by the OH^+ and H_2O^+ molecular ions, and the role of the dissipation of turbulence in the production of the CH^+ and SH^+ reactive ions. Figure 1: Example of Herschel/HIFI spectra towards the massive star forming region G10.6--0.4. The diffuse interstellar matter along the line of sight towards this massive object is producing multiple absortion features from ˜ 6 to˜ 50 km/s while the emission or absortion signals between -20 to 5 km/s are caused by the massive source itself.

  11. Interstellar Propulsion Research Within NASA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Cook, Stephen (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    NASA is actively conducting advanced propulsion research and technology development in various in-space transportation technologies with potential application to interstellar missions and precursors. Within the last few years, interest in the scientific community in interstellar missions as well as outer heliospheric missions, which could function as interstellar precursor missions, has increased. A mission definition team was charted by NASA to define such a precursor, The Interstellar Probe, which resulted in a prioritization of relatively near-term transportation technologies to support its potential implementation. In addition, the goal of finding and ultimately imaging extra solar planets has raised the issue of our complete inability to mount an expedition to such as planet, should one be found. Even contemplating such a mission with today's technology is a stretch of the imagination. However, there are several propulsion concepts, based on known physics, that have promise to enable interstellar exploration in the future. NASA is making small, incremental investments in some key advanced propulsion technologies in an effort to advance their state-of-the-art in support potential future mission needs. These technologies, and their relative maturity, are described.

  12. Interstellar HOCN in the Galactic center region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brünken, S.; Belloche, A.; Martín, S.; Verheyen, L.; Menten, K. M.

    2010-06-01

    Aims: Our aim is to confirm the interstellar detection of cyanic acid, HOCN, in the Galactic center clouds. It has previously been tentatively detected only in Sgr B2(OH). Methods: We used a complete line survey of the hot cores Sgr B2(N) and (M) in the 3 mm range, complemented by additional observations carried out with the IRAM 30 m telescope at selected frequencies in the 2 mm band and towards four additional positions in the Sgr B2 cloud complex in the 2 and 3 mm bands. The spectral survey was analysed in the local thermodynamical equilibrium approximation (LTE) by modeling the emission of all identified molecules simultaneously. This allowed us to distinguish weak features of HOCN from the rich line spectrum observed in Sgr B2(N) and (M). Lines of the more stable (by 1.1 eV) isomer isocyanic acid, HNCO, in these sources, as well as those of HOCN and HNCO towards the other positions, were analysed in the LTE approximation as well. Results: Four transitions of HOCN were detected in a quiescent molecular cloud in the Galactic center at a position offset in (RA, Dec) by (20”, 100”) from the hot core source Sgr B2(M), confirming its previous tentative interstellar detection. Up to four transitions were detected toward five other positions in the Sgr B2 complex, including the hot cores Sgr B2(M), (S), and (N). A fairly constant abundance ratio of ~0.3-0.8% for HOCN relative to HNCO was derived for the extended gas components, suggesting a common formation process of these isomers. Based on observations with the IRAM 30-m telescope. IRAM is supported by CNRS/INSU (France), the MPG (Germany) and the IGN (Spain).

  13. Extinction and the fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, ,. J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1994-01-01

    The author examines evidence of mass extinctions in the fossil record and searches for reasons for such large extinctions. Five major mass extinctions eliminated at least 40 percent of animal genera in the oceans and from 65 to 95 percent of ocean species. Questions include the occurrence of gradual or catastrophic extinctions, causes, environment, the capacity of a perturbation to cause extinctions each time it happens, and the possibility and identification of complex events leading to a mass extinction.

  14. Extinction and the fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, ,. J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1994-01-01

    The author examines evidence of mass extinctions in the fossil record and searches for reasons for such large extinctions. Five major mass extinctions eliminated at least 40 percent of animal genera in the oceans and from 65 to 95 percent of ocean species. Questions include the occurrence of gradual or catastrophic extinctions, causes, environment, the capacity of a perturbation to cause extinctions each time it happens, and the possibility and identification of complex events leading to a mass extinction.

  15. Diffuse interstellar clouds as a chemical laboratory - The chemistry of diatomic carbon species

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Federman, S. R.; Huntress, W. T., Jr.

    1989-01-01

    The chemistry of C2, CH, and CO in diffuse interstellar clouds is analyzed and compared to absorption line measurements toward background stars. Analytical expressions in terms of column densities are derived for the rate equations. The results indicate that in clouds with 4 mag of visual extinction, the abundance of C+ has to decrease by a factor of about 15 from the value traditionally used for clouds with 1 mag of extinction. The rate coefficients for the reactions C+ + CH - C2+ + H and C+ + H2 - CH2+ + h-nu need to be reduced from previous estimates. Chemical arguments are presented for the revised rate coefficients.

  16. Diffuse interstellar clouds as a chemical laboratory - The chemistry of diatomic carbon species

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Federman, S. R.; Huntress, W. T., Jr.

    1989-01-01

    The chemistry of C2, CH, and CO in diffuse interstellar clouds is analyzed and compared to absorption line measurements toward background stars. Analytical expressions in terms of column densities are derived for the rate equations. The results indicate that in clouds with 4 mag of visual extinction, the abundance of C+ has to decrease by a factor of about 15 from the value traditionally used for clouds with 1 mag of extinction. The rate coefficients for the reactions C+ + CH - C2+ + H and C+ + H2 - CH2+ + h-nu need to be reduced from previous estimates. Chemical arguments are presented for the revised rate coefficients.

  17. Interstellar Isotopes: Prospects with ALMA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Charnley Steven B.

    2010-01-01

    Cold molecular clouds are natural environments for the enrichment of interstellar molecules in the heavy isotopes of H, C, N and O. Anomalously fractionated isotopic material is found in many primitive Solar System objects, such as meteorites and comets, that may trace interstellar matter that was incorporated into the Solar Nebula without undergoing significant processing. Models of the fractionation chemistry of H, C, N and O in dense molecular clouds, particularly in cores where substantial freeze-out of molecules on to dust has occurred, make several predictions that can be tested in the near future by molecular line observations. The range of fractionation ratios expected in different interstellar molecules will be discussed and the capabilities of ALMA for testing these models (e.g. in observing doubly-substituted isotopologues) will be outlined.

  18. Interstellar Isotopes: Prospects with ALMA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Charnley Steven B.

    2010-01-01

    Cold molecular clouds are natural environments for the enrichment of interstellar molecules in the heavy isotopes of H, C, N and O. Anomalously fractionated isotopic material is found in many primitive Solar System objects, such as meteorites and comets, that may trace interstellar matter that was incorporated into the Solar Nebula without undergoing significant processing. Models of the fractionation chemistry of H, C, N and O in dense molecular clouds, particularly in cores where substantial freeze-out of molecules on to dust has occurred, make several predictions that can be tested in the near future by molecular line observations. The range of fractionation ratios expected in different interstellar molecules will be discussed and the capabilities of ALMA for testing these models (e.g. in observing doubly-substituted isotopologues) will be outlined.

  19. Silicon chemistry in interstellar clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Langer, William D.; Glassgold, A. E.

    1990-01-01

    A new model of interstellar silicon chemistry is presented that explains the lack of SiO detections in cold clouds and contains an exponential temperature dependence for the SiO abundance. A key aspect of the model is the sensitivity of SiO production by neutral silicon reactions to density and temperature, which arises from the dependence of the rate coefficients on the population of the excited fine-structure levels of the silicon atom. As part of the explanation of the lack of SiO detections at low temperatures and densities, the model also emphasizes the small efficiencies of the production routes and the correspondingly long times needed to reach equilibrium. Measurements of the abundance of SiO, in conjunction with theory, can provide information on the physical properties of interstellar clouds such as the abundance of oxygen bearing molecules and the depletion of interstellar silicon.

  20. Theory of interstellar medium diagnostics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fahr, H. J.

    1983-01-01

    The theoretical interpretation of observed interplanetary resonance luminescence patterns is used as one of the must promising methods to determine the state of the local interstellar medium (LISM). However, these methods lead to discrepant results that would be hard to understand in the framework of any physical LISM scenario. Assuming that the observational data are reliable, two possibilities which could help to resolve these discrepancies are discussed: (1) the current modeling of resonance luminescence patterns is unsatisfactory and has to be improved, and (2) the extrapolated interstellar parameters are not indicative of the unperturbed LISM state, but rather designate an intermediate state attained in the outer regions of the solar system. It is shown that a quantitative treatment of the neutral gas-plasma interaction effects in the interface between the heliospheric and the interstellar plasmas is of major importance for the correct understanding of the whole complex.