EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 384, Number 1, March II 2002
Page(s) 1 - 10
Section Cosmology
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20020002

A&A 384, 1-10 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20020002

Measuring the properties of extragalactic dust and implications for the Hubble diagram

A. Goobar, L. Bergström and E. Mörtsell

Department of Physics, Stockholm University, SCFAB, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden

(Received 10 August 2001 / Accepted 2 January 2002)

Scattering and absorption of light by a homogeneous distribution of intergalactic large dust grains has been proposed as an alternative, non-cosmological explanation for the faintness of type Ia supernovae at $z\sim 0.5$. We investigate the differential extinction for high-redshift sources caused by extragalactic dust along the line of sight. Future observations of type Ia supernovae up to $z\sim 2$, e.g. by the proposed SNAP satellite, will allow the measurement of the properties of dust over cosmological distances. We show that 1% relative spectrophotometric accuracy (or broadband photometry) in the wavelength interval 0.7-1.5  $\mu$m is required to measure the extinction caused by "grey" dust down to $\delta m=0.02$ mag. We also argue that the presence of grey dust is not necessarily inconsistent with the recent measurement of the brightness of a supernova at z=1.7 (SN 1997ff), in the absence of accurate spectrophotometric information of the supernova.

Key words: cosmological parameters; dust, extinction; supernovae: general

Offprint request: A. Goobar, ariel@physto.se

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