EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 480, Number 1, March II 2008
Page(s) L13 - L16
Section Letters
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20079309

A&A 480, L13-L16 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20079309


Detection of diffuse interstellar bands in M 31

M. A. Cordiner1, N. L. J. Cox2, C. Trundle1, C. J. Evans3, I. Hunter1, N. Przybilla4, F. Bresolin5, and F. Salama6

1  Astrophysics Research Centre, School of Mathematics and Physics, Queen's University, Belfast, BT7 1NN, UK
    e-mail: m.cordiner@qub.ac.uk
2  Herschel Science Centre, European Space Astronomy Centre, ESA, PO Box 78, 28691 Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain
3  UK ATC, Royal Observatory Edinburgh, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh, EH9 3HJ, UK
4  Dr. Remeis-Sternwarte Bamberg, Sternwartstr. 7, 96049 Bamberg, Germany
5  Institute for Astronomy of the University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, 96822 Honolulu, HI, USA
6  Space Science Division, NASA Ames Research Center, Mail Stop 245-6, Moffett Field, California 94035, USA

(Received 21 December 2007 / Accepted 22 January 2008)

Aims.We investigate the diffuse interstellar band (DIB) spectrum in the interstellar medium of M 31.
Methods. The DEIMOS spectrograph of the W. M. Keck observatory was used to make optical spectroscopic observations of two supergiant stars, MAG 63885 and MAG 70817, in the vicinity of the OB78 association in M 31 where the metallicity is approximately equal to solar.
Results. The $\lambda\lambda$5780, 5797, 6203, 6283 and 6613 DIBs are detected in both sightlines at velocities matching the M 31 interstellar Na I absorption. The spectra are classified and interstellar reddenings are derived for both stars. Diffuse interstellar band (DIB) equivalent widths and radial velocities are presented.
Conclusions. The spectrum of DIBs observed in M 31 towards MAG 63885 is found to be similar to that observed in the Milky Way. Towards MAG 70817 the DIB equivalent widths per unit reddening are about three times the Galactic average. Compared to observations elsewhere in the Universe, relative to reddening the M 31 ISM in the vicinity of OB78 is apparently a highly favourable environment for the formation of DIB carriers.

Key words: astrochemistry -- galaxies: Local Group -- galaxies: ISM -- ISM: lines and bands -- ISM: clouds -- ISM: dust, extinction

© ESO 2008

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