Photoelectric effect on dust grains across the L1721 cloud in the ρ Ophiuchi molecular complex*
Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, Bât. 121, Université Paris-Sud, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France
Corresponding author: E. Habart, email@example.com
Accepted: 8 March 2001
We present ISO-LWS measurements of the main gas cooling lines, m and m towards a moderate opacity molecular cloud (), L1721, illuminated by the B2 star ν Sco (). These data are combined with an extinction map and IRAS dust emission images to test our understanding of gas heating and cooling in photodissociation regions (PDRs). This nearby PDR is spatially resolved in the IRAS images; variations in the IRAS colors across the cloud indicate an enhanced abundance of small dust grains within the PDR. A spatial correlation between the gas cooling lines and the infrared emission from small dust grains illustrates the dominant role of small dust grains in the gas heating through the photoelectric effect. The photoelectric efficiency, determined from the observations by ratioing the power radiated by gas and small dust grains, is in the range 2 to 3% , in close agreement with recent theoretical estimates (Bakes & Tielens [CITE]; Weingartner & Draine [CITE]). The brightness profiles across the PDR in the m and m lines are compared with model calculations where the density profile is constrained by the extinction data and where the gas chemical and thermal balances are solved at each position. We show that abundance variations of small dust grains across the PDR must be considered to account for the LWS observations.
Key words: ISM: clouds / ISM: dust, extinction / atomic processes / molecular processes / radiative transfer
© ESO, 2001