Aggregate dust connections and emissivity enhancements⋆
Institute d’Astrophysique Spatiale, Universite Paris Sud,
Received: 21 December 2010
Accepted: 31 January 2011
Context. Observations of cold condensed clouds in the interstellar medium show an enhancement in the dust emissivity at long wavelengths. Model calculations with the discrete-dipole approximation (DDA) can explain this enhancement with the coagulation of dust particles into aggregates.
Aims. We study the nature of grain-grain contacts and their effects on the aggregate optical properties.
Methods. We use DDA and the T-matrix method (TMM) to calculate the absorption properties of aggregate dust grains and analyse where and why the enhancement in the emissivity occurs.
Results. We find that the absorption coefficient changes with material composition and with the contact area between monomers. A larger contact area, with DDA, compared to a zero-point contact with TMM, results in an enhancement of the absorption coefficient for wavelengths where the considered material has a large value n (the real part of the refractive index).
Conclusions. DDA seems to be the most realistic way of taking into account “real” inter-particle contact effects in aggregate particles.
Key words: dust, extinction / methods: miscellaneous
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© ESO, 2011