Volume 549, January 2013
|Number of page(s)||20|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||03 January 2013|
Spectroscopy of diffuse light in dust clouds
Department of Physics, POB 64University of Helsinki,
2 Observatory, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland ⋆⋆⋆
Closed down on December 31, 2009.
Accepted: 25 October 2012
Context. The optical surface brightness of dark nebulae is mainly due to scattering of integrated starlight by classical dust grains. It contains information on the impinging interstellar radiation field, cloud structure, and grain scattering properties. We have obtained spectra of the scattered light from 3500 to 9000 Å in two globules, the Thumbprint Nebula and DC 303.8-14.2.
Aims. We use observations of the scattered light to study the impinging integrated starlight spectrum as well as the scattered Hα and other line emissions from all over the sky. We search also for the presence of other than scattered light in the two globules.
Methods. We obtained long-slit spectra encompassing the whole globule plus adjacent sky in a one-slit setting, thus enabling efficient elimination of airglow and other foreground sky components. We calculated synthetic integrated starlight spectra for the solar neighbourhood using Hipparcos-based stellar distributions and the spectral library of Pickles.
Results. Spectra are presented separately for the bright rims and dark cores of the globules. The continuum spectral energy distributions and absorption line spectra can be well modelled with the synthetic integrated starlight spectra. Emission lines of Hα+[N ii], Hβ, and [S ii] are detected and are interpreted in terms of scattered light plus an in situ warm ionized medium component behind the globules. We detected an excess of emission over the wavelength range 5200–8000 Å in DC 303.8-14.2 but the nature of this emission remains open.
Key words: ISM: clouds / ISM: lines and bands / dust, extinction / solar neighborhood / radiative transfer / methods: observational
Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile, under programme ESO No. 073.C-0239(A).
Appendix A is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2013
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