Volume 579, July 2015
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Published online||19 June 2015|
Dust evolution in the transition towards the denser ISM: impact on dust temperature, opacity, and spectral index
Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale (IAS), Université Paris Sud & CNRS, Bât. 121, Orsay 91405, France
Received: 12 January 2015
Accepted: 29 March 2015
Context. Variations in the observed dust emission and extinction indicate a systematic evolution of grain properties in the transition from the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM) to denser molecular clouds.
Aims. The differences in the dust spectral energy distribution (SED) observed from the diffuse ISM to denser regions, namely an increase in the spectral index at long wavelengths, an increase in the FIR opacity, and a decrease in temperature, are usually assumed to be the result of changes in dust properties. We investigate if evolutionary processes, such as coagulation and accretion, are able to change the dust properties of grains in a way that is consistent with observations.
Methods. We use a core-mantle grain model to describe diffuse ISM-type grains, and using a discrete-dipole approximation, we calculate how the accretion of mantles and coagulation into aggregates vary the grain optical properties. We calculate the dust SED and extinction using DustEM and the radiative transfer code CRT.
Results. We show that the accretion of an aliphatic carbon mantle on diffuse ISM-type dust leads to an increase in the FIR opacity by a factor of about 2 and in the FIR/submm spectral index from 1.5 to 1.8, and to a decrease in the temperature by about 2 K. We also show that the coagulation of these grains into aggregates further decreases the temperature by 3 K and increases the spectral index up to a value of ~2. The FIR opacity is increased by a factor of 3 (7) for these aggregates (with an additional ice-mantle) compared to the diffuse ISM-dust.
Conclusions. Dust evolution in the ISM resulting from coagulation and accretion, leads to significant changes in the optical properties of the grains that can explain the observed variations in the dust SED in the transition from the diffuse ISM to denser regions.
Key words: dust, extinction / evolution / ISM: abundances
© ESO, 2015
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