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Fig. 3

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Successive key steps in identification of strong diffuse interstellar bands of C at 9577.5 Å and 9632.7 Å (see also Maier 1994; Ehrenfreund & Foing 1995, 2010, 2015; and http://www.kroto.info): 1a) high-quality laboratory spectroscopy of C in a cold neon matrix by Fulara et al. (1993a,b), showing two strong bands at 9583 Å and 9645 Å and two satellite bands. (Previous spectra by Kato et al. (1991) and Gasyna et al. (1992) were too perturbed by matrix effects with respect to gas phase to allow DIB identification). 2a) Identification of two strong diffuse interstellar bands at 9577 Å and 9632 Å by Foing & Ehrenfreund (1994) (confirmed by Foing & Ehrenfreund 1997; Galazutdinov et al. 2000; Cox et al. 2014). The colour spectrum allows one to compare these two near-infrared DIBs with other strong visible DIBs (Ehrenfreund & Foing 2015). 1b) Laboratory spectroscopy of C in gas phase at 5.8 K by Campbell et al. (2015), confirming that the wavelengths of the two bands at 9577.5 Å and 9632.7 Å are exactly those of the two DIBs and that the wavelengths of the satellite vibronic bands are 9428.5 Å and 9365.9 Å. 2b) Identification of two weak interstellar bands by Walker et al. (2015) at these last wavelengths.

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