Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 345, 965-976 (1999/5-3)
Mapping of the extinction in giant molecular clouds using optical star counts.
Abstract (from CDS):
This paper presents large scale extinction maps of most nearby Giant Molecular Clouds of the Galaxy (Lupus, ρ Ophiuchus, Scorpius, Coalsack, Taurus, Chamaeleon, Musca, Corona Australis, Serpens, IC 5146, Vela, Orion, Monoceros R1 and R2, Rosette, Carina) derived from a star count method using an adaptive grid and a wavelet decomposition applied to the optical data provided by the USNO-Precision Measuring Machine. The distribution of the extinction in the clouds leads to estimate their total individual masses M and their maximum of extinction. I show that the relation between the mass contained within an iso-extinction contour and the extinction is similar from cloud to cloud and allows the extrapolation of the maximum of extinction in the range 5.7 to 25.5 magnitudes. I found that about half of the mass is contained in regions where the visual extinction is smaller than 1 magnitude. The star count method used on large scale (∼250 square degrees) is a powerful and relatively straightforward method to estimate the mass of molecular complexes. A systematic study of the all sky would lead to discover new clouds as I did in the Lupus complex for which I found a sixth cloud of about 104M☉.
methods: data analysis - ISM: clouds - ISM: dust, extinction - ISM: structure
NAME Lupus VI = Lupus 6, also found in 1999PASJ.51.895H
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