Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 470, 941-955 (2007/8-2)
Interstellar gas, dust and diffuse bands in the SMC.
COX N.L.J., CORDINER M.A., EHRENFREUND P., KAPER L., SARRE P.J., FOING B.H., SPAANS M., CAMI J., SOFIA U.J., CLAYTON G.C., GORDON K.D. and SALAMA F.
Abstract (from CDS):
In order to gain new insight into the unidentified identity of the diffuse interstellar band (DIB) carriers, this paper describes research into possible links between the shape of the interstellar extinction curve (including the 2175 Å bump and far-UV rise), the presence or absence of DIBs, and physical and chemical conditions of the diffuse interstellar medium (gas and dust) in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). We searched for DIB absorption features in VLT/UVES spectra of early-type stars in the SMC whose reddened lines-of-sight probe the diffuse interstellar medium of the SMC. Apparent column density profiles of interstellar atomic species (NaI, KI, CaII and TiII) are constructed to provide information on the distribution and conditions of the interstellar gas. The characteristics of eight DIBs detected toward the SMC wing target AzV 456
are studied and upper limits are derived for the DIB equivalent widths toward the SMC stars AzV 398
, AzV 214
, AzV 18
, AzV 65
and Sk 191
. The amount of reddening is derived for these SMC sightlines, and, using RV
and the HI column density, converted into a gas-to-dust ratio. From the atomic column density ratios we infer an indication of the strength of the interstellar radiation field, the titanium depletion level and a relative measure of turbulence/quiescence. The presence or absence of DIBs appears to be related to the shape of the extinction curve, in particular with respect to the presence or absence of the 2175Å feature. Our measurements indicate that the DIB characteristics depend on the local physical conditions and chemical composition of the interstellar medium of the SMC, which apparently determine the rate of formation (and/or) destruction of the DIB carriers. The UV radiation field (via photoionisation and photo-destruction) and the metallicity (i.e. carbon abundance) are important factors in determining diffuse band strengths which can differ greatly both between and within galaxies.
astrochemistry - galaxies: Magellanic Clouds - ISM: dust, extinction - ISM: lines and bands - ISM: molecules - ISM: atoms
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