Observational 5-20 µm interstellar extinction curves toward star-forming regions derived from Spitzer IRS spectra.
Abstract (from CDS):
Using Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph observations of G0-M4 III stars behind dark clouds, I construct 5-20 µm empirical extinction curves for 0.3 ≤ AK< 7, which is equivalent to AV between ~3 and 50. For AK< 1, the curve appears similar to the Mathis diffuse interstellar medium extinction curve, but with a greater degree of extinction. For AK > 1, the curve exhibits lower contrast between the silicate and absorption continuum, develops ice absorption, and lies closer to the Weingartner and Draine RV= 5.5 Case B curve, a result which is consistent with that of Flaherty et al. and Chiar et al. Recently, work using Spitzer Infrared Array Camera data by Chapman et al. independently reaches a similar conclusion that the shape of the extinction curve changes as a function of increasing AK. By calculating the optical depths of the 9.7 µm silicate and 6.0, 6.8, and 15.2 µm ice features, I determine that a process involving ice is responsible for the changing shape of the extinction curve and speculate that this process is a coagulation of ice-mantled grains rather than ice-mantled grains alone.