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Diffuse interstellar band formation in dense clouds
Snow, T. P., Jr.; Cohen, J. G.
AA(Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tucson, Ariz.), AB(Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tucson, Ariz.)
Astrophysical Journal, vol. 194, Dec. 1, 1974, pt. 1, p. 313-322. Research supported by the University of Washington (ApJ Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Cosmic Dust, Interstellar Matter, Luminous Intensity, Spectral Bands, Stellar Spectra, Absorption Spectra, Cloud Physics, Diffuse Radiation, Nebulae, Supergiant Stars
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Data are presented which show that the strengths of the diffuse interstellar bands at 4430, 5780, and 5797 A tend to be deficient with respect to color excess in the lines of sight to stars lying behind dense interstellar clouds. In addition, diffuse-band data for ten stars in the well-studied rho Ophiuchi cloud complex are presented, and systematic variations of band strengths with optical depth are discussed. It is found that the band strength per grain in the line of sight apparently decreases with increasing grain size, taking the ratio of total-to-selective absorption and the wavelength of maximum polarization as indicators of the latter. It is concluded that diffuse-band formation probably takes place most efficiently in the outer regions of interstellar clouds. This may be consistent with a diffuse-band origin in small grains which are coated by mantles in cloud interiors; or in some molecule or molecules which are most abundant in the outer portions of interstellar clouds.

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