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Dust extinction and molecular gas in the dark cloud IC 5146
Lada, Charles J.; Lada, Elizabeth A.; Clemens, Dan P.; Bally, John
AA(Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA, US), AB(Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA, US), AC(Boston University, Boston, MA, US), AD(Boston University, Boston, MA, US)
The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 429, no. 2, pt. 1, p. 694-709 (ApJ Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Abundance, Carbon Monoxide, Cosmic Dust, Density Distribution, Intergalactic Media, Interstellar Extinction, Isotopes, Mapping, Molecular Gases, Sulfides, Angular Resolution, Arrays, Brightness, Data Integration, Dichroism, Infrared Imagery, Millimeter Waves, Mirrors, Optical Thickness, Photometry, Telescopes
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In this paper we describe a powerful method for mapping the distribution of dust through a molecular cloud using data obtained in large-scale, multiwavelength, infrared imaging surveys. This method combines direct measurements of near-infrared color excess and certain techniques of star counting to derive mean extinctions and map the dust column density distribution through a cloud at higher angular resolutions and greater optical depths than those achieved previously by optical star counting. We report the initial results of the application of this method to a dark cloud complex near the cluster IC 5146, where we have performed coordinated, near-infrared, JHK imaging and (13)CO, C(18)O, and CS millimeter-wave, molecular-line surveys of a large portion of the complex. More than 4000 stars were detected in our JHK survey of the cloud. Of these, all but about a dozen appear to be field stars not associated with the cloud. Star count maps at J band show a striking and detailed anticorrelation between the surface density of J-band sources and CO and CS molecular-line emission. We used the (H-K) colors and positions of nearly 1300 sources to directly measure and map the extinction and thus trace the dust column density through the cloud at an effective angular resolution of 1 min .5. We report an interesting correlation between the measured dispersion in our extinction determinations and the extinction. Modeling this relation indicates that effects of small-scale cloud structure dominate the uncertainties in our measurements. Moreover, we demonstrate that such observations can be used to place constraints on the nature of the spatial distribution of extinction on scales smaller than our resolution. In particular, we show that models in which the dust is distributed uniformly or in discrete high-extinction clumps on scales smaller than (1 min .5) are inconsistent with the observations. We have derived extinctions at the same positions and at the same angular resolution (1 min .7) as our molecular-line observations. This enabled a direct comparison of (13)CO, C(18)O, and CS integrated intensities and column densities with AV for more than 500 positions in the cloud, corresponding to a range in AV between 0 to 32 mag of extinction. We found the integrated intensities of (13)CO, C(18)O, and CS to be roughly linearly correlated with extinction over different ranges of extinction. However, for all three molecules we find the scatter in the observed relations to be larger than can be accounted for by instrumental error, suggesting that there are large intrinsic variations in the abundances or excitation of the molecules through the cloud. Mean abundances for all the molecules relative to hydrogen were directly derived from the data. The ratio of (13)CO to C(18)O abundances was found to be significantly higher than the terrestrial ratio in regions where extinction is less than 10 mag. In the same region, the dispersion in the abundance ratio is also found to be very large, suggesting that the abundances of one or both molecules are very unstable even at relatively large cloud optical depths. <Beyond 10 mag of extinction the abundances of both species appear very stable with their ratio close to the terrestrial value.

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