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Title: LIFTING THE DUSTY VEIL WITH NEAR- AND MID-INFRARED PHOTOMETRY. I. DESCRIPTION AND APPLICATIONS OF THE RAYLEIGH-JEANS COLOR EXCESS METHOD

Abstract

The Milky Way (MW) remains a primary laboratory for understanding the structure and evolution of spiral galaxies, but typically we are denied clear views of MW stellar populations at low Galactic latitudes because of extinction by interstellar dust. However, the combination of Two Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS) near-infrared (NIR) and Spitzer-IRAC mid-infrared (MIR) photometry enables a powerful method for determining the line-of-sight reddening to any star: the sampled wavelengths lie in the Rayleigh-Jeans part of the spectral energy distribution of most stars, where, to first order, all stars have essentially the same intrinsic color. Thus, changes in stellar NIR-MIR colors due to interstellar reddening are readily apparent, and (under an assumed extinction law) the observed colors and magnitudes of stars can be easily and accurately restored to their intrinsic values, greatly increasing their usefulness for Galactic structure studies. In this paper, we explore this 'Rayleigh-Jeans Color Excess' (RJCE) method and demonstrate that use of even a simple variant of the RJCE method based on a single reference color, (H -[4.5{mu}]), can rather accurately remove dust effects from previously uninterpretable 2MASS color-magnitude diagrams of stars in fields along the heavily reddened Galactic midplane, with results far superior to those derived frommore » application of other dereddening methods. We also show that 'total' Galactic midplane extinction looks rather different from that predicted using 100{mu} emission maps from the IRAS/ISSA and COBE/DIRBE instruments as presented by Schlegel et al. Instead, the Galactic midplane extinction strongly resembles the distribution of {sup 13}CO (J = 1{yields}0) emission. Future papers will focus on refining the RJCE method and applying the technique to understand better not only dust and its distribution but also the distribution of stars intermixed with the dust in the low-latitude Galaxy.« less

Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Astronomy, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21587527
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Astrophysical Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 739; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/739/1/25; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 0004-637X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; DISTRIBUTION; DUSTS; ENERGY SPECTRA; MILKY WAY; NEAR INFRARED RADIATION; PHOTOMETRY; STARS; ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION; GALAXIES; INFRARED RADIATION; RADIATIONS; SPECTRA

Citation Formats

Majewski, Steven R., Zasowski, Gail, and Nidever, David L., E-mail: srm4n@virginia.edu, E-mail: gz2n@virginia.edu, E-mail: dln5q@virginia.edu. LIFTING THE DUSTY VEIL WITH NEAR- AND MID-INFRARED PHOTOMETRY. I. DESCRIPTION AND APPLICATIONS OF THE RAYLEIGH-JEANS COLOR EXCESS METHOD. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/739/1/25; COUNTRY OF INPUT: INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY (IAEA).
Majewski, Steven R., Zasowski, Gail, & Nidever, David L., E-mail: srm4n@virginia.edu, E-mail: gz2n@virginia.edu, E-mail: dln5q@virginia.edu. LIFTING THE DUSTY VEIL WITH NEAR- AND MID-INFRARED PHOTOMETRY. I. DESCRIPTION AND APPLICATIONS OF THE RAYLEIGH-JEANS COLOR EXCESS METHOD. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/739/1/25; COUNTRY OF INPUT: INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY (IAEA).
Majewski, Steven R., Zasowski, Gail, and Nidever, David L., E-mail: srm4n@virginia.edu, E-mail: gz2n@virginia.edu, E-mail: dln5q@virginia.edu. Tue . "LIFTING THE DUSTY VEIL WITH NEAR- AND MID-INFRARED PHOTOMETRY. I. DESCRIPTION AND APPLICATIONS OF THE RAYLEIGH-JEANS COLOR EXCESS METHOD". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/739/1/25; COUNTRY OF INPUT: INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY (IAEA).
@article{osti_21587527,
title = {LIFTING THE DUSTY VEIL WITH NEAR- AND MID-INFRARED PHOTOMETRY. I. DESCRIPTION AND APPLICATIONS OF THE RAYLEIGH-JEANS COLOR EXCESS METHOD},
author = {Majewski, Steven R. and Zasowski, Gail and Nidever, David L., E-mail: srm4n@virginia.edu, E-mail: gz2n@virginia.edu, E-mail: dln5q@virginia.edu},
abstractNote = {The Milky Way (MW) remains a primary laboratory for understanding the structure and evolution of spiral galaxies, but typically we are denied clear views of MW stellar populations at low Galactic latitudes because of extinction by interstellar dust. However, the combination of Two Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS) near-infrared (NIR) and Spitzer-IRAC mid-infrared (MIR) photometry enables a powerful method for determining the line-of-sight reddening to any star: the sampled wavelengths lie in the Rayleigh-Jeans part of the spectral energy distribution of most stars, where, to first order, all stars have essentially the same intrinsic color. Thus, changes in stellar NIR-MIR colors due to interstellar reddening are readily apparent, and (under an assumed extinction law) the observed colors and magnitudes of stars can be easily and accurately restored to their intrinsic values, greatly increasing their usefulness for Galactic structure studies. In this paper, we explore this 'Rayleigh-Jeans Color Excess' (RJCE) method and demonstrate that use of even a simple variant of the RJCE method based on a single reference color, (H -[4.5{mu}]), can rather accurately remove dust effects from previously uninterpretable 2MASS color-magnitude diagrams of stars in fields along the heavily reddened Galactic midplane, with results far superior to those derived from application of other dereddening methods. We also show that 'total' Galactic midplane extinction looks rather different from that predicted using 100{mu} emission maps from the IRAS/ISSA and COBE/DIRBE instruments as presented by Schlegel et al. Instead, the Galactic midplane extinction strongly resembles the distribution of {sup 13}CO (J = 1{yields}0) emission. Future papers will focus on refining the RJCE method and applying the technique to understand better not only dust and its distribution but also the distribution of stars intermixed with the dust in the low-latitude Galaxy.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/739/1/25; COUNTRY OF INPUT: INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY (IAEA)},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
issn = {0004-637X},
number = 1,
volume = 739,
place = {United States},
year = {2011},
month = {9}
}