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Title: MAPPING THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM WITH NEAR-INFRARED DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BANDS

We map the distribution and properties of the Milky Way's interstellar medium as traced by diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) detected in near-infrared stellar spectra from the SDSS-III/APOGEE survey. Focusing exclusively on the strongest DIB in the H band, at λ ∼ 1.527 μm, we present a projected map of the DIB absorption field in the Galactic plane, using a set of about 60,000 sightlines that reach up to 15 kpc from the Sun and probe up to 30 mag of visual extinction. The strength of this DIB is linearly correlated with dust reddening over three orders of magnitude in both DIB equivalent width (W {sub DIB}) and extinction, with a power law index of 1.01 ± 0.01, a mean relationship of W {sub DIB}/A{sub V} = 0.1 Å mag{sup –1} and a dispersion of ∼0.05 Å mag{sup –1} at extinctions characteristic of the Galactic midplane. These properties establish this DIB as a powerful, independent probe of dust extinction over a wide range of A{sub V} values. The subset of about 14,000 robustly detected DIB features have a W {sub DIB} distribution that follows an exponential trend. We empirically determine the intrinsic rest wavelength of this transition to be λ{sub 0} = 15 272.42 Å more » and use it to calculate absolute radial velocities of the carrier, which display the kinematical signature of the rotating Galactic disk. We probe the DIB carrier distribution in three dimensions and show that it can be characterized by an exponential disk model with a scale height of about 100 pc and a scale length of about 5 kpc. Finally, we show that the DIB distribution also traces large-scale Galactic structures, including the Galactic long bar and the warp of the outer disk.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ; ;  [4] ; ; ;  [5] ; ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)
  2. Apache Point Observatory, Sunspot, NM 88349 (United States)
  3. Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, E-38205 La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain)
  4. Department of Astronomy, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904 (United States)
  5. Department of Astronomy, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003 (United States)
  6. Department of Astronomy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States)
  7. Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 (United States)
  8. The University of Texas at Austin, McDonald Observatory, McDonald Observatory, TX 79734 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364720
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 798; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABSORPTION; EMISSION SPECTRA; INDEXES; INTERSTELLAR SPACE; MAPPING; MILKY WAY; NEAR INFRARED RADIATION; PROBES; RADIAL VELOCITY; SCALE HEIGHT; SUN; WAVELENGTHS