Spectroscopic Infrared Extinction Mapping as a Probe of Grain Growth in IRDCs

November 2015 • 2015ApJ...814...28L

Authors • Lim, Wanggi • Carey, Sean J. • Tan, Jonathan C.

Abstract • We present spectroscopic tests of MIR to FIR extinction laws in IRDC G028.36+00.07, a potential site of massive star and star cluster formation. Lim & Tan developed methods of FIR extinction mapping of this source using Spitzer-MIPS 24 μm and Herschel-PACS 70 μm images, and by comparing to MIR Spitzer-IRAC 3-8 μm extinction maps, found tentative evidence for grain growth in the highest mass surface density regions. Here we present results of spectroscopic infrared extinction mapping using Spitzer-IRS (14-38 μm) data of the same Infrared dark cloud (IRDC). These methods allow us to first measure the SED of the diffuse Galactic interstellar medium that is in the foreground of the IRDC. We then carry out our primary investigation of measuring the MIR to FIR opacity law and searching for potential variations as a function of mass surface density within the IRDC. We find relatively flat, featureless MIR-FIR opacity laws that lack the ∼12 and ∼35 μm features associated with the thick water ice mantle models of Ossenkopf & Henning. Their thin ice mantle models and the coagulating aggregate dust models of Ormel et al. are a generally better match to the observed opacity laws. We also find evidence for generally flatter MIR to FIR extinction laws as mass surface density increases, strengthening the evidence for grain and ice mantle growth in higher density regions.


IPAC Authors

Sean Carey

Senior Scientist

Wanggi Lim

Assistant Scientist