Mapping the Interstellar Dust with Near-Infrared Observations: An Optimized Multi-Band Technique

Marco Lombardi, João Alves

We generalize Lada et al. (1994) NICE technique to map dust column

density through a molecular cloud to an optimized multi-band technique

that can be applied to any multi-band survey of molecular clouds. We

present a first application to a ˜ 625 deg^2 subset of the Two

Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) data and show that when compared to NICE,

the optimized NICER (i) achieves the same extinction peak values, (ii)

improves the noise variance of the map by a factor of 2 and (iii) is

able to reach 3 σ dust extinction measurements as low as A_V

˜eq 0.5 magnitudes, better than or equivalent to classical optical

star count techniques and below the threshold column density for the

formation of CO.

Department of Astrophysics
External organisation(s)
European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Publication date
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
103004 Astrophysics
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