Posts Tagged dust grains

Recent Postings from dust grains

Far-ultraviolet study of the local supershell GSH 006-15+7

We have analyzed the archival data of FUV observations for the region of GSH 006-15+7, a large shell-like structure discovered by Moss et al. (2012) from the H I velocity maps. FUV emission is seen to be enhanced in the lower supershell region. The FUV emission is considered to come mainly from the scattering of interstellar photons by dust grains. A corresponding Monte Carlo simulation indicates that the distance to the supershell is 1300 +- 800 pc, which is similar to the previous estimation of 1500 +- 500 pc based on kinematic considerations. The spectrum at lower Galactic latitudes of the supershell exhibits molecular hydrogen fluorescence lines; a simulation model for this candidate photodissociation region (PDR) yields an H_2 column density of N(H_2) = 10^{18.0-20.0} cm^{-2} with a rather high total hydrogen density of n_H ~ 30 cm^{-3}.

Inhomogeneous cloud coverage through the Coulomb explosion of dust in substellar atmospheres

Recent observations of brown dwarf spectroscopic variability in the infrared infer the presence of patchy cloud cover. This paper proposes a mechanism for producing inhomogeneous cloud coverage due to the depletion of cloud particles through the Coulomb explosion of dust in atmospheric plasma regions. Charged dust grains Coulomb-explode when the electrostatic stress of the grain exceeds its mechanical tensile stress, which results in grains below a critical radius $a<a^{\rm Coul}_{\rm crit}$ being broken up. This work outlines the criteria required for the Coulomb explosion of dust clouds in substellar atmospheres, the effect on the dust particle size distribution function, and the resulting radiative properties of the atmospheric regions. Our results show that for an atmospheric plasma region with an electron temperature of $T_{e}=10$~eV ($\approx10^{5}$~K), the critical grain radius varies from $10^{-7}$ to $10^{-4}$~cm, depending on the grains’ tensile strength. Higher critical radii up to $10^{-3}$~cm are attainable for higher electron temperatures. We find that the process produces a bimodal particle size distribution composed of stable nanoscale seed particles and dust particles with $a\geq a^{\rm Coul}_{\rm crit}$, with the intervening particle sizes defining a region devoid of dust. As a result, the dust population is depleted, and the clouds become optically thin in the wavelength range $0.1-10~\mu$m, with a characteristic peak that shifts to higher wavelengths as more sub-micrometer particles are destroyed. In an atmosphere populated with a distribution of plasma volumes, this will yield regions of contrasting radiative properties, thereby giving a source of inhomogeneous cloud coverage. The results presented here may also be relevant for dust in supernova remnants and protoplanetary disks.

Dust Dynamics in Protoplanetary Disk Winds Driven by Magneto-Rotational Turbulence: A Mechanism for Floating Dust Grains with Characteristic Size

We investigate the dynamics of dust grains with various sizes in protoplanetary disk winds driven by magnetorotational turbulence, by simulating the time evolution of the dust grain distribution in the vertical direction. Small dust grains, which are well coupled to the gas, are dragged upward with the upflowing gas, while large grains remain near the midplane of a disk. Intermediate–size grains float at several scale heights from the midplane in time-averated force balance between the downward gravity and the upward gas drag. For the minimum mass solar nebula at 1 AU, dust grains with size of 20 — 40 $\mu m$ float at 5-10 scale heights from the midplane. Considering the dependence on the distance from the central star, smaller-size grains remain only in an outer region of the disk, while larger-size grains are distributed in a broader region. This implies that the dust depletion is expected to take place in small-to-large and inside-out manners. We also discuss the implication of our result to the observation of dusty material around young stellar objects.

A New Dust Budget In The Large Magellanic Cloud

The origin of dust in a galaxy is poorly understood. Recently, the surveys of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) provide astrophysical laboratories for the dust studies. By a method of population synthesis, we investigate the contributions of dust produced by asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars, common envelope (CE) ejecta and type II supernovae (SNe II) to the total dust budget in the LMC. Based on our models, the dust production rates (DPRs) of AGB stars in the LMC are between about $2.5\times10^{-5}$ and $4.0\times10^{-6}M_\odot{\rm yr^{-1}}$. The uncertainty mainly results from different models for the dust yields of AGB stars. The DPRs of CE ejecta are about $6.3\times10^{-6}$(The initial binary fraction is 50\%). These results are within the large scatter of several observational estimates. AGB stars mainly produce carbon grains, which is consistent with the observations. Most of dust grains manufactured by CE ejecta are silicate and iron grains. The contributions of SNe II are very uncertain. Compared with SNe II without reverse shock, the DPRs of AGB stars and CE ejecta are negligible. However, if only 2 \% of dust grains produced by SNe II can survive after reverse shock, the contributions of SNe II are very small. The total dust masses produced by AGB stars in the LMC are between $2.8\times10^4$ and $3.2\times10^5M_\odot$, and those produced by CE ejecta are about $6.3\times10^4$. They are much lower than the values estimated by observations. Therefore, there should be other dust sources in the LMC.

Survival and Structure of Dusty Vortices in Protoplanetary Discs

We have studied the impact of dust feedback on the survival and structure of vortices in protoplanetary discs using 2-D shearing box simulations with Lagrangian dust particles. We consider dust with a variety of sizes (stopping time $t_s = 10^{-2}\Omega^{-1} – 10^{2}\Omega^{-1}$, from fully coupled with the gas to the decoupling limit. We find that a vortex is destroyed by dust feedback when the total dust-to-gas mass ratio within the vortex is larger than 30-50%, independent of the dust size. The dust distribution can still be asymmetric in some cases after the vortex has been destroyed. With smaller amounts of dust, a vortex can survive for at least 100 orbits, and the maximum dust surface density within the vortex can be more than 100 times larger than the gas surface density, potentially facilitating planetesimal formation. On the other hand, in these stable vortices, small ($t_s < \Omega^{-1}$) and large ($t_s > \Omega^{-1}$) dust grains concentrate differently and affect the gas dynamics in different ways. The distribution of large dust is more elongated than that of small dust. Large dust ($t_s > \Omega^{-1}$) concentrates in the centre of the vortex and feedback leads to turn-over in vorticity towards the centre, forming a quiescent region within an anticyclonic vortex. Such a turn-over is absent if the vortex is loaded with small grains. We demonstrate that, in protoplanetary discs where both large and small dust grains are present and under the right condition, the concentration of large dust towards the vortex centre can lead to a quiescent centre, repelling the small dust and forming a small dust ring around the vortex centre. Such anticorrelations between small and large dust within vortices may explain the discrepancy between ALMA and near-IR scattered light observations in the asymmetric region of transitional discs.

Quantifying the gas inside dust cavities in transitional disks: implications for young planets

ALMA observations of a small sample of transitional disks with large dust cavities observed in Cycle 0 and 1 are summarized. The gas and dust surface density structures are inferred from the continuum and 12CO, 13CO and C18O line data using the DALI physical-chemical code. Thanks to its ability to self-shield, CO can survive inside dust cavities in spite of being exposed to intense UV radiation and can thus be used as a probe of the gas structure. Modeling of the existing data shows that gas is present inside the dust cavities in all cases, but at a reduced level compared with the gas surface density profile of the outer disk. The gas density decrease inside the dust cavity radius by factors of up to 10^4 suggests clearing by one or more planetary-mass companions. The accompanying pressure bumps naturally lead to trapping of the mm-sized dust grains observed in the ALMA images.

A fast and explicit algorithm for simulating the dynamics of small dust grains with smoothed particle hydrodynamics

We describe a simple method for simulating the dynamics of small grains in a dusty gas, relevant to micron-sized grains in the interstellar medium and grains of centimetre size and smaller in protoplanetary discs. The method involves solving one extra diffusion equation for the dust fraction in addition to the usual equations of hydrodynamics. This "diffusion approximation for dust" is valid when the dust stopping time is smaller than the computational timestep. We present a numerical implementation using Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) that is conservative, accurate and fast. It does not require any implicit timestepping and can be straightforwardly ported into existing 3D codes.

Dust trapping by spiral arms in gravitationally unstable protostellar discs

In this paper we discuss the influence of gravitational instabilities in massive protostellar discs on the dynamics of dust grains. Starting from a Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) simulation, we have computed the evolution of the dust in a quasi-static gas density structure typical of self-gravitating disc. For different grain size distributions we have investigated the capability of spiral arms to trap particles. We have run 3D radiative transfer simulations in order to construct maps of the expected emission at (sub-)millimetre and near-infrared wavelengths. Finally, we have simulated realistic observations of our disc models at (sub-)millimetre and near-infrared wavelengths as they may appear with the Atacama Large Millimetre/sub-millimetre Array (ALMA) and the High-Contrast Coronographic Imager for Adaptive Optics (HiCIAO) in order to investigate whether there are observational signatures of the spiral structure. We find that the pressure inhomogeites induced by gravitational instabilities produce a non-negligible dynamical effect on centimetre sized particles leading to significant overdensities in spiral arms. We also find that the spiral structure is readily detectable by ALMA over a wide range of (sub-)millimetre wavelengths and by HiCIAO in near-infrared scattered light for non-face-on discs located in the Ophiucus star-forming region. In addition, we find clear spatial spectral index variations across the disc, revealing that the dust trapping produces a migration of large grains that can be potentially investigated through multi-wavelenghts observations in the (sub-)millimetric. Therefore, the spiral arms observed to date in protoplanetary disc might be interpreted as density waves induced by the development of gravitational instabilities.

Millimeter-wave polarization of protoplanetary disks due to dust scattering

We present a new method to constrain the grain size in protoplanetary disks with polarization observations at millimeter wavelengths. If dust grains are grown to the size comparable to the wavelengths, the dust grains are expected to have a large scattering opacity and thus the continuum emission is expected to be polarized due to self-scattering. We perform 3D radiative transfer calculations to estimate the polarization degree for the protoplanetary disks having radial Gaussian-like dust surface density distributions, which have been recently discovered. The maximum grain size is set to be $100 {\rm~\mu m}$ and the observing wavelength to be 870 ${\rm \mu m}$. We find that the polarization degree is as high as 2.5% with a subarcsec spatial resolution, which is likely to be detected with near-future ALMA observations. The emission is polarized due to scattering of anisotropic continuum emission. The map of the polarization degree shows a double peaked distribution and the polarization vectors are in the radial direction in the inner ring and in the azimuthal direction in the outer ring. We also find the wavelength dependence of the polarization degree: the polarized emission is strongest if dust grains have a maximum size of $a_{\rm max}\sim\lambda/2\pi$, where $\lambda$ is the observing wavelength. Hence, multi-wave and spatially resolved polarization observations toward protoplanetary disks enable us to put a constraint on the grain size. The constraint on the grain size from polarization observations is independent of or may be even stronger than that from the opacity index.

Scattered Light from Dust in the Cavity of the V4046 Sgr Transition Disk

We report the presence of scattered light from dust grains located in the giant planet formation region of the circumbinary disk orbiting the ~20-Myr-old close (~0.045 AU separation) binary system V4046 Sgr AB based on observations with the new Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) instrument. These GPI images probe to within ~7 AU of the central binary with linear spatial resolution of ~3 AU, and are thereby capable of revealing dust disk structure within a region corresponding to the giant planets in our solar system. The GPI imaging reveals a relatively narrow (FWHM ~10 AU) ring of polarized near-infrared flux whose brightness peaks at ~14 AU. This ~14 AU radius ring is surrounded by a fainter outer halo of scattered light extending to ~45 AU, which coincides with previously detected mm-wave thermal dust emission. The presence of small grains that efficiently scatter starlight well inside the mm-wavelength disk cavity supports current models of planet formation that suggest planet-disk interactions can generate pressure traps that impose strong radial variations in the particle size distribution throughout the disk.

Impulsive Spot Heating and Thermal Explosion of Interstellar Grains Revisited

The problem of impulsive heating of dust grains in cold, dense interstellar clouds is revisited theoretically, with the aim to better understand leading mechanisms of the explosive desorption of icy mantles. It is rigorously shown that if the heating of a reactive medium occurs within a sufficiently localized spot (e.g., heating of mantles by cosmic rays), then the subsequent thermal evolution is characterized by a single dimensionless number $\lambda$. This number identifies a bifurcation between two distinct regimes: When $\lambda$ exceeds a critical value (threshold), the heat equation exhibits the explosive solution, i.e., the thermal (chemical) explosion is triggered. Otherwise, thermal diffusion causes the deposited heat to spread over the entire grain — this regime is commonly known as the whole-grain heating. The theory allows us to find a critical combination of the physical parameters that govern the explosion of icy mantles due to impulsive spot heating. In particular, the calculations suggest that heavy cosmic ray species (e.g., iron ions) colliding with dust are able to trigger the explosion. Based on the recently calculated local cosmic-ray spectra, the expected rate of the explosive desorption is estimated. The efficiency of the desorption, which affects all solid species independent of their binding energy, is shown to be comparable with other cosmic-ray desorption mechanisms typically considered in the literature. Also, the theory allows us to estimate maximum abundances of reactive species that may be stored in the mantles, which provides important constraints on available astrochemical models.

The Relationship Between the Dust and Gas-Phase CO Across the California Molecular Cloud

A deep, wide-field, near-infrared imaging survey was used to construct an extinction map of the southeastern part of the California Molecular Cloud (CMC) with $\sim$ 0.5 arc min resolution. The same region was also surveyed in the $^{12}$CO(2-1), $^{13}$CO(2-1), C$^{18}$O(2-1) emission lines at the same angular resolution. Strong spatial variations in the abundances of $^{13}$CO and C$^{18}$O were found to be correlated with variations in gas temperature, consistent with temperature dependent CO depletion/desorption on dust grains. The $^{13}$CO to C$^{18}$O abundance ratio was found to increase with decreasing extinction, suggesting selective photodissociation of C$^{18}$O by the ambient UV radiation field. The cloud averaged X-factor is found to be $<$X$_{\rm CO}$$>$ $=$ 2.53 $\times$ 10$^{20}$ ${\rm cm}^{-2}~({\rm K~km~s}^{-1})^{-1}$, somewhat higher than the Milky Way average. On sub-parsec scales we find no single empirical value of the X-factor that can characterize the molecular gas in cold (T$_{\rm k}$ $\lesssim$ 15 K) regions, with X$_{\rm CO}$ $\propto$ A$_{\rm V}$$^{0.74}$ for A$_{\rm V}$ $\gtrsim$ 3 magnitudes. However in regions containing relatively hot (T$_{\rm ex}$ $\gtrsim$ 25 K) gas we find a clear correlation between W($^{12}$CO) and A$_{\rm V}$ over a large (3 $\lesssim$ A$_{\rm V}$ $\lesssim$ 25 mag) extinction range. This suggests a constant X$_{\rm CO}$ $=$ 1.5 $\times$ 10$^{20}$ ${\rm cm}^{-2}~({\rm K~km~s}^{-1})^{-1}$ for the hot gas, a lower value than either the average for the CMC or Milky Way. We find a correlation between X$_{\rm CO}$ and T$_{\rm ex}$ with X$_{\rm CO}$ $\propto$ T$_{\rm ex}$$^{-0.7}$ suggesting that the global X-factor of a cloud may depend on the relative amounts of hot gas within it.

The Relationship Between the Dust and Gas-Phase CO Across the California Molecular Cloud [Replacement]

A deep, wide-field, near-infrared imaging survey was used to construct an extinction map of the southeastern part of the California Molecular Cloud (CMC) with $\sim$ 0.5 arc min resolution. The same region was also surveyed in the $^{12}$CO(2-1), $^{13}$CO(2-1), C$^{18}$O(2-1) emission lines at the same angular resolution. Strong spatial variations in the abundances of $^{13}$CO and C$^{18}$O were found to be correlated with variations in gas temperature, consistent with temperature dependent CO depletion/desorption on dust grains. The $^{13}$CO to C$^{18}$O abundance ratio was found to increase with decreasing extinction, suggesting selective photodissociation of C$^{18}$O by the ambient UV radiation field. The cloud averaged X-factor is found to be $<$X$_{\rm CO}$$>$ $=$ 2.53 $\times$ 10$^{20}$ ${\rm cm}^{-2}~({\rm K~km~s}^{-1})^{-1}$, somewhat higher than the Milky Way average. On sub-parsec scales we find no single empirical value of the X-factor that can characterize the molecular gas in cold (T$_{\rm k}$ $\lesssim$ 15 K) regions, with X$_{\rm CO}$ $\propto$ A$_{\rm V}$$^{0.74}$ for A$_{\rm V}$ $\gtrsim$ 3 magnitudes. However in regions containing relatively hot (T$_{\rm ex}$ $\gtrsim$ 25 K) gas we find a clear correlation between W($^{12}$CO) and A$_{\rm V}$ over a large (3 $\lesssim$ A$_{\rm V}$ $\lesssim$ 25 mag) extinction range. This suggests a constant X$_{\rm CO}$ $=$ 1.5 $\times$ 10$^{20}$ ${\rm cm}^{-2}~({\rm K~km~s}^{-1})^{-1}$ for the hot gas, a lower value than either the average for the CMC or Milky Way. We find a correlation between X$_{\rm CO}$ and T$_{\rm ex}$ with X$_{\rm CO}$ $\propto$ T$_{\rm ex}$$^{-0.7}$ suggesting that the global X-factor of a cloud may depend on the relative amounts of hot gas within it.

The silicate absorption profile in the ISM towards the heavily obscured nucleus of NGC 4418

The 9.7-micron silicate absorption profile in the interstellar medium provides important information on the physical and chemical composition of interstellar dust grains. Measurements in the Milky Way have shown that the profile in the diffuse interstellar medium is very similar to the amorphous silicate profiles found in circumstellar dust shells around late M stars, and narrower than the silicate profile in denser star-forming regions. Here, we investigate the silicate absorption profile towards the very heavily obscured nucleus of NGC 4418, the galaxy with the deepest known silicate absorption feature, and compare it to the profiles seen in the Milky Way. Comparison between the 8-13 micron spectrum obtained with TReCS on Gemini and the larger aperture spectrum obtained from the Spitzer archive indicates that the former isolates the nuclear emission, while Spitzer detects low surface brightness circumnuclear diffuse emission in addition. The silicate absorption profile towards the nucleus is very similar to that in the diffuse ISM in the Milky Way with no evidence of spectral structure from crystalline silicates or silicon carbide grains.

Variation of the ultraviolet extinction law across the Taurus-Auriga star forming complex. A GALEX based study

The Taurus-Auriga molecular complex (TMC) is the main laboratory for the study of low mass star formation. The density and properties of interstellar dust are expected to vary across the TMC. These variations trace important processes such as dust nucleation or the magnetic field coupling with the cloud. In this article, we show how the combination of near ultraviolet (NUV) and infrared (IR) photometry can be used to derive the strength of the 2175 \AA\ bump and thus any enhancement in the abundance of small dust grains and PAHs in the dust grains size distribution. This technique is applied to the envelope of the TMC, mapped by the GALEX All Sky Survey (AIS). UV and IR photometric data have been retrieved from the GALEX-AIS and the 2MASS catalogues. NUV and K-band star counts have been used to identify the areas in the cloud envelope where the 2175 \AA\ bump is weaker than in the diffuse ISM namely, the low column density extensions of L1495, L1498 and L1524 in Taurus, L1545, L1548, L1519, L1513 in Auriga and L1482-83 in the California region. This finding agrees with previous results on dust evolution derived from Spitzer data and suggests that dust grains begin to decouple from the environmental galactic magnetic field already in the envelope.

The Impact of Dust Evolution and Photoevaporation on Disk Dispersal

Protoplanetary disks are dispersed by viscous evolution and photoevaporation in a few million years; in the interim small, sub-micron sized dust grains must grow and form planets. The time-varying abundance of small grains in an evolving disk directly affects gas heating by far-ultraviolet photons, while dust evolution affects photoevaporation by changing the disk opacity and resulting penetration of FUV photons in the disk. Photoevaporative flows, in turn, selectively carry small dust grains leaving the larger particles—which decouple from the gas—behind in the disk. We study these effects by investigating the evolution of a disk subject to viscosity, photoevaporation by EUV, FUV and X-rays, dust evolution, and radial drift using a 1-D multi-fluid approach (gas + different dust grain sizes) to solve for the evolving surface density distributions. The 1-D evolution is augmented by 1+1D models constructed at each epoch to obtain the instantaneous disk structure and determine photoevaporation rates. The implementation of a dust coagulation/fragmentation model results in a marginal decrease in disk lifetimes when compared to models with no dust evolution; the disk lifetime is thus found to be relatively insensitive to the evolving dust opacity. We find that photoevaporation can cause significant reductions in the gas/dust mass ratio in the planet-forming regions of the disk as it evolves, and may result in a corresponding increase in heavy element abundances relative to hydrogen. We discuss implications for theories of planetesimal formation and giant planet formation, including the formation of gas-poor giants. After gas disk dispersal, $\sim 3\times 10^{-4}$ \ms\ of mass in solids typically remain, comparable to the solids inventory of our solar system.

Non-conservative evolution in Algols: where is the matter?

There is gathering indirect evidence suggesting non-conservative evolutions in Algols. However, the systemic mass-loss rate is poorly constrained by observations and generally set as a free parameter in binary-star evolution simulations. Moreover, systemic mass loss may lead to observational signatures that are still to be found. We investigate the impact of the outflowing gas and the possible presence of dust grains on the spectral energy distribution (SED). We used the 1D plasma code Cloudy and compared the results with the 3D Monte-Carlo radiative transfer code Skirt for dusty simulations. The circumbinary mass-distribution and binary parameters are computed with state-of-the-art binary calculations done with the Binstar evolution code. The outflowing material reduces the continuum flux-level of the stellar SED in the optical and UV. Due to the time-dependence of this effect, it may help to distinguish between different ejection mechanisms. Dust, if present, leads to observable infrared excesses even with low dust-to-gas ratios and traces the cold material at large distances from the star. By searching for such dust emission in the WISE catalogue, we found a small number of Algols showing infrared excesses, among which the two rather surprising objects SX Aur and CZ Vel. We find that some binary B[e] stars show the same strong Balmer continuum as we predict with our models. However, direct evidence of systemic mass loss is probably not observable in genuine Algols, since these systems no longer eject mass through the hotspot mechanism. Furthermore, owing to its high velocity, the outflowing material dissipates in a few hundred years. If hot enough, the hotspot may produce highly ionised species such as SiIV and observable characteristics that are typical of W Ser systems.

On the equivalent width of the Fe K$\alpha$ line produced by a dusty absorber in active galactic nuclei

Obscured AGNs provide an opportunity to study the material surrounding the central engine. Geometric and physical constraints on the absorber can be deduced from the reprocessed AGN emission. In particular, the obscuring gas may reprocess the nuclear X-ray emission producing a narrow Fe K$\alpha$ line and a Compton reflection hump. In recent years, models of the X-ray reflection from an obscuring torus have been computed; however, although the reflecting gas may be dusty, the models do not yet take into account the effects of dust on the predicted spectrum. We study this problem by analyzing two sets of models, with and without the presence of dust, using the one dimensional photo-ionization code Cloudy. The calculations are performed for a range of column densities ($22 <{\rm log}[N_H(\rm cm^{-2})]< 24.5$ ) and hydrogen densities ( $6 <{\rm log}[n_H(\rm cm^{-3})]< 8$). The calculations show the presence of dust can enhance the Fe K$\alpha$ equivalent width (EW) in the reflected spectrum by factors up to $\approx$ 8 for Compton thick (CT) gas and a typical ISM grain size distribution. The enhancement in EW with respect to the reflection continuum is due to the reduction in the reflected continuum intensity caused by the anisotropic scattering behaviour of dust grains. This effect will be most relevant for reflection from distant, predominately neutral gas, and is a possible explanation for AGNs which show a strong Fe K$\alpha$ EW and a relatively weak reflection continuum. Our results show it is an important to take into account dust while modeling the X-ray reflection spectrum, and that inferring a CT column density from an observed Fe K$\alpha$ EW may not always be valid. Multi-dimensional models are needed to fully explore the magnitude of the effect.

Numerical code for multi-component galaxies: from N-body to chemistry and magnetic fields [Cross-Listing]

We present a numerical code for multi-component simulation of the galactic evolution. Our code includes the following parts: $N$-body is used to evolve dark matter, stellar dynamics and dust grains, gas dynamics is based on TVD-MUSCL scheme with the extra modules for thermal processes, star formation, magnetic fields, chemical kinetics and multi-species advection. We describe our code in brief, but we give more details for the magneto-gas dynamics. We present several tests for our code and show that our code have passed the tests with a reasonable accuracy. Our code is parallelized using the MPI library. We apply our code to study the large scale dynamics of galactic discs.

The Pseudo-zodi Problem for Edge-on Planetary Systems

Future direct observations of extrasolar Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone could be hampered by a worrisome source of noise, starlight-reflecting exozodiacal dust. Mid-infrared surveys are currently underway to constrain the amount of exozodiacal dust in the habitable zones around nearby stars. However, at visible wavelengths another source of dust, invisible to these surveys, may dominate over exozodiacal dust. For systems observed near edge-on, a cloud of dust with face-on optical depth 10^-7 beyond ~5 AU can mimic the surface brightness of a cloud of exozodiacal dust with equal optical depth if the dust grains are sufficiently forward-scattering. We posit that dust migrating inward from cold debris belts via Poynting-Robertson drag could produce this "pseudo-zodiacal" effect, potentially making it ~50% as common as exozodiacal clouds. We place constraints on the disk radii and scattering phase function required to produce the effect.

Destruction of Interstellar Dust in Evolving Supernova Remnant Shock Waves

Supernova generated shock waves are responsible for most of the destruction of dust grains in the interstellar medium (ISM). Calculations of the dust destruction timescale have so far been carried out using plane parallel steady shocks, however that approximation breaks down when the destruction timescale becomes longer than that for the evolution of the supernova remnant (SNR) shock. In this paper we present new calculations of grain destruction in evolving, radiative SNRs. To facilitate comparison with the previous study by Jones et al. (1996), we adopt the same dust properties as in that paper. We find that the efficiencies of grain destruction are most divergent from those for a steady shock when the thermal history of a shocked gas parcel in the SNR differs significantly from that behind a steady shock. This occurs in shocks with velocities >~ 200 km/s for which the remnant is just beginning to go radiative. Assuming SNRs evolve in a warm phase dominated ISM, we find dust destruction timescales are increased by a factor of ~2 compared to those of Jones et al. (1996), who assumed a hot gas dominated ISM. Recent estimates of supernova rates and ISM mass lead to another factor of ~3 increase in the destruction timescales, resulting in a silicate grain destruction timescale of ~2-3 Gyr. These increases, while not able resolve the problem of the discrepant timescales for silicate grain destruction and creation, are an important step towards understanding the origin, and evolution of dust in the ISM.

Cold condensation of dust in the ISM

The condensation of complex silicates with pyroxene and olivine composition at conditions prevailing in molecular clouds has been experimentally studied. For this purpose, molecular species comprising refractory elements were forced to accrete on cold substrates representing the cold surfaces of surviving dust grains in the interstellar medium. The efficient formation of amorphous and homogeneous magnesium iron silicates at temperatures of about 12 K has been monitored by IR spectroscopy. The gaseous precursors of such condensation processes in the interstellar medium are formed by erosion of dust grains in supernova shock waves. In the laboratory, we have evaporated glassy silicate dust analogs and embedded the released species in neon ice matrices that have been studied spectroscopically to identify the molecular precursors of the condensing solid silicates. A sound coincidence between the 10 micron band of the interstellar silicates and the 10 micron band of the low-temperature siliceous condensates can be noted.

Study of grain alignment efficiency and distance estimate for CB4 cloud

We study the polarization efficiency (defined as ratio of polarization to extinction) of stars background to a small, nearly spherical and isolated Bok globule CB4 to understand the grain alignment process. A decrease in polarization efficiency with increase in visual extinction is noticed. This suggests that the observed polarization in lines of sight which intercept a Bok globule tends to show dominance of dust grains in the outer layers of the globule. This finding is consistent with the results obtained for other clouds in past. We determined the distance to the CB4 cloud using near-infrared photometry (2MASS $JHK_S$ colors) of moderately obscured stars located at the peripheries of the cloud. From the extinction-distance plot, the distance to this cloud is estimated to be ($459 \pm 85$) parsec.

Dust Heating by Low-mass Stars in Massive Galaxies at z<1

Using the Hubble Space Telescope/Wide Field Camera 3 imaging data and multi-wavelength photometric catalog, we investigated the dust temperature of passively evolving and star-forming galaxies at 0.2<z<1.0 in the CANDELS fields. We estimated the stellar radiation field by low-mass stars from the stellar mass and surface brightness profile of these galaxies and then calculated their steady-state dust temperature. At first, we tested our method using nearby early-type galaxies with the deep FIR data by the Herschel Virgo cluster survey and confirmed that the estimated dust temperatures are consistent with the observed temperatures within the uncertainty. We then applied the method to galaxies at 0.2<z<1.0, and found that most of passively evolving galaxies with Mstar > 10^{10} Msun have a relatively high dust temperature of Tdust > 20 K, for which the formation efficiency of molecular hydrogen on the surface of dust grains in the diffuse ISM is expected to be very low from the laboratory experiments. The fraction of passively evolving galaxies strongly depends on the expected dust temperature at all redshifts and increases rapidly with increasing the temperature around Tdust ~ 20 K. These results suggest that the dust heating by low-mass stars in massive galaxies plays an important role for the continuation of their passive evolution, because the lack of the shielding effect of the molecular hydrogen on the UV radiation can prevent the gas cooling and formation of new stars.

Formation of hydroxylamine on dust grains via ammonia oxidation

The quest to detect prebiotic molecules in space, notably amino acids, requires an understanding of the chemistry involving nitrogen atoms. Hydroxylamine (NH$_2$OH) is considered a precursor to the amino acid glycine. Although not yet detected, NH$_2$OH is considered a likely target of detection with ALMA. We report on an experimental investigation of the formation of hydroxylamine on an amorphous silicate surface via the oxidation of ammonia. The experimental data are then fed into a simulation of the formation of NH$_2$OH in dense cloud conditions. On ices at 14 K and with a modest activation energy barrier, NH$_2$OH is found to be formed with an abundance that never falls below a factor 10 with respect to NH$_3$. Suggestions of conditions for future observations are provided.

Capture and evolution of dust in planetary mean-motion resonances: a fast, semi-analytic method for generating resonantly trapped disk images

Dust grains migrating under Poynting-Robertson drag may be trapped in mean-motion resonances with planets. Such resonantly trapped grains are observed in the solar system. In extrasolar systems, the exozodiacal light produced by dust grains is expected to be a major obstacle to future missions attempting to directly image terrestrial planets. The patterns made by resonantly trapped dust, however, can be used to infer the presence of planets, and the properties of those planets, if the capture and evolution of the grains can be modelled. This has been done with N-body methods, but such methods are computationally expensive, limiting their usefulness when considering large, slowly evolving grains, and for extrasolar systems with unknown planets and parent bodies, where the possible parameter space for investigation is large. In this work, we present a semi-analytic method for calculating the capture and evolution of dust grains in resonance, which can be orders of magnitude faster than N-body methods. We calibrate the model against N-body simulations, finding excellent agreement for Earth to Neptune mass planets, for a variety of grain sizes, initial eccentricities, and initial semimajor axes. We then apply the model to observations of dust resonantly trapped by the Earth. We find that resonantly trapped, asteroidally produced grains naturally produce the `trailing blob’ structure in the zodiacal cloud, while to match the intensity of the blob, most of the cloud must be composed of cometary grains, which owing to their high eccentricity are not captured, but produce a smooth disk.

The relationship between polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emission and far-infrared dust emission from NGC 2403 and M83

We examine the relation between polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emission at 8 microns and far-infrared emission from hot dust grains at 24 microns and from large dust grains at 160 and 250 microns in the nearby spiral galaxies NGC 2403 and M83 using data from the Spitzer Space Telescope and Herschel Space Observatory. We find that the PAH emission in NGC 2403 is better correlated with emission at 250 microns from dust heated by the diffuse interstellar radiation field (ISRF) and that the 8/250 micron surface brightness ratio is well-correlated with the stellar surface brightness as measured at 3.6 microns. This implies that the PAHs in NGC 2403 are intermixed with cold large dust grains in the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM) and that the PAHs are excited by the diffuse ISRF. In M83, the PAH emission appears more strongly correlated with 160 micron emission originating from large dust grains heated by star forming regions. However, the PAH emission in M83 is low where the 24 micron emission peaks within star forming regions, and enhancements in the 8/160 micron surface brightness ratios appear offset relative to the dust and the star forming regions within the spiral arms. This suggests that the PAHs observed in the 8 micron band are not excited locally within star forming regions but either by light escaping non-axisymmetrically from star forming regions or locally by young, non-photoionising stars that have migrated downstream from the spiral density waves. The results from just these two galaxies show that PAHs may be excited by different stellar populations in different spiral galaxies.

Five steps in the evolution from protoplanetary to debris disk

The protoplanetary disks of Herbig Ae stars eventually dissipate leaving a tenuous debris disk comprised of planetesimals and dust, as well as possibly gas and planets. This paper uses the properties of 10-20Myr A star debris disks to consider the protoplanetary to debris disk transition. The physical distinction between these two classes is argued to rest on the presence of primordial gas in sufficient quantities to dominate the motion of small dust grains (not the secondary nature of the dust or its level of stirring). This motivates an observational classification based on the dust spectrum, empirically defined so that A star debris disks require fractional excesses <3 at 12um and <2000 at 70um. We also propose a hypothesis to test, that the main sequence planet/planetesimal structures are already in place (but obscured) during the protoplanetary disk phase. This may be only weakly true if planetary architectures change until frozen during disk dispersal, or completely false if planets and planetesimals form during disk dispersal. Five steps in the transition are discussed: (i) carving an inner hole to form a transition disk; (ii) depletion of mm-sized dust in outer disk, noting the importance of determining whether this mass ends up in planetesimals or is collisionally depleted; (iii) final clearing of inner regions, noting that many mechanisms replenish moderate hot dust levels at later phases, and likely also operate in protoplanetary disks; (iv) disappearence of gas, noting recent discoveries of primordial and secondary gas in debris disks that highlight our ignorance and its impending enlightenment by ALMA; (v) formation of ring-like planetesimal structures, noting these are shaped by interactions with planets, and that the location of planetesimals in protoplanetary disks may be unrelated to the dust concentrations therein that are set by gas interactions.

Condensation of dust in the ejecta of type II-P supernovae

Aims: We study the production of dust in Type II-P supernova by coupling the gas-phase chemistry to the dust nucleation and condensation phases. We consider two supernova progenitor masses with homogeneous and clumpy ejecta to assess the chemical type and quantity of dust that forms. Grain size distributions are derived as a function of post-explosion time. Methods: The chemistry of the gas phase and the simultaneous formation of dust clusters are described by a chemical network. The formation of key species (CO, SiO) and dust clusters of silicates, alumina, silica, metal carbides and sulphides, pure metals, and amorphous carbon is considered. The master equations describing the chemistry of the nucleation phase are coupled to a dust condensation formalism based on Brownian coagulation. Results: Type II-P supernovae produce dust grains of various chemical compositions and size distributions as a function of time. The grain size distributions gain in complexity with time, are slewed towards large grains, and differ from the usual MRN power-law distribution used for interstellar dust. Gas density enhancements in the form of clumps strongly affect the dust chemical composition and the grain size distributions. Silicates and pure metallic grains are highly dependent on clumpiness. Specifically, clumpy ejecta produce grains over 0.1 micron, and the final dust mass reaches 0.14 Msun. Conversely, carbon and alumina dust masses are controlled by the mass yields of alumina and carbon in the zones where the dust is produced. Several dust components form in the ejecta and the total dust mass gradually builds up over a time span of 3 to 5 years post-outburst. This gradual growth provides a possible explanation for the discrepancy between the small dust masses formed at early post-explosion times and the high dust masses derived from recent observations of supernova remnants.

Physical Processes in the Interstellar Medium

Interstellar space is filled with a dilute mixture of charged particles, atoms, molecules and dust grains, called the interstellar medium (ISM). Understanding its physical properties and dynamical behavior is of pivotal importance to many areas of astronomy and astrophysics. Galaxy formation and evolution, the formation of stars, cosmic nucleosynthesis, the origin of large complex, prebiotic molecules and the abundance, structure and growth of dust grains which constitute the fundamental building blocks of planets, all these processes are intimately coupled to the physics of the interstellar medium. However, despite its importance, its structure and evolution is still not fully understood. Observations reveal that the interstellar medium is highly turbulent, consists of different chemical phases, and is characterized by complex structure on all resolvable spatial and temporal scales. Our current numerical and theoretical models describe it as a strongly coupled system that is far from equilibrium and where the different components are intricately linked together by complex feedback loops. Describing the interstellar medium is truly a multi-scale and multi-physics problem. In these lecture notes we introduce the microphysics necessary to better understand the interstellar medium. We review the relations between large-scale and small-scale dynamics, we consider turbulence as one of the key drivers of galactic evolution, and we review the physical processes that lead to the formation of dense molecular clouds and that govern stellar birth in their interior.

Studies of Anomalous Microwave Emission (AME) with the SKA

In this chapter, we will outline the scientific motivation for studying Anomalous Microwave Emission (AME) with the SKA. AME is thought to be due to electric dipole radiation from small spinning dust grains, although thermal fluctuations of magnetic dust grains may also contribute. Studies of this mysterious component would shed light on the emission mechanism, which then opens up a new window onto the interstellar medium (ISM). AME is emitted mostly in the frequency range $\sim 10$–100\,GHz, and thus the SKA has the potential of measuring the low frequency side of the AME spectrum, particularly in band 5. Science targets include dense molecular clouds in the Milky Way, as well as extragalactic sources. We also discuss the possibility of detecting rotational line emission from Poly-cyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), which could be the main carriers of AME. Detecting PAH lines of a given spacing would allow for a definitive identification of specific PAH species.

AGB stars in the LMC: evolution of dust in circumstellar envelopes

We calculated theoretical evolutionary sequences of asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars, including formation and evolution of dust grains in their circumstellar envelope. By considering stellar populations of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), we calculate synthetic colour-colour and colour-magnitude diagrams, which are compared with those obtained by the Spitzer Space Telescope. The comparison between observations and theoretical predictions outlines that extremely obscured carbon-stars and oxygen-rich sources experiencing hot bottom burning (HBB) occupy well defined, distinct regions in the colour-colour ($[3.6]-[4.5]$, $[5.8]-[8.0]$) diagram. The C-rich stars are distributed along a diagonal strip that we interpret as an evolutionary sequence, becoming progressively more obscured as the stellar surface layers enrich in carbon. Their circumstellar envelopes host solid carbon dust grains with size in the range $0.05 < a < 0.2 \mu m$. The presence of SiC particles is expected only in the more metal-rich stars. The reddest sources, with $[3.6]-[4.5] > 2$, are the descendants of stars with initial mass $M_{in} \sim 2.5 – 3 M_{\odot}$ in the very latest phases of the AGB life. The oxygen-rich stars with the reddest colours ($[5.8]-[8.0] > 0.6$) are those experiencing HBB, the descendants of $\sim 5 M_{\odot}$ objects formed $10^{8}$ yr ago; alumina and silicates dust start forming at different distances from the central star. The overall dust production rate in the LMC is $\sim 4.5 \times 10^{-5} M_{\odot}/yr$, the relative percentages due to C- and M- star being respectively 85$%$ and 15 $%$.

On origin and destruction of relativistic dust and its implication for ultrahigh energy cosmic rays

Dust grains may be accelerated to relativistic speeds by radiation pressure of luminous sources, diffusive shocks, and other acceleration mechanisms. Such relativistic grains have been suggested as potential primary particles of ultrahigh energy cosmic rays (UHECRs). In this paper, we reexamine this idea by studying in detail different destruction mechanisms for relativistic grains moving with Lorentz factor $\gamma$ through a variety of environment conditions. For the solar radiation field, we find that sublimation/melting is a dominant destruction mechanism for silicate grains and large graphite grains. Using an improved treatment of photoelectric emission, we calculate the closest distance that relativistic grains can approach the Sun before destroyed by Coulomb explosions. A range of survival parameters for relativistic grains (size $a$ and $\gamma$) against both sublimation and Coulomb explosions by the solar radiation field is identified. We also study collisional destruction mechanisms, consisting of electronic sputtering by ions and grain-grain collisions. Electronic sputtering by light ions is found to be rather inefficient, whereas the evaporation induced by grain-grain collisions is shown to be an important mechanism for which the $a\le 1\mu$m grains can be completely destroyed after sweeping a column of gas and dust $N_{coll}\le 4\times 10^{20}$cm$^{-2}$. The destruction of relativistic dust by the interstellar radiation field (ISRF) and cosmic microwave background (CMB) in the intergalactic medium by melting is inefficient, while Coulomb explosions are only important for grains of very large $\gamma$. The obtained results indicate that relativistic dust grains from extragalactic sources would likely be destroyed in the interstellar medium, but the grains accelerated to relativistic speeds in our Galaxy are not completely ruled out as primary particles of UHECRs.

Depletion of chlorine into HCl ice in a protostellar core

The freezeout of gas-phase species onto cold dust grains can drastically alter the chemistry and the heating-cooling balance of protostellar material. In contrast to well-known species such as carbon monoxide (CO), the freezeout of various carriers of elements with abundances $<10^{-5}$ has not yet been well studied. Our aim here is to study the depletion of chlorine in the protostellar core, OMC-2 FIR 4. We observed transitions of HCl and H2Cl+ towards OMC-2 FIR 4 using the Herschel Space Observatory and Caltech Submillimeter Observatory facilities. Our analysis makes use of state of the art chlorine gas-grain chemical models and newly calculated HCl-H$_{2}$ hyperfine collisional excitation rate coefficients. A narrow emission component in the HCl lines traces the extended envelope, and a broad one traces a more compact central region. The gas-phase HCl abundance in FIR 4 is 9e-11, a factor of only 0.001 that of volatile elemental chlorine. The H2Cl+ lines are detected in absorption and trace a tenuous foreground cloud, where we find no depletion of volatile chlorine. Gas-phase HCl is the tip of the chlorine iceberg in protostellar cores. Using a gas-grain chemical model, we show that the hydrogenation of atomic chlorine on grain surfaces in the dark cloud stage sequesters at least 90% of the volatile chlorine into HCl ice, where it remains in the protostellar stage. About 10% of chlorine is in gaseous atomic form. Gas-phase HCl is a minor, but diagnostically key reservoir, with an abundance of <1e-10 in most of the protostellar core. We find the 35Cl/37Cl ratio in OMC-2 FIR 4 to be 3.2\pm0.1, consistent with the solar system value.

Outward Motion of Porous Dust Aggregates by Stellar Radiation Pressure in Protoplanetary Disks

We study the dust motion at the surface layer of protoplanetary disks. Dust grains in surface layer migrate outward due to angular momentum transport via gas-drag force induced by the stellar radiation pressure. In this study, we calculate mass flux of the outward motion of compact grains and porous dust aggregates by the radiation pressure. The radiation pressure force for porous dust aggregates is calculated using the T-Matrix Method for the Clusters of Spheres. First, we confirm that porous dust aggregates are forced by strong radiation pressure even if they grow to be larger aggregates in contrast to homogeneous and spherical compact grains to which efficiency of radiation pressure becomes lower when their sizes increase. In addition, we find that the outward mass flux of porous dust aggregates with monomer size of 0.1 $\mu$m is larger than that of compact grains by an order of magnitude at the disk radius of 1 AU, when their sizes are several microns. This implies that large compact grains like calcium-aluminum rich inclusions (CAIs) are hardly transported to outer region by stellar radiation pressure, whereas porous dust aggregates like chondritic-porous interplanetary dust particles (CP-IDPs) are efficiently transported to comet formation region. Crystalline silicates are possibly transported in porous dust aggregates by stellar radiation pressure from inner hot region to outer cold cometary region in the protosolar nebula.

Dust and Gas in the Magellanic Clouds from the HERITAGE Herschel Key Project. II. Gas-to-Dust Ratio Variations across ISM Phases

The spatial variations of the gas-to-dust ratio (GDR) provide constraints on the chemical evolution and lifecycle of dust in galaxies. We examine the relation between dust and gas at 10-50 pc resolution in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC and SMC) based on Herschel far-infrared (FIR), H I 21 cm, CO, and Halpha observations. In the diffuse atomic ISM, we derive the gas-to-dust ratio as the slope of the dust-gas relation and find gas-to-dust ratios of 380+250-130 in the LMC, and 1200+1600-420 in the SMC, not including helium. The atomic-to-molecular transition is located at dust surface densities of 0.05 Mo pc-2 in the LMC and 0.03 Mo pc-2 in the SMC, corresponding to AV ~ 0.4 and 0.2, respectively. We investigate the range of CO-to-H2 conversion factor to best account for all the molecular gas in the beam of the observations, and find upper limits on XCO to be 6×1020 cm-2 K-1 km-1 s in the LMC (Z=0.5Zo) at 15 pc resolution, and 4x 1021 cm-2 K-1 km-1 s in the SMC (Z=0.2Zo) at 45 pc resolution. In the LMC, the slope of the dust-gas relation in the dense ISM is lower than in the diffuse ISM by a factor ~2, even after accounting for the effects of CO-dark H2 in the translucent envelopes of molecular clouds. Coagulation of dust grains and the subsequent dust emissivity increase in molecular clouds, and/or accretion of gas-phase metals onto dust grains, and the subsequent dust abundance (dust-to-gas ratio) increase in molecular clouds could explain the observations. In the SMC, variations in the dust-gas slope caused by coagulation or accretion are degenerate with the effects of CO-dark H2. Within the expected 5–20 times Galactic XCO range, the dust-gas slope can be either constant or decrease by a factor of several across ISM phases. Further modeling and observations are required to break the degeneracy between dust grain coagulation, accretion, and CO-dark H2.

The Structure of Pre-transitional Protoplanetary Disks. II. Azimuthal Asymmetries, Different Radial Distributions of Large and Small Dust Grains in PDS~70

The formation scenario of a gapped disk, i.e., transitional disk, and its asymmetry is still under debate. Proposed scenarios such as disk-planet interaction, photoevaporation, grain growth, anticyclonic vortex, eccentricity, and their combinations would result in different radial distributions of the gas and the small (sub-$\mu$m size) and large (millimeter size) dust grains as well as asymmetric structures in a disk. Optical/near-infrared (NIR) imaging observations and (sub-)millimeter interferometry can trace small and large dust grains, respectively; therefore multi-wavelength observations could help elucidate the origin of complicated structures of a disk. Here we report SMA observations of the dust continuum at 1.3~mm and $^{12}$CO~$J=2\rightarrow1$ line emission of the pre-transitional protoplanetary disk around the solar-mass star PDS~70. PDS~70, a weak-lined T Tauri star, exhibits a gap in the scattered light from its disk with a radius of $\sim$65~AU at NIR wavelengths. However, we found a larger gap in the disk with a radius of $\sim$80~AU at 1.3~mm. Emission from all three disk components (the gas and the small and large dust grains) in images exhibits a deficit in brightness in the central region of the disk, in particular, the dust-disk in small and large dust grains has asymmetric brightness. The contrast ratio of the flux density in the dust continuum between the peak position to the opposite side of the disk reaches 1.4. We suggest the asymmetries and different gap-radii of the disk around PDS~70 are potentially formed by several (unseen) accreting planets inducing dust filtration.

Grain Alignment in Starless Cores

We present near infrared polarimetry data of background stars shining through a selection of starless cores taken in the $K$ band, probing visual extinctions up to $A_{V} \sim 48$. We find that $P_K/{\tau _K}$ continues to decline with increasing $A_{V}$ with a power law slope of roughly -0.5. Examination of published submillimeter (submm) polarimetry of starless cores suggests that by $A_{V} \gtrsim 20$ the slope for $P$ vs. $\tau$ becomes $\sim -1$, indicating no grain alignment at greater optical depths. Combining these two data sets, we find good evidence that, in the absence of a central illuminating source, the dust grains in dense molecular cloud cores with no internal radiation source cease to become aligned with the local magnetic field at optical depths greater than $A_V \sim 20$. A simple model relating the alignment efficiency to the optical depth into the cloud reproduces the observations well.

Supernova dust formation and the grain growth in the early universe: The critical metallicity for low-mass star formation

We investigate the condition for the formation of low-mass second-generation stars in the early universe. It has been proposed that gas cooling by dust thermal emission can trigger fragmentation of a low-metallicity star-forming gas cloud. In order to determine the critical condition in which dust cooling induces the formation of low-mass stars, we follow the thermal evolution of a collapsing cloud by a one-zone semi-analytic collapse model. Earlier studies assume the dust amount in the local universe, where all refractory elements are depleted onto grains, and/or assume the constant dust amount during gas collapse. In this paper, we employ the models of dust formation and destruction in early supernovae to derive the realistic dust compositions and size distributions for multiple species as the initial conditions of our collapse calculations. We also follow accretion of heavy elements in the gas phase onto dust grains, i.e., grain growth, during gas contraction. We find that grain growth well alters the fragmentation property of the clouds, and that this still does not approach to the value in the local universe. The critical conditions can be written by the gas metallicity Zcr and the initial depletion efficiency fdep,0 of gas-phase metal onto grains, or dust-to-metal mass ratio, as (Zcr/10^{-5.5} Zsun) = (fdep,0/0.18)^{-0.44} with small scatters in the range of Zcr = [0.06--3.2]x10^{-5} Zsun. We also show that the initial dust composition and size distribution are important to determine Zcr.

Searching for Inflationary B-modes: Can dust emission properties be extrapolated from 350 GHz to 150 GHz? [Replacement]

Recent Planck results have shown that radiation from the cosmic microwave background passes through foregrounds in which aligned dust grains produce polarized dust emission, even in regions of the sky with the lowest level of dust emission. One of the most commonly used ways to remove the dust foreground is to extrapolate the polarized dust emission signal from frequencies where it dominates (e.g., ~ 350 GHz) to frequencies commonly targeted by cosmic microwave background experiments (e.g., ~150 GHz). In this paper, we describe an interstellar medium effect that can lead to decorrelation of the dust emission polarization pattern between different frequencies due to multiple contributions along the line of sight. Using a simple 2-cloud model we show that there are two conditions under which this decorrelation can be large: (a) the ratio of polarized intensities between the two clouds changes between the two frequencies; (b) the magnetic fields between the two clouds contributing along a line of sight are significantly misaligned. In such cases, the 350 GHz polarized sky map is not predictive of that at 150 GHz. We propose a possible correction for this effect, using information from optopolarimetric surveys of dichroicly absorbed starlight.

The timing and location of dust formation in the remnant of SN 1987A

The discovery with the {\it Herschel Space Observatory} of bright far infrared and submm emission from the ejecta of the core collapse supernova SN\,1987A has been interpreted as indicating the presence of some 0.4–0.7\,M$_\odot$ of dust. We have constructed radiative transfer models of the ejecta to fit optical to far-infrared observations from the literature at epochs between 615 days and 24 years after the explosion, to determine when and where this unexpectedly large amount of dust formed. We find that the observations by day 1153 are consistent with the presence of 3$\times$10$^{-3}$M$_\odot$ of dust. Although this is a larger amount than has previously been considered possible at this epoch, it is still very small compared to the amount present in the remnant after 24 years, and significantly higher dust masses at the earlier epochs are firmly ruled out by the observations, indicating that the majority of the dust must have formed at very late times. By 8515-9200 days after the explosion, 0.6–0.8\,M$_\odot$ of dust is present, and dust grains with radii greater than 2\,$\mu$m are required to obtain a fit to the observed SED. This suggests that the dust mass increase at late times was caused by accretion onto and coagulation of the dust grains formed at earlier epochs. These findings provide further confirmation that core collapse supernovae can create large quantities of dust, and indicate that the reason for small dust masses being estimated in many cases is that the vast majority of the dust forms long after most supernovae have been detectable at mid-infrared wavelengths.

A New and Simple Approach to Determine the Abundance of Hydrogen Molecules on Interstellar Ice Mantles

Water is usually the main component of ice mantles, which cover the cores of dust grains in cold portions of dense interstellar clouds. When molecular hydrogen is adsorbed onto an icy mantle through physisorption, a common assumption in gas-grain rate equation models is to use an adsorption energy for molecular hydrogen on a pure water substrate. However, at high density and low temperature, when H2 is efficiently adsorbed onto the mantle, its surface abundance can be strongly overestimated if this assumption is still used. Unfortunately, the more detailed microscopic Monte Carlo treatment cannot be used to study the abundance of H2 in ice mantles if a full gas-grain network is utilized. We present a numerical method adapted for rate-equation models that takes into account the possibility that an H2 molecule can, while diffusing on the surface, find itself bound to another hydrogen molecule, with a far weaker bond than the H2-water bond, which can lead to more efficient desorption. We label the ensuing desorption "encounter desorption". The method is implemented first in a simple system consisting only of hydrogen molecules at steady state between gas and dust using the rate-equation approach and comparing the results with the results of a microscopic Monte Carlo calculation. We then discuss the use of the rate-equation approach with encounter desorption embedded in a complete gas-grain chemical network. For both systems, the rate-equation model with encounter desorption reproduces the H2 granular coverage computed by the microscopic Monte Carlo model. The method is especially useful for dense and cold environments, and for time-dependent physical conditions, such as occur in the collapse of dense cores and the formation of protoplanetary disks. It is not significantly CPU time consuming, so can be used for example with complex 3D chemical-hydrodynamical simulations.

A New and Simple Approach to Determine the Abundance of Hydrogen Molecules on Interstellar Ice Mantles [Replacement]

Water is usually the main component of ice mantles, which cover the cores of dust grains in cold portions of dense interstellar clouds. When molecular hydrogen is adsorbed onto an icy mantle through physisorption, a common assumption in gas-grain rate equation models is to use an adsorption energy for molecular hydrogen on a pure water substrate. However, at high density and low temperature, when H2 is efficiently adsorbed onto the mantle, its surface abundance can be strongly overestimated if this assumption is still used. Unfortunately, the more detailed microscopic Monte Carlo treatment cannot be used to study the abundance of H2 in ice mantles if a full gas-grain network is utilized. We present a numerical method adapted for rate-equation models that takes into account the possibility that an H2 molecule can, while diffusing on the surface, find itself bound to another hydrogen molecule, with a far weaker bond than the H2-water bond, which can lead to more efficient desorption. We label the ensuing desorption "encounter desorption". The method is implemented first in a simple system consisting only of hydrogen molecules at steady state between gas and dust using the rate-equation approach and comparing the results with the results of a microscopic Monte Carlo calculation. We then discuss the use of the rate-equation approach with encounter desorption embedded in a complete gas-grain chemical network. For both systems, the rate-equation model with encounter desorption reproduces the H2 granular coverage computed by the microscopic Monte Carlo model. The method is especially useful for dense and cold environments, and for time-dependent physical conditions, such as occur in the collapse of dense cores and the formation of protoplanetary disks. It is not significantly CPU time consuming, so can be used for example with complex 3D chemical-hydrodynamical simulations.

PILOT: a balloon-borne experiment to measure the polarized FIR emission of dust grains in the interstellar medium

Future cosmology space missions will concentrate on measuring the polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background, which potentially carries invaluable information about the earliest phases of the evolution of our universe. Such ambitious projects will ultimately be limited by the sensitivity of the instrument and by the accuracy at which polarized foreground emission from our own Galaxy can be subtracted out. We present the PILOT balloon project which will aim at characterizing one of these foreground sources, the polarization of the dust continuum emission in the diffuse interstellar medium. The PILOT experiment will also constitute a test-bed for using multiplexed bolometer arrays for polarization measurements. We present the results of ground tests obtained just before the first flight of the instrument.

Measuring Polarization in microlensing events

We re-consider the polarization of the star light that may arise during microlensing events due to the high gradient of magnification across the atmosphere of the source star, by exploring the full range of microlensing and stellar physical parameters. Since it is already known that only cool evolved giant stars give rise to the highest polarization signals, we follow the model by Simmons et al. (2002) to compute the polarization as due to the photon scattering on dust grains in the stellar wind. Motivated by the possibility to perform a polarization measurement during an ongoing microlensing event, we consider the recently reported event catalog by the OGLE collaboration covering the 2001-2009 campaigns (OGLE-III events), that makes available the largest and more comprehensive set of single lens microlensing events towards the Galactic bulge. The study of these events, integrated by a Monte Carlo analysis, allows us to estimate the expected polarization profiles and to predict for which source stars and at which time is most convenient to perform a polarization measurement in an ongoing event. We find that about two dozens of OGLE-III events (about 1 percent of the total) have maximum polarization degree in the range 0.1 < P_{\rm max} <1 percent, corresponding to source stars with apparent magnitude I < 14.5, being very cool red giants.This signal is measurable by using the FORS2 polarimeter at VLT telescope with about 1 hour integration time.

Dusty tails of evaporating exoplanets. I. Constraints on the dust composition

Recently, two exoplanet candidates have been discovered, KIC 12557548b and KOI-2700b, whose transit profiles show evidence for a comet-like tail of dust trailing the planet, thought to be fed by the evaporation of the planet’s surface. We aim to put constraints on the composition of the dust ejected by these objects from the shape of their transit light curves. We derive a semi-analytical expression for the attenuation of dust cross-section in the tail, incorporating the sublimation of dust grains as well as their drift away from the planet. This expression shows that the length of the tail is highly sensitive to the sublimation properties of the dust material. We compute tail lengths for several possible dust compositions, and compare these to observational estimates of the tail lengths of KIC 12557548b and KOI-2700b, inferred from their light curves. The observed tail lengths are consistent with dust grains composed of corundum (Al2O3) or iron-rich silicate minerals (e.g., fayalite, Fe2SiO4). Pure iron and carbonaceous compositions are disfavoured. In addition, we estimate dust mass loss rates of 1.7 +/- 0.5 M_earth/Gyr for KIC 12557548b, and > 0.007 M_earth/Gyr (1-sigma lower limit) for KOI-2700b.

ALMA Observations of Anisotropic Dust Mass-loss in the Inner Circumstellar Environment of the Red Supergiant VY CMa

The processes leading to dust formation and the subsequent role it plays in driving mass-loss in cool evolved stars is an area of intense study. Here, we present high resolution ALMA Science Verification data of the continuum emission around the highly evolved oxygen-rich red supergiant VY CMa. These data enable us to study the dust in its inner circumstellar environment at a spatial resolution of 129 mas at 321 GHz and 59 mas at 658 GHz, allowing us to trace dust on spatial scales down to 11 R$_{\star}$ (71 AU). Two prominent dust components are detected and resolved. The brightest dust component, C, is located 334 mas (61 R$_{\star}$) south-east of the star and has a dust mass of at least $2.5\times 10^{-4} $M$_{\odot}$. It has an emissivity spectral index of $\beta =-0.1$ at its peak, implying that it is either optically thick at these frequencies with a cool core of $T_{d}\lesssim 100$ K, and/or contains very large dust grains. Interestingly, not a single molecule in the ALMA data has emission close to the peak of this massive dust clump. The other main dust component, VY, is located at the position of the star and contains a total dust mass of $4.0 \times 10^{-5} $M$_{\odot}$. It also contains a weaker dust feature extending over $60 $R$_{\star}$ to the north with the total component having a typical emissivity spectral index of $\beta =0.7$. We find that $>17\%$ of the dust mass around VY CMa is located in clumps ejected within a more quiescent roughly spherical stellar wind, with a quiescent dust mass loss rate of $5 \times 10^{-6}$ M$_{\odot} $yr$^{-1}$. The observations suggest a continuous preferentially directed mass-loss from the star over many decades and do not support current models of convective driven only mass loss in red supergiant stars. We thus suggest other forces, i.e., MHD disturbances, are also needed to explain the observations.

ALMA Observations of Anisotropic Dust Mass-loss in the Inner Circumstellar Environment of the Red Supergiant VY CMa [Replacement]

The processes leading to dust formation and the subsequent role it plays in driving mass-loss in cool evolved stars is an area of intense study. Here, we present high resolution ALMA Science Verification data of the continuum emission around the highly evolved oxygen-rich red supergiant VY CMa. These data enable us to study the dust in its inner circumstellar environment at a spatial resolution of 129 mas at 321 GHz and 59 mas at 658 GHz, allowing us to trace dust on spatial scales down to 11 R$_{\star}$ (71 AU). Two prominent dust components are detected and resolved. The brightest dust component, C, is located 334 mas (61 R$_{\star}$) south-east of the star and has a dust mass of at least $2.5\times 10^{-4} $M$_{\odot}$. It has an emissivity spectral index of $\beta =-0.1$ at its peak, implying that it is either optically thick at these frequencies with a cool core of $T_{d}\lesssim 100$ K, and/or contains very large dust grains. Interestingly, not a single molecule in the ALMA data has emission close to the peak of this massive dust clump. The other main dust component, VY, is located at the position of the star and contains a total dust mass of $4.0 \times 10^{-5} $M$_{\odot}$. It also contains a weaker dust feature extending over $60 $R$_{\star}$ to the north with the total component having a typical emissivity spectral index of $\beta =0.7$. We find that $>17%$ of the dust mass around VY CMa is located in clumps ejected within a more quiescent roughly spherical stellar wind, with a quiescent dust mass loss rate of $5 \times 10^{-6}$ M$_{\odot} $yr$^{-1}$. The observations suggest a continuous preferentially directed mass-loss from the star over many decades and do not support current models of convective driven only mass loss in red supergiant stars. We thus suggest other forces, i.e., MHD disturbances, are also needed to explain the observations.

ALMA Observations of Anisotropic Dust Mass-loss in the Inner Circumstellar Environment of the Red Supergiant VY CMa [Replacement]

The processes leading to dust formation and the subsequent role it plays in driving mass-loss in cool evolved stars is an area of intense study. Here, we present high resolution ALMA Science Verification data of the continuum emission around the highly evolved oxygen-rich red supergiant VY CMa. These data enable us to study the dust in its inner circumstellar environment at a spatial resolution of 129 mas at 321 GHz and 59 mas at 658 GHz, allowing us to trace dust on spatial scales down to 11 R$_{\star}$ (71 AU). Two prominent dust components are detected and resolved. The brightest dust component, C, is located 334 mas (61 R$_{\star}$) south-east of the star and has a dust mass of at least $2.5\times 10^{-4} $M$_{\odot}$. It has an emissivity spectral index of $\beta =-0.1$ at its peak, implying that it is either optically thick at these frequencies with a cool core of $T_{d}\lesssim 100$ K, and/or contains very large dust grains. Interestingly, not a single molecule in the ALMA data has emission close to the peak of this massive dust clump. The other main dust component, VY, is located at the position of the star and contains a total dust mass of $4.0 \times 10^{-5} $M$_{\odot}$. It also contains a weaker dust feature extending over $60 $R$_{\star}$ to the north with the total component having a typical emissivity spectral index of $\beta =0.7$. We find that $>17%$ of the dust mass around VY CMa is located in clumps ejected within a more quiescent roughly spherical stellar wind, with a quiescent dust mass loss rate of $5 \times 10^{-6}$ M$_{\odot} $yr$^{-1}$. The observations suggest a continuous preferentially directed mass-loss from the star over many decades and do not support current models of convective driven only mass loss in red supergiant stars. We thus suggest other forces, i.e., MHD disturbances, are also needed to explain the observations.

Modeling and predicting the shape of the far-infrared/submillimeter emission in ultra-compact HII regions and cold clumps

Dust properties are likely affected by the environment in which dust grains evolve. For instance, some analyses of cold clumps (7 K- 17 K) lead to favor the aggregation process in dense environments. However, the study of warm (30 K-40 K) dust emission at long wavelength ($\lambda$$>$300 $\mu$m) has been limited by the difficulty in combining far infred-millimeter (FIR-mm) spectral coverage and high angular resolution to observe warm dust grains. Using Herschel data from 70 to 500 $\mu$m, as part of the Herschel infrared Galactic (Hi-GAL) survey associated to 1.1 mm data from the Bolocam Galactic Plane Survey (BGPS), we compare emission in two types of environments: ultra-compact HII (UCHII) regions and cold molecular clumps (denoted as cold clumps). This comparison allows us to test models of dust emission in the FIR-mm domain used to reproduce emission in the diffuse medium, in these environments, and to check their ability to predict the dust emission in our Galaxy. We determine the emission spectra in twelve UCHII regions and twelve cold clumps, and derive the dust temperature (T) using the recent two-level system (TLS) model with three sets of parameters, and the so-called T-$\beta$ (Temperature-dust emissvity index) phenomenological models, with $\beta$ set up to 1.5, 2 and 2.5.The applicability of the TLS model in warm regions has been tested for the first time. This analysis points out distinct trends in the dust emission between cold and warm environments, visible through changes in the dust emissivity index. However, with the use of standard parameters, the TLS model is able to reproduce the spectral behavior observed in cold and warm regions, by the only change of the dust temperature, as opposed to a T-$\beta$ model which requires the knowledge of $\beta$.

 

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