Optical and UV surface brightness of translucent dark nebulae
Dust albedo, radiation field, and fluorescence emission by H2★
Department of Physics, University of Helsinki,
PO Box 64,
2 Astronomisches Institut, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsstrasse 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany
3 Instituto de Astronomía y Ciencias Planetarias de Atacama, Universidad de Atacama, Copayapu 485, Copiapo, Chile
4 Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI), 776 Daedeokdae-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-348, Korea
5 Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
6 South African Astronomical Observatory, PO Box 9 Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa
7 Southern African Large Telescope, PO Box 9 Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa
8 Finnish Geospatial Research Institute FGI, Geodeetinrinne 2, 02430 Masala, Finland
Accepted: 27 May 2018
Context. Dark nebulae display a surface brightness because dust grains scatter light of the general interstellar radiation field (ISRF). High-galactic-latitudes dark nebulae are seen as bright nebulae when surrounded by transparent areas which have less scattered light from the general galactic dust layer.
Aims. Photometry of the bright dark nebulae LDN 1780, LDN 1642, and LBN 406 shall be used to derive scattering properties of dust and to investigate the presence of UV fluorescence emission by molecular hydrogen and the extended red emission (ERE).
Methods. We used multi-wavelength optical photometry and imaging at ground-based telescopes and archival imaging and spectroscopic UV data from the spaceborn GALEX and SPEAR/FIMS instruments. In the analysis we used Monte Carlo RT and both observational data and synthetic models for the ISRF in the solar neighbourhood. The line-of-sight extinctions through the clouds have been determined using near infrared excesses of background stars and the 200/250 μm far infrared emission by dust as measured using the ISO and Herschel space observatories.
Results. The optical surface brightness of the three target clouds can be explained in terms of scattered light. The dust albedo ranges from ~0.58 at 3500 Å to ~0.72 at 7500 Å. The spectral energy distribution of LDN 1780 is explained in terms of optical depth and background scattered light effects instead of the original published suggestion in terms of ERE. The far-ultraviolet surface brightness of LDN 1780 cannot be explained by scattered light only. In LDN 1780, H2 fluorescent emission in the wavelength range 1400–1700 Å has been detected and analysed.
Conclusions. Our albedo values are in good agreement with the predictions of the dust model of Weingartner and Draine and with the THEMIS CMM model for evolved core-mantle grains. The distribution of H2 fluorescent emission in LDN 1780 shows a pronounced dichotomy with a strong preference for its southern side where enhanced illumination is impinging from the Sco OB2 association and the O star ζ Oph. A good correlation is found between the H2 fluorescence and a previously mapped 21-cm excess emission. The H2 fluorescence emission in LDN 1780 has been modelled using a PDR code; the resulting values for H2 column density and the total gas density are consistent with the estimates derived from CO observations and optical extinction along the line of sight.
Key words: ISM: clouds / dust, extinction / solar neighborhood / ultraviolet: ISM
Based on observations collected at the Centro Astronómico Hispano Alemán (CAHA) at Calar Alto, operated jointly by the Max-Planck, Institut für Astronomie and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC). Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere.
© ESO 2018