A method for mapping the aliphatic hydrocarbon content of interstellar dust towards the Galactic Centre

Gunay B., Burton M. G. , AFŞAR M. , Schmidt T. W.

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, vol.493, no.1, pp.1109-1119, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 493 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1093/mnras/staa288
  • Page Numbers: pp.1109-1119


In the interstellar medium, the cosmic elemental carbon abundance includes the total carbon in both gas and solid phases. The aim of the study was to trial a new method for measuring the amount and distribution of aliphatic carbon within interstellar dust over wide fields of view of our Galaxy. This method is based on the measurement of the 3.4-mu m absorption feature from aliphatic carbonaceous matter. This can readily be achieved for single sources using infrared (IR) spectrometers. However, making such measurements over wide fields requires an imaging IR camera, equipped with narrow-band filters that are able to sample the spectrum. While this cannot produce as good a determination of the spectra, the technique can be applied to potentially tens to hundreds of sources simultaneously, over the field of view of the camera. We examined this method for a field in the centre of the Galaxy, and produced a map showing the variation of 3.4-mu m optical depth across it.