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Evidence for Dust Evolution Within the Taurus Complex from Spitzer Images

Flagey, N. and Noriega-Crespo, A. and Boulanger, F. and Carey, S. J. and Brooke, T. Y. and Falgarone, E. and Huard, T. L. and McCabe, C. E. and Miville-Deschênes, M. A. and Padgett, D. L. and Paladini, R. and Rebull, L. M. (2009) Evidence for Dust Evolution Within the Taurus Complex from Spitzer Images. Astrophysical Journal, 701 (2). pp. 1450-1463. ISSN 0004-637X.

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We present Spitzer images of the Taurus Complex (TC). We take advantage of the sensitivity and the spatial resolution of the observations to characterize the diffuse infrared (IR) emission across the cloud. This work highlights evidence of dust evolution within the translucent sections of the archetype reference for studies of quiescent molecular clouds. We combine the Spitzer 160 μm and IRAS 100 μm observations to produce a dust temperature map and a far-IR (FIR) dust opacity map at 5' resolution. The average dust temperature is about 14.5 K with a dispersion of ±1 K across the cloud. The FIR dust opacity is tightly correlated with the extinction derived from Two Micron All Sky Survey stellar colors and is a factor of 2 larger than the average value for the diffuse interstellar medium. This opacity increase and the attenuation of the radiation field both contribute to account for the lower emission temperature of the large grains. The structure of the TC significantly changes in the mid-IR (MIR) images that trace emission from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and very small grains (VSGs). We focus our analysis of the MIR emission to a range of ecliptic latitudes away from the zodiacal bands and where the zodiacal light residuals are small. Within this cloud area, there are no 8 and 24 μm counterparts to the brightest 160 μm emission features. Conversely, the 8 and 24 μm images reveal filamentary structure that is strikingly inconspicuous in the 160 μm and extinction maps. The IR colors vary over subparsec distances across this filamentary structure. We compare the observed colors with model calculations quantifying the impact of the radiation field intensity and the abundance of stochastically heated particles on the dust spectral energy distribution. To match the range of observed colors, we have to invoke variations by a factor of a few of both the interstellar radiation field and the abundance of PAHs and VSGs. We conclude that within this filamentary structure a significant fraction of the dust mass cycles in and out the small-size end of the dust size distribution.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Flagey, N.0000-0002-8763-1555
Noriega-Crespo, A.0000-0002-6296-8960
Carey, S. J.0000-0002-0221-6871
Padgett, D. L.0000-0001-5334-5107
Paladini, R.0000-0002-5158-243X
Rebull, L. M.0000-0001-6381-515X
Additional Information:© 2009. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2008 December 12, accepted for publication 2009 June 25. Published 2009 July 31. The authors thank Laurent Cambresy for providing the 2MASS extinction map. They also thank Paul Goldsmith, Vincent Guillet, and the anonymous referee for their questions and comments, which have significantly improved the paper. This work is based in part on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:dust, extinction; infrared: ISM; ISM: clouds; ISM: evolution; ISM: individual (Taurus Molecular Complex)
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090825-145102314
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Evidence for Dust Evolution Within the Taurus Complex from Spitzer Images N. Flagey, A. Noriega-Crespo, F. Boulanger, S. J. Carey, T. Y. Brooke, E. Falgarone, T. L. Huard, C. E. McCabe, M. A. Miville-Deschênes, D. L. Padgett, R. Paladini, and L. M. Rebull 2009 ApJ 701 1450-1463 doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/701/2/1450
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:15306
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:26 Aug 2009 15:52
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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