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Planck early results. XXV. Thermal dust in nearby molecular clouds

Planck early results. XXV. Thermal dust in nearby molecular clouds

Publication date: 01 December 2011

Authors: Planck Collaboration

Journal: Astronomy & Astrophysics
Volume: 536
Page: A25
Year: 2011

Copyright: ESO, 2011

Planck allows unbiased mapping of Galactic sub-millimetre and millimetre emission from the most diffuse regions to the densest parts of molecular clouds. We present an early analysis of the Taurus molecular complex, on line-of-sight-averaged data and without component separation. The emission spectrum measured by Planck and IRAS can be fitted pixel by pixel using a single modified blackbody. Some systematic residuals are detected at 353 GHz and 143 GHz, with amplitudes around -7% and +13%, respectively, indicating that the measured spectra are likely more complex than a simple modified blackbody. Significant positive residuals are also detected in the molecular regions and in the 217 GHz and 100 GHz bands, mainly caused by the contribution of the J = 2 -> 1 and J = 1 -> 0 12CO and 13CO emission lines. We derive maps of the dust temperature T, the dust spectral emissivity index beta, and the dust optical depth at 250 micronm T250. The temperature map illustrates the cooling of the dust particles in thermal equilibrium with the incident radiation field, from 16 - 17 K in the diffuse regions to 13 - 14 K in the dense parts. The distribution of spectral indices is centred at 1.78, with a standard deviation of 0.08 and a systematic error of 0.07. We detect a significant T - beta anti-correlation. The dust optical depth map reveals the spatial distribution of the column density of the molecular complex from the densest molecular regions to the faint diffuse regions. We use near-infrared extinction and Hi data at 21-cm to perform a quantitative analysis of the spatial variations of the measured dust optical depth at 250 micronm per hydrogen atom T250/NH. We report an increase of T250/NH by a factor of about 2 between the atomic phase and the molecular phase, which has a strong impact on the equilibrium temperature of the dust particles.

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