Interpretation of Extragalactic Extinction Measurements Using the Maximum Entropy Method

Clayton, G. C., Wolff, M. J., Gordon, K. D., & Misselt, K. A.
2000, Thermal Emission Spectroscopy and Analysis of Dust, 196, 41

We present size distributions of interstellar dust grains derived from several sightlines in the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds. Employing the Maximum Entropy Method algorithm, as developed by Kim and collaborators, we fit interstellar extinction measurements which span the wavelength range 0.125-3 micron. In order to facilitate comparison, our sample includes several Galactic sightlines whose extinction curves share some similarities with the extragalactic targets. Our work has greatly benefited from recent reanalyses of IUE observations. The grain models employed for this presentation are the simplistic homogeneous spheres models (i.e., Mathis, Rumpl, & Nordsieck 1977) with two (graphite, silicate) or three (graphite, silicate, amorphous carbon) components. Though such usage is only a first step, the results do provide interesting insight into the use of grain size as a diagnostic of extragalactic environment.


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