The Dust-to-Gas Ratio in the Small Magellanic Cloud Tail

Gordon, K. D., Bot, C., Muller, E., Misselt, K. A., Bolatto, A., Bernard, J.-P., Reach, W., Engelbracht, C. W., Babler, B., Bracker, S., Block, M., Clayton, G. C., Hora, J., Indebetouw, R., Israel, F. P., Li, A., Madden, S., Meade, M., Meixner, M., Sewilo, M., Shiao, B., Smith, L. J., van Loon, J. Th., & Whitney, B. A.
2009, The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 690, L76


The Tail region of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) was imaged using the MIPS instrument on the Spitzer Space Telescope as part of the SAGE-SMC Spitzer Legacy. Diffuse infrared emission from dust was detected in all the MIPS bands. The Tail gas-to-dust ratio was measured to be 1200 ± 350 using the MIPS observations combined with existing IRAS and H I observations. This gas-to-dust ratio is higher than the expected 500-800 from the known Tail metallicity indicating possible destruction of dust grains. Two cluster regions in the Tail were resolved into multiple sources in the MIPS observations and local gas-to-dust ratios were measured to be ~ 440 and ~ 250 suggest dust formation and/or significant amounts of ionized gas in these regions. These results support the interpretation that the SMC Tail is a tidal Tail recently stripped from the SMC that includes gas, dust, and young stars.

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