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The temperature of interstellar iron grains

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In order for catalytic reactions to occur in interstellar dust clouds, it is necessary for the temperature of the grains to be about an order of magnitude hotter than usually calculated for grains of dielectric materials. However, transition metal (e.g., iron) grains should be fairly abundant, and because they absorb strongly in the visible and ultraviolet regions of the interstellar radiation field, they have equilibrium temperatures ∼ 133 K. This was determined by a new method which utilizes ‘Semi-Empirical’ free electron theory parameters in the infrared, coupled with a reiteration scheme which takes into consideration the change of conductivity of the iron with temperature.

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Tabak, R.G. The temperature of interstellar iron grains. Astrophys Space Sci 49, 41–46 (1977).

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  • Radiation
  • Iron
  • Dust
  • Free Electron
  • Catalytic Reaction