Mapping the Interstellar Dust with Near-Infrared Observations: An Optimized Multi-Band Technique

  • Marco Lombardi
  • João Alves
Conference paper
Part of the ESO Astrophysics Symposia book series (ESO)


We generalize Lada et al. (1994) Nice technique to map dust column density through a molecular cloud to an optimized multi-band technique that can be applied to any multi-band survey of molecular clouds. We present a first application to a ~ 625 deg2 subset of the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) data and show that when compared to Nice, the optimized Nicer (i) achieves the same extinction peak values, (ii) improves the noise variance of the map by a factor of 2 and (iii) is able to reach 3σ dust extinction measurements as low as A V ≃ 0.5 magnitudes, better than or equivalent to classical optical star count techniques and below the threshold column density for the formation of CO.


Molecular Cloud Column Density Spatial Smoothing Color Excess Color Scatter 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Lombardi
    • 1
  • João Alves
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für Astrophysik und Extraterrestrische ForschungBonnGermany
  2. 2.European Southern ObservatoryGarching bei MünchenGermany

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