Discovery Guides Areas


Diffuse Interstellar Bands: A Cosmic Mystery
(Released November 2009)

  by Pam Graham  


Key Citations




Resources eLibrary Resources
eLibrary Resources
  1. Gemstones in the Southern Sky

    The Hubble Space Telescope has captured the most detailed images to date of the open star clusters NGC 265 (top) and NGC 290 (bottom) in the Small Magellanic Cloud -- two sparkling sets of gemstones in the southern sky. These brilliant open star clusters are located about 200,000 light-years away and are roughly 65 light-years across.

    Star clusters can be held together tightly by gravity, as is the case with densely packed crowds of hundreds of thousands of stars, called globular clusters. Or, they can be more loosely bound, irregularly shaped groupings of up to several thousands of stars, like the open clusters shown in this image.

    The stars in these open clusters are all relatively young and were born from the same cloud of interstellar gas.
    Copyright 2008 NASA

  2. Interstellar EGGs

    Eerie, dramatic pictures from the Hubble telescope show newborn stars emerging from "eggs" -- not the barnyard variety -- but rather, dense, compact pockets of interstellar gas called evaporating gaseous globules (EGGs). Hubble found the "EGGs," appropriately enough, in the Eagle Nebula, a nearby star-forming region 7,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Serpens. These striking pictures resolve the EGGs at the tip of finger-like features protruding from monstrous columns of cold gas and dust. The columns -- dubbed "elephant trunks" -- protrude from the wall of a vast cloud of molecular hydrogen, like stalagmites rising above the floor of a cavern. Inside the gaseous towers, which are light-years long, the interstellar gas is dense enough to collapse under its own weight, forming young stars that continue to grow as they accumulate more and more mass from their surroundings.

    Copyright 2008 NASA

  3. Supernovae Remnant

    In the nearby galaxy known as the Small Magellanic Cloud, a massive star has exploded as a supernova and begun to dissipate its interior into a spectacular display of colorful filaments, reminiscent of fireworks display.

    The supernova remnant (SNR), known as "E0102" for short, is the greenish-blue shell of debris just below the center of this image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. This delicate structure, glowing a multitude of lavenders and peach hues, resides in the upper right of the image.

    Determined to be only about 2,000 years old, E0102 is relatively young on astronomical scales and is just beginning its interactions with the nearby interstellar medium. . . .

    NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) and J. Green (University of Colorado, Boulder)
    Copyright 2009 NASA

Resources taken from Proquest's eLibrary Science

Charts and Tables
  1. The upper panel shows the location of the targets on an optical red image of the LMC. The targets observed in and near the 30 Dor star-forming region are shown in the lower panel, which is an enlargement of the rectangle shown in the upper panel. Target details are listed in Table 1. SN 1987A was extensively observed by Vladilo et al. (1987), Vidal-Madjar et al. (1987) and Welty et al. (1999). Image courtesy of Karl Gordon, based on Bothun & Thompson (1988), Kennicutt et al. (1995) and Parker et al. (1998).

    The Large Magellanic Cloud: diffuse interstellar bands, atomic lines and the local environmental conditions
    Cox, NLJ; Cordiner, MA; Cami, J; Foing, BH; Sarre, PJ; Kaper, L; Ehrenfreund, P, Astronomy & Astrophysics [Astron. Astrophys.]. Vol. 447, no. 3, pp. 991-1009. 1 Mar 2006.
  2. Profiles of the interstellar KI lines in the R - 120 000 spectra of all target objects.

    A search for fine structure inside high resolution profiles of weak diffuse interstellar bands
    Slyk, K; Galazutdinov, GA; Musaev, FA; Bondar, AV; Schmidt, MR; Krelowski, J, Astronomy & Astrophysics [Astron. Astrophys.]. Vol. 448, no. 1, pp. 221-229. 2 Mar 2006.
  3. Observations of the î"5797 diffuse band obtained with the Ultra-high Resolution Facil- ity on the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) and at Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO). Data recorded towards three stars are shown and illustrate the consistency of the ïne structure of the features (Kerr et al. 1998).

    Organic compounds as carriers of the diffuse interstellar bands
    Sarre, Peter J, Proceedings of the International Astronomical Society. Vol. 4, no. S251, pp. 49-56. Feb 2008.
Tables taken from ProQuest's Illustrata

  1. Ted P. Snow
    Astrobiology Program, University of Colorado at Boulder
    From Publication Titles: A New FUSE Survey of Interstellar HD. . .The Abundance of Interstellar Fluorine and Its Implications. . .A Catalog of Diffuse Interstellar Bands in the Spectrum of HD 204827

  2. John Paul Maier
    Professor, Department of Chemistry, Universität Basel
    From Publication Abstracts: Four-wave mixing techniques have been used for the measurement of electronic transitions of cold transient species generated in a supersonic slit-jet discharge expansion. The origin band of the d(3)Pi(g)-a(3)Pi(u) system of C(2) and A(2)Pi(3/2)-X[combining tilde](2)Pi(3/2) electronic transition. . .-nm DIB range. The origin bands of larger bare carbon rings, such as C. . ., have also been observed. . .the results from these studies and compare them with astronomical measurements of the diffuseinterstellarband (DIB) absorptions. Although carbon chains comprising up to a handful of carbon atoms cannot

  3. Ben McCall
    Assistant Professor, Department of Astronomy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    From Publication Abstracts: The stars show [image] and spectral types near O9.5 V and B0.5 III. A catalog is presented of 380 diffuseinterstellarbands (DIBs) measured between 3900 and 8100 Aa in the stars' spectrum. The central wavelengths, the widths (FWHM), and the equivalent widths of nearly all of the bands are tabulated, along. . .Diffuseinterstellar clouds have long been thought to be relatively devoid of molecules, because. . .for the different types of interstellar clouds: diffuse atomic, diffuse molecular, translucent, and dense.

  4. W. W. Duley
    Professor, Department of Physics, University of Waterloo
    From Publication Abstracts: Diamond-like carbon films have been fabricated using 308nm excimer laser ablation in vacuum followed by deposition at temperatures between 77K and 573K. Optical band gap energies are obtained from UV/optical spectroscopy. Raman spectra and X-ray photoelectron spectra (XPS) show that the sp3/(sp2. . .wavelength range that replicate those found in the infrared emission spectrum of interstellar. . .Observational data on the appearance and properties of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are reviewed in the context of a model in which the proposed carriers of these bands are large carbon

Scholars taken from ProQuest's Community of Scholars