The interstellar dust reservoir: SPICA's view on dust production and the interstellar medium in galaxies

29 Jul 2016  ·  Kemper F., Zhao-Geisler R., Jones O. C., Srinivasan S. ·

Typical galaxies emit about one third of their energy in the infrared. The origin of this emission reprocessed starlight absorbed by interstellar dust grains and reradiated as thermal emission in the infrared... In particularly dusty galaxies, such as starburst galaxies, the fraction of energy emitted in the infrared can be as high as 90%. Dust emission is found to be an excellent tracer of the beginning and end stages of a star's life, where dust is being produced by post-main-sequence stars, subsequently added to the interstellar dust reservoir, and eventually being consumed by star and planet formation. This work reviews the current understanding of the size and properties of this interstellar dust reservoir, by using the Large Magellanic Cloud as an example, and what can be learned about the dust properties and star formation in galaxies from this dust reservoir, using SPICA, building on previous work performed with the Herschel and Spitzer Space Telescopes, as well as the Infrared Space Observatory. read more

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Astrophysics of Galaxies Solar and Stellar Astrophysics