A CASE AGAINST SPINNING PAHS AS the SOURCE of the ANOMALOUS MICROWAVE EMISSION

Brandon S. Hensley, B. T. Draine, Aaron M. Meisner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

We employ an all-sky map of the anomalous microwave emission (AME) produced by component separation of the microwave sky to study correlations between the AME and Galactic dust properties. We find that while the AME is highly correlated with all tracers of dust emission, the best predictor of the AME strength is the dust radiance. Fluctuations in the AME intensity per dust radiance are uncorrelated with fluctuations in the emission from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), casting doubt on the association between AME and PAHs. The PAH abundance is strongly correlated with the dust optical depth and dust radiance, consistent with PAH destruction in low density regions. We find that the AME intensity increases with increasing radiation field strength, at variance with predictions from the spinning dust hypothesis. Finally, the temperature dependence of the AME per dust radiance disfavors the interpretation of the AME as thermal emission. A reconsideration of other AME carriers, such as ultrasmall silicates, and other emission mechanisms, such as magnetic dipole emission, is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number45
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume827
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 10 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • dust, extinction
  • radiation mechanisms: general
  • radio continuum: ISM

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