Fuse measurements of far-ultraviolet extinction. II. Magellanic cloud sight lines

Stefan I.B. Cartledge, Geoffrey C. Clayton, Karl D. Gordon, Brian L. Rachford, B. T. Draine, P. G. Martin, John S. Mathis, K. A. Misselt, Ulysses J. Sofia, D. C.B. Whittet, Michael J. Wolff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


We present an extinction analysis of nine reddened/comparison star pairs in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC and SMC) based on Far-Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) FUVobservations. To date, just two LMC sight lines have probed dust grain composition and size distributions in the Magellanic Clouds using spectral data for wavelengths as short as 950 Å. We supplement these two with data from four regions distinguished by their IR through UV extinction curves and grouped as LMCAvg, LMC2, SMC bar, and SMC wing. Despite the distinct characters of extinction in the Clouds and Milky Way, our results are generally analogous to those found for Galactic curves - namely, that the FUSE portions of each extinction curve are described reasonably well by Fitzpatrick & Massa curves fitted only to longer wavelength data and lack any dramatic new extinction features, and any deviations from the Cardelli, Clayton, & Mathis (CCM) formalism continue into FUV wavelengths. A maximum entropy method analysis of all of these curves suggests that LMCAvg and SMC wing sight lines, whose extinction parameters more closely resemble those for Galactic paths, require more silicon and/or carbon in dust than current abundance measurements would indicate are available. The requirements for LMC2 and SMC bar sight lines do not fully tax the available reservoirs, in part because large grains contribute less to the extinction in these directions. An intermediate product of this extinction analysis is the measurement of new H2 abundances in the Magellanic Clouds. Collectively considering Cloud sight lines that possess significant H2 column densities, E(B - V)/N(H I) ratios are reduced by significant factors relative to the Galactic mean, whereas the corresponding E(B - V)/N(H2) values more closely resemble their Galactic counterpart. These trends reflect the fact that among these sight lines f(H2) values are lower than those common in the Milky Way for paths with similar degrees of reddening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-367
Number of pages13
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Dust, extinction
  • ISM: abundances
  • Magellanic Clouds
  • Ultraviolet: ISM


Dive into the research topics of 'Fuse measurements of far-ultraviolet extinction. II. Magellanic cloud sight lines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this