Interstellar extinction in the infrared

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Extinction by interstellar dust at infrared wavelengths is reviewed. For 0.7<λ<7μm the observed extinction, both in the Galaxy and in the Magellanic Clouds, appears to be consistent with a simple power law, Aλ∝λ-1.75, although the observational uncertainties remain appreciable. In the 8-30μm region interstellar extinction is dominated by the 9.7μm and 18μm silicate features; the absolute strength (relative to the continuum extinction at shorter wavelengths), the detailed wavelength-dependence of these features, and the possible variation of the profile shape from diffuse clouds to dense clouds, all remain somewhat controversial. In the far-infrared λ~>30μm grain emissivity estimates by different authors vary considerably; future observations of thermal emission from diffuse clouds in the 300μm region offer the prospect of substantially reducing uncertainties in far-infrared emissivities. -Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-98
Number of pages6
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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