Properties of galactic cirrus clouds observed by BOOMERANG

M. Veneziani, P. A.R. Ade, J. J. Bock, A. Boscaleri, B. P. Crill, P. De Bernardis, G. De Gasperis, A. De Oliveira-Costa, G. De Troia, G. Di Stefano, K. M. Ganga, W. C. Jones, T. S. Kisner, A. E. Lange, C. J. MacTavish, S. Masi, P. D. Mauskopf, T. E. Montroy, P. Natoli, C. B. NetterfieldE. Pascale, F. Piacentini, D. Pietrobon, G. Polenta, S. Ricciardi, G. Romeo, J. E. Ruhl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


The physical properties of galactic cirrus emission are not well characterized. BOOMERANG is a balloon-borne experiment designed to study the cosmic microwave background at high angular resolution in the millimeter range. The BOOMERANG 245 and 345GHz channels are sensitive to interstellar signals, in a spectral range intermediate between FIR and microwave frequencies. We look for physical characteristics of cirrus structures in a region at high galactic latitudes (b∼ -40°) where BOOMERANG performed its deepest integration, combining the BOOMERANG data with other available data sets at different wavelengths. We have detected eight emission patches in the 345GHz map, consistent with cirrus dust in the Infrared Astronomical Satellite maps. The analysis technique we have developed allows us to identify the location and the shape of cirrus clouds, and to extract the flux from observations with different instruments at different wavelengths and angular resolutions. We study the integrated flux emitted from these cirrus clouds using data from Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), DIRBE, BOOMERANG and Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe in the frequency range 23-3000GHz (13 mm-100 μm wavelength). We fit the measured spectral energy distributions with a combination of a gray body and a power-law spectra considering two models for the thermal emission. The temperature of the thermal dust component varies in the 7-20K range and its emissivity spectral index is in the 1-5 range. We identified a physical relation between temperature and spectral index as had been proposed in previous works. This technique can be proficiently used for the forthcoming Planck and Herschel missions data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-969
Number of pages11
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Cosmology: observations
  • ISM: clouds
  • Radio continuum: ISM
  • Submillimeter: ISM


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