The Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Mass Fraction on a 10 pc Scale in the Magellanic Clouds

Jérémy Chastenet, Karin Sandstrom, I. Da Chiang, Adam K. Leroy, Dyas Utomo, Caroline Bot, Karl D. Gordon, Bruce T. Draine, Yasuo Fukui, Toshikazu Onishi, Kisetsu Tsuge

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Abstract

We present maps of the dust properties in the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds (SMC, LMC) from fitting Spitzer and Herschel observations with the Draine & Li dust model. We derive the abundance of the small carbonaceous grain (or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon; PAH) component. The global PAH fraction (, the fraction of the dust mass in the form of PAHs) is smaller in the SMC ( %) than in the LMC ( %). We measure the PAH fraction in different gas phases (H ii regions, ionized gas outside of H ii regions, molecular gas, and diffuse neutral gas). H ii regions appear as distinctive holes in the spatial distribution of the PAH fraction. In both galaxies, the PAH fraction in the diffuse neutral medium is higher than in the ionized gas, but similar to the molecular gas. Even at equal radiation field intensity, the PAH fraction is lower in the ionized gas than in the diffuse neutral gas. We investigate the PAH life-cycle as a function of metallicity between the two galaxies. The PAH fraction in the diffuse neutral medium of the LMC is similar to that of the Milky Way (∼4.6%), while it is significantly lower in the SMC. Plausible explanations for the higher PAH fraction in the diffuse neutral medium of the LMC compared to the SMC include: more effective PAH production by fragmentation of large grains at higher metallicity, and/or the growth of PAHs in molecular gas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number62
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume876
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • ISM: abundances
  • Magellanic Clouds
  • dust, extinction

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    Chastenet, J., Sandstrom, K., Chiang, I. D., Leroy, A. K., Utomo, D., Bot, C., Gordon, K. D., Draine, B. T., Fukui, Y., Onishi, T., & Tsuge, K. (2019). The Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Mass Fraction on a 10 pc Scale in the Magellanic Clouds. Astrophysical Journal, 876(1), [62]. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/ab16cf