We have conducted the first millimetre wavelength search for interstellar dust within globular clusters, by carrying out observations of M3 and M22. We have found no dust in the central 14" and 18" of the clusters, respectively, to a limit of ~10^-3^...10^-1^Msun_ (M3) and ~10^-5^...10^-3^Msun_ (M22), depending on the absorption efficiency assumed for the dust. If, as we argue, the appropriate absorption efficiency is for circumstellar rather than interstellar dust, the smaller upper limits are appropriate. These limits are comparable with, or somewhat tighter than, those obtained in previous searches at other wavelengths, although tighter upper limits on mass per unit area or on mass per unit beam are generally provided by IRAS data. However, observations at millimetre wavelengths are sensitive to dust at significantly lower temperatures. These results are consistent with previous searches for dust in clusters, which have given upper limits below 10^-2^Msun_, except for a possible detection in 47 Tuc at the 3x10^-4^Msun_ level. M3 and M22 are expected to have produced some 0.05Msun_ and 810^-4^Msun_ of dust respectively since their last Galactic plane crossing, as calculated from the rate of injection of dust into the interstellar medium by evolving member stars and from the orbits of the clusters. The discrepancy between observation and theory is discussed.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- February 1997
- GLOBULAR CLUSTERS: GENERAL;
- GLOBULAR CLUSTERS: INDIVIDUAL (M3);
- GLOBULAR CLUSTERS: INDIVIDUAL (M22);
- GALAXY: KINEMATICS AND DYNAMICS;