Radiative transfer models in a spherical, turbulent interstellar medium (ISM), in which the photon source is situated at the center, are calculated to investigate the correlation between the scattered light and the dust column density. The medium is modeled using fractional Brownian motion structures that are appropriate for turbulent ISM. The correlation plot between the scattered light and optical depth shows substantial scatter and deviation from simple proportionality. It was also found that the overall density contrast is smoothed out in scattered light. In other words, there is an enhancement of the dust-scattered flux in low-density regions, while the scattered flux is suppressed in high-density regions. The correlation becomes less significant as the scattering becomes closer to being isotropic and the medium becomes more turbulent. Therefore, the scattered light observed in near-infrared wavelengths would show much weaker correlation than the observations in optical and ultraviolet wavelengths. We also find that the correlation plot between scattered lights at two different wavelengths shows a tighter correlation than that of the scattered light versus the optical depth.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- December 2013
- methods: numerical;
- radiative transfer;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 6 pages, 5 figure, accepted for publication in the ApJ Letters