We have performed a 5-colour surface photometric study of the high-galactic-latitude area of dark nebula LDN 1642. Scattered light properties are presented of diffuse, translucent, and opaque dust over the range of 3500-5500 Å . Far infrared absolute photometry at 200 µm improves the precision of and provides a zero point to the extinction. The intensity of the scattered light depends on dust column density in a characteristic way: for optically thin dust the intensity first increases linearly, then turns to a saturation value; at still larger extinctions the intensity turns down to a slow decrease. The AV value of the saturated intensity maximum shifts in a systematic way, from AV ≈ 1.5 mag at 3500 Å to ~3 mag at 5500 Å . The intensity curves offer a straight-forward explanation for the behaviour of the scattered-light colours. At the intensity peak the colour agrees with the integrated starlight colour, while it is bluer at the low- and redder at the high-column-density side of the peak, respectively. These colour changes are a direct consequence of the wavelength dependence of the extinction. We have compared the colours of the LDN 1642 area with other relevant observational studies: high-latitude diffuse/translucent clouds, wide-field cirrus dust; and externally illuminated AGB-star envelopes. For extragalactic low-surface-brightness sources cirrus is an unwanted foreground contaminant. Our results for cirrus colours can help to distinguish cases where a diffuse plume or stream, apparently associated with a galaxy or a group or cluster, is more likely a local cirrus structure.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Pub Date:
- September 2023
- ISM: clouds;
- solar neighbourhood;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 20 pages, 10 figures, accepted for publication in MNRAS, published as MNRAS advance article on June 27 2023