AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 59. Dust
Display, Tuesday, January 8, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[59.05] High-Resolution Extinction Map of the Lupus Molecular Clouds

T. L. Huard (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), J. A. Alves (European Southern Observatory), C. J. Lada (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

Using the New Technology Telescope at the European Southern Observatory, we have obtained deep near-infrared images of the Lupus molecular cloud complex. Infrared extinctions were derived for more than ten thousand stars background to the cloud from measurements of their near-infrared color excesses. With these measurements, we have constructed a detailed map of the dust extinction through the cloud. This near-infrared color excess method has been demonstrated previously to be a powerful means by which to map the density distribution within other similar elongated dark clouds such as L977 and IC5146 (Lada et al. 1999, ApJ, 512, 250; Alves et al. 1998, ApJ, 506, 292). Our extinction map of the Lupus complex covers the most extensive region (more than 400 arcmin2) mapped to date at such a high angular resolution and depth. The extent and sensitivity of our map enables us to study both the large scale and small scale structure of the cloud complex. We then compare these results with those previously published for L977 and IC5146.

By examination of the near-infrared colors of the stars, we also estimate the spatial density of foreground stars and infer a distance to the Lupus clouds. Based on this distance and assuming the standard reddening law applies to the dust within these clouds, we derive the total dust mass for the entire complex as well as dust masses for the many individual quiescent and star-forming cores.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: thuard@cfa.harvard.edu

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