Diagnostics of Dust Opacity in Spiral Galaxies

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Session 48 -- Spiral, Dwarf and Irregular Galaxies
Display presentation, Wednesday, 1, 1994, 9:20-6:30

[48.16] Diagnostics of Dust Opacity in Spiral Galaxies

Y.I.Byun (IfA/UH), K.C.Freeman (MSSSO), N.D.Kylafis (U.Crete)

In order to find the best observable diagnostics for the amount of internal extinction within spiral galaxies, we have constructed realistic models for disk galaxies with immersed dust layers. The radiative transfer including both scattering and absorption has been computed for a range of model galaxies in various orientations. Standard galaxy surface photometry techniques were then applied to the numerical data to illustrate how different observables such as total magnitude, color and luminosity distribution behave under given conditions of dust distribution. This work reveals a set of superior diagnostics for the dust in the disk. These include not only the integrated parameters but also the apparent disk structural parameters, the amplitude of the asymmetry between the near and far sides of the galaxy as divided by the apparent major axis and their dependence on the orientation of the galaxy with respect to the observer. Combining the above diagnostics with our impressions of real galaxies, we arrive at the qualitative conclusion that galaxy discs are generally optically thin.

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