AAS 195th Meeting, January 2000
Session 8. Dwarf, Irregular and Starburst Galaxies
Display, Wednesday, January 12, 2000, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[8.05] The HST Snapshot Survey of Nearby Dwarf Galaxy Candidates. V. Using the E/S0 Galaxy Maffei~I as a Background Light Screen to Study Foreground Galactic Dust.

P. Guhathakurta (UCSC), A.E. Dolphin (NOAO), D. Geisler (U Concepción), E.K. Grebel (U Wash), P.W. Hodge (U Wash), I.D. Karachentsev (SAO), V.E. Karachentseva (U Kiev), A. Sarajedini (Wesleyan U), P. Seitzer (U Mich)

The nearby early-type galaxy Maffei~I (listed as E or S0-pec) was observed to better constrain the properties of the poorly studied group of galaxies to which it belongs. Maffei~I is located practically in the Galactic plane (b=0). It is substantially reddened by foreground Galactic interstellar dust and the amount of reddening varies from one line of sight to another within the WFPC2 field of view. Assuming Maffei~I is a normal E/SO galaxy, one can take advantage of the fact that such galaxies are typically characterized by smooth centrally concentrated surface brightness profiles obeying the r1/4 law, elliptical symmetry, and a smooth radial gradient in color (if any). We use Maffei~I as a reference screen of background illumination to study the fine-scale structure and extinction law of intervening Galactic dust.

PG is an Alfred P.\ Sloan Research Fellow. Support for this work was provided by NASA through grant GO-08192.97A from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.

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