AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 60 Secular Evolution Potpourri: Star Formation to Galactic Structures
Poster, Tuesday, January 11, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

Previous   |   Session 60   |   Next

[60.14] Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of Dust Structures in Galactic Nuclei

S.O. Vasylyev, W.C. Keel (Univ. of Alabama)

We explore the reconstruction of three-dimensional dust geometries near galaxy nuclei, using the different attenuation-color relations expected for various amounts of dilution by foreground starlight. Two-color data can yield dust depths into the galaxy if the reddening curve is known, while additional passbands constrain the possible forms of the reddening law as well. We describe several aspects of the computational technique, and illustrate its application to galaxy nuclei from the HST WFPC2 archive. While the most complete reconstruction of geometry involves a three-dimensional model for the starlight distribution, important aspects of the dust structure can be retrieved simply from knowing its relative depth into the starlight. Our results agree with previous analyses of the dust annulus in NGC 4261 and the more chaotic distribution of material in NGC 1316 in which some clouds exceed \tauV=2. We present results for additional nuclei, stressing early-type spirals where the smooth bulge light provides a suitable background, and draw particular attention to features that lie well out of the disk plane and are likely to be transient. This work was supported by NASA through STScI grant HST-AR-09530.01-A.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: vasyl001@bama.ua.edu, keel@bildad.astr.ua.edu

Previous   |   Session 60   |   Next

Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.