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M. M. Drosback (University of Colorado)
The identification of the carriers of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) is an unsolved problem in astrochemistry that has persisted for over eight decades. Several hundred of these weak absorption features have been detected, yet none have been definitively connected to a specific carrier. In this talk, I will present some of the results of an ongoing study of the line profiles of the DIBs, the goal of which is to characterize the physics of the transition mechanisms producing some of these features in the hopes of placing constraints on the carriers of the DIBs. This study makes use of data from a long-term survey using the Astrophysics Research Consortium Echelle Spectrograph (ARCES) on the 3.5-m telescope at Apache Point Observatory. This unique dataset contains high signal-to-noise (S/N of approximately 1000) spectra of nearly 200 sightlines, allowing us to compare profiles of diffuse bands taken from a large sample of stars with a broad range of interstellar physical properties.
I would like to gratefully acknowledge funding for this work provided by the Graduate Student Researchers Program through NASA-Ames Research Center.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.