Detalles de publicación

PP 010005

Explaining the Galactic Interstellar Dust Grain Size Distribution Function

E. Casuso and J. E. Beckman
Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias Department of Astrophysics University of La Laguna
We present here a new theoretical model designed to explain the interstellar dust grain size distribution
function (IDGSDF), and compare its results with previous observationally derived distributions and with previous theoretical
models. The range of grain sizes produced
in the late stages of stars with different masses is considered, and folded into a model which takes into account the
observed changes in the historical local star formation rate. Stars in different mass ranges reach their grain
producing epochs at times whose mass dependence is quantifiable, and the range of grain sizes produced has also been
estimated as a function of stellar mass. The results show an IDGSDF which has a global slope comparable to the
observationally derived plot and three peaks at values of the grain radius
comparable to those in the observationally derived distribution,
which have their ultimate origin in three major peaks which have been observed in the SFR over the past 15 Gyr. The model
uses grain-grain interactions to modify pre-existing size distributions at lower grain sizes, where collisions appear more
important. The interactions
include disruption by collisions as well as coagulation to form larger grains. The initial distributions are given
a range of initial functions (flat, Gaussian, fractal) for their physical parameters, as well as geometrical
forms ranging from spherical to highly elongated. The particles are constrained in an imaginary box, and laws of inelastic collisions are applied.
Finally we combine the two models and produce an IDGSDF which is a notably good match to the observational fit, and
specifically at small grain radii reproduces the data bettter than the "SFR model" alone.

Aceptado para publicación en Astronomical Journal | Enviado el 2010-01-31 | Proyecto P3/86