Observational constraints on submillimeter dust opacity

Yancy L. Shirley, Tracy L. Huard, Klaus M. Pontoppidan, David J. Wilner, Amelia M. Stutz, John H. Bieging, Neal J. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Infrared extinction maps and submillimeter dust continuum maps are powerful probes of the density structure in the envelope of star-forming cores. We make a direct comparison between infrared and submillimeter dust continuum observations of the low-mass Class 0 core, B335, to constrain the ratio of submillimeter to infrared opacity (κsmmir) and the submillimeter opacity power-law index (κ α λ). Using the average value of theoretical dust opacity models at 2.2 μm, we constrain the dust opacity at 850 and 450 μm. Using new dust continuum models based upon the broken power-law density structure derived from interferometric observations of B335 and the infall model derived from molecular line observations of B335, we find that the opacity ratios are κ8502.2 = (3.21-4.80)+0.44 -0.30 × 10-4 and κ450/ κ2.2 = (12.8-24.8)+2.4-1.3 × 10-4 with a submillimeter opacity power-law index of βsmm = (2.18-2.58)+0.30-0.30. The range of quoted values is determined from the uncertainty in the physical model for B335. For an average 2.2 μm opacity of 3800 ± 700 cm2 g-1, we find a dust opacity at 850 and 450 μm of κ850 = (1.18-1.77)+0.36-0.24 and κ450 =(4.72-9.13)+1.9-0.98 cm2 g-1 of dust. These opacities are from (0.65-0.97) κOH5850 of the widely used theoretical opacities of Ossenkopf and Henning for coagulated ice grains with thin mantles at 850 μm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 20 2011


  • Dust, extinction
  • ISM: clouds
  • Stars: formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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