Simulating the effects of intergalactic gray dust

Rupert A.C. Croft, Romeel Davé, Lars Hernquist, Neal Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Using a high-resolution cosmological hydrodynamic simulation, we present a method to constrain extinction due to intergalactic gray dust based on the observed magnitudes of distant Type Ia supernovae. We apply several simple prescriptions to relate the intergalactic dust density to the gas density in the simulation, thereby obtaining dust extinctions that may be directly compared with the observed distribution of supernova magnitudes. Our analysis is sensitive to the spatial distribution of gray dust but is not dependent on its intrinsic properties, such as its opacity or grain size. We present an application of our technique to the supernova data of Perlmutter et al., who find that their high-redshift sample is ∼0.2 mag fainter than the expectation for a nonaccelerating, low-density universe. We find that for gray dust to be responsible, it must be distributed quite smoothly (e.g., tracing intergalactic gas). More realistic dust distributions, such as dust tracing the metal density, are inconsistent with observations at the 1.5-2 σ level. Upcoming observations and improved modeling of the dust distribution should lead to stronger constraints on intergalactic gray dust extinction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L123-L126
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 2
StatePublished - May 10 2000


  • Cosmology: observations
  • Dust, extinction
  • Large-scale structure of universe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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