Skip to main content

Pseudo-three-dimensional maps of the diffuse interstellar band at 862 nm

Williams, Mary E.K.; Munari, U.; Bienayme, O.; Binney, J.; Bland-Hawthorn, J.; Freeman, Kenneth; Gibson, B. K.; Gilmore, G.; Grebel, Eva K.; Helmi, A.; Kordopatis, G.; Navarro, J.; Zwitter, T.; Parker, Q.; Reid, Warren A.; Seabroke, G.; Sharma, S.; Siebert, A.; Siviero, A.; Steinmetz, M.; Watson, Fred G.; Williams, M. E. K.; Wyse, R.; Kos, J.; Gibson, Brad K.; Bienaymé, Olivier; Binney, James; Bland-Hawthorn, Joss; Freeman, Ken; Gilmore, Gerry; Grebel, Eva; Helmi, Amina; Kordopatis, Georges; Kos, Janez; Munari, Ulisse; Navarro, Julio; Parker, Quentin; Reid, Warren; Seabroke, George; Sharma, Sanjib; Siebert, Arnaud; Siviero, Alessandro; Steinmetz, Matthias; Watson, Fred; Williams, Mary; Wyse, Rosemary; Zwitter, Tomaž


Mary E.K. Williams

U. Munari

O. Bienayme

J. Binney

J. Bland-Hawthorn

Kenneth Freeman

B. K. Gibson

G. Gilmore

Eva K. Grebel

A. Helmi

G. Kordopatis

J. Navarro

T. Zwitter

Q. Parker

Warren A. Reid

G. Seabroke

S. Sharma

A. Siebert

A. Siviero

M. Steinmetz

Fred G. Watson

M. E. K. Williams

R. Wyse

J. Kos

Olivier Bienaymé

James Binney

Joss Bland-Hawthorn

Ken Freeman

Gerry Gilmore

Eva Grebel

Amina Helmi

Georges Kordopatis

Janez Kos

Ulisse Munari

Julio Navarro

Quentin Parker

Warren Reid

George Seabroke

Sanjib Sharma

Arnaud Siebert

Alessandro Siviero

Matthias Steinmetz

Fred Watson

Mary Williams

Rosemary Wyse

Tomaž Zwitter


The diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are absorption lines observed in visual and near-infrared spectra of stars. Understanding their origin in the interstellar medium is one of the oldest problems in astronomical spectroscopy, as DIBs have been known since 1922. In a completely new approach to understanding DIBs, we combined information from nearly 500,000 stellar spectra obtained by the massive spectroscopic survey RAVE (Radial Velocity Experiment) to produce the first pseudo–three-dimensional map of the strength of the DIB at 8620 angstroms covering the nearest 3 kiloparsecs from the Sun, and show that it follows our independently constructed spatial distribution of extinction by interstellar dust along the Galactic plane. Despite having a similar distribution in the Galactic plane, the DIB 8620 carrier has a significantly larger vertical scale height than the dust. Even if one DIB may not represent the general DIB population, our observations outline the future direction of DIB research.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Aug 15, 2014
Journal Science
Print ISSN 0036-8075
Electronic ISSN 1095-9203
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 345
Issue 6198
Pages 791-795
APA6 Citation Kos, J., Zwitter, T., Wyse, R., Bienayme, O., Binney, J., Bland-Hawthorn, J., …Zwitter, T. (2014). Pseudo-three-dimensional maps of the diffuse interstellar band at 862 nm. Science, 345(6198), 791-795.
Keywords Diffuse interstellar bands
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here by permission of the AAAS for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Science on v.345 15 Aug 2014, DOI: 10.1126/science.1253171.


You might also like

Downloadable Citations