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Recent data from SAS-2 on the galactic gamma-ray line flux as a function of longitude reveal a broad maximum in the region below 30 deg. These data, as unfolded here, imply that the low-energy (1-10 GeV) galactic cosmic-ray flux varies with the radial distance from the galactic center and is about an order of magnitude higher than the local value in a toroidal region for radial distances between 4 and 5 kpc. We further show that this enhancement can be plausibly accounted for by Fermi acceleration and compression caused by a hydrodynamic shock driven by the expanding gas in the 3-kpc arm and invoked in some versions of galactic structure theory.
The gaseous components studied in H I and OH absorption against the extragalactic radiosources 3C123 and 3C111 are found to be the low-density edges of condensations of a few 100 solar masses. The densest part of one of these condensations has a structure similar to that found in other dark clouds: it is fragmented into several cores of a few solar masses, with an orbital velocity dispersion of about 2 km/s. In turn, the extended low-density layer, optically thick in CO (2-1), is not a common feature. It depends on the ambient UV field, but the dust temperature in the core may control its existence. Even more critically; it is found that the lower is the dust temperature, the less massive is the core and the more extended is the envelope around it, for a given total mass in a given external pressure.
General expressions are developed for the statistical errors to be expected in photometric measurements due to confusion in a background of fluctuating surface brightness. Backgrounds actually observed in the far IR by the IRAS satellite are used to calculate tables of these error expressions for two simple measurement techniques. The confusion-noise-limited sensitivities for NASA's planned Space IR Telescope Facility and the ESA's IR Space Observatory are estimated at a wavelength of 100 microns from these tables.
A model for the IR emission and extinction properties of small dust particles is used here to compute the IR emissions in the IRAS photometric bands for a set of isolated, spherical, and nonhomogeneous clouds heated by the local interstellar radiation field. It is predicted that the IR limb brightening (LB) in the IRAS photometric bands caused by selective absorption of UV photons of different energies in the cloud generally happens for central extinctions over 4 mag at 12 microns and greater than 10 mag at 100 microns and intermediate extinctions for the other IRAS bands. The surface brightness in the four IRAS bands is limited to about 0.4, 0.6, 3, and 10 MJy/sr at 12, 25, 60, and 100 microns respectively when no strong density discontinuity is present at the cloud edge.
The predictions of the model of Puget et al. (1985) for the emission from Very Small Grains (VSGs) including both graphitic and silicate components are compared with published 8-13-micron observations of astronomical sources. The VSGs are found to be mainly graphitic and an upper limit is placed on the relative mass of silicates based on lack of the 9.7-micron silicate emission feature on M 82 and NGC 2023. This dissymetry in the composition of VSGs supports the suggestion that they are formed in grain-grain collisions where the behaviors of graphite and silicate grains are expected to be quite different.
Comment: 13 pages, Latex, 3 postscript figures, last revised version on September, the 25th, accepted for publication in Nature
Comment: 11 pages, 6 figures, some new discussion added, Fig5 replaced, minor typographical changes, submitted to MNRAS
Comment: 8 pages, Latex, invited contribution to Proc. of 34th Liege International Astrophysics Colloquium on the "Next Generation Space Telescope", Belgium, June, 1998, details in the text and references added
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