1S. Fogerty, 1, W. Forrest, 1D. M. Watson, 2B. A. Sargent, 3I. Koch
The Astrophysical Journal 830, 71 Link to Article []
1Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA
2Center for Imaging Science and Laboratory for Multiwavelength Astrophysics, Rochester Institute of Technology, 54 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623, USA
3Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA

The composition of silicate dust in the diffuse interstellar medium and in protoplanetary disks around young stars informs our understanding of the processing and evolution of the dust grains leading up to planet formation. An analysis of the well-known 9.7 μm feature indicates that small amorphous silicate grains represent a significant fraction of interstellar dust and are also major components of protoplanetary disks. However, this feature is typically modeled assuming amorphous silicate dust of olivine and pyroxene stoichiometries. Here, we analyze interstellar dust with models of silicate dust that include non-stoichiometric amorphous silicate grains. Modeling the optical depth along lines of sight toward the extinguished objects Cyg OB2 No. 12 and ζ Ophiuchi, we find evidence for interstellar amorphous silicate dust with stoichiometry intermediate between olivine and pyroxene, which we simply refer to as “polivene.” Finally, we compare these results to models of silicate emission from the Trapezium and protoplanetary disks in Taurus.


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