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EREBUS: the EuRopean Extinction BUmp Survey

Abstract : Dust in the Interstellar Medium (ISM) is intimately linked to the life cycle of stars. Despite being of such fundamental importance to galaxy evolution, the dynamic behaviour and composition of the ISM are not yet fully understood. Observations of reddened Milky Way OB stars have revealed a strong UV extinction feature around 2175 Å and a precipitous extinction rise to the far UV along the lines of sight. Whilst the carrier(s) for this are at present still being debated, multiple laboratory studies suggest carbonate grains to be the key constituent. EREBUS is a mission concept being developed to study the composition of the ISM in both the Milky Way and Local Group Galaxies, primarily by mapping the spatial distribution of the UV extinction features. As these features are sensitive to the dust composition along the line of sight, EREBUS will provide a wealth of information about the spatial distribution and dynamic behaviour of the carrier(s). The mission proposes to deploy a satellite observatory equipped with a coarse UV spectrograph to map the extinction curve variability in the Milky Way in 3 dimensions and in the Local Group in 2 dimensions. In this paper, we discuss the scientific goals for the project, discuss a proposed observation strategy using an iterative process to develop a hierarchical map, and finally outline the instrument requirements and preliminary spacecraft architecture.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, July 12, 2022 - 11:52:08 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, July 13, 2022 - 3:48:48 AM

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L. Capitanio, M. Bartylak, M. Cui, B. Engegaard, M. Gassner, et al.. EREBUS: the EuRopean Extinction BUmp Survey. Experimental Astronomy, 2020, 50, pp.145-158. ⟨10.1007/s10686-020-09667-8⟩. ⟨insu-03720943⟩

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