The ESO Diffuse Interstellar Bands Large Exploration Survey EDIBLES: I. Project description, survey sample and quality assessment

Cox, Nick L.J. and Cami, Jan and Farhang, Amin and Smoker, Jonathan and Monreal-Ibero, Ana and Lallement, Rosine and Sarre, Peter J and Marshall, Charlotte C.M. and Smith, Keith T. and Evans, Christopher J. and Royer, Pierre and Linnartz, Harold and Cordiner, Martin A. and Joblin, Christine and van Loon, Jacco Th. and Foing, Bernard H. and Bhatt, Neil H. and Bron, Emeric and Elyajouri, Meriem and de Koter, Alex and Ehrenfreund, Pascale and Javadi, Atefeh and Kaper, Lex and Khosroshadi, Habib G and Laverick, Mike and Le Petit, Franck and Mulas, Giacomo and Roueff, Evelyne and Salama, Farid and Spaans, Marco (2017) The ESO Diffuse Interstellar Bands Large Exploration Survey EDIBLES: I. Project description, survey sample and quality assessment. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 606 . A76. ISSN 0004-6361

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The carriers of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are largely unidentified molecules ubiquitously present in the interstellar medium (ISM). After decades of study, two strong and possibly three weak near-infrared DIBs have recently been attributed to the C+ 60 fullerene based on observational and laboratory measurements. There is great promise for the identification of the over 400 other known DIBs, as this result could provide chemical hints towards other possible carriers.

In an effort to systematically study the properties of the DIB carriers, we have initiated a new large-scale observational survey: the ESO Diffuse Interstellar Bands Large Exploration Survey (EDIBLES). The main objective is to build on and extend existing DIB surveys to make a major step forward in characterising the physical and chemical conditions for a statistically significant sample of interstellar lines-of-sight, with the goal to reverse-engineer key molecular properties of the DIB carriers.

EDIBLES is a filler Large Programme using the Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph at the Very Large Telescope at Paranal, Chile. It is designed to provide an observationally unbiased view of the presence and behaviour of the DIBs towards early-spectraltype stars whose lines-of-sight probe the diffuse-to-translucent ISM. Such a complete dataset will provide a deep census of the atomic and molecular content, physical conditions, chemical abundances and elemental depletion levels for each sightline. Achieving these goals requires a homogeneous set of high-quality data in terms of resolution (R ~ 70 000 – 100 000), sensitivity (S/N up to 1000 per resolution element), and spectral coverage (305–1042 nm), as well as a large sample size (100+ sightlines). In this first paper the goals, objectives and methodology of the EDIBLES programme are described and an initial assessment of the data is provided.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: ISM: lines and bands – ISM: clouds – ISM: molecules – ISM: dust – local interstellar matter – Stars: early-type
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Chemistry
Identification Number: 10.1051/0004-6361/201730912
Depositing User: Smith, Ruth
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2017 12:10
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2017 12:12

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