Studies Of Diffuse Ultraviolet Radiation
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Ever since the first observations of diffuse ultraviolet radiation by Hayakawa et al. (1969) and Lillie & Witt (1976), there has been an effort to understand its distribution and its origin. Unfortunately, because of the difficulty of the observations and the faintness of the background, many of the early observations were conspicuous more by their disagreements than by the light they shed on the topic. The state of the observations and theories before 1990 have been reviewed by Bowyer (1991) and Henry (1991). There has been significant progress in more recent years, particularly in the far ultraviolet (< 1200˚A) where Murthy et al. (1999) and Murthy & Sahnow (2004) have used spectroscopic data from the Voyager and FUSE (Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer) spacecraft, respectively, to trace the radiation field over many different locations in the sky. There have also been a number of observations at longer wavelengths, most recently by the SPEAR instrument (Ryu et al. 2008, and references therein), but no systematic study of the UV background. The Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) offers us the opportunity to extend coverage of the diffuse background to a significant fraction of the sky with a sensitivity of better than 100 photons cm−2 sr−1 s−1 ˚A−1 . In this work, we will report on one such observation, that of the nebulosity observed near M82 by Sandage (1976). These GALEX observations are the first to probe the diffuse UV background at a spatial resolution comparable to other surveys of dust emission, notably the IR. We obtain a quantitative estimate of the Airglow, the Zodiacal Light and the Extragalactic Background Radiation. We have modelled the data with our monte carlo scattering simulation program, and inferred an estimate of albedo and scattering phase function parameter of the dust in Sandage region. In this thesis the methods and results of these deductions are explained in detail.
- Physics (PHY)