The peculiar dust distribution of M82

T. Ichikawa, W. Van Driel, T. Aoki, T. Soyano, K. Tarusawa, S. Yoshida

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16 Citations (Scopus)


We found peculiar dust lanes located at high galactic latitude in the starburst galaxy M82, based on wide-field (12′.5 × 12′.8) CCD imaging in the BVRCIC bands. The dust lanes, which bisect the galactic center, extend to z ∼ 1′.6 (1.5 kpc at a distance of 3.3 Mpc) above and below the fundamental plane and out to 5′.3-6′.5 (5.1-6.2 kpc) parallel to the major axis. The average color excess at z = 0.5-1 kpc corresponds to AV ∼ 0.22 mag in the northern half of the galaxy and to ∼0.35 mag in the south. The local N(H I + 2H2)/AV ratio high above the galactic plane is 1.0-6.7 × 1021 cm-2 mag-1, comparable to the Galactic value. The total estimated gas mass at 0.5 < |z| < 1 kpc is about 4.9 × 107 M, adopting N(H)/AV = 4 × 1021 cm-2 mag-1. The densest part of the dust ridge to the south of the galactic center is closely correlated with the CO distribution, and the overall dust distribution follows the warped, flaring S-shaped H I gas disk to the NE and SW as well as the peculiar H I features towards the NW and NE. We find that the small circumnuclear arc noticed earlier in color excess and emission line images is actually part of a much larger structure extending toward the halo. The debris of dust clouds at the NE edge of the disk is likely to be related to the warping of H I gas distribution as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-647
Number of pages3
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1994 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Dust, extinction
  • Galaxies: ISM
  • Galaxies: individual (M82)
  • Galaxies: photometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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