Astrophysics (Index)About

thermal dust emission

(glow of dust heated by stars or AGNs)

Thermal dust emission occurs in the Milky Way when dust is heated by nearby stars, producing infrared radiation, of interest in its own right as well as a problem for precision observation of objects within or beyond the Milky Way, including studies of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Such dust emission affects observation of other galaxies as well: it can serve as a sign of star formation as the short-lived early stars heat the galaxy's dust, causing substantial infrared emission. AGNs also heat surrounding dust, as do supernovae.

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