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IRTS observation of the mid-infrared spectrum of the zodiacal emission

Abstract

We present the mid-infrared spectrum (3–12 μm) of the zodiacal emission obtained by the Infrared Telescope in Space (IRTS), the first Japanese cryogenically cooled orbital infrared telescope. The Near-Infrared Spectrometer (NIRS) on board IRTS provided the spectrum of 3–4 μm, while that of 4.5–11.7 μm has been observed by the Mid-Infrared Spectrometer (MIRS). In this paper we present the data reduction and results of the observations by MIRS. Spectra of the background emission at high galactic latitudes (¦b¦ > 30°) have been extracted from the MIRS observations by excluding point sources. The observed sky brightness has a clear dependence on the ecliptic latitude, indicating that the zodiacal emission dominates in the mid-infrared sky brightness. On the other hand, the spectral shape does not show any appreciable dependence on the ecliptic latitude for ß = 0°–75°. The spectrum combining the NIRS and MIRS observations can be fitted by a grey body radiation at 250 K, but excess emission is seen in the 3–6 μm range. Alternatively, the spectrum of the zodiacal emission can be reproduced fairly well by a grey body at 280 K with an excess around 10 μm. In this case the excess may be attributed to a silicate emission band. Other than these excesses, no spectral features above the 10% level are seen in the MIRS spectrum.

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Correspondence to T. Ootsubo.

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Ootsubo, T., Onaka, T., Yamamura, I. et al. IRTS observation of the mid-infrared spectrum of the zodiacal emission. Earth Planet Sp 50, 507–511 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03352142

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Keywords

  • NIRS Spectrum
  • Galactic Latitude
  • Grey Body
  • Onaka
  • Zodiacal Light