The Interstellar Radiation Field of the Milky Way in Three Spatial Dimensions
August 16, 2017
August 03, 2018
The interstellar radiation field (ISRF) of the Milky Way is the result of emission by stars and re-processing of the starlight by dust in the interstellar medium. The ISRF is an essential input to cosmic-ray (CR) propagation codes for calculating the energy losses by leptons from inverse Compton scattering, and the resulting interstellar gamma-ray emission. To date, models for the ISRF have used a 2D Galactocentric cylindrical symmetric approximation, which neglects details of Galactic structure such as spiral arms and the asymmetric stellar bulge. In this contribution, 3D spatial models for the ISRF are presented that incorporate such spatial elements. Because there is no consensus on the geometry of these structures the calculations presented in this contribution employ descriptions for the stellar luminosity and dust distribution taken from the literature and use the Fast Radiation Numerical Kalculation for Interstellar Emission (FRaNKIE) code to generate corresponding spectral intensity distributions throughout the Galaxy. Locally the models fairly successfully reproduce near- to far-infrared data, despite having distinctly different stellar and dust density distributions. Elsewhere in the Galaxy, the 3D intensity distributions reflect the differences due to the input stellar and dust density distributions between the models.
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