diffuse interstellar bands

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diffuse interstellar bands

A series of more than a dozen diffuse (wide) absorption features due to dust in interstellar clouds, of which the most intense include those at wavelengths of 443, 618, and 628 nm. There are at least three (but possibly more) families of bands. The carriers have not yet been identified, although they are almost certainly solids: evidence is mounting in favor of some sort of aromatic hydrocarbon.
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Diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) have haunted astronomers for almost a century.
Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIB) are broad absorption lines in the spectra of stars indicating the existence of clouds of complex, unidentified molecules in the space between the stars.
There is still no consensus about what produces the hundreds of diffuse interstellar bands now known, but certain complex hydrocarbon molecules are a strong candidate.
They're broader than other lines, and they appear fuzzy or diffuse in photographic spectra, so they've come to be known as diffuse interstellar bands, or DIBs.
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