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[ascl:1210.009] PAHFIT: Properties of PAH Emission

PAHFIT is an IDL tool for decomposing Spitzer IRS spectra of PAH emission sources, with a special emphasis on the careful recovery of ambiguous silicate absorption, and weak, blended dust emission features. PAHFIT is primarily designed for use with full 5-35 micron Spitzer low-resolution IRS spectra. PAHFIT is a flexible tool for fitting spectra, and you can add or disable features, compute combined flux bands, change fitting limits, etc., without changing the code.

PAHFIT uses a simple, physically-motivated model, consisting of starlight, thermal dust continuum in a small number of fixed temperature bins, resolved dust features and feature blends, prominent emission lines (which themselves can be blended with dust features), as well as simple fully-mixed or screen dust extinction, dominated by the silicate absorption bands at 9.7 and 18 microns. Most model components are held fixed or are tightly constrained. PAHFIT uses Drude profiles to recover the full strength of dust emission features and blends, including the significant power in the wings of the broad emission profiles. This means the resulting feature strengths are larger (by factors of 2-4) than are recovered by methods which estimate the underlying continuum using line segments or spline curves fit through fiducial wavelength anchors.

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