Abstract

We present an extinction map of a ~1,700 deg sq region that encloses the Ophiuchus, the Lupus, and the Pipe dark complexes using 42 million stars from the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) point source catalog. The use of a robust and optimal near-infrared method to map dust column density (Nicer, described in Lombardi & Alves 2001) allow us to detect extinction as low as A_K = 0.05 mag with a 2-sigma significance, and still to have a resolution of 3 arcmin on our map. We also present a novel, statistically sound method to characterize the small-scale inhomogeneities in molecular clouds. Finally, we investigate the cloud structure function, and show that significant deviations from the results predicted by turbulent models are observed.

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