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Sample records for absorption interstellar zones

  1. VAPID: Voigt Absorption-Profile [Interstellar] Dabbler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howarth, Ian D.

    2015-06-01

    VAPID (Voigt Absorption Profile [Interstellar] Dabbler) models interstellar absorption lines. It predicts profiles and optimizes model parameters by least-squares fitting to observed spectra. VAPID allows cloud parameters to be optimized with respect to several different data set simultaneously; those data sets may include observations of different transitions of a given species, and may have different S/N ratios and resolutions.

  2. O VI absorption in interstellar cloud surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cowie, L. L.; Jenkins, E. B.; Songaila, A.; York, D. G.

    1979-01-01

    The velocity profiles of O VI absorption lines of 24 stars, observed in early Copernicus surveys, have been compared with the line profiles of Si III (1206.51 A) and N II (1083.99 A). The velocity structures of the O VI lines appear to be correlated with those of the material in the lower ionization stages. It is argued that the O VI absorption arises in the coronal gas of the conductive interface between hot gas, responsible for extended, soft X-ray emission, and cooler interstellar clouds. The velocity broadening of both sets of lines is attributed to motions of the cloud surfaces induced by pressure fluctuations in the interstellar medium.

  3. Interstellar Medium Absorption Profile Spectrograph (IMAPS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jenkins, E. B.

    1985-01-01

    The design and fabrication of an objective-grating echelle spectrograph to fly on sounding rockets and record spectra of stars from approximately 920 to 1120A with a resolving power lambda/delta lambda = 200,000 is discussed. The scientific purpose of the program is to observe, with ten times better velocity resolution than before, the plentiful absorption lines in this spectral region produced by atoms, ions and molecules in the interstellar medium. In addition, an important technical goal is to develop and flight-quality a new ultraviolet, photon-counting image sensor which has a windowless, opaque photocathode and a CCD bombarded directly by the accelerated photoelectrons. Except for some initial difficulties with the performance of CCDs, the development of the payload instrument is relatively straightforward and our overall design goals are satisfied. The first flight occurred in late 1984, but no data were obtained because of an inrush of air degraded the instrument's vacuum and caused the detector's high voltage to arc. A second flight in early 1985 was a complete success and obtained a spectrum of pi Sco. Data from this mission are currently being reduced; quick-look versions of the spectra indicate that excellent results will be obtained. Currently, the payload is being reconfigured to fly on a Spartan mission in 1988.

  4. Interstellar Medium Absorption Profile Spectrograph (IMAPS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, E. B.

    1985-08-01

    The design and fabrication of an objective-grating echelle spectrograph to fly on sounding rockets and record spectra of stars from approximately 920 to 1120A with a resolving power lambda/delta lambda = 200,000 is discussed. The scientific purpose of the program is to observe, with ten times better velocity resolution than before, the plentiful absorption lines in this spectral region produced by atoms, ions and molecules in the interstellar medium. In addition, an important technical goal is to develop and flight-quality a new ultraviolet, photon-counting image sensor which has a windowless, opaque photocathode and a CCD bombarded directly by the accelerated photoelectrons. Except for some initial difficulties with the performance of CCDs, the development of the payload instrument is relatively straightforward and our overall design goals are satisfied. The first flight occurred in late 1984, but no data were obtained because of an inrush of air degraded the instrument's vacuum and caused the detector's high voltage to arc. A second flight in early 1985 was a complete success and obtained a spectrum of pi Sco. Data from this mission are currently being reduced; quick-look versions of the spectra indicate that excellent results will be obtained. Currently, the payload is being reconfigured to fly on a Spartan mission in 1988.

  5. SEARCHING FOR NAPHTHALENE CATION ABSORPTION IN THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM

    SciTech Connect

    Searles, Justin M.; Destree, Joshua D.; Snow, Theodore P.; Salama, Farid; York, Donald G.; Dahlstrom, Julie E-mail: destree@colorado.edu E-mail: Farid.Salama@nasa.gov E-mail: jdahlstrom1@carthage.edu

    2011-05-01

    Interstellar naphthalene cations (C{sub 10}H{sup +}{sub 8}) have been proposed by a study to be the carriers of a small number of diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs). Using an archive of high signal-to-noise spectra obtained at the Apache Point Observatory, we used two methods to test the hypothesis. Both methods failed to detect significant absorption at lab wavelengths of interstellar spectra with laboratory spectra. We thereby conclude that C{sub 10}H{sup +}{sub 8} is not a DIB carrier in typical reddened sight lines.

  6. A survey with Copernicus of interstellar O VI absorption

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jenkins, E. B.; Meloy, D. A.

    1974-01-01

    The presence of broad, shallow absorptions caused by O VI ions were revealed from UV spectra observations recorded by the Copernicus satellite for thirty-two stars. A table lists survey data on the stars observed for which values of the O VI column densities or their upper limits are extracted. Interstellar rather than circumstellar origin is evident from observation of the lack of correspondence between radical velocities of the stars and those of the O VI profiles. The presence of a low-density high-temperature phase of interstellar gas produced by supernova explosions is suggested.

  7. Infrared absorption and emission characteristics of interstellar PAHs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barker, J. R.; Allamandola, Louis J.; Tielens, Alexander G. G. M.; Barker, J. R.; Barker, J. R.

    1986-01-01

    The mid-infrared interstellar emission spectrum with features at 3.28, 6.2, 7.7, 8.7 and 11.3 microns is discussed in terms of the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) hypothesis, which is based on the suggestive, but inconclusive comparison between the interstellar emission spectrum with the infrared absorption and Raman spectra of a few PAHs. The fundamental vibrations of PAHs and PAH-like species which determine the IR and Raman properties are discussed. Interstellar IR band emission is due to relaxation from highly vibrationally excited PAHs excited by ultraviolet photons. The excitation/emission process is described and the IR fluorescence from one PAH, chrysene, is traced. Generally, there is sufficient energy to populate several vibrational levels in each mode. Molecular vibrational potentials are anharmonic and emission from these higher levels will fall at lower frequencies and produce weak features to the red of the stronger fundamentals. This process is also described and can account for some spectroscopic details of the interstellar emission spectra previously unexplained. Analysis of the interstellar spectrum shows that PAHs contain between 20 and 30 carbon atoms are responsible for the emission.

  8. Interstellar absorption lines in the galaxy NGC 1705

    SciTech Connect

    York, D.G.; Caulet, A.; Rybski, P.M.; Gallagher, J.S.; Blades, J.C. Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD )

    1990-03-01

    The possibility is considered, and shown to be plausible, that the strong C IV and Si IV absorption lines in low-resolution ultraviolet spectra of gas-rich dwarf galaxies are primarily interstellar, not stellar as has been supposed. The argument is based on analogies with H II regions in the Local Group, on low-resolution equivalent width measurements of gas-rich dwarf galaxies from the literature and on high-resolution UV spectra of NGC 1705. 48 refs.

  9. Interstellar absorption lines in the galaxy NGC 1705

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    York, Donald G.; Caulet, Adeline; Rybski, Paul M.; Gallagher, John S.; Blades, J. Chris

    1990-01-01

    The possibility is considered, and shown to be plausible, that the strong C IV and Si IV absorption lines in low-resolution ultraviolet spectra of gas-rich dwarf galaxies are primarily interstellar, not stellar as has been supposed. The argument is based on analogies with H II regions in the Local Group, on low-resolution equivalent width measurements of gas-rich dwarf galaxies from the literature and on high-resolution UV spectra of NGC 1705.

  10. Ultraviolet absorption by interstellar gas near 30 Doradus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    De Boer, K. S.; Koornneef, J.; Savage, B. D.

    1980-01-01

    The IUE was used to obtain high-resolution far-UV spectra (1150-2070 A) of two stars in the 30 Dor H II region in the LMC. Interstellar absorption components are distinguished at +20, +220, +250, and +290 km/s. The +20 km/s component is produced by matter in the Galaxy; the high-velocity components are produced by absorbing gas near or in the LMC. A model of the line-of-sight distribution of the absorbing clouds is developed from the velocity pattern of the observed LMC features. The presence of Si IV, Al III, and C IV ions is discussed.

  11. INTERSTELLAR SILICATE DUST IN FIVE QUASAR ABSORPTION SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Kulkarni, Varsha P.; Torres-Garcia, Legna M.; Som, Debopam; York, Donald G.; Welty, Daniel E.; Vladilo, Giovanni

    2011-01-01

    We report on a study of interstellar silicate dust in five quasar absorption systems at 0.44 < z{sub abs} < 1.31 toward quasars Q0235+164, 3C196, Q0852+3435, Q0937+5628, and Q1203+0634, using data from the Infrared Spectrograph on board the Spitzer Space Telescope. In the absorbers toward Q0235+164, 3C196, Q0852+3435, and Q0937+5628, the 9.7 {mu}m silicate feature is detected in absorption at {approx}5{sigma}-10{sigma} significance, with rest-frame equivalent widths of {approx}0.2-0.5 {mu}m. For Q1203+0634, the noisy data allow us to make only a 3.6{sigma} detection of absorption at 10 {mu}m. Fits to the redshifted 9.7 {mu}m features with four possible template profiles indicate that the laboratory amorphous olivine profile generally provides the best fit, with inferred peak optical depths of {tau}{sub 9.7} {approx} 0.08-0.18. For three of the quasars with optical spectra available from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, the Large Magellanic Cloud supershell extinction curve provides the best formal fits, with E(B - V) of 0.34-0.54 mag. A 2175 A extinction bump at the absorber redshift (known to exist in Q0235+164) appears to be present at >2.8{sigma} level in Q0852+3435, >2.5{sigma} level in Q1203+0634, and marginally at nearly 2{sigma} level in Q0937+5628. We briefly explore possible correlations between {tau}{sub 9.7} and the color excess, the strength of the 2175 A bump, and the metallicity (which appears to be relatively high for these absorbers, in the range of {approx}>0.1 solar to supersolar). While our measurements are consistent with a linear relation between {tau}{sub 9.7} and E(B - V), the {tau}{sub 9.7}/E(B - V) ratios for these quasar absorbers appear to be higher than those for diffuse interstellar clouds in the Milky Way, closer to values observed for the Galactic center. Some of these quasar sightlines may trace regions in the bulges of the galaxies responsible for the absorption systems.

  12. Observations of interstellar helium with a gas absorption cell - Implications for the structure of the local interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freeman, J.; Paresce, F.; Bowyer, S.; Lampton, M.

    1980-01-01

    A photometer sensitive at the 584 A line of He 1, incorporating a helium gas resonance absorption cell, was flown on the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in July 1975. The instrument observed much of the night-time sky, and returned 42 min of usable data. The data were analyzed by fitting to a model of resonant scattering of solar 584 A flux from nearby interstellar helium. Good model fits were obtained for an interstellar gas bulk velocity vector pointing toward alpha = 72 deg, delta = +15 deg, with speed 20 km/s, with interstellar medium temperatures from 5000 to 20,000 K and with neutral interstellar helium density (8.9 plus or minus 10 to the -3rd/cu cm). In the context of theoretical studies of the interstellar medium by McKee and Ostriker (1977), the results may indicate that the sun lies in the warm, partially ionized periphery of a cold interstellar cloud, surrounded by a high-temperature gas heated by old supernova remnants.

  13. Interstellar molecules. [detection from Copernicus satellite UV absorption data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Drake, J. F.

    1974-01-01

    The Princeton equipment on the Copernicus satellite provides the means to study interstellar molecules between the satellite and stars from 20 to 1000 pc distant. The study is limited to stars relatively unobscured by dust which strongly attenuates the ultraviolet continuum flux used as a source to probe the interstellar medium. Of the 14 molecules searched for only three have been detected including molecular hydrogen, molecular HD, and carbon monoxide.

  14. Implications of high-velocity interstellar H I absorption features

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cowie, L.; York, D. G.; Laurent, C.; Vidal-Madjar, A.

    1979-01-01

    Contributions to the interstellar H I column density at high velocities from immediate postshock gas and from the cooling gas behind a shock are compared. The detection of high-velocity H I in L-epsilon and L-delta for Iota Ori is reported and interpreted as cooling gas behind a shock of 100 km/s velocity. The immediate postshock gas should be observable for shock velocities greater than 200 km/s and permits direct determination of the velocities of adiabatic shocks in the interstellar medium. It is pointed out that interstellar L-alpha and L-beta lines may not have purely Lorentzian profiles if high-velocity H I is a widespread phenomenon.

  15. Observationally determined Fe II oscillator strengths. [interstellar and quasar absorption spectra

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Van Steenberg, M.; Shull, J. M.; Seab, C. G.

    1983-01-01

    Absorption oscillator strengths for 21 Fe II resonance lines, have been determined using a curve-of-growth analysis of interstellar data from the Copernicus and International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellites. In addition to slight changes in strengths of the far-UV lines, new f-values are reported for wavelength 1608.45, a prominent line in interstellar and quasar absorption spectra, and for wavelength 2260.08, a weak, newly identified linen in IUE interstellar spectra. An upper limit on the strength of the undetected line at 2366.867 A (UV multiplet 2) is set. Using revised oscillator strengths, Fe II column densities toward 13 OB stars are derived. The interstellar depletions, (Fe/H), relative to solar values range between factors of 10 and 120.

  16. Interstellar Reddening Determination Trough the 2200 Å Dust Absorption Band

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morales, Carmen; Cassatella, Angelo; Bañó, Gisela

    A comparison is carried out between two methods to evaluate the correction for interstellar reddening: the three ultraviolet points method, and the traditional model fitting method. The two methods have been applied to a large sample of well known stars of spectral types O, B and A to test their reliability and to asses their general applicability.

  17. Ultraviolet absorption by interstellar gas near the LMC star HD 36402 in the interstellar bubble N51D

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    De Boer, K. S.; Nash, A. G.

    1982-01-01

    Four interstellar absorption components associated with the immediate surroundings of the star are found in UV, high-dispersion IUE spectra of the LMC star HD 36402 in the N51D nebulosity. The 305 km/sec absorption is found to originate in low-density, 10,000 K gas, and the density and velocity structures agree with that derived from visual emission lines. From a fit of the observed Lyman-alpha profile, it is found that there is an N(H) of about 10 to the 20.2/sq cm in front of HD 36402, while the large N(H) of approximately 10 to the 21.3/sq cm from 21-cm data indicates most of the neutral gas to be behind N51D. An additional component shows N V, C IV and Si IV features which are stronger than is consistent with a wind-blown interstellar bubble, implying that there is additional absorption outside the bubble. Solar abundance ratios for the metals are suggested by the overall pattern of absorption line strength.

  18. Interstellar dust grain composition from high-resolution X-ray absorption edge structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corrales, Lia

    2016-06-01

    X-ray light is sufficient to excite electrons from n=1 (K-shell) and n=2 (L-shell) energy levels of neutral interstellar metals, causing a sharp increase in the absorption cross-section. Near the ionization energy, the shape of the photoelectric absorption edge depends strongly on whether the atom is isolated or bound in molecules or minerals (dust). With high resolution X-ray spectroscopy, we can directly measure the state of metals and the mineral composition of dust in the interstellar medium. In addition, the scattering contribution to the X-ray extinction cross-section can be used to gauge grain size, shape, and filling factor. In order to fully take advantage of major advances in high resolution X-ray spectroscopy, lab measurements of X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) from suspected interstellar minerals are required. Optical constants derived from the absorption measurements can be used with Mie scattering or anomalous diffraction theory in order to model the full extinction cross-sections from the interstellar medium. Much like quasar spectra are used to probe other intergalactic gas, absorption spectroscopy of Galactic X-ray binaries and bright stars will yield key insights to the mineralogy and evolution of dust grains in the Milky Way.

  19. Absorption Reveals and Hydrogen Addition Explains New Interstellar Aldehydes: Propenal and Propanal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hollis, J. M.; Jewell, P. R.; Lovas, F. J.; Remijan, A.; Mollendal, H.

    2004-01-01

    New interstellar molecules propenal (CH2CHCHO) and propanal (CH3CH2CHO) have been detected largely in absorption toward the star-forming region Sagittarius B2(N) by means of rotational transitions observed with the 100-m Green Bank Telescope (GBT) operating in the range of 18 GHz (lambda approximately 1.7 cm) to 26 GHz (lambda approximately 1.2 cm). The GBT was also used to observe the previously reported interstellar aldehyde propynal (HC2CHO) in Sagittarius B2(N) which is known for large molecules believed to form on interstellar grains. The presence of these three interstellar aldehydes toward Sagittarius B2(N) strongly suggests that simple hydrogen addition on interstellar grains accounts for successively larger molecular species: from propynal to propenal and from propenal to propanal. Energy sources within Sagittarius B2(N) likely permit the hydrogen addition reactions on grain surfaces to proceed. This work demonstrates that successive hydrogen addition is probably an important chemistry route in the formation of a number of complex interstellar molecules. We also searched for but did not detect the three-carbon sugar glyceraldehyde (CH2OHCHOHCHO).

  20. Infrared absorption and emission characteristics of interstellar PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon)

    SciTech Connect

    Allamandola, L.J.; Tielens, A.G.G.M.; Barker, J.R.

    1986-01-01

    The mid-infrared interstellar emission spectrum with features at 3050, 1610, 1300, 1150, and 885 cm/sup -1/ (3.28, 6.2, 7.7, 8.7 and 11.3 microns) is discussed in terms of the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) hypothesis. This hypothesis is based on the suggestive, but inconclusive comparison between the interstellar emission spectrum with the infrared absorption and Raman spectra of a few PAHs. The fundamental vibrations of PAHs and PAH-like species which determine the ir and Raman properties are discussed. Interstellar ir band emission is due to relaxation from highly vibrationally excited PAHs which have been excited by ultraviolet photons. The excitation/emission process is described in general and the ir fluorescence from one PAH, chrysene, is traced in detail. Generally, there is sufficient energy to populate several vibrational levels in each mode. Molecular vibrational potentials are anharmonic and emission from these higher levels will fall at lower frequencies and produce weak features to the red of the stronger fundamentals. This process is also described and can account for some spectroscopic details of the interstellar emission spectra previously unexplained. Analysis of the interstellar spectrum shows that PAHs containing between 20 and 30 carbon atoms are responsible for the emission. 43 refs., 11 figs.

  1. The velocity distribution of interstellar gas observed in strong UV absorption lines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cowie, L. L.; York, D. G.

    1978-01-01

    Observations of three strong interstellar UV absorption lines of N I (1199 A), N II (1083 A), and Si III (1206 A) in 47 stars of widely varying distance and a variety of spectral types are analyzed to obtain a velocity distribution function for the interstellar gas. A technique based on the maximum and minimum velocities observed along a line of sight is adopted because of heavy line blending, and results are discussed for both power-law and exponential distribution functions. The expected distribution of radiative-phase supernova remnants (SNRs) in the interstellar medium is calculated as a function of SNR birthrate and of the interstellar density in which they evolve. The results are combined with observed distance estimates, and it is shown that an interstellar density in excess of 0.1 per cu cm would be required to keep the SNRs sufficiently confined so that their cross sections are consistent with the observed number of components. The alternative possibility is considered that SNRs do not enter the radiative phase before escaping from the Galaxy or colliding with neighboring remnants.

  2. Ultraviolet observations of interstellar absorption lines toward SN 1987A

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savage, Blair D.; Jenkins, Edward B.; Joseph, Charles L.; De Boer, Klass S.

    1989-01-01

    High-dispersion IUE echelle spectra of SN 1987A were averaged in order to obtain UV absorption-line profiles of the highest possible quality in the direction of SN 1987A. The profiles for Si IV and C IV are quite similar and have much less structure than the Al III profile. On relating column densities, while the C IV and Si IV ratio is relatively constant over the 0-100 km/s velocity range, the C IV to Al III and Si IV to Al III ratios vary by nearly a factor of 10. This suggests that the C IV and Si IV along this sight line in the Galaxy and its halo may have a common origin which differs from that for Al III.

  3. Ultraviolet absorption by interstellar gas at large distances from the galactic plane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savage, B. D.; De Boer, K. S.

    1981-01-01

    Eighteen high-dispersion IUE spectra of six stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud, three stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud, and two foreground stars were analyzed. Fourteen spectra cover the wavelengths 1150-2000 A, and four cover 1900-3200 A; the velocity resolution is about 25 km/s. All the Magellanic Cloud spectra exhibit very strong interstellar absorption lines due to a wide range of ionization stages at galactic velocities and at velocities associated with the IMC or SMC. The observational results are related to current theoretical ideas about the origin and physical state of gaseous galactic halos; the analysis is restricted to the Milky Way absorption features.

  4. Temporal Variability of Interstellar Na I Absorption toward the Monoceros Loop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dirks, Cody; Meyer, David M.

    2016-03-01

    We report the first evidence of temporal variability in the interstellar Na i absorption toward HD 47240, which lies behind the Monoceros Loop supernova remnant (SNR). Analysis of multi-epoch Kitt Peak coudé feed spectra from this sight line taken over an eight-year period reveals significant variation in both the observed column density and the central velocities of the high-velocity gas components in these spectra. Given the ˜1.3 mas yr-1 proper motion of HD 47240 and an SNR distance of 1.6 kpc, this variation would imply ˜10 au fluctuations within the SNR shell. Similar variations have been previously reported in the Vela SNR, suggesting a connection between the expanding SNR gas and the observed variations. We speculate on the potential nature of the observed variations toward HD 47240 in the context of the expanding remnant gas interacting with the ambient interstellar medium.

  5. The η Car Campaign with UVES at the ESO VLT II. Interstellar and circumstellar absorption lines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weis, K.; Bomans, D. J.; Stahl, O.; Davidson, K.; Humphreys, R. M.; Gull, T. R.

    2005-09-01

    We monitored η Car and the Homunculus using the ESO VLT UVES spectrograph between 2002 and 2004 (see Weis et al., this proceedings). In these high dispersion spectra practically all interstellar absorption features known in the 3000 Å to 10000 Å regime are present (e.g. 4 Ti II lines, 3 Fe I lines, the Ca I line, both Na I doublets, the two K I doublets, and the Ca II doublets, several molecular lines, and a number of diffuse interstellar bands). Near-UV STIS spectra show many low ionization absorption lines (e.g. Gull et al., this proceedings), but there are several differences in the velocity structure and line strengths between these lines of sight, e.g. we do not detect multiple absorption components between -350 to -550 km s-1 in the UVES spectra. Changes over time are present in e.g. the Ca II lines, with small column density changes in the (probably interstellar) +80 km s-1 component and large changes in the -510 km s-1 component, which is most probably located in the outer shell of the Homunculus (see e.g. Nielsen et al., this proceedings). Similar changes in the Ti II 3384 Å component at -147 km s-1 are present, too. With the data set, we not only follow the temporal evolution of the circumstellar absorption components (presumably originating near η Car and in the Homunculus) before, during and after the event, but also search for changes along our long-slits centered on the star and on FOS4. Indeed, the -147 km s-1 component of the Ti II 3384 Å lines shows line strength variations over the southeast lobe of the Homunculus. A preliminary search for very high velocity absorption lines from the outer ejected using only one of our spectra already yielded a possible detection at -1500 km s-1. Clearly a detailed analysis of the absorption lines in the UVES data will provide many new insights into the structure and physics of η Car's ejecta.

  6. Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopy of the Intergalactic and Interstellar Absorption Toward 3C 273

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sembach, Kenneth R.; Howk, J. Christopher; Savage, Blair D.; Shull, J. Michael; Oegerle, William R.; Fisher, Richard R. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    We present Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer observations of the molecular, neutral atomic, weakly ionized, and highly ionized components of the interstellar and intergalactic material toward the quasar 3C273. We identify Ly-beta absorption in eight of the known intergalactic Ly-alpha absorbers along the sight line with the rest-frame equivalent widths W(sub r)(Ly-alpha) > 50 micro-angstroms. Refined estimates of the H(I) column densities and Doppler parameters (b) of the clouds are presented. We find a range of b = 16-46 km/s. We detect multiple H(I) lines (Ly-beta - Ly-theta) in the 1590 km/s Virgo absorber and estimate logN(H(I)) = 15.85 +/- 0.10, ten times more H(I) than all of the other absorbers along the sight line combined. The Doppler width of this absorber, b = 16 km/s, implies T < 15,000 K. We detect O(VI) absorption at 1015 km/s at the 2-3(sigma) level that may be associated with hot, X-ray emitting gas in the Virgo Cluster. We detect weak C(III) and O(VI) absorption in the IGM at z=0.12007; this absorber is predominantly ionized and has N(H+)/N(H(I)) > 4000/Z, where Z is the metallicity. Strong Galactic interstellar O(VI) is present between -100 and +100 km/s with an additional high-velocity wing containing about 13% of the total O(VI) between +100 and +240 km/s. The Galactic O(VI), N(V), and C(IV) lines have similar shapes, with roughly constant ratios across the -100 to +100 km/s velocity range. The high velocity O(VI) wing is not detected in other species. Much of the interstellar high ion absorption probably occurs within a highly fragmented medium within the Loop IV remnant or in the outer cavity walls of the remnant. Multiple hot gas production mechanisms are required. The broad O(VI) absorption wing likely traces the expulsion of hot gas out of the Galactic disk into the halo. A flux limit of 5.4 x 10(epx -16) erg/sq cm/s on the amount of diffuse O(VI) emission present = 3.5' off the 3C273 sight line combined with the observed O(VI) column

  7. Oxygen, neon, and iron X-ray absorption in the local interstellar medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gatuzz, Efraín; García, Javier A.; Kallman, Timothy R.; Mendoza, Claudio

    2016-04-01

    Aims: We present a detailed study of X-ray absorption in the local interstellar medium by analyzing the X-ray spectra of 24 galactic sources obtained with the Chandra High Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer and the XMM-Newton Reflection Grating Spectrometer. Methods: By modeling the continuum with a simple broken power-law and by implementing the new ISMabs X-ray absorption model, we have estimated the total H, O, Ne, and Fe column densities towards the observed sources. Results: We have determined the absorbing material distribution as a function of source distance and galactic latitude-longitude. Conclusions: Direct estimates of the fractions of neutrally, singly, and doubly ionized species of O, Ne, and Fe reveal the dominance of the cold component, thus indicating an overall low degree of ionization. Our results are expected to be sensitive to the model used to describe the continuum in all sources.

  8. ISMabs: A Comprehensive X-Ray Absorption Model for the Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gatuzz, E.; García, J.; Kallman, T. R.; Mendoza, C.; Gorczyca, T. W.

    2015-02-01

    We present an X-ray absorption model for the interstellar medium, to be referred to as ISMabs, that takes into account both neutral and ionized species of cosmically abundant elements, and includes the most accurate atomic data available. Using high-resolution spectra from eight X-ray binaries obtained with the Chandra High Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer, we proceed to benchmark the atomic data in the model particularly in the neon K-edge region. Compared with previous photoabsorption models, which solely rely on neutral species, the inclusion of ions leads to improved spectral fits. Fit parameters comprise the column densities of abundant contributors that allow direct estimates of the ionization states. ISMabs is provided in the appropriate format to be implemented in widely used X-ray spectral fitting packages such as XSPEC, ISIS, and SHERPA.

  9. ISMabs: A COMPREHENSIVE X-RAY ABSORPTION MODEL FOR THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM

    SciTech Connect

    Gatuzz, E.; Mendoza, C.; García, J.; Kallman, T. R.; Gorczyca, T. W. E-mail: claudio@ivic.gob.ve E-mail: timothy.r.kallman@nasa.gov

    2015-02-10

    We present an X-ray absorption model for the interstellar medium, to be referred to as ISMabs, that takes into account both neutral and ionized species of cosmically abundant elements, and includes the most accurate atomic data available. Using high-resolution spectra from eight X-ray binaries obtained with the Chandra High Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer, we proceed to benchmark the atomic data in the model particularly in the neon K-edge region. Compared with previous photoabsorption models, which solely rely on neutral species, the inclusion of ions leads to improved spectral fits. Fit parameters comprise the column densities of abundant contributors that allow direct estimates of the ionization states. ISMabs is provided in the appropriate format to be implemented in widely used X-ray spectral fitting packages such as XSPEC, ISIS, and SHERPA.

  10. Vacuum-UV absorption spectroscopy of interstellar ice analogues. III. Isotopic effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruz-Diaz, G. A.; Caro, G. M. Muñoz; Chen, Y.-J.

    2014-04-01

    This paper reports the first measurements of solid-phase vacuum-ultraviolet (VUV) absorption cross-sections of heavy isotopologues present in icy dust grain mantles of dense interstellar clouds and cold circumstellar environments. Pure ices composed of D2O, CD3OD, 13CO2, and 15N15N were deposited at 8 K, a value similar to the coldest dust temperatures in space. The column density of the ice samples was measured in situ by infrared spectroscopy in transmittance. VUV spectra of the ice samples were collected in the 120-160 nm (10.33-7.74 eV) range using a commercial microwave discharged hydrogen flow lamp as the VUV source. Prior to this work, we have recently submitted a similar study of the light isotopologues (Cruz-Diaz, Muñoz Caro & Chen). The VUV spectra are compared to those of the light isotopologues in the solid phase, and to the gas phase spectra of the same molecules. Our study is expected to improve very significantly the models that estimate the VUV absorption of ice mantles in space, which have often used the available gas phase data as an approximation of the absorption cross sections of the molecular ice components. We will show that this work has also important implications for the estimation of the photodesorption rates per absorbed photon in the ice.

  11. Relative f-values from interstellar absorption lines: advantages and pitfalls

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, Edward B.

    2009-05-01

    Interstellar absorption features seen in the ultraviolet and visible spectra of stars provide opportunities for comparing the strengths of different transitions out of the ground electronic states of atoms, ions and simple molecules. In principle, such measurements are straightforward since the radiative transfer is manifested as a simple exponential absorption law at any given radial velocity. Complications arise when the velocity structures of the lines are not completely resolved, or when the lines are either very strongly saturated or too weak to observe. Dynamic range limitations can compromise the comparisons of two transitions that have very different absorption f-values, but they can be mitigated if there are examples with very different column densities and transitions of intermediate strength that can help to bridge the large gap in line strengths. Attempts to unravel the effects of saturation include the use of a curve of growth when only equivalent widths are available, or the measurements of the 'apparent optical depth' when the line is mostly resolved by the instrument. Unfortunately, the application of the curve of growth for one constituent to that of another can sometimes create systematic errors, since the two may have different velocity structures. Likewise, unresolved fine velocity structures in features that have large optical depths can make the apparent optical depths misrepresent the smoothed versions of the true optical depths. One method to compare the strength of a very weak line to that of a very strong one is to measure the total absorption of the former and compare it with the strength of the damping wings of the latter. However in many circumstances, small amounts of gas at velocities well displaced from the line center can masquerade as damping wings. For this reason, it is important to check that these wings have the proper shape.

  12. Observations of absorption lines from highly ionized atoms. [of interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jenkins, Edward B.

    1987-01-01

    In the ultraviolet spectra of hot stars, absorption lines can be seen from highly ionized species in the interstellar medium. Observations of these features which have been very influential in revising the perception of the medium's various physical states, are discussed. The pervasiveness of O 6 absorption lines, coupled with complementary observations of a diffuse background in soft X-rays and EUV radiation, shows that there is an extensive network of low density gas (n approx. few x 0.001/cu cm) existing at coronal temperatures log T = 5.3 or 6.3. Shocks created by supernova explosions or mass loss from early-type stars can propagate freely through space and eventually transfer a large amount of energy to the medium. To create the coronal temperatures, the shocks must have velocities in excess of 150 km/sec; shocks at somewhat lower velocity (v = 100 km/sec) can be directly observed in the lines of Si3. Observations of other lines in the ultraviolet, such as Si 4V and C 5, may highlight the widespread presence of energetic UV radiation from very hot, dwarf stars. More advanced techniques in visible and X-ray astronomical spectroscopy may open up for inspection selected lines from atoms in much higher stages of ionization.

  13. Ultraviolet interstellar absorption toward stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud. II - Sk 159

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fitzpatrick, E. L.

    1984-01-01

    On the basis of a study of high-dispersion spectra of stars in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC and SMC) obtained with the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite, Savage and de Boer (1979, 1981) have detected the Milky Way halo gas. The existence of gaseous coronae around both the LMC and SMC was also suggested. The evidence for this included the presence of strong interstellar absorption lines from high-ionization stages (e.g., C IV, Si IV, and Al III). Fitzpatrick and Savage (1983) concluded that the strongest C IV and Si IV features in the spectrum of the SMC star HD 5980 are probably nebular in origin, produced by stellar photoionization in NGC 346. However, other evidence indicated that at least one additional region of high-ionization stage gas is present in the HD 5980 line of sight. The present investigation is concerned with a reobservation of the star SK 159. It is found that the Milky Way disk and halo absorption features toward Sk 159, except for Al III are very similar to those seen toward HD 5980, also in the SMC.

  14. The Mid-Infrared Absorption Spectra of Neutral PAHs in Dense Interstellar Clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bernstein, M. P.; Sandford, S. A.; Allamandola, L. J.

    2005-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are common throughout the universe and are expected to be present in dense interstellar clouds. In these environments, some P.4Hs may be present in the gas phase, but most should be frozen into ice mantles or adsorbed onto dust grains and their spectral features are expected to be seen in absorption. Here we extend our previous work on the infrared spectral properties of the small PAH naphthalene (C10H8) in several media to include the full mid-infrared laboratory spectra of 11 other PAHs and related aromatic species frozen in H2O ices. These include the molecules 1,2-dihydronaphthalene, anthracene, 9,1O-dihydroanthracene, phenanthrene, pyrene, benzo[e]pyrene, perylene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, pentacene, benzo[ghi]perylene, and coronene. These results demonstrate that PAHs and related molecules, as a class, show the same spectral behaviors as naphthalene when incorporated into H2O-rich matrices. When compared to the spectra of these same molecules isolated in inert matrices (e.g., Ar or N2), the absorption bands produced when they are frozen in H2O matrices are broader (factors of 3-10), show small position shifts in either direction (usually < 4/cm, always < 10/cm), and show variable changes in relative band strengths (typically factors of 1-3). There is no evidence of systematic increases or decreases in the absolute strengths of the bands of these molecules when they are incorporated in H2O matrices. In H2O-rich ices, their absorption bands are relatively insensitive to concentration over the range of 10 < H2O/PAH < 200): The absorption bands of these molecules are also insensitive to temperature over the 10 K < T < 125 K range, although the spectra can show dramatic changes as the ices are warmed through the temperature range in which amorphous H2O ice converts to its cubic and hexagonal crystalline forms (T > 125 Kj. Given the small observed band shifts cause by H2O, the current database of spectra from Ar matrix

  15. Optical studies of interstellar material in low density regions of the Galaxy. I - A survey of interstellar Na I and Ca II absorption toward 57 distant stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sembach, K. R.; Danks, A. C.; Savage, B. D.

    1993-01-01

    We present high-resolution spectra of the Na I D and Ca II K lines toward 57 late-O and early-B stars along extended (d greater than 1 kpc) low-density paths through the Milky Way disk and halo. The sight lines preferentially sample diffuse gas in the interstellar medium (ISM) along interarm, Galactic center, and high latitude directions. We measure equivalent widths, apparent column densities, and absorption component structure. The Ca II to Na I ratios presented as a function of velocity for each sight line exhibit variations due to elemental depletion, ionization, and density enhancements. Absorption along high latitude sight lines is kinematically simpler than it is along interarm and Galactic center sight lines. Galactic rotation noticeably broadens the absorption profiles of distant stars located in these latter directions. Along several sight lines, we see Ca II absorption at velocities corresponding to large distances (/z/ about 1 kpc) from the Galactic plane. The effects of differences in the Ca II and Na I scale heights and nonzero velocity dispersions are readily apparent in the data. Brief notes are given for several sight lines with interesting absorption properties.

  16. Distances to diffuse interstellar clouds from IRAS measurements and observations of optical absorption lines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Federman, S. R.; Strom, C. J.; Good, J. C.

    1991-01-01

    Distances to diffuse interstellar clouds were determined from the amount of ultraviolet radiation that penetrates into the cloud and that arises from a nearby B star. The environment around 67 Ophiuchi, 20 Aquilae, kappa Aquilae, and 9 Cephei were studied. The intensities at 60 and 100 micron, as measured by IRAS, were used to derive dust temperatures for the clouds. Enhanced dust temperatures would indicate an influence of the star's radiation field on a cloud. Observation of molecular absorption were compared to the results of simplified chemical models in order to search for enhanced photodissociation that is caused by the star. Enhanced dust temperatures were observed for clouds in the vicinities of 20 Aql, kappa Agl, and 9 Cep. The range of the star's influence was found to be typically 1-5 pc. On the other hand, chemical analyses of the molecular data, which pertain to foreground gas, did not reveal the presence of enhanced dissociative flux from the sample of stars. Thus, upper limits were derived for the distances from the sun to the foreground material.

  17. Laboratory absorption spectra of molecules at interstellar cloud temperatures - First measurements on CO at about 97 nm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, P. L.; Yoshino, K.; Stark, G.; Ito, K.; Stevens, M. H.

    1991-01-01

    In the 91-100 nm spectral region, where absorption of photons by interstellar CO usually leads to dissociation, laboratory spectra obtained at 295 K show that most CO bands are both overlapped and perturbed. Reliable band oscillator strengths cannot be extracted from such spectra. As a consequence, synthetic extreme-ultraviolet absorption spectra for CO at the low temperatures that prevail in interstellar clouds are uncertain. A supersonic expansion technique has been used to cool CO to 30 K and three bands in the 97-nm region have been studied with high spectral resolution. The measured spectrum at 30 K is in reasonable agreement with some published modeled spectra, but the ratios of integrated cross sections are somewhat different from those determined from low resolution spectra obtained at 295 K, in which the bands are blended.

  18. Method for processing seismic data to identify anomalous absorption zones

    DOEpatents

    Taner, M. Turhan

    2006-01-03

    A method is disclosed for identifying zones anomalously absorptive of seismic energy. The method includes jointly time-frequency decomposing seismic traces, low frequency bandpass filtering the decomposed traces to determine a general trend of mean frequency and bandwidth of the seismic traces, and high frequency bandpass filtering the decomposed traces to determine local variations in the mean frequency and bandwidth of the seismic traces. Anomalous zones are determined where there is difference between the general trend and the local variations.

  19. Early-type stars observed in the ESO UVES Paranal Observatory Project - V. Time-variable interstellar absorption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McEvoy, Catherine M.; Smoker, Jonathan V.; Dufton, Philip L.; Smith, Keith T.; Kennedy, Michael B.; Keenan, Francis P.; Lambert, David L.; Welty, Daniel E.; Lauroesch, James T.

    2015-08-01

    The structure and properties of the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM) on small scales, sub-au to 1 pc, are poorly understood. We compare interstellar absorption lines, observed towards a selection of O- and B-type stars at two or more epochs, to search for variations over time caused by the transverse motion of each star combined with changes in the structure in the foreground ISM. Two sets of data were used: 83 VLT/UVES spectra with approximately 6 yr between epochs and 21 McDonald observatory 2.7-m telescope echelle spectra with 6-20 yr between epochs, over a range of scales from ˜0-360 au. The interstellar absorption lines observed at the two epochs were subtracted and searched for any residuals due to changes in the foreground ISM. Of the 104 sightlines investigated with typically five or more components in Na I D, possible temporal variation was identified in five UVES spectra (six components), in Ca II, Ca I and/or Na I absorption lines. The variations detected range from 7 per cent to a factor of 3.6 in column density. No variation was found in any other interstellar species. Most sightlines show no variation, with 3σ upper limits to changes of the order 0.1-0.3 dex in Ca II and Na I. These variations observed imply that fine-scale structure is present in the ISM, but at the resolution available in this study, is not very common at visible wavelengths. A determination of the electron densities and lower limits to the total number density of a sample of the sightlines implies that there is no striking difference between these parameters in sightlines with, and sightlines without, varying components.

  20. Hot gas in the interstellar medium: A reanalysis of O VI absorption data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shelton, R. L.; Cox, D. P.

    1994-01-01

    The Copernicus O(+5) column densities toward 72 stars provide a rare and valuable tracer of 10(exp 5.5) K gas in the interstellar medium. The original analysis of the data by Jenkins provided important clues about the distribution of interstellar O(+5) ions, but our understanding of the local interstellar medium has since grown substantially. We revisit that work, including the possibility that local hot gas may contribute a significant O(+5) column density to most lines of sight. Our reanalysis also includes slight improvements in the statistics and was found to be reliable when tested on simulated data sets. In the end, we come to conclusions about the distribution of interstellar O(+5) ions that differ considerably from those of the original analysis. With our reanalysis, some theoretical models now show promise. For example, our Local Bubble column density compares favorably with the estimated quantity of O(+5) within the remnant of an ancient local explosion. Similarly, our mean O(+5) column density per feature in more distant regions is like that found in models of hot interstellar bubbles from either stellar winds or ancient supernova explosions in a warm diffuse interstellar environment, suggesting that the hot gas in interstellar space may exist primarily within discrete regions of modest volume occupation rather than in a continuous and pervasive phase.

  1. A new perspective on the interstellar cloud surrounding the Sun from UV absorption line results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gry, Cecile; Jenkins, Edward B.

    2015-01-01

    We offer a new, more inclusive, picture of the local interstellar medium, where it is composed of a single, monolithic cloud that surrounds the Sun in all directions. Our study of velocities based on Mg II and Fe II ultraviolet absorption lines indicates that the cloud has an average motion consistent with the velocity vector of gas impacting the heliosphere and does not behave like a rigid body: gas within the cloud is being differentially decelerated in the direction of motion, and the cloud is expanding in directions perpendicular to this flow, much like the squashing of a balloon. The outer boundary of the cloud is in average 10 pc away from us but is highly irregular, being only a few parsecs away in some directions, with possibly a few extensions up to 20 pc. Average H I volume densities vary between 0.03 and 0.1 cm3 over different sight lines. Metals appear to be significantly depleted onto grains, and there is a steady increase in this effect from the rear of the cloud to the apex of motion. There is no evidence that changes in the ionizing radiation influence the apparent abundances. Additional, secondary velocity components are detected in 60% of the sight lines. Almost all of them appear to be interior to the volume holding the gas that we identify with the main cloud. Half of the sight lines exhibit a secondary component moving at about - 7.2 km/s with respect to the main component, which may be the signature of an implosive shock propagating toward the cloud's interior.

  2. Is a pyrene-like molecular ion the cause of the 4,430-A diffuse interstellar absorption band?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, F.; Allamandola, L. J.

    1992-01-01

    The diffuse interstellar band (DIB) absorption features of astronomical spectra are suggested by recent results to be separable from the grains that cause visual extinction. Attention is presently given to laboratory measurements of the optical spectrum of the pyrene cation C16H10(+), which is one of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecular candidates proposed as carriers for DIBs. This ion exhibits an intense but strangely broad continuum similar to that of the naphthalene cation, so that this may be a common feature of all PAH cations and the basis of an explanation for PAHs' converting of an interstellar radiation fraction as large as that from the UV and visible range down to the IR.

  3. On a vibronic origin for the diffuse band spectrum. [of interstellar absorption

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nuth, J. A.; Donn, B.

    1983-01-01

    Duley (1982) has proposed that many of the diffuse interstellar bands in the wavelength interval 542-677 nm arise from vibronic transitions of Cr (3+) ions in MgO grains. No explanation has been offered for the fact that as many as 85 of the possible 108 transitions of this system have not been observed in the interstellar medium. Moreover, the relative intensities of the diffuse bands which are observed appear to be inconsistent with their assignment. It is therefore concluded that this model is not consistent with the observations.

  4. Observations of Interstellar Formamide: Availability of a Prebiotic Precursor in the Galactic Habitable Zone

    PubMed Central

    Adande, Gilles R.; Woolf, Neville J.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract We conducted a study on interstellar formamide, NH2CHO, toward star-forming regions of dense molecular clouds, using the telescopes of the Arizona Radio Observatory (ARO). The Kitt Peak 12 m antenna and the Submillimeter Telescope (SMT) were used to measure multiple rotational transitions of this molecule between 100 and 250 GHz. Four new sources of formamide were found [W51M, M17 SW, G34.3, and DR21(OH)], and complementary data were obtained toward Orion-KL, W3(OH), and NGC 7538. From these observations, column densities for formamide were determined to be in the range of 1.1×1012 to 9.1×1013 cm−2, with rotational temperatures of 70–177 K. The molecule is thus present in warm gas, with abundances relative to H2 of 1×10−11 to 1×10−10. It appears to be a common constituent of star-forming regions that foster planetary systems within the galactic habitable zone, with abundances comparable to that found in comet Hale-Bopp. Formamide's presence in comets and molecular clouds suggests that the compound could have been brought to Earth by exogenous delivery, perhaps with an infall flux as high as ∼0.1 mol/km2/yr or 0.18 mmol/m2 in a single impact. Formamide has recently been proposed as a single-carbon, prebiotic source of nucleobases and nucleic acids. This study suggests that a sufficient amount of NH2CHO could have been available for such chemistry. Key Words: Formamide—Astrobiology—Radioastronomy—ISM—Comets—Meteorites. Astrobiology 13, 439–453. PMID:23654214

  5. Observations of interstellar formamide: availability of a prebiotic precursor in the galactic habitable zone.

    PubMed

    Adande, Gilles R; Woolf, Neville J; Ziurys, Lucy M

    2013-05-01

    We conducted a study on interstellar formamide, NH2CHO, toward star-forming regions of dense molecular clouds, using the telescopes of the Arizona Radio Observatory (ARO). The Kitt Peak 12 m antenna and the Submillimeter Telescope (SMT) were used to measure multiple rotational transitions of this molecule between 100 and 250 GHz. Four new sources of formamide were found [W51M, M17 SW, G34.3, and DR21(OH)], and complementary data were obtained toward Orion-KL, W3(OH), and NGC 7538. From these observations, column densities for formamide were determined to be in the range of 1.1×10(12) to 9.1×10(13) cm(-2), with rotational temperatures of 70-177 K. The molecule is thus present in warm gas, with abundances relative to H2 of 1×10(-11) to 1×10(-10). It appears to be a common constituent of star-forming regions that foster planetary systems within the galactic habitable zone, with abundances comparable to that found in comet Hale-Bopp. Formamide's presence in comets and molecular clouds suggests that the compound could have been brought to Earth by exogenous delivery, perhaps with an infall flux as high as ~0.1 mol/km(2)/yr or 0.18 mmol/m(2) in a single impact. Formamide has recently been proposed as a single-carbon, prebiotic source of nucleobases and nucleic acids. This study suggests that a sufficient amount of NH2CHO could have been available for such chemistry.

  6. Observations of interstellar formamide: availability of a prebiotic precursor in the galactic habitable zone.

    PubMed

    Adande, Gilles R; Woolf, Neville J; Ziurys, Lucy M

    2013-05-01

    We conducted a study on interstellar formamide, NH2CHO, toward star-forming regions of dense molecular clouds, using the telescopes of the Arizona Radio Observatory (ARO). The Kitt Peak 12 m antenna and the Submillimeter Telescope (SMT) were used to measure multiple rotational transitions of this molecule between 100 and 250 GHz. Four new sources of formamide were found [W51M, M17 SW, G34.3, and DR21(OH)], and complementary data were obtained toward Orion-KL, W3(OH), and NGC 7538. From these observations, column densities for formamide were determined to be in the range of 1.1×10(12) to 9.1×10(13) cm(-2), with rotational temperatures of 70-177 K. The molecule is thus present in warm gas, with abundances relative to H2 of 1×10(-11) to 1×10(-10). It appears to be a common constituent of star-forming regions that foster planetary systems within the galactic habitable zone, with abundances comparable to that found in comet Hale-Bopp. Formamide's presence in comets and molecular clouds suggests that the compound could have been brought to Earth by exogenous delivery, perhaps with an infall flux as high as ~0.1 mol/km(2)/yr or 0.18 mmol/m(2) in a single impact. Formamide has recently been proposed as a single-carbon, prebiotic source of nucleobases and nucleic acids. This study suggests that a sufficient amount of NH2CHO could have been available for such chemistry. PMID:23654214

  7. Is a pyrene-like molecular ion the cause of the 4,430-angstroms diffuse interstellar absorption band?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, F.; Allamandola, L. J.

    1992-01-01

    The diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs), ubiquitous absorption features in astronomical spectra, have been known since early this century and now number more than a hundred. Ranging from 4,400 angstroms to the near infrared, they differ markedly in depth, width and shape, making the concept of a single carrier unlikely. Whether they are due to gas or grains is not settled, but recent results suggest that the DIB carriers are quite separate from the grains that cause visual extinction. Among molecular candidates the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been proposed as the possible carriers of some of the DIBs, and we present here laboratory measurements of the optical spectrum of the pyrene cation C16H10+ in neon and argon matrices. The strongest absorption feature falls at 4,435 +/- 5 angstroms in the argon matrix and 4,395 +/- 5 angstroms in the neon matrix, both close to the strong 4,430-angstroms DIB. If this or a related pyrene-like species is responsible for this particular band, it must account for 0.2% of all cosmic carbon. The ion also shows an intense but puzzling broad continuum, extending from the ultraviolet to the visible, similar to what is seen in the naphthalene cation and perhaps therefore a common feature of all PAH cations. This may provide an explanation of how PAHs convert a large fraction of interstellar radiation from ultraviolet and visible wavelengths down to the infrared.

  8. Is a pyrene-like molecular ion the cause of the 4,430-angstroms diffuse interstellar absorption band?

    PubMed

    Salama, F; Allamandola, L J

    1992-07-01

    The diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs), ubiquitous absorption features in astronomical spectra, have been known since early this century and now number more than a hundred. Ranging from 4,400 angstroms to the near infrared, they differ markedly in depth, width and shape, making the concept of a single carrier unlikely. Whether they are due to gas or grains is not settled, but recent results suggest that the DIB carriers are quite separate from the grains that cause visual extinction. Among molecular candidates the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been proposed as the possible carriers of some of the DIBs, and we present here laboratory measurements of the optical spectrum of the pyrene cation C16H10+ in neon and argon matrices. The strongest absorption feature falls at 4,435 +/- 5 angstroms in the argon matrix and 4,395 +/- 5 angstroms in the neon matrix, both close to the strong 4,430-angstroms DIB. If this or a related pyrene-like species is responsible for this particular band, it must account for 0.2% of all cosmic carbon. The ion also shows an intense but puzzling broad continuum, extending from the ultraviolet to the visible, similar to what is seen in the naphthalene cation and perhaps therefore a common feature of all PAH cations. This may provide an explanation of how PAHs convert a large fraction of interstellar radiation from ultraviolet and visible wavelengths down to the infrared.

  9. MODELING THE OXYGEN K ABSORPTION IN THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM: AN XMM-NEWTON VIEW OF Sco X-1

    SciTech Connect

    GarcIa, J.; Bautista, M. A.; RamIrez, J. M.; Kallman, T. R.; Witthoeft, M.; Mendoza, C.; Palmeri, P.; Quinet, P. E-mail: manuel.bautista@wmich.edu E-mail: michael.c.witthoeft@nasa.gov E-mail: claudio@ivic.gob.v E-mail: quinet@umh.ac.be

    2011-04-10

    We investigate the X-ray absorption structure of oxygen in the interstellar medium by analyzing XMM - Newton observations of the low-mass X-ray binary Sco X-1. Simple models based on the O I atomic photoabsorption cross section from different sources are used to fit the data and evaluate the impact of the atomic data on the interpretation of the observations. We show that relatively small differences in the atomic calculations can yield spurious results, and that the most complete and accurate set of atomic cross sections successfully reproduce the observed data in the 21.0-24.5 A wavelength region of the spectrum. Our fits indicate that the absorption is mainly due to neutral gas with an ionization parameter of {xi} = 10{sup -4} erg cm s{sup -1} and an oxygen column density of N{sub O} {approx} (8-10) x 10{sup 17} cm{sup -2}. The models are able to reproduce both the K edge and the K{alpha} absorption line from O I which are the two main features in this region. We find no conclusive evidence for absorption by anything other than atomic oxygen.

  10. Modeling the Oxygen K Absorption in the Interstellar Medium: An XMM-Newton View of Sco X-1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garcia, J.; Ramirez, J. M.; Kallman, T. R.; Witthoeft, M.; Bautista, M. A.; Mendoza, C.; Palmeri, P.; Quinet, P.

    2011-01-01

    We investigate the absorption structure of the oxygen in the interstellar medium by analyzing XMM-Newton observations of the low mass X-ray binary Sco X-1. We use simple models based on the O I atomic cross section from different sources to fit the data and evaluate the impact of the atomic data in the interpretation of astrophysical observations. We show that relatively small differences in the atomic calculations can yield spurious results. We also show that the most complete and accurate set of atomic cross sections successfully reproduce the observed data in the 21 - 24.5 Angstrom wavelength region of the spectrum. Our fits indicate that the absorption is mainly due to neutral gas with an ionization parameter of Epsilon = 10(exp -4) erg/sq cm, and an oxygen column density of N(sub O) approx. = 8-10 x 10(exp 17)/sq cm. Our models are able to reproduce both the K edge and the K(alpha) absorption line from O I, which are the two main features in this region. We find no conclusive evidence for absorption by other than atomic oxygen.

  11. Calcium H&K and sodium D absorption induced by the interstellar and circumgalactic media of the Milky Way

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murga, Maria; Zhu, Guangtun; Ménard, Brice; Lan, Ting-Wen

    2015-09-01

    We map out calcium II and sodium I absorption (Fraunhofer H, K & D lines) induced by both the interstellar medium and the circumgalactic medium of the Milky Way. Our measurements cover more than 9000 deg2 and make use of about 300 000 extragalactic spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We present absorption maps for these two species and then compare their distributions to those of neutral hydrogen and dust. We show that the abundance of Na I with respect to neutral hydrogen stays roughly constant in different environments, while that of Ca II decreases with hydrogen column density. Studying how these tracers vary as a function of velocity, we show that, on average, the NNaI/NCaII ratio decreases at higher velocity with respect to the local standard of rest, similar to the local Routly-Spitzer effect but seen on Galactic scale. We show that it is likely caused by higher gas/dust density at lower velocity. Finally, we show that Galactic Ca II and Na I absorption needs to be taken into account for precision photometry and, more importantly, for photometric redshift estimation with star-forming galaxies. Our maps of Ca II and Na I absorption are publicly available.

  12. INTERSTELLAR ANALOGS FROM DEFECTIVE CARBON NANOSTRUCTURES ACCOUNT FOR INTERSTELLAR EXTINCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Tan, Zhenquan; Abe, Hiroya; Sato, Kazuyoshi; Ohara, Satoshi; Chihara, Hiroki; Koike, Chiyoe; Kaneko, Kenji

    2010-11-15

    Because interstellar dust is closely related to the evolution of matter in the galactic environment and many other astrophysical phenomena, the laboratory synthesis of interstellar dust analogs has received significant attention over the past decade. To simulate the ultraviolet (UV) interstellar extinction feature at 217.5 nm originating from carbonaceous interstellar dust, many reports focused on the UV absorption properties of laboratory-synthesized interstellar dust analogs. However, no general relation has been established between UV interstellar extinction and artificial interstellar dust analogs. Here, we show that defective carbon nanostructures prepared by high-energy collisions exhibit a UV absorption feature at 220 nm which we suggest accounts for the UV interstellar extinction at 217.5 nm. The morphology of some carbon nanostructures is similar to that of nanocarbons discovered in the Allende meteorite. The similarity between the absorption feature of the defective carbon nanostructures and UV interstellar extinction indicates a strong correlation between the defective carbon nanostructures and interstellar dust.

  13. Physical properties of the interstellar medium using high-resolution Chandra spectra: O K-edge absorption

    SciTech Connect

    Gatuzz, E.; Mendoza, C.; García, J.; Kallman, T. R.; Bautista, M. A.; Gorczyca, T. W. E-mail: claudio@ivic.gob.ve E-mail: manuel.bautista@wmich.edu E-mail: timothy.r.kallman@nasa.gov

    2014-08-01

    Chandra high-resolution spectra toward eight low-mass Galactic binaries have been analyzed with a photoionization model that is capable of determining the physical state of the interstellar medium. Particular attention is given to the accuracy of the atomic data. Hydrogen column densities are derived with a broadband fit that takes into account pileup effects, and in general are in good agreement with previous results. The dominant features in the oxygen-edge region are O I and O II Kα absorption lines whose simultaneous fits lead to average values of the ionization parameter of log ξ = –2.90 and oxygen abundance of A{sub O} = 0.70. The latter is given relative to the standard by Grevesse and Sauval, but rescaling with the revision by Asplund et al. would lead to an average abundance value fairly close to solar. The low average oxygen column density (N{sub O} = 9.2 × 10{sup 17} cm{sup –2}) suggests a correlation with the low ionization parameters, the latter also being in evidence in the column density ratios N(O II)/N(O I) and N(O III)/N(O I) that are estimated to be less than 0.1. We do not find conclusive evidence for absorption by any other compound but atomic oxygen in our oxygen-edge region analysis.

  14. A survey of interstellar HI from L alpha absorption measurements 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bohlin, R. C.; Savage, B. D.; Drake, J. F.

    1977-01-01

    The Copernicus satellite surveyed the spectral region near L alpha to obtain column densities of interstellar HI toward 100 stars. The distance to 10 stars exceeds 2 kpc and 34 stars lie beyond 1 kpc. Stars with color excess E(B-V) up to 0.5 mag are observed. The value of the mean ratio of total neutral hydrogen to color excess was found to equal 5.8 x 10 to the 21st power atoms per (sq cm x mag). For stars with accurate E(B-V), the deviations from this mean are generally less than a factor of 1.5. A notable exception is the dark cloud star, rho Oph. A reduction in visual reddening efficiency for the grains that are larger than normal in the rho Oph dark cloud probably explains this result. The conversion of atomic hydrogen into molecular form in dense clouds was observed in the gas to E(B-V) correlation plots. The best estimate for the mean total gas density for clouds and the intercloud medium, as a whole, in the solar neighborhood and in the plane of the galaxy is 1.15 atoms per cu. cm; those for the atomic gas and molecular gas alone are 0.86 atoms per cu cm and 0.143 molecules per cu cm respectively. For the intercloud medium, where molecular hydrogen is a negligible fraction of the total gas, atomic gas density was found to equal 0.16 atoms per cu cm with a Gaussian scale height perpendicular to the plane of about 350 pc, as derived from high latitude stars.

  15. FUSE Observations of O VI Absorption in the Local Interstellar Medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oegerle, W. R.; Jenkins, E. B.; Shelton, R. L.; Bowen, D. V.; Fisher, Richard R. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    We report the results of an initial Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) survey of O VI Lambda 1032 absorption along the lines of sight to eleven nearby white dwarfs, ten of which are within the Local Bubble (LB; d < or approximately equal 100 pc). A goal of this survey is to investigate the possible formation of O VI in the conductive interfaces between cool (about 10(exp 4) K) clouds immersed in the presumably hot (10(exp 6) K) gas within the LB. This mechanism is often invoked to explain the widespread presence of 0 VI throughout the Galactic disk. We find no 0 VI absorption toward two stars, and the column densities along three additional sight lines are quite low; N(O VI) about 5 x 10(exp 13)/sq cm. In several directions, we observe rather broad, shallow absorption with N(O VI) about 1 - 2 x 10(exp 13)/sq cm. Models of conductive interfaces predict narrow profiles with N(OVI) > or about equal to 10(exp 13)/sq cm per interface, in the absence of a significant transverse magnetic field. Hence, our observations of weak 0 VI absorption indicate that conduction is being quenched, possibly by non-radial magnetic fields. Alternatively, the gas within the LB may not be hot. Breitschwerdt & Schmutzler have proposed a model for the LB in which an explosive event within a dense cloud created rapid expansion and adiabatic cooling, resulting in a cavity containing gas with a kinetic temperature of T about 50,000 K, but with an ionization state characteristic of much hotter gas. This model has a number of attractive features, but appears to predict significantly more O VI than we observe.

  16. FUSE Observations of O 6 Absorption in the Local Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oegerle, W. R.; Jenkins, E. B.; Shelton, R. L.; Bowen, D. V.; FUSE Team

    2000-12-01

    We report the results of an initial FUSE survey of O 6 λ 1032 absorption along the lines of sight to eleven nearby white dwarfs, ten of which are within the Local Bubble (LB; d ⪉ 100 pc). A goal of this survey is to investigate the possible formation of O 6 in the conductive interfaces between cool ( ~ 104 K) clouds immersed in the presumably hot (106 K) gas within the LB. This mechanism is often invoked to explain the widespread presence of O 6 throughout the Galactic disk. We find no O 6 absorption toward two stars, and the column densities along three additional sight lines are quite low; N(O 6) ~ 5 x 1012 cm-2. In several directions, we observe rather broad, shallow absorption with N(O 6) ~ 1-2 x 1013 cm-2. Models of conductive interfaces predict narrow profiles with N(O 6) ⪆ 1013 cm-2 per interface (Slavin 1989, Borkowski et al 1990), in the absence of a significant transverse magnetic field. Hence, our observations of weak O 6 absorption indicate that conduction is being quenched, possibly by non-radial magnetic fields. Alternatively, the gas within the LB may not be hot. Breitschwerdt & Schmutzler (1994) have proposed a model for the LB in which an explosive event within a dense cloud created rapid expansion and adiabatic cooling, resulting in a cavity containing gas with a kinetic temperature of T ~ 50,000 K, but with an ionization state characteristic of much hotter gas. This model has a number of attractive features, but appears to predict significantly more O 6 than we observe. This work is based on data obtained for the Guaranteed Time Team by the NASA-CNES-CSA FUSE mission operated by the Johns Hopkins University. Financial support to U. S. participants has been provided by NASA contract NAS5-32985.

  17. Study of interstellar molecular clouds using formaldehyde absorption toward extragalactic radio sources

    SciTech Connect

    Araya, E. D.; Andreev, N.; Dieter-Conklin, N.; Goss, W. M.

    2014-04-01

    We present new Very Large Array 6 cm H{sub 2}CO observations toward four extragalactic radio continuum sources (B0212+735, 3C 111, NRAO 150, and BL Lac) to explore the structure of foreground Galactic clouds as revealed by absorption variability. This project adds a new epoch in the monitoring observations of the sources reported by Marscher and collaborators in the mid-1990s. Our new observations confirm the monotonic increase in H{sub 2}CO absorption strength toward NRAO 150. We do not detect significant variability of our 2009 spectra with respect to the 1994 spectra of 3C111, B0212+735, and BL Lac; however, we find significant variability of the 3C111 2009 spectrum with respect to archive observations conducted in 1991 and 1992. Our analysis supports that changes in absorption lines could be caused by chemical and/or geometrical gradients in the foreground clouds and not necessarily by small-scale (∼10 AU) high-density molecular clumps within the clouds.

  18. Absorption Line Studies and the Distribution of Neutral Gas in the Local Interstellar Medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bruhweiler, F. C.

    1984-01-01

    Previous published absorption line studies performed at ultraviolet and visual wavelengths are combined with new ultraviolet data in order to map out the distribution of HI within 150 pc of the Sun. Newly presented data for distances less than 50 pc further support the local cloud model as presented by Bruhweiler (1982). The Sun is embedded, near the edge of a diffuse cloud with total column density 2 x 10 to the 19th power/sq cm. Most observed directions within 50 pc away from the cloud body reveal trace amounts of gas (N)HI) approximately 10 to the 18th power/sq cm presumably arising in the outer skin of the local cloud. At greater distances (50 approximately or d approximately or 150 pc) most directions show significant absorption with N(HI) 10(19)/sq cm. Two directions, one toward the northern galactic pole (NGP), the other toward beta CMa exhibit unusually low HI column densities out to distances of 150 to 200 pc. However, substantial amounts of gas N(HI) 10 to the 19th power/sq cm, are seen toward the NGP at greater distances. The implicatons of these results on astronomy at wavelengths shortward of 912A are discussed.

  19. Photoionization Modeling of Oxygen K Absorption in the Interstellar Medium: The Chandra Grating Spectra of XTE J1817-330

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gatuzz, E.; Garcia, J.; Menodza, C.; Kallman, T. R.; Witthoeft, M.; Lohfink, A.; Bautista, M. A.; Palmeri, P.; Quinet, P.

    2013-01-01

    We present detailed analyses of oxygen K absorption in the interstellar medium (ISM) using four high-resolution Chandra spectra towards the X-ray low-mass binary XTE J1817-330. The 11-25 A broadband is described with a simple absorption model that takes into account the pileup effect and results in an estimate of the hydrogen column density. The oxygen K-edge region (21-25 A) is fitted with the physical warmabs model, which is based on a photoionization model grid generated with the XSTAR code with the most up-to-date atomic database. This approach allows a benchmark of the atomic data which involves wavelength shifts of both the K lines and photoionization cross sections in order to fit the observed spectra accurately. As a result we obtain: a column density of N(sub H) = 1.38 +/- 0.01 x 10(exp 21) cm(exp -2); ionization parameter of log xi = .2.70 +/- 0.023; oxygen abundance of A(sub O) = 0.689(exp +0.015./-0.010); and ionization fractions of O I/O = 0.911, O II/O = 0.077, and O III/O = 0.012 that are in good agreement with previous studies. Since the oxygen abundance in warmabs is given relative to the solar standard of Grevesse and Sauval (1998), a rescaling with the revision by Asplund et al. (2009) yields A(sub O) = 0.952(exp +0.020/-0.013, a value close to solar that reinforces the new standard. We identify several atomic absorption lines.K-alpha , K-beta, and K-gamma in O I and O II; and K-alpha in O III, O VI, and O VII--last two probably residing in the neighborhood of the source rather than in the ISM. This is the first firm detection of oxygen K resonances with principal quantum numbers n greater than 2 associated to ISM cold absorption.

  20. Photoionization Modeling of Oxygen K Absorption in the Interstellar Medium:. [The Chandra Grating Spectra of XTE J1817-330

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gatuzz, E.; Garcia, J.; Mendoza, C.; Kallman, T. R.; Witthoeft, M.; Lohfink, A.; Bautista, M. A.; Palmeri, P.; Quinet, P.

    2013-01-01

    We present detailed analyses of oxygen K absorption in the interstellar medium (ISM) using four high-resolution Chandra spectra toward the X-ray low-mass binary XTE J1817-330. The 11-25 Angstrom broadband is described with a simple absorption model that takes into account the pile-up effect and results in an estimate of the hydrogen column density. The oxygen K-edge region (21-25 Angstroms) is fitted with the physical warmabs model, which is based on a photoionization model grid generated with the xstar code with the most up-to-date atomic database. This approach allows a benchmark of the atomic data which involves wavelength shifts of both the K lines and photoionization cross sections in order to fit the observed spectra accurately. As a result we obtain a column density of N(sub H) = 1.38 +/- 0.01 × 10(exp 21) cm(exp -2); an ionization parameter of log xi = -2.70 +/- 0.023; an oxygen abundance of A(sub O) = 0.689 (+0.015/-0.010); and ionization fractions of O(sub I)/O = 0.911, O(sub II)/O = 0.077, and O(sub III)/O = 0.012 that are in good agreement with results from previous studies. Since the oxygen abundance in warmabs is given relative to the solar standard of Grevesse & Sauval, a rescaling with the revision by Asplund et al. yields A(sub O) = 0.952(+0.020/-0.013), a value close to solar that reinforces the new standard.We identify several atomic absorption lines-K(alpha), K(beta), and K(gamma) in O(sub I) and O(sub II) and K(alpha) in O(sub III), O(sub VI), and O(sub VII)-the last two probably residing in the neighborhood of the source rather than in the ISM. This is the first firm detection of oxygen K resonances with principal quantum numbers n greater than 2 associated with ISM cold absorption.

  1. PHOTOIONIZATION MODELING OF OXYGEN K ABSORPTION IN THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM: THE CHANDRA GRATING SPECTRA OF XTE J1817-330

    SciTech Connect

    Gatuzz, E.; Mendoza, C.; Garcia, J.; Lohfink, A.; Kallman, T. R.; Witthoeft, M.; Bautista, M. A.; Palmeri, P.; Quinet, P. E-mail: claudio@ivic.gob.ve E-mail: alohfink@astro.umd.edu E-mail: michael.c.witthoeft@nasa.gov E-mail: palmeri@umons.ac.be

    2013-05-01

    We present detailed analyses of oxygen K absorption in the interstellar medium (ISM) using four high-resolution Chandra spectra toward the X-ray low-mass binary XTE J1817-330. The 11-25 A broadband is described with a simple absorption model that takes into account the pile-up effect and results in an estimate of the hydrogen column density. The oxygen K-edge region (21-25 A) is fitted with the physical warmabs model, which is based on a photoionization model grid generated with the XSTAR code with the most up-to-date atomic database. This approach allows a benchmark of the atomic data which involves wavelength shifts of both the K lines and photoionization cross sections in order to fit the observed spectra accurately. As a result we obtain a column density of N{sub H} = 1.38 {+-} 0.01 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 21} cm{sup -2}; an ionization parameter of log {xi} = -2.70 {+-} 0.023; an oxygen abundance of A{sub O}= 0.689{sup +0.015}{sub -0.010}; and ionization fractions of O I/O = 0.911, O II/O = 0.077, and O III/O = 0.012 that are in good agreement with results from previous studies. Since the oxygen abundance in warmabs is given relative to the solar standard of Grevesse and Sauval, a rescaling with the revision by Asplund et al. yields A{sub O}=0.952{sup +0.020}{sub -0.013}, a value close to solar that reinforces the new standard. We identify several atomic absorption lines-K{alpha}, K{beta}, and K{gamma} in O I and O II and K{alpha} in O III, O VI, and O VII-the last two probably residing in the neighborhood of the source rather than in the ISM. This is the first firm detection of oxygen K resonances with principal quantum numbers n > 2 associated with ISM cold absorption.

  2. Absorption at 11 μm in the interstellar medium and embedded sources: evidence for crystalline silicates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, Christopher M.; Do Duy, Tho; Lawson, Warrick

    2016-04-01

    An absorption feature is occasionally reported around 11 μm in astronomical spectra, including those of forming stars. Candidate carriers include water ice, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, silicon carbide, crystalline silicates or even carbonates. All are known constituents of cosmic dust in one or more types of environments, though not necessarily together. In this paper, we present new ground-based 8-13 μm spectra of one evolved star, several embedded young stellar objects and a background source lying behind a large column of the interstellar medium (ISM) towards the Galactic Centre. Our observations, obtained at a spectral resolution of ˜100, are compared with previous lower resolution data, as well as data obtained with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) on these and other targets. By presenting a subset of a larger sample, our aim is to establish the reality of the feature and subsequently speculate on its carrier. All evidence points towards crystalline silicate. For instance, the 11 μm band profile is well matched with the emissivity of crystalline olivine. Furthermore, the apparent association of the absorption feature with a sharp polarization signature in the spectrum of two previously reported cases suggests a carrier with a relatively high band strength compared to amorphous silicates. If true, this would either set back the evolutionary stage in which silicates are crystallized, either to the embedded phase or even before within the ISM, or else the silicates ejected from the outflows of evolved stars retain some of their crystalline identity during their long residence in the ISM.

  3. Absorption variability as a probe of the multiphase interstellar media surrounding active galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macquart, Jean-Pierre; Tingay, Steven

    2016-08-01

    We examine a model for the variable free-free and neutral hydrogen absorption inferred towards the cores of some compact radio galaxies in which a spatially fluctuating medium drifts in front of the source. We relate the absorption-induced intensity fluctuations to the statistics of the underlying opacity fluctuations. We investigate models in which the absorbing medium consists of either discrete clouds or a power-law spectrum of opacity fluctuations. We examine the variability characteristics of a medium comprised of Gaussian-shaped clouds in which the neutral and ionized matter are co-located, and in which the clouds comprise spherical constant-density neutral cores enveloped by ionized sheaths. The cross-power spectrum indicates the spatial relationship between neutral and ionized matter, and distinguishes the two models, with power in the Gaussian model declining as a featureless power-law, but that in the ionized sheath model oscillating between positive and negative values. We show how comparison of the H I and free-free power spectra reveals information on the ionization and neutral fractions of the medium. The background source acts as a low-pass filter of the underlying opacity power spectrum, which limits temporal fluctuations to frequencies ω ≲ dot{θ }_v/θ _src, where dot{θ }_v is the angular drift speed of the matter in front of the source, and it quenches the observability of opacity structures on scales smaller than the source size θsrc. For drift speeds of ˜103 km s-1 and source brightness temperatures ˜1012 K, this limitation confines temporal opacity fluctuations to time-scales of order several months to decades.

  4. The Zone of Inertia: Absorptive Capacity and Organizational Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Godkin, Lynn

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe how interruptions in organizational learning effect institutional absorptive capacity and contribute to organizational inertia. Design/methodology/approach: An exploratory model is presented as a heuristic to describe how interruptions in organizational learning affect absorptive capacity.…

  5. Prospects for determining the cosmological helium-3 to helium-4 ratio via absorption-line studies of the local interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hurwitz, M.; Bowyer, S.

    1985-01-01

    The prospects for determining the interstellar (He-3)/(He-4) ratio via absorption-line studies in the extreme ultraviolet are considered. A high-resolution extreme-ultraviolet spectrometer fed by a 1-meter-class telescope similar to that discussed in the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer Report (1983) is assumed, and it is found that detection of He-3 may be possible with less than three days of observing time. To measure the (He-3)/(He-4) ratio with sufficient precision to determine the number of light neutrino species will require over 50 days of integration time for each object studied.

  6. The Copernicus observations - Interstellar or circumstellar material. [UV spectra of early stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steigman, G.; Strittmatter, P. A.; Williams, R. E.

    1975-01-01

    It is suggested that the sharp absorption lines observed in the ultraviolet spectra of early-type stars by the Copernicus satellite may be entirely accounted for by the circumstellar material in the H II regions and associated transition zones around the observed stars. If this interpretation is correct, the Copernicus results yield little information on the state of any interstellar (as opposed to circumstellar) gas and, in particular, shed little light on the degree of element depletion in interstellar space.

  7. Photochemistry of interstellar molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stief, L. J.

    1971-01-01

    The photochemistry of two diatomic and eight polyatomic molecules is discussed quantitatively. For an interstellar molecule, the lifetime against photodecomposition depends upon the absorption cross section, the quantum yield or probability of dissociation following photon absorption, and the interstellar radiation field. The constant energy density of Habing is used for the unobserved regions of interstellar radiation field, and the field in obscuring clouds is estimated by combining the constant flux with the observed interstellar extinction curve covering the visible and ultraviolet regions. Lifetimes against photodecomposition in the unobscured regions and as a function of increasing optical thickness in obscuring clouds are calculated for the ten species. The results show that, except for CO, all the molecules have comparable lifetimes of less than one hundred years. Thus they can exist only in dense clouds and can never have been exposed to the unobscured radiation. The calculations further show that the lifetimes in clouds of moderate opacity are of the order of one million years.

  8. Strong absorption by interstellar hydrogen fluoride: Herschel/HIFI observations of the sight-line to G10.6-0.4 (W31C)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neufeld, D. A.; Sonnentrucker, P.; Phillips, T. G.; Lis, D. C.; de Luca, M.; Goicoechea, J. R.; Black, J. H.; Gerin, M.; Bell, T.; Boulanger, F.; Cernicharo, J.; Coutens, A.; Dartois, E.; Kazmierczak, M.; Encrenaz, P.; Falgarone, E.; Geballe, T. R.; Giesen, T.; Godard, B.; Goldsmith, P. F.; Gry, C.; Gupta, H.; Hennebelle, P.; Herbst, E.; Hily-Blant, P.; Joblin, C.; Kołos, R.; Krełowski, J.; Martín-Pintado, J.; Menten, K. M.; Monje, R.; Mookerjea, B.; Pearson, J.; Perault, M.; Persson, C.; Plume, R.; Salez, M.; Schlemmer, S.; Schmidt, M.; Stutzki, J.; Teyssier, D.; Vastel, C.; Yu, S.; Cais, P.; Caux, E.; Liseau, R.; Morris, P.; Planesas, P.

    2010-07-01

    We report the detection of strong absorption by interstellar hydrogen fluoride along the sight-line to the submillimeter continuum source G10.6-0.4 (W31C). We have used Herschel's HIFI instrument, in dual beam switch mode, to observe the 1232.4763 GHz J = 1-0 HF transition in the upper sideband of the Band 5a receiver. The resultant spectrum shows weak HF emission from G10.6-0.4 at LSR velocities in the range -10 to -3 km s-1, accompanied by strong absorption by foreground material at LSR velocities in the range 15 to 50 km s-1. The spectrum is similar to that of the 1113.3430 GHz 111-000 transition of para-water, although at some frequencies the HF (hydrogen fluoride) optical depth clearly exceeds that of para-H2O. The optically-thick HF absorption that we have observed places a conservative lower limit of 1.6×1014 cm-2 on the HF column density along the sight-line to G10.6-0.4. Our lower limit on the HF abundance, 6×10-9 relative to hydrogen nuclei, implies that hydrogen fluoride accounts for between ~30% and 100% of the fluorine nuclei in the gas phase along this sight-line. This observation corroborates theoretical predictions that - because the unique thermochemistry of fluorine permits the exothermic reaction of F atoms with molecular hydrogen - HF will be the dominant reservoir of interstellar fluorine under a wide range of conditions. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.

  9. Interstellar matter research with the Copernicus satellite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spitzer, L., Jr.

    1976-01-01

    The use of the Copernicus satellite in an investigation of interstellar matter makes it possible to study absorption lines in the ultraviolet range which cannot be observed on the ground because of atmospheric absorption effects. A brief description is given of the satellite and the instrument used in the reported studies of interstellar matter. The results of the studies are discussed, giving attention to interstellar molecular hydrogen, the chemical composition of the interstellar gas, the coronal gas between the stars, and the interstellar abundance ratio of deuterium to hydrogen.

  10. High-energy Electron Irradiation of Interstellar Carbonaceous Dust Analogs: Cosmic-ray Effects on the Carriers of the 3.4 μm Absorption Band

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maté, Belén; Molpeceres, Germán; Jiménez-Redondo, Miguel; Tanarro, Isabel; Herrero, Víctor J.

    2016-11-01

    The effects of cosmic rays on the carriers of the interstellar 3.4 μm absorption band have been investigated in the laboratory. This band is attributed to stretching vibrations of CH3 and CH2 in carbonaceous dust. It is widely observed in the diffuse interstellar medium, but disappears in dense clouds. Destruction of CH3 and CH2 by cosmic rays could become relevant in dense clouds, shielded from the external ultraviolet field. For the simulations, samples of hydrogenated amorphous carbon (a-C:H) have been irradiated with 5 keV electrons. The decay of the band intensity versus electron fluence reflects a-C:H dehydrogenation, which is well described by a model assuming that H2 molecules, formed by the recombination of H atoms liberated through CH bond breaking, diffuse out of the sample. The CH bond destruction rates derived from the present experiments are in good accordance with those from previous ion irradiation experiments of HAC. The experimental simplicity of electron bombardment has allowed the use of higher-energy doses than in the ion experiments. The effects of cosmic rays on the aliphatic components of cosmic dust are found to be small. The estimated cosmic-ray destruction times for the 3.4 μm band carriers lie in the 108 yr range and cannot account for the disappearance of this band in dense clouds, which have characteristic lifetimes of 3 × 107 yr. The results invite a more detailed investigation of the mechanisms of CH bond formation and breaking in the intermediate region between diffuse and dense clouds.

  11. Interstellar processes; Proceedings of the Symposium, Grand Teton National Park, WY, July 1-7, 1986

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hollenbach, David J. (Editor); Thronson, Harley A., Jr. (Editor)

    1987-01-01

    The conference presents papers on the Milky Way as a galaxy; observations of components of the interstellar medium; interstellar magnetic properties; interstellar processes on a galactic scale; dynamical processes in interstellar clouds; interstellar dust grains; interstellar chemical processes; and heating, cooling, and radiative processes. Attention is given to H2 in the Galaxy, hot interstellar gas in the Galactic disk and halo, interstellar magnetic fields, cloud formation and destruction, theoretical approaches to interstellar turbulence, and infrared absorption and emission characteristics of interstellar PAHs. Other topics include gas phase chemical processes in molecular clouds, the chemical evolution of galaxies, and the atomic and molecular physics of interstellar heating and cooling.

  12. Interstellar processes; Proceedings of the Symposium, Grand Teton National Park, WY, July 1-7, 1986

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hollenbach, David J.; Thronson, Harley A., Jr.

    The conference presents papers on the Milky Way as a galaxy; observations of components of the interstellar medium; interstellar magnetic properties; interstellar processes on a galactic scale; dynamical processes in interstellar clouds; interstellar dust grains; interstellar chemical processes; and heating, cooling, and radiative processes. Attention is given to H2 in the Galaxy, hot interstellar gas in the Galactic disk and halo, interstellar magnetic fields, cloud formation and destruction, theoretical approaches to interstellar turbulence, and infrared absorption and emission characteristics of interstellar PAHs. Other topics include gas phase chemical processes in molecular clouds, the chemical evolution of galaxies, and the atomic and molecular physics of interstellar heating and cooling.

  13. Moderate-resolution spectroscopy of the lensed quasar 2237 + 0305 - A search for CA II absorption due to the interstellar medium in the foreground lensing galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hintzen, Paul; Maran, Stephen P.; Michalitsianos, Andrew G.; Foltz, Craig B.; Chaffee, Frederic H., Jr.; Kafatos, Minas

    1990-01-01

    The gravitational lens system 2237+0305 consists of a low-redshift barred spiral galaxy (z = 0.0394) centered on a more distant quasar (z = 1.695). Because the lensing galaxy is nearly face on, spectroscopy of the background quasar affords a unique opportunity to study the interstellar medium in the galaxy's center and . We report moderate-resolution spectroscopy of QSO2237+0305 yielding a 3σ upper limit of 72 mÅ for the rest equivalent width of Ca II K absorption due to gas in the intervening galaxy. Since gas in the Milky Way "thick disk" typically produces 220 mÅ Ca II lines along lines of sight at high galactic latitude, while our line of sight to QSO 2237+0305 is effectively the weighted mean of four lines of sight, each of which transects an entire halo diameter in the lensing galaxy rather than just a radius, our Ca II upper limit argues against the presence of such a thick disk near the center of the lensing galaxy. Also, published studies indicate that at 8200 Å, QSO 2237+0305 suffers roughly 0.5 mag of extinction due to the leasing galaxy. Assuming a normal gas-to-dust ratio and allowing for various sources of uncertainty, this absorption estimate combined with our Ca II K upper limit implies that calcium is depleted with respect to hydrogen by at least 2.7-3.7 dex, compared to solar abundances. This depletion is similar to the more extreme cases seen in our own galaxy, and higher-dispersion observations may further decrease the upper limit on Ca II absorption.

  14. Interstellar Hydrides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerin, Maryvonne; Neufeld, David A.; Goicoechea, Javier R.

    2016-09-01

    Interstellar hydrides—that is, molecules containing a single heavy element atom with one or more hydrogen atoms—were among the first molecules detected outside the solar system. They lie at the root of interstellar chemistry, being among the first species to form in initially atomic gas, along with molecular hydrogen and its associated ions. Because the chemical pathways leading to the formation of interstellar hydrides are relatively simple, the analysis of the observed abundances is relatively straightforward and provides key information about the environments where hydrides are found. Recent years have seen rapid progress in our understanding of interstellar hydrides, thanks largely to FIR and submillimeter observations performed with the Herschel Space Observatory. In this review, we discuss observations of interstellar hydrides, along with the advanced modeling approaches that have been used to interpret them and the unique information that has thereby been obtained.

  15. Interstellar molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, D.

    1987-09-01

    Some 70 different molecular species have so far been detected variously in diffuse interstellar clouds, dense interstellar clouds, and circumstellar shells. Only simple (diatomic and triatomic) species exist in diffuse clouds because of the penetration of destructive UV radiations, whereas more complex (polyatomic) molecules survive in dense clouds as a result of the shielding against this UV radiation provided by dust grains. A current list of interstellar molecules is given together with a few other molecular species that have so far been detected only in circumstellar shells. Also listed are those interstellar species that contain rare isotopes of several elements. The gas phase ion chemistry is outlined via which the observed molecules are synthesized, and the process by which enrichment of the rare isotopes occurs in some interstellar molecules is described.

  16. Interstellar H3+

    PubMed Central

    Oka, Takeshi

    2006-01-01

    Protonated molecular hydrogen, H3+, is the simplest polyatomic molecule. It is the most abundantly produced interstellar molecule, next only to H2, although its steady state concentration is low because of its extremely high chemical reactivity. H3+ is a strong acid (proton donor) and initiates chains of ion-molecule reactions in interstellar space thus leading to formation of complex molecules. Here, I summarize the understandings on this fundamental species in interstellar space obtained from our infrared observations since its discovery in 1996 and discuss the recent observations and analyses of H3+ in the Central Molecular Zone near the Galatic center that led to a revelation of a vast amount of warm and diffuse gas existing in the region. PMID:16894171

  17. Interstellar H(3)(+).

    PubMed

    Oka, Takeshi

    2006-08-15

    Protonated molecular hydrogen, H(3)(+), is the simplest polyatomic molecule. It is the most abundantly produced interstellar molecule, next only to H(2), although its steady state concentration is low because of its extremely high chemical reactivity. H(3)(+) is a strong acid (proton donor) and initiates chains of ion-molecule reactions in interstellar space thus leading to formation of complex molecules. Here, I summarize the understandings on this fundamental species in interstellar space obtained from our infrared observations since its discovery in 1996 and discuss the recent observations and analyses of H(3)(+) in the Central Molecular Zone near the Galatic center that led to a revelation of a vast amount of warm and diffuse gas existing in the region.

  18. ANOMALOUS DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BANDS IN THE SPECTRUM OF HERSCHEL 36. I. OBSERVATIONS OF ROTATIONALLY EXCITED CH AND CH{sup +} ABSORPTION AND STRONG, EXTENDED REDWARD WINGS ON SEVERAL DIBs

    SciTech Connect

    Dahlstrom, Julie; York, Donald G.; Welty, Daniel E.; Oka, Takeshi; Johnson, Sean; Jiang Zihao; Sherman, Reid; Hobbs, L. M.; Friedman, Scott D.; Sonnentrucker, Paule; Rachford, Brian L.; Snow, Theodore P.

    2013-08-10

    Anomalously broad diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) at 5780.5, 5797.1, 6196.0, and 6613.6 A are found in absorption along the line of sight to Herschel 36, the star illuminating the bright Hourglass region of the H II region Messier 8. Interstellar absorption from excited CH{sup +} in the J = 1 level and from excited CH in the J = 3/2 level is also seen. To our knowledge, neither those excited molecular lines nor such strongly extended DIBs have previously been seen in absorption from interstellar gas. These unusual features appear to arise in a small region near Herschel 36 which contains most of the neutral interstellar material in the sight line. The CH{sup +} and CH in that region are radiatively excited by strong far-IR radiation from the adjacent infrared source Her 36 SE. Similarly, the broadening of the DIBs toward Herschel 36 may be due to radiative pumping of closely spaced high-J rotational levels of relatively small, polar carrier molecules. If this picture of excited rotational states for the DIB carriers is correct and applicable to most DIBs, the 2.7 K cosmic microwave background may set the minimum widths (about 0.35 A) of known DIBs, with molecular processes and/or local radiation fields producing the larger widths found for the broader DIBs. Despite the intense local UV radiation field within the cluster NGC 6530, no previously undetected DIBs stronger than 10 mA in equivalent width are found in the optical spectrum of Herschel 36, suggesting that neither dissociation nor ionization of the carriers of the known DIBs by this intense field creates new carriers with easily detectable DIB-like features. Possibly related profile anomalies for several other DIBs are noted.

  19. Interstellar Matters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verschuur, Gerrit L.

    In this provocative new book, radio astronomer and author Gerrit L. Verschuur describes the phenomena of scientific curiosity and discovery by following the exciting story of interstellar matter. The discovery of "stuff between the stars" was the result of decades of work by hundreds of astronomers, and the evolving recognition of its existence has profoundly changed the way we view the Universe. Verschuur begins with E.E. Barnard, who puzzled for a quarter century over the interpretation of photographs of dark patches between the stars. Verschuur then traces the tortuous path to acceptance of the existence of interstellar matter. He shares with us the thrill of discovery that motivates astronomers, the use of metaphors and modeling by scientist, and other tricks of the astronomical trade. Finally, we learn about the modern study of interstellar matter: the discovery of complex organic molecules between the stars and how they may have seeded the early earth with the precursors for life, new insights into star formation, the structure of the Milky Way and the elusive interstellar magnetic field. More than a history, Interstellar Matters is a detective story that evokes the excitement and serendipity of science against the background of a century of shared effort by the world community of astronomers. From the reviews: "I can't imagine anyone interested in astronomy who won't enjoy this book - it's chocked full of science, personalities and insights. We are products of the stuff between the stars - Verschuur tells the fascinating story of how its existence was discovered. Interstellar Matters is his best book, I think. It's certainly one of the best astronomy popularizations I've read." Leif J. Robinson, Sky and Teleskope#1

  20. Interstellar grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snow, T. P.

    1986-01-01

    There are few aspects of interstellar grains that can be unambiguously defined. Very little can be said that is independent of models or presuppositions; hence issues are raised and questions categorized, rather than providing definitive answers. The questions are issues fall into three general areas; the general physical and chemical nature of the grains; the processes by which they are formed and destroyed; and future observational approaches.

  1. Interstellar grains within interstellar grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bernatowicz, Thomas J.; Amari, Sachiko; Zinner, Ernst K.; Lewis, Roy S.

    1991-01-01

    Five interstellar graphite spherules extracted from the Murchison carbonaceous meteorite are studied. The isotopic and elemental compositions of individual particles are investigated with the help of an ion microprobe, and this analysis is augmented with structural studies of ultrathin sections of the grain interiors by transmission electron microscopy. As a result, the following procedure for the formation of the interstellar graphite spherule bearing TiC crystals is inferred: (1) high-temperature nucleation and rapid growth of the graphitic carbon spherule in the atmosphere of a carbon-rich star, (2) nucleation and growth of TiC crystals during continued growth of the graphitic spherule and the accretion of TiC onto the spherule, (3) quenching of the graphite growth process by depletion of C or by isolation of the spherule before other grain types could condense.

  2. Regional Climate Zone Modeling of a Commercial Absorption Heat Pump Hot Water Heater Part 1: Southern and South Central Climate Zones

    SciTech Connect

    Geoghegan, Patrick J; Shen, Bo; Keinath, Christopher M.; Garrabrant, Michael A.

    2016-01-01

    Commercial hot water heating accounts for approximately 0.78 Quads of primary energy use with 0.44 Quads of this amount from natural gas fired heaters. An ammonia-water based commercial absorption system, if fully deployed, could achieve a high level of savings, much higher than would be possible by conversion to the high efficiency nonheat-pump gas fired alternatives. In comparison with air source electric heat pumps, the absorption system is able to maintain higher coefficients of performance in colder climates. The ammonia-water system also has the advantage of zero Ozone Depletion Potential and low Global Warming Potential. A thermodynamic model of a single effect ammonia-water absorption system for commercial space and water heating was developed, and its performance was investigated for a range of ambient and return water temperatures. This allowed for the development of a performance map which was then used in a building energy modeling software. Modeling of two commercial water heating systems was performed; one using an absorption heat pump and another using a condensing gas storage system. The energy and financial savings were investigated for a range of locations and climate zones in the southern and south central United States. A follow up paper will analyze northern and north/central regions. Results showed that the system using an absorption heat pump offers significant savings.

  3. Interstellar Alcohols

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Charnley, S. B.; Kress, M. E.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Millar, T. J.

    1995-01-01

    We have investigated the gas-phase chemistry in dense cores where ice mantles containing ethanol and other alcohols have been evaporated. Model calculations show that methanol, ethanol, propanol, and butanol drive a chemistry leading to the formation of several large ethers and esters. Of these molecules, methyl ethyl ether (CH3OC2H5) and diethyl ether (C2H5)2O attain the highest abundances and should be present in detectable quantities within cores rich in ethanol and methanol. Gas-phase reactions act to destroy evaporated ethanol and a low observed abundance of gas-phase C,H,OH does not rule out a high solid-phase abundance. Grain surface formation mechanisms and other possible gas-phase reactions driven by alcohols are discussed, as are observing strategies for the detection of these large interstellar molecules.

  4. [New methodic approach to hygienic evaluation of electromagnetic energy absorption in near-field zone of irradiation source].

    PubMed

    Perov, S Yu; Bogachova, E V; Belaya, O V

    2015-01-01

    Nowadays, essential objective of hygienic evaluation of electromagnetic energy absorption of mobile radio-frequency devices is specification of new approach with consideration of russian and international regulation principles. This approach enables to ealuate correctly users' actual exposure conditions and consider energy absorption by human in near-field zone of the irradiation source. The work is aimed to study applicability of hypothesis on possible relations between magnetic part of electromagnetic field and specific absorbed capacity. This hypothesis is considered a basis for designing a new methodic approach to hygienic evaluation of individual mobile communication devices in near-field zone of the source. Analysis of the data obtained demonstrates that visible difference between suggested and classic methods decreases with higher frequency. Every studied source in its near-field zone can be characterized by optimal conditions for the suggested method usage with error less than 2 dB. The study results on relations between decreasing electromagnetic energy and specific absorbed capacity value make possible further improvement of methods controlling electromagnetic field levels in assessment of personal mobile radio communication devices.

  5. Interstellar Mg II and C IV absorption by 1 1/2 galaxies along the sightline to MrK 205

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowen, David V.; Blades, J. Chris

    1993-01-01

    The first results of our HST survey designed to search for Mg 2 and C 4 absorption lines from the disks and halos of low-redshift galaxies using background QSO's and supernovae as probes are presented. Our survey utilizes the high resolution of the Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph enabling us to calculate the column densities and doppler parameters of individual components within an absorption complex, and hence determine the physical conditions of the absorbing gas. Observing the complexity of the absorption line profiles i.e., the velocity distribution and total velocity extent of the constituent components, offers an important description of the kinematics of the absorbing gas, and hence an understanding of its origin. Focus is on one sight line in particular, that towards Mrk 205, which passes 3-5 kpc from the intervening galaxy NGC 4319. Mg 2 and C 4 absorption from both local Milky Way halo gas and from NGC 4319 is detected.

  6. On the Nature of Interstellar Grains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoyle, F.; Wickramasinghe, C.

    Data on interstellar extinction are interpreted to imply an identification of interstellar grains with naturally freeze-dried bacteria and algae. The total mass of such bacterial and algal cells in the galaxy is enormous, ~1040 g. The identification is based on Mie scattering calculations for an experimentally determined size distribution of bacteria. Agreement between our model calculations and astronomical data is remarkably precise over the wavelength intervals 1 μ-1 < λ-1 < 1.94 μ-1 and 2.5 μ-1 < λ-1 < 3.0 μ-1. Over the more restricted waveband 4000-5000 Å an excess interstellar absorption is found which is in uncannily close agreement with the absorption properties of phytoplankton pigments. The strongest of the diffuse interstellar bands are provisionally assigned to carotenoid-chlorophyll pigment complexes such as exist in algae and pigmented bacteria. The λ2200 Å interstellar absorption feature could be due to `degraded' cellulose strands which form spherical graphitic particles, but could equally well be due to protein-lipid-nucleic acid complexes in bacteria and viruses. Interstellar extinction at wavelengths λ < 1800 Å could be due to scattering by virus particles.

  7. Interstellar isomers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Defrees, D.; Mclean, D.; Herbst, E.

    1986-01-01

    Both observational and theoretical studies of molecular clouds are hindered by many difficulties. One way to partially circumvent the difficulties of characterizing the chemistry within these objects is to study the relative abundances of isomers which are synthesized from a common set of precursors. Unfortunately, only one such system has been confirmed, the HCN/HNC pair of isomers. While the basic outlines of its chemistry have been known for some years, there are still many aspects of the chemistry which are unclear. Another potential pair of isomers is HCO+/HOC+; HCO+ is an abundant instellar molecule and a tentative identification of HOC+ has been made in Sgr B2. This identification is being challenged, however, based on theoretical and laboratory evidence that HOC+ reacts with H2. Another potential pair of interstellar isomers is methyl cyanide (CH3CN, acetonitrile) and methyl isocyanide (CH3NC). The cyanide is well known, however the isocyanide has yet to be observed despite theoretical predictions that appreciable quantities should be present.

  8. Interstellar Dust Scattering Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, K. D.

    2004-05-01

    Studies of dust scattering properties in astrophysical objects with Milky Way interstellar dust are reviewed. Such objects are reflection nebulae, dark clouds, and the Diffuse Galactic Light (DGL). To ensure their basic quality, studies had to satisfy four basic criteria to be included in this review. These four criteria significantly reduced the scatter in dust properties measurements, especially in the case of the DGL. Determinations of dust scattering properties were found to be internally consistent for each object type as well as consistent between object types. The 2175 Å bump is seen as an absorption feature. Comparisons with dust grain models find general agreement with significant disagreements at particular wavelengths (especially in the far-ultraviolet). Finally, unanswered questions and future directions are enumerated.

  9. Stimulated Mid-Infrared Luminescence Experiment: Contribution to the Study of Pre-Earthquake Phenomena and UV Absorption by Interstellar Dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freund, Friedemann; Freund, Minoru M.; Tsay, Si-Chee; Ouzounov, Dimitar

    2004-01-01

    The work performed under this proposal is based on the experimentally supported observation - or inference - that a small fraction of the oxygen anions in silicate minerals in igneous and high-grade metamorphic rocks on Earth may not be in the usual 2- oxidation state, O(sup 2-), but in a higher oxidation state, as O(sup -). If this is true, the same would likely apply to the fine dust that fills the diffuse interstellar medium. An (sup -) in a matrix of O(sup 2-) represents a defect electron in the valence band, also known as positive hole or p-hole for short. When two O(sup -) combine, they undergo spin-pairing and form a positive hole pair, PHP. Chemically speaking a PHP is a peroxy bond. In an oxide matrix a peroxy bond takes the form of a peroxy anion, O2(sup 2-). In a silicate matrix it probably exists in the form of peroxy links between adjacent [SiO4] tetrahedral, O3Si00\\SiO3. From a physics perspective a PHP is an electrically inactive point defect, which contains dormant electronic charge carriers. When the peroxy bond breaks, p-hole charge carriers are released. These p-holes are diffusively mobile and spread through the O 2p-dominated valence band of the otherwise insulating mineral matrix.

  10. Detection of H3+ in interstellar space.

    PubMed

    Geballe, T R; Oka, T

    1996-11-28

    The H3+ ion is widely believed to play an important role in interstellar chemistry, by initiating the chains of reactions that lead to the production of many of the complex molecular species observed in the interstellar medium. The presence of H3+ in the interstellar medium was first suggested in 1961, and its infrared spectrum was measured in the laboratory in 1980. But attempts to detect it in interstellar space have hitherto proved unsuccessful. Here we report the detection of H3+ absorption in the spectra of two molecular clouds. Although the present results do not permit an accurate determination of the H3+ abundances, these ions appear nevertheless to be present in sufficient quantities to drive much of the chemistry in molecular clouds. It should soon be possible to obtain more accurate measurements, and thus better quantify the role of ion-neutral reactions in the chemical evolution of molecular clouds.

  11. A Type Stars as Probes of the Local Interstellar Medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferrero, R. F.; Ferlet, R.; Vidal-Madjar, A.

    1984-01-01

    With the aim to sample the Local Interstellar Medium (LISM), it was proposed to use A stars as targets. The Mg II UV lines seem to be the best interstellar absorption candidates. Several hundreths of A stars can be reached within 100 pc. First preliminary results (20 lines of sight) are presented, based on previous Copernicus and actual IUE observations.

  12. Interstellar Dust: Contributed Papers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tielens, Alexander G. G. M. (Editor); Allamandola, Louis J. (Editor)

    1989-01-01

    A coherent picture of the dust composition and its physical characteristics in the various phases of the interstellar medium was the central theme. Topics addressed included: dust in diffuse interstellar medium; overidentified infrared emission features; dust in dense clouds; dust in galaxies; optical properties of dust grains; interstellar dust models; interstellar dust and the solar system; dust formation and destruction; UV, visible, and IR observations of interstellar extinction; and quantum-statistical calculations of IR emission from highly vibrationally excited polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules.

  13. Effects of Fusion Zone Size and Failure Mode on Peak Load and Energy Absorption of Advanced High Strength Steel Spot Welds under Lap Shear Loading Conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, Xin; Stephens, Elizabeth V.; Khaleel, Mohammad A.

    2008-06-01

    This paper examines the effects of fusion zone size on failure modes, static strength and energy absorption of resistance spot welds (RSW) of advanced high strength steels (AHSS) under lap shear loading condition. DP800 and TRIP800 spot welds are considered. The main failure modes for spot welds are nugget pullout and interfacial fracture. Partial interfacial fracture is also observed. Static weld strength tests using lap shear samples were performed on the joint populations with various fusion zone sizes. The resulted peak load and energy absorption levels associated with each failure mode were studied for all the weld populations using statistical data analysis tools. The results in this study show that AHSS spot welds with conventionally required fusion zone size of can not produce nugget pullout mode for both the DP800 and TRIP800 welds under lap shear loading. Moreover, failure mode has strong influence on weld peak load and energy absorption for all the DP800 welds and the TRIP800 small welds: welds failed in pullout mode have statistically higher strength and energy absorption than those failed in interfacial fracture mode. For TRIP800 welds above the critical fusion zone level, the influence of weld failure modes on peak load and energy absorption diminishes. Scatter plots of peak load and energy absorption versus weld fusion zone size were then constructed, and the results indicate that fusion zone size is the most critical factor in weld quality in terms of peak load and energy absorption for both DP800 and TRIP800 spot welds.

  14. Interstellar and Cometary Dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mathis, John S.

    1997-01-01

    'Interstellar dust' forms a continuum of materials with differing properties which I divide into three classes on the basis of observations: (a) diffuse dust, in the low-density interstellar medium; (b) outer-cloud dust, observed in stars close enough to the outer edges of molecular clouds to be observed in the optical and ultraviolet regions of the spectrum, and (c) inner-cloud dust, deep within the cores of molecular clouds, and observed only in the infrared by means of absorption bands of C-H, C=O, 0-H, C(triple bond)N, etc. There is a surprising regularity of the extinction laws between diffuse- and outer-cloud dust. The entire mean extinction law from infrared through the observable ultraviolet spectrum can be characterized by a single parameter. There are real deviations from this mean law, larger than observational uncertainties, but they are much smaller than differences of the mean laws in diffuse- and outer-cloud dust. This fact shows that there are processes which operate over the entire distribution of grain sizes, and which change size distributions extremely efficiently. There is no evidence for mantles on grains in local diffuse and outer-cloud dust. The only published spectra of the star VI Cyg 12, the best candidate for showing mantles, does not show the 3.4 micro-m band which appreciable mantles would produce. Grains are larger in outer-cloud dust than diffuse dust because of coagulation, not accretion of extensive mantles. Core-mantle grains favored by J. M. Greenberg and collaborators, and composite grains of Mathis and Whiffen (1989), are discussed more extensively (naturally, I prefer the latter). The composite grains are fluffy and consist of silicates, amorphous carbon, and some graphite in the same grain. Grains deep within molecular clouds but before any processing within the solar system are presumably formed from the accretion of icy mantles on and within the coagulated outer-cloud grains. They should contain a mineral

  15. Interstellar and Cometary Dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathis, John S.

    1997-12-01

    'Interstellar dust' forms a continuum of materials with differing properties which I divide into three classes on the basis of observations: (a) diffuse dust, in the low-density interstellar medium; (b) outer-cloud dust, observed in stars close enough to the outer edges of molecular clouds to be observed in the optical and ultraviolet regions of the spectrum, and (c) inner-cloud dust, deep within the cores of molecular clouds, and observed only in the infrared by means of absorption bands of C-H, C=O, 0-H, C(triple bond)N, etc. There is a surprising regularity of the extinction laws between diffuse- and outer-cloud dust. The entire mean extinction law from infrared through the observable ultraviolet spectrum can be characterized by a single parameter. There are real deviations from this mean law, larger than observational uncertainties, but they are much smaller than differences of the mean laws in diffuse- and outer-cloud dust. This fact shows that there are processes which operate over the entire distribution of grain sizes, and which change size distributions extremely efficiently. There is no evidence for mantles on grains in local diffuse and outer-cloud dust. The only published spectra of the star VI Cyg 12, the best candidate for showing mantles, does not show the 3.4 micro-m band which appreciable mantles would produce. Grains are larger in outer-cloud dust than diffuse dust because of coagulation, not accretion of extensive mantles. Core-mantle grains favored by J. M. Greenberg and collaborators, and composite grains of Mathis and Whiffen (1989), are discussed more extensively (naturally, I prefer the latter). The composite grains are fluffy and consist of silicates, amorphous carbon, and some graphite in the same grain. Grains deep within molecular clouds but before any processing within the solar system are presumably formed from the accretion of icy mantles on and within the coagulated outer-cloud grains. They should contain a mineral

  16. Beyond Clausius-Mossotti - Wave propagation on a polarizable point lattice and the discrete dipole approximation. [electromagnetic scattering and absorption by interstellar grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Draine, B. T.; Goodman, Jeremy

    1993-01-01

    We derive the dispersion relation for electromagnetic waves propagating on a lattice of polarizable points. From this dispersion relation we obtain a prescription for choosing dipole polarizabilities so that an infinite lattice with finite lattice spacing will mimic a continuum with dielectric constant. The discrete dipole approximation is used to calculate scattering and absorption by a finite target by replacing the target with an array of point dipoles. We compare different prescriptions for determining the dipole polarizabilities. We show that the most accurate results are obtained when the lattice dispersion relation is used to set the polarizabilities.

  17. Iron-absorption band analysis for the discrimination of iron-rich zones

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rowan, L. C. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Study has concentrated on the two primary aspects of the project, structural analysis through evaluation of lineaments and circular features and spectral analyses through digital computer-processing techniques. Several previously unrecognized lineaments are mapped which may be the surface manifestations of major fault or fracture zones. Two of these, the Walker Lane and the Midas Trench lineament system, transect the predominantly NNE-NNW-trending moutain ranges for more than 500 km. Correlation of major lineaments with productive mining districts implies a genetic relationship, the 50 circular or elliptical features delineated suggest a related role for Tertiary volcanism. Color-ratio composites have been used to identify limonitic zones and to discriminate mafic and felsic rock by combing diazo color transparencies of three different ratios. EROS Data Center scene identification number for color composite in this report is ER 1 CC 500. Refinement of enhancement procedures for the ratio images is progressing. Fieldwork in coordination with both spectral and structural analyses is underway.

  18. Ion-absorption band analysis for the discrimination of iron-rich zones. [Nevada

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rowan, L. C. (Principal Investigator); Wetlaufer, P. H.

    1974-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. A technique which combines digital computer processing and color composition was devised for detecting hydrothermally altered areas and for discriminating among many rock types in an area in south-central Nevada. Subtle spectral reflectance differences among the rock types are enhanced by ratioing and contrast-stretching MSS radiance values for form ratio images which subsequently are displayed in color-ratio composites. Landform analysis of Nevada shows that linear features compiled without respect to length results in approximately 25 percent coincidence with mapped faults. About 80 percent of the major lineaments coincides with mapped faults, and substantial extension of locally mapped faults is commonly indicated. Seven major lineament systems appear to be old zones of crustal weakness which have provided preferred conduits for rising magma through periodic reactivation.

  19. On the detection of rubidium in diffuse interstellar clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Federman, S. R.; Sneden, C.; Schempp, W. V.; Smith, W. H.

    1985-01-01

    A search for absorption from neutral rubidium at 7800 A was conducted. No evidence for absorption to a 3 sigma limit of less than 1.5 mA was seen in the diffuse interstellar gas toward the stars omicron Persei, zeta Persei, and zeta Ophiuchi. Present results do not confirm the detection by Jura and Smith (1981) toward zeta Oph. A possible reason for the discrepancy is presented. In light of the present measurements, the abundance of interstellar rubidium in reconsidered.

  20. Interstellar grain chemistry and organic molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allamandola, L. J.; Sandford, S. A.

    1990-01-01

    The detection of prominant infrared absorption bands at 3250, 2170, 2138, 1670 and 1470 cm(-1) (3.08, 4.61, 4.677, 5.99 and 6.80 micron m) associated with molecular clouds show that mixed molecular (icy) grain mantles are an important component of the interstellar dust in the dense interstellar medium. These ices, which contain many organic molecules, may also be the production site of the more complex organic grain mantles detected in the diffuse interstellar medium. Theoretical calculations employing gas phase as well as grain surface reactions predict that the ices should be dominated only by the simple molecules H2O, H2CO, N2, CO, O2, NH3, CH4, possibly CH3OH, and their deuterated counterparts. However, spectroscopic observations in the 2500 to 1250 cm(-1)(4 to 8 micron m) range show substantial variation from source reactions alone. By comparing these astronomical spectra with the spectra of laboratory-produced analogs of interstellar ices, one can determine the composition and abundance of the materials frozen on the grains in dense clouds. Experiments are described in which the chemical evolution of an interstellar ice analog is determined during irradiation and subsequent warm-up. Particular attention is paid to the types of moderately complex organic materials produced during these experiments which are likely to be present in interstellar grains and cometary ices.

  1. The hydrogen coverage of interstellar PAHs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barker, J. R.; Cohen, M.; Tielens, Alexander G. G. M.; Allamandola, Louis J.; Barker, J. R.; Barker, J. R.

    1986-01-01

    The rate at which the CH bond in interstellar Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) rupture due to the absorption of a UV photon has been calculated. The results show that small PAHs (less than or equal to 25 carbon atoms) are expected to be partially dehydrogenated in regions with intense UV fields, while large PAHs (greater than or equal to 25 atoms) are expected to be completely hydrogenated in those regions. Because estimate of the carbon content of interstellar PAHs lie in the range of 20 to 25 carbon atoms, dehydrogenation is probably not very important. Because of the absence of other emission features besides the 11.3 micrometer feature in ground-based 8 to 13 micrometer spectra, it has been suggested that interstellar PAHs are partially dehydrogenated. However, IRAS 8 to 22 micrometer spectra of most sources that show strong 7.7 and 11.2 micrometer emission features also show a plateau of emission extending from about 11.3 to 14 micrometer. Like the 11.3 micrometer feature, this new feature is attributed to the CH out of plane bending mode in PAHs. This new feature shows that interstellar PAHs are not as dehydrogenated as estimated from ground-based 8 to 13 micrometer spectra. It also constrains the molecular structure of interstellar PAHs. In particular, it seems that very condensed PAHs, such as coronene and circumcoronene, dominate the interstellar PAH mixture as expected from stability arguments.

  2. The hydrogen coverage of interstellar PAHs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Allamandola, L. J.; Barker, J. R.; Cohen, M.

    1987-01-01

    The rate at which the CH bond in interstellar Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) rupture due to the absorption of a UV photon has been calculated. The results show that small PAHs (less than or equal to 25 carbon atoms) are expected to be partially dehydrogenated in regions with intense UV fields, while large PAHs (greater than or equal to 25 atoms) are expected to be completely hydrogenated in those regions. Because estimate of the carbon content of interstellar PAHs lie in the range of 20 to 25 carbon atoms, dehydrogenation is probably not very important. Because of the absence of other emission features besides the 11.3 micrometer feature in ground-based 8 to 13 micrometer spectra, it has been suggested that interstellar PAHs are partially dehydrogenated. However, IRAS 8 to 22 micrometer spectra of most sources that show strong 7.7 and 11.2 micrometer emission features also show a plateau of emission extending from about 11.3 to 14 micrometer. Like the 11.3 micrometer feature, this new feature is attributed to the CH out of plane bending mode in PAHs. This new feature shows that interstellar PAHs are not as dehydrogenated as estimated from ground-based 8 to 13 micrometer spectra. It also constrains the molecular structure of interstellar PAHs. In particular, it seems that very condensed PAHs, such as coronene and circumcoronene, dominate the interstellar PAH mixture as expected from stability arguments.

  3. Erratum: "Photoionization Modeling of Oxygen K Absorption in the Interstellar Medium, the Chandra Grating Spectra of XTE J1817-330" (2013, Apj, 768, 60)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gatuzz, E.; Garcia, J.; Mendoza, C.; Kallman, Timothy R.; Witthoeft, Michael C.; Lohfink, A.; Bautista, M. A.; Palmeri, P.; Quinet, P.

    2013-01-01

    In the published version of this paper, there are some minor inaccuracies in the absorption-line wavelengths listed in Table 4 as a result of a faulty reduction procedure of the Obs6615 spectrum. The shifts have been detected in a comparison with the wavelengths listed for this spectrum in the Chandra Transmission Grating Catalog and Archive (TGCat8). They are due to incorrect centroid positions of the zero-order image in both reductions as determined by the tgdetect utility which, when disentangled, yield the improved line positions of the amended Table 4 given below. It must also be pointed out that other quantitative findings of the original paper: 1. Table 5, p. 9: the column density (NH), ionization parameter, oxygen abundance of the warmabs model and the normalization and photon index of the power-law model; 2. Table 6, p. 9: the hydrogen column density of the warmabs fit; 3. Table 7, p. 9: the present oxygen equivalent widths of XTE J1817-330; and 4. Table 8, p. 10: the present oxygen column densities of XTE J1817-330 derived from both the curve of growth and warmabs model fit have been revised in the new light and are, within the estimated uncertainty ranges, in good accord with the new rendering.

  4. Iron-absorption band analysis for the discrimination of iron-rich zones

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rowan, L. C. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Lineament analysis of the area was initiated on individual images and then expanded areally by the use of mosaics at the 1:1,000,000 scale. Principal trends are NE, NW, NNE-NNW, and ENE. Several previously unrecognized lineaments are mapped which may be the surface manifestations of major fault or fracture zones. Three lineaments are especially noteworthy. Two of these, the Walker Lane and the Midas Trench lineament system, transect the prediominantly NNE-NNW trending mountain ranges for more than 500 km. A third major lineament, formed by the alinement of several topographic escarpments 10-20 km long, is orthogonal to the Midas Trench lineament. This lineament is marked by a distinct positive magnetic anomaly for approximately 200 km. Further visual analysis of ERTS-1 images has resulted in the delineation of 50 circular or elliptical features which are presumed to be volcanic or intrusive centers. A comparison with the 78 Tertiary volcanic centers mapped in the study area in 1970 indicates some good agreement between the proposed and known volcanic centers. The coincidence of some major lineaments and productive ore bodies implies a genetic relationship.

  5. Iron absorption band analysis for the discrimination of iron rich zones

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rowan, L. C. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. A lineament study of the Nevada test site is near completion. Two base maps (1:500,000) have been prepared, one of band 7 lineaments and the other of band 5 lineaments. In general, more lineaments and more faults are seen on band 5. About 45% of the lineaments appear to be faults and contacts, the others being predominantly streams, roads, railway tracks, and mountain crests. About 25% of the lineaments are unidentified so far. Special attention is being given to unmapped extensions of faults, groups of unmapped lineaments, and known mineralized areas and alteration zones. Earthquake epicenters recorded from 1869 to 1963 have been plotted on the two base maps. Preliminary examination as yet indicates no basic correlation with the lineaments. Attempts are being made to subtract bands optically, using an I2S viewer, an enlarger, and a data color viewer. Success has been limited so far due to technical difficulties, mainly vignetting and poor light sources, within the machines. Some vegetation and rock type differences, however, have been discerned.

  6. The interstellar 4.62 micron band.

    PubMed

    Pendleton, Y J; Tielens, A G; Tokunaga, A T; Bernstein, M P

    1999-03-01

    We present new 4.5-5.1 micron (2210-1970 cm-1) spectra of embedded protostars, W33 A, AFGL 961 E, AFGL 2136, NGC 7538 IRS 9, and Mon R2 IRS 2, which contain a broad absorption feature located near 4.62 micron (2165 cm-1), commonly referred to in the literature as the "X-C triple bond N" band. The observed peak positions and widths of the interstellar band agree to within 2.5 cm-1 and 5 cm-1, respectively. The strengths of the interstellar 4.62 micrometers band and the ice absorption features in these spectra are not correlated, which suggests a diversity of environmental conditions for the ices we are observing. We explore several possible carriers of the interstellar band and review possible production pathways through far-ultraviolet photolysis (FUV), ion bombardment of interstellar ice analog mixtures, and acid-base reactions. Good fits to the interstellar spectra are obtained with an organic residue produced through ion bombardment of nitrogen-containing ices or with the OCN- ion produced either through acid-base reactions or FUV photolysis of NH3-containing ices.

  7. Organic molecules in translucent interstellar clouds.

    PubMed

    Krełowski, Jacek

    2014-09-01

    Absorption spectra of translucent interstellar clouds contain many known molecular bands of CN, CH+, CH, OH, OH(+), NH, C2 and C3. Moreover, one can observe more than 400 unidentified absorption features, known as diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs), commonly believed to be carried by complex, carbon-bearing molecules. DIBs have been observed in extragalactic sources as well. High S/N spectra allow to determine precisely the corresponding column densities of the identified molecules, rotational temperatures which differ significantly from object to object in cases of centrosymmetric molecular species, and even the (12)C/(13)C abundance ratio. Despite many laboratory based studies of possible DIB carriers, it has not been possible to unambiguously link these bands to specific species. An identification of DIBs would substantially contribute to our understanding of chemical processes in the diffuse interstellar medium. The presence of substructures inside DIB profiles supports the idea that DIBs are very likely features of gas phase molecules. So far only three out of more than 400 DIBs have been linked to specific molecules but none of these links was confirmed beyond doubt. A DIB identification clearly requires a close cooperation between observers and experimentalists. The review presents the state-of-the-art of the investigations of the chemistry of interstellar translucent clouds i.e. how far our observations are sufficient to allow some hints concerning the chemistry of, the most common in the Galaxy, translucent interstellar clouds, likely situated quite far from the sources of radiation (stars). PMID:25467771

  8. Organic molecules in translucent interstellar clouds.

    PubMed

    Krełowski, Jacek

    2014-09-01

    Absorption spectra of translucent interstellar clouds contain many known molecular bands of CN, CH+, CH, OH, OH(+), NH, C2 and C3. Moreover, one can observe more than 400 unidentified absorption features, known as diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs), commonly believed to be carried by complex, carbon-bearing molecules. DIBs have been observed in extragalactic sources as well. High S/N spectra allow to determine precisely the corresponding column densities of the identified molecules, rotational temperatures which differ significantly from object to object in cases of centrosymmetric molecular species, and even the (12)C/(13)C abundance ratio. Despite many laboratory based studies of possible DIB carriers, it has not been possible to unambiguously link these bands to specific species. An identification of DIBs would substantially contribute to our understanding of chemical processes in the diffuse interstellar medium. The presence of substructures inside DIB profiles supports the idea that DIBs are very likely features of gas phase molecules. So far only three out of more than 400 DIBs have been linked to specific molecules but none of these links was confirmed beyond doubt. A DIB identification clearly requires a close cooperation between observers and experimentalists. The review presents the state-of-the-art of the investigations of the chemistry of interstellar translucent clouds i.e. how far our observations are sufficient to allow some hints concerning the chemistry of, the most common in the Galaxy, translucent interstellar clouds, likely situated quite far from the sources of radiation (stars).

  9. Observations of interstellar zinc

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jura, M.; York, D.

    1981-01-01

    The International Ultraviolet Explorer observations of interstellar zinc toward 10 stars are examined. It is found that zinc is at most only slightly depleted in the interstellar medium; its abundance may serve as a tracer of the true metallicity in the gas. The local interstellar medium has abundances that apparently are homogeneous to within a factor of two, when integrated over paths of about 500 pc, and this result is important for understanding the history of nucleosynthesis in the solar neighborhood. The intrinsic errors in detecting weak interstellar lines are analyzed and suggestions are made as to how this error limit may be lowered to 5 mA per target observation.

  10. NASA's IBEX Observes Interstellar Matter

    NASA Video Gallery

    The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) has directly sampled multiple heavy elements from the Local Interstellar Cloud for the first time. It turns out that this interstellar material is not like...

  11. L(alpha)-induced two-photon absorption of visible light emitted from an O-type star by H2(+) ions located near the surface of the Stromgren sphere surrounding the star: A possible explanation for the diffuse interstellar absorption bands (DIDs)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glownia, James H.; Sorokin, Peter P.

    1994-01-01

    In this paper, a new model is proposed to account for the DIB's (Diffuse Interstellar Bands). In this model, the DIB's result from a non-linear effect: resonantly-enhanced two-photon absorption of H(2+) ions located near the surface of the Stromgren sphere that surrounds an O- or B- type star. The strong light that is required to 'drive' the two-photon transition is provided by L(alpha) light emerging from the Stromgren sphere that bounds the H II region surrounding the star. A value of approximately 100 micro W/sq cm is estimated for the L(alpha) flux at the Stromgren radius, R(s), of a strong (O5) star. It is shown that a c.w. L(alpha) flux of this intensity should be sufficient to induce a few percent absorption for visible light radiated by the same star at a frequency (omega2) that completes an allowed two-photon transition, provided (1) the L(alpha) radiation happens to be nearly resonant with the frequency of a fully-allowed absorber transition that effectively represents the first step in the two-photon transition, and (2) an effective column density approximately 10(sup18)/sq cm of the absorber is present near the Stromgren sphere radius, R(sub s).

  12. Boussard Interstellar Ramjet Engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The Boussard Interstellar Ramjet engine concept uses interstellar hydrogen scooped up from its environment as the spacecraft passes by to provide propellant mass. The hydrogen is then ionized and then collected by an electromagentic field. In this image, an onboard laser is uded to heat the plasma, and the laser or electron beam is used to trigger fusion pulses thereby creating propulsion.

  13. Is interstellar archeology possible?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrigan, Richard A.

    2012-09-01

    Searching for signatures of cosmic-scale archeological artifacts such as Dyson spheres is an interesting alternative to conventional radio SETI. Uncovering such an artifact does not require the intentional transmission of a signal on the part of the original civilization. This type of search is called interstellar archeology or sometimes cosmic archeology. A variety of interstellar archeology signatures is discussed including non-natural planetary atmospheric constituents, stellar doping, Dyson spheres, as well as signatures of stellar, and galactic-scale engineering. The concept of a Fermi bubble due to interstellar migration is reviewed in the discussion of galactic signatures. These potential interstellar archeological signatures are classified using the Kardashev scale. A modified Drake equation is introduced. With few exceptions interstellar archeological signatures are clouded and beyond current technological capabilities. However SETI for so-called cultural transmissions and planetary atmosphere signatures are within reach.

  14. Interstellar dust particles and chemical species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krelowski, Jacek

    Absorption spectra of translucent interstellar clouds contain known molecular bands: of CN, CH+, CH, OH, OH+, NH, C2 and C3. Moreover, one can observe more than 400 unidentified absorption features known as diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) commonly believed to be carried by some complex, carbon bearing molecules (chain species based on a carbon scheleton, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, fullerenes). DIBs are optical features observed in absorption in starlight crossing tarnslucent interstellar clouds. Despite many laboratory based studies of possible DIB carriers, it has not been possible to unambiguously link these bands to specific species. This is unfortunate, as an identification of DIBs would substantially contribute to our understanding of chemical processes in the diffuse interstellar medium. The presence of substructures inside DIB profiles, discovered by Sarre et al. (1995) and Kerr et al. (1998), indicate that DIBs are likely molecular features of gas phase species. Sofar only three DIBs have been linked to specific molecules but none of these links was confirmed beyond a doubt. Extinction is likely caused by interstellar dust particles of various sizes and shapes. The recent surveys of the extinction law demonstrate a great variety of the observed curves which proves that grains differ from cloud to cloud. A majority of distant OB stars is observed through several clouds and thus we observe usually an ill-defined average which does not differ substantially from one distant object to another. The most popularly observed CH molecule does correlate with the extinction but it is a poor correlation. The abundance of CN molecule is completely uncorrelated with the colour excess. Seemingly an exceptionally high abundance of CN is observed together with high far-UV extinction and very low intensity of diffuse interstellar bands. Interstellar molecules can be formed either in the gas phase or on grain surfaces. Small grains, responsible for the far

  15. The Interstellar Medium Surrounding the Sun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frisch, Priscilla C.; Redfield, Seth; Slavin, Jonathan D.

    2011-09-01

    The Solar System is embedded in a flow of low-density, warm, and partially ionized interstellar material that has been sampled directly by in situ measurements of interstellar neutral gas and dust in the heliosphere. Absorption line data reveal that this interstellar gas is part of a larger cluster of local interstellar clouds, which is spatially and kinematically divided into additional small-scale structures indicating ongoing interactions. An origin for the clouds that is related to star formation in the Scorpius-Centaurus OB association is suggested by the dynamic characteristics of the flow. Variable depletions observed within the local interstellar medium (ISM) suggest an inhomogeneous Galactic environment, with shocks that destroy grains in some regions. Although photoionization models of the circumheliospheric ISM do an excellent job of reproducing the observed properties of the surrounding ISM, the unknown characteristics of the very low-density hot plasma filling the Local Bubble introduces uncertainty about the source of ionization and nature of cloud boundaries. Recent observations of small cold clouds provide new insight into the processes affecting the local ISM. A fuller understanding of the local ISM can provide insights into the past and future Galactic environment of the Sun, and deeper knowledge of the astrospheres of nearby stars.

  16. Interstellar fullerene compounds and diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Omont, Alain

    2016-05-01

    Recently, the presence of fullerenes in the interstellar medium (ISM) has been confirmed and new findings suggest that these fullerenes may possibly form from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the ISM. Moreover, the first confirmed identification of two strong diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) with the fullerene, C60+, connects the long standing suggestion that various fullerenes could be DIB carriers. These new discoveries justify reassessing the overall importance of interstellar fullerene compounds, including fullerenes of various sizes with endohedral or exohedral inclusions and heterofullerenes (EEHFs). The phenomenology of fullerene compounds is complex. In addition to fullerene formation in grain shattering, fullerene formation from fully dehydrogenated PAHs in diffuse interstellar clouds could perhaps transform a significant percentage of the tail of low-mass PAH distribution into fullerenes including EEHFs. But many uncertain processes make it extremely difficult to assess their expected abundance, composition and size distribution, except for the substantial abundance measured for C60+. EEHFs share many properties with pure fullerenes, such as C60, as regards stability, formation/destruction and chemical processes, as well as many basic spectral features. Because DIBs are ubiquitous in all lines of sight in the ISM, we address several questions about the interstellar importance of various EEHFs, especially as possible carriers of diffuse interstellar bands. Specifically, we discuss basic interstellar properties and the likely contributions of fullerenes of various sizes and their charged counterparts such as C60+, and then in turn: 1) metallofullerenes; 2) heterofullerenes; 3) fulleranes; 4) fullerene-PAH compounds; 5) H2@C60. From this reassessment of the literature and from combining it with known DIB line identifications, we conclude that the general landscape of interstellar fullerene compounds is probably much richer than heretofore realized

  17. Interstellar Dust Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dwek, Eli

    2004-01-01

    A viable interstellar dust model - characterized by the composition, morphology, and size distribution of the dust grains and by the abundance of the different elements locked up in the dust - should fit all observational constraints arising primarily from the interactions of the dust with incident radiation or the ambient gas. As a minimum, these should include the average interstellar extinction, the infrared emission from the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM), and the observed interstellar abundances of the various refractory elements. The last constraint has been largely ignored, resulting in dust models that require more elements to be in the dust phase than available in the ISM. In this talk I will describe the most recent advances towards the construction of a comprehensive dust model made by Zubko, Dwek, and Arendt, who, for the first time, included the interstellar abundances as explicit constraints in the construction of interstellar dust models. The results showed the existence of many distinct models that satisfy the basic set of observational constraints, including bare spherical silicate and graphite particles, PAHs, as well as spherical composite particles containing silicate, organic refractories, water ice, and voids. Recently, a new interstellar dust constituent has emerged, consisting of metallic needles. These needles constitute a very small fraction of the interstellar dust abundance, and their existence is primarily manifested in the 4 to 8 micron wavelength region, where they dominate the interstellar extinction. Preliminary studies show that these models may be distinguished by their X-ray halos, which are produced primarily by small angle scattering off large dust particles along the line of sight to bright X-ray sources, and probe dust properties largely inaccessible at other wavelengths.

  18. Charting the Interstellar Magnetic Field behind the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) Ribbon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frisch, P. C.; Andersson, B. G.; Berdyugin, A.; Funsten, H. O.; Magalhaes, A. M.; McComas, D. J.; Piirola, V.; Schwadron, N.; Seriacopi, D.; Slavin, J. D.; Wiktorowicz, S.

    2014-12-01

    Magnetic fields are a key component of the interstellar medium. Starlight polarized by aligned charged interstellar dust grains provided the first evidence of a magnetic field in the solar galactic environment. The IBEX Ribbon of energetic neutral atoms traces the interstellar magnetic field draping over the heliosphere. Magnetic fields thread nearby interstellar clouds, which include both partially-ionized low-density gas, as well as dense gas. Rudimentary maps of the interstellar magnetic field direction in the solar vicinity, based on polarized starlight, show that multiple field directions are found locally. The dominant local magnetic structure has a direction matching that of the magnetic field traced by the IBEX Ribbon. This magnetic structure, and the kinematics of nearby interstellar gas, suggest that the Loop I superbubble extends to the solar vicinity. A separate magnetic filament with intriguing properties has been identified. The structure of the magnetic field within 40 pc is related to the distribution and kinematics of local clouds that are observed through the absorption lines they form in stellar spectra.

  19. On the abundance of interstellar oxygen toward Zeta Ophiuchi

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    De Boer, K. S.

    1979-01-01

    Zeippen, Seaton, and Morton (1977) recently published profiles of interstellar neutral oxygen lines in Zeta Oph. From a reconsideration of the profiles of visual interstellar lines to that star, it follows that the cloud dominating the O I absorption could have a very small velocity spread, approximately 0.5 km/s. Analysis of the profile of the 1302-A line gives a column density of O I in that cloud of 6.0 + or - 5 x 10 to the 17th per sq cm. This implies an upward revision of the abundance of free oxygen by a factor 1.5 and hence that oxygen is only 25% depleted in the gas to Zeta Oph, contrary to the minimum depletion of a factor 1.8 found by Zeippen, Seaton, and Morton. This small depletion of oxygen in interstellar gas is consistent with the widespread absence of absorption by H2O ice mantles on interstellar dust grains.

  20. Interstellar Dust Grain Alignment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersson, B.-G.; Lazarian, A.; Vaillancourt, John E.

    2015-08-01

    Interstellar polarization at optical-to-infrared wavelengths is known to arise from asymmetric dust grains aligned with the magnetic field. This effect provides a potentially powerful probe of magnetic field structure and strength if the details of the grain alignment can be reliably understood. Theory and observations have recently converged on a quantitative, predictive description of interstellar grain alignment based on radiative processes. The development of a general, analytical model for this radiative alignment torque (RAT) theory has allowed specific, testable predictions for realistic interstellar conditions. We outline the theoretical and observational arguments in favor of RAT alignment, as well as reasons the "classical" paramagnetic alignment mechanism is unlikely to work, except possibly for the very smallest grains. With further detailed characterization of the RAT mechanism, grain alignment and polarimetry promise to not only better constrain the interstellar magnetic field but also provide new information on the dust characteristics.

  1. Probing the diffuse interstellar medium with diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theodorus van Loon, Jacco; Bailey, Mandy; Farhang, Amin; Javadi, Atefeh; Khosroshahi, Habib

    2015-08-01

    For a century already, a large number of absorption bands have been known at optical wavelengths, called the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs). While their carriers remain unidentified, the relative strengths of these bands in various environments make them interesting new probes of the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM). We present the results from two large, dedicated campaigns to map the ISM using DIBs measured in the high signal-to-noise spectra of hundreds of early-type stars: [1] in and around the Local Bubble using ESO's New Technology Telescope and the Isaac Newton Telescope, and [2] across both Magellanic Clouds using the Very Large Telescope and the Anglo-Australian Telescope. We discuss the implications for the structure and dynamics of the ISM, as well as the constraints these maps place on the nature of the carriers of the DIBs. Partial results have appeared in the recent literature (van Loon et al. 2013; Farhang et al. 2015a,b; Bailey, PhD thesis 2014) with the remainder being prepared for publication now.

  2. HERSCHEL OBSERVATIONS OF INTERSTELLAR CHLORONIUM

    SciTech Connect

    Neufeld, David A.; Indriolo, Nick; Roueff, Evelyne; Le Bourlot, Jacques; Le Petit, Franck; Snell, Ronald L.; Lis, Dariusz; Monje, Raquel; Phillips, Thomas G.; Benz, Arnold O.; Bruderer, Simon; Black, John H.; Larsson, Bengt; De Luca, Massimo; Gerin, Maryvonne; Goldsmith, Paul F.; Gupta, Harshal; Melnick, Gary J.; Menten, Karl M.; Nagy, Zsofia; and others

    2012-03-20

    Using the Herschel Space Observatory's Heterodyne Instrument for the Far-Infrared, we have observed para-chloronium (H{sub 2}Cl{sup +}) toward six sources in the Galaxy. We detected interstellar chloronium absorption in foreground molecular clouds along the sight lines to the bright submillimeter continuum sources Sgr A (+50 km s{sup -1} cloud) and W31C. Both the para-H{sup 35}{sub 2}Cl{sup +} and para-H{sup 37}{sub 2}Cl{sup +} isotopologues were detected, through observations of their 1{sub 11}-0{sub 00} transitions at rest frequencies of 485.42 and 484.23 GHz, respectively. For an assumed ortho-to-para ratio (OPR) of 3, the observed optical depths imply that chloronium accounts for {approx}4%-12% of chlorine nuclei in the gas phase. We detected interstellar chloronium emission from two sources in the Orion Molecular Cloud 1: the Orion Bar photodissociation region and the Orion South condensation. For an assumed OPR of 3 for chloronium, the observed emission line fluxes imply total beam-averaged column densities of {approx}2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 13} cm{sup -2} and {approx}1.2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 13} cm{sup -2}, respectively, for chloronium in these two sources. We obtained upper limits on the para-H{sup 35}{sub 2}Cl{sup +} line strengths toward H{sub 2} Peak 1 in the Orion Molecular cloud and toward the massive young star AFGL 2591. The chloronium abundances inferred in this study are typically at least a factor {approx}10 larger than the predictions of steady-state theoretical models for the chemistry of interstellar molecules containing chlorine. Several explanations for this discrepancy were investigated, but none has proven satisfactory, and thus the large observed abundances of chloronium remain puzzling.

  3. Herschel Observations of Interstellar Chloronium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neufeld, David A.; Roueff, Evelyne; Snell, Ronald L.; Lis, Dariusz; Benz, Arnold O.; Bruderer, Simon; Black, John H.; De Luca, Massimo; Gerin, Maryvonne; Goldsmith, Paul F.; Gupta, Harshal; Indriolo, Nick; Le Bourlot, Jacques; Le Petit, Franck; Larsson, Bengt; Melnick, Gary J.; Menten, Karl M.; Monje, Raquel; Nagy, Zsófia; Phillips, Thomas G.; Sandqvist, Aage; Sonnentrucker, Paule; van der Tak, Floris; Wolfire, Mark G.

    2012-03-01

    Using the Herschel Space Observatory's Heterodyne Instrument for the Far-Infrared, we have observed para-chloronium (H2Cl+) toward six sources in the Galaxy. We detected interstellar chloronium absorption in foreground molecular clouds along the sight lines to the bright submillimeter continuum sources Sgr A (+50 km s-1 cloud) and W31C. Both the para-H35 2Cl+ and para-H37 2Cl+ isotopologues were detected, through observations of their 111-000 transitions at rest frequencies of 485.42 and 484.23 GHz, respectively. For an assumed ortho-to-para ratio (OPR) of 3, the observed optical depths imply that chloronium accounts for ~4%-12% of chlorine nuclei in the gas phase. We detected interstellar chloronium emission from two sources in the Orion Molecular Cloud 1: the Orion Bar photodissociation region and the Orion South condensation. For an assumed OPR of 3 for chloronium, the observed emission line fluxes imply total beam-averaged column densities of ~2 × 1013 cm-2 and ~1.2 × 1013 cm-2, respectively, for chloronium in these two sources. We obtained upper limits on the para-H35 2Cl+ line strengths toward H2 Peak 1 in the Orion Molecular cloud and toward the massive young star AFGL 2591. The chloronium abundances inferred in this study are typically at least a factor ~10 larger than the predictions of steady-state theoretical models for the chemistry of interstellar molecules containing chlorine. Several explanations for this discrepancy were investigated, but none has proven satisfactory, and thus the large observed abundances of chloronium remain puzzling. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.

  4. Interstellar magnesium abundances

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murray, M. J.; Dufton, P. L.; Hibbert, A.; York, D. G.

    1984-01-01

    An improved evaluation of the Mg II 1240 A doublet oscillator strength is used in conjunction with recently published Copernicus observations to derive accurate Mg II column densities toward 74 stars. These imply an average of 40 percent of interstellar magnesium is in the gaseous phase. Magnesium depletion is examined as a function of various interstellar extinction and density parameters, and the results are briefly discussed in terms of current depletion theories.

  5. Interstellar organic chemistry.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sagan, C.

    1972-01-01

    Most of the interstellar organic molecules have been found in the large radio source Sagittarius B2 toward the galactic center, and in such regions as W51 and the IR source in the Orion nebula. Questions of the reliability of molecular identifications are discussed together with aspects of organic synthesis in condensing clouds, degradational origin, synthesis on grains, UV natural selection, interstellar biology, and contributions to planetary biology.

  6. Observations of interstellar zinc

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    York, D. G.; Jura, M.

    1982-01-01

    IUE observations toward 10 stars have shown that zinc is not depleted in the interstellar medium by more than a factor of two, suggesting that its abundance may serve as a tracer of the true metallicity in the gas. A result pertinent to the history of nucleosynthesis in the solar neighborhood is that the local interstellar medium has abundances that appear to be homogeneous to within a factor of two, when integrated over paths of about 500 pc.

  7. Discovery of interstellar rubidium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jura, M.; Smith, W. H.

    1981-01-01

    Interstellar rubidium is detected through observations of the resonance line of Rb I at 7800 A towards zeta Oph. The abundance ratio of rubidium to potassium is estimated to be approximately solar, and if rubidium is generally found to have an abundance similar to potassium, it is indicated that the local interstellar medium is well mixed with a wide variety of the products of nucleosynthesis.

  8. Interstellar Propulsion Concepts Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forward, Robert L.

    2000-01-01

    NASA is investigating the feasibility of conducting extra-solar and interstellar missions over the next 10 to 50 years. An assessment of technologies supporting these near and far term objectives is required. To help meet these objectives the Principal Investigator assessed the feasibility of candidate propulsion systems for the proposed 'Interstellar Probe', a mission to send a spacecraft to the Heliopause at 250 AU and beyond.

  9. Local interstellar medium and gamma-ray astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lebrun, F.; Paul, J.

    1985-01-01

    The recent improvement of the calibration of the galaxy counts used as an interstellar absorption tracer modifies significantly the picture of the local interstellar medium (ISM). Consequently, previous analyses of the gamma ray emission from the local ISM involving galaxy counts have to be revised. The implications regarding the cosmic ray (CR) density in the local ISM are considered and in particular within Loop I, a nearby supernova remnant (SNR).

  10. Tracking the organic refractory component from interstellar dust to comets.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, J M; Li, A

    1999-01-01

    The abundance and composition of complex organic (carbonaceous) material in the interstellar dust is followed as the dust evolves in its cyclic evolution between diffuse and dense clouds. Interstellar extinction, laboratory and space analog experiments, dust infrared absorption spectra, the cosmic abundance of the condensible atoms, and space and ground-based observations of comet dust are used to impose constraints on the organic dust component as mantles on silicate cores.

  11. Interstellar Abundance Standards Revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sofia, Ulysses J.; Meyer, David M.

    2001-06-01

    We evaluate the stellar abundances often used to represent the total (gas plus dust) composition of the interstellar medium. Published abundances for B stars, young later type (F and G) stars, and the Sun are compared to the modeled dust-phase and measured gas-phase compositions of the interstellar medium. This study uses abundances for the five most populous elements in dust grains-C, O, Mg, Si, and Fe-and the cosmically abundant element, N. We find that B stars have metal abundances that are too low to be considered valid representations of the interstellar medium. The commonly invoked interstellar standard that is two-thirds of the solar composition is also rejected by recent observations. Young (<=2 Gyr) F and G disk stars and the Sun, however, cannot be ruled out as reliable proxies for the total interstellar composition. If their abundances are valid representations of the interstellar medium, then the apparent underabundance of carbon with respect to that required by dust models, i.e., the carbon crisis, is substantially eased.

  12. Fulleranes and Carbon Nanostructures in the Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iglesias-Groth, Susana; Cataldo, Franco

    We review the potential contribution of single fullerenes and buckyonions to interstellar extinction. Photoabsorption spectra of these molecules are compared with some of the most relevant features of interstellar extinction, the UV bump, the far UV rise and the diffuse interstellar bands. According to semiempirical models, photoabsorption by fullerenes (single and multishell) could explain the shape, width and peak energy of the most prominent feature of the interstellar absorption, the UV bump at 2,175 Å. Other weaker transitions are predicted in the optical and near-infrared providing a potential explanation for diffuse interstellar bands. In particular, several fullerenes could contribute to the well known strong DIB at 4,430 Å comparing cross sections and available data for this DIB and the UV bump we estimate a density of fullerenes in the diffuse interstellar medium of 0.1-0.2 ppm. These molecules could then be a major reservoir for interstellar carbon. We give an estimation of the carbon fraction locked in these molecules. We discuss the rotation rates and electric dipole emission of hydrogenated icosahedral fullerenes in various phases of the interstellar medium. These molecules could be the carriers of the anomalous microwave emission detected by Watson et al. (Astrophys. J. 624:L89, 2005) in the Perseus molecular complex and Cassasus et al. (2006) in the dark cloud LDN 1622. Hydrogenated forms of fullerenes may account for the dust-correlated microwave emission detected in our Galaxy by Cosmic Microwave Background experiments.

  13. Diffuse Interstellar Bands as Probes of Small-Scale Interstellar Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, K. T.; Cordiner, M. A.; Sarre, P. J.

    2014-02-01

    We present observations which probe the small-scale structure of the interstellar medium using diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs). Towards HD 168075/6 in the Eagle Nebula, significant differences in DIB absorption are found between the two lines of sight, which are separated by 0.25 pc, and λ 5797 exhibits a velocity shift. Similar data are presented for four stars in the μ Sgr system. We also present a search for variations in DIB absorption towards κ Vel, where the atomic lines are known to vary on scales of ~ 10 AU. Observations separated by ~ 9 yr yielded no evidence for changes in DIB absorption strength over this scale, but do reveal an unusual DIB spectrum.

  14. Pathway to the identification of C60+ in diffuse interstellar clouds.

    PubMed

    Maier, John P; Campbell, Ewen K

    2016-09-13

    The origin of the attenuation of starlight in diffuse clouds in interstellar space at specific wavelengths ranging from the visible to the near-infrared has been unknown since the first astronomical observations around a century ago. The absorption features, termed the diffuse interstellar bands, have subsequently been the subject of much research. Earlier this year four of these interstellar bands were shown to be due to the absorption by cold, gas phase [Formula: see text] molecules. This discovery provides the first answer to the problem of the diffuse interstellar bands and leads naturally to fascinating questions regarding the role of fullerenes and derivatives in interstellar chemistry. Here, we review the identification process placing special emphasis on the laboratory studies which have enabled spectroscopic measurement of large cations cooled to temperatures prevailing in the interstellar medium.This article is part of the themed issue 'Fullerenes: past, present and future, celebrating the 30th anniversary of Buckminster Fullerene'.

  15. Pathway to the identification of C60+ in diffuse interstellar clouds.

    PubMed

    Maier, John P; Campbell, Ewen K

    2016-09-13

    The origin of the attenuation of starlight in diffuse clouds in interstellar space at specific wavelengths ranging from the visible to the near-infrared has been unknown since the first astronomical observations around a century ago. The absorption features, termed the diffuse interstellar bands, have subsequently been the subject of much research. Earlier this year four of these interstellar bands were shown to be due to the absorption by cold, gas phase [Formula: see text] molecules. This discovery provides the first answer to the problem of the diffuse interstellar bands and leads naturally to fascinating questions regarding the role of fullerenes and derivatives in interstellar chemistry. Here, we review the identification process placing special emphasis on the laboratory studies which have enabled spectroscopic measurement of large cations cooled to temperatures prevailing in the interstellar medium.This article is part of the themed issue 'Fullerenes: past, present and future, celebrating the 30th anniversary of Buckminster Fullerene'. PMID:27501976

  16. Copernicus observations of interstellar matter in the direction of HR 1099

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, R. C.; Weiler, E. J.

    1978-01-01

    Results are reported for high-resolution Copernicus U1 and V2 scans of the bright RS CVn spectroscopic binary HR 1099. The observations reveal strong UV emission lines at L-alpha and Mg II h and k from the stars as well as interstellar H I and D I L-alpha absorption lines and interstellar Mg II h and k absorption in the direction of the binary system. Column densities, bulk velocities, and temperatures are derived for the interstellar features. A comparison of the derived number density of interstellar H I with data for the nearby star Epsilon Eri indicates an inhomogeneous distribution of interstellar hydrogen along the line of sight. The range of values obtained for the D/H ratio is shown to be consistent with results of other studies. A depletion factor of at least 5 with respect to the solar abundance is estimated for the interstellar magnesium.

  17. Ultraviolet spectroscopy of interstellar and intergalactic matter.

    PubMed

    Shull, J M

    1980-12-01

    Ultraviolet radiation in absorption and emission provides diagnostics of interstellar and intergalactic matter. After reviewing some basic physical reasons for the importance of UV astronomy, the UV observations of both media, the future uses of high resolution spectrometers in the far UV, and the atomic data required for proper interpretation are discussed. Satellite UV observations have the potential of answering fundamental questions dealing with the nature of the gaseous matter in the outer regions of our galaxy, in neighboring galaxies, and in the intergalactic matter seen in quasar absorption spectra.

  18. Interstellar Antifreeze: Ethylene Glycol

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hollis, J. M.; Lovas, F. J.; Jewell, P. R.; Coudert, L. H.

    2002-01-01

    Interstellar ethylene glycol (HOCH2CH2,OH) has been detected in emission toward the Galactic center source Sagittarius B2(N-LMH) by means of several millimeter-wave rotational torsional transitions of its lowest energy conformer. The types and kinds of molecules found to date in interstellar clouds suggest a chemistry that favors aldehydes and their corresponding reduced alcohols-e.g., formaldehyde (H2CO)/methanol (CH3OH), acetaldehyde (CH3CHO)/ethanol (CH3CH2OH). Similarly, ethylene glycol is the reduced alcohol of glycolaldehyde (CH2OHCHO), which has also been detected toward Sgr B2(N-LMH). While there is no consensus as to how any such large complex molecules are formed in the interstellar clouds, atomic hydrogen (H) and carbon monoxide (CO) could form formaldehyde on grain surfaces, but such surface chemistry beyond that point is uncertain. However, laboratory experiments have shown that the gas-phase reaction of atomic hydrogen (H) and solid-phase CO at 10-20 K can produce formaldehyde and methanol and that alcohols and other complex molecules can be synthesized from cometary ice analogs when subject to ionizing radiation at 15 K. Thus, the presence of aldehyde/ reduced alcohol pairs in interstellar clouds implies that such molecules are a product of a low-temperature chemistry on grain surfaces or in grain ice mantles. This work suggests that aldehydes and their corresponding reduced alcohols provide unique observational constraints on the formation of complex interstellar molecules.

  19. The interstellar gas experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lind, D. L.; Geiss, J.; Buehler, F.; Eugster, O.

    1992-01-01

    The Interstellar Gas Experiment (IGE) exposed thin metallic foils to collect neutral interstellar gas particles. These particles penetrate the solar system due to their motion relative to the sun. Thus, it is possible to entrap them in the collecting foils along with precipitating magnetospheric and perhaps some ambient atmospheric particles. For the entire duration of the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) mission, seven of these foils collected particles arriving from seven different directions as seen from the spacecraft. In the mass spectroscopic analysis of the noble gas component of these particles, we have detected the isotopes of He-3, He-4, Ne-20, and Ne-22. In the foil analyses carried out so far, we find a distribution of particle arrival directions which shows that a significant part of the trapped particles are indeed interstellar atoms. The analysis needed to subtract the competing fluxes of magnetospheric and atmospheric particles is still in progress.

  20. Voyager Interstellar Mission (VIM)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rudd, R.; Textor, G.

    1991-01-01

    The DSN (Deep Space Network) mission support requirements for the Voyager Interstellar Mission (VIM) are summarized. The general objectives of the VIM are to investigate the interplanetary and interstellar media and to continue the Voyager program of ultraviolet astronomy. The VIM will utilize both Voyager spacecraft for the period from January 1990 through December 2019. The mission objectives are outlined and the DSN support requirements are defined through the presentation of tables and narratives describing the spacecraft flight profile; DSN support coverage; frequency assignments; support parameters for telemetry, control and support systems; and tracking support responsibility.

  1. The interstellar medium in external galaxies: Summaries of contributed papers

    SciTech Connect

    Hollenbach, D.J.; Thronson, H.A. Jr.

    1990-07-01

    The Second Wyoming Conference entitled, The interstellar medium in external galaxies, was held on July 3 to 7, 1989, to discuss the current understanding of the interstellar medium in external galaxies and to analyze the basic physical processes underlying interstellar phenomena. The papers covered a broad range of research on the gas and dust in external galaxies and focused on such topics as the distribution and morphology of the atomic, molecular, and dust components; the dynamics of the gas and the role of the magnetic field in the dynamics; elemental abundances and gas depletions in the atomic and ionized components; cooling flows; star formation; the correlation of the nonthermal radio continuum with the cool component of the interstellar medium; the origin and effect of hot galactic halos; the absorption line systems seen in distant quasars; and the effect of galactic collisions.

  2. The Interstellar Medium in External Galaxies: Summaries of contributed papers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hollenbach, David J. (Editor); Thronson, Harley A., Jr. (Editor)

    1990-01-01

    The Second Wyoming Conference entitled, The Interstellar Medium in External Galaxies, was held on July 3 to 7, 1989, to discuss the current understanding of the interstellar medium in external galaxies and to analyze the basic physical processes underlying interstellar phenomena. The papers covered a broad range of research on the gas and dust in external galaxies and focused on such topics as the distribution and morphology of the atomic, molecular, and dust components; the dynamics of the gas and the role of the magnetic field in the dynamics; elemental abundances and gas depletions in the atomic and ionized components; cooling flows; star formation; the correlation of the nonthermal radio continuum with the cool component of the interstellar medium; the origin and effect of hot galactic halos; the absorption line systems seen in distant quasars; and the effect of galactic collisions.

  3. Laboratory evidence for ionized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Szczepanski, Jan; Vala, Martin

    1993-01-01

    The infrared absorption from neutrals and cations of four PAHs - naphthalene, anthracene, pyrene, and perylene - integrated over the spectral regions corresponding to the interstellar bands are compared with astronomical observations. It is found that the interstellar bands cannot be explained solely on the basis of neutral PAH species, but that cations must be a significant, and in some cases dominant, component.

  4. Detection of organic matter in interstellar grains.

    PubMed

    Pendleton, Y J

    1997-06-01

    Star formation and the subsequent evolution of planetary systems occurs in dense molecular clouds, which are comprised, in part, of interstellar dust grains gathered from the diffuse interstellar medium (DISM). Radio observations of the interstellar medium reveal the presence of organic molecules in the gas phase and infrared observational studies provide details concerning the solid-state features in dust grains. In particular, a series of absorption bands have been observed near 3.4 microns (approximately 2940 cm-1) towards bright infrared objects which are seen through large column densities of interstellar dust. Comparisons of organic residues, produced under a variety of laboratory conditions, to the diffuse interstellar medium observations have shown that aliphatic hydrocarbon grains are responsible for the spectral absorption features observed near 3.4 microns (approximately 2940 cm-1). These hydrocarbons appear to carry the -CH2- and -CH3 functional groups in the abundance ratio CH2/CH3 approximately 2.5, and the amount of carbon tied up in this component is greater than 4% of the cosmic carbon available. On a galactic scale, the strength of the 3.4 microns band does not scale linearly with visual extinction, but instead increases more rapidly for objects near the Galactic Center. A similar trend is noted in the strength of the Si-O absorption band near 9.7 microns. The similar behavior of the C-H and Si-O stretching bands suggests that these two components may be coupled, perhaps in the form of grains with silicate cores and refractory organic mantles. The ubiquity of the hydrocarbon features seen in the near infrared near 3.4 microns throughout out Galaxy and in other galaxies demonstrates the widespread availability of such material for incorporation into the many newly forming planetary systems. The similarity of the 3.4 microns features in any organic material with aliphatic hydrocarbons underscores the need for complete astronomical observational

  5. The Voyager Interstellar Mission.

    PubMed

    Rudd, R P; Hall, J C; Spradlin, G L

    1997-01-01

    The Voyager Interstellar Mission began on January 1, 1990, with the primary objective being to characterize the interplanetary medium beyond Neptune and to search for the transition region between the interplanetary medium and the interstellar medium. At the start of this mission, the two Voyager spacecraft had already been in flight for over twelve years, having successfully returned a wealth of scientific information about the planetary systems of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, and the interplanetary medium between Earth and Neptune. The two spacecraft have the potential to continue returning science data until around the year 2020. With this extended operating lifetime, there is a high likelihood of one of the two spacecraft penetrating the termination shock and possibly the heliopause boundary, and entering interstellar space before that time. This paper describes the Voyager Interstellar Mission--the mission objectives, the spacecraft and science payload, the mission operations system used to support operations, and the mission operations strategy being used to maximize science data return even in the event of certain potential spacecraft subsystem failures. The implementation of automated analysis tools to offset and enable reduced flight team staffing levels is also discussed.

  6. The Voyager Interstellar Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rudd, R. P.; Hall, J. C.; Spradlin, G. L.

    1997-01-01

    The Voyager Interstellar Mission began on January 1, 1990, with the primary objective being to characterize the interplanetary medium beyond Neptune and to search for the transition region between the interplanetary medium and the interstellar medium. At the start of this mission, the two Voyager spacecraft had already been in flight for over twelve years, having successfully returned a wealth of scientific information about the planetary systems of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, and the interplanetary medium between Earth and Neptune. The two spacecraft have the potential to continue returning science data until around the year 2020. With this extended operating lifetime, there is a high likelihood of one of the two spacecraft penetrating the termination shock and possibly the heliopause boundary, and entering interstellar space before that time. This paper describes the Voyager Interstellar Mission--the mission objectives, the spacecraft and science payload, the mission operations system used to support operations, and the mission operations strategy being used to maximize science data return even in the event of certain potential spacecraft subsystem failures. The implementation of automated analysis tools to offset and enable reduced flight team staffing levels is also discussed.

  7. Interstellar molecular clouds.

    PubMed

    Bally, J

    1986-04-11

    The interstellar medium in our galaxy contains matter in a variety of states ranging from hot plasma to cold and dusty molecular gas. The molecular phase consists of giant clouds, which are the largest gravitationally bound objects in the galaxy, the primary reservoir of material for the ongoing birth of new stars, and the medium regulating the evolution of galactic disks.

  8. The Voyager Interstellar Mission.

    PubMed

    Rudd, R P; Hall, J C; Spradlin, G L

    1997-01-01

    The Voyager Interstellar Mission began on January 1, 1990, with the primary objective being to characterize the interplanetary medium beyond Neptune and to search for the transition region between the interplanetary medium and the interstellar medium. At the start of this mission, the two Voyager spacecraft had already been in flight for over twelve years, having successfully returned a wealth of scientific information about the planetary systems of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, and the interplanetary medium between Earth and Neptune. The two spacecraft have the potential to continue returning science data until around the year 2020. With this extended operating lifetime, there is a high likelihood of one of the two spacecraft penetrating the termination shock and possibly the heliopause boundary, and entering interstellar space before that time. This paper describes the Voyager Interstellar Mission--the mission objectives, the spacecraft and science payload, the mission operations system used to support operations, and the mission operations strategy being used to maximize science data return even in the event of certain potential spacecraft subsystem failures. The implementation of automated analysis tools to offset and enable reduced flight team staffing levels is also discussed. PMID:11540770

  9. Search for interstellar adenine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakrabarti, Sandip K.; Majumdar, Liton; Das, Ankan; Chakrabarti, Sonali

    2015-05-01

    It is long debated if pre-biotic molecules are indeed present in the interstellar medium. Despite substantial works pointing to their existence, pre-biotic molecules are yet to be discovered with a complete confidence. In this paper, our main aim is to study the chemical evolution of interstellar adenine under various circumstances. We prepare a large gas-grain chemical network by considering various pathways for the formation of adenine. Majumdar et al. (New Astron. 20:15, 2013) proposed that in the absence of adenine detection, one could try to trace two precursors of adenine, namely, HCCN and NH2CN. Recently Merz et al. (J. Phys. Chem. A 118:3637-3644, 2014), proposed another route for the formation of adenine in interstellar condition. They proposed two more precursor molecules. But it was not verified by any accurate gas-grain chemical model. Neither was it known if the production rate would be high or low. Our paper fills this important gap. We include this new pathways to find that the contribution through this pathways for the formation of Adenine is the most dominant one in the context of interstellar medium. We propose that observers may look for the two precursors (C3NH and HNCNH) in the interstellar media which are equally important for predicting abundances of adenine. We perform quantum chemical calculations to find out spectral properties of adenine and its two new precursor molecules in infrared, ultraviolet and sub-millimeter region. Our present study would be useful for predicting abundance of adenine.

  10. The diffuse interstellar bands - a brief review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geballe, T. R.

    2016-07-01

    The diffuse interstellar bands, or DIBs, are a large set of absorption features, mostly at optical and near infrared wavelengths, that are found in the spectra of reddened stars and other objects. They arise in interstellar gas and are observed toward numerous objects in our galaxy as well as in other galaxies. Although long thought to be associated with carbon-bearing molecules, none of them had been conclusively identified until last year, when several nearinfrared DIBs were matched to the laboratory spectrum of singly ionized buckminsterfullerene (C60 +). This development appears to have begun to solve what is perhaps the greatest unsolved mystery in astronomical spectroscopy. Also recently, new DIBs have been discovered at infrared wavelengths and are the longest wavelength DIBs ever found. I present the general characteristics of the DIBs and their history, emphasizing recent developments.

  11. Discovery of Interstellar Hydrogen Fluoride

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neufeld, David A.; Zmuidzinas, Jonas; Schilke, Peter; Phillips, Thomas G.

    1997-01-01

    We report the first detection of interstellar hydrogen fluoride. Using the Long Wavelength Spectrometer of the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO), we have detected the 121.6973 micron J = 2-1 line of HF in absorption toward the far-infrared continuum source Sagittarius B2. The detection is statistically significant at the 13 sigma level. On the basis of our model for the excitation of HF in Sgr B2, the observed line equivalent width of 1.0 nm implies a hydrogen fluoride abundance of approximately 3 x 10(exp -10) relative to H2. If the elemental abundance of fluorine in Sgr B2 is the same as that in the solar system, then HF accounts for approximately 2% of the total number of fluorine nuclei. We expect hydrogen fluoride to be the dominant reservoir of gas-phase fluorine in Sgr B2, because it is formed rapidly in exothermic reactions of atomic fluorine with either water or molecular hydrogen; thus, the measured HF abundance suggests a substantial depletion of fluorine onto dust grains. Similar conclusions regarding depletion have previously been reached for the case of chlorine in dense interstellar clouds. We also find evidence at a lower level of statistical significance (approximately 5 sigma) for an emission feature at the expected position of the 4(sub 32)-4(sub 23) 121.7219 micron line of water. The emission-line equivalent width of 0.5 nm for the water feature is consistent with the water abundance of 5 x 10(exp -6) relative to H2 that has been inferred previously from observations of the hot core of Sgr B2.

  12. Discovery of Interstellar Hydrogen Fluoride

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neufeld, David A.; Zmuidzinas, Jonas; Schilke, Peter; Phillips, Thomas G.

    1997-01-01

    We report the first detection of interstellar hydrogen fluoride. Using the Long Wavelength Spectrometer of the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO), we have detected the 121.6973 micron J = 2-1 line of HF in absorption toward the far-infrared continuum source Sagittarius B2. The detection is statistically significant at the 13 sigma level. On the basis of our model for the excitation of HF in Sgr B2, the observed line equivalent width of 1.0 nm implies a hydrogen fluoride abundance of about 3 x 10 (exp -10) relative to H, If the elemental abundance of fluorine in Sgr B2 is the same as that in the solar system, then HF accounts for about 2% of the total number of fluorine nuclei. We expect hydrogen fluoride to be the dominant reservoir of gas-phase fluorine in Sgr B2, because it is formed rapidly in exothermic reactions of atomic fluorine with either water or molecular hydrogen; thus, the measured HF abundance suggests a substantial depletion of fluorine onto dust grains. Similar conclusions regarding depletion have previously been reached for the case of chlorine in dense interstellar clouds. We also find evidence at a lower level of statistical significance (about 5 sigma) for an emission feature at the expected position of the 4(sub 32)-4(sub 23) 121.7219 micron line of water. The emission-line equivalent width of 0.5 mm for the water feature is consistent with the water abundance of 5 x 10(exp -6) relative to H, that has been inferred previously from observations of the hot core of Sgr B2.

  13. Ubiquitous Argonium, ArH^+, in the Diffuse Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schilke, P.; Müller, Holger S. P.; Comito, C.; Sanchez-Monge, A.; Neufeld, D. A.; Indriolo, Nick; Bergin, Edwin; Lis, D. C.; Gerin, Maryvonne; Black, J. H.; Wolfire, M. G.; Pearson, John; Menten, Karl; Winkel, B.

    2014-06-01

    ArH^+ is isoelectronic with HCl. The J = 1 - 0 and 2 - 1 transitions of 36ArH^+ near 617.5 and 1234.6 GHz, respectively, have been identified very recently as emission lines in spectra obtained with Herschel toward the Crab Nebula supernova remnant. On Earth, 40Ar is by far the most abundant isotope, being almost exclusively formed by the radioactive decay of 40K. However, 36Ar is the dominant isotope in the Universe. In the course of unbiased line surveys of the massive and very luminous Galactic Center star-forming regions Sagittarius B2(M) and (N) with the high-resolution instrument HIFI on board of Herschel, we detected the J = 1 - 0 transition of 36ArH^+ as a moderately strong absorption line initially associated with an unidentified carrier. In both cases, the absorption feature is unique in its appearance at all velocity components associated with diffuse foreground molecular clouds, together with its conspicuous absence at velocities related to the denser sources themselves. Model calculations are able to reproduce the derived ArH^+ column densities and suggest that argonium resides in the largely atomic, diffuse interstellar medium with a molecular fraction of no more than ˜10-4. The 38ArH^+ isotopolog was also detected. Subsequent observations toward the continuum sources W51, W49, W31C, and G34.3+0.1 resulted in unequivocal detections of 36ArH^+ absorption. Hence, argonium is a good probe of the transition zone between atomic and molecular gas, in particular in combination with OH^+ and H_2O^+, whose abundances peak at a molecular fraction of ˜0.1. Moreover, argonium is a good indicator of an enhanced cosmic ray ionization rate. Therefore, it may be prominent toward, e.g., active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in addition to supernova remnants. M. J. Barlow et al., Science 342 (2013) 1343. H. S. P. Müller et al., Proceedings of the IAU Symposium 297, 2013, "The Diffuse Interstellar Bands", Eds. J. Cami & N. Cox.

  14. Observations of the interstellar gas with the Copernicus satellite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morton, D. C.

    1975-01-01

    Results are reviewed for Copernicus far-UV measurements of the absorption lines of H I, D I, H2, and heavier elements in the interstellar gas. Column densities along several lines of sight, as estimated from Ly-alpha absorption-line profiles, confirm that wide differences in the gas density are present in various directions. The measurement of interstellar D I implies an open universe unless alternate sources for this nuclide are found. Analysis of reddened stars for which the line of sight passes through one or more interstellar clouds indicates a depletion of several heavy elements in the gas. It is suggested that the depleted elements may be present in grains rather than molecules and that the intercloud medium may consist primarily of H II with a few small H I clouds.

  15. Ubiquitous Argonium, ArH+, in the Diffuse Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schilke, P.; Müller, H. S. P.; Comito, C.; Sanchez-Monge, A.; Neufeld, D. A.; Indriolo, N.; Bergin, E.; Lis, D. C.; Gerin, M.; Black, J. H.; Wolfire, M. G.; Pearson, J.; Menten, K.; Winkel, B.

    2014-06-01

    ArH+ is isoelectronic with HCl. The J = 1-0 and 2-1 transitions of 36ArH+ near 617.5 and 1234.6 GHz, respectively, have been identified very recently as emission lines in spectra obtained with Herschel toward the Crab Nebula supernova remnant.1 On Earth, 40Ar is by far the most abundant isotope, being almost exclusively formed by the radioactive decay of 40K. However, 36Ar is the dominant isotope in the Universe. In the course of unbiased line surveys of the massive and very luminous Galactic Center star-forming regions Sagittarius B2(M) and (N) with the high-resolution instrument HIFI on board of Herschel, we detected the J = 1-0 transition of 36ArH+ as a moderately strong absorption line initially associated with an unidentified carrier.2 In both cases, the absorption feature is unique in its appearance at all velocity components associated with diffuse foreground molecular clouds, together with its conspicuous absence at velocities related to the denser sources themselves. Model calculations are able to reproduce the derived ArH+ column densities and suggest that argonium resides in the largely atomic, diffuse interstellar medium with a molecular fraction of no more than ˜10-3. The 38ArH+ isotopologue was also detected. Subsequent observations toward the continuum sources W51, W49, W31C, and G34.3+0.1 resulted in unequivocal detections of 36ArH+ absorption. Hence, argonium is a good probe of the transition zone between atomic and molecular gas, in particular in combination with OH+ and H2O+, whose abundances peak at a molecular fraction of ˜0.1. Moreover, argonium is a good indicator of an enhanced cosmic ray ionization rate. Therefore, it may be prominent toward, e.g., active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in addition to supernova remnants.

  16. The interstellar N2 abundance towards HD 124314 from far-ultraviolet observations.

    PubMed

    Knauth, David C; Andersson, B-G; McCandliss, Stephan R; Moos, H Warren

    2004-06-10

    The abundance of interstellar molecular nitrogen (N2) is of considerable importance: models of steady-state gas-phase interstellar chemistry, together with millimetre-wavelength observations of interstellar N2H+ in dense molecular clouds predict that N2 should be the most abundant nitrogen-bearing molecule in the interstellar medium. Previous attempts to detect N2 absorption in the far-ultraviolet or infrared (ice features) have hitherto been unsuccessful. Here we report the detection of interstellar N2 at far-ultraviolet wavelengths towards the moderately reddened star HD 124314 in the constellation of Centaurus. The N2 column density is larger than expected from models of diffuse clouds and significantly smaller than expected for dense molecular clouds. Moreover, the N2 abundance does not explain the observed variations in the abundance of atomic nitrogen (N I) towards high-column-density sightlines, implying that the models of nitrogen chemistry in the interstellar medium are incomplete.

  17. Local Interstellar Medium. International Astronomical Union Colloquium No. 81

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kondo, Y. (Editor); Bruhweiler, F. C. (Editor); Savage, B. D. (Editor)

    1984-01-01

    Helium and hydrogen backscattering; ultraviolet and EUV absorption spectra; optical extinction and polarization; hot gases; soft X-ray observations; infrared and millimeter wavelengths; radio wavelengths and theoretical models of the interstellar matter within about 150 parsecs of the Sun were examined.

  18. Innovative interstellar explorer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNutt, R.; Innovative Interstellar Explorer Team

    Fundamental scientific questions about the interaction of the Sun with the interstellar medium can only be answered with in situ measurements. The problem is the development of a probe that can provide the required measurements and can reach a heliocentric distance of at least 200 astronomical units (AU) in 15 years or less, an average speed almost four times the 3.6 AU/yr speed of Voyager 1. The Innovative Interstellar Explorer (IIE) and its use of Radioisotope Electric Propulsion (REP) is now being studied under a NASA Vision Mission grant to enable such a mission. Speed is provided by a high-energy launch using current launch vehicle technology followed by long-term, low-thrust, continuous acceleration. The latter is provided by a kilowatt-class ion thruster running off of electricity provided by advanced Stirling radioisotope generators (SRGs) powered by Pu-238. While subject to mass and power limitations for the instruments on board, such an approach relies on known General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) Pu-238 technology and current launch vehicles for speed, both of which require little new development and have well-known regulatory requirements for launch. In addition, this approach avoids the intrinsically large masses associated with nuclear fission reactors and incorporates launch of all nuclear material directly into an Earth-escape trajectory. We discuss the ongoing trade studies and development of this approach to an Interstellar Probe

  19. Phosphorus-32 absorption and translocation to host plants by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi at low root-zone temperature.

    PubMed

    Wang, B; Funakoshi, D M; Dalpé, Y; Hamel, C

    2002-04-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) mycelia persist in soil over winter. Functioning of the AM symbiosis very early in the spring when the soil temperature is low may be of ecological significance for perennial and biannual plants in cool climates. An indoor experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of low root-zone temperatures on 32P uptake by 10-week-old leek plants (Allium porrum L.) inoculated or not with the AM fungus Glomus intraradices Schenck & Smith. Plants were grown in a greenhouse at approximately 23 degrees C prior to exposing their roots to 23 degrees C, 15 degrees C or 0 degree C. Mycorrhizal colonization increased 32P activity of leek leaves at a root-zone temperature of 23 degrees C seven days after injection of 32P into the soil, whereas 14 days after injection, 32P increases were measured at both 23 degrees C and 15 degrees C. The lack of difference in 32P activity between AM and non-AM plants at 0 degree C, both 7 and 14 days after injection, suggests that the AM fungus is not functional at this low root-zone temperature. PMID:12035733

  20. PAHs and the Diffuse Interstellar Bands. What have we Learned from the New Generation of Laboratory and Observational Studies?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid

    2005-01-01

    Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are an important and ubiquitous component of carbon-bearing materials in space. PAHs are the best-known candidates to account for the IR emission bands (UIR bands) and PAH spectral features are now being used as new probes of the ISM. PAHs are also thought to be among the carriers of the diffuse interstellar absorption bands (DIBs). In the model dealing with the interstellar spectral features, PAHs are present as a mixture of radicals, ions and neutral species. PAH ionization states reflect the ionization balance of the medium while PAH size, composition, and structure reflect the energetic and chemical history of the medium. A major challenge for laboratory astrophysics is to reproduce (in a realistic way) the physical conditions that exist in the emission and/or absorption interstellar zones, An extensive laboratory program has been developed at NASA Ames to characterize the physical and chemical properties of PAHs in astrophysical environments and to describe how they influence the radiation and energy balance in space and the interstellar chemistry. In particular, laboratory experiments provide measurements of the spectral characteristics of interstellar PAH analogs from the ultraviolet and visible range to the infrared range for comparison with astronomical data. This paper will focus on the recent progress made in the laboratory to measure the direct absorption spectra of neutral and ionized PAHs in the gas phase in the near-W and visible range in astrophysically relevant environments. These measurements provide data on PAHs and nanometer-sized particles that can now be directly compared to astronomical observations. The harsh physical conditions of the IS medium - characterized by a low temperature, an absence of collisions and strong V W radiation fields - are simulated in the laboratory by associating a molecular beam with an ionizing discharge to generate a cold plasma expansion. PAH ions are formed from the neutral

  1. Non-equilibrium processes in interstellar molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strelnitskiy, V. S.

    1979-01-01

    The types of nonequilibrium emission and absorption by interstellar molecules are summarized. The observed brightness emission temperatures of compact OH and H2O sources are discussed using the concept of maser amplification. A single thermodynamic approach was used in which masers and anti-masers are considered as heat engines for the theoretical interpretation of the cosmic maser and anti-maser phenomena. The requirements for different models of pumping are formulated and a classification is suggested for the mechanisms of pumping, according to the source and discharge of energy.

  2. Properties of interstellar dust in reflection nebulae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sellgren, Kristin

    1988-01-01

    Observations of interstellar dust in reflection nebulae are the closest analog in the interstellar medium to studies of cometary dust in our solar system. The presence of a bright star near the reflection nebula dust provides the opportunity to study both the reflection and emission characteristics of interstellar dust. At 0.1 to 1 micrometer, the reflection nebula emission is due to starlight scattered by dust. The albedo and scattering phase function of the dust is determined from observations of the scattered light. At 50 to 200 micrometers, thermal emission from the dust in equilibrium with the stellar radiation field is observed. The derived dust temperature determines the relative values of the absorption coefficient of the dust at wavelengths where the stellar energy is absorbed and at far infrared wavelengths where the absorbed energy is reradiated. These emission mechanisms directly relate to those seen in the near and mid infrared spectra of comets. In a reflection nebula the dust is observed at much larger distances from the star than in our solar system, so that the equilibrium dust temperature is 50 K rather than 300 K. Thus, in reflection nebulae, thermal emission from dust is emitted at 50 to 200 micrometer.

  3. Future EUV Observations of the Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kowalski, M. P.; Wood, K. S.; Barstow, M. A.; Cruddace, R. G.

    2009-08-01

    Interstellar helium can be observed directly only in the Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) waveband. However, high sensitivity and spectral resolution are required to disentangle the He II Lyman series lines from the many heavier element lines found in the continuum spectra of many white dwarfs. In 2001 we observed the white dwarf G191-B2 with the world's first high resolution EUV astrophysical spectrometer (J-PEX), flown on a NASA sounding rocket. We were able to detect interstellar He II lines against the background of other species. Our experience underlines the promise of He II absorption line measurements in mapping structure in the Local Interstellar Medium (LISM) such as the Local Bubble and the need for many more high-resolution EUV observations. J-PEX will fly again in 2008 to observe the binary white dwarf Feige 24, but the limited observation time with sounding rockets makes them unattractive for future detailed studies. Here we describe the scientific case for high-resolution EUV spectroscopy, summarize the technology that makes such measurements practical, and present a concept for a ~3-month orbital mission, in which the J-PEX payload is modified for flight as a small-satellite. Such a mission might produce sensitive high-resolution spectra for ~30 white dwarfs, many of which could contribute to the understanding of structure in the LISM.

  4. The Nature of Interstellar Dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huss, G. R.

    2003-01-01

    The STARDUST mission is designed to collect dust the coma of comet Wild 2 and to collect interstellar dust on a second set of collectors. We have a reasonable idea of what to expect from the comet dust collection because the research community has been studying interplanetary dust particles for many years. It is less clear what we should expect from the interstellar dust. This presentation discusses what we might expect to find on the STARDUST interstellar dust collector.

  5. The Abundance of Interstellar Fluorine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lauroesch, James T.

    2005-01-01

    The primary objective of this program was to obtain FUSE observations of the interstellar absorption lines of F I at 951 and 954 Angstroms to derive the abundance of fluorine toward the star HD 164816. The nucleosynthetic source(s) of fluorine are still a matter of debate - the present day abundance of fluorine can potentially constrain models for pulsationally driven dredge-up in asymptotic giant branch stars. An accurate measure for the depletion behavior of fluorine will determine whether it may be detectable in QSO absorption line systems - an unambiguous detection of fluorine at suitably high redshifts would provide the best evidence to date for the neutrino process in massive stars. Furthermore, due to its extreme reactivity, measurement of the gas-phase interstellar fluorine abundance is important for models of grain chemistry. Despite the importance of measuring the interstellar fluorine abundance, at the time of our proposal only one previous detection has been made due to the low relative abundance of fluorine, the lack of lines outside the far-UV, and the blending of the available F I transitions with lines of Hz. The star HD 164816 is associated with the Lagoon nebula (M8), and at a distance of approximately 1.5 kpc probes both distant and local gas. Beginning April 8th, 2004 FUSE FP-Split observations of the star HD 164816 were obtained for this program. This data became available in the FUSE data archive May 21, 2004, and these observations were then downloaded and we began our analysis. Our analysis procedure has involved (1) fitting stellar models to the FUSE spectra, (2) using the multiple lines of Hz and N I at other wavelengths in the FUSE bandpass to derive column densities for the lines of H2 and N I which are blended with the F I features at 951 and 954 angstroms (3) the measurement of the column densities of F I and the species O I and C1 I which are important species for the dis-entangling of dust and nucleosynthetic effects. As discussed in

  6. Efficient surface formation route of interstellar hydroxylamine through NO hydrogenation. I. The submonolayer regime on interstellar relevant substrates.

    PubMed

    Congiu, E; Chaabouni, H; Laffon, C; Parent, P; Baouche, S; Dulieu, F

    2012-08-01

    Dust grains in the interstellar medium are known to serve as the first chemical laboratory where the rich inventory of interstellar molecules are synthesized. Here we present a study of the formation of hydroxylamine--NH(2)OH--via the non-energetic route NO + H (D) on crystalline H(2)O and amorphous silicate under conditions relevant to interstellar dense clouds. Formation of nitrous oxide (N(2)O) and water (H(2)O, D(2)O) is also observed and the reaction network is discussed. Hydroxylamine and water results are detected in temperature-programmed desorption (TPD) experiments, while N(2)O is detected by both reflection-absorption IR spectroscopy and TPD techniques. The solid state NO + H reaction channel proves to be a very efficient pathway to NH(2)OH formation in space and may be a potential starting point for prebiotic species in dark interstellar clouds. The present findings are an important step forward in understanding the inclusion of interstellar nitrogen into a non-volatile aminated species since NH(2)OH provides a solid state nitrogen reservoir along the whole evolutionary process of interstellar ices from dark clouds to planetary systems.

  7. Gas Phase Spectroscopy of Cold PAH Ions: Contribution to the Interstellar Extinction and the Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Biennier, L.; Salama, F.; Allamandola, L. J.; Scherer, J. J.; OKeefe, A.

    2002-01-01

    Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon molecules (PAHs) are ubiquitous in the interstellar medium (ISM) and constitute the building blocks of interstellar dust grains. Despite their inferred important role in mediating the energetic and chemical processes in thc ISM, their exact contribution to the interstellar extinction, and in particular to the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) remains unclear. The DIBs are spectral absorption features observed in the line of sight of stars that are obscured by diffuse interstellar clouds. More than 200 bands have been reported to date spanning from the near UV to the near IR with bandwidths ranging from 0.4 to 40 Angstroms (Tielens & Snow 1995). The present consensus is that the DIBs arise from free flying, gas-phase, organic molecules and/or ions that are abundant under the typical conditions reigning in the diffuse ISM. PAHs have been proposed as possible carriers (Allamandola et al. 1985; Leger & DHendecourt 1985). The PAH hypothesis is consistent with the cosmic abundance of Carbon and Hydrogen and with the required photostability of the DIB carriers against the strong VUV radiation field in the diffuse interstellar clouds. A significant fraction of PAHs is expected to be ionized in the diffuse ISM.

  8. Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westphal, A.; Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examation Team: http://www. ssl. berkeley. edu/~westphal/ISPE/

    2011-12-01

    A. J. Westphal, C. Allen, A. Ansari, S. Bajt, R. S. Bastien, H. A. Bechtel, J. Borg, F. E. Brenker, J. Bridges, D. E. Brownlee, M. Burchell, M. Burghammer, A. L. Butterworth, A. M. Davis, P. Cloetens, C. Floss, G. Flynn, D. Frank, Z. Gainsforth, E. Grün, P. R. Heck, J. K. Hillier, P. Hoppe, G. Huss, J. Huth, B. Hvide, A. Kearsley, A. J. King, B. Lai, J. Leitner, L. Lemelle, H. Leroux, R. Lettieri, W. Marchant, L. R. Nittler, R. Ogliore, F. Postberg, M. C. Price, S. A. Sandford, J.-A. Sans Tresseras, T. Schoonjans, S. Schmitz, G. Silversmit, A. Simionovici, V. A. Solé, R. Srama, T. Stephan, V. Sterken, J. Stodolna, R. M. Stroud, S. Sutton, M. Trieloff, P. Tsou, A. Tsuchiyama, T. Tyliszczak, B. Vekemans, L. Vincze, D. Zevin, M. E. Zolensky, >29,000 Stardust@home dusters ISPE author affiliations are at http://www.ssl.berkeley.edu/~westphal/ISPE/. In 2000 and 2002, a ~0.1m2 array of aerogel tiles and alumi-num foils onboard the Stardust spacecraft was exposed to the interstellar dust (ISD) stream for an integrated time of 200 days. The exposure took place in interplanetary space, beyond the orbit of Mars, and thus was free of the ubiquitous orbital debris in low-earth orbit that precludes effective searches for interstellar dust there. Despite the long exposure of the Stardust collector, <<100 ISD particles are expected to have been captured. The particles are thought to be ~1μm or less in size, and the total ISD collection is probably <10-6 by mass of the collection of cometary dust parti-cles captured in the Stardust cometary dust collector from the coma of the Jupiter-family comet Wild 2. Thus, although the first solid sample from the local interstellar medium is clearly of high interest, the diminutive size of the particles and the low numbers of particles present daunting challenges. Nevertheless, six recent developments have made a Preliminary Examination (PE) of this sample practical: (1) rapid automated digital optical scanning microscopy for three

  9. Evolution of interstellar ices.

    PubMed

    Allamandola, L J; Bernstein, M P; Sandford, S A; Walker, R L

    1999-01-01

    Infrared observations, combined with realistic laboratory simulations, have revolutionized our understanding of interstellar ice and dust, the building blocks of comets. Ices in molecular clouds are dominated by the very simple molecules H2O, CH3OH, NH3, CO, CO2, and probably H2CO and H2. More complex species including nitriles, ketones, and esters are also present, but at lower concentrations. The evidence for these, as well as the abundant, carbon-rich, interstellar, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is reviewed. Other possible contributors to the interstellar/pre-cometary ice composition include accretion of gas-phase molecules and in situ photochemical processing. By virtue of their low abundance, accretion of simple gas-phase species is shown to be the least important of the processes considered in determining ice composition. On the other hand, photochemical processing does play an important role in driving dust evolution and the composition of minor species. Ultraviolet photolysis of realistic laboratory analogs readily produces H2, H2CO, CO2, CO, CH4, HCO, and the moderately complex organic molecules: CH3CH2OH (ethanol), HC(=O)NH2 (formamide), CH3C(=O)NH2 (acetamide), R-CN (nitriles), and hexamethylenetetramine (HMT, C6H12N4), as well as more complex species including amides, ketones, and polyoxymethylenes (POMs). Inclusion of PAHs in the ices produces many species similar to those found in meteorites including aromatic alcohols, quinones and ethers. Photon assisted PAH-ice deuterium exchange also occurs. All of these species are readily formed and are therefore likely cometary constituents.

  10. Innovative interstellar explorer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNutt, Ralph L.; Gold, Robert E.; Krimigis, Tom; Roelof, Edmond C.; Gruntman, Mike; Gloeckler, George; Koehn, Patrick L.; Kurth, William S.; Oleson, Steven R.; Fiehler, Douglas I.; Horanyi, Mihaly; Mewaldt, Richard A.; Leary, James C.; Anderson, Brian J.

    2006-09-01

    An interstellar ``precursor'' mission has been under discussion in the scientific community for at least 30 years. Fundamental scientific questions about the interaction of the Sun with the interstellar medium can only be answered with in situ measurements that such a mission can provide. The Innovative Interstellar Explorer (IIE) and its use of Radioisotope Electric Propulsion (REP) is being studied under a NASA ``Vision Mission'' grant. Speed is provided by a combination of a high-energy launch, using current launch vehicle technology, a Jupiter gravity assist, and long-term, low-thrust, continuous acceleration provided by an ion thruster running off electricity provided by advanced radioisotope electric generators. A payload of ten instruments with an aggregate mass of ~35 kg and requiring ~30 W has been carefully chosen to address the compelling science questions. The nominal 20-day launch window opens on 22 October 2014 followed by a Jupiter gravity assist on 5 February 2016. The REP system accelerates the spacecraft to a ``burnout'' speed of 7.8 AU per year at 104 AU on 13 October 2032 (Voyager 1's current speed is ~3.6 AU/yr). The spacecraft will return at least 500 bits per second from at least 200 AU ~30 years after launch. Additional (backup) launch opportunities occur every 13 months to early 2018. In addition to addressing basic heliospheric science, the mission will ensure continued information on the far-heliospheric galactic cosmic ray population after the Voyagers have fallen silent and as the era of human Mars exploration begins.

  11. Interstellar medium simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breitschwerdt, D.; de Avillez, M. A.; Feige, J.; Dettbarn, C.

    2012-06-01

    In this review we critically assess numerical simulations of the interstellar medium (ISM), and argue that 3D high resolution calculations are the most promising method to determine the structure of the interstellar gas and follow its evolution well into the nonlinear regime. Based on a Riemann solver adaptive mesh refinement code, we present a model, which fulfills the basic requirements of running it sufficiently long in order to erase memory effects of the initial conditions, set up a disk-halo fountain flow cycle, for converging solutions with increasing mesh refinement. We obtain the following results: (i) in a supernova driven ISM, high Reynolds number turbulence generates structures on all scales, (ii) the volume filling factor of the hot gas is substantially reduced due to the fountain flow, (iii) gas clouds are transient shock compressed layers, (iv) more than half of the gas mass resides in thermally unstable regimes, (v) O VI is distributed in patchy mixing layers, with the derived column densities being in agreement with FUSE and Copernicus observations, (vi) the electron density distribution up to distances of 8 kpc in the disk is consistent with pulsar dispersion measure observations, provided that the electron and ionization structure are not in equilibrium, (vii) the interstellar cooling function depends both on space and time (and not only on temperature and metallicity), (viii) the Local Bubble has been produced by 14-20 supernovae about 14 Myr ago, exploding in a moving group on its path through the local ISM, (ix) the nearest supernova explosion to Earth occurred 2.2 {×} 106 yr ago at a distance of {˜} 85 pc, in agreement with measurements of the radionuclide 60Fe found in the ferromanganese crust on the ocean floor.

  12. The interstellar carbon abundance. II - Rho Ophiuchi and Beta Scorpii

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Welty, D. E.; York, D. G.; Hobbs, L. M.

    1986-01-01

    A procedure designed to obtain increased sensitivity from high-dispersion IUE spectra by using a flat-field spectrum to remove nonrandom noise due to the response pattern of the SEC vidicon detector is described. Application of this procedure to spectra of Rho Oph and Beta(1) Sco near the spin-forbidden interstellar 2325 line of C II yields 2 sigma upper limits on absorption of W (lambda) not greater than about 4 mA. The resulting depletion of carbon from the interstellar gas toward Rho Oph exceeds a factor of 1.4.

  13. Interstellar abundance and depletion studies along Galactic sightlines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haris, U.; Murthy, Jayant; Sofia, Ulysses

    2016-07-01

    The Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) and Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has enhanced our understanding many aspects of interstellar medium of our galaxy. The wavelength coverage of FUSE and HST is of great astrophysical importance. We use FUSE and HST data for interstellar abundances studies of some important atomic species, such as sulphur and silicon. We report the newly derived column densities by measuring the equivalent widths of several ultraviolet absorption lines. Comparisons of observed depletions and grain properties with existing dust models will be discussed.

  14. The Local Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferlet, Roger

    Substantial progress in the field of the Local Interstellar Medium has been largely due to recent launches of space missions, mostly in the UV and X-ray domains, but also to ground-based observations, mainly in high resolution spectroscopy. However, a clear gap seems to remain between the wealth of new data and the theoretical understanding. This paper gives an overview of some observational aspects, with no attempt of completeness or doing justice to all the people involved in the field. As progress rarely evolves in straight paths, we can expect that our present picture of the solar system surroundings is not definitive.

  15. Visualizing Interstellar's Wormhole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, Oliver; von Tunzelmann, Eugénie; Franklin, Paul; Thorne, Kip S.

    2015-06-01

    Christopher Nolan's science fiction movie Interstellar offers a variety of opportunities for students in elementary courses on general relativity theory. This paper describes such opportunities, including: (i) At the motivational level, the manner in which elementary relativity concepts underlie the wormhole visualizations seen in the movie; (ii) At the briefest computational level, instructive calculations with simple but intriguing wormhole metrics, including, e.g., constructing embedding diagrams for the three-parameter wormhole that was used by our visual effects team and Christopher Nolan in scoping out possible wormhole geometries for the movie; (iii) Combining the proper reference frame of a camera with solutions of the geodesic equation, to construct a light-ray-tracing map backward in time from a camera's local sky to a wormhole's two celestial spheres; (iv) Implementing this map, for example, in Mathematica, Maple or Matlab, and using that implementation to construct images of what a camera sees when near or inside a wormhole; (v) With the student's implementation, exploring how the wormhole's three parameters influence what the camera sees—which is precisely how Christopher Nolan, using our implementation, chose the parameters for Interstellar's wormhole; (vi) Using the student's implementation, exploring the wormhole's Einstein ring and particularly the peculiar motions of star images near the ring, and exploring what it looks like to travel through a wormhole.

  16. An interstellar precursor mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jaffe, L. D.; Ivie, C.; Lewis, J. C.; Lipes, R.; Norton, H. N.; Stearns, J. W.; Stimpson, L. D.; Weissman, P.

    1980-01-01

    A mission out of the planetary system, launched about the year 2000, could provide valuable scientific data as well as test some of the technology for a later mission to another star. Primary scientific objectives for the precursor mission concern characteristics of the heliopause, the interstellar medium, stellar distances (by parallax measurements), low-energy cosmic rays, interplanetary gas distribution, and the mass of the solar system. Secondary objectives include investigation of Pluto. The mission should extend to 400-1000 AU from the sun. A heliocentric hyperbolic escape velocity of 50-100 km/sec or more is needed to attain this distance within a reasonable mission duration (20-50 years). The trajectory should be toward the incoming interstellar gas. For a year 2000 launch, a Pluto encounter and orbiter can be included. A second mission targeted parallel to the solar axis would also be worthwhile. The mission duration is 20 years, with an extended mission to a total of 50 years. A system using one or two stages of nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) was selected as a possible baseline. The most promising alternatives are ultralight solar sails or laser sailing, with the lasers in earth orbit, for example. The NEP baseline design allows the option of carrying a Pluto orbiter as a daughter spacecraft.

  17. Interstellar molecules and dense clouds.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rank, D. M.; Townes, C. H.; Welch, W. J.

    1971-01-01

    Current knowledge of the interstellar medium is discussed on the basis of recent published studies. The subjects considered include optical identification of interstellar molecules, radio molecular lines, interstellar clouds, isotopic abundances, formation and disappearance of interstellar molecules, and interstellar probing techniques. Diagrams are plotted for the distribution of galactic sources exhibiting molecular lines, for hydrogen molecule, hydrogen atom and electron abundances due to ionization, for the densities, velocities and temperature of NH3 in the direction of Sagitarius B2, for the lower rotational energy levels of H2CO, and for temporal spectral variations in masing H2O clouds of the radio source W49. Future applications of the maser and of molecular microscopy in this field are visualized.

  18. Search for fullerenes and PAHs in the diffuse interstellar medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehrenfreund, P.; Foing, B. H.

    1995-02-01

    Recent studies suggest carbon-containing molecules as the best candidates for carriers of the unidentified diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs). considering their abundance and ability to form stable bonds in interstellar space. We have searched for new DIBs in the near-IR and have detected two new diffuse bands that are consistent with laboratory measurements of C 60+ in a neon matrix. Criteria for this possible identification are discussed. From these observations and the DIB treasured absorption. we estimate that up to 0.9% of interstellar carbon could be in the form of C 60+ We also searched for poly cyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) canons and have derived corresponding limits for the presence of the coronene C 24H 12 and ovalene C 32H 14 cations in space. We have studied the ionization properties of these PAH cations, which could explain their selective destruction. From these results we discuss the role of fullerenes and PAHs as possible DIB carriers.

  19. Detection of interstellar boron in front of kappa Orionus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meneguzzi, M.; York, D. G.

    1980-01-01

    The detection of interstellar boron in the direction of kappa Ori, obtained with the Copernicus satellite telescope by observing the B II 1362.46-A resonance line is reported. A B/H concentration ratio of (1.5 + or - 0.7) x 10 to the -10th (2 standard deviation error bar) is obtained. The main uncertainty lies in the determination of the continuum of the star in that wavelength region, dominated by a broad stellar absorption feature. The value inferred for B/H in the interstellar medium is consistent with the solar and stellar values, believed to be the galactic value, and with the theory of the production of B by cosmic rays in the interstellar medium.

  20. NEUTRAL INTERSTELLAR HELIUM PARAMETERS BASED ON IBEX-Lo OBSERVATIONS AND TEST PARTICLE CALCULATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Bzowski, M.; Kubiak, M. A.; Sokol, J. M.; Hlond, M.; Moebius, E.; Bochsler, P.; Leonard, T.; Heirtzler, D.; Kucharek, H.; Schwadron, N. A.; Crew, G. B.; Fuselier, S. A.; McComas, D. J.

    2012-02-01

    Because of its high ionization potential and weak interaction with hydrogen, neutral interstellar helium (NISHe) is almost unaffected at the heliospheric interface with the interstellar medium and freely enters the solar system. This second most abundant species provides some of the best information on the characteristics of the interstellar gas in the local interstellar cloud. The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) is the second mission to directly detect NISHe. We present a comparison between recent IBEX NISHe observations and simulations carried out using a well-tested quantitative simulation code. Simulation and observation results compare well for times when measured fluxes are dominated by NISHe (and contributions from other species are small). Differences between simulations and observations indicate a previously undetected secondary population of neutral helium, likely produced by interaction of interstellar helium with plasma in the outer heliosheath. Interstellar neutral parameters are statistically different from previous in situ results obtained mostly from the GAS/Ulysses experiment, but they do agree with the local interstellar flow vector obtained from studies of interstellar absorption: the newly established flow direction is ecliptic longitude 79.{sup 0}2, latitude -5.{sup 0}1, the velocity is {approx}22.8 km s{sup -1}, and the temperature is 6200 K. These new results imply a markedly lower absolute velocity of the gas and thus significantly lower dynamic pressure on the boundaries of the heliosphere and different orientation of the Hydrogen Deflection Plane compared to prior results from Ulysses. A different orientation of this plane also suggests a new geometry of the interstellar magnetic field, and the lower dynamic pressure calls for a compensation by other components of the pressure balance, most likely a higher density of interstellar plasma and strength of interstellar magnetic field.

  1. Synchrotron FTIR Examination of Interplanetary Dust Particles: An Effort to Determine the Compounds and Minerals in Interstellar and Circumstellar Dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Flynn, G. J.; Keller, L. P.

    2002-01-01

    Some interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), collected by NASA from the Earth's stratosphere, are the most primitive extraterrestrial material available for laboratory analysis. Many exhibit isotopic anomalies in H, N, and O, suggesting they contain preserved interstellar matter. We report the preliminary results of a comparison of the infrared absorption spectra of subunits of the IDPs with astronomical spectra of interstellar grains.

  2. Radio Observations of Interstellar Hydroxyl Radicals: Have we discovered a gigantic maser, or could we be detecting interstellar communications?

    PubMed

    Barrett, A H

    1967-08-25

    The discovery of the radio frequency lines of OH gave the first positive evidence of the existence of OH in the interstellar medium. In the 3(1/2) years that have intervened, many observations have revealed totally unexpected anomalies in the radio-spectral properties of interstellar OH. As a result, no reliable astrophysical information has been derived from the OH observations, but a large body of information is waiting to be unraveled. The interpretations of the data which have been made, such as the values derived for OH/H abundance ratios or for the kinetic temperatures of interstellar gas clouds, must be viewed with caution. They may turn out to be drastically in error, once the origin of the OH emission and absorption is fully understood.

  3. A weak diffuse interstellar band in the far-ultraviolet spectrum of zeta Ophiuchi?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tripp, Todd M.; Cardelli, Jason A.; Savage, Blair D.

    1994-01-01

    Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph (GHRS) observations at 3.5 km/s resolution reveal several new weak unidentified interstellar absorption lines in the ultraviolet spectrum of zeta Ophiuchi. The unidentified line at 1369.13 A has the appearance and characteristics of a weak diffuse interstellar band (DIB). The line has a smooth profile similar to many optical diffuse interstellar bands (i.e., a shallow asymmetric profile), it is clearly broader than identified interstellar lines near it in wavelength, and its full width at half maximum in ergs is comparable to the widths of the weak optical DIBs. The asymmetric profile cannot be attributed to blended absorption from diffuse clouds at different velocities; at this resolution the two principal cloud complexes on the sight line at heliocentric velocities of -27 and -15 km/s are clearly separated. We compare this unidentified absorption feature to identified interstellar atomic and molecular absorption lines and optical DIBs observed on the zeta Oph and xi Per sight lines, and we conclude that it is reasonable to suggest that this absorption feature might be a DIB. This is not a unique interpretation however; the unidentified line could alternatively be due to gas in the zeta Oph H II region or a blend of unknown neutral atomic or molecular absorption lines.

  4. Interstellar carbon in meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swart, P. K.; Grady, M. M.; Pillinger, C. T.; Lewis, R. S.; Anders, E.

    1983-01-01

    The Murchison and Allende chondrites contain up to 5 parts per million carbon that is enriched in carbon-13 by up to +1100 per mil (the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-13 is approximately 42, compared to 88 to 93 for terrestrial carbon). This 'heavy' carbon is associated with neon-22 and with anomalous krypton and xenon showing the signature of the s-process (neutron capture on a slow time scale). It apparently represents interstellar grains ejected from late-type stars. A second anomalous xenon component ('CCFXe') is associated with a distinctive, light carbon (depleted in carbon-13 by 38 per mil), which, however, falls within the terrestrial range and hence may be of either local or exotic origin.

  5. An interstellar precursor mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jaffe, L. D.; Ivie, C.; Lewis, J. C.; Lipes, R. G.; Norton, H. N.; Stearns, J. W.; Stimpson, L.; Weissman, P.

    1977-01-01

    A mission out of the planetary system, with launch about the year 2000, could provide valuable scientific data as well as test some of the technology for a later mission to another star. Primary scientific objectives for the precursor mission concern characteristics of the heliopause, the interstellar medium, stellar distances (by parallax measurements), low energy cosmic rays, interplanetary gas distribution, and mass of the solar system. Secondary objectives include investigation of Pluto. Candidate science instruments are suggested. Individual spacecraft systems for the mission were considered, technology requirements and problem areas noted, and a number of recommendations made for technology study and advanced development. The most critical technology needs include attainment of 50-yr spacecraft lifetime and development of a long-life NEP system.

  6. Diffuse Interstellar Band Emission in the Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burton Williams, Theodore; Sarre, Peter; Marshall, Charlotte; Spekkens, Kristine; Kuzio de Naray, Rachel

    2015-08-01

    The longest-standing problem in astronomical spectroscopy is the identification of the carriers of the diffuse interstellar absorption bands (DIBs), the first examples of which were discovered on photographic plates almost 100 years ago. Most researchers consider a population of large carbon-based molecules to be responsible for the DIBs. Identification of the carriers would open a new probe of interstellar conditions and processes in interstellar clouds and could have implications far beyond - including the role of such molecules in star and planet formation and even for the origins of life. Only one clear-cut example exists where complementary emission (from a subset) of DIBs is seen - in the Red Rectangle nebula - where the emission is excited by radiation from the central star HD 44179.Recent Fabry-Perot observations towards galaxy NGC 1325 with the Southern African Large Telescope led to the serendipitous discovery of an emission feature centered at 6613 Å arising from material in the ISM of our Galaxy; this emission feature lies at the wavelength of one of the sharper and stronger diffuse bands normally seen in absorption, and it is one of the most prominent of the Red Rectangle emission bands. The flux of the feature is 4.2 ± 0.5 x 10-18 e/s/cm2 /arc-sec2. It appears that this is the first observation of emission from a diffuse band carrier in the ISM, excited in this case by the interstellar radiation field. Unlike the Red Rectangle, the emission from the ISM is expected to have a very low molecular rotational temperature, potentially as low as 3 K. Spectra of this nature will assist greatly in spectroscopic analysis and in refining the nature of the molecules responsible for the DIB spectrum.We present the discovery spectra and follow-up measurements for the expected strong DIB features at 6613, 5797, 5850 and 5418 Å, in fields near NGC 1325, near the Red Rectangle, and near Rho Ophiuchi.

  7. SOLAR RADIATION PRESSURE AND LOCAL INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM FLOW PARAMETERS FROM INTERSTELLAR BOUNDARY EXPLORER LOW ENERGY HYDROGEN MEASUREMENTS

    SciTech Connect

    Schwadron, N. A.; Moebius, E.; Kucharek, H.; Lee, M. A.; French, J.; Saul, L.; Wurz, P.; Bzowski, M.; Fuselier, S. A.; Livadiotis, G.; McComas, D. J.; Frisch, P.; Gruntman, M.; Mueller, H. R.

    2013-10-01

    Neutral hydrogen atoms that travel into the heliosphere from the local interstellar medium (LISM) experience strong effects due to charge exchange and radiation pressure from resonant absorption and re-emission of Lyα. The radiation pressure roughly compensates for the solar gravity. As a result, interstellar hydrogen atoms move along trajectories that are quite different than those of heavier interstellar species such as helium and oxygen, which experience relatively weak radiation pressure. Charge exchange leads to the loss of primary neutrals from the LISM and the addition of new secondary neutrals from the heliosheath. IBEX observations show clear effects of radiation pressure in a large longitudinal shift in the peak of interstellar hydrogen compared with that of interstellar helium. Here, we compare results from the Lee et al. interstellar neutral model with IBEX-Lo hydrogen observations to describe the distribution of hydrogen near 1 AU and provide new estimates of the solar radiation pressure. We find over the period analyzed from 2009 to 2011 that radiation pressure divided by the gravitational force (μ) has increased slightly from μ = 0.94 ± 0.04 in 2009 to μ = 1.01 ± 0.05 in 2011. We have also derived the speed, temperature, source longitude, and latitude of the neutral H atoms and find that these parameters are roughly consistent with those of interstellar He, particularly when considering the filtration effects that act on H in the outer heliosheath. Thus, our analysis shows that over the period from 2009 to 2011, we observe signatures of neutral H consistent with the primary distribution of atoms from the LISM and a radiation pressure that increases in the early rise of solar activity.

  8. Ultraviolet observations of cool stars. VII - Local interstellar hydrogen and deuterium Lyman-alpha

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcclintock, W.; Henry, R. C.; Linsky, J. L.; Moos, H. W.

    1978-01-01

    High-resolution Copernicus spectra of Epsilon Eri and Epsilon Ind containing interstellar hydrogen and deuterium L-alpha absorption lines are presented, reduced, and analyzed. Parameters of the interstellar hydrogen and deuterium toward these two stars are derived independently, without any assumptions concerning the D/H ratio. Copernicus spectra of Alpha Aur and Alpha Cen A are reanalyzed, and limits on the D/H number-density ratio consistent with the data for all four stars are considered. A comparison of the present estimates for the parameters of the local interstellar medium with those obtained by other techniques shows that there is no compelling evidence for significant variations in the hydrogen density and D/H ratio in the local interstellar medium. On this basis the hypothesis of an approaching local interstellar cloud proposed by Vidal-Madjar et al. (1978) is rejected

  9. Four Interstellar Dust Candidates from the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westphal, A. J.; Allen, C.; Bajt, S.; Bechtel, H. A.; Borg, J.; Brenker, F.; Bridges, J.; Brownlee, D. E.; Burchell, M.; Burghammer, M.; Butterworth, A. L.; Cloetens, P.; Davis, A. M.; Floss, C.; Flynn, G. J.; Fougeray, P.; Frank, D.; Gainsforth, Z.; Grun, E.; Heck, P. R.; Jillier, J. K.; Hoppe, P.; Howard, L.; Hudson, B.; Huss, G. R.

    2011-01-01

    In January 2006, the Stardust sample return capsule returned to Earth bearing the first solid samples from a primitive solar system body, Comet 81P/Wild2, and a collector dedicated to the capture and return of contemporary interstellar dust. Both collectors were approx. 0.1 sq m in area and were composed of aerogel tiles (85% of the collecting area) and aluminum foils. The Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector (SIDC) was exposed to the interstellar dust stream for a total exposure factor of 20 sq m/day. The Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination (ISPE) is a consortium-based project to characterize the collection using nondestructive techniques. The goals and restrictions of the ISPE are described . A summary of analytical techniques is described.

  10. Theoretical Modeling of Interstellar Chemistry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Charnley, Steven

    2009-01-01

    The chemistry of complex interstellar organic molecules will be described. Gas phase processes that may build large carbon-chain species in cold molecular clouds will be summarized. Catalytic reactions on grain surfaces can lead to a large variety of organic species, and models of molecule formation by atom additions to multiply-bonded molecules will be presented. The subsequent desorption of these mixed molecular ices can initiate a distinctive organic chemistry in hot molecular cores. The general ion-molecule pathways leading to even larger organics will be outlined. The predictions of this theory will be compared with observations to show how possible organic formation pathways in the interstellar medium may be constrained. In particular, the success of the theory in explaining trends in the known interstellar organics, in predicting recently-detected interstellar molecules, and, just as importantly, non-detections, will be discussed.

  11. Detection of H3+ in the diffuse interstellar medium toward Cygnus OB2 No. 12.

    PubMed

    McCall, B J; Geballe, T R; Hinkle, K H; Oka, T

    1998-03-20

    The molecular ion H3+ is considered the cornerstone of interstellar chemistry because it initiates the reactions responsible for the production of many larger molecules. Recently discovered in dense molecular clouds, H3+ has now been observed in the diffuse interstellar medium toward Cygnus OB2 No. 12. Analysis of H3+ chemistry suggests that the high H3+ column density (3.8 x 10(14) per square centimeter) is due not to a high H3+ concentration but to a long absorption path. This and other work demonstrate the ubiquity of H3+ and its potential as a probe of the physical and chemical conditions in the interstellar medium.

  12. Detection of Interstellar Urea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuo, Hsin-Lun; Remijan, Anthony J.; Snyder, Lewis E.; Looney, Leslie W.; Friedel, Douglas N.; Lovas, Francis J.; McCall, Benjamin J.; Hollis, Jan M.

    2010-11-01

    Urea, a molecule discovered in human urine by H. M. Rouelle in 1773, has a significant role in prebiotic chemistry. Previous BIMA observations have suggested that interstellar urea [(NH2)2CO] is a compact hot core molecule such as other large molecules (e.g. methyl formate and acetic acid). We have conducted an extensive search for urea toward the high mass hot molecular core Sgr B2(N-LMH) using BIMA, CARMA and the IRAM 30 m. Because the spectral lines of heavy molecules like urea tend to be weak and hot cores display lines from a wide range of molecules, it is necessary to detect a number of urea lines and apply sophisticated statistical tests before having confidence in an identification. The 1 mm resolution of CARMA enables favorable coupling of the source size and synthesized beam size, which was found to be essential for the detection of weak signals. We have detected a total of 65 spectral lines (32 molecular transitions and 33 unidentified transitions), most of which are narrower than the SEST survey (Nummelin et al. 1998) due to the small synthesized beam (2.5" x 2") of CARMA. It significantly resolves out the contamination by extended emission and reveals the eight weak urea lines that were previously blended with nearby transitions. Our analysis indicates that these lines are likely to be urea since the resulting observed line frequencies are coincident with a set of overlapping connecting urea lines, and the observed line intensities are consistent with the expected line strengths of urea. In addition, we have developed a new statistical approach to examine the spatial correlation between the observed lines by applying the Student's t test to the high resolution channel maps obtained from CARMA. The t test shows consistent spatial distributions from all eight candidate lines, suggesting a common molecular origin, urea. Our t test method could have a broad impact on the next generation of arrays, such as ALMA, because the new arrays will require a method

  13. The Interstellar Conspiracy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Matloff, Gregory L.

    2005-01-01

    If we were designing a human-carrying starship that could be launched in the not-too-distant future, it would almost certainly not use a warp drive to instantaneously bounce around the universe, as is done in Isaac Asimov's classic Foundation series or in episodes of Star Trek or Star Wars. Sadly, those starships that seem to be within technological reach could not even travel at high relativistic speeds, as does the interstellar ramjet in Poul Anderson's Tau Zero. Warp-speeds seem to be well outside the realm of currently understood physical law; proton-fusing ramjets may never be technologically feasible. Perhaps fortunately in our terrorist-plagued world, the economics of antimatter may never be attractive for large-scale starship propulsion. But interstellar travel will be possible within a few centuries, although it will certainly not be as fast as we might prefer. If humans learn how to hibernate, perhaps we will sleep our way to the stars, as do the crew in A. E. van Vogt's Far Centaurus. However, as discussed in a landmark paper in The Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, the most feasible approach to transporting a small human population to the planets (if any) of Alpha Centauri is the worldship. Such craft have often been featured in science fiction. See for example Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama, and Robert A. Heinlein's Orphans of the Sky. Worldships are essentially mobile versions of the O Neill free-space habitats. Constructed mostly from lunar and/or asteroidal materials, these solar-powered, multi-kilometer-dimension structures could house 10,000 to 100,000 humans in Earth-approximating environments. Artificial gravity would be provided by habitat rotation, and cosmic ray shielding would be provided by passive methods, such as habitat atmosphere and mass shielding, or magnetic fields. A late 21st century space-habitat venture might support itself economically by constructing large solar-powered satellites to beam energy back to

  14. Photoluminescence by Interstellar Dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vijh, U. P.

    2005-08-01

    In this dissertation, we report on our study of interstellar dust through the process of photoluminescence (PL). We present the discovery of a new band of dust PL, blue luminescence (BL) with λpeak˜370 nm in the proto-planetary nebula known as the Red Rectangle (RR). We attribute this to fluorescence by small, 3-4-ringed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules. Further analysis reveals additional independent evidence for the presence of small PAHs in this nebula. Detection of BL using long-slit spectroscopic observations in other ordinary reflection nebulae suggests that the BL carrier is an ubiquitous component of the ISM and is not restricted to the particular environment of the RR. We present the spatial distribution of the BL in these nebulae and find that the BL is spatially correlated with IR emission structures attributed to aromatic emission features (AEFs), attributed to PAHs. The carrier of the dust-associated photoluminescence process causing the extended red emission (ERE), known now for over twenty five years, remains unidentified. We constrain the character of the ERE carrier by determining the wavelengths of the radiation that initiates the ERE -- λ < 118 nm. We note that under interstellar conditions most PAH molecules are ionized to the di-cation stage by photons with E > 10.5 eV and that the electronic energy level structure of PAH di-cations is consistent with fluorescence in the wavelength band of the ERE. In the last few chapters of the dissertation we present first results from ongoing work: i) Using narrow-band imaging, we present the optical detection of the circum-binary disk of the RR in the light of the BL, and show that the morphology of the BL and ERE emissions in the RR nebula are almost mutually exclusive. It is very suggestive to attribute them to different ionization stages of the same family of carriers such as PAH molecules. ii) We also present a pure spectrum of the BL free of scattered light, resolved into seven

  15. On Ion Clusters in the Interstellar Gas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donn, Bertram

    1960-01-01

    In a recent paper V.I. Krassovsky (1958) predicts the occurrence of clusters of large numbers of atoms and molecules around ions in the interstellar gas. He then proposes a number of physicochemical processes that would be considerably enhanced by the high particle density in such clusters. In particular, he suggests that absorption by negative ions formed in the clusters would account for the interstellar extinction without any necessity for the presence of grains. Because of the important consequences that ion clusters could have, it is necessary to examine their occurrence more fully. This note re-examines the formation of ion clusters in space and shows that even ion-molecule pairs are essentially non-existent. Ion clusters have been considered by Bloom and Margenau (1952) from the same point of view as that used by Krassovsky, whose basic reference (Joffe and Semenov 1933) unfortunately is not available. A different approach has been used by Eyring, Hirschfelder, and Taylor (1936) following the methods of chemical equilibrium. Both the references cited here enable one to conclude that clustering is negligible. Therefore, the treatment of Eyring et al. is more appropriate than the method of Bloom and Margenau, which depends on the statistical equilibrium of an atmosphere in a force field.

  16. PROSPECTS FOR THE DETECTION OF INTERSTELLAR CYANOVINYLIDENE

    SciTech Connect

    Kolos, Robert; Gronowski, Marcin; Dobrowolski, Jan Cz.

    2009-08-10

    Prospects for the presence and detection of interstellar cyanovinylidene, CC(H)CN, a Y-shaped isomer of cyanoacetylene, are discussed. It is proposed that CC(H)CN can arise in interstellar clouds as one of the HC{sub 3}NH{sup +} + e {sup -} dissociative recombination products, by rearrangements of the neutral chain radical HC{sub 3}NH into branched species HCCC(H)N, CC(H)C(H)N, and/or HCC(H)CN, and by the subsequent elimination of a hydrogen atom. It is deduced that the abundance of cyanovinylidene in molecular clouds should be confined between the abundances of its chain isomers HNCCC and HCNCC. Quantum chemical predictions regarding cyanovinylidene geometry, ground-state rotational constants, centrifugal distortion constants, spin-orbit coupling, IR absorption spectroscopy, and electric dipole moment are given. The spectroscopically observed molecules formyl cyanide, NC{sub 2}(H)O, and propynal, HC{sub 3}(H)O, with structures qualitatively resembling cyanovinylidene, served to prove the adequacy of the calculational procedures employed.

  17. Interstellar molecular clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bally, J.

    1986-04-01

    The physical properties of the molecular phase of the interstellar medium are studied with regard to star formation and the structure of the Galaxy. Most observations of molecular clouds are made with single-dish, high-surface precision radio telescopes, with the best resolution attainable at 0.2 to 1 arcmin; the smallest structures that can be resolved are of order 10 to the 17th cm in diameter. It is now believed that: (1) most of the mass of the Galaxy is in the form of giant molecular clouds; (2) the largest clouds and those responsible for most massive star formation are concentrated in spiral arms; (3) the molecular clouds are the sites of perpetual star formation, and are significant in the chemical evolution of the Galaxy; (4) giant molecular clouds determine the evolution of the kinematic properties of galactic disk stars; (5) the total gas content is diminishing with time; and (6) most clouds have supersonic internal motions and do not form stars on a free-fall time scale. It is concluded that though progress has been made, more advanced instruments are needed to inspect the processes operating within stellar nurseries and to study the distribution of the molecular clouds in more distant galaxies. Instruments presently under construction which are designed to meet these ends are presented.

  18. Search for interstellar methane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knacke, R. F.; Kim, Y. H.; Noll, K. S.; Geballe, T. R.

    1990-01-01

    Researchers searched for interstellar methane in the spectra of infrared sources embedded in molecular clouds. New observations of several lines of the P and R branches of the nu 3 band of CH4 near 3.3 microns give column densities in the range N less than 1(-2) times 10 to the minus 16th power cm(-2). Resulting abundance ratios are (CH4)/(CO) less than 3.3 times 10 to the minus 2nd power toward GL961 in NGC 2244 and less than 2.4 times 10 to the minus 3rd power toward GL989 in the NGC 2264 molecular cloud. The limits, and those determined in earlier observations of BN in Orion and GL490, suggest that there is little methane in molecular clouds. The result agrees with predictions of chemical models. Exceptions could occur in clouds where oxygen may be depleted, for example by H2O freezing on grains. The present observations probably did not sample such regions.

  19. Editorial: Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX): Direct Sampling of the Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McComas, D. J.

    2012-02-01

    absorption (Redfield & Linsky 2008). Bzowski et al. also show evidence for a previously unknown and unanticipated secondary population of helium. Together, the Möbius et al. (2012) and Bzowski et al. (2012) results provide a new interstellar flow direction and a significantly lower velocity of the incoming gas and therefore significantly lower dynamic pressure on the heliosphere, which translates into a heliospheric interaction that is even less dominated by the external dynamic pressure and clearly lies squarely in the middle ground of astrospheres dominated by the external magnetic and dynamic pressures (McComas et al. 2009b). On another topic, Bochsler et al. (2012) report the first direct measurements of interstellar Ne and estimate the interstellar Ne/O abundance ratio, showing a gas-phase Ne/O ratio for the LISM of 0.27 ± 0.10. This value agrees with results obtained from pickup ion observations (Gloeckler & Geiss 2004; Gloeckler & Fisk 2007) and is significantly larger than the solar abundance ratio, indicating that the LISM is different than the Sun's formation region and/or that a substantial portion of the O in the LISM is tied up (and thus "hidden") in grains and/or ices. Finally, Saul et al. (2012) provide the first detailed analysis of the new interstellar H measurements from IBEX. These authors confirm that the arrival direction of interstellar H is offset from that of He. They further show a variation in the strength of the radiation pressure and thus a change in the apparent arrival direction of H penetrating to 1 AU between the first two years of IBEX observations; these results are consistent with solar cycle variations in the radiation pressure, which works opposite to the Sun's gravitational force to effect the penetration of H into the inner heliosphere. Together, these six studies provide the first detailed analyses of the multi-component local interstellar medium—a medium that both effects us by bounding and interacting with our heliosphere, and a

  20. Stardust interstellar preliminary examination (ISPE).

    SciTech Connect

    Westphal, A.J.; Allen, C.; Bajt, S.; Basset, R.; Flynn, G.L.; Sutton, S.

    2009-03-23

    The Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination (ISPE) is a three-year effort to characterize the Stardust interstellar dust collection and collector using non-destructive techniques. We summarize the status of the ISPE. In January 2006 the Stardust sample return capsule returned to Earth bearing the first solid samples from a primitive solar system body, Comet 81P/Wild2, and a collector dedicated to the capture and return of contemporary interstellar dust. Both collectors were {approx}0.1 m{sup 2} in area and were composed of aerogel tiles (85% of the collecting area) and aluminum foils. The Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector (SIDC) was exposed to the interstellar dust stream for a total exposure factor of 20 m{sup 2}-day during two periods before the cometary encounter. The Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination (ISPE) is a three-year effort to characterize the collection using nondestructive techniques. The goals and restrictions of the ISPE are described in Westphal et al. The ISPE consists of six interdependent projects: (1) Candidate identification through automated digital microscopy and a massively distributed, calibrated search; (2) Candidate extraction and photodocumentation; (3) Characterization of candidates through synchrotron-based Fourier-Tranform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Scanning X-Ray Fluoresence Microscopy (SXRF), and Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy (STXM); (4) Search for and analysis of craters in foils through FESEM scanning, Auger Spectroscopy and synchrotron-based Photoemission Electron Microscopy (PEEM); (5) Modeling of interstellar dust transport in the solar system; and (6) Laboratory simulations of hypervelocity dust impacts into the collecting media.

  1. Interstellar clouds containing optically thin H2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jura, M.

    1975-01-01

    The theory of Black and Delgarno that the relative populations of the excited rotational levels of H2 can be understood in terms of cascading following absorption in the Lyman and Werner bands is employed to infer the gas densities and radiation fields within diffuse interstellar clouds containing H2 that is optically thin in those bands. The procedure is described for computing the populations of the different rotation levels, the relative distribution among the different rotation levels of newly formed H2 is determined on the basis of five simplified models, and the rate of H2 formation is estimated. The results are applied to delta Ori, two components of iota Ori, the second components of rho Leo and zeta Ori, tau Sco, gamma Vel, and zeta Pup. The inferred parameters are summarized for each cloud.

  2. The mass spectrum of interstellar clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dickey, John M.; Garwood, Robert W.

    1989-01-01

    The abundances of diffuse clouds and molecular clouds in the inner Galaxy and at the solar circle are compared. Using results of recent low-latitude 21 cm absorption studies, the number of diffuse clouds per kiloparsec along the line of sight is derived as a function of the cloud column density, under two assumptions relating cloud densities and temperatures. The density of clouds is derived as a function of cloud mass. The results are consistent with a single, continuous mass spectrum for interstellar clouds from less than 1 solar mass to 1,000,000 solar masses, with perhaps a change of slope at masses where the atomic and molecular mass fractions are roughly equal.

  3. Identification of More Interstellar C60+ Bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, G. A. H.; Bohlender, D. A.; Maier, J. P.; Campbell, E. K.

    2015-10-01

    Based on gas-phase laboratory spectra at 6 K, Campbell et al. confirmed that the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) at 9632.7 and 9577.5 Å are due to absorption by the fullerene ion {{{C}}}60+. They also reported the detection of two other, weaker bands at 9428.5 and 9365.9 Å. These lie in spectral regions heavily contaminated by telluric water vapor lines. We acquired CFHT ESPaDOnS spectra of HD 183143 close to the zenith and chopped with a nearby standard to correct for the telluric line absorption which enabled us to detect a DIB at 9365.9 Å of relative width and strength comparable to the laboratory absorption. There is a DIB of similar strength and FWHM at 9362.5 Å. A stellar emission feature at 9429 Å prevented detection of the 9428.5 Å band. However, a CFHT archival spectrum of HD 169454, where emission is absent at 9429 Å, clearly shows the 9428.5 Å DIB with the expected strength and width. These results further confirm {{{C}}}60+ as a DIB carrier. Based on observations obtained at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), which is operated by the National Research Council of Canada, the Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique of France, and the University of Hawaii.

  4. "CHON" particles: The interstellar component of cometary dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lien, David J.

    1998-04-01

    Interstellar dust is characterized by strong absorption in the ultraviolet and the mid-IR. Current models of interstellar dust are based on three chemically distinct components: a form of carbon (usually graphite), a silicate, and a blend of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or other carbonaceous material. Previous work using effective medium theories to understand the optical properties of cometary dust suggested that an amalgam of materials could reproduce the observed interstellar and cometary dust features. Recently, Lawler and Brownlee (1992) re-analyzed the PIA and PUMA-1 data sets from the Giotto flyby of P/Halley and discovered that the so-called "CHON" particles were actually composed of a blend of carbon-bearing and silicon-bearing materials. Based on effective medium theories, the absorption spectrum of such a material would display the spectral features of each of the components - strong UV absorption from the carbonaceous component and strong absorption in the IR from the silicate component. To test this idea, vapor-deposited samples were created using two different deposition techniques: sputtering with an argon RF magnetron and deposition from an argon plasma torch. Two different compositions were tested: a blend of graphite and silica in a 7:1 ratio and an amalgam of materials whose approximate composition matches the "CHON"-silicate abundances for the uncompressed PIA data set of Lawler and Brownlee: graphite, iron oxide, magnesium oxide, ammonium sulfate, calcium carbonate, and silica in mass ratios of 6:4.3:4:2.2:1:9. The samples were finely ground and pressed into 2" diameter disks using a 40 ton press. In all, four different experiments were performed: one with each of the compositions (C:SiO and "CHON") in both the RF magnetron and the plasma torch chambers. The RF magnetron created a uniform dark thin film on the substrate surface, and the plasma torch created a coating of small (<100 micron) diameter grey particles. The spectra of all four

  5. "CHON" particles: The interstellar component of cometary dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lien, David J.

    1998-01-01

    Interstellar dust is characterized by strong absorption in the ultraviolet and the mid-IR. Current models of interstellar dust are based on three chemically distinct components: a form of carbon (usually graphite), a silicate, and a blend of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or other carbonaceous material. Previous work using effective medium theories to understand the optical properties of cometary dust suggested that an amalgam of materials could reproduce the observed interstellar and cometary dust features. Recently, Lawler and Brownlee (1992) re-analyzed the PIA and PUMA-1 data sets from the Giotto flyby of P/Halley and discovered that the so-called "CHON" particles were actually composed of a blend of carbon-bearing and silicon-bearing materials. Based on effective medium theories, the absorption spectrum of such a material would display the spectral features of each of the components - strong UV absorption from the carbonaceous component and strong absorption in the IR from the silicate component. To test this idea, vapor-deposited samples were created using two different deposition techniques: sputtering with an argon RF magnetron and deposition from an argon plasma torch. Two different compositions were tested: a blend of graphite and silica in a 7:1 ratio and an amalgam of materials whose approximate composition matches the "CHON"-silicate abundances for the uncompressed PIA data set of Lawler and Brownlee: graphite, iron oxide, magnesium oxide, ammonium sulfate, calcium carbonate, and silica in mass ratios of 6:4.3:4:2.2:1:9. The samples were finely ground and pressed into 2" diameter disks using a 40 ton press. In all, four different experiments were performed: one with each of the compositions (C:SiO and "CHON") in both the RF magnetron and the plasma torch chambers. The RF magnetron created a uniform dark thin film on the substrate surface, and the plasma torch created a coating of small (<100 micron) diameter grey particles. The spectra of all four

  6. Interstellar Electron Density Spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lambert, Hendrick Clark

    This study concerns the investigation of the form of the wavenumber spectrum of the Galactic electron density fluctuations through an examination of the scattering of the radio pulses emitted by pulsars as they propagate through the diffuse ionized interstellar gas. A widely used model for the electron density spectrum is based on the simple power-law: Pne(q)∝ q-β, where β = 11/3 is usually assumed, corresponding to Kolmogorov's turbulence spectrum. The simple Kolmogorov model provides satisfactory agreement for observations along many lines of sight; however, major inconsistencies remain. The inconsistencies suggest that an increase in the ratio of the power between the high (10-8[ m]-1≤ q<=10-7[ m]-1) and low (10-13[ m]-1≤ q<=10-12[ m]-1) wavenumbers is needed. This enhancement in the ratio can in turn be achieved by either including an inner scale, corresponding to a dissipation scale for the turbulent cascade, in the Kolmogorov spectrum or by considering steeper spectra. Spectra with spectral exponents β > 4 have been in general rejected based on observations of pulsar refractive scintillations. The special case of β = 4 has been given little attention and is analyzed in detail. Physically, this 'β = 4' model corresponds to the random distribution, both in location and orientation, of discrete objects with relatively sharp boundaries across the line of sight. An outer scale is included in the model to account for the average size of such objects. We compare the predictions of the inner-scale and β = 4 models both with published observations and observations we made as part of this investigation. We conclude that the form of the wavenumber spectrum is dependent on the line of sight. We propose a composite spectrum featuring a uniform background turbulence in presence of randomly distributed discrete objects, as modeled by the β = model.

  7. Interstellar Sweat Equity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, M. H.; Becker, R. E.; O'Donnell, D. J.; Brody, A. R.

    So, you have just launched aboard the Starship, headed to an exoplanet light years from Earth. You will spend the rest of your natural life on this journey in the expectation and hope that your grandchildren will arrive safely, land, and build a new settlement. You will need to govern the community onboard the Starship. This system of governance must meet unique requirements for participation, representation, and decision-making. On a spaceship that can fly and operate by itself, what will the crewmembers do for their generations in transit? Certainly, they will train and train again to practice the skills they will need upon arrival at a new world. However, this vicarious practice neither suffices to prepare the future pioneers for their destiny at a new star nor will it provide them with the satisfaction in their own work. To hone the crewmembers' inventive and technical skills, to challenge and prepare them for pioneering, the crew would build and expand the interstellar ship in transit. This transstellar ``sweat equity'' gives a stake in the enterprise to all the people, providing meaningful and useful activity to the new generations of crewmembers. They build all the new segments of the vessel from raw materials - including atmosphere - stored on board. Construction of new pressure shell modules would be one option, but they also reconstruct or fill-in existing pressurized volumes. The crew makes new life support system components and develops new agricultural modules in anticipation of their future needs. Upon arrival at the new star or planet, the crew shall apply these robustly developed skills and self-sufficient spirit to their new home.

  8. Surface science studies of ethene containing model interstellar ices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puletti, F.; Whelan, M.; Brown, W. A.

    2011-05-01

    The formation of saturated hydrocarbons in the interstellar medium (ISM) is difficult to explain only by taking into account gas phase reactions. This is mostly due to the fact that carbonium ions only react with H_2 to make unsaturated hydrocarbons, and hence no viable route to saturated hydrocarbons has been postulated to date. It is therefore likely that saturation processes occur via surface reactions that take place on interstellar dust grains. One of the species of interest in this family of reactions is C_2H_4 (ethene) which is an intermediate in several molecular formation routes (e.g. C_2H_2 → C_2H_6). To help to understand some of the surface processes involving ethene, a study of ethene deposited on a dust grain analogue surface (highly oriented pyrolytic graphite) held under ultra-high vacuum at 20 K has been performed. The adsorption and desorption of ethene has been studied both in water-free and water-dominated model interstellar ices. A combination of temperature programmed desorption (TPD) and reflection absorption infrared spectroscopy (RAIRS) have been used to identify the adsorbed and trapped species and to determine the kinetics of the desorption processes. In all cases, ethene is found to physisorb on the carbonaceous surface. As expected water has a very strong influence on the desorption of ethene, as previously observed for other model interstellar ice systems.

  9. Anomalous Oxygen and Krypton Abundances in Interstellar Gas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meyer, David M.

    2004-01-01

    The primary objective of this program was to obtain FUSE observations of the interstellar H2 absorption toward a sample of stars observed with the HST STIS spectrograph as part of the ISM SNAP Survey. This Survey was designed to produce a database of high quality, high resolution W spectra from which interstellar gas-phase elemental abundances could be derived for large portions of the Galaxy. In particular, oxygen and krypton were chosen as excellent tracers for measuring the homogeneity of the interstellar gas due to their weak depletion into dust grains. The gas-phase 0 and Kr abundances relative to total hydrogen column density had previously been shown with HST GHRS measurements to be essentially constant in the local Milky Way. One of the main motivations of the ISM SNAP Survey was to determine if this constancy held at greater distances and in denser sightlines (where depletion into dust could be a possibility). The initial ISM SNAP STIS observations indicated a number of sightlines with unusual 0 and Kr abundances relative to the measured H I column densities. Since the appropriate benchmark for accurate abundance comparisons is the total hydrogen column density (H I plus H2), FUSE observations of interstellar H2 were carried out in these sightlines in order to determine if they represent cases of true abundance anomalies.

  10. Interstellar Extinction and Polarization by Graphite-Silicate Clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, E. T.; Draine, B. T.

    2004-12-01

    The geometry of interstellar dust continues to be uncertain. In some models, intertellar grains are assumed to homogeneous spheres, with a suitable mixture of sizes and compositions in order to reproduce observations of of absorption and scattering (e.g., Weingartner & Draine 2001, or Zubko et al. 2004). However, it is often thought that the larger interstellar grains may be formed by agglomeration of smaller particles, with the resulting ``cluster'' being of nonuniform composition and having a ``fluffy'' geometry. The optical properties of such ``fluffy'' grains have sometimes been estimated using ``effective medium theory'' or other approximations, but it is now possible to directly calculate scattering and absorption using the discrete dipole approximation (Draine & Flatau 1994). We construct candidate clusters by random ballistic agglomeration of small graphite and silicate spheres, and calculate their scattering and absorption cross sections using the discrete dipole approximation code DDSCAT 6.x (Draine & Flatau 2004). We consider a model for interstellar dust consisting of very small grains plus clusters built by ballistic agglomeration with a suitable size distribution, and we test the model by trying to reproduce the observed wavelength dependence of interstellar extinction and polarization. This research was supported in part by NSF grants AST-0216105 and AST-0406883. References: Draine, B.T., & Flatau, P.J. 1994, JOSA, A11, 1491l Draine, B.T., & Flatau, P.J. 2004, http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0409262l Weingartner, J.C., & Draine, B.T. 2001, ApJ, 548, 296l Zubko, V., Dwek, E., & Arendt, R.G. 2004, ApJS, 152, 211l

  11. Interstellar Isotopes: Prospects with ALMA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Charnley Steven B.

    2010-01-01

    Cold molecular clouds are natural environments for the enrichment of interstellar molecules in the heavy isotopes of H, C, N and O. Anomalously fractionated isotopic material is found in many primitive Solar System objects, such as meteorites and comets, that may trace interstellar matter that was incorporated into the Solar Nebula without undergoing significant processing. Models of the fractionation chemistry of H, C, N and O in dense molecular clouds, particularly in cores where substantial freeze-out of molecules on to dust has occurred, make several predictions that can be tested in the near future by molecular line observations. The range of fractionation ratios expected in different interstellar molecules will be discussed and the capabilities of ALMA for testing these models (e.g. in observing doubly-substituted isotopologues) will be outlined.

  12. Silicon chemistry in interstellar clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Langer, William D.; Glassgold, A. E.

    1990-01-01

    A new model of interstellar silicon chemistry is presented that explains the lack of SiO detections in cold clouds and contains an exponential temperature dependence for the SiO abundance. A key aspect of the model is the sensitivity of SiO production by neutral silicon reactions to density and temperature, which arises from the dependence of the rate coefficients on the population of the excited fine-structure levels of the silicon atom. As part of the explanation of the lack of SiO detections at low temperatures and densities, the model also emphasizes the small efficiencies of the production routes and the correspondingly long times needed to reach equilibrium. Measurements of the abundance of SiO, in conjunction with theory, can provide information on the physical properties of interstellar clouds such as the abundance of oxygen bearing molecules and the depletion of interstellar silicon.

  13. An Interstellar Sail before 2020?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matloff, G. L.; Johnson, L.

    In 2017, NASA plans to launch the Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout, a solar-photon-sail propelled probe to rendezvous with one or more near-Earth asteroids. According to a publication describing early design parameters, the spacecraft mass is 12 kg and the square sail has an area of 83 square meters. This craft, like many other NASA science missions, will likely remain functional after the completion of its primary mission. This paper investigates options for application of this spacecraft during its extended mission as an Interstellar Trailblazer. As well as kinematics, thermal aspects and the communications challenges are discussed. Although interstellar velocities for this craft will not be high and engineering the pre-perihelion trajectory will be challenging, an extended demonstration mission of this type would certainly spur interest in the development of true interstellar sails. As of December 2014, the design of this spacecraft continues to evolve. The performance estimates presented here may be overly conservative.

  14. Theory of interstellar medium diagnostics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fahr, H. J.

    1983-01-01

    The theoretical interpretation of observed interplanetary resonance luminescence patterns is used as one of the must promising methods to determine the state of the local interstellar medium (LISM). However, these methods lead to discrepant results that would be hard to understand in the framework of any physical LISM scenario. Assuming that the observational data are reliable, two possibilities which could help to resolve these discrepancies are discussed: (1) the current modeling of resonance luminescence patterns is unsatisfactory and has to be improved, and (2) the extrapolated interstellar parameters are not indicative of the unperturbed LISM state, but rather designate an intermediate state attained in the outer regions of the solar system. It is shown that a quantitative treatment of the neutral gas-plasma interaction effects in the interface between the heliospheric and the interstellar plasmas is of major importance for the correct understanding of the whole complex.

  15. Interrelationships between interstellar and interplanetary grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clayton, D. D.

    1986-01-01

    The relationship between solar system dust (SSD) and interstellar dust particles (ISMD) is being reconsidered because of the discovery of isotopic anomalies in meteorites. Meteoritic, circumstellar/meteoritic, interstellar/meteoritic, planetary, and cometary data are reviewed.

  16. Measuring Interstellar Inheritance and Its Consequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexander, C. M. O'D.; Nittler, L. R.; Davidson, J.; Ciesla, F. J.

    2016-08-01

    CIs, chondrite matrices and IDP accreted ~10 % of pristine interstellar material (ices, silicates, organics). The non-solar O isotopic compositions of most solar materials reflect early heating of interstellar dust and ices in FU Orionis outbursts.

  17. Interstellar Initiative Web Page Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mehta, Alkesh

    1999-01-01

    This summer at NASA/MSFC, I have contributed to two projects: Interstellar Initiative Web Page Design and Lenz's Law Relative Motion Demonstration. In the Web Design Project, I worked on an Outline. The Web Design Outline was developed to provide a foundation for a Hierarchy Tree Structure. The Outline would help design a Website information base for future and near-term missions. The Website would give in-depth information on Propulsion Systems and Interstellar Travel. The Lenz's Law Relative Motion Demonstrator is discussed in this volume by Russell Lee.

  18. Electric propulsion and interstellar flight

    SciTech Connect

    Matloff, G.L.

    1987-01-01

    Two general classes of interstellar space-flights are defined: endothermic and exothermic. Endothermic methods utilize power sources external to the vehicle and associated technology. Faster exothermic methods utilize on-board propulsive power sources or energy-beam technology. Various proposed endothermic electric propulsion methods are described. These include solar electric rockets, mass drivers, and ramjets. A review of previously suggested exothermic electric propulsion methods is presented. Following this review is a detailed discussion of possible near future application of the beamed-laser ramjet, mainly for ultimate relativistic travel. Electric/magnetic techniques offer an excellent possibility for decelerating an interstellar vehicle, regardless of the acceleration technique. 20 references.

  19. Interstellar Initiative Web Page Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehta, Alkesh

    1999-10-01

    This summer at NASA/MSFC, I have contributed to two projects: Interstellar Initiative Web Page Design and Lenz's Law Relative Motion Demonstration. In the Web Design Project, I worked on an Outline. The Web Design Outline was developed to provide a foundation for a Hierarchy Tree Structure. The Outline would help design a Website information base for future and near-term missions. The Website would give in-depth information on Propulsion Systems and Interstellar Travel. The Lenz's Law Relative Motion Demonstrator is discussed in this volume by Russell Lee.

  20. Interstellar Flight by Particle Beam

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2001-01-01

    Two difficulties with the use of laser-propelled lightsails for interstellar propulsion are the extremely low energy efficiency, and the extremely large lenses required. Both the energy efficiency and the required lens size may be greatly improved by use of a particle beam, rather than a light beam. The particle beam is reflected by a magnetic field on the spacecraft, for example, by a magnetic sail or a mini-magnetosphere inflated by a plasma current. This results in a net force on the sail with no expenditure of propellant, allowing extremely high delta-V missions, such as an interstellar probe, to be accomplished.

  1. Interstellar Grains: 50 Years On

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wickramasinghe, N. Chandra

    2011-12-01

    Our understanding of the nature of interstellar grains has evolved considerably over the past half century with the present author and Fred Hoyle being intimately involved at several key stages of progress. The currently fashionable graphite-silicate-organic grain model has all its essential aspects unequivocally traceable to original peer-reviewedpublicationsbytheauthorand/orFredHoyle. Theprevailingreluctancetoaccepttheseclear-cut priorities may be linked to our further work that argued for interstellar grains and organics to have a biological provenance - a position perceived as heretical. The biological model, however, continues to provide a powerful unifying hypothesis for a vast amount of otherwise disconnected and disparate astronomical data.

  2. The formation of interstellar jets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tenorio-Tagle, G.; Canto, J.; Rozyczka, M.

    1988-01-01

    The formation of interstellar jets by convergence of supersonic conical flows and the further dynamical evolution of these jets are investigated theoretically by means of numerical simulations. The results are presented in extensive graphs and characterized in detail. Strong radiative cooling is shown to result in jets with Mach numbers 2.5-29 propagating to lengths 50-100 times their original widths, with condensation of swept-up interstellar matter at Mach 5 or greater. The characteristics of so-called molecular outflows are well reproduced by the simulations of low-Mach-number and quasi-adiabatic jets.

  3. C2 and Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaźmierczak, M.; Schmidt, M.; Weselak, T.; Galazutdinov, G.; Krełowski, J.

    2014-02-01

    C2, the simplest multicarbon molecule is a useful astronomical tool, because the analysis of its lines allows to determine the physical conditions in interstellar clouds. C2 abundances give information about the chemistry of interstellar clouds, especially on the pathway to the formation of long-chain carbon molecules, which may be connected with carriers of diffuse interstellar bands (Douglas 1977, Thorburn et al. 2003). Here we summarize all relations between C2 and diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs).

  4. Experimental interstellar organic chemistry - Preliminary findings

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Khare, B. N.; Sagan, C.

    1973-01-01

    Review of the results of some explicit experimental simulation of interstellar organic chemistry consisting in low-temperature high-vacuum UV irradiation of condensed simple gases known or suspected to be present in the interstellar medium. The results include the finding that acetonitrile may be present in the interstellar medium. The implication of this and other findings are discussed.

  5. Interstellar Aldehydes and their corresponding Reduced Alcohols: Interstellar Propanol?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Etim, Emmanuel; Chakrabarti, Sandip Kumar; Das, Ankan; Gorai, Prasanta; Arunan, Elangannan

    2016-07-01

    There is a well-defined trend of aldehydes and their corresponding reduced alcohols among the known interstellar molecules; methanal (CH_2O) and methanol (CH_3OH); ethenone (C_2H_2O) and vinyl alcohol (CH_2CHOH); ethanal (C_2H_4O) and ethanol(C_2H_5OH); glycolaldehyde (C_2H_4O_2) and ethylene glycol(C_2H_6O_2). The reduced alcohol of propanal (CH_3CH_2CHO) which is propanol (CH_3CH_2CH_2OH) has not yet been observed but its isomer; ethyl methyl ether (CH_3CH_2OCH_3) is a known interstellar molecule. In this article, different studies are carried out in investigating the trend between aldehydes and their corresponding reduced alcohols and the deviation from the trend. Kinetically and with respect to the formation route, alcohols could have been produced from their corresponding reduced aldehydes via two successive hydrogen additions. This is plausible because of (a) the unquestionable high abundance of hydrogen, (b) presence of energy sources within some of the molecular clouds and (c) the ease at which successive hydrogen addition reaction occurs. In terms of stability, the observed alcohols are thermodynamically favorable as compared to their isomers. Regarding the formation process, the hydrogen addition reactions are believed to proceed on the surface of the interstellar grains which leads to the effect of interstellar hydrogen bonding. From the studies, propanol and propan-2-ol are found to be more strongly attached to the surface of the interstellar dust grains which affects its overall gas phase abundance as compared to its isomer ethyl methyl ether which has been observed.

  6. PAH Clusters as Sources of Interstellar Infrared Emission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roser, J. E.; Ricca, A.

    2015-03-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (or PAHs) have been the subject of astrochemical research for several decades as principal sources of the interstellar aromatic infrared emission bands. PAH clusters could possibly contribute to these emission bands, but a lack of data on their infrared properties has made this hypothesis difficult to evaluate. Here we investigate homogeneous neutral PAH clusters by measuring the mid-infrared absorption spectra of the five nonlinear PAH molecules phenanthrene, chrysene, pyrene, perylene, and benzo[ghi]perylene within solid argon ice at a fixed temperature of 5 K. We attribute observed spectral shifts in their principal absorption bands as a function of argon/PAH ratio to clustering of the PAH molecules within the argon matrix. These shifts are related to the cluster structures forming in the matrix and the topology of the monomer PAH molecule. We predict that interstellar PAH molecules that are relatively large (no fewer than 50 carbon atoms per molecule) and compact will have clusters that contribute to the asymmetrically red-shaded profile of the interstellar 11.2 μm emission band.

  7. POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBON CLUSTERS AS SOURCES OF INTERSTELLAR INFRARED EMISSION

    SciTech Connect

    Roser, J. E.; Ricca, A.

    2015-03-10

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (or PAHs) have been the subject of astrochemical research for several decades as principal sources of the interstellar aromatic infrared emission bands. PAH clusters could possibly contribute to these emission bands, but a lack of data on their infrared properties has made this hypothesis difficult to evaluate. Here we investigate homogeneous neutral PAH clusters by measuring the mid-infrared absorption spectra of the five nonlinear PAH molecules phenanthrene, chrysene, pyrene, perylene, and benzo[ghi]perylene within solid argon ice at a fixed temperature of 5 K. We attribute observed spectral shifts in their principal absorption bands as a function of argon/PAH ratio to clustering of the PAH molecules within the argon matrix. These shifts are related to the cluster structures forming in the matrix and the topology of the monomer PAH molecule. We predict that interstellar PAH molecules that are relatively large (no fewer than 50 carbon atoms per molecule) and compact will have clusters that contribute to the asymmetrically red-shaded profile of the interstellar 11.2 μm emission band.

  8. Isotopic Fractionation in Interstellar Chemistry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Charnley, Steven

    2009-01-01

    Isotopically fractionated material is found in many solar system objects, including meteorites and comets. It is thought, in some cases, to trace interstellar material that was incorporated into the solar sys tem without undergoing significant processing. In this poster, we sho w the results of several models of the nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon f ractionation in proto-stellar cores.

  9. Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination (ISPE)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westphal, A. J.; Allen, C.; Bajt, S.; Basset, R.; Bastien, R.; Bechtel, H.; Bleuet, P.; Borg, J.; Brenker F.; Bridges, J.

    2009-01-01

    In January 2006 the Stardust sample return capsule returned to Earth bearing the first solid samples from a primitive solar system body, C omet 81P/Wild2, and a collector dedicated to the capture and return o f contemporary interstellar dust. Both collectors were approximately 0.1m(exp 2) in area and were composed of aerogel tiles (85% of the co llecting area) and aluminum foils. The Stardust Interstellar Dust Col lector (SIDC) was exposed to the interstellar dust stream for a total exposure factor of 20 m(exp 2-) day during two periods before the co metary encounter. The Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination ( ISPE) is a three-year effort to characterize the collection using no ndestructive techniques. The ISPE consists of six interdependent proj ects: (1) Candidate identification through automated digital microsco py and a massively distributed, calibrated search (2) Candidate extr action and photodocumentation (3) Characterization of candidates thro ugh synchrotronbased FourierTranform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), S canning XRay Fluoresence Microscopy (SXRF), and Scanning Transmission Xray Microscopy (STXM) (4) Search for and analysis of craters in f oils through FESEM scanning, Auger Spectroscopy and synchrotronbased Photoemission Electron Microscopy (PEEM) (5) Modeling of interstell ar dust transport in the solar system (6) Laboratory simulations of h ypervelocity dust impacts into the collecting media

  10. Radar Detection of Interstellar Dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baggaley, J.

    2003-04-01

    As primordial building material of complexes like our own solar system, dust is centrally important in the evolution of such planetary systems. Circumstellar dust can be sensed associated with Young Stellar Objects, IR excess stars and forms the ejecta of red giants, carbon-rich stars and supernovae. Interstellar dust can be cumulatively sensed over astronomically long sight-lines by the extinction, scattering and polarisation of starlight. The direct detection of interstellar dust (ISD) particles flowing into the solar system is important because such observations can directly probe the local cloud interstellar dust environment and can sense discrete stellar sources. The Advanced Meteor Orbit Radar (AMOR) is a facility designed to measure the trajectories of dust impacting the Earth's atmosphere: the continuously operating radar is able to archive a large (˜ 10^6) data-base of dust trajectories and so is able to map the inflow directions of interstellar material into the solar system. Such Earth-based mapping of ISD dynamics complements the in-situ impact detections by space missions such as Ulysses and Stardust.

  11. Erratum: Interstellar Abundance Standards Revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sofia, U. J.; Meyer, D. M.

    2001-09-01

    In the Letter ``Interstellar Abundance Standards Revisited'' by U. J. Sofia and D. M. Meyer (ApJ, 554, L221 [2001]), Table 2 and its footnotes contain several typographical errors. The corrected table is shown below. We note that the solar reference standard now implies a positive abundance of nitrogen in halo dust.

  12. Term Projects on Interstellar Comets

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mack, John E.

    1975-01-01

    Presents two calculations of the probability of detection of an interstellar comet, under the hypothesis that such comets would escape from comet clouds similar to that believed to surround the sun. Proposes three problems, each of which would be a reasonable term project for a motivated undergraduate. (Author/MLH)

  13. Accurate Modeling of X-ray Extinction by Interstellar Grains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffman, John; Draine, B. T.

    2016-02-01

    Interstellar abundance determinations from fits to X-ray absorption edges often rely on the incorrect assumption that scattering is insignificant and can be ignored. We show instead that scattering contributes significantly to the attenuation of X-rays for realistic dust grain size distributions and substantially modifies the spectrum near absorption edges of elements present in grains. The dust attenuation modules used in major X-ray spectral fitting programs do not take this into account. We show that the consequences of neglecting scattering on the determination of interstellar elemental abundances are modest; however, scattering (along with uncertainties in the grain size distribution) must be taken into account when near-edge extinction fine structure is used to infer dust mineralogy. We advertise the benefits and accuracy of anomalous diffraction theory for both X-ray halo analysis and near edge absorption studies. We present an open source Fortran suite, General Geometry Anomalous Diffraction Theory (GGADT), that calculates X-ray absorption, scattering, and differential scattering cross sections for grains of arbitrary geometry and composition.

  14. Constraining the Properties of Cold Interstellar Clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spraggs, Mary Elizabeth; Gibson, Steven J.

    2016-01-01

    Since the interstellar medium (ISM) plays an integral role in star formation and galactic structure, it is important to understand the evolution of clouds over time, including the processes of cooling and condensation that lead to the formation of new stars. This work aims to constrain and better understand the physical properties of the cold ISM by utilizing large surveys of neutral atomic hydrogen (HI) 21cm spectral line emission and absorption, carbon monoxide (CO) 2.6mm line emission, and multi-band infrared dust thermal continuum emission. We identify areas where the gas may be cooling and forming molecules using HI self-absorption (HISA), in which cold foreground HI absorbs radiation from warmer background HI emission.We are developing an algorithm that uses total gas column densities inferred from Planck and other FIR/sub-mm data in parallel with CO and HISA spectral line data to determine the gas temperature, density, molecular abundance, and other properties as functions of position. We can then map these properties to study their variation throughout an individual cloud as well as any dependencies on location or environment within the Galaxy.Funding for this work was provided by the National Science Foundation, the NASA Kentucky Space Grant Consortium, the WKU Ogden College of Science and Engineering, and the Carol Martin Gatton Academy for Mathematics and Science in Kentucky.

  15. The Interstellar Abundance of Lead: Experimental Oscillator Strengths for Pb II λ1203 and λ1433 and New Detections of Pb II in the Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ritchey, Adam Michael; Heidarian, Negar; Irving, Richard E.; Federman, Steven R.; Ellis, David G.; Cheng, Song; Curtis, Larry J.; Furman, W. A.

    2015-08-01

    Accurate gas-phase abundances of ions in the interstellar medium may be obtained through the analysis of interstellar absorption lines, but only if the oscillator strengths (f-values) of the relevant transitions are well known. For dominant ions, comparison of the gas-phase abundance with the appropriate solar reference abundance yields the degree to which the element is incorporated into interstellar dust grains. Singly-ionized lead is the dominant form of this element in the neutral interstellar medium. However, while Pb II has several strong resonance lines in the ultraviolet, the f-values for these transitions are uncertain. Here, we present the first experimentally determined oscillator strengths for the Pb II transitions at 1203.6 Å and 1433.9 Å, obtained from lifetime measurements made using beam-foil techniques. We also present new detections of these lines in the interstellar medium from an analysis of archival spectra acquired by the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph onboard the Hubble Space Telescope. Notably, our observations of the Pb II λ1203 line represent the first detection of this transition in interstellar gas. Our experimental f-values for the Pb II λ1203 and λ1433 transitions are consistent with recent theoretical results, including our own relativistic calculations, but are significantly smaller than previous values based on older calculations. For the Pb II λ1433 line, in particular, our new f-value yields an increase in the interstellar abundance of Pb of 0.43 dex over estimates based on the f-value listed by Morton. With our revised f-values, and with our new detections of Pb II λ1203 and λ1433, we find that the depletion of Pb onto interstellar grains is not nearly as severe as previously thought, and is very similar to the depletions seen for elements such as Zn and Sn, which have similar condensation temperatures.

  16. PAHs in Translucent Interstellar Clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salama, Farid; Galazutdinov, G.; Krelowski, J.; Biennier, L.; Beletsky, Y.; Song, I.

    2011-05-01

    We discuss the proposal of relating the origin of some of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) to neutral polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) present in translucent interstellar clouds. The spectra of several cold, isolated gas-phase PAHs have been measured in the laboratory under experimental conditions that mimic the interstellar conditions and are compared with an extensive set of astronomical spectra of reddened, early type stars. This comparison provides - for the first time - accurate upper limits for the abundances of specific PAH molecules along specific lines-of-sight. Something that is not attainable from IR observations alone. The comparison of these unique laboratory data with high resolution, high S/N ratio astronomical observations leads to two major findings: (1) a finding specific to the individual molecules that were probed in this study and, which leads to the clear and unambiguous conclusion that the abundance of these specific neutral PAHs must be very low in the individual translucent interstellar clouds that were probed in this survey (PAH features remain below the level of detection) and, (2) a general finding that neutral PAHs exhibit intrinsic band profiles that are similar to the profile of the narrow DIBs indicating that the carriers of the narrow DIBs must have close molecular structure and characteristics. This study is the first quantitative survey of neutral PAHs in the optical range and it opens the way for unambiguous quantitative searches of PAHs in a variety of interstellar and circumstellar environments. // Reference: F. Salama et al. (2011) ApJ. 728 (1), 154 // Acknowledgements: F.S. acknowledges the support of the NASA's Space Mission Directorate APRA Program. J.K. acknowledges the financial support of the Polish State (grant N203 012 32/1550). The authors are deeply grateful to the ESO archive as well as to the ESO staff members for their active support.

  17. The Sun's dusty interstellar environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sterken, Veerle

    2016-07-01

    The Sun's dusty interstellar environment Interstellar dust from our immediate interstellar neighborhood travels through the solar system at speeds of ca. 26 km/s: the relative speed of the solar system with respect to the local interstellar cloud. On its way, its trajectories are altered by several forces like the solar radiation pressure force and Lorentz force. The latter is due to the charged dust particles that fly through the interplanetary magnetic field. These trajectories differ per particle type and size and lead to varying fluxes and directions of the flow inside of the solar system that depend on location but also on phase in the solar cycle. Hence, these fluxes and directions depend strongly on the configuration of the inner regions and outer regions of the heliosphere. Several missions have measured this dust in the solar system directly. The Ulysses dust detector data encompasses 16 years of intestellar dust fluxes and approximate directions, Stardust captured returned to Earth a few of these particles sucessfully, and finally the Cassini dust detector allowed for compositional information to be obtained from the impacts on the instrument. In this talk, we give an overview of the current status of interstellar dust research through the measurements made inside of the solar system, and we put them in perspective to the knowledge obtained from more classical astronomical means. In special, we focus on the interaction of the dust with the interplanetary magnetic field, and on what we learn about the dust (and the fields) by comparing the available dust data to computer simulations of dust trajectories. Finally, we synthesize the different methods of observation, their results, and give a preview on new research opportunities in the coming year(s).

  18. Variable interstellar lines in spectra of HD 73882

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galazutdinov, G.; Krełowski, J.; Beletsky, Y.; Valyavin, G.

    2013-11-01

    We report a detection of variability in interstellar absorption lines of Cai at 4227 Å and Fei at 3860 Å in very high signal-to-noise ratio (>1000) UVES and MIKE spectra of HD 73882 (NX Vel) carried out with the aid of 8-m telescope UT2 at Paranal and 6.5-m Magellan Telescope Clay at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile. The spectra, acquired in 2006 January and 2012 January, respectively, clearly show that the intensity and profile shapes of the Cai and Fei lines had dramatically changed within the 6 year period. Other interstellar features, observed along the same line of sight, do not demonstrate strong changes. It is likely that a high velocity CaFe cloud obscured the star between the two observations.

  19. The interstellar medium on the Gamma Cassiopeiae line of sight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferlet, R.; York, D. G.; Vidal-Madjar, A.; Laurent, C.

    1980-01-01

    The interstellar medium on the Gamma Cas line of sight is studied through the observations of O I, H2, H I, D I, and Ar I absorption features with the Copernicus satellite. By using the velocity structure of the line of sight previously determined through atomic nitrogen, it is demonstrated that these neutrals are located in the same physical regions and that the O I and Ar I abundances could be solar, on the average, relative to N I in all components. The 1066.660 A Ar I line profile is contaminated by an unidentified line, already detected in the spectrum of Zeta Pup. Furthermore, a peculiar behavior of the Ar I abundance in the different components is reported, possibly associated with high-velocity interstellar gas present on the line of sight. It is concluded that the Gamma Cas line of sight could intercept a dense cloud which has been engulfed and disrupted by a shock.

  20. Ultraviolet observations of cool stars. VIII - Interstellar matter toward Procyon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, R. C.; Henry, R. C.; Moos, H. W.; Linsky, J. L.

    1978-01-01

    The profile of the chromospheric L-alpha emission line of the F5 IV-V star Procyon (Alpha CMi, d = 3.5 pc) has been measured using the high-resolution Princeton spectrometer aboard NASA's Copernicus satellite. L-alpha absorption lines of interstellar deuterium and hydrogen are distinctly present. The average number density of interstellar hydrogen along the line of sight is found to be 0.11 + or - 0.02 per cu cm, similar to the densities that have been found in the directions of the stars Epsilon Eri, Epsilon Ind, and Alpha Cen A. These stars are all within 3.5 pc of the earth. The ratio of deuterium to hydrogen in the direction of Procyon is found to be 1.3 (+1.2, -0.5) x 10 to the -5th.

  1. A survey of interstellar neutral potassium. I - Abundances and physical conditions in clouds toward 188 early-type stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chaffee, F. H., Jr.; White, R. E.

    1982-01-01

    Observations of interstellar absorption in the resonance doublet 7664, 7698 A of neutral potassium toward 188 early-type stars at a spectral resolution of 8 km/s are reported. The 7664 A line is successfully separated from nearly coincident telluric O2 absorption for all but a few of the 165 stars for which K I absorption is detected, making possible an abundance analysis by the doublet ratio method. The relationships between the potassium abundances and other atomic abundances, the abundance of molecular hydrogen, and interstellar reddening are investigated.

  2. Interstellar dust. Evidence for interstellar origin of seven dust particles collected by the Stardust spacecraft.

    PubMed

    Westphal, Andrew J; Stroud, Rhonda M; Bechtel, Hans A; Brenker, Frank E; Butterworth, Anna L; Flynn, George J; Frank, David R; Gainsforth, Zack; Hillier, Jon K; Postberg, Frank; Simionovici, Alexandre S; Sterken, Veerle J; Nittler, Larry R; Allen, Carlton; Anderson, David; Ansari, Asna; Bajt, Saša; Bastien, Ron K; Bassim, Nabil; Bridges, John; Brownlee, Donald E; Burchell, Mark; Burghammer, Manfred; Changela, Hitesh; Cloetens, Peter; Davis, Andrew M; Doll, Ryan; Floss, Christine; Grün, Eberhard; Heck, Philipp R; Hoppe, Peter; Hudson, Bruce; Huth, Joachim; Kearsley, Anton; King, Ashley J; Lai, Barry; Leitner, Jan; Lemelle, Laurence; Leonard, Ariel; Leroux, Hugues; Lettieri, Robert; Marchant, William; Ogliore, Ryan; Ong, Wei Jia; Price, Mark C; Sandford, Scott A; Sans Tresseras, Juan-Angel; Schmitz, Sylvia; Schoonjans, Tom; Schreiber, Kate; Silversmit, Geert; Solé, Vicente A; Srama, Ralf; Stadermann, Frank; Stephan, Thomas; Stodolna, Julien; Sutton, Stephen; Trieloff, Mario; Tsou, Peter; Tyliszczak, Tolek; Vekemans, Bart; Vincze, Laszlo; Von Korff, Joshua; Wordsworth, Naomi; Zevin, Daniel; Zolensky, Michael E

    2014-08-15

    Seven particles captured by the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector and returned to Earth for laboratory analysis have features consistent with an origin in the contemporary interstellar dust stream. More than 50 spacecraft debris particles were also identified. The interstellar dust candidates are readily distinguished from debris impacts on the basis of elemental composition and/or impact trajectory. The seven candidate interstellar particles are diverse in elemental composition, crystal structure, and size. The presence of crystalline grains and multiple iron-bearing phases, including sulfide, in some particles indicates that individual interstellar particles diverge from any one representative model of interstellar dust inferred from astronomical observations and theory.

  3. The violet interstellar medium associated with the Carina Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pettini, M.; Laurent, C.; Paul, J. A.

    1982-01-01

    The interstellar spectrum of HD 93205, an 03V star in the cluster Tr16, located inside the most active part of the Great Carina Nebula was analyzed using data extracted directly from raw IUE images. From the analysis of 67 lines of 25 atoms, ions and molecules, up to six discrete absorption components spanning a maximum velocity range of approximately 375 km 5/1 were identified. The component structure for different species is tabulated and sample absorption lines, indicating at the top the positions of the six components, labelled A to F are shown. Ion column densities appropriate to each component which can be resolved in at least one line were derived by constructing empirical curves of growth and by fitting the observations with corresponding theoretical absorption line profiles. The most important results concerning each component are discussed.

  4. The Properties of the local Interstellar Medium and the Interaction of the Stellar Winds of epsilon Indi and lambda Andromedae with the Interstellar Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, Brian E.; Alexander, William R.; Linsky, Jeffrey L.

    1996-01-01

    We present new observations of the Ly alpha lines of Epsilon Indi (K5 5) and A Andromedae (G8 4-3 + ?) These data were obtained by the Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph (GHRS) on the Hubble Space Telescope. Analysis of the interstellar H 1 and D 1 absorption lines reveals that the velocities and temperatures inferred from the H 1 lines are inconsistent with the parameters inferred from the D 1 lines, unless the H 1 absorption is assumed to be produced by two absorption components. One absorption component is produced by interstellar material. For both lines of sight observed, the velocity of this component is consistent with the velocity predicted by the local flow vector. For the Epsilon Indi data, the large velocity separation between the stellar emission and the interstellar absorption allows us to measure the H 1 column density independent of the shape of the intrinsic stellar Ly alpha profile. This approach permits us to quote an accurate column density and to assess its uncertainty with far more confidence than in previous analyses, for which the errors were dominated by uncertainties in the assumed stellar profiles.

  5. A search for interstellar scandium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snow, T. P., Jr.; Dodgen, S. L.

    1980-01-01

    The resonance line of Sc II at 3642.785 A has been sought in the interstellar spectrum of Zeta Oph, resulting in an upper limit N(Sc II) not greater than 8.6 billion/sq cm and a depletion of this element at least by a factor of 200, if Sc III contributes a negligible column density. The present upper limit may be somewhat below the level expected under the grain-formation model for interstellar depletions, and is consistent with the abundance expected if the depletions are due to gas-grain collisions. The new limit on this element helps to support the hypothesis that species within a specific range of ionization potential are preferentially depleted.

  6. Interstellar Polarization and Magnetic Turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Terry Jay

    Polarimetry of starlight observed through dust and observations of polarized thermal emission from this dust are some of the few ways to observe the presence of magnetic fields in the interstellar medium. Not only is the strength and overall geometry of the magnetic field important in physical processes in the ISM, the turbulent component to the field also plays an important role. Turbulence in the field is directly tied to turbulence in the gas and consequently to the dynamics of the gas, on both large and small scales. Using interstellar polarization to measure parameters relating to turbulence in the magnetic field is necessarily an indirect process. In this chapter we explore several techniques and results for using polarimetry to explore the turbulent component of the magnetic field in the Galaxy.

  7. One Kilogram Interstellar Colony Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mole, A.

    Small interstellar colony probes based on nanotechnology will become possible long before giant multi-generation ships become affordable. A beam generator and magnetic sail can accelerate a one kg probe to .1 c, braking via the interstellar field can decelerate it, and the field in a distant solar system can allow it to maneuver to an extrasolar planet. A heat shield is used for landing and nanobots emerge to build ever-larger robots and construct colony infrastructure. Humans can then be generated from genomes stored as data in computer memory. Technology is evolving towards these capabilities and should reach the required level in fifty years. The plan appears to be affordable, with the principal cost being the beam generator, estimated at $17 billion.

  8. Interstellar Grains: 50 Years on

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wickramasinghe, N. C.

    Our understanding of the nature of interstellar grains has evolved considerably over the past half century with the present author and Fred Hoyle being intimately involved at several key stages of progress. The currently fashionable graphite-silicate-organic grain model has all its essential aspects unequivocally traceable to original peer-reviewed publications by the author and/or Fred Hoyle. The prevailing reluctance to accept these clear-cut priorities may be linked to our further work that argued for interstellar grains and organics to have a biological provenance -- a position perceived as heretical. The biological model, however, continues to provide a powerful unifying hypothesis for a vast amount of otherwise disconnected and disparate astronomical data.

  9. Evolutionary models of interstellar chemistry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prasad, Sheo S.

    1987-01-01

    The goal of evolutionary models of interstellar chemistry is to understand how interstellar clouds came to be the way they are, how they will change with time, and to place them in an evolutionary sequence with other celestial objects such as stars. An improved Mark II version of an earlier model of chemistry in dynamically evolving clouds is presented. The Mark II model suggests that the conventional elemental C/O ratio less than one can explain the observed abundances of CI and the nondetection of O2 in dense clouds. Coupled chemical-dynamical models seem to have the potential to generate many observable discriminators of the evolutionary tracks. This is exciting, because, in general, purely dynamical models do not yield enough verifiable discriminators of the predicted tracks.

  10. Interstellar organic matter in meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yang, J.; Epstein, S.

    1983-01-01

    Deuterium-enriched hydrogen is present in organic matter in such meteorites as noncarbonaceous chondrites. The majority of the unequilibrated primitive meteorites contain hydrogen whose D/H ratios are greater than 0.0003, requiring enrichment (relative to cosmic hydrogen) by isotope exchange reactions taking place below 150 K. The D/H values presented are the lower limits for the organic compounds derived from interstellar molecules, since all processes subsequent to their formation, including terrestrial contamination, decrease their D/H ratios. In contrast, the D/H ratios of hydrogen associated with hydrated silicates are relatively uniform for the meteorites analyzed. The C-13/C-12 ratios of organic matter, irrespective of D/H ratio, lie well within those observed for the earth. Present findings suggest that other interstellar material, in addition to organic matter, is preserved and is present in high D/H ratio meteorites.

  11. Silicon chemistry in interstellar clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Langer, William D.; Glassgold, A. E.

    1989-01-01

    Interstellar SiO was discovered shortly after CO but it has been detected mainly in high density and high temperature regions associated with outflow sources. A new model of interstellar silicon chemistry that explains the lack of SiO detections in cold clouds is presented which contains an exponential temperature dependence for the SiO abundance. A key aspect of the model is the sensitivity of SiO production by neutral silicon reactions to density and temperature, which arises from the dependence of the rate coefficients on the population of the excited fine structure levels of the silicon atom. This effect was originally pointed out in the context of neutral reactions of carbon and oxygen by Graff, who noted that the leading term in neutral atom-molecule interactions involves the quadrupole moment of the atom. Similar to the case of carbon, the requirement that Si has a quadrupole moment requires population of the J = 1 level, which lies 111K above the J = 0 ground state and has a critical density n(cr) equal to or greater than 10(6)/cu cm. The SiO abundance then has a temperature dependence proportional to exp(-111/T) and a quadratic density dependence for n less than n(cr). As part of the explanation of the lack of SiO detections at low temperatures and densities, this model also emphasizes the small efficiencies of the production routes and the correspondingly long times needed to reach equilibrium. Measurements of the abundance of SiO, in conjunction with theory, can provide information on the physical properties of interstellar clouds such as the abundances of oxygen bearing molecules and the depletion of interstellar silicon.

  12. Cost considerations for interstellar missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrews, Dana G.

    This paper examines the technical and economic feasibility of interstellar exploration. Three candidate interstellar propulsion systems are evaluated with respect to technical viability and compared on an estimated cost basis. Two of the systems, the laser-propelled lightsail (LPL) and the particle-beam propelled magsail (PBPM), appear to be technically feasible and capable supporting one-way probes to nearby star systems within the lifetime of the principal investigators, if enough energy is available. The third propulsion system, the antimatter rocket, requires additional proof of concept demonstrations before its feasibility can be evaluated. Computer simulations of the acceleration and deceleration interactions of LPL and PBPM were completed and spacecraft configurations optimized for minimum energy usage are noted. The optimum LPL transfers about ten percent of the laser beam energy into kinetic energy of the spacecraft while the optimum PBPM transfers about thirty percent. Since particle beam generators are roughly twice as energy efficient as large lasers, the PBPM propulsion system requires roughly one-sixth the busbar electrical energy a LPL system would require to launch an identical payload. The total beam energy requirement for an interstellar probe mission is roughly 10 20 joules, which would require the complete fissioning of one thousand tons of Uranium assuming thirty-five percent powerplant efficiency. This is roughly equivalent to a recurring cost per flight of 3.0 Billion dollars in reactor grade enriched uranium using today's prices. Therefore, interstellar flight is an expensive proposition, but not unaffordable, if the nonrecurring costs of building the powerplant can be minimized.

  13. CaFe interstellar clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bondar, A.; Kozak, M.; Gnaciński, P.; Galazutdinov, G. A.; Beletsky, Y.; Krełowski, J.

    2007-07-01

    A new kind of interstellar cloud is proposed. These are rare (just a few examples among ~300 lines of sight) objects with the CaI 4227-Å, FeI 3720-Å and 3860-Å lines stronger than those of KI (near 7699 Å) and NaI (near 3302 Å). We propose the name `CaFe' for these clouds. Apparently they occupy different volumes from the well-known interstellar HI clouds where the KI and ultraviolet NaI lines are dominant features. In the CaFe clouds we have not found either detectable molecular features (CH, CN) or diffuse interstellar bands which, as commonly believed, are carried by some complex, organic molecules. We have found the CaFe clouds only along sightlines toward hot, luminous (and thus distant) objects with high rates of mass loss. In principle, the observed gas-phase interstellar abundances reflect the combined effects of the nucleosynthetic history of the material, the depletion of heavy elements into dust grains and the ionization state of these elements which may depend on irradiation by neighbouring stars. Based on data collected using the Maestro spectrograph at the Terskol 2-m telescope, Russia; and on data collected using the ESO Feros spectrograph; and on data obtained from the ESO Science Archive Facility acquired with the UVES spectrograph, Chile. E-mail: `arctur'@rambler.ru (AB); marizak@astri.uni.torun.pl (MK); pg@iftia.univ.gda.pl (PG); gala@boao.re.kr (GAG); ybialets@eso.org (YB); jacek@astri.uni.torun.pl (JK)

  14. Representing culture in interstellar messages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vakoch, Douglas A.

    2008-09-01

    As scholars involved with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) have contemplated how we might portray humankind in any messages sent to civilizations beyond Earth, one of the challenges they face is adequately representing the diversity of human cultures. For example, in a 2003 workshop in Paris sponsored by the SETI Institute, the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) SETI Permanent Study Group, the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (ISAST), and the John Templeton Foundation, a varied group of artists, scientists, and scholars from the humanities considered how to encode notions of altruism in interstellar messages . Though the group represented 10 countries, most were from Europe and North America, leading to the group's recommendation that subsequent discussions on the topic should include more globally representative perspectives. As a result, the IAA Study Group on Interstellar Message Construction and the SETI Institute sponsored a follow-up workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA in February 2005. The Santa Fe workshop brought together scholars from a range of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, chemistry, communication science, philosophy, and psychology. Participants included scholars familiar with interstellar message design as well as specialists in cross-cultural research who had participated in the Symposium on Altruism in Cross-cultural Perspective, held just prior to the workshop during the annual conference of the Society for Cross-cultural Research . The workshop included discussion of how cultural understandings of altruism can complement and critique the more biologically based models of altruism proposed for interstellar messages at the 2003 Paris workshop. This paper, written by the chair of both the Paris and Santa Fe workshops, will explore the challenges of communicating concepts of altruism that draw on both biological

  15. X-Ray Spectroscopy of diffuse Galactic Interstellar Matter with Chandra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulz, Norbert S.; Paerels, Frits

    One of the expectations with the advent of the High Energy Transmission Grating (HETG) spectrometer onboard the Chandra X-ray Observatory was to measure precise photoelectric edges of major cosmic elements such as O, Ne, Mg, Si, S, Ar, Ca, and Fe. Early studies revealed complex absorption structures around the O K, Fe L, and Ne K edges which were identified with absorption from the various phases of the interstellar medium and which could place limits on ionization fractions in these phases. The dust content in interstellar matter as well as, for example, the fraction of how much oxygen is locked into dust are issues of importance and here resolved X-ray edges can determine significant limits. I will review predictions made by cross-sections and depletion factors and compare with current observations specifically with respect to silicon absorption in the interstellar medium. Dust grain models and in conjunction with laboratory measurements are now used to improve current interstellar X-ray absorption models.

  16. RUBIDIUM IN THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM

    SciTech Connect

    Walker, Kyle M.; Federman, S. R.; Knauth, David C.; Lambert, David L. E-mail: steven.federman@utoledo.ed E-mail: dll@astro.as.utexas.ed

    2009-11-20

    We present observations of interstellar rubidium toward o Per, zeta Per, AE Aur, HD 147889, chi Oph, zeta Oph, and 20 Aql. Theory suggests that stable {sup 85}Rb and long-lived {sup 87}Rb are produced predominantly by high-mass stars, through a combination of the weak s- and r-processes. The {sup 85}Rb/{sup 87}Rb ratio was determined from measurements of the Rb I line at 7800 A and was compared to the solar system meteoritic ratio of 2.59. Within 1sigma uncertainties, all directions except HD 147889 have Rb isotope ratios consistent with the solar system value. The ratio toward HD 147889 is much lower than the meteoritic value and similar to that toward rho Oph A; both lines of sight probe the Rho Ophiuchus Molecular Cloud. The earlier result was attributed to a deficit of r-processed {sup 85}Rb. Our larger sample suggests instead that {sup 87}Rb is enhanced in these two lines of sight. When the total elemental abundance of Rb is compared to the K elemental abundance, the interstellar Rb/K ratio is significantly lower than the meteoritic ratio for all the sight lines in this study. Available interstellar samples for other s- and r- process elements are used to help interpret these results.

  17. DETERMINING INTERSTELLAR CARBON ABUNDANCES FROM STRONG-LINE TRANSITIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Sofia, U. J.; Parvathi, V. S.; Babu, B. R. S.; Murthy, J.

    2011-01-15

    Carbon is arguably the most important element in the interstellar medium, yet its abundance in gas and dust is poorly understood due to a paucity of data. We explore the possibility of substantially increasing our knowledge of interstellar carbon by applying and assessing a new method for determining the column density of the dominant ion of interstellar carbon in diffuse neutral lines of sight. The method relies on profile fitting of the strong transition of C II at 1334 A in spectra continuum normalized with stellar models. We apply our method to six sight lines for which the carbon abundance has previously been determined with a weak intersystem absorption transition. Our strong-line method consistently shows a significantly lower gas-phase C abundance than the measurements from the weak lines. This result implies that more carbon could reside in dust than was previously thought. This has implications for dust models, which often suffer from a lack of sufficient carbon to plausibly explain extinction. There is no immediately clear explanation for the difference found between the strong- and weak-line C II determinations, but there are indications that the results from the method presented here have advantages over the weak-line column densities. If this is the case, then the reported oscillator strength for the C II transition at 2325 A may be too small. Our findings further suggest that damping wings modeled with a single absorption component may not produce accurate abundances. This problem could affect a large number of H I abundances determined through absorption line analysis that are reported in the literature.

  18. Copernicus observations of interstellar absorption at Lyman alpha

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bohlin, R. C.

    1975-01-01

    Column densities NH of atomic hydrogen have been derived for 40 OB stars from spectral scans at Lyman alpha obtained by the Copernicus (OAO-3) satellite. The stars are all between 60 and 1100 pc away with a range of mean densities n sub H of 0.01 to 2.5 atoms cm-3. The gas to color-excess ratio in clouds varies from 1 to 3 times the mean outside of clouds. The presence of molecular hydrogen correlates with E(B-V), but the best tracer for H2 is atomic hydrogen. The mean density of the gas for all 40 stars is much smaller than the mean of 0.7 atoms cm-3 obtained from 21-cm observations, because the brightest stars with less than average amounts of matter in the line of sight were selected for observation.

  19. Studies of Interstellar and Circumstellar Magnetic Field with Aligned Atoms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazarian, A.; Yan, H.

    2004-12-01

    Population of levels of the hyperfine and fine split ground state of an atom is affected by radiative transitions induced by anisotropic radiation flux. Such aligned atoms precess in the external magnetic field and this affects properties of polarized radiation arising from both scattering and absorption by atoms. As the result the degree of light polarization depends on the direction of the magnetic field. This provides a new tool for studies of astrophysical magnetic fields using optical and UV polarimetry. We provide calculations for several atoms and ions that can be used to study magnetic fields in interplanetary medium, interstellar medius, circumstellar regions and quasars.

  20. Infrared diffuse interstellar bands in the Galactic Centre region.

    PubMed

    Geballe, T R; Najarro, F; Figer, D F; Schlegelmilch, B W; de la Fuente, D

    2011-11-02

    The spectrum of any star viewed through a sufficient quantity of diffuse interstellar material reveals a number of absorption features collectively called 'diffuse interstellar bands' (DIBs). The first DIBs were reported about 90  years ago, and currently well over 500 are known. None of them has been convincingly identified with any specific element or molecule, although recent studies suggest that the DIB carriers are polyatomic molecules containing carbon. Most of the DIBs currently known are at visible and very near-infrared wavelengths, with only two previously known at wavelengths beyond one micrometre (10,000 ångströms), the longer of which is at 1.318 micrometres (ref. 6). Here we report 13 diffuse interstellar bands in the 1.5-1.8 micrometre interval on high-extinction sightlines towards stars in the Galactic Centre. We argue that they originate almost entirely in the Galactic Centre region, a considerably warmer and harsher environment than where DIBs have been observed previously. The relative strengths of these DIBs towards the Galactic Centre and the Cygnus OB2 diffuse cloud are consistent with their strengths scaling mainly with the extinction by diffuse material.

  1. Interstellar Dust: New Views After Spitzer, Herschel, and Planck

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Draine, Bruce T.

    2015-08-01

    The Spitzer, Herschel, and Planck missions have provided observational data that inform and challenge existing models for interstellar dust. These data will guide us in the development of a new generation of dust models.For dust in the general diffuse interstellar medium, these three missions have provided:* 5-20 um PAH emission spectra for a range of regions* determinations of the 10um and 18um silicate absorption and emission profiles in different environments* new determinations of the wavelength-dependent extinction in the mid-IR* spectral energy distributions out to 160um (with Spitzer), to 500um with Herschel, and out to 3mm with Planck* observations of "anomalous microwave emission" from dust near 1 cm* polarization of the dust emission from 4mm to 850um.Models for interstellar dust are constrained by these new data, and also by many other observational constraints, including extinction and polarization of starlight at optical wavelengths, the scattering of starllight by dust, scattering and extinction of X-rays by dust, and ground-based studies of the anomalous microwave emission.I will review where the models now stand, what appear to be the greatest challenges, and directions for future work.

  2. Primary interstellar neutrals in the heliosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller, Hans R.; Moebius, Eberhard; Bzowski, Maciej; Kubiak, Marzena; Pogorelov, Nikolai; Heerikhuisen, Jacob

    Among other accomplishments, IBEX has detected direct interstellar helium and oxygen. With the help of a 3D MHD/kinetic hydrogen background heliosphere model by Pogorelov and Heerikhuisen, the distributions of primary interstellar neutrals throughout the heliosphere are calculated, identifying contributions from direct and indirect particle trajectories. The results are converted into expected fluxes at IBEX. The comparison of these fluxes to the measurements characterizes the density of neutrals in the pristine interstellar medium, and their filtration in the heliosphere.

  3. The heliosphere's interstellar interaction: no bow shock.

    PubMed

    McComas, D J; Alexashov, D; Bzowski, M; Fahr, H; Heerikhuisen, J; Izmodenov, V; Lee, M A; Möbius, E; Pogorelov, N; Schwadron, N A; Zank, G P

    2012-06-01

    As the Sun moves through the local interstellar medium, its supersonic, ionized solar wind carves out a cavity called the heliosphere. Recent observations from the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft show that the relative motion of the Sun with respect to the interstellar medium is slower and in a somewhat different direction than previously thought. Here, we provide combined consensus values for this velocity vector and show that they have important implications for the global interstellar interaction. In particular, the velocity is almost certainly slower than the fast magnetosonic speed, with no bow shock forming ahead of the heliosphere, as was widely expected in the past. PMID:22582011

  4. Fluorescent excitation of interstellar H2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Black, John H.; Van Dishoeck, Ewine F.

    1987-01-01

    The infrared emission spectrum of H2 excited by ultraviolet absorption, followed by fluorescence, was investigated using comprehensive models of interstellar clouds for computing the spectrum and to assess the effects on the intensity to various cloud properties, such as density, size, temperature, and the intensity of the UV radiation field. It is shown that the absolute H2 IR line intensities depend primarily on the density of the cloud and the strength of the incident UV radiation, and to a much lesser exent on the temperature of the gas, the total thickness of the cloud, and the optical properties of the grains. A variety of recent observational results are discussed with reference to theoretical models. It is shown that the rich H2 emission spectrum of the reflection nebula NGC 2023 can be reproduced by a model with density of about 10,000/cu cm, temperature of about 80 K, and UV flux approximately 300 times that of the Galactic background starlight.

  5. A Comprehensive Study of Interstellar Depletions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, Edward

    2004-07-01

    We propose to analyze interstellar gas-phase abundances of Ga, Sn, Pb, B, S by measuring their absorption features in the spectra of stars observed in SNAP survey programs 8241, 8662 and 9434 {plus other programs that have had archive data released to the public}. The lines of Pb II and B II are extremely weak, so stars will be grouped into cases having different levels of general depletion and then within each category the spectra will be coadded to enhance the detectability of the lines. These data will be combined with results derived by S. Cartledge and coworkers on O and Kr, plus data soon to be published for Ge, Cu, Mg, Mn, Ni and P, in order to understand the general behavior of depletions of atoms onto dust grains under different conditions, using a new analysis technique developed by Jenkins {2003}. A better knowledge of the systematics of depletions will be beneficial to studies of the compositions of dust grains and will also aid investigations of total element abundances in distant damped L-alpha {DLA} systems seen in the spectra of quasars recorded by ground-based telescopes.

  6. THE CHEMISTRY OF INTERSTELLAR MOLECULES CONTAINING THE HALOGEN ELEMENTS

    SciTech Connect

    Neufeld, David A.; Wolfire, Mark G. E-mail: mwolfire@astro.umd.ed

    2009-12-01

    Although they are only minor constituents of the interstellar medium, halogen-containing molecules are of special interest because of their unique thermochemistry. Here, we present a theoretical study of the chemistry of interstellar molecules containing the halogen elements chlorine and fluorine. We have modeled both diffuse and dense molecular clouds, making use of updated estimates for the rates of several key chemical processes. We present predictions for the abundances of the three halogen molecules that have been detected to date in the interstellar medium: HF, CF{sup +}, and HCl. As in our previous study of fluorine-bearing interstellar molecules, we predict HF to be the dominant gas-phase reservoir of fluorine within both diffuse and dense molecular clouds; we expect the Herschel Space Observatory to detect widespread absorption in the HF J = 1 - 0 transition. Our updated model now overpredicts the CF{sup +} abundance by a factor approx>10 relative to observations of the Orion Bar; this discrepancy has widened because we now adopt a laboratory measurement of the CF{sup +} dissociative recombination rate that is smaller than the estimate we adopted previously. This disagreement suggests that the reaction of C{sup +} with HF proceeds more slowly than the capture rate assumed in our model; a laboratory measurement of this reaction rate would be very desirable. Our model predicts diffuse cloud HCl abundances that are similar to those predicted previously and detected tentatively toward zeta Oph. Two additional species are potentially detectable from photodissociation regions: the H{sub 2}Cl{sup +}, and HCl{sup +} molecular ions. Ortho-H{sub 2}Cl{sup +} has its lowest-lying transition in the millimeter spectral region observable from the ground, and the lowest rotational transition of HCl{sup +} is observable with Herschel's HIFI instrument.

  7. INTERSTELLAR ABUNDANCES TOWARD X Per, REVISITED

    SciTech Connect

    Valencic, Lynne A.; Smith, Randall K.

    2013-06-10

    The nearby X-ray binary X Per (HD 24534) provides a useful beacon with which to examine dust grain types and measure elemental abundances in the local interstellar medium (ISM). The absorption features of O, Fe, Mg, and Si along this line of sight were measured using spectra from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory's LETG/ACIS-S and XMM-Newton's RGS instruments, and the Spex software package. The spectra were fit with dust analogs measured in the laboratory. The O, Mg, and Si abundances were compared to those from standard references, and the O abundance was compared to that along lines of sight toward other X-ray binaries. The results are as follows. First, it was found that a combination of MgSiO{sub 3} (enstatite) and Mg{sub 1.6}Fe{sub 0.4}SiO{sub 4} (olivine) provided the best fit to the O K edge, with N(MgSiO{sub 3})/N(Mg{sub 1.6}Fe{sub 0.4}SiO{sub 4}) = 3.4. Second, the Fe L edge could be fit with models that included metallic iron, but it was not well described by the laboratory spectra currently available. Third, the total abundances of O, Mg, and Si were in very good agreement with that of recently re-analyzed B stars, suggesting that they are good indicators of abundances in the local ISM, and the depletions were also in agreement with expected values for the diffuse ISM. Finally, the O abundances found from X-ray binary absorption spectra show a similar correlation with Galactocentric distances as seen in other objects.

  8. Deuterium enrichment of interstellar dusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, Ankan; Chakrabarti, Sandip Kumar; Majumdar, Liton; Sahu, Dipen

    2016-07-01

    High abundance of some abundant and simple interstellar species could be explained by considering the chemistry that occurs on interstellar dusts. Because of its simplicity, the rate equation method is widely used to study the surface chemistry. However, because the recombination efficiency for the formation of any surface species is highly dependent on various physical and chemical parameters, the Monte Carlo method is best suited for addressing the randomness of the processes. We carry out Monte-Carlo simulation to study deuterium enrichment of interstellar grain mantle under various physical conditions. Based on the physical properties, various types of clouds are considered. We find that in diffuse cloud regions, very strong radiation fields persists and hardly a few layers of surface species are formed. In translucent cloud regions with a moderate radiation field, significant number of layers would be produced and surface coverage is mainly dominated by photo-dissociation products such as, C, CH_3, CH_2D, OH and OD. In the intermediate dense cloud regions (having number density of total hydrogen nuclei in all forms ˜2 × 10^4 cm^{-3}), water and methanol along with their deuterated derivatives are efficiently formed. For much higher density regions (˜10^6 cm^{-3}), water and methanol productions are suppressed but surface coverage of CO, CO_2, O_2, O_3 are dramatically increased. We find a very high degree of fractionation of water and methanol. Observational results support a high fractionation of methanol but surprisingly water fractionation is found to be low. This is in contradiction with our model results indicating alternative routes for de-fractionation of water.

  9. Charge transfer reactions in multiply charged ion-atom collisions. [in interstellar clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steigman, G.

    1975-01-01

    Charge-transfer reactions in collisions between highly charged ions and neutral atoms of hydrogen and/or helium may be rapid at thermal energies. If these reactions are rapid, they will suppress highly charged ions in H I regions and guarantee that the observed absorption features from such ions cannot originate in the interstellar gas. A discussion of such charge-transfer reactions is presented and compared with the available experimental data. The possible implications of these reactions for observations of the interstellar medium, H II regions, and planetary nebulae are outlined.

  10. Studies of H I and D I in the local interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murthy, J.; Henry, R. C.; Moos, H. W.; Vidal-Madjar, A.; Linsky, J. L.

    1990-01-01

    High-dispersion IUE spectra are presented of the hydrogen Ly-alpha chromospheric emission line of two nearby late-type stars, Capella and Lambda And. Both interstellar H I and D I Ly-alpha absorption can be seen against the chromospheric line, and the density, velocity dispersion, and bulk velocity of the gas in those lines of sight are derived. Limits are placed on the D/H ratio. The results are consistent with the current picture of the local interstellar medium.

  11. Laboratory comparisons of organic materials to interstellar dust and the Murchison meteorite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pendleton, Y. J.

    1995-01-01

    Spectra of objects which lie along several lines of sight through the diffuse interstellar medium (DISM) reveal an absorption feature near 3.4 micrometers, which has been attributed to saturated aliphatic hydrocarbons on interstellar grains. The similarity of the absorption bands near 3.4 micrometers (2950 cm-1) along different lines of sight indicates that the carrier of this band lies in the diffuse dust. Several materials have been proposed as "fits" to the 3.4 micrometers feature over the years. A comparison of these identifications is presented. These comparisons illustrate the need for high resolution, high signal-to-noise observational data as a means of distinguishing between laboratory organics as matches to the interstellar material. Although any material containing hydrocarbons will produce features in the 3.4 micrometers region, the proposed "matches" to the DISM do differ in detail. These differences may help in the analyses of the chemical composition and physical processes which led to the production of the DISM organics, although ISO Observations through the 5-8 micrometers spectral region are essential for a definitive identification. A remarkable similarity between the spectrum of the diffuse dust and an organic extract from the Murchison meteorite suggests that some of the interstellar organic material may be preserved in primitive solar system bodies. The 3.4 micrometers absorption feature (in the rest frame) has recently been detected in external galaxies, indicating the widespread availability of organic material for incorporation into planetary systems.

  12. 3D distribution of interstellar medium in the Galaxy: Preparation for analysis of Gaia observations

    SciTech Connect

    Puspitarini, Lucky; Lallement, Rosine

    2015-09-30

    Accurate and detailed three-dimensional (3D) maps of Galactic interstellar medium (ISM) are still lacking. One way to obtain such 3D descriptions is to record a large set of individual absorption or reddening measurements toward target stars located at various known distances and directions. The inversion of these measurements using a tomographic method can produce spatial distribution of the ISM. Until recently absorption data were very limited and distances to the target stars are still uncertain, but the situation will greatly improve thanks to current and future massive stellar surveys from ground, and to Gaia mission. To prepare absorption data for inversion from a huge number of stellar spectra, automated tools are needed. We have developed various spectral analysis tools adapted to different type of spectra, early- or late- type star. We also have used diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) to trace IS structures and kinematics. Although we do not know yet their carriers, they can be a promising tool to trace distant interstellar clouds or Galactic arms. We present some examples of the interstellar fitting and show the potentiality of DIBs in tracing the ISM. We will also briefly show and comment the latest 3D map of the local ISM which reveal nearby cloud complexes and cavities.

  13. Infrared spectra of interstellar deuteronated PAHs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buragohain, Mridusmita; Pathak, Amit; Sarre, Peter

    2015-08-01

    Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules have emerged as a potential constituent of the ISM that emit strong features at 3.3, 6.2, 7.7, 8.6, 11.2 and 12.7 μm with weaker and blended features in the 3-20μm region. These features are proposed to arise from the vibrational relaxation of PAH molecules on absorption of background UV photons (Tielens 2008). These IR features have been observed towards almost all types of astronomical objects; say H II regions, photodissociation regions, reflection nebulae, planetary nebulae, young star forming regions, external galaxies, etc. A recent observation has proposed that interstellar PAHs are major reservoir for interstellar deuterium (D) (Peeters et al. 2004). According to the `deuterium depletion model' as suggested by Draine (2006), some of the Ds formed in the big bang are depleted in PAHs, which can account for the present value of D/H in the ISM. Hence, study of deuterated PAHs (PADs) is essential in order to measure D/H in the ISM.In this work, we consider another probable category of the large PAH family, i.e. Deuteronated PAHs (DPAH+). Onaka et al. have proposed a D/H ratio which is an order of magnitude smaller than the proposed value of D/H by Draine suggesting that if Ds are depleted in PAHs, they might be accommodated in large PAHs (Onaka et al. 2014). This work reports a `Density Functional Theory' calculation of large deuteronated PAHs (coronene, ovalene, circumcoronene and circumcircumcoronene) to determine the expected region of emission features and to find a D/H ratio that is comparable to the observational results. We present a detailed analysis of the IR spectra of these molecules and discuss the possible astrophysical implications.ReferencesDraine B. T. 2006, in ASP Conf. Ser. 348, Proc. Astrophysics in the Far Ultraviolet: Five Years of Discovery with FUSE, ed. G. Sonneborn, H. Moos, B-G Andersson (San Francisco, CA:ASP) 58Onaka T., Mori T. I., Sakon I., Ohsawa R., Kaneda H., Okada Y., Tanaka M

  14. Ultraviolet studies of the interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blades, J. C.

    1984-01-01

    Copernicus satellite and IUE investigations of the chemical composition and physical condition of interstellar gas and dust in our Galaxy, and in external systems are reviewed. The local interstellar environment, dust, and the distribution of gas away from the plane of our Galaxy are covered.

  15. Interstellar PAH in the Laboratory and in Space. What have we Learned from the New Generation of Laboratory and Observational Studies?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid

    2005-01-01

    Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are an important and ubiquitous component of carbon-bearing materials in space. PAHs are the best-known candidates to account for the IR emission bands (UIR bands) and PAH spectral features are now being used as new probes of the ISM. PAHs are also thought to be among the carriers of the diffuse interstellar absorption bands (DIBs). In the model dealing with the interstellar spectral features, PAHs are present as a mixture of radicals, ions and neutral species. PAH ionization states reflect the ionization balance of the medium while PAH size, composition, and structure reflect the energetic and chemical history of the medium. A major challenge for laboratory astrophysics is to reproduce (in a realistic way) the physical conditions that exist in the emission and/or absorption interstellar zones. An extensive laboratory program has been developed at NASA Ames to assess the physical and chemical properties of PAHs in such environments and to describe how they influence the radiation and energy balance in space and the interstellar chemistry. In particular, laboratory experiments provide measurements of the spectral characteristics of interstellar PAH analogs from the ultraviolet and visible range to the infrared range for comparison with astronomical data. This paper will focus on the recent progress made in the laboratory to measure the direct absorption spectra of neutral and ionized PAHs in the gas phase in the near-UV and visible range in astrophysically relevant environments. These measurements provide data on PAHs and nanometer-sized particles that can now be directly compared to astronomical observations. The harsh physical conditions of the IS medium - characterized by a low temperature, an absence of collisions and strong VUV radiation fields - are simulated in the laboratory by associating a molecular beam with an ionizing discharge to generate a cold plasma expansion. PAH ions are formed from the neutral precursors in

  16. A prelude to interstellar flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jaffe, L. D.; Norton, H. N.

    1980-01-01

    A 20 to 50 year interstellar precursor mission extending 400 to 1000 AU from the solar system is outlined as a means of bringing out and solving engineering problems inherent in a star mission, and of studying the heliopause, the interstellar medium, and cosmic rays outside the heliosphere. Solar or laser sailing combined with a 500 kWe nuclear-electric propulsion system using fission would achieve a heliocentric excess velocity of 100km/s for the 32,000 kg spacecraft having a Shuttle derivative as a launch vehicle, and containing a Pluto flyby or separate orbiter powered by radioiosotope thermoelectric generators. X-band transmission using 40 w of power, a 15 m diameter spacecraft antenna and a 100 m receiving antenna on earth and providing 100 b/s is proposed, but a rate of 2 to 4 kb/s via 500 to 1000 w of power using the K-band and a 300 m diameter receiving antenna located on an Orbiting Deep Space Relay Station is also considered.

  17. THE STRUCTURE, ORIGIN, AND EVOLUTION OF INTERSTELLAR HYDROCARBON GRAINS

    SciTech Connect

    Chiar, J. E.; Ricca, A.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Adamson, A. J. E-mail: Alessandra.Ricca@1.nasa.gov E-mail: aadamson@gemini.edu

    2013-06-10

    Many materials have been considered for the carrier of the hydrocarbon absorption bands observed in the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM). In order to refine the model for ISM hydrocarbon grains, we analyze the observed aromatic (3.28, 6.2 {mu}m) and aliphatic (3.4 {mu}m) hydrocarbon absorption features in the diffuse ISM along the line of sight toward the Galactic center Quintuplet Cluster. Observationally, sp {sup 2} bonds can be measured in astronomical spectra using the 6.2 {mu}m CC aromatic stretch feature, whereas the 3.4 {mu}m aliphatic feature can be used to quantify the fraction of sp {sup 3} bonds. The fractional abundance of these components allows us to place the Galactic diffuse ISM hydrocarbons on a ternary phase diagram. We conclude that the Galactic hydrocarbon dust has, on average, a low H/C ratio and sp {sup 3} content and is highly aromatic. We have placed the results of our analysis within the context of the evolution of carbon dust in the ISM. We argue that interstellar carbon dust consists of a large core of aromatic carbon surrounded by a thin mantle of hydrogenated amorphous carbon (a-C:H), a structure that is a natural consequence of the processing of stardust grains in the ISM.

  18. Anthracene Clusters and the Interstellar Infrared Emission Features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roser, J. E.; Ricca, A.; Allamandola, L. J.

    2014-03-01

    The unidentified infrared bands are ubiquitous in the interstellar medium and typically attributed to emission from neutral and ionized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (or PAHs). The contribution of neutral PAH clusters to these bands has been impossible to determine due to a paucity of infrared spectral data. Here we investigated neutral clusters of the three-ring PAH anthracene using FTIR absorption spectroscopy of anthracene matrix-isolated at varying concentrations in solid argon. In order to determine likely cluster structures of the embedded molecules, we also calculated theoretical absorption spectra for the anthracene monomer through hexamer using density functional theory with a dispersion correction (DFT-D). The DFT-D calculations have been calibrated for the anthracene dimer using the second-order Møller-Plesset approach. Because there is some support for the hypothesis that three or four-ring PAHs are present in the Red Rectangle nebula, we discuss the application of our results to this nebula in particular as well as to the interstellar infrared emission in general.

  19. Herschel/HIFI discovery of interstellar chloronium (H2Cl+)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lis, D. C.; Pearson, J. C.; Neufeld, D. A.; Schilke, P.; Müller, H. S. P.; Gupta, H.; Bell, T. A.; Comito, C.; Phillips, T. G.; Bergin, E. A.; Ceccarelli, C.; Goldsmith, P. F.; Blake, G. A.; Bacmann, A.; Baudry, A.; Benedettini, M.; Benz, A.; Black, J.; Boogert, A.; Bottinelli, S.; Cabrit, S.; Caselli, P.; Castets, A.; Caux, E.; Cernicharo, J.; Codella, C.; Coutens, A.; Crimier, N.; Crockett, N. R.; Daniel, F.; Demyk, K.; Dominic, C.; Dubernet, M.-L.; Emprechtinger, M.; Encrenaz, P.; Falgarone, E.; Fuente, A.; Gerin, M.; Giesen, T. F.; Goicoechea, J. R.; Helmich, F.; Hennebelle, P.; Henning, Th.; Herbst, E.; Hily-Blant, P.; Hjalmarson, Å.; Hollenbach, D.; Jack, T.; Joblin, C.; Johnstone, D.; Kahane, C.; Kama, M.; Kaufman, M.; Klotz, A.; Langer, W. D.; Larsson, B.; Le Bourlot, J.; Lefloch, B.; Le Petit, F.; Li, D.; Liseau, R.; Lord, S. D.; Lorenzani, A.; Maret, S.; Martin, P. G.; Melnick, G. J.; Menten, K. M.; Morris, P.; Murphy, J. A.; Nagy, Z.; Nisini, B.; Ossenkopf, V.; Pacheco, S.; Pagani, L.; Parise, B.; Pérault, M.; Plume, R.; Qin, S.-L.; Roueff, E.; Salez, M.; Sandqvist, A.; Saraceno, P.; Schlemmer, S.; Schuster, K.; Snell, R.; Stutzki, J.; Tielens, A.; Trappe, N.; van der Tak, F. F. S.; van der Wiel, M. H. D.; van Dishoeck, E.; Vastel, C.; Viti, S.; Wakelam, V.; Walters, A.; Wang, S.; Wyrowski, F.; Yorke, H. W.; Yu, S.; Zmuidzinas, J.; Delorme, Y.; Desbat, J.-P.; Güsten, R.; Krieg, J.-M.; Delforge, B.

    2010-10-01

    We report the first detection of chloronium, H2Cl+, in the interstellar medium, using the HIFI instrument aboard the Herschel Space Observatory. The 212-101 lines of ortho-H_235Cl+ and ortho-H_237Cl+ are detected in absorption towards NGC 6334I, and the 111-000 transition of para-H_235Cl+ is detected in absorption towards NGC 6334I and Sgr B2(S). The H2Cl+ column densities are compared to those of the chemically-related species HCl. The derived HCl/H2Cl+ column density ratios, ~1-10, are within the range predicted by models of diffuse and dense photon dominated regions (PDRs). However, the observed H2Cl+ column densities, in excess of 1013 cm-2, are significantly higher than the model predictions. Our observations demonstrate the outstanding spectroscopic capabilities of HIFI for detecting new interstellar molecules and providing key constraints for astrochemical models. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.Table 1 and acknowledgments (page 5) are only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  20. Anthracene clusters and the interstellar infrared emission features

    SciTech Connect

    Roser, J. E.; Ricca, A.; Allamandola, L. J.

    2014-03-10

    The unidentified infrared bands are ubiquitous in the interstellar medium and typically attributed to emission from neutral and ionized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (or PAHs). The contribution of neutral PAH clusters to these bands has been impossible to determine due to a paucity of infrared spectral data. Here we investigated neutral clusters of the three-ring PAH anthracene using FTIR absorption spectroscopy of anthracene matrix-isolated at varying concentrations in solid argon. In order to determine likely cluster structures of the embedded molecules, we also calculated theoretical absorption spectra for the anthracene monomer through hexamer using density functional theory with a dispersion correction (DFT-D). The DFT-D calculations have been calibrated for the anthracene dimer using the second-order Møller-Plesset approach. Because there is some support for the hypothesis that three or four-ring PAHs are present in the Red Rectangle nebula, we discuss the application of our results to this nebula in particular as well as to the interstellar infrared emission in general.

  1. A SENSITIVE SPECTRAL SURVEY OF INTERSTELLAR FEATURES IN THE NEAR-UV [3050-3700 Å

    SciTech Connect

    Bhatt, N. H.; Cami, J. E-mail: jcami@uwo.ca

    2015-02-01

    We present a comprehensive and sensitive unbiased survey of interstellar features in the near-UV range (3050-3700 Å). We combined a large number of VLT/UVES archival observations of a sample of highly reddened early-type stars—typical diffuse interstellar band targets—and unreddened standards. We stacked the individual observations to obtain a reddened ''superspectrum'' in the interstellar rest frame with a signal-to-noise ratio exceeding 1500. We compared this to the analogous geocentric and stellar rest frame superspectra as well as to an unreddened superspectrum to find interstellar absorption features. We find 30 known features (11 atomic and 19 molecular) and tentatively detect up to 7 new interstellar absorption lines of unknown origin. Our survey is sensitive to narrow and weak features; telluric residuals preclude us from detecting broader features. For each sightline, we measured fundamental parameters (radial velocities, line widths, and equivalent widths) of the detected interstellar features. We also revisit upper limits for the column densities of small, neutral polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon molecules that have strong transitions in this wavelength range.

  2. A TALE OF TWO MYSTERIES IN INTERSTELLAR ASTROPHYSICS: THE 2175 A EXTINCTION BUMP AND DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BANDS

    SciTech Connect

    Xiang, F. Y.; Zhong, J. X.; Li Aigen E-mail: lia@missouri.edu

    2011-06-01

    The diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are ubiquitous absorption spectral features arising from the tenuous material in the space between stars-the interstellar medium (ISM). Since their first detection nearly nine decades ago, over 400 DIBs have been observed in the visible and near-infrared wavelength range in both the Milky Way and external galaxies, both nearby and distant. However, the identity of the species responsible for these bands remains as one of the most enigmatic mysteries in astrophysics. An equally mysterious interstellar spectral signature is the 2175 A extinction bump, the strongest absorption feature observed in the ISM. Its carrier also remains unclear since its first detection 46 years ago. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules have long been proposed as a candidate for DIBs as their electronic transitions occur in the wavelength range where DIBs are often found. In recent years, the 2175 A extinction bump is also often attributed to the {pi}-{pi}* transition in PAHs. If PAHs are indeed responsible for both the 2175 A extinction feature and DIBs, their strengths may correlate. We perform an extensive literature search for lines of sight for which both the 2175 A extinction feature and DIBs have been measured. Unfortunately, we found no correlation between the strength of the 2175 A feature and the equivalent widths of the strongest DIBs. A possible explanation might be that DIBs are produced by small free gas-phase PAH molecules and ions, while the 2175 A bump is mainly from large PAHs or PAH clusters in condensed phase so that there is no tight correlation between DIBs and the 2175 A bump.

  3. The diffuse interstellar cloud toward HD 179406 (20 Aquilae)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanson, Margaret M.; Snow, Theodore P.; Black, John H.

    1992-01-01

    An analysis of the diffuse interstellar cloud complex in front of HD 179406 (20 Aql) is presented. Along this sight line, multispectral absortion- and emission-line studies have uncovered at least three distinct velocity components due to individual clouds. A dominant velocity component is seen in both the absorption and emission-line data sets at 3 +/- 1 km/s. It is argued that the cloud associated with this velocity component is responsible for most of the atomic and all of the molecular gas in front of 20 Aql. The present chemical and physical analysis of the cloud combines the diagnostic tools of radio emission-line data with those of UV and optical absorption data. Using non-LTE models to synthesize the observed absorption profiles, (C-12)O and (C-13)O column densities along this line of sight are determined. The (C-12)O/(C-13)O abundance ratio was found to be 50 +/- 15, similar to that found by Wannier et al. toward Zeta Oph. The physical conditions of the cloud have been investigated using ultraviolet absorption lines. Measurements indicate that the dominant absorption cloud has a gas pressure similar to that found in the local diffuse molecular cloud in Ophiuchus with nT = 20,000/cu cm K.

  4. Accurate oscillator strengths for ultraviolet lines of Ar I - Implications for interstellar material

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Federman, S. R.; Beideck, D. J.; Schectman, R. M.; York, D. G.

    1992-01-01

    Analysis of absorption from interstellar Ar I in lightly reddened lines of sight provides information on the warm and hot components of the interstellar medium near the sun. The details of the analysis are limited by the quality of the atomic data. Accurate oscillator strengths for the Ar I lines at 1048 and 1067 A and the astrophysical implications are presented. From lifetimes measured with beam-foil spectroscopy, an f-value for 1048 A of 0.257 +/- 0.013 is obtained. Through the use of a semiempirical formalism for treating singlet-triplet mixing, an oscillator strength of 0.064 +/- 0.003 is derived for 1067 A. Because of the accuracy of the results, the conclusions of York and colleagues from spectra taken with the Copernicus satellite are strengthened. In particular, for interstellar gas in the solar neighborhood, argon has a solar abundance, and the warm, neutral material is not pervasive.

  5. Ultraviolet observations of cool stars. V - The local density of interstellar matter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcclintock, W.; Henry, R. C.; Moos, H. W.; Linsky, J. L.

    1976-01-01

    A high-resolution Copernicus observation of the chromospheric Ly-alpha emission line of the nearby (3.3 pc) K dwarf epsilon Eri sets limits on the velocity, the velocity dispersion, and the density of atomic hydrogen in the local interstellar medium. Analysis shows that the interstellar Ly-alpha absorption is on the flat portion of the curve of growth. An upper limit of 0.12 per cu cm is derived for the atomic-hydrogen density. The value of this density is 0.08 (plus or minus 0.04 per cu cm if the velocity-dispersion parameter is 9 km/s, corresponding to a temperature of 5000 K. Also, the interstellar deuterium Ly-alpha line may be present in the spectrum.

  6. On the nature of absorption features toward nearby stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohl, S.; Czesla, S.; Schmitt, J. H. M. M.

    2016-06-01

    Context. Diffuse interstellar absorption bands (DIBs) of largely unknown chemical origin are regularly observed primarily in distant early-type stars. More recently, detections in nearby late-type stars have also been claimed. These stars' spectra are dominated by stellar absorption lines. Specifically, strong interstellar atomic and DIB absorption has been reported in τ Boo. Aims: We test these claims by studying the strength of interstellar absorption in high-resolution TIGRE spectra of the nearby stars τ Boo, HD 33608, and α CrB. Methods: We focus our analysis on a strong DIB located at 5780.61 Å and on the absorption of interstellar Na. First, we carry out a differential analysis by comparing the spectra of the highly similar F-stars, τ Boo and HD 33608, whose light, however, samples different lines of sight. To obtain absolute values for the DIB absorption, we compare the observed spectra of τ Boo, HD 33608, and α CrB to PHOENIX models and carry out basic spectral modeling based on Voigt line profiles. Results: The intercomparison between τ Boo and HD 33608 reveals that the difference in the line depth is 6.85 ± 1.48 mÅ at the DIB location which is, however, unlikely to be caused by DIB absorption. The comparison between PHOENIX models and observed spectra yields an upper limit of 34.0 ± 0.3 mÅ for any additional interstellar absorption in τ Boo; similar results are obtained for HD 33608 and α CrB. For all objects we derive unrealistically large values for the radial velocity of any presumed interstellar clouds. In τ Boo we find Na D absorption with an equivalent width of 0.65 ± 0.07 mÅ and 2.3 ± 0.1 mÅ in the D2 and D1 lines. For the other Na, absorption of the same magnitude could only be detected in the D2 line. Our comparisons between model and data show that the interstellar absorption toward τ Boo is not abnormally high. Conclusions: We find no significant DIB absorption in any of our target stars. Any differences between modeled and

  7. Small-scale-structure of the interstellar medium probed through diffuse band observations.

    PubMed

    Cordiner, Martin A; Fossey, Stephen J; Smith, Arfon M; Sarre, Peter J

    2006-01-01

    The carriers of the diffuse interstellar band spectrum represent an important baryonic component of the interstellar medium (ISM) and it is expected that their identification will contribute significantly to the understanding of the chemistry and physics of interstellar clouds. It is widely held that the carriers are linked to the presence of dust grains on account of the good correlation of their strengths with interstellar reddening, so they offer an important potential route to improving our understanding of the composition and chemistry of grains and grain surfaces. In addition to the challenge of making the spectral assignments, an important current question concerns the spatial distribution and physical state of interstellar material, with recent observational atomic and molecular line absorption studies suggesting that diffuse clouds are more 'clumpy' than previously thought. We describe here high signal-to-noise optical observations made at the Anglo-Australian Telescope using UCLES that were undertaken to investigate the spatial distribution of diffuse band carriers. We describe the first detection of 'small-scale-structure' in the diffuse band carrier distribution in the ISM, and comment on the possibilities that these data hold for contributing to the solution of the diffuse band problem and our understanding of the nature of small-scale-structure in the diffuse ISM.

  8. Interstellar extinction in the ultraviolet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bless, R. C.; Savage, B. D.

    1972-01-01

    Interstellar extinction curves over the region 3600-1100 A for 17 stars are presented. The observations were made by the two Wisconsin spectrometers onboard the OAO-2 with spectral resolutions of 10 A and 20 A. The extinction curves generally show a pronounced maximum at 2175 plus or minus 25 A, a broad minimum in the region 1800-1350 A, and finally a rapid rise to the far ultraviolet. Large extinction variations from star to star are found, especially in the far ultraviolet; however, with only two possible exceptions in this sample, the wavelength at the maximum of the extinction bump is essentially constant. These data are combined with visual and infrared observations to display the extinction behavior over a range in wavelength of about a factor of 20.

  9. Interstellar Precursors of Meteoritic Organics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Charnley, S. B.

    2003-01-01

    The organic inventory initially available to protostellar disks is the first step on the long chemical path to the development of Life. The early earth may have obtained most its volatile material from the arrival of meteorites and comets at its surface. Determining the most likely distribution of meteoritic and cometary organic molecules that could seed primitive planets is a major goal since it sets the initial conditions for, at least part of, the phase of prebiotic chemical evolution. Observations and measurements of the chemical composition of primitive Solar System organics, and of dense molecular clouds, should allow the construction of coherent theoretical picture of the development of organic complexity from interstellar biogenic material to the beginning of prebiotic evolution.

  10. Investigation of ultraviolet interstellar extinction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Payne, C.; Haramundanis, K. L.

    1973-01-01

    Results concerning interstellar extinction in the ultraviolet are reported. These results were initially obtained by using data from main-sequence stars and were extended to include supergiants and emission stars. The principal finding of the analysis of ultraviolet extinction is not only that it is wavelength dependent, but that if changes with galactic longitude in the U3 passband (lambda sub eff = 1621 A); it does not change significantly in the U2 passband (lambda sub eff = 2308 A). Where data are available in the U4 passband (lambda sub eff = 1537 A), they confirm the rapid rise of extinction in the ultraviolet found by other investigators. However, in all cases, emission stars must be used with great caution. It is important to realize that while extinction continues to rise toward shorter wavelengths in the ultraviolet, including the shortest ultraviolet wavelengths measured (1100 A), it no longer plays an important role in the X-ray region (50 A).

  11. Chemical abundances in cold, dark interstellar clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Irvine, William M.; Kaifu, Norio; Ohishi, Masatoshi

    1991-01-01

    Current tabulations are presented of the entire range of known interstellar molecules, giving attention to that subset which has been identified in the cold, dark interstellar clouds out of which the sun has been suggested to have formed. The molecular abundances of two such clouds, Taurus Molecular Cloud 1 and Lynd's 134N, exhibit prepossessing chemical differences despite considerable physical similarities. This discrepancy may be accounted for by the two clouds' differing evolutionary stages. Two novel classes of interstellar molecules are noted: sulfur-terminated carbon chains and silicon-terminated ones.

  12. Speckles in interstellar radio-wave scattering

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Desai, K. M.; Gwinn, C. R.; Reynolds, J.; King, E. A.; Jauncey, D.; Nicholson, G.; Flanagan, C.; Preston, R. A.; Jones, D. L.

    1991-01-01

    Observations of speckles in the scattering disk of the Vela pulsar are presented and speckle techniques for studying and circumventing scattering of radio waves by the turbulent interstellar plasma are discussed. The speckle pattern contains, in a hologrammatic fashion, complete information on the structure of the radio source as well as the distribution of the scattering material. Speckle observations of interstellar scattering of radio waves are difficult because of their characteristically short timescales and narrow bandwidths. Here, first observations are presented, taken at 13 cm wavelength with elements of the SHEVE VLBI network, of speckles in interstellar scattering.

  13. Inward Radial Mixing of Interstellar Water Ices in the Solar Protoplanetary Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vacher, Lionel G.; Marrocchi, Yves; Verdier-Paoletti, Maximilien J.; Villeneuve, Johan; Gounelle, Matthieu

    2016-08-01

    The very wide diversity of asteroid compositions in the main belt suggests significant material transport in the solar protoplanetary disk and hints at the presence of interstellar ices in hydrated bodies. However, only a few quantitative estimations of the contribution of interstellar ice in the inner solar system have been reported, leading to considerable uncertainty about the extent of radial inward mixing in the solar protoplanetary disk 4.56 Ga ago. We show that the pristine CM chondrite Paris contains primary Ca-carbonates whose O-isotopic compositions require an 8%-35% contribution from interstellar water. The presence of interstellar water in Paris is confirmed by its bulk D/H isotopic composition that shows significant D enrichment (D/H = (167 ± 0.2) × 10-6) relative to the mean D/H of CM chondrites ((145 ± 3) × 10-6) and the putative D/H of local CM water ((82 ± 1.5) × 10-6). These results imply that (i) efficient radial mixing of interstellar ices occurred from the outer zone of the solar protoplanetary disk inward and that (ii) chondrites accreted water ice grains from increasing heliocentric distances in the solar protoplanetary disk.

  14. Inward Radial Mixing of Interstellar Water Ices in the Solar Protoplanetary Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vacher, Lionel G.; Marrocchi, Yves; Verdier-Paoletti, Maximilien J.; Villeneuve, Johan; Gounelle, Matthieu

    2016-08-01

    The very wide diversity of asteroid compositions in the main belt suggests significant material transport in the solar protoplanetary disk and hints at the presence of interstellar ices in hydrated bodies. However, only a few quantitative estimations of the contribution of interstellar ice in the inner solar system have been reported, leading to considerable uncertainty about the extent of radial inward mixing in the solar protoplanetary disk 4.56 Ga ago. We show that the pristine CM chondrite Paris contains primary Ca-carbonates whose O-isotopic compositions require an 8%–35% contribution from interstellar water. The presence of interstellar water in Paris is confirmed by its bulk D/H isotopic composition that shows significant D enrichment (D/H = (167 ± 0.2) × 10‑6) relative to the mean D/H of CM chondrites ((145 ± 3) × 10‑6) and the putative D/H of local CM water ((82 ± 1.5) × 10‑6). These results imply that (i) efficient radial mixing of interstellar ices occurred from the outer zone of the solar protoplanetary disk inward and that (ii) chondrites accreted water ice grains from increasing heliocentric distances in the solar protoplanetary disk.

  15. Global observations of the interstellar interaction from the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX).

    PubMed

    McComas, D J; Allegrini, F; Bochsler, P; Bzowski, M; Christian, E R; Crew, G B; DeMajistre, R; Fahr, H; Fichtner, H; Frisch, P C; Funsten, H O; Fuselier, S A; Gloeckler, G; Gruntman, M; Heerikhuisen, J; Izmodenov, V; Janzen, P; Knappenberger, P; Krimigis, S; Kucharek, H; Lee, M; Livadiotis, G; Livi, S; MacDowall, R J; Mitchell, D; Möbius, E; Moore, T; Pogorelov, N V; Reisenfeld, D; Roelof, E; Saul, L; Schwadron, N A; Valek, P W; Vanderspek, R; Wurz, P; Zank, G P

    2009-11-13

    The Sun moves through the local interstellar medium, continuously emitting ionized, supersonic solar wind plasma and carving out a cavity in interstellar space called the heliosphere. The recently launched Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft has completed its first all-sky maps of the interstellar interaction at the edge of the heliosphere by imaging energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) emanating from this region. We found a bright ribbon of ENA emission, unpredicted by prior models or theories, that may be ordered by the local interstellar magnetic field interacting with the heliosphere. This ribbon is superposed on globally distributed flux variations ordered by both the solar wind structure and the direction of motion through the interstellar medium. Our results indicate that the external galactic environment strongly imprints the heliosphere. PMID:19833923

  16. Spectropolarimetric constraints on the nature of interstellar grains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Qi; Liang, S. L.; Li, Aigen

    2014-05-01

    While it is well recognized that interstellar grains are made of amorphous silicates and some form of carbonaceous materials, it remains debated regarding what exact chemical and physical form the carbonaceous component takes. Contemporary grain models assume that the silicate and carbon components are either physically separated or they form a core-mantle structure, or they agglomerate to form porous composites. The core-mantle model posits that the mantle is made of some sort of aliphatic hydrocarbon materials and is responsible for the 3.4 μm absorption feature ubiquitously seen in the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM) of the Milky Way and external galaxies. This model is challenged by the non-detection of polarization in the 3.4 μm absorption feature as the 9.7 μm silicate feature is observed to be polarized. To alleviate this challenge, we calculate the degree of polarization of the 3.4 μm feature for spheroidal silicate dust coated by a layer of spherical aliphatic hydrocarbon. It is found that the 3.4 μm feature polarization still exceeds the observational upper limit, even though spherical aliphatic hydrocarbon mantles are expected to cause much less polarization than non-spherical (e.g. spheroidal) mantles. We have also shown that the composite grain model which consists of amorphous silicate, aliphatic hydrocarbon and vacuum also predicts the 3.4 μm feature polarization to well exceed what is observed. These results support the earlier arguments that the aliphatic hydrocarbon component is physically separated from the silicate component unless the 3.4 μm absorption feature is just a minor carbon sink in the ISM. L91

  17. The Identification of Complex Organic Molecules in the Interstellar Medium: Using Lasers and Matrix Isolation Spectroscopy to Simulate the Interstellar Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stone, Bradley M.

    1998-01-01

    The Astrochemistry Group at NASA Ames Research Center is interested in the identification of large organic molecules in the interstellar medium Many smaller organic species (e.g. hydrocarbons, alcohols, etc.) have been previously identified by their radiofrequency signature due to molecular rotations. However, this becomes increasingly difficult to observe as the size of the molecule increases. Our group in interested in the identification of the carriers of the Diffuse Interstellar Bands (absorption features observed throughout the visible and near-infrared in the spectra of stars, due to species in the interstellar medium). Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and related molecules are thought to be good candidates for these carriers. Laboratory experiments am performed at Ames to simulate the interstellar environment, and to compare spectra obtained from molecules in the laboratory to those derived astronomically. We are also interested in PAHs with respect to their possible connection to the UIR (Unidentified infrared) and ERE (Extended Red Emission) bands - emission features found to emanate from particular regions of our galaxy (e.g. Orion nebula, Red Rectangle, etc.). An old, "tried and proven spectroscopic technique, matrix isolation spectroscopy creates molecular conditions ideal for performing laboratory astrophysics.

  18. Comets, interstellar clouds and star clusters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donn, B.

    1976-01-01

    The association of comets with star formation in clusters is elaborated. This hypothesis is also used to explain origin and evaluation of the Oort cloud, the composition of comets, and relationships between cometary and interstellar molecules.

  19. Interstellar material in the solar system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, J. A.

    1986-01-01

    All the substance of the Earth and other terrestrial planets once existed in the form of interstellar grains and gas. A major aspect of solar system formation (and undoubtedly of star formation generally) is the complex series of processes that converted infalling interstellar grains into planets. A cryptic record of these processes is preserved in certain samples of planetary materials, such as chondritic meteorites, that were preserved in a relatively unchanged form since the beginning. It is to be expected that some of these primitive materials might contain or even consist of preserved presolar interstellar grains. The identification and study of such grains, the ancestors of our planetary system, is a matter of intense interest. Types of primitive material accessible or potentially accessible, and component of or relationship to presolar interstellar grains are discussed.

  20. Interstellar Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds and Astrophysics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hudgins, Douglas M.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Over the past fifteen years, thanks to significant, parallel advancements in observational, experimental, and theoretical techniques, tremendous strides have been made in our understanding of the role polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAC) in the interstellar medium (ISM). Twenty years ago, the notion of an abundant population of large, carbon rich molecules in the ISM was considered preposterous. Today, the unmistakable spectroscopic signatures of PAC - shockingly large molecules by previous interstellar chemistry standards - are recognized throughout the Universe. In this paper, we will examine the interstellar PAC model and its importance to astrophysics, including: (1) the evidence which led to inception of the model; (2) the ensuing laboratory and theoretical studies of the fundamental spectroscopic properties of PAC by which the model has been refined and extended; and (3) a few examples of how the model is being exploited to derive insight into the nature of the interstellar PAC population.

  1. Cosmocultural Evolution: Cosmic Motivation for Interstellar Travel?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lupisella, M.

    Motivations for interstellar travel can vary widely from practical survival motivations to wider-ranging moral obligations to future generations. But it may also be fruitful to explore what, if any, "cosmic" relevance there may be regarding interstellar travel. Cosmocultural evolution can be defined as the coevolution of cosmos and culture, with cultural evolution playing an important and perhaps critical role in the overall evolution of the universe. Strong versions of cosmocultural evolution might suggest that cultural evolution may have unlimited potential as a cosmic force. In such a worldview, the advancement of cultural beings throughout the universe could have significant cosmic relevance, perhaps providing additional motivation for interstellar travel. This paper will explore some potential philosophical and policy implications for interstellar travel of a cosmocultural evolutionary perspective and other related concepts, including some from a recent NASA book, Cosmos and Culture: Cultural Evolution in a Cosmic Context.

  2. Deuterium Abundance in the Local Interstellar Medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferlet, R.; Gry, C.; Vidal-Madjar, A.

    1984-01-01

    The present situation of deuterium abundance evaluation in interstellar space is discussed, and it is shown that it should be or = .00001 by studying in more detail lambda the Sco line of sight and by observing two NaI interstellar components toward that star, it can be shown that the D/H evaluation made toward lambda Sco is in fact related to the local interstellar medium (less than 10 pc from the Sun). Because this evaluation is also or = .00001 it is in striking contrast with the one made toward alpha Aur (D/H or = .000018 confirming the fact that the deuterium abundance in the local interstellar medium varies by at least a factor of two over few parsecs.

  3. A new interstellar molecule - Tricarbon monoxide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matthews, H. E.; Irvine, W. M.; Friberg, P.; Brown, R. D.; Godfrey, P. D.

    1984-01-01

    The C3O molecule, whose pure rotational spectrum has only recently been studied in the laboratory, has been detected in the cold, dark interstellar Taurus Molecular Cloud 1. Since C3O is the first interstelar carbon chain molecule to contain oxygen, its existence places an important new constraint on chemical schemes for cold interstellar clouds. The abundance of C3O can be understood in terms of purely gas-phase ion-molecule chemistry.

  4. Wrapping Together Galactic Archaeology and Interstellar Medium Studies in Large Spectroscopic Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kos, J.

    2016-10-01

    The cold interstellar medium (ISM) in our galaxy is usually observed at wavelengths other than optical. But optical spectroscopic surveys of stars give unprecedented information that is valuable also for ISM studies because they cover millions of lines-of-sight penetrating regions in and out of the Galactic plane that most all-sky surveys. Big advantages are distances to observed stars from which we infer distances to clumps of the ISM. The ISM is detected as scarce absorptions of several atoms and simple molecules and also as diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs), weak but numerous absorption features at visible and near IR wavelengths. With the enormous amount of information the surveys provide we can start doing galactic archaeology from the ISM point of view. Even though the principles are very different for star and gas dynamics, the starting points are the same. Here we present some results that are the first steps toward the galactic archaeology of the ISM.

  5. A Heliosphere Buffeted by Interstellar Turbulence?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jokipii, J. R.; Giacalone, J.

    2014-12-01

    Recent observations from IBEX combined with previous measurements from other sources suggest new, local, effects of interstellar turbulence. Observations of various interstellar parameters such as the magnetic field, fluid velocity and electron density, over large spatial scales, have revealed a broadband Kolmogorov spectrum of interstellar turbulence which pervades most of interstellar space. The outer scale (or coherence scale of this turbulence) is found to be approximately 10^19 cm and the inner cutoff scale is less than 1000 km. The root-mean-square relative fluctuation in the fluid and the magnetic-field parameters is of order unity. If this turbulence exists at the heliosphere, the root-mean-square relative fluctuations at 100 (heliospheric) AU scales is approximately 0.1. The recently published value for the change In observed velocity direction for the interstellar flow relative to the heliosphere (Frisch, etal, 2014)is consistent with this. Similarly, interpreting the width of the IBEX ribbon in terms of a fluctuating magnetic field also is in agreement with this picture. Observations of TeV cosmic rays can also be explained. Potential effects of these fluctuations in the interstellar medium on the heliosphere will be discussed. Reference: Frisch, etal, Science, 341, 480

  6. High-resolution ultra-violet observations of the interstellar diffuse clouds toward Mu Columbae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sofia, Ulysses J.; Savage, Blair D.; Cardelli, Jason A.

    1993-01-01

    Data obtained from the Goddard High Resolution spectrograph (GHRS) are used to study differences in gas-phase abundances of ions occurring in the diffuse neutral clouds toward mu Col. The sight-line characteristics determined in previous studies are reviewed and results for the cloud velocities, absorption equivalent widths, ion column densities, and depletions are presented. It is found that interstellar features from four distinct absorption regions with low-ionization gas are apparent in the GHRS data at heliocentric velocities of 23, 41, 53, and 62 km/s. Absorption by Mg II, Si II, and possibly Al II also occurs over the heliocentric velocity range from -17 to 0 km/s. The presence of stronger Si III absorption over this velocity region indicates that the absorption arises from an ionized gas region.

  7. Interstellar dust spectra between 2. 5 and 3. 3. mu. m: A search for hydrated silicates

    SciTech Connect

    Knacke, R.F.; Puetter, R.C.; Erickson, E.; McCorkle, S.

    1985-09-01

    Spectra in the 2.5--3.3 ..mu..m wavelength region of VI Cyg 12, AFGL 2205, and AFGL 2885 were obtained in a search for bound water, hydroxyl groups, and hydrated minerals in interstellar dust. No new absorption bands were found. Comparison of expected strengths of bands of serpentine and chlorite-like minerals with the data suggests that less than 25% and 50%, respectively, of the silicate in the grains is composed of these materials.

  8. Interstellar dust spectra between 2. 5 and 3. 3 microns - a search for hydrated silicates

    SciTech Connect

    Knacke, R.F.; Mccorkle, S.; Puetter, R.C.; Erickson, E.

    1985-09-01

    Spectra in the 2.5-3.3 micron wavelength region of VI Cyg 12, AFGL 2205, and AFGL 2885 were obtained in a search for bound water, hydroxyl groups, and hydrated minerals in interstellar dust. No new absorption bands were found. Comparison of expected strengths of bands of serpentine and chlorite-like minerals with the data suggests that less than 25 percent and 50 percent, respectively, of the silicate in the grains is composed of these materials. 22 references.

  9. The detection of a broad interstellar extinction feature near 1700 A

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carnochan, David J.

    1989-01-01

    A statistical examination of 126 extinction curves has revealed the presence of a second broad absorption feature similar in nature to the 2200 A feature. The feature is centered on wavelength 1706 A, has a full half-width of 350 A, and a mean central height of 0.21 magnitudes. The strength of the feature increases with E(B-V) supporting an interstellar origin, and on average it is 18 times weaker than the 2200 A feature.

  10. The physical properties of the interstellar cloud around the heliosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gry, C.

    2015-12-01

    A new interpretation of interstellar absorption lines in the spectra of nearby stars indicates that the medium surrounding the Sun can be regarded as a single, coherent cloud if we relax the assumption that a cloud behaves like a rigid body. This outlook permits us to construct a comprehensive picture of the local interstellar cloud and reveals that it departs from homogeneity in a number of aspects and physical properties: - This local cloud undergoes a deformation related to a compression in the direction of motion and an expansion in perpendicular directions, much like a squashed balloon. - The metal abundances decrease steadily from the rear to the head of the cloud, and this phenomenon does not appear to be related to ionization effects. - The cloud average HI density, estimated toward a number of nearby stars around which an astrophere is detected in Lyman alpha, varies from 0.03 to 0.1 cm-3. The cloud outer boundary inferred from the average density and column densities is very irregular with an average distance to the Sun of 9 +/- 7 pc. - The electron density and the cloud temperature can be derived from the combination of the ionization equilibrium of MgI and the excitation of CII in a restricted number of sightlines where column density is such that MgI and CII* features are strong enough to be detectable without saturating MgII. We present a few additional targets from which we examine the physical conditions inside the cloud.

  11. Interstellar dust from the Milky Way to the Magellanic Clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pei, Yichuan C.

    1992-01-01

    Interstellar dust in the Magellanic Clouds, with a weak or nearly absent 2175 A extinction feature, may be of interest in studies of galaxies in early stages of chemical evolution. To this inquiry, we extend the graphite-silicate grain model, introduced by Mathis, Rumpl, and Nordsieck and developed by Draine and Lee (1984) from the Milky Way to the Magellanic Clouds. We find that the empirical extinction curves in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds can be reproduced by adjusting only the relative abundances of graphite and silicate grains, while leaving all other model properties fixed to those appropriate for the Galactic extinction curve. Using the graphite-silicate models, we calculate the absorption and scattering optical depths, the mass-density ratio of interstellar dust to neutral hydrogen, and the Kramers-Kronig relation for all three galaxies. We also present a fitting function for the three extinction curves, valid not only over the observed range of wavelengths but also over the full range as predicted by the models. All the quantities we derived here are independent of the dust-to-gas ratios in the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds, and can be applied to other galaxies if they contain Galactic or Magellanic-type dust.

  12. Investigation of claims for interstellar organisms and complex organic molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, Robert E.; Delluva, Adelaide M.; Koch, Robert H.

    1984-10-01

    For many years, Hoyle, Wickramasinghe and their associates have examined interstellar (IS) absorption features in the ultraviolet, visible and infrared and `identified' them with a variety of organic structures or organisms. Among these there have been generalized, pre-biotic molecules1, polyoxymethylene whiskers2, polysaccharides and hydrocarbons3,4, tryptophan (and inferentially proteins)5-all claimed to be coatings on IS grains. In other cases, the grains1,6 have been described as 10-100% alkanes, alkenes, alkynes or aromatics by mass. In extensions of these claims, the grains are supposed to be microorganisms (such as viruses and bacteria7, algae8, siliceous cells similar to diatoms9, yeasts10 or other eukaryotic cells11) in whole or in part. Finally, a case has been advanced for possible interstellar and interplanetary insects11. The `identifications' in these and many other publications call into question the intrinsic origin of Earth life itself12,13 and the uniqueness and validity of darwinian evolution11. We now report on ultraviolet spectra of specimens of the types cited by these workers and compare our results with infrared and ultraviolet data published previously. We conclude that the identifications claimed by Hoyle, Wickramasinghe and their colleagues are unwarranted.

  13. The Properties of Single Interstellar Clouds: Modified Cycle 1 Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobbs, Lewis

    1990-12-01

    WE PROPOSE TO USE THE ECHELLE AND 160M GRATINGS OF THE HIGH RESOLUTION SPECTROGRAPH OVER A TWO-YEAR PERIOD TO OBSERVE THE PROFILES OF INTERSTELLAR ABSORPTION LINES. THE COLUMN DENSITES OF 18 NEUTRAL OR IONIZED FORMS OF THE ELEMENTS C,N,O,Mg,Si,P,S,Fe, AND Zn WILL BE MEASURED IN THE APPROXIMATELY 100 INDIVIDUAL INTERSTELLAR CLOUDS ALONG THE LIGHT PATHS TO 18 BRIGHT, BROAD-LINED STARS OF EARLY SPECTRAL TYPE WITHIN 1 KPC OF THE SUN. THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE OBSERVATIONS IS TO DETERMINE MORE ACCURATELY THAN WAS HITHERTO POSSIBLE THE FUNDAMENTAL PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF THE RESOLVED CLOUDS, INCLUDING LINEAR SIZE, TEMPERATURE, TOTAL DENSITY, FRACTIONAL IONIZATION AND THE RELATIVE ABUNDANCES OF THE 9 SELECTED ELEMENTS. THE REST OF THIS OBSERVING PROGRAM IS CONTAINED IN APPROVED PROPOSAL ID = 3993; THE PROGRAM ENUMERATED HERE CONSISTS OF THAT PART OF OUR ORIGINAL PROGRAM, ID = 2251, WHICH REQUIRED MODIFICATION IN ORDER TO BE CARRIED OUT USING ONLY SIDE 2 OF THE GHRS. THIS PROGRAM THEREFORE CONSISTS OF ECH-B AND G160M OBSERVATIONS OF EACH OF 8 STARS AT 14 OR MORE WAVELENGTHS. PROGRAMS 2251 AND 3993 SHOULD BE CONSULTED FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS.

  14. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon ions and the diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, F.; Allamandola, L. J.

    1995-01-01

    Neutral naphthalene (C10H8), phenanthrene (C14H10), and pyrene (C16H10) absorb strongly in the ultraviolet and may contribute to the extinction curve. High abundances are required to produce detectable structures. The cations of these Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) absorb in the visible. C10H8(+) has 12 discrete absorption bands which fall between 6800 and 5000 A. The strongest band at 6741 A falls close to the weak 6742 A diffuse interstellar band (DIB). Five other weaker bands also match DIBs. The possibility that C10H8(+) is responsible for some of the DIBs can be tested by searching for new DIBS at 6520, 6151, and 5965 A, other moderately strong naphthalene cation band positions. If C10H8(+) is indeed responsible for the 6742 A feature, it accounts for 0.3% of the cosmic carbon. The spectrum of C16H10(+) is dominated by a strong band at 4435 A in an Ar matrix and 4395 A in a Ne matrix, a position which falls very close to the strongest DIB, that at 4430 A. If C16H10(+), or a closely related pyrene-like ion is indeed responsible for the 4430 A feature, it accounts for 0.2% of the cosmic carbon. We also report an intense, very broad UV-to-visible continuum which is associated with both ions and could explain how PAHs convert interstellar UV and visible radiation into IR.

  15. The Properties of Single Interstellar Clouds Cycle 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobbs, Lewis

    1991-07-01

    IN THIS CONTINUATION PROPOSAL, WE PROPOSE TO USE THE ECHELLEAND 160M GRATINGS OF THE HIGH RESOLUTION SPECTROGRAPH TO OBSERVE THE PZROFILES OF INTERSTELLAR ABSORPTION LINES, DURING THE SECOND YEAR OF A TWO-YEAR PROGRAM. IN THE TWO CYCLES TOGETHER, THE COLUMN DENSITES OF 17 NEUTRAL OR IONIZED FORMS OF THE ELEMENTS C,N,O,Mg,Si,P,S,Fe, AND Zn WILL BE MEASURED IN THE APPROXIMATELY 100 INDIVIDUAL INTERSTELLAR CLOUDS ALONG THE LIGHT PATHS TO 12 BRIGHT, BROAD-LINED STARS OF EARLY SPECTRAL TYPE WITHIN 1 KPC OF THE SUN. THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE OBSERVATIONS IS TO DETERMINE MORE ACCURATELY THAN WAS HITHERTO POSSIBLE THE FUNDAMENTAL PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF THE RESOLVED CLOUDS, INCLUDING LINEAR SIZE, TEMPERATURE, TOTAL DENSITY, FRACTIONAL IONIZATION AND THE RELATIVE ABUNDANCES OF THE 9 SELECTED ELEMENTS. THIS SECOND-YEAR PROGRAM CONSISTS OF ECH-B AND G160M OBSERVATIONS OF EACH OF 4 STARS AT 21 OR MORE WAVELENGTHS, AND OF A SUBSET OF THESE OBSERVATIONS FOR A FIFTH STAR, PI SCO. PROGRAMS 2251 AND 3993 SHOULD BE CONSULTED FOR DETAILS OF THE PREVIOUS OBSERVATIONS OBTAINED DURING CYCLE 1.

  16. Detection of Interstellar CH3.

    PubMed

    Feuchtgruber; Helmich; van Dishoeck EF; Wright

    2000-06-01

    Observations with the Short Wavelength Spectrometer on board the Infrared Space Observatory have led to the first detection of the methyl radical CH(3) in the interstellar medium. The nu(2) Q-branch at 16.5 µm and the R(0) line at 16.0 µm have been unambiguously detected toward the Galactic center Sagittarius A*. The analysis of the measured bands gives a column density of &parl0;8.0+/-2.4&parr0;x1014 cm(-2) and an excitation temperature of 17+/-2 K. Gaseous CO at a similarly low excitation temperature and C(2)H(2) are detected for the same line of sight. Using constraints on the H(2) column density obtained from C(18)O and visual extinction, the inferred CH(3) abundance is &parl0;1.3+2.2-0.7&parr0;x10-8. The chemically related CH(4) molecule is not detected, but the pure rotational lines of CH are seen with the Long Wavelength Spectrometer. The absolute abundances and the CH(3)/CH(4) and CH(3)/CH ratios are inconsistent with published pure gas-phase models of dense clouds. The data require a mix of diffuse and translucent clouds with different densities and extinctions, and/or the development of translucent models in which gas-grain chemistry, freeze-out, and reactions of H with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and solid aliphatic material are included.

  17. Characterization of Interstellar Organic Molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Gencaga, Deniz; Knuth, Kevin H.; Carbon, Duane F.

    2008-11-06

    Understanding the origins of life has been one of the greatest dreams throughout history. It is now known that star-forming regions contain complex organic molecules, known as Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), each of which has particular infrared spectral characteristics. By understanding which PAH species are found in specific star-forming regions, we can better understand the biochemistry that takes place in interstellar clouds. Identifying and classifying PAHs is not an easy task: we can only observe a single superposition of PAH spectra at any given astrophysical site, with the PAH species perhaps numbering in the hundreds or even thousands. This is a challenging source separation problem since we have only one observation composed of numerous mixed sources. However, it is made easier with the help of a library of hundreds of PAH spectra. In order to separate PAH molecules from their mixture, we need to identify the specific species and their unique concentrations that would provide the given mixture. We develop a Bayesian approach for this problem where sources are separated from their mixture by Metropolis Hastings algorithm. Separated PAH concentrations are provided with their error bars, illustrating the uncertainties involved in the estimation process. The approach is demonstrated on synthetic spectral mixtures using spectral resolutions from the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). Performance of the method is tested for different noise levels.

  18. Interstellar Transfer of Planetary Microbiota

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallis, Max K.; Wickramasinghe, N. C.

    Panspermia theories require the transport of micro-organisms in a viable form from one astronomical location to another. The evidence of material ejection from planetary surfaces, of dynamical orbit evolution and of potential survival on landing is setting a firm basis for interplanetary panspermia. Pathways for interstellar panspermia are less clear. We compare the direct route, whereby life-bearing planetary ejecta exit the solar system and risk radiation hazards en route to nearby stellar systems, and an indirect route whereby ejecta hitch a ride within the shielded environment of comets of the Edgeworth- Kuiper Belt that are subsequently expelled from the solar system. We identify solutions to the delivery problem. Delivery to fully-fledged planetary systems of either the direct ejecta or the ejecta borne by comets depends on dynamical capture and is of very low efficiency. However, delivery into a proto-planetary disc of an early solar-type nebula and into pre-stellar molecular clouds is effective, because the solid grains efficiently sputter the incoming material in hypervelocity collisions. The total mass of terrestrial fertile material delivered to nearby pre-stellar systems as the solar system moves through the galaxy is from kilogrammes up to a tonne. Subject to further study of bio-viability under irradiation and fragmenting collisions, a few kg of original grains and sputtered fragments could be sufficient to seed the planetary system with a wide range of solar system micro-organisms.

  19. Diffuse interstellar bands versus known atomic and molecular species in the interstellar medium of M82 toward SN 2014J

    SciTech Connect

    Welty, Daniel E.; York, Donald G.; Ritchey, Adam M.; Dahlstrom, Julie A.

    2014-09-10

    We discuss the absorption due to various constituents of the interstellar medium (ISM) of M82 seen in moderately high-resolution, high signal-to-noise ratio optical spectra of SN 2014J. Complex absorption from M82 is seen, at velocities 45 ≲ v {sub LSR} ≲ 260 km s{sup –1}, for Na I, K I, Ca I, Ca II, CH, CH{sup +}, and CN; many of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are also detected. Comparisons of the column densities of the atomic and molecular species and the equivalent widths of the DIBs reveal both similarities and differences in relative abundances, compared to trends seen in the ISM of our Galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds. Of the 10 relatively strong DIBs considered here, 6 (including λ5780.5) have strengths within ±20% of the mean values seen in the local Galactic ISM, for comparable N(K I); 2 are weaker by 20%-45% and 2 (including λ5797.1) are stronger by 25%-40%. Weaker than 'expected' DIBs (relative to N(K I), N(Na I), and E(B – V)) in some Galactic sight lines and toward several other extragalactic supernovae appear to be associated with strong CN absorption and/or significant molecular fractions. While the N(CH)/N(K I) and N(CN)/N(CH) ratios seen toward SN 2014J are similar to those found in the local Galactic ISM, the combination of high N(CH{sup +})/N(CH) and high W(5797.1)/W(5780.5) ratios has not been seen elsewhere. The centroids of many of the M82 DIBs are shifted relative to the envelope of the K I profile—likely due to component-to-component variations in W(DIB)/N(K I) that may reflect the molecular content of the individual components. We compare estimates for the host galaxy reddening E(B – V) and visual extinction A {sub V} derived from the various interstellar species with the values estimated from optical and near-IR photometry of SN 2014J.

  20. Complex Organics from Laboratory Simulated Interstellar Ices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dworkin, J. P.

    2003-01-01

    Many of the volatiles in interstellar dense clouds exist in ices surrounding dust grains. The low temperatures of these ices (T < 50 K) preclude most chemical reactions, but photolysis can drive reactions that produce a suite of new species, many of which are complex organics. We study the UV and proton radiation processing of interstellar ice analogs to explore links between interstellar chemistry, the organics in comets and meteorites, and the origin of life on Earth. The high D/H ratios in some interstellar species, and the knowledge that many of the organics in primitive meteorites are D-enriched, suggest that such links are plausible. Once identified, these species may serve as markers of interstellar heritage of cometary dust and meteorites. Of particular interest are our findings that UV photolysis of interstellar ice analogs produce molecules of importance in current living organisms, including quinones, amphiphiles, and amino acids. Quinones are essential in vital metabolic roles such as electron transport. Studies show that quinones should be made wherever polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are photolyzed in interstellar ices. In the case of anthracene-containing ices, we have observed the production of 9-anthrone and 9,10 anthraquinone, both of which have been observed in the Murchison meteorite. Amphiphiles are also made when mixed molecular ices are photolyzed. These amphiphiles self-assemble into fluorescent vesicles when placed in liquid water, as do Murchison extracts. Both have the ability to trap an ionic dye. Photolysis of plausible ices can also produce alanine, serine, and glycine as well as a number of small alcohols and amines. Flash heating of the room temperature residue generated by such experiments generates mass spectral distributions similar to those of IDPs. The detection of high D/H ratios in some interstellar molecular species, and the knowledge that many of the organics, such as hydroxy and amino acids, in primitive meteorites are D

  1. MAPPING THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM WITH NEAR-INFRARED DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BANDS

    SciTech Connect

    Zasowski, G.; Ménard, B.; Bizyaev, D.; García-Hernández, D. A.; Pérez, A. E. García; Majewski, S. R.; Hayden, M. R.; Holtzman, J.; Kinemuchi, K.; Johnson, J. A.; Wilson, J. C.; Nidever, D. L.; Shetrone, M.

    2015-01-01

    We map the distribution and properties of the Milky Way's interstellar medium as traced by diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) detected in near-infrared stellar spectra from the SDSS-III/APOGEE survey. Focusing exclusively on the strongest DIB in the H band, at λ ∼ 1.527 μm, we present a projected map of the DIB absorption field in the Galactic plane, using a set of about 60,000 sightlines that reach up to 15 kpc from the Sun and probe up to 30 mag of visual extinction. The strength of this DIB is linearly correlated with dust reddening over three orders of magnitude in both DIB equivalent width (W {sub DIB}) and extinction, with a power law index of 1.01 ± 0.01, a mean relationship of W {sub DIB}/A{sub V} = 0.1 Å mag{sup –1} and a dispersion of ∼0.05 Å mag{sup –1} at extinctions characteristic of the Galactic midplane. These properties establish this DIB as a powerful, independent probe of dust extinction over a wide range of A{sub V} values. The subset of about 14,000 robustly detected DIB features have a W {sub DIB} distribution that follows an exponential trend. We empirically determine the intrinsic rest wavelength of this transition to be λ{sub 0} = 15 272.42 Å  and use it to calculate absolute radial velocities of the carrier, which display the kinematical signature of the rotating Galactic disk. We probe the DIB carrier distribution in three dimensions and show that it can be characterized by an exponential disk model with a scale height of about 100 pc and a scale length of about 5 kpc. Finally, we show that the DIB distribution also traces large-scale Galactic structures, including the Galactic long bar and the warp of the outer disk.

  2. [Effect of Charge-Transfer Complex on Ultraviolet-Visible (UV-Vis) Absorption Property of Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM) in Waters of Typical Water-Level Fluctuation Zones of the Three Gorges Reservoir Areas].

    PubMed

    Jiang, Tao; Liang, Jian; Zhang, Mu-xue; Wang, Ding-yong; Wei, Shi-qiang; Lu, Song

    2016-02-15

    As an important fraction of dissolved organic matter (DOM), chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) plays a key role in decision of the optical properties and photogeochemistry of DOM, and further affects pollutant fate and global carbon cycle. These optical properties are ascribed to two chromophoric systems including superposition of individual chromophores and charge-transfer (CT) complexation between electron donor (e.g., phenols and indoles) and acceptor (e.g., quinones and other oxidized aromatics) in DOM structures. Thus in this study, based on the "double-chromophoric system" model, DOM samples from four typical water-level fluctuation zones of Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) areas were selected, to investigate the effect and contribution of charge-transfer complex to ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) absorption property of CDOM. Using NaBH, reduction method, original featureless absorption curve was classified into two independent curves caused by individual chromophoric group, which were derived from a simple superposition of independent chromophore and charge-transfer complex, respectively. Also, the changes in curve properties and specific parameters before and after NaBH4 reduction were compared. The results showed that in all DOM samples from the four sites of TGR, more than 35% of absorption was attributed from CT complex. Shibaozhai of Zhongxian and Zhenxi of Fuling showed the highest proportion ( > 50%). It suggested that the role of CT complex in CDOM property could not be neglected. After removal of CT complex, absorption curve showed blue-shift and CDOM concentration [a (355)] decreased significantly. Meanwhile, because of deforming of bonds by reduction, DOM structures became more dispersive and the molecular size was decreased, resulting in the lower spectral slope (S) observed, which evidentially supported that the supermolecular association structure of DOM was self-assembled through CT complex. Meanwhile, deceasing hydrophobic components led

  3. Laboratory confirmation of C60(+) as the carrier of two diffuse interstellar bands.

    PubMed

    Campbell, E K; Holz, M; Gerlich, D; Maier, J P

    2015-07-16

    The diffuse interstellar bands are absorption lines seen towards reddened stars. None of the molecules responsible for these bands have been conclusively identified. Two bands at 9,632 ångströms and 9,577 ångströms were reported in 1994, and were suggested to arise from C60(+) molecules (ref. 3), on the basis of the proximity of these wavelengths to the absorption bands of C60(+) measured in a neon matrix. Confirmation of this assignment requires the gas-phase spectrum of C60(+). Here we report laboratory spectroscopy of C60(+) in the gas phase, cooled to 5.8 kelvin. The absorption spectrum has maxima at 9,632.7 ± 0.1 ångströms and 9,577.5 ± 0.1 ångströms, and the full widths at half-maximum of these bands are 2.2 ± 0.2 ångströms and 2.5 ± 0.2 ångströms, respectively. We conclude that we have positively identified the diffuse interstellar bands at 9,632 ångströms and 9,577 ångströms as arising from C60(+) in the interstellar medium. PMID:26178962

  4. Statistical time-dependent model for the interstellar gas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gerola, H.; Kafatos, M.; Mccray, R.

    1974-01-01

    We present models for temperature and ionization structure of low, uniform-density (approximately 0.3 per cu cm) interstellar gas in a galactic disk which is exposed to soft X rays from supernova outbursts occurring randomly in space and time. The structure was calculated by computing the time record of temperature and ionization at a given point by Monte Carlo simulation. The calculation yields probability distribution functions for ionized fraction, temperature, and their various observable moments. These time-dependent models predict a bimodal temperature distribution of the gas that agrees with various observations. Cold regions in the low-density gas may have the appearance of clouds in 21-cm absorption. The time-dependent model, in contrast to the steady-state model, predicts large fluctuations in ionization rate and the existence of cold (approximately 30 K), ionized (ionized fraction equal to about 0.1) regions.

  5. Organic chemistry and biology of the interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sagan, C.

    1973-01-01

    Interstellar organic chemistry is discussed as the field of study emerging from the discovery of microwave lines of formaldehyde and of hydrogen cyanide in the interstellar medium. The reliability of molecular identifications and comparisons of interstellar and cometary compounds are considered, along with the degradational origin of simple organics. It is pointed out that the contribution of interstellar organic chemistry to problems in biology is not substantive but analogical. The interstellar medium reveals the operation of chemical processes which, on earth and perhaps on vast numbers of planets throughout the universe, led to the origin of life, but the actual molecules of the interstellar medium are unlikely to play any significant biological role.

  6. Summer School on Interstellar Processes: Abstracts of contributed papers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hollenbach, D. J. (Editor); Thronson, H. A., Jr. (Editor)

    1986-01-01

    The Summer School on Interstellar Processes was held to discuss the current understanding of the interstellar medium and to analyze the basic physical processes underlying interstellar phenomena. Extended abstracts of the contributed papers given at the meeting are presented. Many of the papers concerned the local structure and kinematics of the interstellar medium and focused on such objects as star formation regions, molecular clouds, HII regions, reflection nebulae, planetary nebulae, supernova remnants, and shock waves. Other papers studied the galactic-scale structure of the interstellar medium either in the Milky Way or other galaxies. Some emphasis was given to observations of interstellar grains and

  7. The Physical Character of Small-Scale Interstellar Structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lauroesch, James T.

    2005-01-01

    The primary objective of this program was to obtain FUSE observations of the multiple interstellar absorption lines of H2 toward the members of 3 resolvable binary/multiple star systems to explore the physical conditions in known interstellar small-scale structures. Each of the selected systems was meant to address a different aspect of the models for the origin of these structures: 1) The stars HD 32039/40 were meant to probe a temporally varying component which probed a cloud with an inferred size of tens to a few hundreds of AU. The goal was to see if there was any significant H2 associated with this component; 2) The star HD 36408B and its companion HD 36408A (observed as part of FUSE GTO program P119) show significant spatial and temporal (proper motion induced) Na I column variations in a strong, relatively isolated component, as well as a relatively simple component structure. The key goal here was to identify any differences in H2 or C I excitation between the sightlines, and to measure the physical conditions (primarily density and temperature) in the temporally varying component; 3) The stars HD 206267C and HD 206267D are highly reddened sightlines which showed significant variations in K I and molecular absorption lines in multiple velocity components. Coupled with FUSE GTO observations of HD 206267A (program P116), the goal was to study the variations in H2 along sightlines which are significantly more distant, with larger separations, and with greater extinctions than the other selected binary systems.

  8. Green Bank Telescope Observations of Interstellar Glycolaldehyde: Low Temperature Sugar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hollis, J. M.; Jewell, P. R.; Lovas, F. J.; Remijan, A.

    2004-01-01

    Interstellar glycolaldehyde (CH20HCHO) has been detected with the 100-m Green Bank Telescope (GBT) toward the star-forming region Sagittarius B2(N) by means of the 1(sub 10)-1(sub 01),2(sub 11)-2(sub 02),3(sub 12)-3(sub 0), and 4(sub 13)-4(sub 04) rotational transitions at 13.48, 15.18, 17.98, and 22.14 GHz, respectively. An analysis of these four high signal- to-noise rotational transitions yields a glycolaldehyde state temperature of 8 K. Previously reported emission line detections of glycolaldehyde with the NRAO 12-m telescope at mm-wavelengths (71 GHz to 103 GHz) are characterized by a state temperature of -50 K. By comparison the GBT detections are surprisingly strong and seen in emission at 13.48 GHz, emission and absorption at 15.18 GHz, and absorption at 17.98 GHz and 22.14 GHz. We attribute the strong absorption observed by the GBT at the higher frequencies to the correspondingly smaller GBT beams coupling better to the continuum source(s) in Sagittarius B2(N). A possible model for the two-temperature regions of glycolaldehyde is discussed.

  9. Excitation of interstellar hydrogen chloride

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neufild, David A.; Green, Sheldon

    1994-01-01

    We have computed new rate coefficients for the collisional excitation of HCl by He, in the close-coupled formalism and using an interaction potential determined recently by Willey, Choong, & DeLucia. Results have been obtained for temperatures between 10 K and 300 K. With the use of the infinite order sudden approximation, we have derived approximate expressions of general applicability which may be used to estimate how the rate constant for a transition (J to J prime) is apportioned among the various hyperfine states F prime of the final state J prime. Using these new rate coefficients, we have obtained predictions for the HCl rotational line strengths expected from a dense clump of interstellar gas, as a function of the HCl fractional abundance. Over a wide range of HCl abundances, we have found that the line luminosities are proportional to abundance(exp 2/3), a general result which can be explained using a simple analytical approximation. Our model for the excitation of HCl within a dense molecular cloud core indicates that the J = 1 goes to 0 line strengths measured by Blake, Keene, & Phillips toward the Orion Molecular Cloud (OMC-1) imply a fractional abundance n(HCl)/n(H2) approximately 2 x 10(exp -9), a value which amounts to only approximately 0.3% of the cosmic abundance of chlorine nuclei. Given a fractional abundance of 2 x 10(exp -9), the contribution of HCl emission to the total radiative cooling of a dense clump is small. For Orion, we predict a flux approximately 10(exp -19) W/sq cm for the HCl J = 3 goes to 2 line near 159.8 micrometers, suggesting that the strength of this line could be measured using the Infrared Space Observatory.

  10. Prospective of Photon Propulsion for Interstellar Flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bae, Young K.

    Mastering photon propulsion is proposed to be the key to overcoming the limit of the current propulsion technology based on conventional rocketry and potentially opening a new space era. A perspective on photon propulsion is presented here to elucidate that interstellar manned roundtrip flight could be achievable in a century within a frame of exiting scientific principles, once the required existing technologies are further developed. It is shown that the developmental pathway towards the interstellar flight demands not only technological breakthroughs, but consistent long-term world-scale economic interest and investment. Such interest and investment will result from positive financial returns from routine interstellar commutes that can transport highly valuable commodities in a profitable manner. The Photonic Railway, a permanent energy-efficient transportation structure based on the Beamed-Laser Propulsion (BLP) by Forward and the Photonic Laser Thruster (PLT) by the author, is proposed to enable such routine interstellar commutes via Spacetrains. A four-phased evolutionary developmental pathway towards the Interstellar Photonic Railway is proposed. Each phase poses evolutionary, yet daunting, technological and financial challenges that need to be overcome within each time frame of 20 _ 30 years, and is projected to generate multitudes of applications that would lead to sustainable reinvestment into its development. If successfully developed, the Photonic Railway would bring about a quantum leap in the human economic and social interests in space from explorations to terraforming, mining, colonization, and permanent habitation in exoplanets.

  11. Composition, structure and chemistry of interstellar dust

    SciTech Connect

    Tielens, A.G.G.M.; Allamandola, L.J.

    1986-09-01

    The observational constraints on the composition of the interstellar dust are analyzed. The dust in the diffuse interstellar medium consists of a mixture of stardust (amorphous silicates, amorphous carbon, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and graphite) and interstellar medium dust (organic refractory material). Stardust seems to dominate in the local diffuse interstellar medium. Inside molecular clouds, however, icy grain mantles are also important. The structural differences between crystalline and amorphous materials, which lead to differences in the optical properties, are discussed. The astrophysical consequences are briefly examined. The physical principles of grain surface chemistry are discussed and applied to the formation of molecular hydrogen and icy grain mantles inside dense molecular clouds. Transformation of these icy grain mantles into the organic refractory dust component observed in the diffuse interstellar medium requires ultraviolet sources inside molecular clouds as well as radical diffusion promoted by transient heating of the mantle. The latter process also returns a considerable fraction of the molecules in the grain mantle to the gas phase.

  12. Composition, structure and chemistry of interstellar dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tielens, Alexander G. G. M.; Allamandola, Louis J.

    1986-01-01

    The observational constraints on the composition of the interstellar dust are analyzed. The dust in the diffuse interstellar medium consists of a mixture of stardust (amorphous silicates, amorphous carbon, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and graphite) and interstellar medium dust (organic refractory material). Stardust seems to dominate in the local diffuse interstellar medium. Inside molecular clouds, however, icy grain mantles are also important. The structural differences between crystalline and amorphous materials, which lead to differences in the optical properties, are discussed. The astrophysical consequences are briefly examined. The physical principles of grain surface chemistry are discussed and applied to the formation of molecular hydrogen and icy grain mantles inside dense molecular clouds. Transformation of these icy grain mantles into the organic refractory dust component observed in the diffuse interstellar medium requires ultraviolet sources inside molecular clouds as well as radical diffusion promoted by transient heating of the mantle. The latter process also returns a considerable fraction of the molecules in the grain mantle to the gas phase.

  13. Automated searching of Stardust interstellar foils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogliore, Ryan C.; Floss, Christine; Stadermann, Frank J.; Kearsley, A. T.; Leitner, Jan; Stroud, Rhonda M.; Westphal, Andrew J.

    2012-04-01

    The Al foils lining the aerogel tiles of the Stardust interstellar tray represent approximately 13% of the total collecting area, about 15,300 mm2. Although the flux is poorly constrained, fewer than 100 impacts are expected in all the Al foils on the collector, and most of these are likely to be less than 1 μm in diameter. Secondary electron (SE) images of the foils at a resolution of approximately 50 nm per pixel are being collected during the Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination, resulting in more than two million images that will eventually need to be searched for impact craters. The unknown and complicated nature of 3-dimensional interstellar tracks in aerogel necessitated the use of a massively distributed human search to locate only a few interstellar tracks. The 2-dimensional nature of the SE images makes the problem of searching for craters tractable for algorithmic approaches. Using templates of craters from cometary impacts into Stardust foils, we present a computer algorithm for the identification of impact craters in the Stardust interstellar foils using normalized cross-correlation and template matching. We address the speed, sensitivity, and false-positive rate of the algorithm. The search algorithm can be adapted for use in other applications. The program is freely available for download at .

  14. Innovative Interstellar Explorer (I2E)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNutt, R. L.; Gold, R. E.; Krimigis, T.; Roelof, E. C.; Gruntman, M.; Gloeckler, G.; Koehn, P. L.; Kurth, W. S.; Oleson, S. R.; Fiehler, D. I.; Horanyi, M.; Mewaldt, R. A.; Leary, J. C.; Anderson, B. J.

    2005-12-01

    An interstellar "precursor" mission has been under discussion in the scientific community for almost 30 years. Fundamental scientific questions about the interaction of the Sun with the interstellar medium and the nature of the very local interstellar medium (VLISM) itself can only be answered with the in situ measurements from a probe penetrating into interstellar space. The problem is the development of a probe that can provide the required measurements and can reach a heliocentric distance of at least 200 astronomical units (AU) in a "reasonable" time. High-performance radioisotope power systems (RPSs) are enabling for our approach: The Innovative Interstellar Explorer (IIE) and its use of Radioisotope Electric Propulsion (REP) is being studied under a NASA "Vision Mission" grant. Speed is provided by a combination of a high-energy launch, a Jupiter gravity assist, and long-term, low-thrust, continuous acceleration provided by a kilowatt-class ion thruster running off electricity provided by an RPS. Such an approach relies upon known technology for most subsystems and upon current launch vehicles for speed. A payload of nine instruments with an aggregate mass of about 35 kg and requiring 30 W has been carefully chosen to address the compelling science questions. We describe the mission and system that can reach 200 AU in a 30-year flight time.

  15. A Laboratory Route to Interstellar Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Broekhuizen, Fleur Antoinette

    2005-06-01

    The formation of snow and ice has always intrigued humans and challenged them to study these phenomena. Every snowflake has its own unique history of formation, but no two are alike. Like snow-crystals, interstellar ices consist predominantly of water (H2O), but also contain significant fractions of other molecules such as carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), and methanol (CH3OH), and traces of dinitrogen (N2) and ammonia (NH3). The presence, or absence, of a molecule in the ice strongly depends on the environmental conditions. Vice versa, these molecules have an influence on their environment as well. Hence, the chemical composition and the structure of interstellar ices are thought to contain valuable information about the past and the future of interstellar regions, and it is for this reason that interstellar ices are simulated and studied under laboratory conditions. The present thesis contains a study of laboratory analogs of interstellar ices and presents a newly developed apparatus that provides a novel laboratory route to investigate the properties of these ices in more detail than has previously been possible.

  16. Communicating Concepts about Altruism in Interstellar Messages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vakoch, Douglas A.

    2002-01-01

    This project identifies key principles of altruism that can be translated into interstellar messages for communication with extraterrestrial intelligence. The message contents will focus specifically on the evolution of altruism, drawing on recent insights in evolutionary biology, with particular emphasis on sociobiological accounts of kin selection and reciprocal altruism. This focus on altruism for message contents has several advantages. First, the subject can be translated into interstellar messages both via an existing formal interstellar language and via pictorial messages. For example, aspects of reciprocal altruism can be described through mathematical modeling, such as game theoretic approaches, which in turn can be described readily in the interstellar language Lincos. Second, concentrating on altruism as a message content may facilitate communications with extraterrestrial intelligence. Some scientists have argued that humans may be expected to communicate something about their moral status and development in an exchange with extraterrestrials. One of the most salient ways that terrestrial and extraterrestrial civilizations might be expected to evaluate one another is in terms of ethical motivations. Indeed, current search strategies assume some measure of altruism on the part of transmitting civilizations; with no guarantee of a response, the other civilization would be providing information to us with no direct payoff. Thus, concepts about altruism provide an appropriate content for interstellar messages, because the concepts themselves might be understood by extraterrestrial civilizations.

  17. The abundant elements in interstellar dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sofia, Ulysses J.; Cardelli, Jason A.; Savage, Blair D.

    1994-01-01

    We explore the incorporation of the cosmically abundant species O, C, N, Mg, Si, Fe, and S into interstellar dust. Column densities based on Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph 3.5 km/s resolution measurements from the literature for eight individual absorbing regions toward five lines of sight are used. Corrections are applied as needed in order to account for recent improvements in oscillator strengths. In order to acquire the most accurate column densities, and check on the accuracy of the oscillator strengths, we compare column densities based on the very strong Lorentzian damped lines of C II, O I, N I, and Mg II with results for the weak lines of these species, and confirm the previously determined f-values for O I lambda 1335, C II lambda 2325, and N I lambda lambda 1159, 1160. New empirical f-values of 1.25 x 10(exp -3) and 6.25 x 10(exp -4), respectively, are derived for the Mg II weak doublet at 1239 and 1240 A. Assuming a cosmic reference abundance based on solar and B star values, we derive depletions and dust-phase abundances which suggest that more than 70% of the available Mg and Fe is incorporated into dust-grain cores, whereas only 35% of the silicon is. This implies that oxides are important constituents of the grain core population. Mg and Fe atoms are mantled onto grain cores in a ratio of 1.8 to 1, whereas approximately 4.0 Si atoms are in the mantle per Fe atom. Since Si is not expected to accrete onto silicate or graphite grains, other grain cores, perhaps oxides and/or metallic Fe, may provide mantling sites for this species. The abundances of Fe and Mg in mantles would imply that graphite grains must have a substantial coating unless oxides provide significant mantling sites for these species. The abundance of O and N in the dust phase as implied by the solar reference abundance values are difficult to reconcile with the fact that these elements are not expected to participate in mantle formation, and the 3.1 micrometer H2O ice feature is

  18. Interstellar H2 toward HD 147888

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gnaciński, P.

    2013-01-01

    The ultraviolet and far-ultraviolet spectra of HD 147888 allows the H2 vibrational level ν = 0 to be accessed along with higher vibrational levels of the ground H2 electronic level. The large number of H2 absorption lines in the HST spectra allows column densities to be determined even from a noisy spectra. We have determined column densities of the H2 molecule on vibrational levels ν = 0-5 and rotational levels J = 0-6 using the profile fitting method. No variations in the column densities of H2 on vibrationally excited levels were observed from 2000 through 2009. The ortho to para H2 ratio (O/P)* for the excited vibrational states ν = 1-4 equals to 1.13. For the lowest vibrational state ν = 0 and rotational level J = 1 the ortho to para H2 ratio is only 0.15. The temperature of ortho-para thermodynamical equilibrium is TOP = 42 ± 3 K. The measurements of H2 column densities on excited vibrational levels (from the HST spectra) leads to constraints on the radiation field in photon-dominated region (PDR) models of the interstellar cloud towards HD 147888. The Meudon PDR model locates the cloud 0.62 pc from the star. The modeled hydrogen cloud density (89-336 cm-3) agrees with independent density estimations based on the C2 molecule and the chemical model. The observed (O/P)J = 1 and (O/P)* H2 ratios cannot be explained by a simple model. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and with NASA/Johns Hopkins University Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer, obtained from the data archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute. STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. Support for FUSE data is provided by the NASA Office of Space Science via grant NAG5-7584 and by other grants and contracts.

  19. Meteorite nanoparticles as models for interstellar grains: synthesis and preliminary characterisation.

    PubMed

    Mautner, M N; Abdelsayed, V; El-Shall, M S; Thrower, J D; Green, S D; Collings, M P; McCoustra, M R S

    2006-01-01

    Dust particles and their interaction with gases play important roles in star formation and in solar nebulae. Appropriate model dust grains are needed for the laboratory simulation of gas-grain interactions. Nanoparticles formed from carbonaceous meteorites may be particularly suitable, as these particles are formed from materials that were formed originally from interstellar/nebula dust. Extending our previous studies with grounded meteorite powders, we demonstrate here the production of nanoparticles formed from meteorites using the laser desorption/controlled condensation method developed in our laboratory. The product nanoparticle aggregates have porous, web-like morphologies similar to interstellar dust grains, indicating that they can present large specific surface areas for gas/grain interactions. In this paper, we present polarisation modulation reflection-absorption infrared spectra (PM-RAIRS) of supported thin films and compare these spectra with the known silicate bands in the spectra of interstellar dust recorded during the ISO mission. We also report an ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) temperature programmed desorption (TPD) study of the adsorption of CO on the supported nanoparticle films. The latter allow us to estimate the CO binding energy on the meteorite nanoparticles as 13.5 +/- 3.0 kJ mol(-1), cf. a value of 9.8 +/- 0.2 kJ mol(-1) for CO binding to a water ice substrate. Such thermochemical data can be useful for computational modelling of gas-grain interactions under the diverse conditions in interstellar clouds and solar nebulae. PMID:17191444

  20. Meteorite nanoparticles as models for interstellar grains: synthesis and preliminary characterisation.

    PubMed

    Mautner, M N; Abdelsayed, V; El-Shall, M S; Thrower, J D; Green, S D; Collings, M P; McCoustra, M R S

    2006-01-01

    Dust particles and their interaction with gases play important roles in star formation and in solar nebulae. Appropriate model dust grains are needed for the laboratory simulation of gas-grain interactions. Nanoparticles formed from carbonaceous meteorites may be particularly suitable, as these particles are formed from materials that were formed originally from interstellar/nebula dust. Extending our previous studies with grounded meteorite powders, we demonstrate here the production of nanoparticles formed from meteorites using the laser desorption/controlled condensation method developed in our laboratory. The product nanoparticle aggregates have porous, web-like morphologies similar to interstellar dust grains, indicating that they can present large specific surface areas for gas/grain interactions. In this paper, we present polarisation modulation reflection-absorption infrared spectra (PM-RAIRS) of supported thin films and compare these spectra with the known silicate bands in the spectra of interstellar dust recorded during the ISO mission. We also report an ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) temperature programmed desorption (TPD) study of the adsorption of CO on the supported nanoparticle films. The latter allow us to estimate the CO binding energy on the meteorite nanoparticles as 13.5 +/- 3.0 kJ mol(-1), cf. a value of 9.8 +/- 0.2 kJ mol(-1) for CO binding to a water ice substrate. Such thermochemical data can be useful for computational modelling of gas-grain interactions under the diverse conditions in interstellar clouds and solar nebulae.

  1. Copernicus observations of C I and CO in diffuse interstellar clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jenkins, E. B.; Jura, M.; Loewenstein, M.

    1980-01-01

    Copernicus was used to observe absorption lines of C I in its ground state and excited fine structure levels and CO toward 29 stars. We use the C I data to infer densities and pressures within the observed clouds, and because our results are of higher precision than previous work, much more precise estimates of the physical conditions in clouds are obtained. In agreement with previous work, the interstellar thermal pressure appears to be variable, with most clouds having values of p/k between 1000/cu cm K and 10,000/cu cm K, but there are some clouds with p/k as high as 100,000/cu cm K. Our results are consistent with the view that the interstellar thermal pressure is so variable that the gas undergoes continuous dynamic evolution. Our observations provide useful constraints on the physical processes on the surfaces of grains. In particular, we find that grains are efficient catalysts of interstellar H2 in the sense that at least half of the hydrogen atoms that strike grains come off as part of H2. Results place strong constraints on models for the formation and destruction of interstellar CO. In many clouds, an order of magnitude less CO than predicted in some models was found.

  2. HERSCHEL/HIFI DISCOVERY OF HCL{sup +} IN THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM

    SciTech Connect

    De Luca, M.; Gerin, M.; Falgarone, E.; Gupta, H.; Drouin, B. J.; Pearson, J. C.; Neufeld, D.; Teyssier, D.; Lis, D. C.; Monje, R.; Phillips, T. G.; Goicoechea, J. R.; Godard, B.; Bell, T. A.; Coutens, A.

    2012-06-01

    The radical ion HCl{sup +}, a key intermediate in the chlorine chemistry of the interstellar gas, has been identified for the first time in the interstellar medium with the Herschel Space Observatory's Heterodyne Instrument for the Far-Infrared. The ground-state rotational transition of H{sup 35}Cl{sup +}, {sup 2}{Pi}{sub 3/2} J = 5/2-3/2, showing {Lambda}-doubling and hyperfine structure, is detected in absorption toward the Galactic star-forming regions W31C (G10.6-0.4) and W49N. The complex interstellar absorption features are modeled by convolving in velocity space the opacity profiles of other molecular tracers toward the same sources with the fine and hyperfine structure of HCl{sup +}. This structure is derived from a combined analysis of optical data from the literature and new laboratory measurements of pure rotational transitions, reported in the accompanying Letter by Gupta et al. The models reproduce well the interstellar absorption, and the frequencies inferred from the astronomical observations are in exact agreement with those calculated using spectroscopic constants derived from the laboratory data. The detection of H{sup 37}Cl{sup +} toward W31C, with a column density consistent with the expected {sup 35}Cl/{sup 37}Cl isotopic ratio, provides additional evidence for the identification. A comparison with the chemically related molecules HCl and H{sub 2}Cl{sup +} yields an abundance ratio of unity with both species (HCl{sup +} : H{sub 2}Cl{sup +} : HCl {approx} 1). These observations also yield the unexpected result that HCl{sup +} accounts for 3%-5% of the gas-phase chlorine toward W49N and W31C, values several times larger than the maximum fraction ({approx}1%) predicted by chemical models.

  3. PAH in the laboratory and interstellar space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wdowiak, Thomas J.; Flickinger, Gregory C.; Boyd, David A.

    1989-01-01

    The theory that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a constituent of the interstellar medium, and a source of the IR emission bands at 3.3, 6.2, 7.7, 8.6, and 11.3 microns is being studied using PAH containing acid insoluble residue of the Orgueil CI meteorite and coal tar. FTIR spectra of Orgueil PAH material that has undergone thermal treatment, and a solvent insoluble fraction of coal tar that has been exposed to hydrogen plasma are presented. The UV excided luminescence spectrum of a solvent soluble coal tar film is also shown. Comparison of the lab measurements with observations appears to support the interstellar PAH theory, and shows the process of dehydrogenation expected to take place in the interstellar medium.

  4. Observations of interstellar chlorine and phosphorus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jura, M.; York, D. G.

    1978-01-01

    Copernicus observations of interstellar Cl I, Cl II, and P II UV lines toward 10 stars are reported. Column densities are estimated for each species, and upper limits are computed for HCl column densities. Derivation of the gas-phase abundances of chlorine and phosphorus indicates that the averages of both the chlorine and the phosphorus logarithmic abundances relative to hydrogen are between 5.0 and 5.1. It is suggested that interstellar chlorine may be depleted by about a factor of 3 relative to the solar abundance and that interstellar phosphorus is depleted by a factor of 2 to 3. The results are shown to support the prediction that chlorine is ionized in regions containing primarily atomic oxygen and is neutral in regions where there is a significant amount of molecular hydrogen. The photoionization rate of neutral chlorine toward 15 Mon is estimated, and it is concluded that most chlorine is contained within the gas phase.

  5. Positron annihilation in the interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guessoum, Nidhal; Ramaty, Reuven; Lingenfelter, Richard E.

    1991-01-01

    Positronium formation and annihilation are studied in a model for the interstellar medium consisting of cold cloud cores, warm partially ionized cloud envelopes, and hot intercloud gas. The gamma-ray spectra resulting from positron annihilation in these components of the interstellar medium are calculated. The spectra from the individual components are then combined, using two limiting assumptions for the propagation of the positrons, namely, that the positrons propagate freely throughout the interstellar medium, and that the positrons are excluded from the cold cloud cores. In the first case, the bulk of the positrons annihilate in the cloud cores and the annihilation line exhibits broad wings resulting from the annihilation of positronium formed by charge exchange in flight. In the second case, the positrons annihilate mainly in the warm envelopes, and the line wings are suppressed.

  6. Synthesis of prebiotic glycerol in interstellar ices.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, Ralf I; Maity, Surajit; Jones, Brant M

    2015-01-01

    Contemporary mechanisms for the spontaneous formation of glycerol have not been able to explain its existence on early Earth. The exogenous origin and delivery of organic molecules to early Earth presents an alternative route to their terrestrial in situ formation since biorelevant molecules like amino acids, carboxylic acids, and alkylphosphonic acids have been recovered from carbonaceous chondrites. Reported herein is the first in situ identification of glycerol, the key building block of all cellular membranes, formed by exposure of methanol-based - interstellar model ices to ionizing radiation in the form of energetic electrons. These results provide compelling evidence that the radiation-induced formation of glycerol in low-temperature interstellar model ices is facile. Synthesized on interstellar grains and eventually incorporated into the "building material" of solar systems, biorelevant molecules such as glycerol could have been dispensed to habitable planets such as early Earth by comets and meteorites. PMID:25363714

  7. Long-Term Perspectives on Interstellar Flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michaud, M. A. G.

    Realizing interstellar travel by machines or living beings will require not only scientific and technological progress, but also a shared secular belief among a determined minority that this enterprise is important for the human future. Their efforts may have to extend beyond individual human lifetimes. Historical perspectives, on both the past and the future, are proposed. Interstellar probes could be a more thorough way of searching for alien forms of life and intelligence in nearby systems, particularly if there were intelligent beings there who did not employ technologies our astronomical observing devices can detect from here. Perspectives on the ethical, policy, and design issues of such close encounters with alien life and intelligence are presented. Ways of accelerating the coming of interstellar probes are suggested.

  8. Model atmospheres - Tool for identifying interstellar features

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frisch, P. C.; Slojkowski, S. E.; Rodriguez-Bell, T.; York, D.

    1993-01-01

    Model atmosphere parameters are derived for 14 early A stars with rotation velocities, from optical spectra, in excess of 80 km/s. The models are compared with IUE observations of the stars in regions where interstellar lines are expected. In general, with the assumption of solar abundances, excellent fits are obtained in regions longward of 2580 A, and accurate interstellar equivalent widths can be derived using models to establish the continuum. The fits are poorer at shorter wavelengths, particularly at 2026-2062 A, where the stellar model parameters seem inadequate. Features indicating mass flows are evident in stars with known infrared excesses. In gamma TrA, variability in the Mg II lines is seen over the 5-year interval of these data, and also over timescales as short as 26 days. The present technique should be useful in systematic studies of episodic mass flows in A stars and for stellar abundance studies, as well as interstellar features.

  9. Investigating nearby exoplanets via interstellar radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheffer, Louis K.

    2014-01-01

    Interstellar radar is a potential intermediate step between passive observation of exoplanets and interstellar exploratory missions. Compared with passive observation, it has the traditional advantages of radar astronomy. It can measure surface characteristics, determine spin rates and axes, provide extremely accurate ranges, construct maps of planets, distinguish liquid from solid surfaces, find rings and moons, and penetrate clouds. It can do this even for planets close to the parent star. Compared with interstellar travel or probes, it also offers significant advantages. The technology required to build such a radar already exists, radar can return results within a human lifetime, and a single facility can investigate thousands of planetary systems. The cost, although too high for current implementation, is within the reach of Earth's economy.

  10. On an Interstellar Origin for N-15 Fractionation in Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Charnley, S. B.; Rodgers, S. D.

    2001-01-01

    We have shown that interstellar chemistry could produce much larger N-15/N-14 fractionation in specific interstellar molecules than previously thought. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  11. Spatial Distributions and Interstellar Reaction Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neill, Justin L.; Steber, Amanda L.; Muckle, Matt T.; Zaleski, Daniel P.; Lattanzi, Valerio; Spezzano, Silvia; McCarthy, Michael C.; Remijan, Anthony J.; Friedel, Douglas N.; Widicus Weaver, Susanna L.; Pate, Brooks H.

    2011-05-01

    Methyl formate presents a challenge for the conventional chemical mechanisms assumed to guide interstellar organic chemistry. Previous studies of potential formation pathways for methyl formate in interstellar clouds ruled out gas-phase chemistry as a major production route, and more recent chemical kinetics models indicate that it may form efficiently from radical-radical chemistry on ice surfaces. Yet, recent chemical imaging studies of methyl formate and molecules potentially related to its formation suggest that it may form through previously unexplored gas-phase chemistry. Motivated by these findings, two new gas-phase ion-molecule formation routes are proposed and characterized using electronic structure theory with conformational specificity. The proposed reactions, acid-catalyzed Fisher esterification and methyl cation transfer, both produce the less stable trans-conformational isomer of protonated methyl formate in relatively high abundance under the kinetically controlled conditions relevant to interstellar chemistry. Gas-phase neutral methyl formate can be produced from its protonated counterpart through either a dissociative electron recombination reaction or a proton transfer reaction to a molecule with larger proton affinity. Retention (or partial retention) of the conformation in these neutralization reactions would yield trans-methyl formate in an abundance that exceeds predictions under thermodynamic equilibrium at typical interstellar temperatures of interstellar clouds. Motivated by new theoretical predictions, the rotational spectrum of trans-methyl formate has been measured for the first time in the laboratory, and seven lines have now been detected in the interstellar medium using the publicly available PRIMOS survey from the NRAO Green Bank Telescope.

  12. Spatial distributions and interstellar reaction processes.

    PubMed

    Neill, Justin L; Steber, Amanda L; Muckle, Matt T; Zaleski, Daniel P; Lattanzi, Valerio; Spezzano, Silvia; McCarthy, Michael C; Remijan, Anthony J; Friedel, Douglas N; Widicus Weaver, Susanna L; Pate, Brooks H

    2011-06-23

    Methyl formate presents a challenge for the conventional chemical mechanisms assumed to guide interstellar organic chemistry. Previous studies of potential formation pathways for methyl formate in interstellar clouds ruled out gas-phase chemistry as a major production route, and more recent chemical kinetics models indicate that it may form efficiently from radical-radical chemistry on ice surfaces. Yet, recent chemical imaging studies of methyl formate and molecules potentially related to its formation suggest that it may form through previously unexplored gas-phase chemistry. Motivated by these findings, two new gas-phase ion-molecule formation routes are proposed and characterized using electronic structure theory with conformational specificity. The proposed reactions, acid-catalyzed Fisher esterification and methyl cation transfer, both produce the less stable trans-conformational isomer of protonated methyl formate in relatively high abundance under the kinetically controlled conditions relevant to interstellar chemistry. Gas-phase neutral methyl formate can be produced from its protonated counterpart through either a dissociative electron recombination reaction or a proton transfer reaction to a molecule with larger proton affinity. Retention (or partial retention) of the conformation in these neutralization reactions would yield trans-methyl formate in an abundance that exceeds predictions under thermodynamic equilibrium at typical interstellar temperatures of ≤100 K. For this reason, this conformer may prove to be an excellent probe of gas-phase chemistry in interstellar clouds. Motivated by new theoretical predictions, the rotational spectrum of trans-methyl formate has been measured for the first time in the laboratory, and seven lines have now been detected in the interstellar medium using the publicly available PRIMOS survey from the NRAO Green Bank Telescope.

  13. The origin of extended interstellar shells around Wolf-Rayet stars having bright optical ring nebulae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nichols, J. S.; Fesen, R. A.

    1994-01-01

    Investigations of the interstellar environment around Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars have lead to the discovery of extended shells of gas and dust 50-100 pc in diameter in the lines of sight toward three WR stars. In this paper, several origins for these extended shells are discussed. While positional coincidences cannot be excluded, the locations of the WR stars near the projected centers of the shells, the detection of only shortward-shifted, high-velocity UV absorption line components in their IUE spectra, plus commonality of some WR star properties which are rare in the general WR star population suggest some casual connections between the WR stars and formation of interstellar shells. To access whether the high-velocity UV interstellar absorption lines are a frequent phenomenon related to WR stellar winds, we present a survey of such features in all WR stars observed with IUE through 1991. Of 35 stars studied, only four are found to have components with velocity displacements greater than 45 km/s which are not attributable to previously identified OB association superbubbles. The means a surprising 82% of non-OB association WR stars show no evidence of high-velocity gas in their lines of sight at IUE's spectral resolution, suggesting that high-velocity interstellar absorption lines are not a common consequence of Wolf-Rayet star stellar winds alone. We review the properties of three WR stars (HD 50896, HD 96548, and HD 192163) which may reside inside extended interstellar shells and find that they are similar in terms of spectral class (WN5-8), presence of an optical ring nebula, and reported photometric variability. Evaluation of possible origins of the extended shells suggests these three stars are in a post X-ray binary stage of high-mass binary star evolution. If this is correct, then the large interstellar shells detected might be evidence of either supernova remnant shells generated by the explosion of the binary's primary star, or non-conservative mass transfer

  14. Studies of solid carbon dioxide in interstellar ice analogs subject to thermal processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Douglas W.

    2010-09-01

    Solid CO2 has been detected in many lines of sight in the interstellar medium from infrared observatories. Spectral profiles from space-based observatories have suggested that CO2 on icy grain mantles is mixed with other common molecules such as H2O and CH 3OH in interstellar regions and that thermal annealing has occurred. The vibrational mode at 658 cm-1 (15.2 mum) is suspected to be a powerful diagnostic tool as to the composition of species on icy grain mantles as well as thermal histories. However, previous studies have not systematically investigated ice composition and temperature. Laboratory spectra of interstellar ice analogs have been created in this study order to better understand the physical properties of solid CO2 in these interstellar environments. Existing databases of ice composition studies and effects of ice thermal history were updated in this study to include a more systematic approach. The 658 cm-1 (15.2 mum) bending mode feature of CO2 is examined here and the subsequent astrophysical implications stated. In the first set of experiments, 47 mixtures of H2O,CH3OH, andCO2 were slowly warmed and mid-infrared absorption spectra were recorded at 5K intervals. The second set of experiments involved examining the CO2 bending mode feature of 10 different CO2-containing ice mixtures at different temperatures where ice segregation was suspected. In these experiments, the ice mixtures were slowly heated to the desired temperature for increasing time intervals before cooling down and recording mid-IR absorption spectra. These studies may be used to analyze IR data from space-based observatories such as the Spitzer Space Telescope Infrared Spectrograph as well other future IR observations of the interstellar medium. Finally, mass spectroscopy measurements were taken from temperature programmed desorption (TPD) experiments performed on several binary mixtures of H2O + CO2 and CH 3OH + CO2. Physical properties such as desorption energy of CO2 can be

  15. A new detection of LYα absorption from the heliotail

    SciTech Connect

    Wood, Brian E.; Izmodenov, Vladislav V.; Alexashov, Dmitry B.; Redfield, Seth; Edelman, Eric

    2014-01-01

    We present new Hubble Space Telescope observations of H I Lyα absorption toward the F8 V star HD 35296. This line of sight is only a few degrees from the downwind direction of the local interstellar medium flow vector. As a consequence, Lyα absorption from the heliotail is detected in the spectrum, consistent with three previous downwind detections of heliotail absorption. The clustering of the heliotail absorption detections around the downwind direction demonstrates that the heliotail is pointed close to that direction, limiting the extent to which the interstellar magnetic field might be distorting and deflecting the heliotail. We explore this issue further using three-dimensional MHD models of the global heliosphere. The three computed models represent the first three-dimensional MHD models with both a kinetic treatment of neutrals and an extended grid in the tail direction, both of which are necessary to model Lyα absorption downwind. The models indicate only modest heliotail asymmetries and deflections, which are not large enough to be inconsistent with the clustering of heliotail absorption detections around the downwind direction. The models are reasonably successful at reproducing the observed absorption, but they do overpredict the Lyα opacity by a factor of 2-3. We discuss implications of these results in light of observations of the heliotail region from the Interstellar Boundary Explorer mission.

  16. Alfven Waves in Interstellar Gasdynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKee, Christopher F.; Zweibel, Ellen G.

    1995-02-01

    Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves contribute a significant pressure in both the diffuse interstellar medium and in molecular clouds. Alfvén waves are subject to less damping than compressive MHD waves and are therefore likely to be the dominant mode in astrophysical environments. Provided that the medium in which the waves are propagating is slowly varying, the dynamical effects of ideal MHD waves are governed by equations derived by Dewar. We show that these equations are similar in form to the equations of radiation hydrodynamics to order υ/c, provided that the radiation is nearly isotropic. For the case of Alfvén waves, the pressure due the waves, Pw, is isotropic. Furthermore, Pw is directly observable through the non- thermal line width σnt; for a randomly oriented field, Pw = (3/2)ρσ2nt. In several simple cases, including that in which the Alfvén waves are isotropic, that in which the density is spatially uniform, and that in which the medium undergoes a self-similar contraction or expansion, undamped Alfvén waves behave like a gas with a ratio of specific heats of 3/2; i.e., pressure variations are related to density variations by Δ ln Pw = γwΔ ln ρ with γw = 3/2. In a spatially nonuniform cloud, γw generally depends on position; an explicit expression is given. In the opposite limit of rapid variations, such as in a strong shock, the wave magnetic field behaves like a static field and the wave pressure can increase as fast as ρ2, depending on the orientation of the shock and the polarization of the waves. The jump conditions for a shock in a medium containing MHD waves are given. For strong nonradiative shocks, neither the wave pressure nor the static magnetic field pressure is significant downstream, but for radiative shocks these two pressures can become dominant. Alfvén waves are essential in supporting molecular clouds against gravitational collapse. In a static cloud with a nonuniform density ρ(r), the spatial variation of the wave

  17. Indirect observation of unobservable interstellar molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herbst, E.; Green, S.; Thaddeus, P.; Klemperer, W.

    1977-01-01

    It is suggested that the abundances of neutral non-polar interstellar molecules unobservable by radio astronomy can be systematically determined by radio observation of the protonated ions. As an example, observed N2H(+) column densities are analyzed to infer molecular nitrogen abundances in dense interstellar clouds. The chemistries and expected densities of the protonated ions of O2, C2, CO2, C2H2 and CH4 are then discussed. Microwave transition frequencies fo HCO2(+) and C2H3(+) are estimated, and a preliminary astronomical search for HCO2(+) is described.

  18. The Light Cage Limit to Interstellar Expansion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McInnes, C. R.

    It has long been argued that an advanced space-faring civilisation must be gradualists who evolve and migrate within the limits imposed by resources and whose culture avoids conflict and exploitation. However, it is argued here that a relatively young civilisation which develops a set of technologies which enable it to engage in economic interstellar travel is unlikely to constrain its activities in this way and will experience rapid economic expansion and growth. In such a scenario the speed of light imposes a fundamental limit to the distance over which the civilisation can expand, providing a possible mechanism whereby interstellar expansion is self-limiting and possibly self-terminating.

  19. Newly detected molecules in dense interstellar clouds.

    PubMed

    Irvine, W M; Avery, L W; Friberg, P; Matthews, H E; Ziurys, L M

    1988-01-01

    The last year or so has seen the identification of several new interstellar molecules, including C2S, C3S, C5H, C6H, and (probably) HC2CHO in the cold, dark cloud TMC-1; and the discovery of the first interstellar phosphorous-containing molecule, PN, in the Orion "plateau" source. Further interesting results include the observations of 13C3H2 and C3HD, and the first detection of HCOOH (formic acid) in a cold cloud.

  20. Chemical abundances in cold, dark interstellar clouds.

    PubMed

    Irvine, W M; Ohishi, M; Kaifu, N

    1991-05-01

    The Sun may well have formed in the type of interstellar cloud currently referred to as a cold, dark cloud. We present current tabulations of the totality of known interstellar molecules and of the subset which have been identified in cold clouds. Molecular abundances are given for two such clouds which show interesting chemical differences in spite of strong physical similarities, Taurus Molecular Cloud 1 (TMC-1) and Lynd's 134N (L134N, also referred to as L183). These regions may be at different evolutionary stages.

  1. The size distribution of interstellar grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Witt, Adolf N.

    1987-01-01

    Three major areas involving interstellar grains were investigated. First, studies were performed of scattering in reflection nebulae with the goal of deriving scattering characteristics of dust grains such as the albedo and the phase function asymmetry throughout the visible and the ultraviolet. Secondly, studies were performed of the wavelength dependence of interstellar extinction designed to demonstrate the wide range of grain size distributions naturally occurring in individual clouds in different parts of the galaxy. And thirdly, studies were also performed of the ultraviolet powered emission of dust grains in the 0.5 to 1.0 micron wavelength range in reflection nebulae. Findings considered of major importance are highlighted.

  2. The depletion of interstellar gaseous iron

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savage, B. D.; Bohlin, R. C.

    1979-01-01

    The Copernicus UV telescope was used to measure equivalent widths of interstellar Fe II resonance lines toward 55 early-type stars; the measurements permit the determination of Fe II column densities. The depletion of interstellar gaseous iron was obtained by combining these measurements with the results from a previous atomic and molecular hydrogen survey program; the derived depletions refer mostly to matter in H I regions. As an example, the nearly normal gaseous iron abundance in the distant high-latitude intermediate-velocity cloud toward HD 93521 is consistent with the idea that these clouds are produced by galactic supernova explosions.

  3. Electron energy loss spectrometry of interstellar diamonds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bernatowicz, Thomas J.; Gibbons, Patrick C.; Lewis, Roy S.

    1990-01-01

    The results are reported of electron energy loss spectra (EELS) measurements on diamond residues from carbonaceous meteorites designed to elucidate the structure and composition of interstellar diamonds. Dynamic effective medium theory is used to model the dielectric properties of the diamonds and in particular to synthesize the observed spectra as mixtures of diamond and various pi-bonded carbons. The results are shown to be quantitatively consistent with the idea that diamonds and their surfaces are the only contributors to the electron energy loss spectra of the diamond residues and that these peculiar spectra are the result of the exceptionally small grain size and large specific surface area of the interstellar diamonds.

  4. Gamma ray lines from interstellar grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lingenfelter, R. E.; Ramaty, R.

    1976-01-01

    The existence of very narrow (FWHM or approximately = 5 KeV) gamma ray line emission from interstellar grains is pointed out. The prime candidate for detection is the line at 6.129 Mev from O-16, but other very narrow lines could also be detected at 0.847, 1.369, 1.634, 1.779 and 2.313 Mev from Fe-56, Mg-24, Ne-20, Si-28 and N-14. Measurements of this line emission can provide information on the composition, size and spatial distribution of interstellar grains.

  5. Deflection of the Interstellar Neutral Hydrogen Flow Across the Heliospheric Interface: an Interstellar Magnetic Compass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lallement, R.; Eric, Q.; Jean-Loup, B.; Dimitra, K.; Risto, P.

    2005-05-01

    Analyses of SOHO-SWAN observations show that the interstellar neutral H flow direction differs by about 4 degrees from the neutral He flow direction recently derived with an unprecedented accuracy using combined data sets (Mobius et al, 2004). The most likely explanation is a distortion of the heliospheric interface under the action of an inclined interstellar magnetic field, with imprints of the distorsion on the neutral H flow due to charge-transfer reactions between H atoms and ions. The direction of the ambient interstellar magnetic field and the heliospheric shape can be derived from the observed deviation. Implications for Voyager trajectories are discussed.

  6. The 2140 cm(exp -1) (4.673 Microns) Solid CO Band: The Case for Interstellar O2 and N2 and the Photochemistry of Non-Polar Interstellar Ice Analogs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elsila, Jamie; Allamandola, Louis J.; Sandford, Scott A.; Witteborn, Fred C. (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    The infrared spectra of CO frozen in non-polar ices containing N2, CO2, O2, and H2O, and the ultraviolet photochemistry of these interstellar/precometary ice analogs are reported. The spectra are used to test the hypothesis that the narrow 2140/cm (4.673 micrometer) interstellar absorption feature attributed to solid CO might be produced by CO frozen in ices containing non-polar species such as N2 and O2. It is shown that mixed molecular ices containing CO, N2, O2, and CO2 provide a very good match to the interstellar band at all temperatures between 12 and 30 K both before and after photolysis. The optical constants (real and imaginary parts of the index of refraction) in the region of the solid CO feature are reported for several of these ices.

  7. Comets, carbonaceous chondrites, and interstellar clouds: Condensation of carbon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Field, G. B.

    1979-01-01

    Comets, carbonaceous chondrites, and interstellar clouds are discussed in relation to information on interstellar dust. The formation and presence of carbon in stars, comets, and meteorites is investigated. The existence of graphite in the interstellar medium, though it is predicted from thermodynamic calculations, is questioned and the form of carbon contained in comets is considered.

  8. Interstellar silicate dust in the z = 0.685 absorber toward TXS 0218+357

    SciTech Connect

    Aller, Monique C.; Kulkarni, Varsha P.; Liger, Nicholas; York, Donald G.; Welty, Daniel E.; Vladilo, Giovanni

    2014-04-10

    We report the detection of interstellar silicate dust in the z {sub abs} = 0.685 absorber along the sightline toward the gravitationally lensed blazar TXS 0218+357. Using Spitzer Space Telescope Infrared Spectrograph data, we detect the 10 μm silicate absorption feature with a detection significance of 10.7σ. We fit laboratory-derived silicate dust profile templates obtained from the literature to the observed 10 μm absorption feature and find that the best single-mineral fit is obtained using an amorphous olivine template with a measured peak optical depth of τ{sub 10} = 0.49 ± 0.02, which rises to τ{sub 10} ∼ 0.67 ± 0.04 if the covering factor is taken into account. We also detected the 18 μm silicate absorption feature in our data with a >3σ significance. Due to the proximity of the 18 μm absorption feature to the edge of our covered spectral range, and associated uncertainty about the shape of the quasar continuum normalization near 18 μm, we do not independently fit this feature. We find, however, that the shape and depth of the 18 μm silicate absorption are well matched to the amorphous olivine template prediction, given the optical depth inferred for the 10 μm feature. The measured 10 μm peak optical depth in this absorber is significantly higher than those found in previously studied quasar absorption systems. However, the reddening, 21 cm absorption, and velocity spread of Mg II are not outliers relative to other studied absorption systems. This high optical depth may be evidence for variations in dust grain properties in the interstellar medium between this and the previously studied high redshift galaxies.

  9. The violent interstellar medium associated with the Carina nebula. I - The line of sight toward HD 93205

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laurent, C.; Paul, J. A.; Pettini, M.

    1982-09-01

    Four high velocity and two low velocity components have been identified by the analysis of interstellar absorption lines in high resolution spectra of HD 93205. The chemical composition and physical conditions of the different regions are discussed in light of UV, optical and radio observations, and the two main high velocity components are found to show different relative abundance patterns. Among the two low velocity components, one has been identified with the normal interstellar material in the disk of the Galaxy between the sun and the Carina nebula. Column densities of interstellar C IV and Si IV have been measured in this component, free from contamination by circumstellar material. The other low velocity component has been identified with the approaching part of the expanding ionized nebula around the Carina OB associations, and consists of a dense H II region in which the two O I fine structure lines originate.

  10. The Mg II h and k interstellar lines in the spectrum of the G-type giant HD 156854

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gurzadian, G. A.; Cholakian, V. G.; Kondo, Y.; Shore, Steven N.; Terzian, Yervant

    1990-01-01

    The results of the measurements and analysis of the IUE observations of the 2800 Mg II doublet in the spectrum of HD 156854, a G9 III star, are presented. The relative power of the magnesium chromosphere, R(Mg) = 0.00001, is in agreement with the known data for giants of the same class. The emission profiles of this doublet present absorption cores, which are of interstellar origin. Taking into account the interstellar depletion of Mg, the derived density of interstellar hydrogen is n(H) = 0.001/cu cm, which agrees with the conclusion (Paresce 1984) about the possibility of large hydrogen concentrations in some directions of the Galaxy far from the sun.

  11. An interstellar cloud density from Copernicus observations of CO in the spectrum of Zeta Ophiuchi

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, A. M.; Stecher, T. P.; Krishna Swamy, K. S.

    1978-01-01

    Interstellar CO absorption bands in Copernicus spectra of Zeta Oph have been studied. Absorption profiles, computed under the assumption that excitation is due to collisions with H2 molecules and interaction with the 3-K background radiation field, were fitted to the reduced data of nine bands. When a gas kinetic temperature of 56 K is assumed, the best-fit condition implies a hydrogen-nucleus density of 120 per cu cm, a CO column density of 1.2 by 10 to the 15th power per sq cm, and a radial-velocity dispersion of 0.9 km/s. The relevance of these results to existing ideas concerning the Zeta Oph interstellar clouds is discussed. It is suggested that the strongest interstellar component is not circumstellar in origin but is instead part of a supernova remnant. Simple calculations are made to establish the plausibility of the supernova-remnant identification. This suggestion is also supported by Heiles's (1976) 21-cm pictures.

  12. Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination II: Curating the Interstellar Dust Collector, Picokeystones, and Sources of Impact Tracks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frank, David R.; Westphal, Andrew J.; Zolensky, Michael E.; Gainsforth, Zack; Butterworth, Anna L.; Bastien, Ronald K.; Allen, Carlton; Anderson, David; Bechtel, Hans A.; Sandford, Scott A.

    2013-01-01

    We discuss the inherent difficulties that arise during "ground truth" characterization of the Stardust interstellar dust collector. The challenge of identifying contemporary interstellar dust impact tracks in aerogel is described within the context of background spacecraft secondaries and possible interplanetary dust particles and beta-meteoroids. In addition, the extraction of microscopic dust embedded in aerogel is technically challenging. Specifically, we provide a detailed description of the sample preparation techniques developed to address the unique goals and restrictions of the Interstellar Preliminary Exam. These sample preparation requirements and the scarcity of candidate interstellar impact tracks exacerbate the difficulties. We also illustrate the role of initial optical imaging with critically important examples, and summarize the overall processing of the collection to date.

  13. Elemental nitrogen partitioning in dense interstellar clouds

    PubMed Central

    Daranlot, Julien; Hincelin, Ugo; Bergeat, Astrid; Costes, Michel; Loison, Jean-Christophe; Wakelam, Valentine; Hickson, Kevin M.

    2012-01-01

    Many chemical models of dense interstellar clouds predict that the majority of gas-phase elemental nitrogen should be present as N2, with an abundance approximately five orders of magnitude less than that of hydrogen. As a homonuclear diatomic molecule, N2 is difficult to detect spectroscopically through infrared or millimeter-wavelength transitions. Therefore, its abundance is often inferred indirectly through its reaction product N2H+. Two main formation mechanisms, each involving two radical-radical reactions, are the source of N2 in such environments. Here we report measurements of the low temperature rate constants for one of these processes, the N + CN reaction, down to 56 K. The measured rate constants for this reaction, and those recently determined for two other reactions implicated in N2 formation, are tested using a gas-grain model employing a critically evaluated chemical network. We show that the amount of interstellar nitrogen present as N2 depends on the competition between its gas-phase formation and the depletion of atomic nitrogen onto grains. As the reactions controlling N2 formation are inefficient, we argue that N2 does not represent the main reservoir species for interstellar nitrogen. Instead, elevated abundances of more labile forms of nitrogen such as NH3 should be present on interstellar ices, promoting the eventual formation of nitrogen-bearing organic molecules. PMID:22689957

  14. REVISITING ULYSSES OBSERVATIONS OF INTERSTELLAR HELIUM

    SciTech Connect

    Wood, Brian E.; Müller, Hans-Reinhard; Witte, Manfred

    2015-03-01

    We report the results of a comprehensive reanalysis of Ulysses observations of interstellar He atoms flowing through the solar system, the goal being to reassess the interstellar He flow vector and to search for evidence of variability in this vector. We find no evidence that the He beam seen by Ulysses changes at all from 1994-2007. The direction of flow changes by no more than ∼0.°3 and the speed by no more than ∼0.3 km s{sup –1}. A global fit to all acceptable He beam maps from 1994-2007 yields the following He flow parameters: V {sub ISM} = 26.08 ± 0.21 km s{sup –1}, λ = 75.54 ± 0.°19, β = –5.44 ± 0.°24, and T = 7260 ± 270 K; where λ and β are the ecliptic longitude and latitude direction in J2000 coordinates. The flow vector is consistent with the original analysis of the Ulysses team, but our temperature is significantly higher. The higher temperature somewhat mitigates a discrepancy that exists in the He flow parameters measured by Ulysses and the Interstellar Boundary Explorer, but does not resolve it entirely. Using a novel technique to infer photoionization loss rates directly from Ulysses data, we estimate a density of n {sub He} = 0.0196 ± 0.0033 cm{sup –3} in the interstellar medium.

  15. A fission-powered interstellar precursor mission

    SciTech Connect

    Lipinski, Ronald J.; Lenard, Roger X.; Wright, Steven A. West, John L.

    1999-01-01

    An {open_quotes}interstellar precursor mission{close_quotes} lays the groundwork for eventual interstellar exploration by studying the interstellar medium and by stretching technologies that have potential application for eventual interstellar exploration. The numerous scientific goals for such a mission include generating a 3-D stellar map of our galaxy, studying Kuiper-belt and Oort cloud objects, and observing distant objects using the sun{close_quote}s gravitational lens as the primary of an enormous telescope. System equations are developed for a space tug which propels a 2500-kg scientific payload to 550 astronomical units in about 20 years. The tug to transport this payload uses electric propulsion with an lsp of 15,000 seconds and a fission reactor with a closed Brayton cycle to generate the electricity. The optimal configuration may be to thrust for only about 6 years and then coast for the remaining 14 years. This spacecraft does not require any physics breakthroughs or major advances in technology. The fission power system can be engineered and built by drawing upon known technologies developed for related systems over the past 40 years. The tug system would eventually reach 1000 a.u in 33 years, and would have adequate power to relay large amounts of data throughout its journey. {copyright} {ital 1999 American Institute of Physics.}

  16. Revisiting Ulysses Observations of Interstellar Helium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, Brian E.; Müller, Hans-Reinhard; Witte, Manfred

    2015-03-01

    We report the results of a comprehensive reanalysis of Ulysses observations of interstellar He atoms flowing through the solar system, the goal being to reassess the interstellar He flow vector and to search for evidence of variability in this vector. We find no evidence that the He beam seen by Ulysses changes at all from 1994-2007. The direction of flow changes by no more than ~0.°3 and the speed by no more than ~0.3 km s-1. A global fit to all acceptable He beam maps from 1994-2007 yields the following He flow parameters: V ISM = 26.08 ± 0.21 km s-1, λ = 75.54 ± 0.°19, β = -5.44 ± 0.°24, and T = 7260 ± 270 K where λ and β are the ecliptic longitude and latitude direction in J2000 coordinates. The flow vector is consistent with the original analysis of the Ulysses team, but our temperature is significantly higher. The higher temperature somewhat mitigates a discrepancy that exists in the He flow parameters measured by Ulysses and the Interstellar Boundary Explorer, but does not resolve it entirely. Using a novel technique to infer photoionization loss rates directly from Ulysses data, we estimate a density of n He = 0.0196 ± 0.0033 cm-3 in the interstellar medium.

  17. A Fission-Powered Interstellar Precursor Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Lenard, R.X.; Lipinski, R.J.; West, J.L.; Wright, S.A.

    1998-10-28

    An 'interstellar precursor mission' lays the groundwork for eventual interstellar exploration by studying the interstellar medium and by stretching technologies that have potential application for eventual interstellar exploration. The numerous scientific goals for such a mission include generating a 3-D stellar map of our galaxy, studying Kuiper-belt and Oort cloud objects, and observing distant objects using the sun's gravitational lens as the primary of an enormous telescope. System equations are developed for a space tug which propels a 2500-kg scientific payload to 550 astronomical units in about 20 years. The tug to transport this payload uses electric propulsion with an Isp of 15,000 seconds and a fission reactor with a closed Brayton cycle to genemte the electricity. The optimal configuration may be to thrust for only about 6 years and then coast for the remaining 14 pars. This spacecraft does not require any physics breakthroughs or major advances in technology. The fission power syslem can be engineered and built by drawing upon known technologies developed for relatgd systems over the past 40 years. The tug system would eventually reach 1000 a.u in 33 years, and would have adequate power to relay large amounts of data throughout its journey.

  18. Silicate Composition of the Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fogerty, S.; Forrest, W.; Watson, D. M.; Sargent, B. A.; Koch, I.

    2016-10-01

    The composition of silicate dust in the diffuse interstellar medium and in protoplanetary disks around young stars informs our understanding of the processing and evolution of the dust grains leading up to planet formation. An analysis of the well-known 9.7 μm feature indicates that small amorphous silicate grains represent a significant fraction of interstellar dust and are also major components of protoplanetary disks. However, this feature is typically modeled assuming amorphous silicate dust of olivine and pyroxene stoichiometries. Here, we analyze interstellar dust with models of silicate dust that include non-stoichiometric amorphous silicate grains. Modeling the optical depth along lines of sight toward the extinguished objects Cyg OB2 No. 12 and ζ Ophiuchi, we find evidence for interstellar amorphous silicate dust with stoichiometry intermediate between olivine and pyroxene, which we simply refer to as “polivene.” Finally, we compare these results to models of silicate emission from the Trapezium and protoplanetary disks in Taurus.

  19. Elemental nitrogen partitioning in dense interstellar clouds.

    PubMed

    Daranlot, Julien; Hincelin, Ugo; Bergeat, Astrid; Costes, Michel; Loison, Jean-Christophe; Wakelam, Valentine; Hickson, Kevin M

    2012-06-26

    Many chemical models of dense interstellar clouds predict that the majority of gas-phase elemental nitrogen should be present as N(2), with an abundance approximately five orders of magnitude less than that of hydrogen. As a homonuclear diatomic molecule, N(2) is difficult to detect spectroscopically through infrared or millimeter-wavelength transitions. Therefore, its abundance is often inferred indirectly through its reaction product N(2)H(+). Two main formation mechanisms, each involving two radical-radical reactions, are the source of N(2) in such environments. Here we report measurements of the low temperature rate constants for one of these processes, the N + CN reaction, down to 56 K. The measured rate constants for this reaction, and those recently determined for two other reactions implicated in N(2) formation, are tested using a gas-grain model employing a critically evaluated chemical network. We show that the amount of interstellar nitrogen present as N(2) depends on the competition between its gas-phase formation and the depletion of atomic nitrogen onto grains. As the reactions controlling N(2) formation are inefficient, we argue that N(2) does not represent the main reservoir species for interstellar nitrogen. Instead, elevated abundances of more labile forms of nitrogen such as NH(3) should be present on interstellar ices, promoting the eventual formation of nitrogen-bearing organic molecules.

  20. A new interstellar molecule: tricarbon monoxide.

    PubMed

    Matthews, H E; Irvine, W M; Friberg, P; Brown, R D; Godfrey, P D

    1984-07-12

    The cold dark interstellar Taurus Molecular Cloud One (TMC-1) is a rich source of acetylenic and polyacetylenic molecular species. As well as linear closed-shell molecules (H(C triple bond C)nCN) and symmetric rotors (CH3C triple bond CH, CH3C triple bond CCN), several radicals (C triple bond CH, C triple bond CCN, (C triple bond C2H) have also been identified, many of which had not been studied previously in the laboratory. Whether the observed abundances can be understood in terms of purely gas-phase ion-molecule chemical schemes, which produce reasonable agreement for the simplest polyatomic species, is unclear; alternative models involving the particulate interstellar grains as catalysts or sources have also been suggested. We now report the detection in TMC-1 of a new molecule, tricarbon monoxide (C3O), whose pure rotational spectrum has only very recently been studied in the laboratory. As C3O is the first known interstellar carbon chain molecule to contain oxygen, its existence places an important new constraint on chemical schemes for cold interstellar clouds. In fact, the observed abundance of tricarbon monoxide fits quite well into our model of galactochemistry.

  1. A Rigorous Attempt to Verify Interstellar Glycine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, L. E.; Lovas, F. J.; Hollis, J. M.; Friedel, D. N.; Jewell, P. R.; Remijan, A.; Ilyushin, V. V.; Alekseev, E. A.; Dyubko, S. F.

    2004-01-01

    In 2003, Kuan, Charnley, and co-workers reported the detection of interstellar glycine (NH2CH2COOH) based on observations of 27 lines in 19 different spectral bands in one or more of the sources Sgr BP(N-LMH), Orion KL, and W51 e1/e2. They supported their detection report with rotational temperature diagrams for all three sources. In this paper, we present essential criteria which can be used in a straightforward analysis technique to confirm the identity of an interstellar asymmetric rotor such as glycine. We use new laboratory measurements of glycine as a basis for applying this analysis technique, both to our previously unpublished 12 m telescope data and to the previously published SEST data of Nummelin and colleagues. We conclude that key lines necessary for an interstellar glycine identification have not yet been found. We identify several common molecular candidates that should be examined further as more likely carriers of the lines reported as glycine. Finally, we illustrate that rotational temperature diagrams used without the support of correct spectroscopic assignments are not a reliable tool for the identification of interstellar molecules. Subject headings: ISM: abundances - ISM: clouds - ISM: individual (Sagittarius B2[N-

  2. THE AGE OF THE LOCAL INTERSTELLAR BUBBLE

    SciTech Connect

    Abt, Helmut A.

    2011-05-15

    The Local Interstellar Bubble is an irregular region from 50 to 150 pc from the Sun in which the interstellar gas density is 10{sup -2}-10{sup -3} of that outside the bubble and the interstellar temperature is 10{sup 6} K. Evidently most of the gas was swept out by one or more supernovae. I explored the stellar contents and ages of the region from visual double stars, spectroscopic doubles, single stars, open clusters, emission regions, X-ray stars, planetary nebulae, and pulsars. The bubble has three sub-regions. The region toward the galactic center has stars as early as O9.5 V and with ages of 2-4 M yr. It also has a pulsar (PSRJ1856-3754) with a spin-down age of 3.76 Myr. That pulsar is likely to be the remnant of the supernova that drove away most of the gas. The central lobe has stars as early as B7 V and therefore an age of about 160 Myr or less. The Pleiades lobe has stars as early as B3 and therefore an age of about 50 Myr. There are no obvious pulsars that resulted from the supernovae that cleared out those areas. As found previously by Welsh and Lallement, the bubble has five B stars along its perimeter that show high-temperature ions of O VI and C II along their lines of sight, confirming its high interstellar temperature.

  3. A search for interstellar nitrous oxide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, W. J.; Snyder, L. E.

    1981-01-01

    An extensive search for interstellar nitrous oxide (N2O) has been made at two different frequencies, 75.4 and 100.5 GHz, in a number of molecular sources. No N2O signal was detected; however, a number of other spectral lines including two new transitions of methyl formate and several new unidentified lines were measured.

  4. Interstellar Carbon Chains: Is Thermodynamics the Key?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Etim, Emmanuel; Chakrabarti, Sandip Kumar; Das, Ankan; Gorai, Prasanta; Arunan, Elangannan

    2016-07-01

    In an effort to further our interest in understanding basic chemistry of interstellar molecules, we carry out here an extensive investigation of the stabilities of interstellar carbon chains; C_n, H_2C_n, HC_nN and C_nX (X=N, O, Si, S, H, P, H^-, N^-). These sets of molecules account for about 20% of all the known interstellar and circumstellar molecules. Their high abundances therefore demand a serious attention. High level ab initio quantum chemical simulations are employed to accurately estimate enthalpy of formation, chemical reactivity indices; global hardness and softness; and other chemical parameters of these molecules. Chemical modeling of the abundances of these molecular species has also been performed. Of the 89 molecules considered from these groups, 47 have been astronomically observed, these observed molecules are found to be more stable with respect to other members of the group. Of the 47 observed molecules, 60% are odd number carbon chains. The reason for the high abundance of odd numbered carbon chains can easily be seen from the fact that they are more stable than the corresponding even number carbon chains. This further confirms the dominance of thermodynamics in interstellar formation processes as described in the Energy, Stability and Abundance (ESA) relationship. The next possible carbon chain molecule for astronomical observation in each group is proposed. The effect of kinetics in the formation processes of these carbon chains is shown to be largely dominated by thermodynamics.

  5. (abstract) Space Communications Technologies for Interstellar Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lesh, James R.; Ruggier, Charles J.; Cesarone, Robert J.

    1994-01-01

    This paper will examine candidate communications architectures for potential interstellar missions in an effort to determine feasibility for such links and to identify likely technology advances that will be needed to support such endeavors. Examination of this challenging and futuristic communications problem may serve to guide the direction and advancement of space telecommunications technologies useful for other nearer-term applications.

  6. The Interstellar Boundary Explorer Science Operations Center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwadron, N. A.; Crew, G.; Vanderspek, R.; Allegrini, F.; Bzowski, M.; Demagistre, R.; Dunn, G.; Funsten, H.; Fuselier, S. A.; Goodrich, K.; Gruntman, M.; Hanley, J.; Heerikhuisen, J.; Heirtlzer, D.; Janzen, P.; Kucharek, H.; Loeffler, C.; Mashburn, K.; Maynard, K.; McComas, D. J.; Moebius, E.; Prested, C.; Randol, B.; Reisenfeld, D.; Reno, M.; Roelof, E.; Wu, P.

    2009-08-01

    The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) Science Operations Center is responsible for supporting analysis of IBEX data, generating special payload command procedures, delivering the IBEX data products, and building the global heliospheric maps of energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) in collaboration with the IBEX team. We describe here the data products and flow, the sensor responses to ENA fluxes, the heliospheric transmission of ENAs (from 100 AU to 1 AU), and the process of building global maps of the heliosphere. The vast majority of IBEX Science Operations Center (ISOC) tools are complete, and the ISOC is in a remarkable state of readiness due to extensive reviews, tests, rehearsals, long hours, and support from the payload teams. The software has been designed specifically to support considerable flexibility in the process of building global flux maps. Therefore, as we discover the fundamental properties of the interstellar interaction, the ISOC will iteratively improve its pipeline software, and, subsequently, the heliospheric flux maps that will provide a keystone for our global understanding of the solar wind’s interaction with the interstellar medium. The ISOC looks forward to the next chapter of the IBEX mission, as the tools we have developed will be used in partnership with the IBEX team and the scientific community over the coming years to define our global understanding of the solar wind’s interaction with the local interstellar medium.

  7. The Distribution of Interstellar Thermal Pressures in the Milky Way: New Data on the Fine-structure Excitation of C I from STIS Spectra in the HST Archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, Edward B.; Tripp, T. M.

    2006-06-01

    We have used the method of Jenkins & Tripp (2001: ApJS, 137, 297) to extract velocity profiles of the absorption by interstellar neutral carbon atoms in the 3 different fine-structure levels of the ground electronic state. The populations of these levels are governed by the balance between collisional excitations (and de-excitations) against radiative decay. By studying these populations, we can determine the different combinations of local temperatures and densities of the C I-bearing gas. We have analyzed virtually all of the stellar spectra in HST Archive that show clearly the multiplets of C I recorded with the E140H echelle grating of STIS. We have now expanded our coverage from the 21 stars in our original survey to a new total of 102 stars. This new study increases the coverage in Galactic longitudes well beyond that of the earlier observing program, which was mostly restricted to the intersections of the two HST continuous viewing zones and the plane of the Galaxy. We propose that substantial deviations of thermal pressures above and below a mean value are caused by interstellar turbulence, and we correlate these deviations with the kinematic properties of the gas. We derive an overall C I-weighted distribution function for the thermal pressures, and this distribution can be converted to one that applies to all of the neutral gas after we correct for changes in the ionization equilibrium between the neutral and ionized forms of carbon.This research was supported by grant HST-AR-09534.01 from the Space Telescope Science Institute, operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.

  8. Exploring the central molecular zone of the Galaxy using spectroscopy of H3+ and CO.

    PubMed

    Geballe, T R

    2012-11-13

    The central 400 parsecs of the Milky Way, a region known as the central molecular zone (CMZ), contains interstellar gas in a wide range of physical environments, from ultra-hot, rarified and highly ionized to warm, dense and molecular. The combination of infrared spectroscopy of H(3)(+) and CO is a powerful way to determine the basic properties of molecular interstellar gas, because the abundance ratio of H(3)(+) to CO in 'dense' clouds is quite different from that in 'diffuse' clouds. Moreover, the energy-level structure and the radiative properties of H(3)(+) combined with the unusually warm temperatures of molecular gas in the CMZ make H(3)(+) a unique probe of the physical conditions there. This paper describes how, using infrared absorption spectroscopy of H(3)(+) and CO, it has been discovered that a large fraction of the volume of the CMZ is filled with warm, diffuse and partially molecular gas moving at speeds of up to approximately 200 km s(-1) and that the mean cosmic ray ionization rate in the CMZ exceeds by roughly an order of magnitude values found in diffuse molecular clouds elsewhere in the Galaxy.

  9. Exploring the central molecular zone of the Galaxy using spectroscopy of H3+ and CO.

    PubMed

    Geballe, T R

    2012-11-13

    The central 400 parsecs of the Milky Way, a region known as the central molecular zone (CMZ), contains interstellar gas in a wide range of physical environments, from ultra-hot, rarified and highly ionized to warm, dense and molecular. The combination of infrared spectroscopy of H(3)(+) and CO is a powerful way to determine the basic properties of molecular interstellar gas, because the abundance ratio of H(3)(+) to CO in 'dense' clouds is quite different from that in 'diffuse' clouds. Moreover, the energy-level structure and the radiative properties of H(3)(+) combined with the unusually warm temperatures of molecular gas in the CMZ make H(3)(+) a unique probe of the physical conditions there. This paper describes how, using infrared absorption spectroscopy of H(3)(+) and CO, it has been discovered that a large fraction of the volume of the CMZ is filled with warm, diffuse and partially molecular gas moving at speeds of up to approximately 200 km s(-1) and that the mean cosmic ray ionization rate in the CMZ exceeds by roughly an order of magnitude values found in diffuse molecular clouds elsewhere in the Galaxy. PMID:23028162

  10. Quenched Carbonaceous Composite: a laboratory analog for carbonaceous material in the interstellar medium.

    PubMed

    Tokunaga, A T; Wada, S

    1997-01-01

    We review the properties of Quenched Carbonaceous Composite (QCC), a residue produced from a hydrocarbon plasma, and the properties of its derivatives. A. Sakata and his colleagues have shown that QCC has a 220 nm absorption band, visible fluorescence matching the extended red emission seen in reflection nebulae, and infrared absorption bands that correspond to the infrared emission features in reflection nebulae, HII regions, and planetary nebulae. These properties make QCC a strong candidate material as a laboratory analog to the carbonaceous material in the interstellar medium. QCC is distinguished from the PAH hypothesis in that (1) it is a condensate composed of aromatic and aliphatic molecules, as well as radicals; (2) it exhibits a 220 nm absorption that is very similar in wavelength to the 217 nm absorption in the interstellar medium; (3) it exhibits visible fluorescence consistent with that seen in reflection nebulae; and (4) the bands at 7.7 and 8.6 microns are caused by ketone bands in oxidized QCC. The aromatic component in QCC is thought to be typically 1-4 rings, with the majority being about 1-2 rings. PMID:11541327

  11. Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer Measurements of Interstellar Fluorine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Federman, S. R.; Sheffer, Yaron; Lambert, David L.; Smith, V. V.

    2005-02-01

    The source of fluorine is not well understood, although core-collapse supernovae, Wolf-Rayet stars, and asymptotic giant branch stars have been suggested. A search for evidence of the ν-process during Type II supernovae is presented. Absorption from interstellar F I is seen in spectra of HD 208440 and HD 209339A acquired with the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer. In order to extract the column density for F I from the line at 954 Å, absorption from H2 has to be modeled and then removed. Our analysis indicates that for H2 column densities less than about 3×1020 cm-2, the amount of F I can be determined from λ954. For these two sight lines, there is no clear indication for enhanced F abundances resulting from the ν-process in a region shaped by past supernovae. Based on observations made with the NASA/CNES/CSA Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE), which is operated for NASA by the Johns Hopkins University under NASA contract NAS 5-32985.

  12. ESO Diffuse Interstellar Bands Large Exploration Survey (EDIBLES) - Merging Observations and Laboratory Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid

    2016-01-01

    The Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs) are a set of 500 absorption bands that are detected in the spectra of stars with interstellar clouds in the line of sight. DIBs are found from the NUV to the NIR in the spectra of reddened stars spanning different interstellar environments in our local, and in other galaxies. DIB carriers are a significant part of the interstellar chemical inventory. They are stable and ubiquitous in a broad variety of environments and play a unique role in interstellar physics/chemistry. It has long been realized that the solving of the DIB problem requires a strong synergy between astronomical observations, laboratory astrophysics, and astrophysical modeling of line-of-sights. PAHs are among the molecular species that have been proposed as DIB carriers. We will present an assessment of the PAH-DIB model in view of the progress and the advances that have been achieved over the past years through a series of studies involving astronomical observations of DIBs, laboratory simulation of interstellar analogs for neutrals and ionized PAHs, theoretical calculations of PAH spectra and the modelization of diffuse and translucent interstellar clouds. We will present a summary of what has been learned from these complementary studies, the constraints that can now be derived for the PAHs as DIB carriers in the context of the PAH-DIB model and how these constraints can be applied to the EDIBLES project. The spectra of several neutral and ionized PAHs isolated in the gas phase at low temperature have been measured in the laboratory under experimental conditions that mimic interstellar conditions and are compared with an extensive set of astronomical spectra of reddened, early type stars. The comparisons of astronomical and laboratory data provide upper limits for the abundances of specific neutral PAH molecules and ions along specific lines-of-sight. Something that is not attainable from infrared observations alone. We present the characteristics of the

  13. Effects of mechanical interaction between the interstellar medium and comets

    SciTech Connect

    Stern, S.A.

    1986-11-01

    The present treatment of the mechanical interaction of Oort Cloud comets with the interstellar medium gives attention to the importance of the accretion of interstellar material onto comets, as well as to the erosion of cometary surfaces by impacting interstellar grains and the consequences of these interactions. Scaling analyses indicate that collisions with interstellar grains can furnish a potent evolutionary mechanism in the modification of cometary surfaces; this factor may also contribute a substantial number of low mass particulated to the interstellar medium. 48 references.

  14. Shock processing of interstellar dust - Diamonds in the sky

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Seab, C. G.; Hollenbach, D. J.; Mckee, Christopher F.

    1987-01-01

    The processing of interstellar dust grains by strong shock waves is studied, with the emphasis on the effects of grain-grain collisions. Such collisions provide the high pressures required to transform interstellar graphite and amorphous carbon grains into diamonds. Diamond metamorphism is as important for the destruction of such grains as vaporization and sputtering. It is calculated that about 5 percent of the C is expected to be in the form of 5-100 A diamonds in the interstellar medium. These results support the suggested interstellar origin for the recently discovered small meteoritic diamonds by providing a feasible interstellar formation mechanism.

  15. Connecting The Interstellar Gas And Dust Properties Of Distant Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulkarni, Varsha

    The properties of interstellar gas and dust in distant galaxies are fundamental parameters in constraining galaxy evolution models. Quasar absorption systems (QASs), which trace intervening galaxies along the sightlines to luminous background quasars, provide invaluable tools to directly study gas and dust in distant normal galaxies. Recent studies of QASs have found interesting trends in both gas and dust properties, such as correlations in metallicity with redshift and dust depletions. Our Spitzer spectroscopic studies also indicate that silicate dust grains are present in QASs, and in fact, at a level higher than expected for diffuse gas in the Milky Way. Moreover, the silicate dust grains in these distant galaxies may be substantially more crystalline than those in the Milky Way interstellar medium. We now propose a comprehensive study of the gas and dust properties of all QASs with strong Ly-alpha and/or metal absorption lines that have adequate archival IR data to probe the study of dust. Our analysis will include data primarily from the NASA-supported Spitzer, Herschel, HST, and Keck Observatory archives, along with a small amount of VLT/SDSS archival data. Our specific goals are as follows: (1) We will measure a large range of metal absorption lines in high-resolution quasar spectra from Keck, HST, and VLT archives to uniformly determine the metallicity, dust depletions, ionization, and star formation rates in the foreground QASs. In particular, we will study the variations in these quantities with gas velocity, using Voigt profile fitting techniques to determine the velocity structure. This analysis will also allow us to quantify the kinematics of the absorbing gas. (2) We will use archival Spitzer IRS quasar spectra to search for and measure the strengths of the 10 and 18 micron silicate dust absorption features for a much larger sample of QASs than previously studied. (3) We will fit the observed silicate absorption features in the Spitzer archival

  16. TRIANGULATION OF THE INTERSTELLAR MAGNETIC FIELD

    SciTech Connect

    Schwadron, N. A.; Moebius, E.; Richardson, J. D.; Burlaga, L. F.; McComas, D. J.

    2015-11-01

    Determining the direction of the local interstellar magnetic field (LISMF) is important for understanding the heliosphere’s global structure, the properties of the interstellar medium, and the propagation of cosmic rays in the local galactic medium. Measurements of interstellar neutral atoms by Ulysses for He and by SOHO/SWAN for H provided some of the first observational insights into the LISMF direction. Because secondary neutral H is partially deflected by the interstellar flow in the outer heliosheath and this deflection is influenced by the LISMF, the relative deflection of H versus He provides a plane—the so-called B–V plane in which the LISMF direction should lie. Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) subsequently discovered a ribbon, the center of which is conjectured to be the LISMF direction. The most recent He velocity measurements from IBEX and those from Ulysses yield a B–V plane with uncertainty limits that contain the centers of the IBEX ribbon at 0.7–2.7 keV. The possibility that Voyager 1 has moved into the outer heliosheath now suggests that Voyager 1's direct observations provide another independent determination of the LISMF. We show that LISMF direction measured by Voyager 1 is >40° off from the IBEX ribbon center and the B–V plane. Taking into account the temporal gradient of the field direction measured by Voyager 1, we extrapolate to a field direction that passes directly through the IBEX ribbon center (0.7–2.7 keV) and the B–V plane, allowing us to triangulate the LISMF direction and estimate the gradient scale size of the magnetic field.

  17. Triangulation of the Interstellar Magnetic Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwadron, N. A.; Richardson, J. D.; Burlaga, L. F.; McComas, D. J.; Moebius, E.

    2015-11-01

    Determining the direction of the local interstellar magnetic field (LISMF) is important for understanding the heliosphere’s global structure, the properties of the interstellar medium, and the propagation of cosmic rays in the local galactic medium. Measurements of interstellar neutral atoms by Ulysses for He and by SOHO/SWAN for H provided some of the first observational insights into the LISMF direction. Because secondary neutral H is partially deflected by the interstellar flow in the outer heliosheath and this deflection is influenced by the LISMF, the relative deflection of H versus He provides a plane—the so-called B–V plane in which the LISMF direction should lie. Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) subsequently discovered a ribbon, the center of which is conjectured to be the LISMF direction. The most recent He velocity measurements from IBEX and those from Ulysses yield a B–V plane with uncertainty limits that contain the centers of the IBEX ribbon at 0.7–2.7 keV. The possibility that Voyager 1 has moved into the outer heliosheath now suggests that Voyager 1's direct observations provide another independent determination of the LISMF. We show that LISMF direction measured by Voyager 1 is >40° off from the IBEX ribbon center and the B–V plane. Taking into account the temporal gradient of the field direction measured by Voyager 1, we extrapolate to a field direction that passes directly through the IBEX ribbon center (0.7–2.7 keV) and the B–V plane, allowing us to triangulate the LISMF direction and estimate the gradient scale size of the magnetic field.

  18. Theoretical models of interstellar shocks. I - Radiative transfer and UV precursors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shull, J. M.; Mckee, C. F.

    1979-01-01

    Theoretical models of interstellar radiative shocks are constructed, with special attention to the transfer of ionizing radiation. These models are 'self-consistent' in the sense that the emergent ionizing radiation (the UV precursor) is coupled with the ionization state of H, He, and the metals in the preshock gas. For shock velocities of at least 110 km/s the shocks generate sufficient UV radiation for complete preionization of H and He, the latter to He(+). At lower velocities the preionization can be much smaller, with important consequences for the cooling function, the shock structure, and the emission. For models with shock velocities of 40 to 130 km/s the intensities of the strongest emission lines in the UV, optical, and infrared are tabulated, as well as postshock column densities of metal ions potentially observable by UV absorption spectroscopy. Possible applications to supernova remnants and high-velocity interstellar gas are assessed.

  19. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Interstellar extinction curves of OB stars (Wegner 2002)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wegner, W.

    2003-02-01

    The paper presents a collection of 436 extinction curves covering the whole available range of wavelengths from satellite UV to near-IR. The data were taken from the ANS photometric catalogue (Cat. ) and from the compilations of IR photometric measurements. The data curves have been obtained with the aid of "artificial standards" Papaj et al. (1993A&A...273..575P) and Wegner (1994MNRAS.270..229W, 1995, Interstellar Absorption Structures in the Direction of Nearby OB stars, Wyd. Uczelniane WSP, Bydgoszcz, p. 1-383). The visual magnitudes and spectral classifications of O and B type stars with EB-V>=0.05 were taken from the SIMBAD database. The curves are given in the form of plots and tables E{lambda}-V/EB-V versus 1/{lambda}. The observed variety of extinction laws among slightly reddened stars is apparently due to the various physical parameters of interstellar clouds. (3 data files).

  20. PROBING THE LOCAL BUBBLE WITH DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BANDS. III. THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE DATA AND CATALOG

    SciTech Connect

    Farhang, Amin; Khosroshahi, Habib G.; Javadi, Atefeh; Van Loon, Jacco Th.

    2015-02-01

    We present new high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) observations of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) in the Local Bubble and its surroundings. We observed 432 sightlines and obtain the equivalent widths of the λ5780 and λ5797 Å DIBs up to a distance of ∼200 pc. All of the observations were carried out using the Intermediate Dispersion Spectrograph on the 2.5 m Isaac Newton Telescope, during three years, to reach a minimum S/N of ∼2000. All of the λ5780 and λ5797 absorptions are presented in this paper and we tabulate the observed values of the interstellar parameters, λ5780, λ5797, Na ID{sub 1}, and Na ID{sub 2}, including the uncertainties.

  1. Probing the Local Bubble with Diffuse Interstellar Bands. III. The Northern Hemisphere Data and Catalog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farhang, Amin; Khosroshahi, Habib G.; Javadi, Atefeh; van Loon, Jacco Th.

    2015-02-01

    We present new high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) observations of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) in the Local Bubble and its surroundings. We observed 432 sightlines and obtain the equivalent widths of the λ5780 and λ5797 Å DIBs up to a distance of ~200 pc. All of the observations were carried out using the Intermediate Dispersion Spectrograph on the 2.5 m Isaac Newton Telescope, during three years, to reach a minimum S/N of ~2000. All of the λ5780 and λ5797 absorptions are presented in this paper and we tabulate the observed values of the interstellar parameters, λ5780, λ5797, Na ID1, and Na ID2, including the uncertainties.

  2. Changes in interstellar atomic abundances from the galactic plane to the halo

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jenkins, E. B.

    1982-01-01

    A few, specially selected interstellar absorption lines were measured in the high resolution, far ultraviolet spectra of 200 O and B type stars observed by the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE). For lines of sight extending beyond about 500 pc from the galactic plane, the abundance of singly ionized iron atoms increases relative to singly ionized sulfur. However, the relative abundances of singly ionized sulfur, silicon and aluminum do not seem to change appreciably. An explanation for the apparent increase of iron is the partial sputtering of material off the surfaces of dust grains by interstellar shocks. Another possibility might be that the ejecta from type I supernovae enrich the low density medium in the halo with iron.

  3. Atoms in carbon cages as a source of interstellar diffuse lines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ballester, J. L.; Antoniewicz, P. R.; Smoluchowski, R.

    1990-01-01

    A model to describe the resonance absorption lines of various atoms trapped in closed carbon cages is presented. These systems may be responsible for some of the as yet unexplained diffuse interstellar bands. Model potentials for possible atom-C60 systems are obtained and used to calculate the resonance lines. The trapped atoms considered are O, N, Si, Mg, Al, Na, and S, and in all cases the resonance lines are shifted toward the red as compared to the isolated atoms. The calculated wavelengths are compared to the range of wavelengths observed for the diffuse interstellar bands, and good agreement is found for Mg and Si resonance lines. Other lines may be caused by other than resonance transitions or by trapped molecules. The oscillator strengths and the abundances are evaluated and compared with observation. Mechanisms to explain the observed band width of the lines and the existence of certain correlated pairs of lines are discussed.

  4. Interstellar gas phase abundance of carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, copper, gallium, germanium, and krypton toward Zeta Ophiuchi

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cardelli, Jason A.; Savage, Blair D.; Ebbets, Dennis C.

    1991-01-01

    An analysis of weak (less than 10 mA) UV interstellar absorption line data obtained for the line of sight to the O9.5 IV star Zeta Oph is presented. Measurements of weak semiforbidden lines of N I, O I, Cu II, and a new UV detection of Na I are reported along with a small upper limit for C II. Interstellar detections of Ga II, Ge II, and Kr I are also presented. Ga, Ge, and Kr represent the heaviest elements detected in the ISM. A comparison of the derived column densities to cosmic abundances shows Ga to be depleted by about -1.2 dex while Ge is overabundant by +0.2 dex. Assuming Kr to be undepleted, a logarithmic cosmic abundance of Kr/H = 2.95 is obtained on the scale where H = 12.00.

  5. Future Studies of the Local Interstellar Medium with Space Telescope and Columbus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savage, B. D.

    1984-01-01

    The spectrographs aboard Space Telescope and Columbus which will provide important new information about the interstellar medium in the immediate vicinity of the sun are described. The space telescope's highest resolution is adequate to define the multicomponent nature of interstellar absorption lines and to measure thermal line widths exceeding 3 km/s. The Columbus spacecraft will contain spectrographs capable of resolutions of 3 x 10 to the 4th power between 912 and 1200 A and 500 between 100 and 900 A. In the short wavelength region, lines of He I and II, are observable. If the 3 x 10 to the 4th power resolution spectrograph provides extended wavelength coverage to 770 A, lines of Ne VIII which are expected from 8 x 10 to the 5th power K gas are accessible. The ST HRS and Columbus spectrographs enable the study of a wide range of problems relating to cold, warm, and hot gas in the local ISM.

  6. The 2140 cm-1 (4.673 microns) solid CO band: the case for interstellar O2 and N2 and the photochemistry of nonpolar interstellar ice analogs.

    PubMed

    Elsila, J; Allamandola, L J; Sandford, S A

    1997-04-20

    The infrared spectra of CO frozen in nonpolar ices containing N2, CO2, O2, and H2O and the UV photochemistry of these interstellar/precometary ice analogs are reported. The spectra are used to test the hypothesis that the narrow 2140 cm-1 (4.673 microns) interstellar absorption feature attributed to solid CO might be produced by CO frozen in ices containing nonpolar species such as N2 and O2. It is shown that mixed molecular ices containing CO, N2, O2, and CO2 provide a good match to the interstellar band at all temperatures between 12 and 30 K both before and after photolysis. The optical constants (real and imaginary parts of the index of refraction) in the region of the solid CO feature are reported for several of these ices. The N2 and O2 absorptions at 2328 cm-1 (4.296 microns) and 1549 cm-1 (6.456 microns), respectively, are also shown. The best matches between the narrow interstellar band and the feature in the laboratory spectra of nonpolar ices are for samples which contain comparable amounts of N2, O2, CO2, and CO. Co-adding the CO band from an N2:O2:CO2:CO = 1:5:1/2:1 ice with that of an H2O:CO = 20:1 ice provides an excellent fit across the entire interstellar CO feature. The four-component, nonpolar ice accounts for the narrow 2140 cm-1 portion of the feature which is associated with quiescent regions of dense molecular clouds. Using this mixture, and applying the most recent cosmic abundance values, we derive that between 15% and 70% of the available interstellar N is in the form of frozen N2 along several lines of sight toward background stars. This is reduced to a range of 1%-30% for embedded objects with lines of sight more dominated by warmer grains. The cosmic abundance of O tied up in frozen O2 lies in the 10%-45% range toward background sources, and it is between 1% and 20% toward embedded objects. The amount of oxygen tied up in CO and CO2 frozen in nonpolar ices can be as much as 2%-10% toward background sources and on the order of 0

  7. The 2140 cm-1 (4.673 microns) solid CO band: the case for interstellar O2 and N2 and the photochemistry of nonpolar interstellar ice analogs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elsila, J.; Allamandola, L. J.; Sandford, S. A.

    1997-01-01

    The infrared spectra of CO frozen in nonpolar ices containing N2, CO2, O2, and H2O and the UV photochemistry of these interstellar/precometary ice analogs are reported. The spectra are used to test the hypothesis that the narrow 2140 cm-1 (4.673 microns) interstellar absorption feature attributed to solid CO might be produced by CO frozen in ices containing nonpolar species such as N2 and O2. It is shown that mixed molecular ices containing CO, N2, O2, and CO2 provide a good match to the interstellar band at all temperatures between 12 and 30 K both before and after photolysis. The optical constants (real and imaginary parts of the index of refraction) in the region of the solid CO feature are reported for several of these ices. The N2 and O2 absorptions at 2328 cm-1 (4.296 microns) and 1549 cm-1 (6.456 microns), respectively, are also shown. The best matches between the narrow interstellar band and the feature in the laboratory spectra of nonpolar ices are for samples which contain comparable amounts of N2, O2, CO2, and CO. Co-adding the CO band from an N2:O2:CO2:CO = 1:5:1/2:1 ice with that of an H2O:CO = 20:1 ice provides an excellent fit across the entire interstellar CO feature. The four-component, nonpolar ice accounts for the narrow 2140 cm-1 portion of the feature which is associated with quiescent regions of dense molecular clouds. Using this mixture, and applying the most recent cosmic abundance values, we derive that between 15% and 70% of the available interstellar N is in the form of frozen N2 along several lines of sight toward background stars. This is reduced to a range of 1%-30% for embedded objects with lines of sight more dominated by warmer grains. The cosmic abundance of O tied up in frozen O2 lies in the 10%-45% range toward background sources, and it is between 1% and 20% toward embedded objects. The amount of oxygen tied up in CO and CO2 frozen in nonpolar ices can be as much as 2%-10% toward background sources and on the order of 0

  8. Probing model interstellar grain surfaces with small molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collings, M. P.; Frankland, V. L.; Lasne, J.; Marchione, D.; Rosu-Finsen, A.; McCoustra, M. R. S.

    2015-05-01

    Temperature-programmed desorption and reflection-absorption infrared spectroscopy have been used to explore the interaction of oxygen (O2), nitrogen (N2), carbon monoxide (CO) and water (H2O) with an amorphous silica film as a demonstration of the detailed characterization of the silicate surfaces that might be present in the interstellar medium. The simple diatomic adsorbates are found to wet the silica surface and exhibit first-order desorption kinetics in the regime up to monolayer coverage. Beyond that, they exhibit zero-order kinetics as might be expected for sublimation of bulk solids. Water, in contrast, does not wet the silica surface and exhibits zero-order desorption kinetics at all coverages consistent with the formation of an islanded structure. Kinetic parameters for use in astrophysical modelling were obtained by inversion of the experimental data at sub-monolayer coverages and by comparison with models in the multilayer regime. Spectroscopic studies in the sub-monolayer regime show that the C-O stretching mode is at around 2137 cm-1 (5.43 μm), a position consistent with a linear surface-CO interaction, and is inhomogenously broadened as resulting from the heterogeneity of the surface. These studies also reveal, for the first time, direct evidence for the thermal activation of diffusion, and hence de-wetting, of H2O on the silica surface. Astrophysical implications of these findings could account for a part of the missing oxygen budget in dense interstellar clouds, and suggest that studies of the sub-monolayer adsorption of these simple molecules might be a useful probe of surface chemistry on more complex silicate materials.

  9. Plasma processing of interstellar PAHs into solar system kerogen

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wdowiak, T. J.; Lee, W.; Cronin, J.; Beegle, L. W.; Robinson, M. S.

    1995-01-01

    Processes resulting in the formation of hydrocarbons of carbonaceous chondrites and the identity of the interstellar molecular precursors involved are an objective of investigations into the origin of the solar system and perhaps even life on earth. We have combined the resources and experience of an astronomer and physicists doing laboratory simulations with those of a chemical expert in the analysis of meteoritic hydrocarbons, in a project that investigated the conversion of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) formed in stellar atmospheres into alkanes found in meteorites. Plasma hydrogenation has been found in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Astrophysics Laboratory to produce from the precursor PAH naphthalene, a new material having an IR absorption spectrum (Lee, W. and Wdowiak, T.J., Astrophys. J. 417, L49-L51, 1993) remarkably similar to that obtained at Arizona State University of the benzene-methanol extract of the Murchison meteorite (Cronin, J.R. and Pizzarello, S., Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 54, 2859-2868, 1990). There are astrophysical and meteoritic arguments for PAH species from extra-solar sources being incorporated into the solar nebula, where plasma hydrogenation is highly plausible. Conversion of PAHs into alkanes could also have occurred in the interstellar medium. The synthesis of laboratory analogs of meteoritic hydrocarbons through plasma hydrogenation of PAH species is underway, as is chemical analysis of those analogs. The objective is to clarify this heretofore uninvestigated process and to understand its role during the origin of the solar system as a mechanism of production of hydrocarbon species now found in meteorites. Results have been obtained in the form of time-of-flight spectroscopy and chemical analysis of the lab analog prepared from naphthalene.

  10. The VLT-FLAMES Tarantula Survey. IX. The interstellar medium seen through diffuse interstellar bands and neutral sodium&

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Loon, J. Th.; Bailey, M.; Tatton, B. L.; Maíz Apellániz, J.; Crowther, P. A.; de Koter, A.; Evans, C. J.; Hénault-Brunet, V.; Howarth, I. D.; Richter, P.; Sana, H.; Simón-Díaz, S.; Taylor, W.; Walborn, N. R.

    2013-02-01

    Context. The Tarantula Nebula (a.k.a. 30 Dor) is a spectacular star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), seen through gas in the Galactic disc and halo. Diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) offer a unique probe of the diffuse, cool-warm gas in these regions. Aims: The aim is to use DIBs as diagnostics of the local interstellar conditions, whilst at the same time deriving properties of the yet-unknown carriers of these enigmatic spectral features. Methods: Spectra of over 800 early-type stars from the Very Large Telescope Flames Tarantula Survey (VFTS) were analysed. Maps were created, separately, for the Galactic and LMC absorption in the DIBs at 4428 and 6614 Å and - in a smaller region near the central cluster R 136 - neutral sodium (the Na i D doublet); we also measured the DIBs at 5780 and 5797 Å. Results: The maps show strong 4428 and 6614 Å DIBs in the quiescent cloud complex to the south of 30 Dor but weak absorption in the harsher environments to the north (bubbles) and near the OB associations. The Na maps show at least five kinematic components in the LMC and a shell-like structure surrounding R 136, and small-scale structure in the Milky Way. The strengths of the 4428, 5780, 5797 and 6614 Å DIBs are correlated, also with Na absorption and visual extinction. The strong 4428 Å DIB is present already at low Na column density but the 6614, 5780 and 5797 Å DIBs start to be detectable at subsequently larger Na column densities. Conclusions: The carriers of the 4428, 6614, 5780 and 5797 Å DIBs are increasingly prone to removal from irradiated gas. The relative strength of the 5780 and 5797 Å DIBs clearly confirm the Tarantula Nebula as well as Galactic high-latitude gas to represent a harsh radiation environment. The resilience of the 4428 Å DIB suggests its carrier is large, compact and neutral. Structure is detected in the distribution of cool-warm gas on scales between one and >100 pc in the LMC and as little as 0.01 pc in the Sun

  11. Probing the Origin and Evolution of Interstellar and Protoplanetary Biogenic Molecules:A Comprehensive Survey of Interstellar Ices with SPHEREx

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melnick, Gary J.; SPHEREx Science Team

    2016-01-01

    Many of the most important building blocks of life are locked in interstellar and protoplanetary ices. Examples include H2O, CO, CO2, and CH3OH, among others. There is growing evidence that in some environments, such as within the cores of dense molecular clouds and the mid-plane of protoplanetary disks, the amounts of these species in ices far exceeds that in the gas phase. As a result, collisions between ice-bearing bodies and newly forming planets are thought to be a major means of delivering these key species to young planets. There currently exist fewer than 250 ice absorption spectra toward Galactic molecular clouds, which is insufficient to reliably trace the ice content of clouds through the various stages of collapse to star and planet formation, or assess the effects of their environments and physical conditions, such as cloud density, internal temperature, presence or absence of embedded sources, external UV and X-ray radiation, gas-phase composition, or cosmic-ray ionization rate, on the ice composition for clouds at similar evolutionary stages. Ultimately, our goal is to understand how these findings connect to our own Solar System.SPHEREx, which is a mission in NASA's Small Explorer (SMEX) program that was selected for a Phase A study in July 2015, will be a game changer for the study of interstellar, circumstellar, and protoplanetary disk ices. SPHEREx will obtain spectra over the entire sky in the optical and near-IR, including the 2.5 to 4.8 micron region, which contains the above biogenic ice features. SPHEREx will detect millions of potential background continuum point sources already catalogued by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) at 3.4 and 4.6 microns for which there is evidence for intervening gas and dust based on the 2MASS+WISE colors with sufficient sensitivity to yield ice absorption spectra with SNR ≥ 100 per spectral resolution element. The resulting > 100-fold increase in the number of high-quality ice absorption

  12. Interstellar Probe: The Next Step To Flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNutt, Ralph; Zurbuchen, Thomas H.

    2016-07-01

    In the years following the discovery of the solar wind, the term "heliosphere" was coined and defined as "the region of interplanetary space where the solar wind is flowing supersonically." In June 1971, with the development of the Pioneer probes to Jupiter and beyond well underway, a session of the American Astronautical Society meeting considered scientific exploration reaching beyond the solar system and into the interstellar medium. Despite many discussions, studies, and meetings since, the most recent held under the auspices of the Keck Institute for Space Studies (8-11 September 2014 and 13-15 January 2015), such missions have been relegated to the '"future" due to the large distances and solar system escape speeds contemplated for their execution. In the meantime, the Voyager Interstellar Mission (VIM), consisting of the twin Voyager spacecraft almost 40 years since their respective launches, are making inroads into this region beyond the termination shock of the solar wind, a new region of the solid bodies of the solar system has been opened by the New Horizons flyby of the Pluto system, and the Cassini Ion and Neutral CAmera (INCA) and Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) have remotely sensed neutral atoms that have provided significant clues to the global structure of the interaction of the solar wind and interstellar medium. It is now time for a dedicated mission to the regime beyond the solar system to explore our galactic environment. A first, near-term implementation can be carried out with the near-current flight system technology. What is also clear is that the high speeds required will limit the spacecraft to a relatively small mass of no more than ~500 kg, regardless of the propulsion details. The recent success of the New Horizons mission at the Pluto system illustrates that with modern technologies, such spacecraft sizes can still accommodate the means to produce paradigm-shifting science, providing for a compelling scientific mission. The

  13. Isotope Fractionation in the Interstellar Medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Charnley, Steven

    2011-01-01

    Anomalously fractionated isotopic material is found in many primitive Solar System objects, such as meteorites and comets. It is thought, in some cases, to trace interstellar matter that was incorporated into the Solar Nebula without undergoing significant processing. We will present the results of models of the nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon fractionation chemistry in dense molecular clouds, particularly in cores where substantial freeze-out of molecules on to dust has occurred. The range of fractionation ratios expected in different interstellar molecules will be discussed and compared to the ratios measured in molecular clouds, comets and meteoritic material. These models make several predictions that can be tested in the near future by molecular line observations, particularly with ALMA.

  14. Pulsar activation by the interstellar medium?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Michel, F. Curtis

    1987-01-01

    Recent work suggests that rotating magnetized neutron stars (i.e., pulsar models) trap plasma instead of emitting it. The trapping arises because nonneutral plasma can be stably trapped within such a magnetosphere provided the overall system charge is nonzero. It has been argued that particles from the interstellar medium would discharge this system, thereby presumably reactivating the system as a pulsar. However, radiation pressure either precludes such discharging (requiring an alternative source of ionization) or pulsar magnetic moments must be almost perfectly aligned with the spin axis (a revolutionary alternative). Indeed, the pulsars for which particles could reach the neutron star are those with periods of at least 3 sec. But those periods are where pulsars become inactive, not active. Conceivably, nulling might represent intermittent accretion of the interstellar medium.

  15. Organic Synthesis in Simulated Interstellar Ice Analogs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dworkin, Jason P.; Bernstein, Max P.; Sandford, Scott A.; Allamandola, Louis J.; Deamer, David W.; Elsila, Jamie; Zare, Richard N.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Comets and carbonaceous micrometeorites may have been significant sources of organic compounds on the early Earth. Ices on grains in interstellar dense molecular clouds contain a variety of simple molecules as well as aromatic molecules of various sizes. While in these clouds the icy grains are processed by ultraviolet light and cosmic radiation which produces more complex organic molecules. ID We have run laboratory simulations to identify the types of molecules which could have been generated photolytically in pre-cometary ices. Experiments were conducted by forming various realistic interstellar mixed-molecular ices with and without polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at approx. 10 K under high vacuum irradiated with LTV light from a hydrogen plasma lamp: The residue that remained after warming to room temperature was analyzed by HPLC, and by laser desorption mass spectrometry. The residue contains several classes of compounds which may be of prebiotic significance.

  16. Organic Synthesis in Simulated Interstellar Ice Analogs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dworkin, Jason P.; Bernstein, Max P.; Sandford, Scott A.; Allamandola, Louis J.; Deamer, David W.; Elsila, Jamie; Zare, Richard N.

    2001-01-01

    Comets and carbonaceous micrometeorites may have been significant sources of organic compounds on the early Earth. Ices on grains in interstellar dense molecular clouds contain a variety of simple molecules as well as aromatic molecules of various sizes. While in these clouds the icy grains are processed by ultraviolet light and cosmic radiation which produces more complex organic molecules. We have run laboratory simulations to identify the types of molecules which could have been generated photolytically in pre-cometary ices. Experiments were conducted by forming various realistic interstellar mixed-molecular ices with and without polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at approx. 10 K under high vacuum irradiated with UV light from a hydrogen plasma lamp. The residue that remained after warming to room temperature was analyzed by HPLC, and by laser desorption mass spectrometry. The residue contains several classes of compounds which may be of prebiotic significance.

  17. Galactic civilizations: Population dynamics and interstellar diffusion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newman, W. I.; Sagan, C.

    1978-01-01

    The interstellar diffusion of galactic civilizations is reexamined by potential theory; both numerical and analytical solutions are derived for the nonlinear partial differential equations which specify a range of relevant models, drawn from blast wave physics, soil science, and, especially, population biology. An essential feature of these models is that, for all civilizations, population growth must be limited by the carrying capacity of the environment. Dispersal is fundamentally a diffusion process; a density-dependent diffusivity describes interstellar emigration. Two models are considered: the first describing zero population growth (ZPG), and the second which also includes local growth and saturation of a planetary population, and for which an asymptotic traveling wave solution is found.

  18. Circumstellar and interstellar synthesis of organic molecules.

    PubMed

    Tielens, A G; Charnley, S B

    1997-06-01

    We review the formation and evolution of complex circumstellar and interstellar molecules. A number of promising chemical routes are discussed which may lead to the formation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon molecules, fullerenes, and unsaturated hydrocarbon chains in the outflows from stars. Some of the problems with these chemical schemes are pointed out as well. We also review the role of grains in the formation of complex molecules in interstellar molecular clouds. This starts with the formation of simple molecules in an ice grain mantle. UV photolysis and/or thermal polymerization can convert some of these simple molecules into more complex polymeric structures. Some of these species may be released to the gas phase, particularly in the warm regions around newly formed stars. Methanol and formaldehyde seem to play an important role in this drive towards molecular complexity and their chemistry is traced in some detail.

  19. A search for interstellar H3O+.

    PubMed

    Wootten, A; Boulanger, F; Bogey, M; Combes, F; Encrenaz, P J; Gerin, M; Ziurys, L

    1986-01-01

    The P (2,1) line of H3O+, the hydroxonium ion, a key species in ion-molecule chemistry, has been sought in the interstellar medium and in Halley's Comet. In OMC1 and SgrB2, a line was detected which may possibly be attributed to H3O+. Verification of this identification must be accomplished through observation of the P(3,2) line at 364 GHz, or detection of isotopic variants. If we were to assume that the detected line arises from H3O+, we can deduce a fractional abundance X(H3O+) in OMC1 and SgrB2 of approximately 10(-9) and a production rate in Comet Halley of Q(H3O+) 10(28)s-1. These results would place H3O+ among the more abundant molecular ions in the interstellar gas in agreement with theoretical predictions.

  20. Interstellar Gas and a Dark Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kramer, Eric David; Randall, Lisa

    2016-10-01

    We introduce a potentially powerful method for constraining or discovering a thin dark matter disk in the Milky Way. The method relies on the relationship between the midplane densities and scale heights of interstellar gas being determined by the gravitational potential, which is sensitive to the presence of a dark disk. We show how to use the interstellar gas parameters to set a bound on a dark disk and discuss the constraints suggested by the current data. However, current measurements for these parameters are discordant, with the uncertainty in the constraint being dominated by the molecular hydrogen midplane density measurement, as well as by the atomic hydrogen velocity dispersion measurement. Magnetic fields and cosmic ray pressure, which are expected to play a role, are uncertain as well. The current models and data are inadequate to determine the disk's existence, but taken at face value, may favor its existence depending on the gas parameters used.

  1. Structural Evolution of Interstellar Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hammonds, Mark; Candian, Alessandra; Mori, Tamami; Usui, Fumihiko; Onaka, Takashi

    2015-08-01

    Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are an important reservoir for molecular carbon in the interstellar medium (ISM), and investigations into their chemistry and behaviour may be important to the understanding of how carbon is processed from simple forms into complex prebiotic molecules such as those detected in chondritic meteorites. In this study, infrared astronomical data from AKARI and other observatories are used together with laboratory and theoretical data to study variations in the structure of emitting PAHs in interstellar environments using spectroscopic decomposition techniques and bands arising from carbon-hydrogen bond vibrations at wavelengths from 3 - 14 microns. Results and inferences are discussed in terms of the processing of large carbonaceous molecules in astrophysical environments.

  2. Human factors issues for interstellar spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, Marc M.; Brody, Adam R.

    1991-01-01

    Developments in research on space human factors are reviewed in the context of a self-sustaining interstellar spacecraft based on the notion of traveling space settlements. Assumptions about interstellar travel are set forth addressing costs, mission durations, and the need for multigenerational space colonies. The model of human motivation by Maslow (1970) is examined and directly related to the design of space habitat architecture. Human-factors technology issues encompass the human-machine interface, crew selection and training, and the development of spaceship infrastructure during transtellar flight. A scenario for feasible instellar travel is based on a speed of 0.5c, a timeframe of about 100 yr, and an expandable multigenerational crew of about 100 members. Crew training is identified as a critical human-factors issue requiring the development of perceptual and cognitive aids such as expert systems and virtual reality.

  3. Interstellar molecules - Formation in solar nebulae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anders, E.

    1973-01-01

    Herbig's (1970) hypothesis that solar nebulae might be the principal source of interstellar grains and molecules is investigated. The investigation includes the determination of physical and chemical conditions in the early solar system. The production of organic compounds in the solar nebula is studied, and the compounds in meteorites are compared with those obtained in Miller-Urey and Fischer-Tropsch-type (FTT) reactions, taking into consideration aliphatic hydrocarbons, aromatic hydrocarbons, purines, pyrimidines, amino acids, porphyrins, and aspects of carbon-isotope fractionation. It is found that FTT reactions account reasonably well for all well-established features of organic matter in meteorites investigated. The distribution of compounds produced by FTT reactions is compared with the distribution of interstellar molecules. Biological implications of the results are considered.

  4. Complex Molecules in the Interstellar Medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandford, Scott

    1996-01-01

    A brief review of the current state of knowledge concerning the composition of complex molecules in the interstellar medium (ISM) is given. The materials in interstellar dense molecular clouds is also discussed. As well as the formation of stars and planetary systems. A concentration on solids are addressed, because they contain a major fraction of the heavier elements in these clouds and because these materials are the most likely to survive incorporation into new planetary systems and participate in the subsequent formation and evolution of life. However, dense clouds are not well-defined, long-lived entities but are dynamic objects that are formed from materials in the diffuse ISM and destroyed on time scales of 10(exp 6)-10(exp 8) years. As a result, materials in space are probably constantly being mixed between the dense ISM and the more diffuse intercloud ISM, and some discussion of the materials found in the diffuse ISM is also merited.

  5. Icarus Institute for Interstellar Sciences (IIS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cress, B.

    2012-09-01

    In this paper, a vision for a proposed interstellar research center, to be developed in the United States, will be presented. The major focus will be on an innovative approach to the planning and achieving a new sustainable world class facility devoted to the technologies and various science missions of multi-disciplined teams reaching for the stars. The project will provide the personnel, feature sets, facilities and equipment needed to initiate and support an aggressive program of advanced interstellar vehicle and propulsion design and implementation. Also shared will be personal insights and economic considerations gained during prior planning for a private research institute in Nevada, home to more than 300 international scientists. The views expressed in this discussion paper are the personal views of the author and not necessarily representing the entire Icarus team.

  6. Local Interstellar Magnetic Field Determined from the Interstellar Boundary Explorer Ribbon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zirnstein, E. J.; Heerikhuisen, J.; Funsten, H. O.; Livadiotis, G.; McComas, D. J.; Pogorelov, N. V.

    2016-02-01

    The solar wind emanating from the Sun interacts with the local interstellar medium (LISM), forming the heliosphere. Hydrogen energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) produced by the solar-interstellar interaction carry important information about plasma properties from the boundaries of the heliosphere, and are currently being measured by NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX). IBEX observations show the existence of a “ribbon” of intense ENA emission projecting a circle on the celestial sphere that is centered near the local interstellar magnetic field (ISMF) vector. Here we show that the source of the IBEX ribbon as a function of ENA energy outside the heliosphere, uniquely coupled to the draping of the ISMF around the heliopause, can be used to precisely determine the magnitude (2.93 ± 0.08 μG) and direction (227.°28 ± 0.°69, 34.°62 ± 0.°45 in ecliptic longitude and latitude) of the pristine ISMF far (∼1000 AU) from the Sun. We find that the ISMF vector is offset from the ribbon center by ∼8.°3 toward the direction of motion of the heliosphere through the LISM, and their vectors form a plane that is consistent with the direction of deflected interstellar neutral hydrogen, thought to be controlled by the ISMF. Our results yield draped ISMF properties close to that observed by Voyager 1, the only spacecraft to directly measure the ISMF close to the heliosphere, and give predictions of the pristine ISMF that Voyager 1 has yet to sample.

  7. Collisional excitation of interstellar methyl cyanide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Green, Sheldon

    1986-01-01

    Theoretical calculations are used to determine the collisional excitation rates of methyl cyanide under interstellar molecular cloud conditions. The required Q(L,M) as a function of kinetic temperature were determined by averaging fixed energy IOS (infinite order sudden) results over appropriate Boltzmann distributions of collision energies. At a kinetic temperature of 40 K, rates within a K ladder were found to be accurate to generally better than about 30 percent.

  8. Interstellar cloud material: contribution to planetary atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Butler, D M; Newman, M J; Talbot, R J

    1978-08-11

    A statistical analysis of the properties of dense interstellar clouds indicates that the solar system has encountered at least a dozen clouds of sufficient density to cause planets to accumulate nonnegligible amounts of some isotopes. The effect is most pronounced for neon. This mechanism could be responsible for much of the neon in Earth's atmosphere. For Mars, the predicted amount of neon added by cloud encounters greatly exceeds the present abundance.

  9. Low Frequency Interstellar Scattering and Pulsar Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cordes, James M.

    1992-01-01

    Radio astronomy at frequencies from 2 to 30 MHz challenges time tested methods for extracting usable information from observations. One fundamental reason for this is that propagation effects due to the magnetoionic ionosphere, interplanetary medium, and interstellar matter (ISM) increase strongly with wavelength. The problems associated with interstellar scattering off of small scale irregularities in the electron density are addressed. What is known about interstellar scattering is summarized on the basis of high frequency observations, including scintillation and temporal broadening of pulsars and angular broadening of various galactic and extragalactic radio sources. Then those high frequency phenomena are addressed that are important or detectable at low frequencies. The radio sky becomes much simpler at low frequencies, most pulsars will not be seen as time varying sources, intensity variations will be quenched or will occur on time scales much longer than a human lifetime, and many sources will be angularly broadened and/or absorbed into the noise. Angular broadening measurements will help delineate the galactic distribution and power spectrum of small scale electron density irregularities.

  10. Theoretical studies in interstellar cloud chemistry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chiu, Y. T.; Prasad, S. S.

    1993-01-01

    This final report represents the completion of the three tasks under the purchase order no. SCPDE5620,1,2F. Chemical composition of gravitationally contracting, but otherwise quiescent, interstellar clouds and of interstellar clouds traversed by high velocity shocks, were modeled in a comprehensive manner that represents a significant progress in modeling these objects. The evolutionary chemical modeling, done under this NASA contract, represents a notable advance over the 'classical' fixed condition equilibrium models because the evolutionary models consider not only the chemical processes but also the dynamical processes by which the dark interstellar clouds may have assumed their present state. The shock calculations, being reported here, are important because they extend the limited chemical composition derivable from dynamical calculations for the total density and temperature structures behind the shock front. In order to be tractable, the dynamical calculations must severely simplify the chemistry. The present shock calculations take the shock profiles from the dynamical calculations and derive chemical composition in a comprehensive manner. The results of the present modeling study are still to be analyzed with reference to astronomical observational data and other contemporary model predictions. As far as humanly possible, this analysis will be continued with CRE's (Creative Research Enterprises's) IR&D resources, until a sponsor is found.

  11. Interstellar and Planetary Analogs in the Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid

    2013-01-01

    We present and discuss the unique capabilities of the laboratory facility, COSmIC, that was developed at NASA Ames to investigate the interaction of ionizing radiation (UV, charged particles) with molecular species (neutral molecules, radicals and ions) and carbonaceous grains in the Solar System and in the Interstellar Medium (ISM). COSmIC stands for Cosmic Simulation Chamber, a laboratory chamber where interstellar and planetary analogs are generated, processed and analyzed. It is composed of a pulsed discharge nozzle (PDN) expansion that generates a free jet supersonic expansion in a plasma cavity coupled to two ultrahigh-sensitivity, complementary in situ diagnostics: a cavity ring down spectroscopy (CRDS) system for photonic detection and a Reflectron time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ReTOF-MS) for mass detection. This setup allows the study of molecules, ions and solids under the low temperature and high vacuum conditions that are required to simulate some interstellar, circumstellar and planetary physical environments providing new fundamental insights on the molecular level into the processes that are critical to the chemistry in the ISM, circumstellar and planet forming regions, and on icy objects in the Solar System. Recent laboratory results that were obtained using COSmIC will be discussed, in particular the progress that have been achieved in monitoring in the laboratory the formation of solid particles from their gas-phase molecular precursors in environments as varied as circumstellar outflow and planetary atmospheres.

  12. Progress in searches for prebiotic interstellar molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hjalmarson, Å.; Bergman, P.; Nummelin, A.

    2001-08-01

    Recent progress in our searches for complex interstellar molecules, which may be important for the origin of life on habitable planets, is reviewed. The molecular abundance ranges and current search limits observed in a number of "hot core" sources are tabulated and discussed. The abundance limits reached in searches for most complex interstellar molecules are not much lower than the detection levels of other large molecules. While our detection of c-C2H4O (ethylene oxide, oxirane) may suggest the interstellar presence of the next larger similar ring c-C4H4O (furan - the core of the simple sugars ribose and deoxyribose, which form the backbones of RNA and DNA), our current search limits are just barely lower than the abundance level of ethylene oxide. Really deep searches for prebiotic molecules in compact cloud cores will have to await the erection of the very sensitive aperture synthesis instrument ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimetre Array, to be located in the Chilean Andes.

  13. H3+ in the diffuse interstellar medium.

    PubMed

    Liszt, Harvey S

    2006-11-15

    Three forms of solely hydrogen-bearing molecules--H2, HD and H3+--are observed in diffuse or optically transparent interstellar clouds. Although no comprehensive theory exists for the diffuse interstellar medium or its chemistry, the abundances of these species can generally be accommodated locally within the existing static equilibrium frameworks for heating/cooling, H2-formation on large grains, etc. with one modification demanded equally by observations of HD and H3+, i.e. a pervasive low-level source of H and H2 ionization ca 10 times faster than the usual cosmic ray ionization rate zetaH = 10(-17) s(-1) per free H-atom. We discuss this situation with reference to observation and time-dependent modelling of H2 and H3+ formation. While not wishing to appear ungrateful for the success of what are very simplistic notions of the interstellar medium, we point out several reasons not to feel smug. The equilibrium conditions which foster high H2 and H3+ abundances are very slow to appear and these same simple ideas of static equilibrium cannot explain any, but a few, of the simplest of the trace species, which are ubiquitously embedded in H2-bearing diffuse gases.

  14. Design for minimum energy in interstellar communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Messerschmitt, David G.

    2015-02-01

    Microwave digital communication at interstellar distances is the foundation of extraterrestrial civilization (SETI and METI) communication of information-bearing signals. Large distances demand large transmitted power and/or large antennas, while the propagation is transparent over a wide bandwidth. Recognizing a fundamental tradeoff, reduced energy delivered to the receiver at the expense of wide bandwidth (the opposite of terrestrial objectives) is advantageous. Wide bandwidth also results in simpler design and implementation, allowing circumvention of dispersion and scattering arising in the interstellar medium and motion effects and obviating any related processing. The minimum energy delivered to the receiver per bit of information is determined by cosmic microwave background alone. By mapping a single bit onto a carrier burst, the Morse code invented for the telegraph in 1836 comes closer to this minimum energy than approaches used in modern terrestrial radio. Rather than the terrestrial approach of adding phases and amplitudes increases information capacity while minimizing bandwidth, adding multiple time-frequency locations for carrier bursts increases capacity while minimizing energy per information bit. The resulting location code is simple and yet can approach the minimum energy as bandwidth is expanded. It is consistent with easy discovery, since carrier bursts are energetic and straightforward modifications to post-detection pattern recognition can identify burst patterns. Time and frequency coherence constraints leading to simple signal discovery are addressed, and observations of the interstellar medium by transmitter and receiver constrain the burst parameters and limit the search scope.

  15. Interstellar Scintillation of Extragalactic Radio Sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rickett, Barney

    1998-05-01

    Interstellar scintillation (ISS) causes a Galactic seeing problem for radio astronomy. Thus the flux density from a very compact radio source appears to scintillate on a time scale that ranges from days to minutes depending on the wavelength and Galactic path length. I will review the observed variations from various sources, which are among the most compact cores of active galactic nuclei (AGN). An ISS interpretation of the observed variations yields estimates of the source sizes in the range 0.01 to 10 milliarcsec, often much smaller than the resolution from earth-based VLBI. The recognition of such variations as apparent reduces the implied brightness temperature by a factor as large as one million, compared to the extreme values deduced by interpreting the variations as intrinsic. Some such intraday variable sources also exhibit partially correlated variations in their polarized flux and angle. The changes in interstellar Faradya rotation are too slow to cause such variations by many orders of magnitude. I will report on attempts to model the polarized flux variations as due to independent ISS from polarized components with intrinsic polarization structure in the source at a level of tens of microarcseconds. I will also discuss how Frail et al. (Nature, 389, 261, 1997) used interstellar scintillation to estimate the size of the expanding fireball in the radio afterglow of gamma-ray burst 970508.

  16. A Catalog of 1.5273 um Diffuse Interstellar Bands Based on APOGEE Hot Telluric Calibrators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elyajouri, M.; Monreal-Ibero, A.; Remy, Q.; Lallement, R.

    2016-08-01

    High resolution stellar spectroscopic surveys provide massive amounts of diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) measurements. Data can be used to study the distribution of the DIB carriers and those environmental conditions that favor their formation. In parallel, recent studies have also proved that DIBs extracted from stellar spectra constitute new tools for building the 3D structure of the Galactic interstellar medium (ISM). The amount of details on the structure depends directly on the quantity of available lines of sight. Therefore there is a need to construct databases of high-quality DIB measurements as large as possible. We aim at providing the community with a catalog of high-quality measurements of the 1.5273 μm DIB toward a large fraction of the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) hot stars observed to correct for the telluric absorption and not used for ISM studies so far. This catalog would complement the extensive database recently extracted from the APOGEE observations and used for 3D ISM mapping. We devised a method to fit the stellar continuum of the hot calibration stars and extracted the DIB from the normalized spectrum. Severe selection criteria based on the absorption characteristics are applied to the results. In particular limiting constraints on the DIB widths and Doppler shifts are deduced from the H i 21 cm measurements, following a new technique of decomposition of the emission spectra. From ˜16,000 available hot telluric spectra we have extracted ˜6700 DIB measurements and their associated uncertainties. The statistical properties of the extracted absorptions are examined and our selection criteria are shown to provide a robust dataset. The resulting catalog contains the DIB total equivalent widths, central wavelengths and widths. We briefly illustrate its potential use for the stellar and interstellar communities.

  17. Interstellar dust spectra between 2.5 and 3.3 microns - A search for hydrated silicates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knacke, R. F.; Mccorkle, S.; Puetter, R. C.; Erickson, E.

    1985-01-01

    Spectra in the 2.5-3.3 micron wavelength region of VI Cyg 12, AFGL 2205, and AFGL 2885 were obtained in a search for bound water, hydroxyl groups, and hydrated minerals in interstellar dust. No new absorption bands were found. Comparison of expected strengths of bands of serpentine and chlorite-like minerals with the data suggests that less than 25 percent and 50 percent, respectively, of the silicate in the grains is composed of these materials.

  18. FORMATION AND IDENTIFICATION OF INTERSTELLAR MOLECULE LINEAR C{sub 5}H FROM PHOTOLYSIS OF METHANE DISPERSED IN SOLID NEON

    SciTech Connect

    Wu Yujong; Chen Huifen; Hsu Shengchuan; Lin Mengyeh; Chou Shenglung; Cheng Bingming; Camacho, Cristopher; Witek, Henryk A.; Ogilvie, J. F.

    2009-08-10

    Photolysis of methane dispersed (1/1000) in solid Ne at 3 K with vacuum-ultraviolet light from a synchrotron produced infrared absorption lines of several products, including new lines at 3319.3 and 1955.5 cm{sup -1}. Based on experiments with isotopic labeling and results of quantum-chemical calculations, these lines are assigned to the C-H stretching and C=C stretching modes, respectively, of interstellar molecule linear C{sub 5}H radicals.

  19. Time Dependent Density Functional Theory Calculations of Large Compact PAH Cations: Implications for the Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisman, Jennifer L.; Lee, Timothy J.; Salama, Farid; Gordon-Head, Martin; Kwak, Dochan (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    We investigate the electronic absorption spectra of several maximally pericondensed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon radical cations with time dependent density functional theory calculations. We find interesting trends in the vertical excitation energies and oscillator strengths for this series containing pyrene through circumcoronene, the largest species containing more than 50 carbon atoms. We discuss the implications of these new results for the size and structure distribution of the diffuse interstellar band carriers.

  20. THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM AND FEEDBACK IN THE PROGENITORS OF THE COMPACT PASSIVE GALAXIES AT z ∼ 2

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, Christina C.; Giavalisco, Mauro; Lee, Bomee; Tundo, Elena; Mobasher, Bahram; Nayyeri, Hooshang; Ferguson, Henry C.; Koekemoer, Anton; Grogin, Norman; Trump, Jonathan R.; Cassata, Paolo; Dekel, Avishai; Guo, Yicheng; Pentericci, Laura; Castellano, Marco; Fontana, Adriano; Grazian, Andrea; Bell, Eric F.; Finkelstein, Steven L.; and others

    2015-02-10

    Quenched galaxies at z > 2 are nearly all very compact relative to z ∼ 0, suggesting a physical connection between high stellar density and efficient, rapid cessation of star-formation. We present rest-frame UV spectra of Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) at z ∼ 3 selected to be candidate progenitors of the quenched galaxies at z ∼ 2 based on their compact rest-frame-optical sizes and high Σ{sub SFR}. We compare their UV properties to those of more extended LBGs of similar mass and star-formation rate (non-candidates). We find that candidate progenitors have faster bulk interstellar medium (ISM) gas velocities and higher equivalent widths of interstellar absorption lines, implying larger velocity spread among absorbing clouds. Candidates deviate from the relationship between equivalent widths of Lyα and interstellar absorption lines in that their Lyα emission remains strong despite high interstellar absorption, possibly indicating that the neutral H I fraction is patchy, such that Lyα photons can escape. We detect stronger C IV P-Cygni features (emission and absorption) and He II emission in candidates, indicative of larger populations of metal-rich Wolf-Rayet stars compared to non-candidates. The faster bulk motions, broader spread of gas velocity, and Lyα properties of candidates are consistent with their ISM being subject to more energetic feedback than non-candidates. Together with their larger metallicity (implying more evolved star-formation activity) this leads us to propose, if speculatively, that they are likely to quench sooner than non-candidates, supporting the validity of selection criteria used to identify them as progenitors of z ∼ 2 passive galaxies. We propose that massive, compact galaxies undergo more rapid growth of their stellar mass content, perhaps because the gas accretion mechanisms are different, and quench sooner than normally sized LBGs at these (early) epochs.

  1. The Ingenious Theory of Interstellar Trade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radhakrishnan, Arun; Ganapathy, Rohan M.

    This paper extends interplanetary trade theory to an interstellar setting. It is chiefly concerned with the following question: How should interest charges on goods in transit be computed when the goods travel at speeds close to the actual speed of light? This is a problem because the time taken in transit will appear less to an observer travelling with the goods than to a stationary observer. An innovative and ingenious solution is derived from the economic theory, and two useless but TRUE theorems are proved. The interstellar trade would happen in such a way that two time frames must be considered namely that of the stationary observer whose time runs faster compared to the time frame of the observer in transit The interest in a given trade is purely based on the time taken for the debtor to pay the amount, once the goods have been delivered by the seller. But, in case of interstellar trade, the interest to be calculated in between two time frames would lead to the question of which time frame to be considered and moreover, the time taken for the goods to reach the destination is signicantly prolonged compared to the interplanetary trade, which means, even the slightest variations in the interest rate would be magnied. Apart from this, various new factors arise while calculating the interest. The factors include the time value of money, and the risk of variation in demand for goods, the risk of interspace accidents causing loss of the goods and the rate of perish-ability in case of organic goods. The first two factors considered, for which the time frame of the stationary observer is considered and the factors such as the risk of accidents and the rate of perish-ability of the goods are considered based on the time frame of the observer in transit's point of view. The reasons for such considerations and various assumptions on these concepts are dealt in this paper. The theorems that are formulated in this paper would provide the interstellar traders a basic

  2. New Large Interstellar Molecules Detected with the GBT

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hollis, Jan M.

    2005-01-01

    At present, more than 135 different molecules have been identified in interstellar clouds. The newest instrument in the interstellar molecule search arsenal is the recently commissioned Green Bank Telescope (GBT). In 2004, the large aldehydes propenal (CH2CHCHO) and propanal (CH3CH2CHO) were the first new interstellar molecules discovered with the GBT. At the same time, the GBT was used to observe interstellar glycolaldehyde (CH2OHCHO), which is the simplest possible aldehyde sugar; interstellar ethylene glycol (HOCH2CH2OH), which is the sugar alcohol of glycolaldehyde; and interstellar methylcyanodiacetylene (CH3C5N). These new GBT observations suggest that successive atomic addition reactions are common in the formation of larger related species. The observations will be presented and discussed.

  3. DIFFUSE ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR GAS IN THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM OF M82 TOWARD SN 2014J

    SciTech Connect

    Ritchey, Adam M.; Welty, Daniel E.; York, Donald G.; Dahlstrom, Julie A.

    2015-02-01

    We present a comprehensive analysis of interstellar absorption lines seen in moderately high resolution, high signal-to-noise ratio optical spectra of SN 2014J in M82. Our observations were acquired over the course of six nights, covering the period from ∼6 days before to ∼30 days after the supernova reached its maximum B-band brightness. We examine complex absorption from Na I, Ca II, K I, Ca I, CH{sup +}, CH, and CN, arising primarily from diffuse gas in the interstellar medium (ISM) of M82. We detect Li I absorption over a range in velocity consistent with that exhibited by the strongest Na I and K I components associated with M82; this is the first detection of interstellar Li in a galaxy outside of the Local Group. There are no significant temporal variations in the absorption-line profiles over the 37 days sampled by our observations. The relative abundances of the various interstellar species detected reveal that the ISM of M82 probed by SN 2014J consists of a mixture of diffuse atomic and molecular clouds characterized by a wide range of physical/environmental conditions. Decreasing N(Na I)/N(Ca II) ratios and increasing N(Ca I)/N(K I) ratios with increasing velocity are indicative of reduced depletion in the higher-velocity material. Significant component-to-component scatter in the N(Na I)/N(Ca II) and N(Ca I)/N(Ca II) ratios may be due to variations in the local ionization conditions. An apparent anti-correlation between the N(CH{sup +})/N(CH) and N(Ca I)/N(Ca II) ratios can be understood in terms of an opposite dependence on gas density and radiation field strength, while the overall high CH{sup +} abundance may be indicative of enhanced turbulence in the ISM of M82. The Li abundance also seems to be enhanced in M82, which supports the conclusions of recent gamma-ray emission studies that the cosmic-ray acceleration processes are greatly enhanced in this starburst galaxy.

  4. Diffuse interstellar clouds as a chemical laboratory - The chemistry of diatomic carbon species

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Federman, S. R.; Huntress, W. T., Jr.

    1989-01-01

    The chemistry of C2, CH, and CO in diffuse interstellar clouds is analyzed and compared to absorption line measurements toward background stars. Analytical expressions in terms of column densities are derived for the rate equations. The results indicate that in clouds with 4 mag of visual extinction, the abundance of C+ has to decrease by a factor of about 15 from the value traditionally used for clouds with 1 mag of extinction. The rate coefficients for the reactions C+ + CH - C2+ + H and C+ + H2 - CH2+ + h-nu need to be reduced from previous estimates. Chemical arguments are presented for the revised rate coefficients.

  5. Unusual relative strengths of the diffuse interstellar bands in some interstellar dust clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krelowski, J.; Walker, G. A. H.

    1986-01-01

    Some of the diffuse interstellar features (DIBs) in the spectra of certain stars at high galactic latitudes (1 is greater than 15 degrees) are unusually weak or absent while others have the strength expected for their color excess. In some cases the stars are probably reddened by single interstellar clouds. There appear to be three families of DIBs. The effects of these families are examined. The existance of the three families implies that at least three agents cause the DIBs and that the proportions of the agents or the physical conditions giving rise to the DIBs can vary from cloud to cloud.

  6. Further high-resolution Na I observations of the local interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Welsh, B. Y.; Vedder, P. W.; Vallerga, J. V.; Craig, N.

    1991-01-01

    High-resolution absorption measurements of the interstellar Na I D lines at 5890 A observed toward 27 early-type stars in the local interstellar medium (LISM) are presented. These results are combined with other high-resolution sodium measurements to map the space distribution of neutral sodium column density for some 118 stars out to less than 200 pc. These measurements indicate an upper limit to the neutral sodium column density of log N(Na I) less than 10.0/sq cm can be inferred out to a distance of 50 pc in most directions in the LISM. Also, the rarefield region of the Local Bubble may extend beyond 60 pc in at least 35 percent of the directions sampled thus far. Evidence is shown for a ubiquitous, comoving vector for neutral NaI gas clouds in the LISM which is in a different direction to LISM vectors previously reported for more ionized local gas clouds. A comparison of the measured sodium columns with those of interstellar Ca II for a sample of 12 stars within 95 pc results in a ratio of Na I/Ca II less than 0.5 for most stars. This value implies that there could be warm, neutral gas with T of about 12,500 K beyond 50 pc in the LISM.

  7. Laboratory Rotational Spectroscopy of the Interstellar Diatomic Hydride Ion SH+ (X 3Σ-)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halfen, DeWayne; Ziurys, Lucy M.

    2016-06-01

    Diatomic hydride are among the most common molecular species in the interstellar medium (ISM). The low molecular mass and thus moments of inertia cause their rotational spectra to lie principally in the submillimeter and far-infrared regions. Diatomic hydrides, both neutral (MH) and ionic (MH+) forms, are also basic building blocks of interstellar chemistry. In ionic form, they may be the “hidden” carriers of refractory elements in dense gas. They are therefore extremely good targets for space-borne and airborne platforms such as Herschel, SOFIA, and SAFIR. However, in order to detect these species in the ISM, their rotational spectra must first be measured in the laboratory. To date, there is very little high resolution data available for many hydride species, in particular the ionic form. Using submillimeter/THz direct absorption methods in the Ziurys laboratory, spectra of the interstellar diatomic hydride SH+ (X 3Σ-) have been recorded. Recent work has concerned measurement of all three fine structure components of the fundamental rotational transition N = 1 ← 0 in the range 345 - 683 GHz. SH+ was generated from H2S and argon in an AC discharge. The data have been analyzed, and spectroscopic constants for this species have been refined. SH+ is found in Photon Dominated Regions (PDRs) and X-ray Dominated Regions (XDRs) and is thought to trace energetic processes in the ISM. These current measurements confirm recent observations of this species at submillimeter/THz wavelengths with ALMA and other ground-based telescopes.

  8. Investigation of Carbonaceous Interstellar Dust Analogues by Infrared Spectroscopy: Effects of Energetic Processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maté, Belén; Jiménez-Redondo, Miguel; Tanarro, Isabel; Herrero, Victor Jose

    2015-06-01

    Carbonaceous compounds, both solids and gas-phase molecules, are found in very diverse astronomical media. A significant amount of the elemental carbon is found in small dust grains. This carbonaceous dust, mostly formed in the last stages of evolution of C-rich stars, is the carrier of characteristic IR absorption bands revealing the presence of aliphatic, aromatic and olefinic functional groups in variable proportions. Among the various candidate materials investigated as possible carriers of these bands, hydrogenated amorphous carbon (a-C:H) has led to the best agreement with the observations. Carbonaceous grains are processed by H atoms, UV radiation, cosmic rays and interstellar shocks in their passage from asymptotic giant branch stars to planetary nebulae and to the diffuse interstellar medium. The mechanisms of a-C:H production and evolution in astronomical media are presently a subject of intensive investigation. In this work we present a study of the stability of carbonaceous dust analogues generated in He+CH_4 radiofrequency discharges. In order to simulate the processing of dust in the interstellar environments, the samples have been subjected to electron bombardment, UV irradiation, and both He and H_2 plasma processing. IR spectroscopy is employed to monitor the changes in the structure and composition of the carbonaceous films. A.G.G.M. Tielens. Rev. Mod. Phys., 85, 1021 (2013) J.E. Chiar, A.G.G.M. Tielens, A.J. Adamson and A. Ricca. Astrophys. J., 770, 78 (2013)

  9. The distribution of neutral hydrogen in the interstellar medium. 1: The data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fruscione, Antonella; Hawkins, Isabel; Jelinsky, Patrick; Wiercigroch, Alexandria

    1994-01-01

    We compile, from the existing literature, the largest sample to date (842 data points) of hydrogen column density measurements, N(H I), of the gas in the interstellar medium. We include only results obtained from absorption measurements toward individual stars (594 in our sample) in an effort to construct a three-dimensional picture of the interstellar gas. We derive hydrogen column densities toward a fraction of the stars in the sample from published column density measurements of metal ions. A three-dimensional physical model derived from this data set will be presented in a companion paper. The observed stars span distances from a few parsecs to a few thousand parsecs, and more than half of the sample serves to describe the local interstellar medium within a few hundred parsecs of the Sun. Hydrogen column densities range from 10(exp 17) to 10(exp 22)/sq cm. We describe here the various observational methods used to estimate the hydrogen column densities and present the table with the stellar and hydrogen column density data. The provided table is intended as a global reference work, not to introduce new results.

  10. A hidden reservoir of Fe/FeS in interstellar silicates?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Köhler, M.; Jones, A.; Ysard, N.

    2014-05-01

    Context. The depletion of iron and sulphur into dust in the interstellar medium and the exact nature of interstellar amorphous silicate grains is still an open question. Aims: We study the incorporation of iron and sulphur into amorphous silicates of olivine- and pyroxene-types and their effects on the dust spectroscopy and thermal emission. Methods: We used the Maxwell-Garnett effective-medium theory to construct the optical constants for a mixture of silicates, metallic iron, and iron sulphide. We also studied the effects of iron and iron sulphide in aggregate grains. Results: Iron sulphide inclusions within amorphous silicates that contain iron metal inclusions show no strong differences in the optical properties of the grains. A mix of amorphous olivine- and pyroxene-type silicate broadens the silicate features. An amorphous carbon mantle with a thickness of 10 nm on the silicate grains leads to an increase in absorption on the short-wavelength side of the 10 μm silicate band. Conclusions: The assumption of amorphous olivine-type and pyroxene-type silicates and a 10 nm thick amorphous carbon mantle better matches the interstellar silicate band profiles. Including iron nano-particles leads to an increase in the mid-IR extinction, while up to 5 ppm of sulphur can be incorporated as Fe/FeS nano inclusions into silicate grains without leaving a significant trace of its presence.

  11. Seasonal Solar Thermal Absorption Energy Storage Development.

    PubMed

    Daguenet-Frick, Xavier; Gantenbein, Paul; Rommel, Mathias; Fumey, Benjamin; Weber, Robert; Gooneseker, Kanishka; Williamson, Tommy

    2015-01-01

    This article describes a thermochemical seasonal storage with emphasis on the development of a reaction zone for an absorption/desorption unit. The heat and mass exchanges are modelled and the design of a suitable reaction zone is explained. A tube bundle concept is retained for the heat and mass exchangers and the units are manufactured and commissioned. Furthermore, experimental results of both absorption and desorption processes are presented and the exchanged power is compared to the results of the simulations. PMID:26842331

  12. Probing the interstellar medium with pulsars on AU scales

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frail, Dale A.; Weisberg, Joel M.; Cordes, James M.; Mathers, Corey

    1994-01-01

    We present a new technique, multiepoch observations of 21 cm absorption against high-velocity pulsars, to probe the properties of the cold neutral hydrogen gas (H I) in the interstellar medium (ISM) at AU scales. In three epochs, over a 1.7 yr interval, we find evidence for significant opacity variations toward all of the pulsars in our sample. Small-scale structure in the ISM is detected on a range of scales from 5 AU to 100 AU, over a wide range of distances (50-2600 pc), opacities (tau(sub max) = 0.1 - 2.5) and directions (anticenter, interarm, high latitude, and local ISM). It appears that small-scale structure is a general property of the ISM and is not confined to special lines of sight. A significant fraction (10%-15%) of the cold H I gas is in this form. These opacity variations do not show any strong correlations with such parameters as transverse distance or integrated opacity, and there is no obvious relation between these structures and those seen in the ionized phase of the ISM.

  13. Atomic and Molecular Data for Interstellar Studies: A Status Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Federman, Steven R.; Cardelli, Jason A.

    1996-01-01

    Most interstellar species have a large fraction of their electronic transitions at far ultraviolet wavelengths. Observations at these wavelengths reveal spectra rich in absorption lines seen against the continuum of a background source, such as a hot star in our Galaxy, a supernova in a nearby galaxy, or even a bright nucleus in an active galaxy. Most of the observations continue to be made with space-borne instruments, but recent work includes measurements of extragalactic material at large redshifts obtained at high resolution with large ground-based telescopes (e.g., the Keck Telescope). The combination of precise experimental oscillator strengths, large-scale computations, and astronomical spectra with high signal-to-noise ratios are yielding a set of self-consistent-values that span a range in strength in excess of 100 for more and more species. The large range is important for studies involving the different environments probed by the various background sources. This review highlights recent work on the atomic species. Si II, S I, and Fe II, and on the molecules, CO and C2.

  14. Using Machine Learning to classify the diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baron, Dalya; Poznanski, Dovi; Watson, Darach; Yao, Yushu; Cox, Nick L. J.; Prochaska, J. Xavier

    2015-07-01

    Using over a million and a half extragalactic spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey we study the correlations of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) in the Milky Way. We measure the correlation between DIB strength and dust extinction for 142 DIBs using 24 stacked spectra in the reddening range E(B - V) < 0.2, many more lines than ever studied before. Most of the DIBs do not correlate with dust extinction. However, we find 10 weak and barely studied DIBs with correlations that are higher than 0.7 with dust extinction and confirm the high correlation of additional five strong DIBs. Furthermore, we find a pair of DIBs, 5925.9 and 5927.5 Å, which exhibits significant negative correlation with dust extinction, indicating that their carrier may be depleted on dust. We use Machine Learning algorithms to divide the DIBs to spectroscopic families based on 250 stacked spectra. By removing the dust dependence, we study how DIBs follow their local environment. We thus obtain six groups of weak DIBs, four of which are tightly associated with C2 or CN absorption lines.

  15. Turbulent mixing layers in the interstellar medium of galaxies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavin, J. D.; Shull, J. M.; Begelman, M. C.

    1993-01-01

    We propose that turbulent mixing layers are common in the interstellar medium (ISM). Injection of kinetic energy into the ISM by supernovae and stellar winds, in combination with density and temperature inhomogeneities, results in shear flows. Such flows will become turbulent due to the high Reynolds number (low viscosity) of the ISM plasma. These turbulent boundary layers will be particularly interesting where the shear flow occurs at boundaries of hot (approximately 10(exp 6) K) and cold or warm (10(exp 2) - 10(exp 4) K) gas. Mixing will occur in such layers producing intermediate-temperature gas at T is approximately equal to 10(exp 5.0) - 10(exp 5.5) that radiates strongly in the optical, ultraviolet, and EUV. We have modeled these layers under the assumptions of rapid mixing down to the atomic level and steady flow. By including the effects of non-equilibrium ionization and self-photoionization of the gas as it cools after mixing, we predict the intensities of numerous optical, infrared, and ultraviolet emission lines, as well as absorption column densities of C 4, N 5, Si 4, and O 6.

  16. Models of Polarized Emission from Interstellar Dust Grains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Draine, Bruce

    2015-04-01

    Nonspherical aligned dust grains produce strong linearly-polarized thermal emission at submm and microwave frequencies, with polarized fractions exceeding 20% in some parts of the high-latitude sky. Observations of emission, absorption, and scattering by dust, together with our knowledge of the abundances of elements out of which dust grains can be formed, impose many constraints on dust modelers. The dust is in large part composed of amorphous silicates, but with a substantial component of carbonaceous materials, including nanoparticles of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The smallest particles radiate thermally in the mid-IR following single-photon heating, and also produce rotational emission at microwave frequencies. This rotational emission may account for the so-called Anomalous Microwave Emission. Iron contributes about 25% of the total mass of interstellar dust, but what form the Fe is in is largely unknown; much of the Fe could be in ferromagnetic or ferrimagnetic materials that could emit magnetic dipole radiation at microwave frequencies. I will review the observational constraints on dust models, the current state of our physical models, and prospects for further progress.

  17. NEW ULTRAVIOLET EXTINCTION CURVES FOR INTERSTELLAR DUST IN M31

    SciTech Connect

    Clayton, Geoffrey C.; Gordon, Karl D.; Bohlin, R. C.; Bianchi, Luciana C.; Massa, Derck L.; Wolff, Michael J.; Fitzpatrick, Edward L. E-mail: bohlin@stsci.edu E-mail: bianchi@jhu.edu E-mail: edward.fitzpatrick@villanova.edu

    2015-12-10

    New low-resolution UV spectra of a sample of reddened OB stars in M31 were obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope/STIS to study the wavelength dependence of interstellar extinction and the nature of the underlying dust grain populations. Extinction curves were constructed for four reddened sightlines in M31 paired with closely matching stellar atmosphere models. The new curves have a much higher signal-to-noise ratio than previous studies. Direct measurements of N(H i) were made using the Lyα absorption lines enabling gas-to-dust ratios to be calculated. The sightlines have a range in galactocentric distance of 5–14 kpc and represent dust from regions of different metallicities and gas-to-dust ratios. The metallicities sampled range from solar to 1.5 solar. The measured curves show similarity to those seen in the Milky Way and the Large Magellanic Cloud. The Maximum Entropy Method was used to investigate the dust composition and size distribution for the sightlines observed in this program, finding that the extinction curves can be produced with the available carbon and silicon abundances if the metallicity is super-solar.

  18. New Ultraviolet Extinction Curves for Interstellar Dust in M31

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clayton, Geoffrey C.; Gordon, Karl D.; Bianchi, Luciana C.; Massa, Derck L.; Fitzpatrick, Edward L.; Bohlin, R. C.; Wolff, Michael J.

    2015-12-01

    New low-resolution UV spectra of a sample of reddened OB stars in M31 were obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope/STIS to study the wavelength dependence of interstellar extinction and the nature of the underlying dust grain populations. Extinction curves were constructed for four reddened sightlines in M31 paired with closely matching stellar atmosphere models. The new curves have a much higher signal-to-noise ratio than previous studies. Direct measurements of N(H i) were made using the Lyα absorption lines enabling gas-to-dust ratios to be calculated. The sightlines have a range in galactocentric distance of 5-14 kpc and represent dust from regions of different metallicities and gas-to-dust ratios. The metallicities sampled range from solar to 1.5 solar. The measured curves show similarity to those seen in the Milky Way and the Large Magellanic Cloud. The Maximum Entropy Method was used to investigate the dust composition and size distribution for the sightlines observed in this program, finding that the extinction curves can be produced with the available carbon and silicon abundances if the metallicity is super-solar. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained by the Space Telescope Science Institute, and from the data archive at STScI. STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.

  19. Probing the Local Bubble with Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Loon, Jacco Th.; Farhang, A.; Javadi, A.; Bailey, M.; Khosroshahi, H. G.

    The Sun lies in the middle of an enormous cavity of a million degree gas, known as the Local Bubble. The Local Bubble is surrounded by a wall of denser neutral and ionized gas. The Local Bubble extends around 100 pc in the plane of Galaxy and hundreds of parsecs vertically, but absorption-line surveys of neutral sodium and singly-ionized calcium have revealed a highly irregular structure and the presence of neutral clouds within an otherwise tenuous and hot gas. We have undertaken an all-sky, European-Iranian survey of the Local Bubble in the absorption of a number of diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) to offer a novel view of our neighbourhood. Our dedicated campaigns with ESO's New Technology Telescope and the ING's Isaac Newton Telescope comprise high signal-to-noise, medium-resolution spectra, concentrating on the 5780 and 5797 Å bands which trace ionized/irradiated and neutral/shielded environments, respectively; their carriers are unknown but likely to be large carbonaceous molecules. With about 660 sightlines towards early-type stars distributed over distances up to about 200 pc, our data allow us to reconstruct the first ever 3D DIB map of the Local Bubble, which we present here. While we confirm our expectations that the 5780 Å DIB is relatively strong compared to the 5797 Å DIB in hot/irradiated regions such as which prevail within the Local Bubble and its walls, and the opposite is true for cooler/shielded regions beyond the confines of the Local Bubble, we unexpectedly also detect DIB cloudlets inside of the Local Bubble. These results reveal new insight into the structure of the Local Bubble, as well as helping constrain our understanding of the carriers of the DIBs.

  20. Analysis of "Midnight" Tracks in the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector: Possible Discovery of a Contemporary Interstellar Dust Grain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westphal, A. J.; Allen, C.; Bajit, S.; Bastien, R.; Bechtel, H.; Bleuet, P.; Borg, J.; Brenker, F.; Bridges, J.; Brownlee, D. E.; Burchell, M.; Burghammer, M.; Butterworth, A. L.; Cloetens, P.; Cody, G.; Ferrior, T.; Floss, C.; Flynn, G. J.; Frank, D.; Gainsforth, Z.; Grun, E.; Hoppe, P.; Hudson, B.; Kearsley, A.; Lai, B.

    2010-01-01

    In January 2006, the Stardust sample return capsule returned to Earth bearing the first solid samples from a primitive solar system body, Comet 81P/Wild2, and a collector dedicated to the capture and return of contemporary interstellar dust. Both collectors were approximately 0.1m(exp 2) in area and were composed of aerogel tiles (85% of the collecting area) and aluminum foils. The Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector (SIDC) was exposed to the interstellar dust stream for a total exposure factor of 20 m(exp 2) day. The Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination (ISPE) is a three-year effort to characterize the collection using nondestructive techniques.

  1. A New Interstellar Cyclic Molecule, Ethylene Oxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dickens, J. E.; Irvine, W. M.; Ohishi, M.; Ikeda, M.; Ishikawa, S.; Nummelin, A.; Hjalmarson, A.

    1997-12-01

    Ethylene oxide (c-C2H4O) is only the fourth known ring molecule identified in the interstellar medium, detected in the Galactic Center cloud SgrB2(N) by Dickens et al. (1997). It is the higher energy isomer of both the more familiar interstellar species acetaldehyde (CH3CHO) and the as yet undetected molecule vinyl alcohol (CH2CHOH). Dickens et al. (1997) reported a c-C2H4O molecular column density about an order of magnitude less than that reported for CH3CHO in SgrB2(N). This is a factor of 200 larger than the predictions of the new standard gas phase chemistry model of Lee, Bettens, and Herbst (1996), suggesting that the formation of c-C2H4O may be related to molecular formation on interstellar grains. We present observations of the c-C2H4O to CH3CHO abundance ratio in 5 additional molecular clouds. The data were taken in October 1997 with the Swedish-European Submillimeter Telescope in Chile. The confirmation of ethylene oxide in molecular clouds provides an appealing scenario for the first link in the chain of reactions leading to the origin of life, since it has been suggested as a possible pathway to the formation of the related cyclic molecule oxiranecarbonitrile (c-C3H3NO; cf., Dickens et al. 1996), a precursor to the synthesis of sugar phosphates which comprise the backbone of our molecular genetic structure. References: Dickens, J.E., Irvine, W.M., Ohishi, M., Ikeda, M., Ishikawa, S., Nummelin, A., and Hjalmarson, A. 1997, Astrophys. J., 489 (in press). Dickens, J.E. et al. 1996, Orig. Life Evol. Biosphere, 26, 97. Lee, H.-H., Bettens, R.P.A., and Herbst, E. 1996, Astron. Astrophys. Supp., 119, 111.

  2. Les Johnson Views Interstellar Sail Material

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Engineers at Marshall Space Flight Center's (MSFC) Interstellar Propulsion Research department are proposing different solutions to combustion propellants for future space travel. One alternative being tested is the solar sail. The idea is, once deployed, the sail will allow solar winds to propel a spacecraft away from Earth and towards its destination. This would allow a spacecraft to travel indefinitely without the need to refuel during its ong journey. Thin reflective sails could be propelled through space by sunlight, microwave beams, or laser beams, just as the wind pushes sailboats on Earth. The sail will be the largest spacecraft ever built, sparning 440 yards, twice the diameter of the Louisiana Super Dome. Construction materials are being tested in a simulated space environment, where they are exposed to harsh conditions to test their performance and durability in extremely hot and cold temperatures. A leading candidate for the construction material is a carbon fiber material whose density is less than 1/10 ounce per square yard, the equivalent of flattening one raisin to the point that it covers a square yard. In space, the material would unfurl like a fan when it is deployed from an expendable rocket. This photo shows Les Johnson, manager of MSFC's Interstellar Propulsion Research Center holding the rigid, lightweight carbon fiber. An artist's concept of the sail is on the right. Mankind's first venture outside of our solar system is proposed for launch in a 2010 timeframe. An interstellar probe, powered by the fastest spacecraft ever flown, will zoom toward the stars at 58 miles per second. It will cover the distance from New York to Los Angeles in less than a minute and will travel over 23 billion miles beyond the edge of the solar system.

  3. The Interstellar Gas Experiment: Analysis in progress

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buehler, F.; Lind, D. L.; Geiss, J.; Eugster, O.

    1993-01-01

    The Interstellar Gas Experiment (IGE) exposed thin metallic foils aboard the LDEF spacecraft in low Earth orbit in order to collect neutral interstellar particles which penetrate the solar system due to their motion relative to the sun. By mechanical penetration these atoms were imbedded in the collecting foils along with precipitating magnetospheric ions and, possibly, with ambient atmospheric atoms. During the entire LDEF mission, seven of these foils collected particles arriving from seven different directions as seen from the spacecraft. After the foils were returned to Earth, a mass spectrometric analysis of the noble gas component of the trapped particles was begun. The isotopes of He-3, He-4, Ne-20, and Ne-22 were detected. We have given a first account of the experiment. In order to infer the isotopic ratios in the interstellar medium from the concentrations found in the foils, several lines of investigation had to be initiated. The flux of ambient atmospheric noble gas atoms moving toward the foils due to the orbital motion of LDEF was estimated by detailed calculations. Any of these particles which evaded the baffles in the IGE collector could be entrapped in the foils as a background flux. However, the calculations have shown that this flux is negligible, which was the intent of the experiment hardware design. This conclusion is supported by the measurements. However, both the concentration of trapped helium and its impact energy indicate that the flux of magnetospheric ions which was captured was larger than had been expected. In fact, it appears that the magnetospheric particles constitute the largest fraction of the particles in the foils. Since little is known about this particle flux, their presence in the IGE foils appears fortunate. The analysis of these particles provides information about their isotropic composition and average flux.

  4. Solar lens mission concept for interstellar exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brashears, Travis; Lubin, Philip; Turyshev, Slava; Shao, Michael; Zhang, Qicheng

    2015-09-01

    The long standing approach to space travel has been to incorporate massive on-board electronics, probes and propellants to achieve space exploration. This approach has led to many great achievements in science, but will never help to explore the interstellar medium. Fortunately, a paradigm shift is upon us in how a spacecraft is constructed and propelled. This paper describes a mission concept to get to our Sun's Gravity Lens at 550AU in less than 10 years. It will be done by using DE-STAR, a scalable solar-powered phased-array laser in Earth Orbit, as a directed energy photon drive of low-mass wafersats. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] With recent technologies a complete mission can be placed on a wafer including, power from an embedded radio nuclear thermal generator (RTG), PV, laser communications, imaging, photon thrusters for attitude control and other sensors. As one example, a futuristic 200 MW laser array consisting of 1 - 10 kw meter scale sub elements with a 100m baseline can propel a 10 gram wafer scale spacecraft with a 3m laser sail to 60AU/Year. Directed energy propulsion of low-mass spacecraft gives us an opportunity to capture images of Alpha Centauri and its planets, detailed imaging of the cosmic microwave background, set up interstellar communications by using gravity lenses around nearby stars to boost signals from interstellar probes, and much more. This system offers a very large range of missions allowing hundreds of wafer scale payload launches per day to reach this cosmological data reservoir. Directed Energy Propulsion is the only current technology that can provide a near-term path to utilize our Sun's Gravity Lens.

  5. Interstellar communication: The case for spread spectrum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Messerschmitt, David G.

    2012-12-01

    Spread spectrum, widely employed in modern digital wireless terrestrial radio systems, chooses a signal with a noise-like character and much higher bandwidth than necessary. This paper advocates spread spectrum modulation for interstellar communication, motivated by robust immunity to radio-frequency interference (RFI) of technological origin in the vicinity of the receiver while preserving full detection sensitivity in the presence of natural sources of noise. Receiver design for noise immunity alone provides no basis for choosing a signal with any specific character, therefore failing to reduce ambiguity. By adding RFI to noise immunity as a design objective, the conjunction of choice of signal (by the transmitter) together with optimum detection for noise immunity (in the receiver) leads through simple probabilistic argument to the conclusion that the signal should possess the statistical properties of a burst of white noise, and also have a large time-bandwidth product. Thus spread spectrum also provides an implicit coordination between transmitter and receiver by reducing the ambiguity as to the signal character. This strategy requires the receiver to guess the specific noise-like signal, and it is contended that this is feasible if an appropriate pseudorandom signal is generated algorithmically. For example, conceptually simple algorithms like the binary expansion of common irrational numbers like π are shown to be suitable. Due to its deliberately wider bandwidth, spread spectrum is more susceptible to dispersion and distortion in propagation through the interstellar medium, desirably reducing ambiguity in parameters like bandwidth and carrier frequency. This suggests a promising new direction in interstellar communication using spread spectrum modulation techniques.

  6. LOCAL INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM: SIX YEARS OF DIRECT SAMPLING BY IBEX

    SciTech Connect

    McComas, D. J.; Fuselier, S. A.; Schwadron, N. A. E-mail: sfuselier@swri.edu; and others

    2015-10-15

    The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) has been directly observing neutral atoms from the local interstellar medium for the last six years (2009–2014). This paper ties together the 14 studies in this Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series Special Issue, which collectively describe the IBEX interstellar neutral results from this epoch and provide a number of other relevant theoretical and observational results. Interstellar neutrals interact with each other and with the ionized portion of the interstellar population in the “pristine” interstellar medium ahead of the heliosphere. Then, in the heliosphere's close vicinity, the interstellar medium begins to interact with escaping heliospheric neutrals. In this study, we compare the results from two major analysis approaches led by IBEX groups in New Hampshire and Warsaw. We also directly address the question of the distance upstream to the pristine interstellar medium and adjust both sets of results to a common distance of ∼1000 AU. The two analysis approaches are quite different, but yield fully consistent measurements of the interstellar He flow properties, further validating our findings. While detailed error bars are given for both approaches, we recommend that for most purposes, the community use “working values” of ∼25.4 km s{sup −1}, ∼75.°7 ecliptic inflow longitude, ∼ −5.°1 ecliptic inflow latitude, and ∼7500 K temperature at ∼1000 AU upstream. Finally, we briefly address future opportunities for even better interstellar neutral observations to be provided by the Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe mission, which was recommended as the next major Heliophysics mission by the NRC's 2013 Decadal Survey.

  7. Local Interstellar Medium: Six Years of Direct Sampling by IBEX

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McComas, D. J.; Bzowski, M.; Fuselier, S. A.; Frisch, P. C.; Galli, A.; Izmodenov, V. V.; Katushkina, O. A.; Kubiak, M. A.; Lee, M. A.; Leonard, T. W.; Möbius, E.; Park, J.; Schwadron, N. A.; Sokół, J. M.; Swaczyna, P.; Wood, B. E.; Wurz, P.

    2015-10-01

    The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) has been directly observing neutral atoms from the local interstellar medium for the last six years (2009-2014). This paper ties together the 14 studies in this Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series Special Issue, which collectively describe the IBEX interstellar neutral results from this epoch and provide a number of other relevant theoretical and observational results. Interstellar neutrals interact with each other and with the ionized portion of the interstellar population in the “pristine” interstellar medium ahead of the heliosphere. Then, in the heliosphere's close vicinity, the interstellar medium begins to interact with escaping heliospheric neutrals. In this study, we compare the results from two major analysis approaches led by IBEX groups in New Hampshire and Warsaw. We also directly address the question of the distance upstream to the pristine interstellar medium and adjust both sets of results to a common distance of ˜1000 AU. The two analysis approaches are quite different, but yield fully consistent measurements of the interstellar He flow properties, further validating our findings. While detailed error bars are given for both approaches, we recommend that for most purposes, the community use “working values” of ˜25.4 km s-1, ˜75.°7 ecliptic inflow longitude, ˜ -5.°1 ecliptic inflow latitude, and ˜7500 K temperature at ˜1000 AU upstream. Finally, we briefly address future opportunities for even better interstellar neutral observations to be provided by the Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe mission, which was recommended as the next major Heliophysics mission by the NRC's 2013 Decadal Survey.

  8. The interstellar line spectra of zeta Ophiuchi and zeta Persei and their relation to the short wavelength microwave background radiation. Ph.D. Thesis - N. Y. Univ.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bortolot, V. J., Jr.

    1972-01-01

    Thirty-one high dispersion Coude spectrograms of zeta Ophiuchi and seven of zeta Persei were numerically synthesized to produce high resolution, low noise spectra in the interval 3650 A to 4350 that yield data on atomic and molecular absorption in well-defined regions of the interstellar medium. The detection threshold is improved by as much as a factor 5 over single plates. Several interstellar lines were discovered in the zeta Oph - 15km/sec cloud and the zeta Per + 13 km/sec cloud.

  9. The chemical composition of interstellar molecular clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Irvine, W. M.; Hjalmarson, A.

    1984-01-01

    Quantitative molecular abundances are becoming available for dense interstellar clouds and circumstellar envelopes, revealing both similarities across a wide range of source conditions and significant differences in the chemistries involved. As understanding concerning the processes that lead to particular compositions increases, it may become possible to relate these findings to the evolution of molecular clouds and hence to the chemistry of regions in which stellar and planetary formation is in progress. Attention is given to the results of a recently completed spectral scan of the Orion molecular cloud, as well as the envelope around the evolved star IRC + 10216, published by Johansson et al. (1983).

  10. Composition, structure, and chemistry of interstellar dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Allamandola, L. J.

    1987-01-01

    Different dust components present in the interstellar medium (IM) such as amorphous carbon, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and those IM components which are organic refractory grains and icy grain mantles are discussed as well as their relative importance. The physical properties of grain surface chemistry are discussed with attention given to the surface structure of materials, the adsorption energy and residence time of species on a grain surface, and the sticking probability. Consideration is also given to the contribution of grains to the gas-phase composition of molecular clouds.

  11. Diffuse cloud chemistry. [in interstellar matter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Van Dishoeck, Ewine F.; Black, John H.

    1988-01-01

    The current status of models of diffuse interstellar clouds is reviewed. A detailed comparison of recent gas-phase steady-state models shows that both the physical conditions and the molecular abundances in diffuse clouds are still not fully understood. Alternative mechanisms are discussed and observational tests which may discriminate between the various models are suggested. Recent developments regarding the velocity structure of diffuse clouds are mentioned. Similarities and differences between the chemistries in diffuse clouds and those in translucent and high latitude clouds are pointed out.

  12. A laboratory model for interstellar chemical evolution.

    PubMed

    Ishikawa, Y; Kuriki, K

    1983-01-01

    The chemistry in a supersonic plasma source flow was studied as a laboratory model for interstellar chemical evolution. It is important to match the similarity parameters for cosmic and laboratory conditions, which connect the temporal and spatial scales of the two cases. The apparatus simulated the conditions in a molecular cloud with respect to molecular-ionic reaction fraction, temperature, and non-equilibrium kinetics. The plasma flow was found to be cold enough, by the radical expansion, to produce polyatomic molecules. From the simple atomic plasma as reactant, cyanopolyyne and unsaturated hydrocarbons were synthesized in the present experiment. These molecules are also inherent in molecular clouds. The reaction mechanism is discussed.

  13. Comets as porous aggregates of interstellar dust.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, J M; Remo, J L

    1997-05-30

    A comet model is derived based on the interstellar dust chemical composition in dense molecular and diffuse clouds resulting from their subsequent chemical interactions and UV photoprocessing. The collapsing presolar nebula leads to a porous aggregate model for comet nuclei, from which is derived certain physical properties that include thermal conductivity and tensile strength. The porous morphological structure is also shown to imply anomalous (expansion rather than contraction) behavior when subjected to strong shock waves, which is supported by recent shock experiments on (porous) carbonaceous chondrite material.

  14. The composition of interstellar molecular clouds.

    PubMed

    Irvine, W M

    1999-01-01

    We consider four-aspects of interstellar chemistry for comparison with comets: molecular abundances in general, relative abundances of isomers (specifically, HCN and HNC), ortho/para ratios for molecules, and isotopic fractionation, particularly for the ratio hydrogen/deuterium. Since the environment in which the solar system formed is not well constrained, we consider both isolated dark clouds where low mass stars may form and the "hot cores" that are the sites of high mass star formation. Attention is concentrated on the gas phase, since the grains are considered elsewhere in this volume.

  15. Abundance and chemistry of interstellar HOCO+.

    PubMed

    Minh, Y C; Brewer, M K; Irvine, W M; Friberg, P; Johansson, L E

    1991-01-01

    We derive HOCO+ column densities approximately 10(15) cm-2 toward the Galactic center and < or = 10(12) cm-2 for cold dark clouds from observations and an LVG model. We mapped the HOCO+ 4(04)-3(03) line toward Sgr A. The fractional abundance of HOCO+ in the Galactic center region is three orders of magnitude larger than predicted by quiescent ion-molecule chemistry and an order of magnitude larger than predicted by a MHD shock model. If HOCO+ traces interstellar CO2, the implied high abundance ([CO2] approximately [CO]) in the Galactic center may result from UV photolysis of grain mantles.

  16. Engineering planetary lasers for interstellar communication

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sherwood, Brent; Mumma, Michael J.; Donaldson, Bruce K.

    1992-01-01

    Spacefaring skills evolved in the twenty-first century will enable missions of unprecedented complexity. One such elaborate project might be to develop tools for efficient interstellar data transfer. Informational links to other star systems would facilitate eventual human expansion beyond our solar system, as well as intercourse with potential extraterrestrial intelligence. This paper reports the major findings of a 600-page, 3-year, NASA-funded study examining in quantitative detail the requirements, some seemingly feasible methods, and implications of achieving reliable extrasolar communications.

  17. Stellar ultraviolet colors and interstellar extinction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peytremann, E.; Davis, R. J.

    1972-01-01

    A sample of celescope results is studied. Most of the sample stars belong to the Orion and Vela regions. Stars with visual excess E(B-V) less than 0.05 are selected in order to derive relationships of intrinsic color index versus spectral type. The resulting intrinsic color-color relations are compared with existing blanketed and unblanketed model calculations. Finally, the preceding intrinsic relations are utilized to derive some results on interstellar extinction. Owing to the rather large scatter in the celescope data, the Vela stars give the more significant results because their visible excess E(B-V) is, in general, larger than that for the Orion stars.

  18. The 2014 KIDA Network for Interstellar Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wakelam, V.; Loison, J.-C.; Herbst, E.; Pavone, B.; Bergeat, A.; Béroff, K.; Chabot, M.; Faure, A.; Galli, D.; Geppert, W. D.; Gerlich, D.; Gratier, P.; Harada, N.; Hickson, K. M.; Honvault, P.; Klippenstein, S. J.; Le Picard, S. D.; Nyman, G.; Ruaud, M.; Schlemmer, S.; Sims, I. R.; Talbi, D.; Tennyson, J.; Wester, R.

    2015-04-01

    Chemical models used to study the chemical composition of the gas and the ices in the interstellar medium are based on a network of chemical reactions and associated rate coefficients. These reactions and rate coefficients are partially compiled from data in the literature, when available. We present in this paper kida.uva.2014, a new updated version of the kida.uva public gas-phase network first released in 2012. In addition to a description of the many specific updates, we illustrate changes in the predicted abundances of molecules for cold dense cloud conditions as compared with the results of the previous version of our network, kida.uva.2011.

  19. Interstellar nomads: The problem of detecting comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Eric M.; Newman, William I.; Campbell, Donald B.

    1993-01-01

    This paper shows that, using only a modest extrapolation of current phased-array radar and massively parallel processor computer technologies, radar transmitter in the outer solar system or in interstellar space could be used to detect comets passing within 1 or 2 AU of the transmitter. It discusses how this potential development could be instrumental to the colonisation of the outer solar system and beyond. This development is germane to contemporary investigations of the population of the Oort cloud as well as to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) question.

  20. Charting the Interstellar Magnetic Field behind the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) Ribbon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frisch, P. C.; Berdyugin, A.; Piirola, V.; Wiktorowicz, S.; Magalhaes, A. M.; Seriacopi, D.; Andersson, B. G.; Funsten, H. O.; McComas, D. J.; Schwadron, N.; Slavin, J. D.; Hanson, A.; Fu, C. W.

    2015-12-01

    The relation between the interstellar magnetic field (ISMF) controlling the configuration of the "ribbon" of energetic neutral atoms discovered by IBEX, and the ISMF in deep space, can be probed with polarized starlight. Starlight is polarized in a dichroic interstellar medium formed by interstellar dust grains that are aligned with respect to the ISMF. Our ongoing survey of polarized starlight traces the ISMF within 40 parsecs. The local ISMF direction was evaluated using the weighted means of the linear polarization vectors. The dominant nearby magnetic field direction is within 7.6 (+14.9,-7.6) degrees of the ISMF direction that is traced by the IBEX ribbon. A low level of random magnetic turbulence is obtained from the polarization data that best trace the IBEX ribbon field direction, 9 (+/-1) deg, which explains the continuity of the IBEX ISMF out into space where it can be traced by starlight polarization. The ISMF direction is perpendicular to the velocity of the cloud around the heliosphere, and it orders the kinematics of the other local interstellar clouds. These results are obtained only after a well-defined subset of the polarization data is omitted from the sample. A separate analysis shows that these polarization vectors are oriented toward the upwind direction of the interstellar gas flowing into the heliosphere. This group of polarization data traces an elongated filamentary-type feature that is perpendicular to the hydrogen deflection plane. We suggest a heliosheath origin for the grains that create this polarized feature. One characteristic shown by the polarization and IBEX field directions is that the ribbon ISMF extends to the boundaries of the BICEP2 region where the polarized CMB background has been studied. Inside of the BICEP2 region other nearby magnetic components are also present. The sightline toward the star Capella suggests that the polarization mechanism is very efficient in this nearby cloud.

  1. Linear and circular spectropolarimetry of diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cox, N. L. J.; Ehrenfreund, P.; Foing, B. H.; D'Hendecourt, L.; Salama, F.; Sarre, P. J.

    2011-07-01

    Context. The identification of the carriers of diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) remains one of the long-standing mysteries in astronomy. The detection of a polarisation signal in a DIB profile can be used to distinguish between a dust or gas-phase carrier. The polarisation profile can give additional information on the grain or molecular properties of the absorber. Aims: To measure the polarisation efficiency of the carriers of the diffuse interstellar bands. Methods: In order to detect and measure the linear and circular polarisation of the DIBs we observed reddened lines of sight showing continuum polarisation. For this study we selected two stars HD 197770 and HD 194279. We used high-resolution (R ~ 64 000) spectropolarimetry in the wavelength range from 3700 to 10 480 Å with the ESPaDOnS échelle spectrograph mounted at the CFHT. Results: High S/N and high resolution Stokes V (circular), Q and U (linear) spectra were obtained. We constrained upper limits by a factor of 10 for previously observed DIBs. Furthermore, we analysed ~30 additional DIBs for which no spectropolarimetry data has been obtained before. This included the 9577 Å DIB and the 8621 Å DIB. The former is attributed to the C60^+ fullerene, which could become aligned in a magnetic field. The latter shows a tight correlation with the amount of dust in the line-of-sight and therefore most likely may show a polarisation signal related the aligned grains. Conclusions: The lack of polarisation in 45 DIB profiles suggests that none of the absorption lines is induced by a grain-type carrier. The strict upper limits, less than ~0.01%, derived for the observed lines-of-sight imply that if DIBs are due to gas-phase molecules these carriers have polarisation efficiencies which are at least 6 times, and up to 300 times, smaller than those predicted for grain-related carriers. Based on observations obtained at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) which is operated by the National Research Council of

  2. Observing Organic Molecules in Interstellar Gases: Non Equilibrium Excitation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiesenfeld, Laurent; Faure, Alexandre; Remijan, Anthony; Szalewicz, Krzysztof

    2014-06-01

    In order to observe quantitatively organic molecules in interstellar gas, it is necessary to understand the relative importance of photonic and collisional excitations. In order to do so, collisional excitation transfer rates have to be computed. We undertook several such studies, in particular for H_2CO and HCOOCH_3. Both species are observed in many astrochemical environments, including star-forming regions. We found that those two molecules behave in their low-lying rotational levels in an opposite way. For cis methyl-formate, a non-equilibrium radiative transfer treatment of rotational lines is performed, using a new set of theoretical collisional rate coefficients. These coefficients have been computed in the temperature range 5 to 30 K by combining coupled-channel scattering calculations with a high accuracy potential energy surface for HCOOCH_3 -- He. The results are compared to observations toward the Sagittarius B2(N) molecular cloud. A total of 2080 low-lying transitions of methyl formate, with upper levels below 25 K, were treated. These lines are found to probe a cold (30 K), moderately dense (n ˜ 104 cm-3) interstellar gas. In addition, our calculations indicate that all detected emission lines with a frequency below 30 GHz are collisionally pumped weak masers amplifying the background of Sgr B2(N). This result demonstrates the generality of the inversion mechanism for the low-lying transitions of methyl formate. For formaldehyde, we performed a similar non-equilibrium treatment, with H_2 as the collisional partner, thanks to the accurate H_2CO - H_2 potential energy surface . We found very different energy transfer rates for collisions with para-H_2 (J=0) and ortho-H_2 (J=1). The well-known absorption against the cosmological background of the 111→ 101 line is shown to depend critically on the difference of behaviour between para and ortho-H_2, for a wide range of H_2 density. We thank the CNRS-PCMI French national program for continuous support

  3. Determination of Interstellar O Parameters Using the First Two Years of Data From the Interstellar Boundary Explorer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwadron, N. A.; Möbius, E.; McComas, D. J.; Bochsler, P.; Bzowski, M.; Fuselier, S. A.; Livadiotis, G.; Frisch, P.; Müller, H.-R.; Heirtzler, D.; Kucharek, H.; Lee, M. A.

    2016-09-01

    The direct measurements of interstellar matter by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission have opened a new and important chapter in our study of the interactions that control the boundaries of our heliosphere. Here we derive for the quantitative information about interstellar O flow parameters from IBEX low-energy neutral atom data for the first time. Specifically, we derive a relatively narrow four-dimensional parameter tube along which interstellar O flow parameters must lie. Along the parameter tube, we find a large uncertainty in interstellar O flow longitude, 76.°0 ± 3.°4 from χ 2 analysis and 76.°5 ± 6.°2 from a maximum likelihood fit, which is statistically consistent with the flow longitude derived for interstellar He, 75.°6 ± 1.°4. The best-fit O and He temperatures are almost identical at a reference flow longitude of 76°, which provides a strong indication that the local interstellar plasma near the Sun is relatively unaffected by turbulent heating. However, key differences include an oxygen parameter tube for the interstellar speed (relation between speed and longitude) that has higher speeds than those in the corresponding parameter tube for He, and an upstream flow latitude for oxygen that is southward of the upstream flow latitude for helium. Both of these differences are likely the result of enhanced filtration of interstellar oxygen due to its charge-exchange ionization rate, which is higher than that for helium. Furthermore, we derive an interstellar O density near the termination shock of {5.8}-0.8+0.9× {10}-5 cm-3 that, within uncertainties, is consistent with previous estimates. Thus, we use IBEX data to probe the interstellar properties of oxygen.

  4. Determination of Interstellar O Parameters Using the First Two Years of Data From the Interstellar Boundary Explorer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwadron, N. A.; Möbius, E.; McComas, D. J.; Bochsler, P.; Bzowski, M.; Fuselier, S. A.; Livadiotis, G.; Frisch, P.; Müller, H.-R.; Heirtzler, D.; Kucharek, H.; Lee, M. A.

    2016-09-01

    The direct measurements of interstellar matter by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission have opened a new and important chapter in our study of the interactions that control the boundaries of our heliosphere. Here we derive for the quantitative information about interstellar O flow parameters from IBEX low-energy neutral atom data for the first time. Specifically, we derive a relatively narrow four-dimensional parameter tube along which interstellar O flow parameters must lie. Along the parameter tube, we find a large uncertainty in interstellar O flow longitude, 76.°0 ± 3.°4 from χ 2 analysis and 76.°5 ± 6.°2 from a maximum likelihood fit, which is statistically consistent with the flow longitude derived for interstellar He, 75.°6 ± 1.°4. The best-fit O and He temperatures are almost identical at a reference flow longitude of 76°, which provides a strong indication that the local interstellar plasma near the Sun is relatively unaffected by turbulent heating. However, key differences include an oxygen parameter tube for the interstellar speed (relation between speed and longitude) that has higher speeds than those in the corresponding parameter tube for He, and an upstream flow latitude for oxygen that is southward of the upstream flow latitude for helium. Both of these differences are likely the result of enhanced filtration of interstellar oxygen due to its charge-exchange ionization rate, which is higher than that for helium. Furthermore, we derive an interstellar O density near the termination shock of {5.8}-0.8+0.9× {10}-5 cm‑3 that, within uncertainties, is consistent with previous estimates. Thus, we use IBEX data to probe the interstellar properties of oxygen.

  5. Catalog of open clusters and associated interstellar matter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leisawitz, David

    1988-01-01

    The Catalog of Open Clusters and Associated Interstellar Matter summarizes observations of 128 open clusters and their associated ionized, atomic, and molecular iinterstellar matter. Cluster sizes, distances, radial velocities, ages, and masses, and the radial velocities and masses of associated interstellar medium components, are given. The database contains information from approximately 400 references published in the scientific literature before 1988.

  6. Supersonic turbulence and structure of interstellar molecular clouds.

    PubMed

    Boldyrev, Stanislav; Nordlund, Ake; Padoan, Paolo

    2002-07-15

    The interstellar medium provides a unique laboratory for highly supersonic, driven hydrodynamic turbulence. We propose a theory of such turbulence, test it by numerical simulations, and use the results to explain observational scaling properties of interstellar molecular clouds, the regions where stars are born.

  7. The Submillimeter-wave Rotational Spectra of Interstellar Molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herbst, Eric; DeLucia, Frank C.; Butler, R. A. H.; Winnewisser, M.; Winnewisser, G.; Fuchs, U.; Groner, P.; Sastry, K. V. L. N.

    2002-01-01

    We discuss past and recent progress in our long-term laboratory program concerning the submillimeter-wave rotational spectroscopy of known and likely interstellar molecules, especially those associated with regions of high-mass star formation. Our program on the use of spectroscopy to study rotationally inelastic collisions of interstellar interest is also briefly mentioned.

  8. Modeling the Infrared Emission Spectra of Specific PAH Molecules in Interstellar Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Aigen

    2007-05-01

    The 3.3, 6.2, 7.7, 8.6 and 11.3 micron emission features ubiquitously seen in a wide variety of Galactic and extragalactic objects, are generally attributed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules. Although the PAH hypothesis is quite successful in explaining the general pattern of the observed emission spectra, so far there is no actual precise identification of a single specific PAH molecule in interstellar space. Therefore, when modeling the observed PAH emission spectra, astronomers usually take an empirical approach by constructing 'astro-PAHs' which do not represent any specific material, but approximate the actual absorption properties of the PAH mixture in astrophysical regions. We propose a Spitzer Theory Program to study the photoexcitation of specific PAH molecules and their ions in interstellar space, taking a statistical-mechanical (instead of thermal) approach. For most of the specific PAH molecules selected for this research (with a small number of vibrational degrees of freedom), thermal approximation is not valid. Using available laboratory and quantum-chemical data (e.g. vibrational frequencies, UV/visible/IR absorption cross sections), we will calculate the emission spectra of 21 representative specific PAH molecules and their ions, ranging from naphthalene to circumcoronene, illuminated by interstellar radiation fields of a wide range of intensities. This program will create a web-based 'library' of the emission spectra of 21 specific PAH molecules and their ions as a function of starlight intensities. This 'library' will be made publicly available by October 2008 on the internet at http://www.missouri.edu/~lia/. By comparing observed PAH spectra with model spectra produced by co-adding the emission spectra of different PAH molecules available in this 'library' (with different weights for different species), one will be able to estimate the total PAH mass and relative abundances of each PAH species, using real PAH properties.

  9. Gas-absorption process

    DOEpatents

    Stephenson, Michael J.; Eby, Robert S.

    1978-01-01

    This invention is an improved gas-absorption process for the recovery of a desired component from a feed-gas mixture containing the same. In the preferred form of the invention, the process operations are conducted in a closed-loop system including a gas-liquid contacting column having upper, intermediate, and lower contacting zones. A liquid absorbent for the desired component is circulated through the loop, being passed downwardly through the column, regenerated, withdrawn from a reboiler, and then recycled to the column. A novel technique is employed to concentrate the desired component in a narrow section of the intermediate zone. This technique comprises maintaining the temperature of the liquid-phase input to the intermediate zone at a sufficiently lower value than that of the gas-phase input to the zone to effect condensation of a major part of the absorbent-vapor upflow to the section. This establishes a steep temperature gradient in the section. The stripping factors below this section are selected to ensure that virtually all of the gases in the downflowing absorbent from the section are desorbed. The stripping factors above the section are selected to ensure re-dissolution of the desired component but not the less-soluble diluent gases. As a result, a peak concentration of the desired component is established in the section, and gas rich in that component can be withdrawn therefrom. The new process provides important advantages. The chief advantage is that the process operations can be conducted in a single column in which the contacting zones operate at essentially the same pressure.

  10. Molecular processes in comets. [dissociation of OH in cometary atmospheres and interstellar gas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dalgarno, A.

    1982-01-01

    Potential energy curves for the two lowest 2 sigma- states of OH are computed at the configuration-interaction level using four different basis sets. Electronic transition dipole moments connecting the excited 1 2 sigma- and 2(D) 2 sigma- states with each other and with he ground X2pi state are presented as functions of internuclear distance. The theoretical absorption oscillator strengths for the D 2 sigma-(v prime=0) reverser to X 2pi (v prime prime=0) transition are in good agreement with the empirical value derived from astronomical measurements. The photodissociation cross sections for absorption rom the v prime prime=0,1, and levels of the ground state into the continuum of the 1 2 sigma- state are calculated, and the interstellar and cometary photodissociation rates are derived.

  11. Formation of benzene in the interstellar medium

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Brant M.; Zhang, Fangtong; Kaiser, Ralf I.; Jamal, Adeel; Mebel, Alexander M.; Cordiner, Martin A.; Charnley, Steven B.

    2011-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and related species have been suggested to play a key role in the astrochemical evolution of the interstellar medium, but the formation mechanism of even their simplest building block—the aromatic benzene molecule—has remained elusive for decades. Here we demonstrate in crossed molecular beam experiments combined with electronic structure and statistical calculations that benzene (C6H6) can be synthesized via the barrierless, exoergic reaction of the ethynyl radical and 1,3-butadiene, C2H + H2CCHCHCH2 → C6H6 + H, under single collision conditions. This reaction portrays the simplest representative of a reaction class in which aromatic molecules with a benzene core can be formed from acyclic precursors via barrierless reactions of ethynyl radicals with substituted 1,3-butadiene molecules. Unique gas-grain astrochemical models imply that this low-temperature route controls the synthesis of the very first aromatic ring from acyclic precursors in cold molecular clouds, such as in the Taurus Molecular Cloud. Rapid, subsequent barrierless reactions of benzene with ethynyl radicals can lead to naphthalene-like structures thus effectively propagating the ethynyl-radical mediated formation of aromatic molecules in the interstellar medium. PMID:21187430

  12. Chemistry and Evolution of Interstellar Clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wooden, D. H.; Charnley, S. B.; Ehrenfreund, P.

    2003-01-01

    In this chapter we describe how elements have been and are still being formed in the galaxy and how they are transformed into the reservoir of materials present at the time of formation of our protosolar nebula. We discuss the global cycle of matter, beginning at its formation site in stars, where it is ejected through winds and explosions into the diffuse interstellar medium. In the next stage of the global cycle occurs in cold, dense molecular clouds, where the complexity of molecules and ices increases relative to the diffuse ISM.. When a protostar forms in a dense core within a molecular cloud, it heats the surrounding infalling matter warms and releases molecules from the solid phase into the gas phase in a warm, dense core, sponsoring a rich gas-phase chemistry. Some material from the cold and warm regions within molecular clouds probably survives as interstellar matter in the protostellar disk. For the diffuse ISM, for cold, dense clouds, and for dense-warm cores, the physio-chemical processes that occur within the gas and solid phases are discussed in detail.

  13. Search for HCOCN in interstellar space.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerin, M.

    1989-06-01

    More than 80 different molecular species have been observed in the interstellar medium (ISM) in one or more molecular sources (cf. the review of Irvine et al., 1987). Most of them were discovered and identified via their centimetre and millimetre lines. However, to get a better understanding of the complex chemical processes at work in interstellar clouds, we need to observe many more species. On the one hand, only a few among all species involved in the reaction networks are observed: most of the reactions are exothermic and involve radicals and/or molecular ions. These species have low abundances and complex spectra, and are therefore very difficult to detect, but their observation would provide important constraints on the chemical models. On the other hand, there are often competitive ways to synthesize complex molecules, with poorly known reaction rates. Observations of these elaborated species could provide constraints on the reaction rates, synthesis modes, and give an insight into the degree of complexity that this kind of chemical system can reach (how many heavy atoms, and what structure can we observe/ are present in complex molecules?). This research topic was initiated by the search of Glycine and Urea after several organic molecules were found in the ISM in the mid 1970's (Hollis et al., 1980; Guelin 1989).

  14. The Interstellar Production of Biologically Important Organics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandford, Scott A.; Bernstein, Max P.; Dworkin, Jason; Allamandola, Louis J.

    2000-01-01

    One of the primary tasks of the Astrochemistry Laboratory at Ames Research Center is to use laboratory simulations to study the chemical processes that occur in dense interstellar clouds. Since new stars are formed in these clouds, their materials may be responsible for the delivery of organics to new habitable planets and may play important roles in the origin of life. These clouds are extremely cold (less than 50 kelvin), and most of the volatiles in these clouds are condensed onto dust grains as thin ice mantles. These ices are exposed to cosmic rays and ultraviolet (UV) photons that break chemical bonds and result in the production of complex molecules when the ices are warmed (as they would be when incorporated into a star-forming region). Using cryovacuum systems and UV lamps, this study simulates the conditions of these clouds and studies the resulting chemistry. Some of the areas of progress made in 1999 are described below. It shows some of the types of molecules that may be formed in the interstellar medium. Laboratory simulations have already confirmed that many of these compounds are made under these conditions.

  15. Carbon Chains in the Diffuse Interstellar Gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thaddeus, P.

    1999-05-01

    Linear carbon chain molecules are the dominant fraction of the 125 molecules which have now been identified in interstellar clouds or circumstellar shells, and the only molecules which have been conclusively identified as carriers of optical diffuse interstellar bands are carbon chains (as discussed by Maier at this meeting). In our laboratory over the past two years we have succeeded in detecting 46 carbon chains by applying Fourier transform microwave spectroscopy to supersonic molecular beams of reactive species produced in a gas discharge. The radio spectrum of all - including hyperfine structure when present - has been measured to the point that the laboratory astrophysics is complete: very precise rest frequencies are in hand for astronomical searches, and six of the chains have in fact already been detected with large radio telescopes. Because the longer chains tend to have their strongest lines at low frequencies, the resurfaced Arecibo telescope and the Green Bank Telescope under construction promise to be especially effective search instruments. Carbon chains are by far the best candidates for the several hundred diffuse bands which have been identified since 1922, and since the chain densities achieved in the laboratory are fairly high by the standards of laser spectroscopy, the classical problem of the diffuse bands may be on the point of general solution.

  16. PRECURSORS TO INTERSTELLAR SHOCKS OF SOLAR ORIGIN

    SciTech Connect

    Gurnett, D. A.; Kurth, W. S.; Stone, E. C.; Cummings, A. C.; Krimigis, S. M.; Decker, R. B.; Burlaga, L. F.

    2015-08-20

    On or about 2012 August 25, the Voyager 1 spacecraft crossed the heliopause into the nearby interstellar plasma. In the nearly three years that the spacecraft has been in interstellar space, three notable particle and field disturbances have been observed, each apparently associated with a shock wave propagating outward from the Sun. Here, we present a detailed analysis of the third and most impressive of these disturbances, with brief comparisons to the two previous events, both of which have been previously reported. The shock responsible for the third event was first detected on 2014 February 17 by the onset of narrowband radio emissions from the approaching shock, followed on 2014 May 13 by the abrupt appearance of intense electron plasma oscillations generated by electrons streaming outward ahead of the shock. Finally, the shock arrived on 2014 August 25, as indicated by a jump in the magnetic field strength and the plasma density. Various disturbances in the intensity and anisotropy of galactic cosmic rays were also observed ahead of the shock, some of which are believed to be caused by the reflection and acceleration of cosmic rays by the magnetic field jump at the shock, and/or by interactions with upstream plasma waves. Comparisons to the two previous weaker events show somewhat similar precursor effects, although differing in certain details. Many of these effects are very similar to those observed in the region called the “foreshock” that occurs upstream of planetary bow shocks, only on a vastly larger spatial scale.

  17. Galactic civilizations - Population dynamics and interstellar diffusion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newman, W. I.; Sagan, C.

    1981-01-01

    A model is developed of the interstellar diffusion of galactic civilizations which takes into account the population dynamics of such civilizations. The problem is formulated in terms of potential theory, with a family of nonlinear partial differential and difference equations specifying population growth and diffusion for an organism with advantageous genes that undergoes random dispersal while increasing in population locally, and a population at zero population growth. In the case of nonlinear diffusion with growth and saturation, it is found that the colonization wavefront from the nearest independently arisen galactic civilization can have reached the earth only if its lifetime exceeds 2.6 million years, or 20 million years if discretization can be neglected. For zero population growth, the corresponding lifetime is 13 billion years. It is concluded that the earth is uncolonized not because interstellar spacefaring civilizations are rare, but because there are too many worlds to be colonized in the plausible colonization lifetime of nearby civilizations, and that there exist no very old galactic civilizations with a consistent policy of the conquest of inhabited worlds.

  18. Formation of benzene in the interstellar medium.

    PubMed

    Jones, Brant M; Zhang, Fangtong; Kaiser, Ralf I; Jamal, Adeel; Mebel, Alexander M; Cordiner, Martin A; Charnley, Steven B

    2011-01-11

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and related species have been suggested to play a key role in the astrochemical evolution of the interstellar medium, but the formation mechanism of even their simplest building block--the aromatic benzene molecule--has remained elusive for decades. Here we demonstrate in crossed molecular beam experiments combined with electronic structure and statistical calculations that benzene (C(6)H(6)) can be synthesized via the barrierless, exoergic reaction of the ethynyl radical and 1,3-butadiene, C(2)H + H(2)CCHCHCH(2) → C(6)H(6) + H, under single collision conditions. This reaction portrays the simplest representative of a reaction class in which aromatic molecules with a benzene core can be formed from acyclic precursors via barrierless reactions of ethynyl radicals with substituted 1,3-butadiene molecules. Unique gas-grain astrochemical models imply that this low-temperature route controls the synthesis of the very first aromatic ring from acyclic precursors in cold molecular clouds, such as in the Taurus Molecular Cloud. Rapid, subsequent barrierless reactions of benzene with ethynyl radicals can lead to naphthalene-like structures thus effectively propagating the ethynyl-radical mediated formation of aromatic molecules in the interstellar medium.

  19. Newly synthesized lithium in the interstellar medium

    PubMed

    Knauth; Federman; Lambert; Crane

    2000-06-01

    Astronomical observations of elemental and isotopic abundances provide the means to determine the source of elements and to reveal their evolutionary pathways since the formation of the Galaxy some 15 billion years ago. The abundance of lithium is particularly interesting because, although some of it is thought to be primordial, most results from spallation reactions (in which Galactic cosmic rays break apart larger nuclei in the interstellar medium). Spallation reactions are crucial for the production of other light elements, such as beryllium and boron, so observations of lithium isotopic abundances can be used to test model predictions for light-element synthesis in general. Here we report observations of 7Li and 6Li abundances in several interstellar clouds lying in the direction of the star o Persei. We find the abundance ratio 7Li/6Li to be about 2, which is significantly lower than the average Solar System value of 12.3 (refs 6, 7). An abundance ratio of 2 is clear evidence that the observed lithium must have resulted entirely from spallation, confirming a basic tenet of light-element synthesis. The total lithium abundance, however, is not enhanced as expected.

  20. Observational Evidence for Radiative Interstellar Grain Alignment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersson, B.; Potter, S. B.; Andersson, B.; Potter, S.

    2011-11-01

    The alignment mechanisms of interstellar dust grains is a long standing astrophysical problem. Interstellar polarization was first discovered in 1949 and soon thereafter attributed to dichroic extinction caused by asymmetric dust grains aligned with the magnetic field. For a long time the alignment mechanism was thought to involve paramagnetic relaxation in rapidly spinning dust grains. Modern theory indicates that the classical alignment mechanisms are likely not efficient, but rather favor alignment through direct radiative torques. We have used multi-band polarimetry towards stars probing six nearby clouds to show that the wavelength of maximum polarization is linearly correlated with the visual extinction (Andersson & Potter 2007; AP07; where further details can be found). We find a universal relation with a common positive slope between the clouds and a DC offset correlated with the average of the total-to-selective extinction < RV > . These results provide strong observational support for radiatively driven grain alignment. Recent observations of an additional set of ≍60 sightlines in the Taurus cloud confirm and strengthen these results.