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Sample records for absorption interstellar zones

  1. A survey of ultraviolet interstellar absorption lines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bohlin, R. C.; Jenkins, E. B.; Spitzer, L., Jr.; York, D. G.; Hill, J. K.; Savage, B. D.; Snow, T. P., Jr.

    1983-01-01

    A telescope-spectrometer on the Copernicus spacecraft made possible the measurement of many ultraviolet absorption lines produced by the interstellar gas. The present survey provides data on ultraviolet absorption lines in the spectra of 88 early-type stars. The stars observed are divided into four classes, including reddened stars, unreddened bright stars, moderately reddened bright stars, and unreddened and moderately reddened faint stars. Data are presented for equivalent width, W, radial velocity V, and rms line width, D, taking into account some 10 to 20 lines of N I, O I, Si II, P II, S II, Cl I, Cl II, Mn II, Fe II, Ni II, Cu II, and H2. The data are based on multiple scans for each line. Attention is given to details of observations, the data reduction procedure, and the computation of equivalent width, mean velocity, and velocity dispersion.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. FUV Interstellar Absorption Toward the Lupus Loop Region (abstract)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Betoya-Nonesa, Jelly Grace; Min, Kyoung Wook; Park, Jae-Woo; Kim, Il-Jong; Seon, Kwang-Il; Ryu, Kwang-Sun

    2009-04-01

    Far-ultraviolet (FUV) observation of interstellar absorption toward the Lupus Loop region (SNR 330.0+15.0) is presented. Using Hipparcos, more accurate distance estimates to 52 B-type stars in Lupus are obtained. When a distance of 155+/-8 pc to the supernova remnant is adopted, most stars seem to lie in the foreground. Seven stars lie in the background, allowing a clearer interpretation of absorption lines. Prior to Hipparcos, research suffered from distance uncertainties, leading to confusion as to whether the origin of an observed absorption line was stellar or interstellar. FUV emission studies detected ionic lines inferred to be tracers of warm and hot (104<106° K) interstellar plasma. Important cooling lines (e.g., C IV, O VI, S II, and N IV) from diffuse warm gas have been reported. Assuming that these lines are caused by the same plasma, a detailed absorption analysis is performed toward seven background stars in Lupus. The ionic lines detected in emission are also well detected in absorption, suggesting the existence of warm interstellar gas. These lines seem to be dependent on distance and spectral type, consistent with that of previous works toward other sightlines.

  5. 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.

  6. Near-infrared absorption spectroscopy of interstellar hydrocarbon grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pendleton, Y. J.; Sandford, S. A.; Allamandola, L. J.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Sellgren, K.

    1994-01-01

    We present new 3600 - 2700/cm (2.8 - 3.7 micrometer) spectra of objects whose extinction is dominated by dust in the diffuse interstellar medium. The observations presented here augment an ongoing study of the organic component of the diffuse interstellar medium. These spectra contain a broad feature centered near 3300/cm (3.0 micrometers) and/or a feature with a more complex profile near 2950/cm (3.4 micrometers), the latter of which is attributed to saturated aliphatic hydrocarbons in interstellar grains and is the primary interest of this paper. As in our earlier work, the similarity of the absorption bands near 2950/cm (3.4 micrometers) along different lines of sight and the correlation of these features with interstellar extinction reveal that the carrier of this band lies in the dust in the diffuse interstellar medium (DISM). At least 2.5% of the cosmic carbon in the local interstellar medium and 4% toward the Galactic center is tied up in the carrier of the 2950/cm (3.4 micrometer) band. The spectral structure of the diffuse dust hydrocarbon C-H stretch absorption features is reasonably similar to UV photolyzed laboratory ice residues and is quite similar to the carbonaceous component of the Murchison meteorite. The similarity between the DISM and the meteoritic spectrum suggests that some of the interstellar material originally incorporated into the solar nebula may have survived relatively untouched in primitive solar system bodies. Comparisons of the DISM spectrum to hydrogenated amorphous carbon and quenched carbonaceous composite are also presented. The A(sub V)/tau ratio for the 2950/cm (3.4 micrometer) feature is lower toward the Galactic center than toward sources in the local solar neighborhood (approximately 150 for the Galactic center sources vs. approximately 250 for the local ISM sources). A similar trend has been observed previously for silicates in the diffuse medium by Roche & Aitken, suggesting that (1) the silicate and carbonaceous

  7. Mapping of the Local Interstellar Medium using Absorption Line Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penprase, Bryan Edward

    2017-01-01

    Using the Yale SMARTS 1.5-meter telescope at CTIO and the CHIRON spectrograph, we have developed a program for mapping the local interstellar medium using a sample of over 200 newly observed B stars previously unobserved using Na I absorption lines. This sample includes stars that extend out to map beyond the local bubble to 500 pc. The sample has been observed using high resolution absorption lines, and when combined with previously observed stars with Na I and Ca II data provides a more complete picture of the local ISM than previous surveys. The distances to the stars using the new GAIA database also allows for more accurate determination of distances to features in the lcoal ISM, and new maps of the structure of the ISM hav been prepared with the data.

  8. Interstellar absorption lines in the spectrum of Gamma Velorum

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morton, D. C.; Bhavsar, S. P.

    1979-01-01

    Copernicus scans of selected interstellar absorption lines in the UV spectrum of Gamma Vel are analyzed, together with ground-based data, to obtain column densities for various ion states of C, N, O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, Ar, Ca, Mn, Fe, and CO. N I and O I are fitted to a single empirical curve of growth with a velocity parameter (b) of 8 km/s; Mg II, Si II, P II, S II, Mn II, and Fe II are fitted to another curve with b between 3 and 9 km/s. Abundance determinations relative to H I show that: (1) C, N, P, S, and Ar are probably close to their solar values; (2) O may be depleted by about a factor of 2; (3) Mg, Al, Si, Cl, Mn, and Fe are depleted by a factor of 4 or more: (4) Al is depleted by at least a factor of 10 in the H II region; and (5) both N V and O VI are present, but not C IV. The N V/O VI ratio implies that the electron temperature in the H II region is about 275,000 K.

  9. 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.

  10. Variable interstellar absorption toward HD 72127A. II - 1981-1988

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hobbs, L. M.; Ferlet, R.; Welty, D. E.; Wallerstein, G.

    1991-01-01

    The present study examines eight new echelle spectra of HD 72127A found between 1981 and 1988 near the Ca II K line, along with four similar spectra near the Na I D lines. In addition to the unrivaled intensity and width of this interstellar K line formed at a distance of not more than 500 pc, which were previously discovered by Thackeray (1974), the spectra show clearly the unique temporal variability of the interstellar absorption along this light path, which was reported in an earlier study by Hobbs et al. (1982). The new results strengthen further the hypothesis that the interstellar absorption toward this star occurs predominantly in the disturbed gas located within the SNR, in which the interstellar grains have been largely destroyed. The variable interstellar lines were found to consist of at least 120 components at the K line and of at least eight generally corresponding components at the D lines. The total column densities summed over all of these interstellar clouds varied irregularly by about 45 percent in five and about 38 percent in ten years, respectively.

  11. Ultraviolet spectra of quenched carbonaceous composite derivatives: Comparison to the '217 nanometer' interstellar absorption feature

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sakata, Akira; Wada, Setsuko; Tokunaga, Alan T.; Narisawa, Takatoshi; Nakagawa, Hidehiro; Ono, Hiroshi

    1994-01-01

    QCCs (quenched carbonaceous composite) are amorphus carbonaceous material formed from a hydrocarbon plasma. We present the UV-visible spectra of 'filmy QCC; (obtained outside of the beam ejected from the hydrocarbon plasma) and 'dark QCC' (obtained very near to the beam) for comparison to the stellar extinction curve. When filmy QCC is heated to 500-700 C (thermally altered), the wavelength of the absorption maximum increases form 204 nm to 220-222 nm. The dark QCC has an absorption maximum at 217-222 nm. In addition, the thermally altered filmy QCC has a slope change at about 500 nm which resmbles that in the interstellar extinction curve. The resemblance of the extinction curve of the QCCs to that of the interstellar medium suggests that QCC derivatives may be representative of the type of interstellar material that produces the 217 nm interstellar medium feature. The peak extinction of the dark QCC is higher than the average interstellar extinction curve while that of the thermally altered filmy QCC is lower, so that a mixture of dark and thermally altered filmy QCC can match the peak extinction observed in the interstellar medium. It is shown from electron micrographs that most of the thermally altered flimy QCC is in the form of small grainy structure less than 4 nm in diameter. This shows that the structure unit causing the 217-222 nm feature in QCC is very small.

  12. 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.

  13. Ultraviolet interstellar absorption lines from low-z galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahu, M. S.

    1997-05-01

    The importance of studying absorption lines from z<<0.1 galaxies are discussed. The Mg II λλ2796 and 2803 Å doublet absorption is sensitive to low column density gas and has been used to search for absorption lines from low-z galaxies. Recent studies of abundances and depletion patterns toward the Small Magellanic Cloud (Welty et al. 1997) and the NGC 1705 sightline (Sahu & Blades, 1997) are reviewed.

  14. Interstellar Mg II and C IV absorption toward Markarian 205 by NGC 4319 - An 'optically thick' QSO absorption system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowen, David V.; Blades, J. C.

    1993-01-01

    We have used the Goddard High-Resolution Spectrograph aboard HST to detect interstellar Mg II and C IV absorption lines toward Mrk 205, a QSO whose sightline passes within 3/h kpc of the foreground galaxy NGC 4319. Absorption is detected from both local Milky Way gas and from NGC 4319, making this the first observation of an isolated, low-redshift galaxy causing an 'optically thick' QSO absorption system. We also observed for the first time Mg II absorption from two local High Velocity Clouds along this same sightline. The data support the premise that metal absorption lines seen at higher redshift in QSO spectra originate in gas associated with intervening galaxies. However, neither the strong absorption by (half) of our own Galaxy, nor the weak absorption by NGC 4319, may be typical of absorbers in general.

  15. 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).

  16. 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.

  17. Infrared absorption and emission characteristics of interstellar PAHs. [Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

    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 and are responsible for the emission.

  18. 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.

  19. Ultraviolet interstellar absorption lines in the LMC: Searching for hidden SNRs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chu, You-Hua; Wakker, Bart; Low, Mordecai-Mark Mac; Garcia-Segura, Guillermo

    1994-01-01

    Strong x-ray emission detected in Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) superbubbles has been explained as the result of interior supernova remnants (SNRs) hitting the dense superbubble shell. Such SNRs cannot be found using conventional criteria. We thus investigate the possibility of using the interstellar absorption properties in the ultraviolet (UV) as a diagnostic of hidden SNR shocks. The International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) archives provide the database for this pilot study. They contain high-dispersion spectra of several stars in x-ray bright superbubbles. To distinguish the effects of SNR shocks from those of local stellar winds and a global hot halo around the LMC, we included control objects in different environments. We find that almost all interstellar absorption properties can be explained by the interstellar environment associated with the objects. Summarizing the two most important results of this study: (1) a large velocity shift between the high-ionization species (C IV and Si IV) and the low-ionization species (S II, Si II, and C II*) is a diagnostic of hidden SNR shocks; however, the absence of a velocity shift does not preclude the existence of SNR shocks; (2) there is no evidence that the LMC is uniformly surrounded by hot gas; hot gas is preferentially found associated with large interstellar structures like superbubbles and supergiant shells, which may extend to large distances from the plane.

  20. Observational Evidence Linking Interstellar UV Absorption to PAH Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blasberger, Avi; Behar, Ehud; Perets, Hagai B.; Brosch, Noah; Tielens, Alexander G. G. M.

    2017-02-01

    The 2175 Å UV extinction feature was discovered in the mid-1960s, yet its physical origin remains poorly understood. One suggestion is absorption by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules, which is supported by theoretical molecular structure computations and by laboratory experiments. PAHs are positively detected by their 3.3, 6.2, 7.7, 8.6, 11.3, and 12.7 μm IR emission bands, which are specified by their modes of vibration. A definitive empirical link between the 2175 Å UV extinction and the IR PAH emission bands, however, is still missing. We present a new sample of hot stars that have both 2175 Å absorption and IR PAH emission. We find significant shifts of the central wavelength of the UV absorption feature, up to 2350 Å, but predominantly in stars that also have IR PAH emission. These UV shifts depend on stellar temperature in a fashion that is similar to the shifts of the 6.2 and 7.7 μm IR PAH bands, that is, the features are increasingly more redshifted as the stellar temperature decreases, but only below ∼15 kK. Above 15 kK both UV and IR features retain their nominal values. Moreover, we find a suggestive correlation between the UV and IR shifts. We hypothesize that these similar dependences of both the UV and IR features on stellar temperature hint at a common origin of the two in PAH molecules and may establish the missing link between the UV and IR observations. We further suggest that the shifts depend on molecular size, and that the critical temperature of ∼15 kK above which no shifts are observed is related to the onset of UV-driven hot-star winds and their associated shocks.

  1. A survey of local interstellar hydrogen from OAO-2 observations of Lyman alpha absorption

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savage, B. D.; Jenkins, E. B.

    1972-01-01

    The Wisconsin far ultraviolet spectrometer aboard OAO-2 observed the wavelength region near 1216 A for 69 stars of spectral type B2 or earlier. From the strength of the observed interstellar L sub alpha absorption, atomic hydrogen column densities were derived over distances averaging 300 pc away from the sun. The OAO data were compared to synthetic ultraviolet spectra, originally derived from earlier higher resolution rocket observations, which were computer processed to simulate the effects of absorption by different amounts of hydrogen followed by the instrumental blending.

  2. Interstellar X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy of the Crab Pulsar with the LETGS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paerels, Frits; Weisskopf, Martin C.; Tennant, Allyn F.; ODell, Stephen L.; Swartz, Douglas A.; Kahn, Steven M.; Behar, Ehud; Becker, Werner; Whitaker, Ann F. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    We study the interstellar X-ray absorption along the line of sight to the Crab Pulsar. The Crab was observed with the Low Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer on the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the pulsar, a point source, produces a full resolution spectrum. The continuum spectrum appears smooth, and we compare its parameters with other measurements of the pulsar spectrum. The spectrum clearly shows absorption edges due to interstellar Ne, Fe, and O. The O edge shows spectral structure that is probably due to O bound in molecules or dust. We search for near-edge structure (EXAFS) in the O absorption spectrum. The Fe L absorption spectrum is largely due to a set of unresolved discrete n=2-3 transitions in neutral or near-neutral Fe, and we analyze it using a new set of dedicated atomic structure calculations, which provide absolute cross sections. In addition to being interesting in its own right, the ISM absorption needs to be understood in quantitative detail in order to derive spectroscopic constraints on possible soft thermal radiation from the pulsar.

  3. Interstellar Absorption Lines in the Spectrum of the Starburst Galaxy NGC 1705

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahu, M. S.

    1998-09-01

    A Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph archival study of the interstellar absorption lines in the line of sight to the H i-rich, starburst dwarf galaxy NGC 1705 in the 1170 to 1740 Å range at ~120 km s^-1 resolution is presented. The absorption features arising because of photospheric lines are distinctly different from the interstellar lines: the photospheric lines are weak, broad (equivalent widths >1 Å), asymmetric, and centered around the systemic LSR velocity of NGC 1705 (~610 km s^-1). The interstellar lines consist of three relatively narrow components at LSR velocities of -20, 260, and 540 km s^-1, and include absorption by neutral atoms (N i lambda1200 triplet and O i lambda1302), singly ionized atoms (Si ii lambdalambda1190, 1193, 1260, 1304, and 1526, S ii lambda1253, C ii lambda1334, C ii^* lambda1336, Fe ii lambda1608, and Al ii lambda1670), and atoms in higher ionization states (Si iii lambda1206, Si iv lambdalambda1393, 1402, and C iv lambdalambda1548, 1550). The Si iv and C iv absorption features have both interstellar and photospheric contributions. In an earlier study, Sahu & Blades identified the absorption system at -20 km s^-1 with Milky Way disk/halo gas, and the 260 km s^-1 system with a small, isolated high-velocity cloud HVC 487, which is probably associated with Magellanic Stream gas. The 540 km s^-1 absorption system is associated with a kiloparsec-scale expanding, ionized supershell centered on the super-star cluster NGC 1705-1. The analysis presented in this paper consists of (1) a list of all interstellar absorption features with greater than 3 sigma significance and their measured equivalent widths, (2) plots of the lines in the various atomic species together with the results of nonlinear least-squares fit profiles to the observed data, and (3) unpublished 21 cm maps from the Wakker & van Woerden survey showing the large-scale H i distribution in the region near the NGC 1705 sight line and HVC 487. Furthermore, weak N i lambda1200

  4. TEMPORAL VARIABILITY OF INTERSTELLAR Na I ABSORPTION TOWARD THE MONOCEROS LOOP

    SciTech Connect

    Dirks, Cody; Meyer, David M. E-mail: davemeyer@northwestern.edu

    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{sup −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. Ion irradiation of carbonaceous interstellar analogues. Effects of cosmic rays on the 3.4 μm interstellar absorption band

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godard, M.; Féraud, G.; Chabot, M.; Carpentier, Y.; Pino, T.; Brunetto, R.; Duprat, J.; Engrand, C.; Bréchignac, P.; D'Hendecourt, L.; Dartois, E.

    2011-05-01

    Context. A 3.4 μm absorption band (around 2900 cm-1), assigned to aliphatic C-H stretching modes of hydrogenated amorphous carbons (a-C:H), is widely observed in the diffuse interstellar medium, but disappears or is modified in dense clouds. This spectral difference between different phases of the interstellar medium reflects the processing of dust in different environments. Cosmic ray bombardment is one of the interstellar processes that make carbonaceous dust evolve. Aims: We investigate the effects of cosmic rays on the interstellar 3.4 μm absorption band carriers. Methods: Samples of carbonaceous interstellar analogues (a-C:H and soot) were irradiated at room temperature by swift ions with energy in the MeV range (from 0.2 to 160 MeV). The dehydrogenation and chemical bonding modifications that occurred during irradiation were studied with IR spectroscopy. Results: For all samples and all ions/energies used, we observed a decrease of the aliphatic C-H absorption bands intensity with the ion fluence. This evolution agrees with a model that describes the hydrogen loss as caused by the molecular recombination of two free H atoms created by the breaking of C-H bonds by the impinging ions. The corresponding destruction cross section and asymptotic hydrogen content are obtained for each experiment and their behaviour over a large range of ion stopping powers are inferred. Using elemental abundances and energy distributions of galactic cosmic rays, we investigated the implications of these results in different astrophysical environments. The results are compared to the processing by UV photons and H atoms in different regions of the interstellar medium. Conclusions: The destruction of aliphatic C-H bonds by cosmic rays occurs in characteristic times of a few 108 years, and it appears that even at longer time scales, cosmic rays alone cannot explain the observed disappearance of this spectral signature in dense regions. In diffuse interstellar medium, the formation

  6. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Interstellar Ca I absorption (Welty+, 2003)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welty, D. E.; Hobbs, L. M.; Morton, D. C.

    2003-07-01

    We present high-resolution (FWHM~0.3-1.5km/s) spectra, obtained with the AAT UHRF, the McDonald Observatory 2.7m coude spectrograph, and/or the KPNO coude feed, of interstellar Ca I absorption toward 30 Galactic stars. Comparisons of the column densities of Ca I, Ca II, K I, and other species - for individual components identified in the line profiles and also when integrated over entire lines of sight - yield information on relative electron densities and depletions (dependent on assumptions regarding the ionization equilibrium). (2 data files).

  7. High-resolution IUE observations of interstellar absorption lines in the Vela supernova remnant

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jenkins, E. B.; Wallerstein, G.; Silk, J.

    1984-01-01

    Ultraviolet spectra of 45 stars in the vicinity of the Vela supernova remnant were recorded by the short-wavelength echelle spectrograph aboard the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE). Over one-third of the stars show interstellar absorption lines at large radial velocities (greater than 60 km/s). The mapping of these high-velocity components in the sky suggests the motions are chaotic, rather than from a coherent expansion of the remnant material. In accord with earlier conclusions from Copernicus data, the gas at high velocity exhibits higher than normal ionization and shows substantially less depletion of nonvolatile elements than normal interstellar material at low velocities. Relatively strong lines from neutral carbon in the two excited fine-structure states indicate that the neutral clouds within the remnant have had their pressures enhanced by the passage of the blast wave from the supernova. Also, the remnant seems to show a significant enhancement in the abundances of low-velocity Si IV, C IV, and N V over those found in the general interstellar medium.

  8. 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

  9. High-resolution optical and ultraviolet absorption-line studies of interstellar gas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cowie, Lennox L.; Songaila, Antoinette

    1986-01-01

    Recent progress in the characterization of the interstellar medium (ISM) by means of optical and UV spectral data is summarized. The gas is studied by focusing on background stars whose spectra can be accurately modeled to provide the light source for the absorption-line scans. The capabilities of earth- and space-based instruments which have been and are used for the surveys are delineated. The distributions of diffuse gas densities and characteristics of the cold, warm and hot gas in the Galaxy are described in terms of the elemental abundances, kinetics and distributions of the gas. Particular note is taken of gas in the solar neighborhood and around SNR, and of absorption-line data of cosmological significance.

  10. Oxygen, Neon, and Iron X-Ray Absorption in the Local Interstellar Medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gatuzz, Efrain; Garcia, Javier; Kallman, Timothy R.; Mendoza, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Mapping atomic and diffuse interstellar band absorption across the Magellanic Clouds and the Milky Way

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailey, Mandy; van Loon, Jacco Th.; Sarre, Peter J.; Beckman, John E.

    2015-12-01

    Diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) trace warm neutral and weakly ionized diffuse interstellar medium (ISM). Here we present a dedicated, high signal-to-noise spectroscopic survey of two of the strongest DIBs, at 5780 and 5797 Å, in optical spectra of 666 early-type stars in the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds, along with measurements of the atomic Na I D and Ca II K lines. The resulting maps show for the first time the distribution of DIB carriers across large swathes of galaxies, as well as the foreground Milky Way ISM. We confirm the association of the 5797 Å DIB with neutral gas, and the 5780 Å DIB with more translucent gas, generally tracing the star-forming regions within the Magellanic Clouds. Likewise, the Na I D line traces the denser ISM whereas the Ca II K line traces the more diffuse, warmer gas. The Ca II K line has an additional component at ˜200-220 km s-1 seen towards both Magellanic Clouds; this may be associated with a pan-Magellanic halo. Both the atomic lines and DIBs show sub-pc-scale structure in the Galactic foreground absorption; the 5780 and 5797 Å DIBs show very little correlation on these small scales, as do the Ca II K and Na I D lines. This suggests that good correlations between the 5780 and 5797 Å DIBs, or between Ca II K and Na I D, arise from the superposition of multiple interstellar structures. Similarity in behaviour between DIBs and Na I in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and Milky Way suggests the abundance of DIB carriers scales in proportion to metallicity.

  13. Interstellar absorptions and shocked clouds towards the supernova remnant RX J0852.0-4622

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pakhomov, Yu. V.; Chugai, N. N.; Iyudin, A. F.

    2012-08-01

    We present the results from a survey of interstellar absorptions towards the supernova remnant (SNR) RX J0852.0-4622. The distribution of K I absorbers along the distance of the background stars is indicative of a local region (d < 600 pc) strongly depopulated by K I line-absorbing clouds. This fact is supported by the behaviour of the interstellar extinction. We find four high-velocity Ca II components with velocities of >100 km s-1 towards three stars and we identify these with shocked clouds of the Vela SNR. We reveal and measure the acceleration of two shocked clouds on the approaching and receding sides of the Vela SNR along the same line of sight. The acceleration, velocity and Ca II column density of the clouds are used to probe their parameters. The total hydrogen column density of both accelerating clouds is found to be similar (˜6 × 1017 cm-2), which indicates that there is possibly a significant number of small-sized clouds in the vicinity of the Vela SNR. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile, 080.D-0012(A)

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. INTERSTELLAR METASTABLE HELIUM ABSORPTION AS A PROBE OF THE COSMIC-RAY IONIZATION RATE

    SciTech Connect

    Indriolo, Nick; McCall, Benjamin J.; Hobbs, L. M.; Hinkle, K. H.

    2009-10-01

    The ionization rate of interstellar material by cosmic rays has been a major source of controversy, with different estimates varying by three orders of magnitude. Observational constraints of this rate have all depended on analyzing the chemistry of various molecules that are produced following cosmic-ray ionization, and in many cases these analyses contain significant uncertainties. Even in the simplest case (H{sup +} {sub 3}), the derived ionization rate depends on an (uncertain) estimate of the absorption path length. In this paper, we examine the feasibility of inferring the cosmic-ray ionization rate using the 10830 A absorption line of metastable helium. Observations through the diffuse clouds toward HD 183143 are presented, but yield only an upper limit on the metastable helium column density. A thorough investigation of He{sup +} chemistry reveals that only a small fraction of He{sup +} will recombine into the triplet state and populate the metastable level. In addition, excitation to the triplet manifold of helium by secondary electrons must be accounted for as it is the dominant mechanism which produces He* in some environments. Incorporating these various formation and destruction pathways, we derive new equations for the steady state abundance of metastable helium. Using these equations in concert with our observations, we find zeta{sub He} < 1.2 x 10{sup -15} s{sup -1}, an upper limit about 5 times larger than the ionization rate previously inferred for this sight line using H{sup +} {sub 3}. While observations of interstellar He* are extremely difficult at present, and the background chemistry is not nearly as simple as previously thought, potential future observations of metastable helium would provide an independent check on the cosmic-ray ionization rate derived from H{sup +} {sub 3} in diffuse molecular clouds, and, perhaps more importantly, allow the first direct measurements of the ionization rate in diffuse atomic clouds.

  17. Interstellar NaI absorption towards the stellar association ARA OB1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whiteoak, J. B.; Gardner, F. F.

    Observations have been made of the interstellar D-line absorption of Na I towards a loose grouping of OB stars (containing the association Ara OB1 and probably the H-alpha emission regions RCW 107 and 108) centered at 1 = 337.5 deg and b = - 0.5 deg. The individual absorption spectra contain several velocity components which show well-defined groupings at - 37, -18 and 0 km/s. The corresponding median optical depths are 2, 7 and 6. The evidence indicates that both the -37 and -18 km/s Na I clouds are located in the Carina-Sagittarius spiral arm. Several H II regions are located at similar longitudes, but most are close to zero latitude and are more distant than the arm. The association contains the galactic cluster NGC 61993. The results suggest that the turbulence seen optically towards this cluster has been caused by the interaction between two cloud groups moving towards each other at velocities of 10 to 15 km/s.

  18. Spatial and temporal variations in interstellar absorption towards HD 72127AB

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welty, Daniel E.; Simon, Thuso; Hobbs, L. M.

    2008-07-01

    New optical spectra of CaII and NaI towards HD 72127AB provide additional evidence for both spatial and temporal variations in the complex interstellar absorption along the two sightlines; archival ultraviolet spectra yield information on the abundances, depletions and physical conditions in the gas towards HD 72127A. Similarities in the strengths of various tracers of interstellar material in the two lines of sight suggest that the total hydrogen column densities (N ~ 2.5 × 1020cm-2) and the depletions and ionization in the main components at low local standard of rest (LSR) velocities also are similar. Towards HD 72127A, the main components are relatively cool (T <~ 900 K), but with depletions resembling those found in warm, diffuse disc clouds; the generally weaker components at higher velocities have much milder depletions, more like those found in halo clouds. Several trace neutral species - CaI, CrI and FeI - are much stronger towards HD 72127B, however. The column density of CrI, for example, is about 30 times the value determined towards ζ Oph (the only previous detection of that species in the ISM). Dielectronic recombination in warmer gas (T >~ 5000 K) may be largely responsible for the enhanced abundances of those trace neutral species towards HD 72127B. If the main components towards HD 72127AB are associated with material in the Vela supernova remnant, the differences in abundances and physical conditions occur on scales of about 1100 au. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile, under programme 72.C-0682, and on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. Visiting observer, European Southern Observatory. ‡ E-mail: welty@oddjob.uchicago.edu (DEW); thuso@unm.edu (TS); hobbs@yerkes.uchicago.edu (LMH)

  19. 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

  20. Absorption and scattering by interstellar dust in the silicon K-edge of GX 5-1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeegers, S. T.; Costantini, E.; de Vries, C. P.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Chihara, H.; de Groot, F.; Mutschke, H.; Waters, L. B. F. M.; Zeidler, S.

    2017-03-01

    Context. We study the absorption and scattering of X-ray radiation by interstellar dust particles, which allows us to access the physical and chemical properties of dust. The interstellar dust composition is not well understood, especially on the densest sight lines of the Galactic plane. X-rays provide a powerful tool in this study. Aims: We present newly acquired laboratory measurements of silicate compounds taken at the Soleil synchrotron facility in Paris using the Lucia beamline. The dust absorption profiles resulting from this campaign were used in this pilot study to model the absorption by interstellar dust along the line of sight of the low-mass X-ray binary GX 5-1. Methods: The measured laboratory cross-sections were adapted for astrophysical data analysis and the resulting extinction profiles of the Si K-edge were implemented in the SPEX spectral fitting program. We derive the properties of the interstellar dust along the line of sight by fitting the Si K-edge seen in absorption in the spectrum of GX 5-1. Results: We measured the hydrogen column density towards GX 5-1 to be 3.40 ± 0.1 × 1022 cm-2. The best fit of the silicon edge in the spectrum of GX 5-1 is obtained by a mixture of olivine and pyroxene. In this study, our modeling is limited to Si absorption by silicates with different Mg:Fe ratios. We obtained an abundance of silicon in dust of 4.0 ± 0.3 × 10-5 per H atom and a lower limit for total abundance, considering both gas and dust of >4.4 × 10-5 per H atom, which leads to a gas to dust ratio of >0.22. Furthermore, an enhanced scattering feature in the Si K-edge may suggest the presence of large particles along the line of sight.

  1. The Role of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Dense Cloud Absorption Features: The Last Major Unanswered Question in Interstellar Ice Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiar, Jean

    Interstellar dust plays a vital role in the star formation process and the eventual formation of planetary systems including our own. Ice mantles are an important component of the dust: reactions involving simple ices can create more complex (and astrobiologically interesting) molecules, and ices sublimated back into the gas phase influence the gas- phase chemistry. Although polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are commonly thought to be very abundant interstellar species and, as such, are likely to be important components of interstellar ices, their contribution to the infrared spectra and chemistry of ices in dense molecular clouds is an open question. This program makes extensive use of three major NASA-funded databases: the Spitzer archive, the 2MASS archive, and the NASA Ames PAH database in order to answer the last major unanswered question in interstellar ice spectroscopy: what role do PAHs play in contributing to unidentified absorption features observed in dense cloud spectra. PAHs are observed to be present and abundant in nearly all phases of the galactic and extragalactic interstellar medium. The evidence for the ubiquity of interstellar PAHs is the widespread well-known family of prominent emission bands at 3.28, 6.2, 7.7, 8.6, and 11.2 micron. To date, these PAH bands have been most easily detected in regions where individual gas phase PAH molecules (neutrals and ions) become highly vibrationally excited by the ambient radiation field. While PAHs and closely related aromatic materials should be present throughout dense interstellar regions, PAH emission is quenched in cold dark dense clouds. Also, in these regions, most PAHs should efficiently condense out onto dust grains, either as "pure" solids or as "guest molecules" in icy grain mantles, much as is the case for most other interstellar molecules. Thus, in dense molecular clouds, condensed PAHs will give rise to IR absorption bands rather than emission features. While PAH absorption has been

  2. [C II] absorption and emission in the diffuse interstellar medium across the Galactic plane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerin, M.; Ruaud, M.; Goicoechea, J. R.; Gusdorf, A.; Godard, B.; de Luca, M.; Falgarone, E.; Goldsmith, P.; Lis, D. C.; Menten, K. M.; Neufeld, D.; Phillips, T. G.; Liszt, H.

    2015-01-01

    Aims: Ionized carbon is the main gas-phase reservoir of carbon in the neutral diffuse interstellar medium (ISM) and its 158 μm fine structure transition [C ii] is the most important cooling line of the diffuse ISM. We combine [C ii] absorption and emission spectroscopy to gain an improved understanding of physical conditions in the different phases of the ISM. Methods: We present high-resolution [C ii] spectra obtained with the Herschel/HIFI instrument towards bright dust continuum regions in the Galactic plane, probing simultaneously the diffuse gas along the line of sight and the background high-mass star forming regions. These data are complemented by single pointings in the 492 and 809 GHz fine structure lines of atomic carbon and by medium spectral resolution spectral maps of the fine structure lines of atomic oxygen at 63 and 145 μm with Herschel/PACS. Results: We show that the presence of foreground absorption may completely cancel the emission from the background source in medium spectral resolution PACS data and that high spectral resolution spectra are needed to interpret the [C ii] and [O i] emission and the [C ii]/FIR ratio. This phenomenon may explain part of the [C ii]/FIR deficit seen in external luminous infrared galaxies where the bright emission from the nuclear regions may be partially canceled by absorption from diffuse gas in the foreground. The C+ and C excitation in the diffuse gas is consistent with a median pressure of ~5900 K cm-3 for a mean kinetic temperature of ~100 K. A few higher pressure regions are detected along the lines of sight, as emission features in both fine structure lines of atomic carbon. The knowledge of the gas density allows us to determine the filling factor of the absorbing gas along the selected lines of sight. The derived median value of the filling factor is 2.4%, in good agreement with the properties of the Galactic cold neutral medium. The mean excitation temperature is used to derive the average cooling due

  3. 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.

  4. An IUE survey of interstellar H I LY alpha absorption. 2: Interpretations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diplas, Athanassios; Savage, Blair D.

    1994-05-01

    We present an analysis of interstellar neutral hydrogen column densities obtained from archival Ly alpha absorption line data toward the complete sample of B2 and hotter stars observed at high spectral resolution with the IUE satellite. The full sample includes 554 stars and more than doubles the number of lines of sight previously observed. Many of the B2 and B1.5 stars exhibit contamination from stellar Ly alpha absorption, and were excluded from the subsequent analysis. The final working sample includes 393 stars. We present statistical averages for a number of quantities derived for the sample. The stars range in distance from 0.12 to 11 kpc with an average distance of 2.1 kpc. Values for average sight-line density range from 0.017 to 8.62 atoms cm-3, with an overall average of 0.23 atoms cm-3. Neutral hydrogen and dust are well correlated, with N(H I)/E(B - V) = 4.93 x 1021 cm-2 mag-1, and N(H I)/E(Bump) = 2.17 x 1021 cm-2 mag-1. There is an increase in the H I to dust ratios for the densest sight lines. Evidently, the H I to dust ratios in dense clouds are higher than in the lower density medium between the clouds and in interarm directions. The effect is probably an indication of dust modification in the dense clouds. The H I to dust ratios are approx. 17% smaller for the sight lines to O stars compared to the ratios found toward B stars. We have identified sight lines with anomalously large and small values of N(H I)/E(B - V) and H(H I)/E(Bump). Some of these sight lines are well-known examples of peculiar extinction (i.e., HD 147933 and HD 37061 (NU Ori)). Others are less well known and may provide important new examples of regions with highly modified dust. The number of stars with anomalously low H I to dust ratios is disproportionately larger than the number of stars with anomalously high H I to dust ratios. The distribution of the gas away form the Galactic plane for the sample of objects is complex. For the subset of 375 stars whose lines of sight

  5. 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.

  6. SODIUM ABSORPTION SYSTEMS TOWARD SN Ia 2014J ORIGINATE ON INTERSTELLAR SCALES

    SciTech Connect

    Maeda, K.; Nogami, D.; Tajitsu, A.; Kawabata, K. S.; Foley, R. J.; Honda, S.; Arai, A.; Moritani, Y.; Ishigaki, M.; Nomoto, K.; Schramm, M.; Tanaka, M.; Aoki, W.; Hashimoto, O.; Simon, J. D.; Phillips, M. M.; Yamanaka, M.; Milisavljevic, D.; Soderberg, A. M.; Mazzali, P. A.; and others

    2016-01-10

    Na i D absorbing systems toward Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) have been intensively studied over the last decade with the aim of finding circumstellar material (CSM), which is an indirect probe of the progenitor system. However, it is difficult to deconvolve CSM components from non-variable, and often dominant, components created by interstellar material (ISM). We present a series of high-resolution spectra of SN Ia 2014J from before maximum brightness to ≳250 days after maximum brightness. The late-time spectrum provides unique information for determining the origin of the Na i D absorption systems. The deep late-time observation allows us to probe the environment around the SN at a large scale, extending to ≳40 pc. We find that a spectrum of diffuse light in the vicinity, but not directly in the line of sight, of the SN has absorbing systems nearly identical to those obtained for the “pure” SN line of sight. Therefore, basically all Na i D systems seen toward SN 2014J must originate from foreground material that extends to at least ∼40 pc in projection and none at the CSM scale. A fluctuation in the column densities at a scale of ∼20 pc is also identified. After subtracting the diffuse, “background” spectrum, the late-time Na i D profile along the SN line of sight is consistent with profiles near maximum brightness. The lack of variability on a ∼1 year timescale is consistent with the ISM interpretation for the gas.

  7. Inter-Stellar Medium Absorption Lines As Outflow Tracers - A Comparison Between AGNs And SFGs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Talia, Margherita; Cimatti, A.; Brusa, M.

    2016-10-01

    To reproduce the properties of galaxies in the local Universe, as well as the scaling relations between host galaxies and black holes properties, many galaxy formation models invoke the presence of fast and energetic winds extending over galaxy scales. These massive gas outflows can be powered either by star-formation (SF) or AGN activity, though the relative dominance and efficiency of the different mechanisms is not yet fully understoodIn the last decade much effort has been put in the search for observational evidence of such phenomena, especially at the peak of both SF and AGN activity through cosmic time (1inter-stellar medium (ISM) absorption lines in the UV regime, as well as broad, blue-shifted profiles in optical emission lines have been observed in galaxies at all redshifts and are usually interpreted as evidence of fast material moving towards our line of sight. More recently, especially thanks to new facilities like ALMA, outflows are being observed also in neutral and molecular gasIn order to study the differences and possible synergy between the two main driving outflow mechanisms (AGN or SF activity) and to understand the role that outflows might play in SF quenching and galaxy evolution, we collected a large sample of AGNs and SFGs at z>1.7 from large optical spectroscopic surveys (zCOSMOS, VUDS, ESO public surveys), complemented with HST imaging, X-ray (Chandra) and IR data. The richness of available data for our sample allowed us to map a large portion of the physical parameters space. We concentrated our analysis on the ISM absorption lines in the rest-frame UV wavelength range. Through stacking tecniques we studied the relation between such lines and AGN and SFG properties. I will present our results (Talia et al

  8. Probing the interstellar medium in Puppis-Vela through optical absorption line spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cha, Alexandra Nicole Stuehler

    2000-06-01

    The interstellar medium (ISM) toward Puppis-Vela (l = 245° to 275°, b = -15° to +5°) has been studied using high resolution, R ~ 75,000-90,000, high signal-to-noise, S/N ~ 100, optical Na I and Ca II absorption spectra along several hundred lines of sight. The distance of the Vela supernova remnant was found to be at d ~ 250 pc, a factor of two less than the canonical value. Lines of sight passing through the Vela supernova remnant were seen to have optical spectra that varied over epochs of a few years, including those toward HD 72089, HD 72127, HD 72997, HD 73658, HD 74455, HD 75309, and HD 75821. The variability of the first three lines of sight had been previously documented, but variability in the spectra toward the latter four stars had not been observed. An analysis of the Local ISM (d < 200 pc) toward Puppis-Vela is presented, and using both Na I absorption features and accurate distances to the stars, courtesy of Hipparcos trigonometric parallax data, spatially compact, homogeneous velocity components were mapped. In the Local ISM, the Puppis-Vela region abuts the apparent extension of the Local Bubble (or Cavity) known as the β CMa tunnel, and the compiled Na I lines of sight suggest that within 200 pc, the extent of the tunnel is confined to a region smaller than was previously thought. The technique of identifying and mapping individual velocity components in three dimensions was extended to the Puppis-Vela ISM out to d ~ 1 kpc, and a total of 7 velocity components were identified. Gas with velocities higher than that expected in the ambient ISM combined with higher than normal reddening was detected toward two regions, (l ~ 254°, b ~ -1°) and (l ~ 251°, b ~ -7°), suggesting the presence of previously unidentified structures. Nearby, gas associated with the IRAS Vela Shell was detected in Na I at distances >~ 300 pc. The Na I velocity components from IRAS Vela Shell sight lines were fit with a model of a spherically expanding filled sphere with

  9. Fundamental absorption in solids and the wavelength dependence of interstellar extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duley, W. W.; Whittet, D. C. B.

    1992-03-01

    It is found that the wavelength dependence of interstellar extinction between the 0.44-micron band an 8 microns follows a Tauc-Urbach law characteristic of amorphous semiconductors. This result implies that the majority of extinction in this wavelength range arises predominantly from an amorphous dust component. A comparison between laboratory and interstellar data suggests that this dust is likely to be amorphous carbon. The Tauc-Urbach dependence permits the ratio of total to selective extinction R(V) to be related to the optical properties of this dust component and provides a semiquantitative relation between R(V) and environmental conditions in the interstellar medium. It also supports an important connection between the physics of condensed matter and the optics of interstellar dust.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Theoretical study of electronic absorption spectroscopy of propadienylidene molecule vis-â-vis the observed diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reddy, Samala Nagaprasad; Mahapatra, S.

    2012-07-01

    Observation of broad and diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) at 4881 Å and 5440 Å assigned to the optical absorption spectrum of Y-shaped propadienylidene (H2Cdbnd Cdbnd C:) molecule is theoretically examined in this paper. This molecule apparently absorbs in the same wavelength region as the observed DIBs and was suggested to be a potential carrier of these DIBs. This assignment mostly relied on the experimental data from radioastronomy and laboratory measurements. Motivated by these available experimental data we attempt here a theoretical study and investigate the detailed electronic structure and nuclear dynamics underlying the electronic absorption bands of propadienylidene molecule. Our results show that this molecule indeed absorbs in the wavelength region of the recorded DIBs. Strong nonadiabatic coupling between its energetically low-lying electronic states plays major role, initiates ultrafast internal conversion and contributes to the spectral broadening. Theoretical findings are finally compared with the available experimental and theoretical data and discussed in connection with the recorded DIBs.

  14. 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.

  15. New aspects of absorption line formation in intervening turbulent clouds - II. Monte Carlo simulation of interstellar H+D Lyalpha absorption profiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levshakov, Sergei A.; Kegel, Wilhelm H.; Mazets, Igor E.

    1997-07-01

    Stochastic velocity fields with finite correlation lengths affect the formation of interstellar (intergalactic) absorption lines in a way not accounted for in the standard analysis procedure in which Voigt profiles are fitted to the observed line profiles. We investigate these effects, accounting in particular for the fact that interstellar absorption spectra reflect only one realization of the velocity field, since (i) actually only one line of sight is observed and (ii) the velocity structure of the cloud has to be considered to be `frozen' over the exposure time. This paper presents results of Monte Carlo calculations. In this technique an ensemble of line profiles is computed, each one of which corresponds to one realization of the random velocity field. The most important results are the following. (1) The individual line profiles may deviate substantially from each other and from the ensemble average. (2) Correlated velocity fields may cause complex multicomponent absorption features which in a traditional analysis would be attributed to several clouds, i.e. to density and/or kinetic temperature inhomogeneities. (3) Each line of sight has its own curve-of-growth. (4) Applying the standard analysis to such line profiles may produce misleading results concerning the physical parameters of the cloud. (5) In particular, the apparent scatter of the D/H ratio revealed in the ISM on the basis of the Copernicus, IUE, and HST observations may be caused by an inadequate analysis. Finally, we discuss under which conditions cloud characteristics may be derived from absorption lines without relying on a particular physical model.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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 Å 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 Å) 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 H = 1.38 ± 0.01 × 1021 cm-2 an ionization parameter of log ξ = -2.70 ± 0.023; an oxygen abundance of A_O= 0.689^{+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 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_O=0.952^{+0.020}_{-0.013}, a value close to solar that reinforces the new standard. We identify several atomic absorption lines—Kα, Kβ, and Kγ in O I and O II and Kα 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.

  1. Physical Properties of the Interstellar Medium Using High-resolution Chandra Spectra: O K-edge Absorption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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 O = 0.70. The latter is given relative to the standard by Grevesse & 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 O = 9.2 × 1017 cm-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.

  2. 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.

  3. Interstellar formaldehyde. I - The collisional pumping mechanism for anomalous 6-centimeter absorption.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thaddeus, P.

    1972-01-01

    Investigation of the quantum mechanics of the collisional pumping process which Townes and Cheung (1969) propose as the cause of 'anomalous' formaldehyde absorption in diffuse dark nebulae discussed by Palmer et al. (1969). Quantum effects are taken into account in an attempt to determine whether such nebulae are likely to provide the physical conditions required for the collisional pumping process.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. INTERSTELLAR SODIUM AND CALCIUM ABSORPTION TOWARD SN 2011dh IN M51

    SciTech Connect

    Ritchey, Adam M.; Wallerstein, George E-mail: wall@astro.washington.edu

    2012-03-20

    We present high-resolution echelle observations of SN 2011dh, which exploded in the nearby, nearly face-on spiral galaxy M51. Our data, acquired on three nights when the supernova was near maximum brightness, reveal multiple absorption components in Na I D and Ca II H and K, which we identify with gaseous material in the Galactic disk or low halo and in the disk and halo of M51. The M51 components span a velocity range of over 140 km s{sup -1}, extending well beyond the range exhibited by H I 21 cm emission at the position of the supernova. Since none of the prominent Na I or Ca II components appear to coincide with the peak in H I emission, the supernova may lie just in front of the bulk of the H I disk. The Na I/Ca II ratios for the components with the most extreme positive and negative velocities relative to the disk are {approx}1.0, similar to those for more quiescent components, suggesting that the absorption originates in relatively cool gas. Production scenarios involving a galactic fountain and/or tidal interactions between M51 and its companion would be consistent with these results. The overall weakness of Na I D absorption in the direction of SN 2011dh confirms a low foreground and host galaxy extinction for the supernova.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.…

  12. Interstellar PAHs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allamandola, Louis J.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Tremendous strides have been made in our understanding of interstellar material over the past twenty years thanks to significant, parallel developments in two closely related areas: observational astronomy and laboratory astrophysics. Twenty years ago the composition of interstellar dust was largely guessed at and the notion of abundant, gas phase, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) anywhere in the interstellar medium (ISM) considered impossible. Today the dust composition of the diffuse and dense ISM is reasonably well constrained and the spectroscopic case for interstellar PAHs, shockingly large molecules by early interstellar chemistry standards, is very strong.

  13. High energy electron irradiation of interstellar carbonaceous dust analogs: Cosmic ray effects on the carriers of the 3.4 µm absorption band.

    PubMed

    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 (ISM), 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 vs 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 10(8) yr range and cannot account for the disappearance of this band in dense clouds, which have characteristic lifetimes of 3 × 10(7) 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.

  14. High energy electron irradiation of interstellar carbonaceous dust analogs: Cosmic ray effects on the carriers of the 3.4 µm absorption band

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

    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 (ISM), 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 vs 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. PMID:28133388

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Interstellar H I and H2 in the Magellanic Clouds: An Expanded Sample Based on Ultraviolet Absorption-line Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welty, Daniel E.; Xue, Rui; Wong, Tony

    2012-02-01

    We have determined column densities of H I and/or H2 for sight lines in the Magellanic Clouds from archival Hubble Space Telescope and Far-Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer spectra of H I Lyα and H2 Lyman-band absorption. Together with some similar data from the literature, we now have absorption-based N(H I) and/or N(H2) for 285 Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) sight lines (114 with a detection or limit for both species)—enabling more extensive, direct, and accurate determinations of molecular fractions, gas-to-dust ratios, and elemental depletions in these two nearby, low-metallicity galaxies. For sight lines where the N(H I) estimated from 21 cm emission is significantly higher than the value derived from Lyα absorption (presumably due to emission from gas beyond the target stars), integration of the 21 cm profile only over the velocity range seen in Na I or H2 absorption generally yields much better agreement. Conversely, N(21 cm) can be lower than N(Lyα) by factors of 2-3 in some LMC sight lines—suggestive of small-scale structure within the 21 cm beam(s) and/or some saturation in the emission. The mean gas-to-dust ratios obtained from N(Htot)/E(B - V) are larger than in our Galaxy, by factors of 2.8-2.9 in the LMC and 4.1-5.2 in the SMC—i.e., factors similar to the differences in metallicity. The N(H2)/E(B - V) ratios are more similar in the three galaxies, but with considerable scatter within each galaxy. These data may be used to test models of the atomic-to-molecular transition at low metallicities and predictions of N(H2) based on comparisons of 21 cm emission and the IR emission from dust. ), the MAST archive at STScI (FUSE data), and the University of Bonn (LAB and GASS 21 cm surveys).

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Laboratory Astrochemistry: Interstellar PAHs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are now considered to be an important and ubiquitous component of the organic material in space. PAHs are found in a large variety of extraterrestrial materials such as interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) and meteoritic materials. PAHs are also good candidates to account for the infrared emission bands (UIRs) and the diffuse interstellar optical absorption bands (DIBs) detected in various regions of the interstellar medium. The recent observations made with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) have confirmed the ubiquitous nature of the UIR bands and their carriers. PAHs are thought to form through chemical reactions in the outflow from carbon-rich stars in a process similar to soot formation. Once injected in the interstellar medium, PAHs are further processed by the interstellar radiation field, interstellar shocks and energetic particles. A major, dedicated, laboratory effort has been undertaken to measure the physical and chemical characteristics of these complex molecules and their ions under experimental conditions that mimic the interstellar conditions. These measurements require collision-free conditions where the molecules and ions are cold and chemically isolated. The spectroscopy of PAHs under controlled conditions represents an essential diagnostic tool to study the evolution of extraterrestrial PAHs. The Astrochemistry Laboratory program will be discussed through its multiple aspects: (1) objectives, (2) approach and techniques adopted, (3) adaptability to the nature of the problem(s), and (4) results and implications for astronomy as well as for molecular spectroscopy. A review of the data generated through laboratory simulations of space environments and the role these data have played in our current understanding of the properties of interstellar PAHs will be presented. The discussion will also introduce the newest generation of laboratory experiments that are currently being developed in order to provide a

  1. Interstellar Gas-phase Element Depletions in the Small Magellanic Cloud: A Guide to Correcting for Dust in QSO Absorption Line Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, Edward B.; Wallerstein, George

    2017-04-01

    We present data on the gas-phase abundances for 9 different elements in the interstellar medium of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), based on the strengths of ultraviolet absorption features over relevant velocities in the spectra of 18 stars within the SMC. From this information and the total abundances defined by the element fractions in young stars in the SMC, we construct a general interpretation on how these elements condense into solid form onto dust grains. As a group, the elements Si, S, Cr, Fe, Ni, and Zn exhibit depletion sequences similar to those in the local part of our Galaxy defined by Jenkins. The elements Mg and Ti deplete less rapidly in the SMC than in the Milky Way, and Mn depletes more rapidly. We speculate that these differences might be explained by the different chemical affinities to different existing grain substrates. For instance, there is evidence that the mass fractions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the SMC are significantly lower than those in the Milky Way. We propose that the depletion sequences that we observed for the SMC may provide a better model for interpreting the element abundances in low-metallicity Damped Lyman Alpha (DLA) and sub-DLA absorption systems that are recorded in the spectra of distant quasars and gamma-ray burst afterglows. Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and additional data obtained from the Data Archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Associations of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Incorporated, under NASA contract NAS5-26555. These observations are associated with program nr. 13778.

  2. Discovery of interstellar methane - Observations of gaseous and solid CH4 absorption toward young stars in molecular clouds

    SciTech Connect

    Lacy, J.H.; Evans, N.J., II; Achtermann, J.M.; Carr, J.S.; Baas, F. Hawaii, University, Honolulu Joint Astronomy Center, Hilo, HI )

    1991-08-01

    Several molecular clouds have been searched for absorption at 7.6 microns due to gaseous and solid methane. Gaseous CH4 was detected toward NGC 7538 IRS 9 and probably OMC-1 IRc2 and W33 A. The abundance of gaseous CH4 is typically 0.001 that of CO. Solid CH4 was probably detected toward NGC 7538 IRS 9 and possibly detected toward W33 A and NGC 7538 IRS 1. The abundance of solid CH4 is comparable to that of solid CO. The total CH4 abundance (predominantly in the solid phase) is 1-4 percent of the total CO abundance (predominantly gaseous). The high fraction of CH4 in the solid state suggests that it is made in the grain mantles. 22 refs.

  3. Interstellar Grain Mantles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Witteborn, F.; Goebel, J.; Bregman, J.; Allamandola, Louis J.; Dhendecourt, L. B.; Tielens, Alexander G. G. M.

    1984-01-01

    Techniques for determining the composition of small dust grains in interstellar matter are discussed. The best way to study the composition of interstellar grain mantles is by infrared spectroscopy. The absorption features in a complete infrared spectrum from 2 to 15 microns can be used as fingerprints to identify the absorbing molecule. Ground-based observations around 3 microns confirmed the presence of H2O ice in interstellar grain mantles, through the detection of the 3.08 micron OH stretching vibration. The detection of other molecules, in particular the carbon bearing molecules, is however hampered by atmospheric absorption in the 5-8 micron region and the presence of the strong ice and silicate bands, which dominate the 3 and 10 micron region respectively. Kuiper Airborne Observatory observations of the 5-8 micron region of the spectrum are therefore extremely important to determine the composition of interstellar grain mantles. The 5 to 8 micron spectra of molecular cloud sources was obtained using a 24 detector grating spectrometer. An important characteristic of this spectrometer is that the whole spectrum is obtained simultaneously. It is therefore relatively easy to correct for atmospheric transmission.

  4. A search for weak ultraviolet interstellar absorption features in IUE spectra of Rho Ophiuchi and Zeta Ophiuchi

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Welty, D. E.; Thorburn, J. A.; Hobbs, L. M.; York, D. G.

    1992-01-01

    We have applied procedures designed to reduce substantially the nonrandom, so-called 'fixed-pattern' noise present in IUE spectra to archival long-wavelength high-dispersion spectra of Rho Ophiuchi and Zeta Ophiuchi. Substantial elimination of the fixed-pattern noise via flat fielding can yield 2sigma equivalent width limits of 5-10 mA from the sum of a small number (about less than 5) of well-exposed archival spectra, and increases confidence in the reality of any weak features found. Examination of complete long-wavelength (about 2200-3250 A) spectra of these two stars has revealed, in addition to many known strong absorption lines, several lines of Fe I and Si I which had not previously been reported, as well as a small number of possible unidentified lines. We also present substantially improved upper limits to the equivalent widths of a number of other weak lines; limits an order of magnitude smaller, now achievable with the HST GHRS, should produce detections of some of these.

  5. Interstellar Extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gontcharov, G. A.

    2016-12-01

    This review describes our current understanding of interstellar extinction. This differ substantially from the ideas of the 20th century. With infrared surveys of hundreds of millions of stars over the entire sky, such as 2MASS, SPITZER-IRAC, and WISE, we have looked at the densest and most rarefied regions of the interstellar medium at distances of a few kpc from the Sun. Observations at infrared and microwave wavelengths, where the bulk of the interstellar dust absorbs and radiates, have brought us closer to an understanding of the distribution of the dust particles on scales of the Galaxy and the universe. We are in the midst of a scientific revolution in our understanding of the interstellar medium and dust. Progress in, and the key results of, this revolution are still difficult to predict. Nevertheless, (a) a physically justified model has been developed for the spatial distribution of absorbing material over the nearest few kiloparsecs, including the Gould belt as a dust container, which gives an accurate estimate of the extinction for any object just by its galactic coordinates. It is also clear that (b) the interstellar medium contains roughly half the mass of matter in the galactic vicinity of the solar system (the other half is made up of stars, their remnants, and dark matter) and (c) the interstellar medium and, especially, dust, differ substantially in different regions of space and deep space cannot be understood by only studying near space.

  6. Airborne and laboratory studies of interstellar PAHs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allamandola, L. J.; Sandford, S. A.; Hudgins, D. M.; Witteborn, Fred C.

    1995-01-01

    A brief history of the observations which have led to the hypothesis that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH's) are the carriers of the widespread interstellar emission features near 3050, 1615, '1300' and 890 cm(exp -1) (3.29, 6.2, '7.7', and 11.2 mu m) is presented. The central role of airborne spectroscopy is stressed. The principal reason for the assignment to PAH's was the resemblance of the interstellar emission spectrum to the laboratory absorption spectra of PAH's and PAH-like materials. Since precious little information was available on the properties of PAH's in the forms that are thought to exist under interstellar conditions -isolated and ionized in the emission zones, with the smallest PAH's being dehydrogenated- there was a need for a spectral data base on PAH's taken in these states. Here, the relevant infrared spectroscopic properties of PAH's will be reviewed. These laboratory spectra show that relative band intensities are severely altered and that band frequencies shift. It is shown that these new data alleviate several of the spectroscopic criticisms previously leveled at the hypothesis.

  7. 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.

  8. Interstellar PAH Analogs in the Laboratory: Comparison with Astronomical Data

    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 near-UV and visible range. Intrinsic band profiles and band positions of cold gas-phase PAHs can now be measured with high-sensitivity spectroscopy and directly compared to the astronomical data. Preliminary conclusions from the comparison of the laboratory data with astronomical observations will also be presented.

  9. Astrochemistry: Fullerene solves an interstellar puzzle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Foing, Bernard

    2015-07-01

    Laboratory measurements confirm that a 'buckyball' ion is responsible for two near-infrared absorption features found in spectra of the interstellar medium, casting light on a century-old astrochemical mystery. See Letter p.322

  10. 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.

  11. Infrared emission from interstellar PAHs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

    The mid-IR absorption and Raman spectra of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the mechanisms determining them are reviewed, and the implications for observations of similar emission spectra in interstellar clouds are considered. Topics addressed include the relationship between PAHs and amorphous C, the vibrational spectroscopy of PAHs, the molecular emission process, molecular anharmonicity, and the vibrational quasi-continuum. Extensive graphs, diagrams, and sample spectra are provided, and the interstellar emission bands are attributed to PAHs with 20-30 C atoms on the basis of the observed 3.3/3.4-micron intensity ratios.

  12. 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.

  13. Laboratory Astrochemistry: Interstellar PAH Analogs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are now considered to be an important and ubiquitous component of the organic material in space. PAHs are found in a large variety of extraterrestrial materials such as interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) and meteoritic materials. PAHs are also good candidates to account for the infrared emission bands (UIRs) and the diffuse interstellar optical absorption bands (DIBs) detected in various regions of the interstellar medium. The recent observations made with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) have confirmed the ubiquitous nature of the UIR bands and their carriers. PAHs are though to form through chemical reactions in the outflow from carbon-rich stars in a process similar to soot formation. Once injected in the interstellar medium, PAHs are further processed by the interstellar radiation field, interstellar shocks and energetic particles. A major, dedicated, laboratory effort has been undertaken over the past years to measure the physical and chemical characteristics of these complex molecules and their ions under experimental conditions that mimic the interstellar conditions. These measurements require collision-free conditions where the molecules and ions are cold and chemically isolated. The spectroscopy of PAHs under controlled conditions represents an essential diagnostic tool to study the evolution of extraterrestrial PAHs. The Astrochemistry Laboratory program will be discussed through its multiple aspects: objectives, approach and techniques adopted, adaptability to the nature of the problem(s), results and implications for astronomy as well as for molecular spectroscopy. A review of the data generated through laboratory simulations of space environments and the role these data have played in our current understanding of the properties of interstellar PAHs will be presented. The discussion will also introduce the newest generation of laboratory experiments that are currently being developed in order to provide a

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Interstellar Predation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cockell, C. S.; Lee, M.

    Although chemosynthesis and photosynthesis can theoretically supply enough energy for intelligence, for reasons elucidated here, heterotrophy and specifically phagotrophy (ingestion of prey) are likely to make predation a characteristic of life and extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI). Here, the Earth's biota is used to consider the nature of interstellar predation. The ability of the ETI to directly ingest a biota will be determined by the chiral preference of the ETI, the compatibility of the biochemistry used in life on Earth with the molecules required by the ETI and the potential toxicity of the macromolecules. If chirality is determined by astrophysical factors and not by the specificities of terrestrial origins of life and if molecules found in terrestrial organisms are also represented in ETIs (which could plausibly include hydrated carbohydrides and many amino acids that are similar or identical to amino acids found in meteoritic or cometary material) then the Earth might represent a universally appreciated resource. The Earth's biota could be used as an energy supply or, if other forms of technology have advanced to the point where bioreactors can be exclusively used to supply a civilization with food, as a culinary curiosity. Even in the absence of metabolic compatibility, technology can be used to extract useful products from an undigestible biota, similarly to the industrial biotransformation of cellulose. The value of the resource will also be determined by the availability of prey. Planets at stages in biological evolution where the surface is dominated by just one or several large (>5kg), abundant, easily captured organisms are particu- larly attractive to predators because harvesting techniques can be standardized. We discuss implications for exobiology and the `Fermi Paradox'.

  19. [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.

  20. MIE SCATTERING AND ABSORPTION CROSS SECTIONS FOR ABSORBING PARTICLES,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION , SCATTERING), (*ABSORPTION, ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION ), REFRACTIVE INDEX, LIGHT, PARTICLES, PARTICLE SIZE, RESONANCE, ATMOSPHERIC REFRACTION, PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES, INTERSTELLAR MATTER

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Diffuse Interstellar Bands in Emission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, T. B.; Sarre, P.; Marshall, C. C. M.; Spekkens, K.; de Naray, R. Kuzio

    Recent Fabry-Pérot observations towards the galaxy NGC 1325 with the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) led to the serendipitous discovery of an emission feature centered at 661.3 nm arising from material in the interstellar medium (ISM) of our Galaxy; this emission feature lies at the wavelength of one of the sharper and stronger diffuse bands normally seen in absorption. The flux of the feature is 4.2 +/- 0.5 × 10-18 es-1 cm-2 arcsec-2. 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. We present the discovery spectra and describe follow-up measurements proposed for SALT.

  4. Ionization in nearby interstellar gas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frisch, P. C.; Welty, D. E.; York, D. G.; Fowler, J. R.

    1990-01-01

    Due to dielectric recombination, neutral magnesium represents an important tracer for the warm low-density gas around the solar system. New Mg I 2852 absorption-line data from IUE are presented, including detections in a few stars within 40 pc of the sun. The absence of detectable Mg I in Alpha CMa and other stars sets limits on the combined size and electron density of the interstellar cloud which gives rise to the local interstellar wind. For a cloud radius greater than 1 pc and density of 0.1/cu cm, the local cloud has a low fractional ionization, n(e)/n(tot) less than 0.05, if magnesium is undepleted, equilibrium conditions prevail, the cloud temperature is 11,750 K, and 80 percent of the magnesium in the sightline is Mg II.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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).

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Interstellar gas in the Gum Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wallerstein, G.; Jenkins, E. B.; Silk, J.

    1980-01-01

    A survey of the interstellar gas near the Gum Nebula by optical observation of 67 stars at Ca II, 42 stars at Na I, and 14 stars in the UV with the Copernicus satellite provided radial velocities and column densities for all resolved absorption components. Velocity dispersions for gas in the Gum Nebula are not significantly larger than in the general interstellar medium; the ionization structure is predominantly that of an H II region with moderately high ionization. Denser, more highly ionized clouds are concentrated toward the Gum Nebula; these clouds do not show the anomalously high ionization observed in the Vela remnant clouds.

  20. Evidence for biodegradation products in the interstellar medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rauf, Kani; Wickramasinghe, Chandra

    2010-01-01

    The interstellar absorption band centred on 2175 Å that is conventionally attributed to monodisperse graphite spheres of radii 0.02 μm is more plausibly explained as arising from biologically derived aromatic molecules. On the basis of panspermia models, interstellar dust includes a substantial fraction of biomaterial in various stages of degradation. We have modeled such an ensemble of degraded biomaterial with laboratory spectroscopy of algae, grass pigments, bituminous coal and anthracite. The average ulrtraviolet absorption profile for these materials is centred at 2175 Å with a full width at half maximum of 250 Å, in precise agreement with the interstellar extinction observations. Mid-infrared spectra also display general concordance with the unidentified interstellar absorption features found in a wide variety of astronomoical sources.

  1. 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.

  2. Components in interstellar molecular hydrogen

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spitzer, L., Jr.; Morton, W. A.

    1976-01-01

    Results are reported for precise spectrophotometric measurements of the profiles of selected Lyman absorption lines produced by hydrogen molecules in various rotational levels along the line of sight to 13 stars which have shown some evidence for an increase in line width with increasing rotational quantum number (J). The line profiles were measured by multiple scans with the Copernicus satellite telescope. Based on analysis of the radial velocities, derivations of the column densities, and line-profile fitting, the following conclusions are made: (1) the increase in interstellar H2 line width with increasing J results from the presence of the most shortward component, which is relatively weak at low J but becomes more important at higher J; (2) the relative column densities found for the different J levels in each component may be fitted by a theoretical model in which rotational excitation is due to absorption of UV photons followed by radiative quadrupole spontaneous transitions or collisionally induced downward transitions between different J levels; (3) the atomic hydrogen density is between 300 and 1000 per cu cm in the most shortward component for each of three stars; (4) the approaching gas which produces each shortward component must be in the form of thin sheets; and (5) the sheets are the compressed gas behind a shock front moving through the interstellar medium.

  3. 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).

  4. The Organic Component of Interstellar Dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pendleton, Yvonne

    2003-01-01

    The distribution, chemical structure, and formation of organic matter in the interstellar medium are important to our understanding of the overall evolution of dust. The exchange of dust between the dense and diffuse interstellar medium, and the effects of processing on dust within dense clouds will affect the inventory of material available for incorporation into newly forming star and planetary systems. Observational ground-based studies have confirmed the widespread distribution of the 3.4 pm absorption band attributed to aliphatic hydrocarbons in the diffuse interstellar medium of our own galaxy, and in the dusty spectra of a few nearby galaxies, while space based observations from IS0 probed the signatures of corresponding mid-infrared features. Laboratory experiments which utilize both thermal processes and energetic processing by high energy photons and cosmic rays, produce candidate materials which offer close matches to the observed diffuse interstellar medium and extragalactic hydrocarbon absorption features. Through an analysis of the 4000 to 1000 cm (2.5 to 10 micrometers) region of the spectrum of diffuse interstellar medium (DISM) dust compared with the spectra of thirteen chemical entities produced in the laboratory which serve as analogs to the interstellar material, significant constraints have been placed on the applicability of proposed candidate materials to explain the interstellar features. The results indicate that the organic refractory material in the diffuse interstellar medium is predominantly hydrocarbon in nature, possessing little nitrogen or oxygen, with the carbon distributed between the aromatic and aliphatic forms. Long alkane chains H3C-(CH2),- with n much greater than 4 or 5 are not major constituents of this material. Comparisons to laboratory analogs indicate the DISM organic material resembles plasma processed pure hydrocarbon residues much more so than energetically processed ice residues. This result is consistent with a

  5. Molecular Spectroscopy in Astrophysics: Interstellar PAHs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are now considered to be an important and ubiquitous component of the organic material in space. PAHs are found in a large variety of extraterrestrial materials such as interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) and meteoritic materials. PAHs are also good candidates to account for the infrared emission bands (UIRs) and the diffuse interstellar optical absorption bands (DIBs) detected in various regions of the interstellar medium. The recent observations made with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) have confirmed the ubiquitous nature of the UIR bands and their carriers. PAHs are thought to form through chemical reactions in the outflow from carbon-rich stars in a process similar to soot formation. Once injected in the interstellar medium, PAHs are further processed by the interstellar radiation field, interstellar shocks and energetic particles. A long-term laboratory effort has been undertaken to measure the physical and chemical characteristics of these carbon molecules and their ions under experimental conditions that mimic the interstellar conditions. These measurements require collision-free conditions where the molecules and ions are cold and chemically isolated. The spectroscopy of PAHs under controlled conditions represents an essential diagnostic tool to study the evolution of extraterrestrial PAHs. The laboratory results will be discussed as well as the implications for astronomy and for molecular spectroscopy. A review of the data generated through laboratory simulations of space environments and the role these data have played in our current understanding of the properties of interstellar PAHs will be presented. We will also present the new generation of laboratory experiments that are currently being developed in order to provide a closer simulation of space environments and a better support to space missions.

  6. Laboratory Studies of Interstellar PAH Analogs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are now considered to be an important and ubiquitous component of the organic material in space. PAHs are found in a large variety of extraterrestrial materials such as interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) and meteoritic materials. PAHs are also good candidates to account for the infrared emission bands (UIRs) and the diffuse interstellar optical absorption bands (DIBs) detected in various regions of the interstellar medium. The recent observations made with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) have confirmed the ubiquitous nature of the UIR bands and their carriers. PAHs are though to form through chemical reactions in the outflow from carbon-rich stars in a process similar to soot formation. Once injected in the interstellar medium, PAHs are further processed by the interstellar radiation field, interstellar shocks and energetic particles. A major, dedicated, laboratory effort has been undertaken over the past years to measure the physical and chemical characteristics of these complex molecules and their ions under experimental conditions that mimic the interstellar conditions. These measurements require collision-free conditions where the molecules and ions are cold and chemically isolated. The spectroscopy of PAHs under controlled conditions represents an essential diagnostic tool to study the evolution of extraterrestrial PAHs. The Astrochemistry Laboratory program will be discussed through its multiple aspects: objectives, approach and techniques adopted, adaptability to the nature of the problem(s), results and implications for astronomy as well as for molecular spectroscopy. A review of the data generated through laboratory simulations of space environments and the role these data have played in our current understanding of the properties of interstellar PAHs will be presented. The discussion will also introduce the newest generation of laboratory experiments that are currently being developed in order to provide a

  7. 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

  8. Presolar/Interstellar Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandford, Scott A.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    This talk will review much of our current understanding of the origins, nature, and evolution of materials in circumstellar and interstellar space. I will begin by familiarizing the audience with some of the nomenclature associated the field, reviewing the lifecycle of dust in space, and pointing out where the speakers that follow will address portions of the lifecycle in greater detail. I will then address the different techniques used to study interstellar materials, paying particular attention to (i) telescopic remote sensing of the dust currently in interstellar space, (ii) laboratory studies of individual interstellar grains found in meteorites and other extraterrestrial materials, and (iii) laboratory simulation experiments. To complete the talk, I will focus on the nature of interstellar organic compounds as a particular example of how these disparate techniques can be used to improve our understanding of interstellar matter. While interstellar organics will be addressed in general, particular attention will be made to that portion of the organic inventory that may play a role in the origin and evolution of life on planetary surfaces.

  9. Effects of Fusion Zone Size and Failure Mode on Peak Load and Energy Absorption of Advanced High Strength Steel Spot Welds

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-01-01

    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). 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. The critical fusion zone sizes to ensure nugget pull-out failure mode are developed for both DP800 and TRIP800 using limit load based analytical model and micro-hardness measurements of the weld cross sections. Static weld strength tests using cross tension samples were performed on the joint populations with controlled 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 fusion zone size of can not produce nugget pullout mode for both the DP800 and TRIP800 materials examined. The critical fusion zone size for nugget pullout shall be derived for individual materials based on different base metal properties as well as different heat affected zone (HAZ) and weld properties resulted from different welding parameters.

  10. Interstellar Dust - A Review

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid

    2012-01-01

    The study of the formation and the destruction processes of cosmic dust is essential to understand and to quantify the budget of extraterrestrial organic materials. Although dust with all its components plays an important role in the evolution of interstellar physics and chemistry and in the formation of organic materials, little is known on the formation and destruction processes of carbonaceous dust. Laboratory experiments that are performed under conditions that simulate interstellar and circumstellar environments to provide information on the nature, the size and the structure of interstellar dust particles, the growth and the destruction processes of interstellar dust and the resulting budget of extraterrestrial organic molecules. A review of the properties of dust and of the laboratory experiments that are conducted to study the formation processes of dust grains from molecular precursors will be given.

  11. 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.

  12. Interstellar chemistry - Polycyanoacetylene formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Langer, W. D.; Schloerb, F. P.; Snell, R. L.; Young, J. S.

    1981-01-01

    It is argued that interstellar polycyanoacetylenes are formed not on dust grains by catalytic buildup or by dissociation of longer molecules, but rather by gas phase ion-molecule reactions. The primary evidence for this view is the detection of deuterated cyanoacetylene in an interstellar cloud. It is also argued that the relative abundance of successive homologs of polycyanoacetylenes rules out the grain catalysis theory.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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).

  19. 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.

  20. Enabling interstellar probe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNutt, Ralph L.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F.; International Interstellar Probe Team

    2011-04-01

    The scientific community has advocated a scientific probe to the interstellar medium for over 30 years. While the Voyager spacecraft have passed through the termination shock of the solar wind, they have limited lifetimes as their radioisotope power supplies decay. It remains unclear whether they can reach the heliopause, the boundary between shocked solar wind and interstellar plasmas, and, in any case, they will not reach the undisturbed interstellar medium. As with most exploratory space missions, their ongoing observations continue to raise even more questions about the nature of the interaction of our heliosphere and the interstellar medium. Scientific questions including: What is the nature of the nearby interstellar medium? How do the Sun and galaxy affect the dynamics of the heliosphere? What is the structure of the heliosphere? How did matter in the solar system and interstellar medium originate and evolve? can only be answered by an "interstellar precursor" probe. Such a mission is required to make in situ measurements in the interaction region and interstellar medium itself at distances far from the Sun, but in a finite mission lifetime. By launching a probe toward the incoming "interstellar wind," whose direction is known, the distance to be traveled can be minimized but is still large. The current consensus is that a scientifically compelling mission must function to at least a distance of 200 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun and return a reasonable stream of data during the voyage. The central problem is that of providing a means of propulsion to accelerate a probe from the Solar System. Even with a low-mass payload and spacecraft, achieving the high speeds needed, even with gravity assists, have remained problematic. Voyager 1, the fastest object ever to leave the system is now traveling ˜3.6 AU/yr, and a credible probe must reach at least 2-3 times this speed. The use of an Ares V is an approach for enabling a fast interstellar precursor

  1. HST STIS Observations of Interstellar Chlorine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, Valerie Rose; Dirks, Cody; Meyer, David M.; Cartledge, Stefan I. B.

    2017-01-01

    Among the dominant ions of abundant elements in the diffuse interstellar medium, only chlorine (Cl II) has a rapid exothermic reaction with molecular hydrogen (H2) that should lead to the dominance of its atomic form (Cl I) in clouds where most of the hydrogen is in H2. We present the results of an archival study of the interstellar Cl I λ1347.24 absorption observed at high spectral resolution toward 41 stars with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) onboard the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Our key goals in this survey are to explore the relationship between interstellar N(Cl I) and N(H2) with a larger sample and a larger N(H2) range (16.44 < log N(H2) < 20.87) than the Copernicus interstellar survey of Moomey et al. (2012). We additionally contrast it with the high-z QSO damped Lyman-alpha system (DLA) findings of Balashev et al. (2015). We find that for log N(H2) > 19.0, the HST STIS sample is consistent with the Copernicus data and high-z DLA samples in indicating a linear trend of increasing N(Cl I) with increasing N(H2). Furthermore, all of the interstellar sightlines with log f(H2) > -0.5 have log N(Cl I) > 13.5, and those with log f(H2) < -1.5 have log N(Cl I) < 13.5, where f(H2)=2N(H2)/[2N(H2)+N(H I)] is the fractional amount of H2 in H. Consequently, observations of interstellar Cl I can potentially trace the H2 fraction of the “CO-dark” gas marking the transition between diffuse atomic and dense CO molecular clouds.

  2. Selection of the optimal combination of water vapor absorption lines for detection of temperature in combustion zones of mixing supersonic gas flows by diode laser absorption spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mironenko, V. R.; Kuritsyn, Yu. A.; Bolshov, M. A.; Liger, V. V.

    2016-12-01

    Determination of a gas medium temperature by diode laser absorption spectrometry (DLAS) is based on the measurement of integral intensities of the absorption lines of a test molecule (generally water vapor molecule). In case of local thermodynamic equilibrium temperature is inferred from the ratio of the integral intensities of two lines with different low energy levels. For the total gas pressure above 1 atm the absorption lines are broadened and one cannot find isolated well resolved water vapor absorption lines within relatively narrow spectral interval of fast diode laser (DL) tuning range (about 3 cm-1). For diagnostics of a gas object in the case of high temperature and pressure DLAS technique can be realized with two diode lasers working in different spectral regions with strong absorption lines. In such situation the criteria of the optimal line selection differs significantly from the case of narrow lines. These criteria are discussed in our work. The software for selection the optimal spectral regions using the HITRAN-2012 and HITEMP data bases is developed. The program selects spectral regions of DL tuning, minimizing the error of temperature determination δT/T, basing on the attainable experimental error of line intensity measurement δS. Two combinations of optimal spectral regions were selected - (1.392 & 1.343 μm) and (1.392 & 1.339 μm). Different algorithms of experimental data processing are discussed.

  3. Interstellar medium. Pseudo-three-dimensional maps of the diffuse interstellar band at 862 nm.

    PubMed

    Kos, Janez; Zwitter, Tomaž; Wyse, Rosemary; Bienaymé, Olivier; Binney, James; Bland-Hawthorn, Joss; Freeman, Kenneth; Gibson, Brad K; Gilmore, Gerry; Grebel, Eva K; Helmi, Amina; Kordopatis, Georges; Munari, Ulisse; Navarro, Julio; Parker, Quentin; Reid, Warren A; Seabroke, George; Sharma, Sanjib; Siebert, Arnaud; Siviero, Alessandro; Steinmetz, Matthias; Watson, Fred G; Williams, Mary E K

    2014-08-15

    The diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are absorption lines observed in visual and near-infrared spectra of stars. Understanding their origin in the interstellar medium is one of the oldest problems in astronomical spectroscopy, as DIBs have been known since 1922. In a completely new approach to understanding DIBs, we combined information from nearly 500,000 stellar spectra obtained by the massive spectroscopic survey RAVE (Radial Velocity Experiment) to produce the first pseudo-three-dimensional map of the strength of the DIB at 8620 angstroms covering the nearest 3 kiloparsecs from the Sun, and show that it follows our independently constructed spatial distribution of extinction by interstellar dust along the Galactic plane. Despite having a similar distribution in the Galactic plane, the DIB 8620 carrier has a significantly larger vertical scale height than the dust. Even if one DIB may not represent the general DIB population, our observations outline the future direction of DIB research.

  4. Photodissociation of interstellar N2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, X.; Heays, A. N.; Visser, R.; Ubachs, W.; Lewis, B. R.; Gibson, S. T.; van Dishoeck, E. F.

    2013-07-01

    Context. Molecular nitrogen is one of the key species in the chemistry of interstellar clouds and protoplanetary disks, but its photodissociation under interstellar conditions has never been properly studied. The partitioning of nitrogen between N and N2 controls the formation of more complex prebiotic nitrogen-containing species. Aims: The aim of this work is to gain a better understanding of the interstellar N2 photodissociation processes based on recent detailed theoretical and experimental work and to provide accurate rates for use in chemical models. Methods: We used an approach similar to that adopted for CO in which we simulated the full high-resolution line-by-line absorption + dissociation spectrum of N2 over the relevant 912-1000 Å wavelength range, by using a quantum-mechanical model which solves the coupled-channels Schrödinger equation. The simulated N2 spectra were compared with the absorption spectra of H2, H, CO, and dust to compute photodissociation rates in various radiation fields and shielding functions. The effects of the new rates in interstellar cloud models were illustrated for diffuse and translucent clouds, a dense photon dominated region and a protoplanetary disk. Results: The unattenuated photodissociation rate in the Draine (1978, ApJS, 36, 595) radiation field assuming an N2 excitation temperature of 50 K is 1.65 × 10-10 s-1, with an uncertainty of only 10%. Most of the photodissociation occurs through bands in the 957-980 Å range. The N2 rate depends slightly on the temperature through the variation of predissociation probabilities with rotational quantum number for some bands. Shielding functions are provided for a range of H2 and H column densities, with H2 being much more effective than H in reducing the N2 rate inside a cloud. Shielding by CO is not effective. The new rates are 28% lower than the previously recommended values. Nevertheless, diffuse cloud models still fail to reproduce the possible detection of interstellar N2

  5. 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.

  6. 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'.

  7. Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination (ISPE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westphal, A. J.; Allen, C.; Bajt, S.; Basset, R.; 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.; Ferroir, T.; Floss, C.; Flynn, G. J.; Frank, D.; Gainsforth, Z.; Grün, E.; Hoppe, P.; Kearsley, A.; Lemelle, L.; Leroux, H.; Lettieri, R.; Marchant, W.; Mendez, B.; Nittler, L. R.; Ogliore, R.; Postberg, F.; Sandford, S. A.; Schmitz, S.; Silversmit, G.; Simionovici, A.; Srama, R.; Stadermann, F. J.; Stephan, T.; Stroud, R. M.; Susini, J.; Sutton, S.; Trieloff, M.; Tsou, P.; Tsuchiyama, A.; Tyliczszak, T.; Vekemans, B.; Vincze, L.; Warren, J.; Zolensky, M. E.

    2009-03-01

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Evolution of Interstellar Grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allamandola, Lou J.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    During the past two decades observations combined with laboratory simulations, have revolutionized our understanding of interstellar ice and dust, the raw materials from which planets, comets and stars form. Most interstellar material is concentrated in large molecular clouds where simple molecules are formed by dust-grain and gas-phase reactions. Gaseous species striking the cold (10K) dust stick, forming an icy grain mantle. This accretion, coupled with UV photolysis, produces a complex chemical mixture containing volatile, non-volatile, and isotopically fractionated species. Ices in molecular clouds contain the very simple molecules H2O, CH3OH, CO, CO2, H2, and perhaps some NH3 and H2CO, as well as more complex species. The evidence for these compounds, as well as carbon-rich materials, will be reviewed and the possible connections with comets and meteorites will be presented in the first part of the talk . The second part of the presentation will focus on interstellar/precometary ice photochemical evolution and the species likely to be found in comets. The chemical composition and photochemical evolution of realistic interstellar/pre-cometary ice analogs will be discussed. Ultraviolet photolysis of these ices produces H2, H2CO, CO2, CO, CH4, HCO, and more complex molecules. When ices representative of interstellar grains and comets are exposed to UV radiation at low temperature a series of moderately complex organic molecules are formed in the ice including: CH3CH2OH (ethanol), HC(=O)NH2 (formamide), CH3C(=O)NH2 (acetamide), and R-C=N (nitriles). Several of these are already known to be in the interstellar medium, and their presence indicates the importance of grain processing. After warming to room temperature an organic residue remains. This is composed primarily of hexamethylenetetramine (HMT, C6H12N4), with lesser amounts of polyoxymethylene-related species (POMs), amides, and ketones. This is in sharp contrast to the organic residues produced by

  14. 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.

  15. THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM IN THE KEPLER SEARCH VOLUME

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Marshall C.; Redfield, Seth; Jensen, Adam G.

    2015-07-10

    The properties of the interstellar medium (ISM) surrounding a planetary system can impact planetary climate through a number of mechanisms, including changing the size of the astrosphere (one of the major shields for cosmic rays) as well as direct deposition of material into planetary atmospheres. In order to constrain the ambient ISM conditions for exoplanetary systems, we present observations of interstellar Na i and K i absorption toward seventeen early type stars in the Kepler prime mission field of view (FOV). We identify 39 Na i and 8 K i velocity components, and attribute these to 11 ISM clouds. Six of these are detected toward more than one star, and for these clouds we put limits on the cloud properties, including distance and hydrogen number density. We identify one cloud with significant (≳1.5 cm{sup −3}) hydrogen number density located within the nominal ∼100 pc boundary of the Local Bubble. We identify systems with confirmed planets within the Kepler FOV that could lie within these ISM clouds, and estimate upper limits on the astrosphere sizes of these systems under the assumption that they do lie within these clouds. Under this condition, the Kepler-20, 42, and 445 multiplanet systems could have compressed astrospheres much smaller than the present-day heliosphere. Among the known habitable zone planet hosts, Kepler-186 could have an astrosphere somewhat smaller than the heliosphere, while Kepler-437 and KOI-4427 could have astrospheres much larger than the heliosphere. The thick disk star Kepler-444 may have an astrosphere just a few AU in radius.

  16. Interstellar dust at our doorstep

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sterken, V. J.

    2013-12-01

    Interstellar dust has long been researched by astronomical methods to learn about its size distribution, grain properties and composition. However, interstellar dust grains also move through the solar system. They were detected for the first time in-situ with the Ulysses dust detector in 1993. In addition, in 2006, the Stardust mission returned three interstellar dust grain candidates back to Earth after a collection period of 195 days. In this talk we elaborate on how the current in-situ ISD measurement methods are a valuable addition to the knowledge about interstellar dust inferred from classical astronomy. We also discuss the role of interstellar dust dynamics and simulations herein.

  17. 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.

  18. Absorbing ice model of interstellar grains.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swamy, K. S. K.; Jackson, W. M.; Donn, B. D.

    1971-01-01

    Extinction curves have been calculated for Mie scattering by grains with a refractive index m equals to n - ik, where n was between 1.3 and 2.0 and k varied from 0 to 0.5. A good fit for the observed interstellar extinction in the wavelength region of 0.1 to 2.0 microns was obtained for particles with a radius of 0.1 micron and m equal to 1.3 - 0.2i. Inclusion of the changes in the refractive index in the vacuum ultraviolet region due to the strong absorptions of methane, ammonia and water does not appreciably alter these results. Theoretical extinction curves for the composite medium of H2O, NH3, CH4, and graphite show a general agreement with the observed interstellar reddening curve over the whole spectral range, in addition to producing kinks in the far-ultraviolet region.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Confirmation of interstellar methylene

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

    Four spectral emission features of the N(sub KK) = 4(sub 04) -3(sub 13) rotational transition of methylene (CH2) have been detected at signal levels 5-7 sigma above noise toward the hot core of the Orion-KL nebula and the molecular cloud in proximity to the continuum source W51 M. Specifically, in both sources we have resolved the F = 6-5, 5-4, and 4-3 hyperfine transitions of the J = 5-4 fine-structure levels and detected the blended hyperfine structure of the J = 4-3 fine structure levels. At the J = 3-2 fine-structure levels, we have observed new transitions of NS, a known interstellar molecule, which severely contaminates the search for CH2 hyperfine transitions. These new sensitive observations finally confirm the existence of interstellar CH2 which was tentatively reported by us some years ago.

  2. Detecting interstellar migrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matloff, Gregory L.; Pazmino, John

    1997-01-01

    Interstellar migrations may occur when a civilization's star enters the red giant phase, thereby dooming the life-bearing planet. Ecologically self-contained 'world ships', massing billions of kilograms and propelled by hyperthin, space manufactured solar sails thousands of kilometers in diameter unfurled near the home star are possible vehicles to transfer a threatened civilization to a neighboring star. Consideration of the nearest red giants reveals that Pollux is the nearest formerly solar-type red giant. Known stellar neighbors of Pollux are surveyed to determine likely directions for an interstellar migration departing Pollux. Such migrations might consist of many world ships launched over millennia on voyages of about 1000 terrestrial-year duration; discovery of such events will be serendipitous. The difficulties of observing solar-sail star ships near Pollux are considered. A facility dedicated to imaging extrasolar planets within 10 parsecs might be capable of detecting these large spacecraft.

  3. Interstellar hydrogen sulfide.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thaddeus, P.; Kutner, M. L.; Penzias, A. A.; Wilson, R. W.; Jefferts, K. B.

    1972-01-01

    Hydrogen sulfide has been detected in seven Galactic sources by observation of a single line corresponding to the rotational transition from the 1(sub 10) to the 1(sub 01) levels at 168.7 GHz. The observations show that hydrogen sulfide is only a moderately common interstellar molecule comparable in abundance to H2CO and CS, but somewhat less abundant than HCN and much less abundant than CO.

  4. 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.

  5. Interstellar Grain Surface Chemistry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tielens, Alexander G. G. M.; Cuzzi, Jeffrey N. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    Chemistry on grain surfaces plays an Important role in the formation of interstellar Ices, It can also influence the composition of the gas phase through outgassing near luminous, newly formed stars. This paper reviews the chemical processes taking place on Interstellar grain surfaces with the emphasis on those transforming CO into other hydrocarbons. At low, molecular cloud temperatures (approximately equal to 10K), physisorption processes dominate interstellar grain surface chemistry and GO is largely hydrogenated through reactions with atomic H and oxidized through reactions with atomic O. The former will lead to the formation of H2CO and CH3OH ices, while the latter results in CO2 ice. The observational evidence for these ices in molecular clouds will be discussed. Very close to protostars, the gas and grain temperatures are much higher (approximately equal to 500K) and chemisorption processes, including catalytic surface reactions, becomes important. This will be illustrated based upon our studies of the Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis of CH4 from CO on metallic surfaces. Likely, this process has played an important role in the early solar nebula. Observational consequences will be pointed out.

  6. 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.

  7. Thermalization of Interstellar CO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oka, Takeshi; Xiao, Han; Lynch, Phillip

    2009-06-01

    Unlike radio emission of CO, infrared absorption of CO give column densities in each rotational level directly when weak transitions like overtone bands or ^{13}CO or C^{18}O isotope bands are used. This allows more straightforward determination of temperature (T) and density (n) of the environment than the large velocity gradient (LVG) model used to determine them from antenna temperatures of radio emission. In order to facilitate such determination, we have solved the steady state linear simultaneous equations for thermalization of CO and calculated population ratios of rotational levels as a function of T and n as we did for H_3^+. We thus get two-dimensional graph of column density ratios, for example, N(J=1)/N(J=0) and N(J=2)/N(J=0) as a function of T and n or variation of it when other population ratios are used. As for H_3^+ we can invert the graph to obtain graphs of T versus n as functions of population ratios which is more convenient to apply to observed data. We use rate constants of collision-induced transitions between CO and ortho- and para-H_2 theoretically calculated by Fowler and Wernli et al. which have been compiled and extended by Schöier et al. As the first approximation, only spontaneous emissions are considered and other radiative effects such as induced emission and absorption are ignored. The results are applied to CO column densities observed toward the Galactic center, that is, CO in the three spiral arms, 3-kpc (Norma), 4.5-kpc (Scutum), and local arms (Sagittarius), and in the Central Molecular Zone. T. Oka and E. Epp, ApJ, 613, 349 (2004) M. Goto, Usuda, Nagata, Geballe, McCall, Indriolo, Suto, Henning, Morong, and Oka, ApJ, 688, 306 (2008) D. R. Fowler, J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 34, 2731 (2001) M. Wernli, P. Valiron, A. Faure, L. Wiesenfeld, P. Jankowski, and K. Szalewicz, A & A, 446, 367 (2006) F. L. Schöier, F. F. S. van der Tak, E. F. van Dishoeck, and J. H. Black, A & A, 432, 369 (2005)

  8. Unresolved velocity structure in diffuse interstellar clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

    Recent high-resolution observations of interstellar absorption lines of CH and CN toward Zeta Oph obtained by Crane et al. (1986), and Palazzi et al. (1988), exhibit line widths that suggest thermal line broadening at high temperature, T about 1200 K. Observations of CO line emission at 2.6 mm toward Zeta Oph (Langer et al.,1987) indicate that the molecular gas resides in four distinct velocity components that span less than 3 km/s in Doppler velocity. Simulated CH and CN absorption line profiles are compared for high-temperature (T = 1200 K) thermal broadening and for a combination of low-temperature (T = 50 K) thermal plus turbulent broadening. It is shown that the two broadening models reproduce existing observations comparably well and are virtually indistinguishable at a lambda/Delta-lambda ratio of about 100,000. The observed differences in the CH and CN line widths may reflect slightly different distributions of those molecules along the line of sight. The simulations use very recent, improved laboratory spectroscopic data on CH (Bernath). Some related consequences of such unresolved velocity structure on the ultraviolet absorption lines of CO are examined. Indirect diagnostics of temperature in the Zeta Oph cloud favor low-temperature thermal plus turbulent broadening, and the implied rate of dissipation of turbulence is in harmony with estimates of the global input of mechanical energy into to interstellar medium.

  9. A Survey of Interstellar Gas Inside the 3 KPC Arm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Massa, Derck L.

    We are requesting 5 US1 shifts to obtain high dispersion spectra Of B stars in the direction of the 3 kpc arm. The interstellar absorption along these lines of sight will be compared to models for the absorbing gas in order to determine whether additional absorption is present inside the 3 kpc arm. This information will help to distinguish between the two competing theories for the formation of the arm.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Studies of sulphur containing model interstellar ices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, W. A.; Burke, D. J.; Edridge, J. L.

    2011-05-01

    Sulphur bearing species have long been proposed as good evolutionary tracers of star forming regions. The abundance of sulphur containing molecules varies by large amounts during the evolution of a proto-star and hence astronomical models are very sensitive to the amount of sulphur present and to its chemical composition. Interstellar observations have identified a range of sulphur containing species including SO, SO2, H2S, CS and OCS (amongst others). To try to understand the role of sulphur containing species in interstellar ices, we have undertaken a detailed investigation of the adsorption and desorption of a range of sulphur-containing model ices on a carbonaceous dust grain analogue surface (graphite) held at 14 K. Ices consisting of pure sulphur-containing molecules, sulphur-containing molecules adsorbed on top of amorphous solid water ice, mixed ices containing water ices and sulphur-species, all adsorbed on graphite, have been investigated. Ultra-high vacuum techniques have been used to model the low pressure conditions of interstellar space and a combination of surface infrared spectroscopy (RAIRS - reflection absorption infrared spectroscopy) and temperature programmed desorption (TPD) have been used to investigate the behaviour of the ices.

  13. 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.

  14. Observations of Interstellar Magnetic Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crutcher, R.; Heiles, C.; Troland, T.

    This article describes how interstellar magnetic fields are detected, measured, and mapped, the results of such observations, and the role played by interstellar magnetic fields in the physics of the interstellar medium. A goal of the observations is the measurement of the morphology and strengths of the uniform (Bu) and random (Br) components of magnetic fields. Observational techniques probe either the component of B parallel to the line of sight (B_parallel) or in the plane of the sky (B_⊥). Tracers of B_parallel are Faraday rotation of the position angle of linearly polarized radiation and Zeeman splitting of spectral lines. Tracers of B_⊥ are the strength of synchrotron radiation and linear polarization of syn chrotron radiation and of emission or absorption from dust and spectral lines. Starlight polarization shows that on large spatial scales the Galactic magnetic field is not heavily tangled (B_u/B_r ≈ 0.7 - 1.0), that the field is generally parallel to the Galactic plane near the plane, that the local field points approximately along the local spiral arm (pitch angle 9.4(°) , center of curvature 7.8 kpc distant towards ℓ ≈ -15.4(°) ), and that off the Galactic plane there is considerable small-scale structure to the field. Galactic synchrotron emission shows magnetic spiral arms with a total strength B_t ≈ 6 #55G and B_u ≈ 4 #55G. Pulsar data show evidence for reversals of the field direction with Galactic radius and yield B_r ≈ 5 #55G and B_u ≈ 1.5 #55G; the morphology of the large-scale mean field is consistent with dynamo generation. H I Zeeman detections for diffuse clouds yield B_parallel char 126 5 - 20 #55G with many limits B_parallel #55G. A recent survey of Galactic H I in absorption against extragalactic sources confirms the result that the fields in diffuse clouds are often quite weak. The critical parameter for evaluating the importance of magnetic fields in star formation is the ratio of the mass to the magnetic flux, M

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. The effect of temperature and pressure on optical absorption spectra of transition zone minerals - Implications for the radiative conductivity of the Earth's interior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, S.; Jacobsen, S. D.; Bina, C. R.; Goncharov, A. F.; Frost, D. J.; McCammon, C. A.

    2010-12-01

    Optical absorption spectra of high-pressure minerals can be used as indirect tools to calculate radiative conductivities of the Earth’s interior [e.g., 1]. Recent high-pressure studies imply that e.g. ringwoodite, γ-(Mg,Fe)2SiO4, does not become opaque in the near infrared and visible region, as previously assumed, but remains transparent to 21.5 GPa [2]. Therefore, it has been concluded that radiative heat transfer does not necessarily become blocked at high pressures of the mantle and ferromagnesian minerals actually might contribute to the heat flow in the Earth’s interior [2]. However, experimental results on temperature effects on radiative heat transfer are not available. We studied the effect of both, pressure and temperature, on the optical absorption of hydrous Fe-bearing ringwoodite, γ-(Mg,Fe)2SiO4, and hydrous Fe-bearing wadsleyite, β-(Mg,Fe)2SiO4, which are the main components of the Earth’s transition zone. Gem-quality single-crystals were synthesized at 18 GPa and 1400 °C in a 5000t multianvil apparatus. Crystals were analyzed by Mössbauer and Raman spectroscopy, electron microprobe analysis and single-crystal X-ray diffraction. For optical absorption measurements in the IR - VIS - UV spectral range (400 - 50000 cm-1) 50 µm sized single-crystals of ringwoodite and wadsleyite were double polished to thicknesses of 13 µm and 18 µm, respectively, and loaded in resistively heated diamond-anvil cells with argon as pressure medium. After taking measurements at high pressure and room temperature, ringwoodite was studied at 26 GPa up to 650 °C and wadsleyite spectra were recorded at 16 GPa up to 450 °C. At ambient pressure the absorption spectrum of ringwoodite reveals a crystal field band (Fe2+) at 12075 cm-1, an intervalence charge transfer band (Fe2+ to Fe3+) at 16491 cm-1, and an absorption edge due to ligand-metal charge transfer close to 30000 cm-1. The wadsleyite spectrum is characterized by a similar absorption edge in the VIS-UV range

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Molecular diagnostics of interstellar shocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartquist, T. W.; Dalgarno, A.; Oppenheimer, M.

    1980-02-01

    The chemistry of molecules in shocked regions of the interstellar gas is considered and calculations are carried out for a region subjected to a shock at a velocity of 8 km/sec. Substantial enhancements are predicted in the concentrations of the molecules H2S, SO, and SiO compared to those anticipated in cold interstellar clouds.

  2. Molecular diagnostics of interstellar shocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartquist, T. W.; Dalgarno, A.; Oppenheimer, M.

    1980-01-01

    The chemistry of molecules in shocked regions of the interstellar gas is considered and calculations are carried out for a region subjected to a shock at a velocity of 8 km/sec. Substantial enhancements are predicted in the concentrations of the molecules H2S, SO, and SiO compared to those anticipated in cold interstellar clouds.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Interstellar scattering and resolution limitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dennison, Brian

    Density irregularities in both the interplanetary medium and the ionized component of the interstellar medium scatter radio waves, resulting in limitations on the achievable resolution. Interplanetary scattering (IPS) is weak for most observational situations, and in principle the resulting phase corruption can be corrected for when observing with sufficiently many array elements. Interstellar scattering (ISS), on the other hand, is usually strong at frequencies below about 8 GHz, in which case intrinsic structure information over a range of angular scales is irretrievably lost. With the earth-space baselines now planned, it will be possible to search directly for interstellar refraction, which is suspected of modulating the fluxes of background sources.

  13. A Search for Interstellar Carbon-60

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nuccitelli, Dana; Richter, Matthew J.; McCall, Benjamin J.

    power R=λ/Δλ ≍ 100,000 over a roughly 0.7% bandpass. We first observed on 28 June, 2003. Depending on the brightness of the target, we spent between 5 minutes and 2 hours collecting data.We observed AFGL2591, NGC 7538 IRS1, and NML Cygni again on 15 Oct 2004. The second set of observations provide a separate Doppler shift to investigate the validity of weak features. We had a limited amount of time for these observations and spent between 5 and 30 minutes per target. 3. Data Reduction and Results It was after performing a pipeline data reduction that we discovered our data contained significant fringing. We first tried to remove this fringing simply by dividing our source spectra by that of a telluric standard, but this approach failed to solve the problem. We proceeded to apply median and Butterworth lowpass filters, but these too failed to remove the fringing. Eventually we created a flattening procedure which fit a polynomial to the data. A fourth-order polynomial significantly decreased the fringing effects, and an eighth-order polynomial combined with dividing the target source by a telluric standard removed nearly all of the fringing. We recognize that such a high order polynomial may reduce our senstivity to broad features, but should not preclude detection of narrow ones. We ultimately achieved signal-to-noise ratios of 120-200 for the June 2003 targets. No absorption features are apparent. A 3% peak absorption (better than 3σ) in the R-head corresponds to a C60 column density of 3 × 1015 cm-2, assuming the temperature is on the order of 30 K. This suggests < 0.6% of interstellar carbon in the form of C60. For comparison, the hypothesis that C60+ is a DIB carrier requires that 1% of carbon is in the form of C60+. There is concurrently a laboratory experiment underway at UIUC (in McCall's lab) to measure the precise band position and rotational constants of C60 in the gas phase using cavity ringdown laser absorption spectroscopy. The results of this

  14. Highly-ionized species in the interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Black, J. H.; Hartmann, L. W.; Raymond, J. C.; Dupree, A. K.

    1980-01-01

    Interstellar absorption lines have been observed toward 25 stars with the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite. Results are presented for observations of interstellar lines of C III, C IV, N V, Si III, and Si IV. Strong lines of Si IV or C IV are seen toward 11 stars. The strengths of these lines are inconsistent with their formation in the same hot gas responsible for the interstellar O IV lines observed with the Copernicus ultraviolet spectrometer. Comparison with simple models of the ionization structures of H II regions around hot stars suggests that the observed column densities of Si III, Si IV, and C IV are in harmony with those expected in normal photoionized nebulae. The line of sight to HD 93250, and O3 V star near Eta Carinae, passes through highly ionized gas that shows features spanning 250 km/s in radial velocity. Stellar wind velocities are presented for 21 of the stars observed in this survey of interstellar absorption lines.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Interstellar Glycolaldehyde: The First Sugar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-09-01

    Interstellar glycolaldehyde (CH2OHCHO) has been detected in emission toward the Galactic center source Sagittarius B2(N) by means of millimeter-wave rotational transitions. Glycolaldehyde is an important biomarker since it is structurally the simplest member of the monosaccharide sugars that heretofore have gone undetected in interstellar clouds. There is no consensus as to how any such large complex molecules are formed in the interstellar clouds. It may be that the typical environment of dense interstellar clouds is favorable to glycolaldehyde synthesis by means of the polymerization of formaldehyde (H2CO) molecules either on grain surfaces or in the gas phase. Alternatively, we speculate that glycolaldehyde and other complex molecules may undergo assembly from functional molecular groups on grain surfaces. Utilizing common chemical precursors, a chance process could account for the high degree of isomerism observed in complex interstellar molecules (e.g., methyl formate, acetic acid, and glycolaldehyde). This work suggests that the phenomenon of isomerism be investigated further as a means of potentially constraining interstellar chemistry routes for those individual sources where the condition of good source-beam coupling can be achieved.

  18. 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.

  19. Collisional Transitions in Interstellar Asymmetric Top Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chandra, Suresh

    2012-07-01

    For the study of a molecule in interstellar space or in circumstellar envelopes of an evolved star, one has to deal with a multi-level system in the molecule. These levels are connected through radiative as well as collisional transitions. The NLTE effects in a molecule come in the picture only when collisional transitions are present. Computation of collisional rates is quite cumbersome task. Besides emission and absorption, two anomalous phenomena: (i) MASER action and (ii) Anomalous absorption (Absorption against the CMB) are shown by some molecules in interstellar space. Both of these phenomena are good examples of NLTE prevailing in the interstellar space and circumstellar envelopes of evolved stars. In the present talk, we shall discuss about the collisional transitions between rotational levels in a molecule. The collisional rate coefficients for the rotational transition J τ → J' τ' at the kinetic temperature T, averaged over the Maxwellian distribution are C(J τ → J' τ'|T) = \\Big(\\frac{8 k T}{π μ}\\Big)^{1/2} \\Big(\\frac{1}{k T}\\Big)^2 \\int_0^\\infty σ (J τ → J' τ'|E) E {e}^{-E/kT} {d} E where μ is the reduced mass of the system and the cross section σ(J τ → J' τ'|E) for the transition is \\begin{eqnarray} σ (J τ → J' τ'|E) = \\sum_{L M M'} S(J, τ, J', τ'|L, M, M') q(L, M, M'|E) The q(L, M, M'|E) are the parameters which can be obtained from the software MOLSCAT. The spectroscopic coefficients, S ( J, τ, J', τ'|L, M, M'), depend on the wave-functions of the molecules and on the angular momentum coupling factors: S(J, τ, J', τ'|L, M, M') = \\sum_{p, p', q, q'} g^p_{J τ} g^q_{J τ} g^{p'}_{J' τ'} g^{q'}_{J' τ'} \\big \\big Here, \\big represents the Clebsch-Gorden coefficient. The g-coefficients can be obtained from laboratory analysis of the molecule and the parameters q(L, M, M'|E) can be obtained with the help of the software MOLSCAT for a

  20. First detection of [N II] 205 μm absorption in interstellar gas. Herschel-HIFI observations towards W 31C, W 49N, W 51, and G34.3+0.1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Persson, C. M.; Gerin, M.; Mookerjea, B.; Black, J. H.; Olberg, M.; Goicoechea, J. R.; Hassel, G. E.; Falgarone, E.; Levrier, F.; Menten, K. M.; Pety, J.

    2014-08-01

    We present high resolution [N ii] 205 μm (3P1 - 3P0) spectra obtained with Herschel-HIFI towards a small sample of far-infrared bright star forming regions in the Galactic plane: W 31C (G10.6-0.4), W 49N (G43.2-0.1), W 51 (G49.5-0.4), and G34.3+0.1. All sources display an emission line profile associated directly with the H ii regions themselves. For the first time we also detect absorption of the [N ii] 205 μm line by extended low-density foreground material towards W 31C and W 49N over a wide range of velocities. We attribute this absorption to the warm ionised medium (WIM) and find N(N+) ≈ 1.5 × 1017 cm-2 towards both sources. This is in agreement with recent Herschel-HIFI observations of [C ii] 158 μm, also observed in absorption in the same sight-lines, if ≈7-10% of all C+ ions exist in the WIM on average. Using an abundance ratio of [N] / [H] = 6.76 × 10-5 in the gas phase we find that the mean electron and proton volume densities are ~0.1-0.3 cm-3 assuming a WIM volume filling fraction of 0.1-0.4 with a corresponding line-of-sight filling fraction of 0.46-0.74. A low density and a high WIM filling fraction are also supported by RADEX modelling of the [N ii] 205 μm absorption and emission together with visible emission lines attributed mainly to the WIM. The detection of the 205 μm line in absorption emphasises the importance of a high spectral resolution, and also offers a new tool for investigation of the WIM. Appendix A is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.orgHerschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.

  1. 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.

  2. Properties of the Local Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dring, Andrew R.

    1998-07-01

    We present a comprehensive overview of the Local Interstellar Medium (LISM), defined roughly as the region within 200 pc of the Sun, and list the best values for the physical properties of the LISM. We find that the LISM is a very low density environment with a neutral hydrogen density of 0.01 cm-3 with a temperature of roughly 106 K and is probably the remnant of a supernova explosion. Within this hot ionized medium exist many small partially ionized clouds with neutral hydrogen densities of order 0.1 cm-3 and temperatures around 8000 K. The best studied of these clouds is the one in which our Sun resides, termed the Local Interstellar Cloud (LIC). Because the Sun lies inside the LIC, it is seen in absorption in nearly all directions allowing a fairly accurate determination of the LIC's space motion through Doppler triangulation. The LIC is moving at 27 ± 3 km s-1 in the direction Galactic langitude = 184 ± 3o and Galactic latitude = [-]16/pm3o. The measured deuterium to hydrogen ratio for the LIC along every sightline is consistent with a value of 1.6×10-5, the best determined value being the beta Cas line of sight with D/H = 1.7/pm0.3×10-5. We also present evidence for a stellar hydrogen wall around the star epsilon Eri.

  3. Interstellar Clouds Near the Sun, III

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frisch, Priscilla C.

    We propose to continue a study of interstellar sight-lines with low total column densities in order to determine the nature (temperature, density, fractional ionization) of the low density gas near the Sun and within the interior of the local superbubble. IUE data, combined with previous Copernicus observations, can be used to delimit the filling factor of nearby low density warm gas, and by default restrict the filling factor of 10^6 K plasma. In the proposed program, observations of MgI and ZnII(and in one region CIV) are combined with cloud maps and ground-based NaI observations (from a separate program) to restrict gas temperature, spatial and electron densities. The Welty et al. (1986) technique for removing fixed pattern noise through observations of a template star (used to flat-field the target stars on a pixel-by-pixel basis) is used to enable 3sigma absorption line detections at the 6-9 mA level, depending on the number of exposures involved. The ultimate goal of both the IUE and ground-based program is to map out the local interstellar medium. Apart from the intrinsic interest of this problem, it will help define regions where ultraviolet sources can be observed with FUSE/Lyman at lambda<912 A.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  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. The Local Interstellar Medium Legacy Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welsh, B.

    We propose to provide a legacy database of far ultraviolet absorption spectra (912 - 1100AA) of 44 bright early-type B stars residing within sim 50pc of the Sun. These spectra will primarily be used to map the physical and chemical characteristics of the neutral and ionized interstellar gas that lies both within and just beyond the contours of the Local Bubble region. Of particular importance will be the detection of the OVI ion, which is known to trace highly ionized, hot (sim 300,000K) interstellar gas. We shall produce plots of the spatial distribution of the OVI ion with respect to the cold and dense neutral boundary to the rarefied Local Bubble cavity. This information will provide new insights into the possible production mechanisms for this ion that is widely believed to be formed at the conductive interfaces of evaporating gas clouds. Our database will also allow study of the spatial distribution of the ions of ArI, OI, FeII, CII, CIII, NI and NII, such that both diffuse neutral and ionized local gas can be probed in order to determine if photo-ionization conditions dominate within the local cavity. These data will also allow an investigation of the gas phase element abundances in the local gas, such that we will be able to compare their relative depletion patterns with both the galactic disk and halo gas. In addition to these prime science objectives these data will also provide a large database of observations of local H_2 molecular absorption, as well as a large, high SN set of early-type star spectra that can be modelled with appropriate stellar atmospheres.

  9. TRES Survey of Variable Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Law, Charles; Milisavljevic, Dan; Crabtree, Kyle; Johansen, Sommer; Patnaude, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are absorption features commonly observed in optical/near-infrared spectra of stars and thought to be associated with polyatomic molecules that comprise a significant reservoir of organic material in the universe. However, because the central wavelengths of DIBs do not correspond with electronic transitions of known atomic or molecular species, the specific physical nature of their carriers remains inconclusive despite decades of observational, theoretical, and experimental research. It is well established that DIB carriers must be located in the interstellar medium, but the recent discovery of time-varying DIBs in the spectra of the extragalactic supernova SN 2012ap suggests that some may be created in massive star environments. We report evidence of short time-scale (˜1-60 days) variations in DIB absorption line substructure toward 3 of 17 massive stars observed as part of a pathfinder survey of variable DIBs. The detections are made in high-resolution optical spectra (R ˜ 44000) from the Tillinghast Reflection Echelle Spectrograph on the 1.5m Tillinghast telescope at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory's Fred L. Whipple Observatory on Mt. Hopkins in Arizona. Our detections have signal-to-noise ratios of 5-15 around the features of interest, and are thus considered significant but requiring further investigation. We find that these changes are potentially consistent with interactions between stellar winds and DIB carriers in close proximity. Our findings motivate a larger survey to further characterize these variations and may establish a powerful new method for probing the poorly understood physical characteristics of DIB carriers.

  10. Interstellar Propulsion Research Within NASA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Cook, Stephen (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    NASA is actively conducting advanced propulsion research and technology development in various in-space transportation technologies with potential application to interstellar missions and precursors. Within the last few years, interest in the scientific community in interstellar missions as well as outer heliospheric missions, which could function as interstellar precursor missions, has increased. A mission definition team was charted by NASA to define such a precursor, The Interstellar Probe, which resulted in a prioritization of relatively near-term transportation technologies to support its potential implementation. In addition, the goal of finding and ultimately imaging extra solar planets has raised the issue of our complete inability to mount an expedition to such as planet, should one be found. Even contemplating such a mission with today's technology is a stretch of the imagination. However, there are several propulsion concepts, based on known physics, that have promise to enable interstellar exploration in the future. NASA is making small, incremental investments in some key advanced propulsion technologies in an effort to advance their state-of-the-art in support potential future mission needs. These technologies, and their relative maturity, are described.

  11. Interstellar neutrals in interplanetary space

    SciTech Connect

    Hovestadt, D.; Moebius, E. )

    1989-03-01

    The solar system is moving through the interstellar medium with a velocity of about 20 km/s. The neutral interstellar gas, which thereby penetrates the heliosphere, is subject to ionization by solar UV radiation, charge exchange with the solar wind, and electron collisions. The newly created ions are then picked by the solar wind through interaction of interstellar neutrals with the interplanetary magnetic field. The pick-up ions with their peculiar elemental composition probably also constitute the source particles of the Anomalous Cosmic Ray Component (ACR). In this report descriptions of the interaction with the solar wind are reviewed. While most of the constituents are already ionized far beyond the orbit of the Earth, neutral helium (because of its high ionization potential) approaches the Sun to {lt}1 AU. The pick-up of interstellar He{sup +} ions has recently been directly observed for the first time. The observed velocity distribution of He{sup +} extending up to twice the solar wind velocity can be explained in terms of pitch angle scattering of the ions probably by interplanetary Alven waves and subsequent adiabatic cooling in the expanding solar wind. Thermal coupling of the He{sup +} to the solar wind is negligible in the inner heliosphere. Detailed studies of the pick-up distribution provide a method to investigate the interplanetary propagation parameters and the state of the local interstellar medium.

  12. "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

  13. "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

  14. Correlation properties of interstellar dust: Diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Somerville, W. B.

    1989-01-01

    Results are presented from a research program in which an attempt was made to establish the physical nature of the interstellar grains, and the carriers of the diffuse interstellar bands, by comparing relations between different observed properties; the properties used include the extinction in the optical and ultraviolet (including wavelength 2200 and the far-UV rise), cloud density, atomic depletions, and strengths of the diffuse bands. Observations and also data from literature were used, selecting particularly sight-lines where some observed property was found to have anomalous behavior.

  15. HIGH IONIZATION SPECIES IN THE NEARBY INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM FROM AN EXHAUSTIVE ANALYSIS OF THE IUE INES DATABASE

    SciTech Connect

    Freire Ferrero, R.; Halbwachs, J.-L.; Morales Duran, C.; Cabo Cubeiro, A. M. E-mail: jean-louis.halbwachs@astro.unistra.fr E-mail: amcabo@cab.inta-csic.es

    2012-02-15

    Main-sequence (MS) and giant late-B and early-A type stars are the best targets for searching for nearby interstellar (IS) Si IV and C IV resonance lines because they are not able to produce them, either in atmospheric layers or in their circumstellar environment, and because many stars of these spectral types are nearby and located in the local interstellar medium (LISM). In addition, the use of certain stars hotter than B6 can lead to misinterpretations (e.g., alpha Arae). This work analyzes the reliable Short-Wavelength Prime high-resolution UV spectra of 558 B6-A9 type stars observed by the International Ultraviolet Explorer at distances lower than 400 pc from the Sun. For the first time, this work utilizes the entire INES database to extract stellar and IS information in a systematic way from homogeneous data. Stars were classified into seven groups: normal (MS and subgiant), giant, peculiar, emission line, Algols, pre-main sequence or Herbig Ae/Be, and shell stars. Only 10 normal stars, located beyond 90 pc, show weak Si IV and C IV absorptions and are clustered around the direction of Sco-Cen, while 85 located closer than 90 pc, as well as another 89 beyond 90 pc, do not show any absorptions at all. We conclude that these highly ionized species originate most probably in the LISM, at 90 pc from the Sun, corresponding to the warm interaction zone (IZ), where the expanding Loop I super-shell and the Local Bubble collide. We base our results on a robust statistical analysis of both spectral types and spatial distributions of the different stellar groups we defined. Our estimated column densities N of both ions are similar to those obtained by other authors for distant stars, suggesting that these absorptions concentrate fundamentally in the IZ. A logarithmic correlation between N and the distance D confirms these results.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Interstellar helium in interplanetary space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feldman, W. C.; Lange, J. J.; Scherb, F.

    1972-01-01

    The velocity distribution function of He(+) in the solar wind at 1 AU is calculated with the assumption that the source is photoionization of a cold (T = 100 K), neutral interstellar wind. If the spiral magnetic field is noise free, the velocity distribution is diffuse and would not produce a peak at 4(E over Q) sub H in an E over Q particle spectrum. If the velocity of the interstellar wind with respect to the sun lies in the ecliptic, a large variation of the He(+) number density with respect to ecliptic longitude is expected.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. On the question of interstellar travel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolfe, J. H.

    1985-01-01

    Arguments are presented which show that motives for interstellar travel by advanced technological civilizations based on an extrapolation of earth's history may be quite invalid. In addition, it is proposed that interstellar travel is so enormously expensive and perhaps so hazardous, that advanced civilizations do not engage in such practices because of the ease of information transfer via interstellar communication.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. The Speed Limit for Graphene Interstellar Photon Sails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matloff, G. L.

    Graphene, a two-dimensional carbon molecular monolayer, has properties that may render it very useful for application to interstellar solar photon sailing. These include very low areal mass thickness, high melting point, high impermeability to fill gas in a hollow-body sail configuration, and high tensile strength. With appropriate "additives," graphene has a finite reflectance to sunlight and sunlight absorption of 40% or higher. Here, we evaluate the probably unobtainable ultimate performance of this material. It is assumed that absorption can be raised to 95% and reflectance to 5% without increasing areal mass thickness over the graphene value of 7.4 * 10-7 kg/m2. It is also assumed that the only limitations on perihelion distance are thermal; spaceenvironment effects and possible variation of optical properties with temperature are ignored. To evaluate ultimate performance, an initially parabolic solar orbit with a ~0.01 AU perihelion is assumed. A thin-film probe with the payload integrated with the sail can achieve an interstellar cruise velocity of ~0.046c in the highly unlikely event that accelerations of ~6,000g can be tolerated. Regardless of the final velocity, graphene "Starwisps" might see application in interstellar particle-beam propulsion.

  9. 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.

  10. A new interstellar component in the spectrum of HD 72127A

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hobbs, L. M.; Wallerstein, G.; Huu, E. M.

    1982-01-01

    New high dispersion observations are reported of the very strong, broad interstellar K line of Ca II in the spectrum of HD 72127A, a star located near a filament of the Vela supernova remnant. When compared with similar observations made in 1977, the new data reveal temporal variability of the interstellar absorption, as shown both by the presence of a new, sixth line component and by a 25% increase in the total equivalent width of the K line. All five Ca II components which were seen in both years show very large column-density ratios N(Ca II) /N(Na I) at least equal to 9, probably arising from anomalously large interstellar gas-phase abundances of Ca caused by disruption of interstellar grains. Marked differences in the structure of the K line between the two early-type components of this binary star, which are separated by only 3000 AU, are confirmed.

  11. Laboratory Investigations into the Spectra and Origin of Propylene Oxide: A Chiral Interstellar Molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hudson, R. L.; Loeffler, M. J.; Yocum, K. M.

    2017-02-01

    Propylene oxide was recently identified in the interstellar medium, but few laboratory results are available for this molecule to guide current and future investigations. To address this situation, here we report infrared spectra, absorption coefficients, and band strengths of solid propylene oxide along with the first measurement of its refractive index and a calculation of its density, all for the amorphous solid form of the compound. We present the first experimental results showing a low-temperature formation pathway for propylene oxide near 10 K in interstellar ice analogs. Connections are drawn between our new results and the interstellar molecules propanal and acetone, and predictions are made about several as yet unobserved vinyl alcohols and methylketene. Comparisons are given to earlier laboratory work and a few applications to interstellar and solar system astrochemistry are described.

  12. The interstellar Li-7/Li-6 isotope ratio toward Zeta Ophiuchi and Zeta Persei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meyer, David M.; Hawkins, Isabel; Wright, Edward L.

    1993-01-01

    High S/N, high-resolution observations of the interstellar Li absorption lines toward the stars Zeta Ophiuchi and Zeta Persei are reported. Li I line profiles indicate the presence of both the Li-7 and Li-6 doublets in these two sightlines. Best-fit values for the interstellar Li-7/Li-6 isotope ratio are 6.8 (+1.4/-1.7) towards Zeta Ophiuchi and 5.5 (+ 1.3/-1.1) toward Zeta Persei. Measurement of 6.8 (+1.4/-1.7) for the interstellar Li-7/Li-6 isotope ratio towards Zeta Ophiuchi does not support the lower limit of 25 determined by Ferlet and Dennefeld (1984). The current value of the interstellar Li-7/Li-6 isotope ratio is the result of various lithium production and destruction processes involving stars, cosmic rays, and the big bang.

  13. 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

  14. 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)

  15. 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.

  16. 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).

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. ACCURATE MODELING OF X-RAY EXTINCTION BY INTERSTELLAR GRAINS

    SciTech Connect

    Hoffman, John; Draine, B. T. E-mail: draine@astro.princeton.edu

    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.

  1. Interstellar lines in the ultraviolet spectrum of zeta Oph

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, A. M.

    1972-01-01

    Interstellar lines arising in carbon, oxygen, silicon, and sulfur observed in the ultraviolet spectrum of zeta Oph by rocket spectrographic techniques were analyzed. Within a factor of 10, the abundances of c(+), neutral 0, and Si(+) outside the H II region surrounding zeta Oph, relative to the hydrogen abundance, are equal to solar values. The lines in neutral C and S(+) imply that the interstellar matter is distributed among several clouds as indicated by high resolution visible spectra. It is suggested that the excited C(+) ions are inside the Stromgren sphere where proton densities equal to or greater than 0.0022 cm can collisionally excite the ions at sufficient rates. Stellar absorption lines of C IV (1548.2, 1550.8A) and N V (1238.8, 1242.8A) were observed shifted to lower wavelengths, indicating stellar mass loss.

  2. 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.

  3. 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)

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. The Diffuse Interstellar Clouds toward 23 Orionis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welty, Daniel E.; Hobbs, L. M.; Lauroesch, James T.; Morton, Donald C.; Spitzer, Lyman; York, Donald G.

    1999-10-01

    Spectra obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph are combined with high-resolution optical spectra and UV spectra from Copernicus to study the abundances and physical conditions in the diffuse interstellar clouds seen along the line of sight to the star 23 Ori. Multiple absorption components are present for each of several distinct types of gas, which are characterized by different relative abundance and depletion patterns and physical conditions. Strong low-velocity (SLV) absorption, due to cool, moderately dense neutral gas and representing about 92% of the total N(H I), is seen for various neutral and singly ionized species at +20 km s-1<~vsolar<~+26 km s-1. Most typically severely depleted species are less depleted by factors of 2-4, compared to the ``cold, dense cloud'' pattern found, for example, in the main components toward ζ Oph.For the two strongest SLV components, T~100 K and the thermal pressure log (nHT)~3.1 cm-3 K; we thus have nH~10-15 cm-3 and a total thickness of 12-16 pc. The adopted average SLV electron density, ne=0.15+/-0.05 cm-3, implies a relatively large ne/nH~0.01 and thus some ionization of hydrogen in these predominantly neutral components. Weaker low-velocity (WLV) absorption, probably largely due to warmer neutral gas, is seen primarily for various singly ionized species at 0 km s-1<~vsolar<~+30 km s-1. The depletions in the WLV gas are typically less severe by a factor of 2-3 than in the SLV gas and are somewhat similar to the ``warm cloud'' pattern seen in lines of sight with low reddening, low mean density, and/or low molecular fraction. If T~3000 K for the WLV components, then we have log(nHT)~4.7-4.8 cm-3 K, nH~15-20 cm-3, ne~0.2 cm-3, ne/nH~0.01, and a total thickness of 0.7-0.9 pc. Absorption from a number of singly and doubly ionized species, perhaps due to a radiative shock, is seen at -108 km s-1<~vsolar<~-83 km s-1. While the depletions in these ionized components are uncertain owing to

  10. Fullerenes and Buckyonions in the Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iglesias Groth, S.

    2004-09-01

    We have studied the contribution of single fullerenes and buckyonions to the interstellar extinction. The photoabsorption spectra of these molecules is predicted and compared with some of the most relevant features of interstellar extinction, the UV bump, far UV rise and the diffuse interstellar bands. We conclude that fullerenes and buckyonions may explain these features and make a preliminary estimate of the carbon fraction locked in these molecules.

  11. Intersystem transitions of interstellar carbon monoxide toward zeta Ophiuchi

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Federman, S. R.; Cardelli, Jason A.; Sheffer, Yaron; Lambert, David L.; Morton, D. C.

    1994-01-01

    Absorption from seven intersystem (triplet-singlet) transitions of interstellar (12)CO were detected in ultraviolet spectra of zeta Oph. The observed equivalent widths are approximately consistent with the transitions' predicted f-values and the (12) CO column density derived from the weakest of the observed A-X bands. These unsaturated intersystem transitions provide the opportunity to measure the (12)CO column density for heavily reddened (dense) sight lines. Laboratory measurements of oscillator strengths more precise than available ones will be needed to derive accurate column densities.

  12. 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.

  13. The Origin and Evolution of Interstellar Dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dwek, Eli; Houches, Les

    2006-01-01

    In this lecture I will discuss the many different manifestation of interstellar dust, and current dust models that satisfy interstellar extinction, diffuse infrared emission, and interstellar abundances constraints. Dust is made predominantly in AGB stars and Type I1 supernovae, and I will present observational evidence for the presence of dust in these sources. I will then present chemical evolution models that follow the abundance of dust which is determined by the combined processes of formation, destruction by interstellar shock waves, and accretion in molecular clouds. The model will be applied to the evolution of PAHs and the evolution of dust in the high-redshift galaxy (z=6.42) JD11.

  14. Structure and Dynamics of the Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tenorio-Tagle, Guillermo; Moles, Mariano; Melnick, Jorge

    Here for the first time is a book that treats practically all aspects of modern research in interstellar matter astrophysics. 20 review articles and 40 carefully selected and refereed papers give a thorough overview of the field and convey the flavor of enthusiastic colloquium discussions to the reader. The book includes sections on: - Molecular clouds, star formation and HII regions - Mechanical energy sources - Discs, outflows, jets and HH objects - The Orion Nebula - The extragalactic interstellar medium - Interstellar matter at high galactic latitudes - The structure of the interstellar medium

  15. Interstellar and interplanetary solids in the laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dartois, Emmanuel; Alata, Ivan; Engrand, Cécile; Brunetto, Rosario; Duprat, Jean; Pino, Thomas; Quirico, Eric; Remusat, Laurent; Bardin, Noémie; Mostefaoui, Smail; Morinaud, Gilles; Crane, Bruno; Szwec, Nicolas; Delauche, Lucie; Jamme, Frédéric; Sandt, Christophe; Dumas, Paul

    The composition of interstellar matter is driven by environmental parameters and results from extreme interstellar medium physico-chemical conditions. Astrochemists must rely on remote observations to monitor and analyze the interstellar solids composition. They bring additional information from the study of analogues produced in the laboratory, placed in simulated space environments. Planetologists and cosmochemists access and spectroscopically examine collected extraterrestrial material in the laboratory. Diffuse interstellar medium and molecular clouds observations set constraints on the composition of organic solids that can then be compared with collected extraterrestrial materials analyses, to shed light on their possible links.

  16. Interstellar Dust Models Towards Some IUE Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katyal, N.; Gupta, R.; Vaidya, D. B.

    2013-12-01

    We study the extinction properties of the composite dust grains, consisting of host silicate spheroids and graphite as inclusions, using discrete dipole approximation (DDA). We calculate the extinction cross sections of the composite grains in the ultraviolet spectral region, 1200\\AA -3200\\AA and study the variation in extinction as a function of the volume fraction of the inclusions. We compare the model extinction curves with the observed interstellar extinction curves obtained from the data given by the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite. Our results for the composite grains show a distinct variation in the extinction efficiencies with the variation in the volume fraction of the inclusions. In particular, it is found that the wavelength of peak absorption at `2175\\AA' shifts towards the longer wavelength with the variation in the volume fraction of inclusions. We find that the composite grain models with the axial ratios viz. 1.33 and 2.0 fit the observed extinction reasonably well with a grain size distribution, a = 0.005-0.250$\\mu m$. Moreover, our results of the composite grains clearly indicate that the inhomogeneity in the grain structure, composition and the surrounding media modifies the extinction properties of the grains.

  17. The Abundance of Mg in the Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fitzpatrick, Edward L.

    1997-06-01

    An empirical determination of the f-values of the far-UV Mg II λλ1239, 1240 lines is reported. The strong near-UV Mg II λλ2796, 2803 lines are generally highly saturated along most interstellar sight lines outside the local interstellar medium (ISM) and usually yield extremely uncertain estimates of Mg+ column densities in interstellar gas. Since Mg+ is the dominant form of Mg in the neutral ISM, and since Mg is expected to be a significant constituent of interstellar dust grains, the far-UV lines are critical for assessing the role of this important element in the ISM. This study consists of complete component analyses of the absorption along the lines of sight toward HD 93521 in the Galactic halo and ξ Persei and ζ Ophiuchi in the Galactic disk, including all four UV Mg+ lines and numerous other transitions. The three analyses yield consistent determinations of the λλ1239, 1240 f-values, with weighted means of (6.4 +/- 0.4) × 10-4 and (3.2 +/- 0.2) × 10-4, respectively. These results are a factor of ~2.4 larger than a commonly used theoretical estimate, and a factor of ~2 smaller than a recently suggested empirical revision. The effects of this result on gas- and dust-phase abundance measurements of Mg are discussed. Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, under NASA contract NAS5-2655. This Letter is dedicated to the memory of Professor Lyman Spitzer Jr. He was a great guy.

  18. Multiphase Turbulent Interstellar Medium: Some Recent Results from Radio Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Nirupam

    2015-06-01

    The radio frequency 1.4 GHz transition of the atomic hydrogen is one of the important tracers of the diffuse neutral interstellar medium. Radio astronomical observations of this transition, using either a single dish telescope or an array interferometer, reveal different properties of the interstellar medium. Such observations are particularly useful to study the multiphase nature and turbulence in the interstellar gas. Observations with multiple radio telescopes have recently been used to study these two closely related aspects in greater detail. This review article presents a brief outline of some of the basic ideas of radio astronomical observations and data analysis, summarizes the results from these recent observations, and discusses possible implications of the results. Using various observational techniques, the density and the velocity fluctuations in the Galactic interstellar medium was found to have a Kolmogorov-like power law power spectra. The observed power law scaling of the turbulent velocity dispersion with the length scale can be used to derive the true temperature distribution of the medium. Observations from a large ongoing atomic hydrogen absorption line survey have also been used to study the distribution of gas at different temperature. The thermal steady state model predicts that the multiphase neutral gas will exist in cold and warm phase with temperature below 200 K and above 5000 K respectively. However, these observations clearly show the presence of a large fraction of gas in the intermediate unstable phase. These results raise serious doubt about the validity of the standard model, and highlight the necessity of alternative theoretical models. Interestingly, numerical simulations suggest that some of the observational results can be explained consistently by including the effects of turbulence in the models of the multiphase medium.

  19. MATRIICES - Mass Analytical Tool for Reactions in Interstellar ICES

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isokoski, K.; Bossa, J. B.; Linnartz, H.

    2011-05-01

    The formation of complex organic molecules (COMs) observed in the inter- and circumstellar medium (ISCM) is driven by a complex chemical network yet to be fully characterized. Interstellar dust grains and the surrounding ice mantles, subject to atom bombardment, UV irradiation, and thermal processing, are believed to provide catalytic sites for such chemistry. However, the solid state chemical processes and the level of complexity reachable under astronomical conditions remain poorly understood. The conventional laboratory techniques used to characterize the solid state reaction pathways - RAIRS (Reflection Absorption IR Spectroscopy) and TPD (Temperature-Programmed Desorption) - are suitable for the analysis of reactions in ices made of relatively small molecules. For more complex ices comprising a series of different components as relevant to the interstellar medium, spectral overlapping prohibits unambiguous identification of reaction schemes, and these techniques start to fail. Therefore, we have constructed a new and innovative experimental set up for the study of complex interstellar ices featuring a highly sensitive and unambiguous detection method. MATRIICES (Mass Analytical Tool for Reactions in Interstellar ICES) combines Laser Ablation technique with a molecular beam experiment and Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (LA-TOF-MS) to sample and analyze the ice analogues in situ, at native temperatures, under clean ultra-high vacuum conditions. The method allows direct sampling and analysis of the ice constituents in real time, by using a pulsed UV ablation laser (355-nm Nd:YAG) to vaporize the products in a MALDI-TOF like detection scheme. The ablated material is caught in a synchronously pulsed molecular beam of inert carrier gas (He) from a supersonic valve, and analysed in a Reflectron Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer. The detection limit of the method is expected to exceed that of the regular surface techniques substantially. The ultimate goal is to fully

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The first step of interstellar chemistry revealed by Herschel/HIFI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falgarone, E.; Gerin, M.; Godard, B.; de Luca, M.

    2010-12-01

    Absorption spectroscopy performed with Herschel/HIFI in the direction of bright star-forming regions of the inner Galaxy provides a new probe of the interstellar medium. The ground-state transition of several light hydrides are found to have large optical depths and are therefore sensitive tracers of gas components that are poorly known such as gas of low density containing only a small fraction of molecular hydrogen. The large observed abundances of HF, CH^+, OH^+, H_2O^+ among others, provide new clues on the processes leading to the incorporation of heavy elements into interstellar chemistry.

  3. 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.

  4. The Interstellar Cloud Surrounding the Solar System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frisch, P. C.

    Ultraviolet spectral data of nearby stars indicate that the cloud surrounding the solar system has an average neutral density n(HI)~0.1 cm-3, temperature ~6800 K, and turbulence ~1.7 km/s. Comparisons between the anomalous cosmic ray data and ultraviolet data suggest that the electron density is in the range n(e-)~0.22 to 0.44 cm-3. This cloud is flowing past the Sun from a position centered in the Norma-Lupis region. The cloud properties are consistent with interstellar gas which originated as material evaporated from the surfaces of embedded clouds in the Scorpius-Centaurus Association, and which was then displaced towards the Sun by a supernova event about 4 Myrs ago. The Sun and surrounding cloud velocities are nearly perpendicular in space, and this cloud is sweeping past the Sun. The morphology of this cloud can be reconstructed by assuming that the cloud moves in a direction parallel to the surface normal. With this assumption, the Sun entered the surrounding cloud 2000 to 8000 years ago, and is now about 0.05 to 0.16 pc from the cloud surface. Prior to its recent entry into the surrounding cloud complex, the Sun was embedded in a region of space with average density lower than 0.0002 cm-3. If a denser cloud velocity component seen towards alpha Cen A,B is real, it will encounter the solar system within 50,000 yr. The nearby magnetic field seen upwind has a spatial orientation that is parallel to the cloud surface. The nearby star Sirius is viewed through the wake of the solar system, but this direction also samples the hypothetical cloud interface. Comparisons of anomalous cosmic ray and interstellar absorption line data suggest that trace elements in the surrounding cloud are in ionization equilibrium. Data towards nearby white dwarfs indicate partial helium ionization, N(N(HI)(/N(HeI)>~13.7, which is consistent with pickup ion data within the solar system if less than 40% hydrogen ionization occurs in the heliopause region. However, the white dwarfs may

  5. 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

  6. Simulation of optical interstellar scintillation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Habibi, F.; Moniez, M.; Ansari, R.; Rahvar, S.

    2013-04-01

    Aims: Stars twinkle because their light propagates through the atmosphere. The same phenomenon is expected on a longer time scale when the light of remote stars crosses an interstellar turbulent molecular cloud, but it has never been observed at optical wavelengths. The aim of the study described in this paper is to fully simulate the scintillation process, starting from the molecular cloud description as a fractal object, ending with the simulations of fluctuating stellar light curves. Methods: Fast Fourier transforms are first used to simulate fractal clouds. Then, the illumination pattern resulting from the crossing of background star light through these refractive clouds is calculated from a Fresnel integral that also uses fast Fourier transform techniques. Regularisation procedure and computing limitations are discussed, along with the effect of spatial and temporal coherency (source size and wavelength passband). Results: We quantify the expected modulation index of stellar light curves as a function of the turbulence strength - characterised by the diffraction radius Rdiff - and the projected source size, introduce the timing aspects, and establish connections between the light curve observables and the refractive cloud. We extend our discussion to clouds with different structure functions from Kolmogorov-type turbulence. Conclusions: Our study confirms that current telescopes of ~4 m with fast-readout, wide-field detectors have the capability of discovering the first interstellar optical scintillation effects. We also show that this effect should be unambiguously distinguished from any other type of variability through the observation of desynchronised light curves, simultaneously measured by two distant telescopes.

  7. Interstellar Material towards eta UMa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frisch, P. C.; Jenkins, E. B.; Welty, D. E.; Johns-Krull, C.

    1999-05-01

    The star eta UMa (B3 V, vsini=205 km s(-1) , d=31 pc, l=101(o) , b=+65(o) ) samples nearby interstellar gas in a high latitude direction relatively devoid of material. IMAPS, Hubble GHRS Echelle, and ground based optical data are combined to present a comprehensive picture of the interstellar material (ISM) in this direction. Two main components dominate: the blue-shifted component which appears to be ionized, and the dominant, red-shifted, component which exhibits a low electron density ( ~ 0.2 cm(-3) ). However, the Mg(o/Mg^+) ratio and C(+) fine-structure lines yield different ionizations, depending on the adopted temperature, similar to differences found in the diffuse material towards 23 Ori (Welty et al. 1999). The IMAPS and GHRS data give C, N, O, and Fe column densities, which form the basis for calculating the gas-to-dust mass ratio for the main component using a ``missing mass'' calculation combined with an assumed reference abundance (Frisch et al. 1999). Comparing the eta UMa value with other diffuse cloud values then further constrains uncertainties in N(H(o) ) values for this sightline.

  8. Probing the Diffuse Interstellar Medium at AU Scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lauroesch, J. T.; Meyer, D. M.

    2002-12-01

    Recently, there have been a number of serendipitous discoveries of temporal variations in interstellar absorption lines indicative of significant structure on AU scales. In an effort to better quantify the fraction of gas in these smallest scale structures, we have obtained multi-epoch, high spectral resolution observations of interstellar NaI, CaII, CH, CH+, and CN absorption lines toward a number of stars using the KPNO Coude Feed telescope. Our NaI survey has followed 27 stars for 2 to 7 years, and probed scales of 1-40 AU. To date, we have identified no variable components for the 11 stars in our sample with projected motions of less than 10 AU, while we have identified at least 3 variable components toward the 16 stars with projected motions greater than 10 AU. Following the suggestion by Pan, Federman, and Welty (2001, ApJ, 558, L105) that CN may be a particularly useful tracer of density variations, we have begun to search for temporal fluctuations in the strength of the CN lines. So far we have found no compelling evidence for temporal variations in any sightline, although our sample size is still small. For example, we have recently obtained very high S/N ratio spectra towards the star zeta Oph, and find no variations in the strength of the R(0), R(1), and P(1) lines of the 3874 CN (0,0) band at the 0.1 mA level. The corresponding limits on the variation in the column densities depend upon the details of the component model, but suggest that the total CN column has changed by less than 5 percent over a period of 10 years, or a projected motion of approximately 40 AU. We will discuss these results in the context of interstellar turbulence models for the formation of small scale structure.

  9. 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

  10. Thermodynamics and Charging of Interstellar Iron Nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hensley, Brandon S.; Draine, B. T.

    2017-01-01

    Interstellar iron in the form of metallic iron nanoparticles may constitute a component of the interstellar dust. We compute the stability of iron nanoparticles to sublimation in the interstellar radiation field, finding that iron clusters can persist down to a radius of ≃4.5 Å, and perhaps smaller. We employ laboratory data on small iron clusters to compute the photoelectric yields as a function of grain size and the resulting grain charge distribution in various interstellar environments, finding that iron nanoparticles can acquire negative charges, particularly in regions with high gas temperatures and ionization fractions. If ≳10% of the interstellar iron is in the form of ultrasmall iron clusters, the photoelectric heating rate from dust may be increased by up to tens of percent relative to dust models with only carbonaceous and silicate grains.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Signatures of aging silicate dust. [in interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nuth, Joseph A., III; Hecht, James H.

    1990-01-01

    A self-consistent explanation for the width, strength, and position of spectral features which may be diagnostic of the structure and composition of circumstellar and interstellar silicate grains is presented based on a long series of laboratory experiments using simple oxide analogs. The ratio of the integrated absorption strength of the grains near 10 mu to that near 20 mu is shown to decrease monotonically with increased processing. This ratio may be diagnostic of the relative age of the silicate. The oxidation state of iron in the grains is directly related to both the near-IR grain opacity and enhanced absorption in the UV. The oxidation state of both iron and silicon is directly related to the rate of nucleation, growth, and processing in a circumstellar outflow, as well as to the processing history of the grain after it reaches the interstellar medium. Other diagnostic indicators of the average silicon oxidation state, degree of structural polymerization, and dispersion in the average degree of structural polymerization are discussed.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. A Tale of Two Mysteries in Interstellar Astrophysics: The 2175 Å Extinction Bump and Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiang, F. Y.; Li, Aigen; Zhong, J. X.

    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 Å 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 Å extinction bump is also often attributed to the π-π* transition in PAHs. If PAHs are indeed responsible for both the 2175 Å extinction feature and DIBs, their strengths may correlate. We perform an extensive literature search for lines of sight for which both the 2175 Å extinction feature and DIBs have been measured. Unfortunately, we found no correlation between the strength of the 2175 Å 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 Å bump is mainly from large PAHs or PAH clusters in condensed phase so that there is no tight correlation between DIBs and the 2175 Å bump.

  17. 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.

  18. Interstellar Neutral Gas Flow Measurements with the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) - Implications on Interstellar Medium and Heliosphere Diagnostics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moebius, E.; Bochsler, P. A.; Bzowski, M.; Fuselier, S. A.; Heirtzler, D.; Hlond, M.; Kubiak, M.; Kucharek, H.; Lee, M. A.; Leonard, T.; McComas, D. J.; Saul, L. A.; Schwadron, N. A.; Sokol, J.; Wurz, P.

    2013-05-01

    The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) observes the interstellar neutral gas flow tra-jectories at their perihelion in Earth's orbit every year from December through late March, when the Earth moves into the oncoming flow. Surprisingly, the initial quantita-tive analysis resulted in a somewhat different interstellar flow vector with noticeably lower speed than obtained previously. In comparison with astronomical observations of the flow vectors of neighboring interstellar clouds, this result locates the solar system within the Local Interstellar Cloud (LIC), contrary to the previous determination, which indicated values between the LIC and the G-Cloud. This year, the fifth season is being accumulated, providing a database over increasing solar activity and with varying view-ing strategies. These recurring observations of the interstellar flow pattern and its spatial distribution allow us to consolidate the derived physical conditions of the surrounding interstellar medium. We can also track variations in the flow at 1 AU that may arise from solar cycle related changes in ionization and radiation pressure for H and explore any other variations of the neutral gas flow. Based on the angular distributions in latitude and longitude, the neutral flow observations also indicate the presence of a secondary compo-nent for most of the species, which most probably stems from charge exchange with ions in the outer heliosheath. We will review our observations and discuss implications for the LIC and its interaction with the heliosphere in the light of a growing data set and improv-ing analysis techniques.

  19. 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.

  20. Interstellar and circumstellar medium in the direction to IR source IRAS 01005+7910

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sendzikas, E. G.

    2016-01-01

    Using the high-resolution spectra obtained at the 6-meter telescope of the SAO RAS over 2002-2013, we studied the spectral features of the lines of interstellar medium. The radial velocities of the Na I 5890 Å, Na I 5896 Å, Ca II 3934 Å and Ca II 3968 Å absorption lines were analyzed. Seven diffuse interstellar bands 4964, 5780, 5797, 6196, 6203, 6379 Å were identified in the optical spectrum of IRAS01005+7910. Radial velocities V r and equivalent widths W λ of these DIBs were measured, for which the values of the interstellar reddening E B-V and column density of neutral hydrogen log [N(H)] were calculated.

  1. Molecular absorption features in translucent clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krelowski, Jacek

    2007-12-01

    Interstellar clouds, composed of neutral hydrogen, consist about 90% of the total mass of interstellar medium. Their absorption spectra contain: continuous extinction, atomic lines, molecular features and the unidentified diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs). The latter are also believed to be carried by some, rather complex molecules. A vast majority of DIBs is characterized by small central depths. This is why they became observable only since the solid state detectors are widely applied in astrophysics. It is to be emphasized that interstellar absorptions, seen along the same line of sight, may be in fact originated in several, different environments (clouds). The extensive database of echelle spectra allowed to prove that the CaII column density evidently correlates with parallaxes of OB-3 stars in contrast to other interstellar species. Thus CaII is quite evenly distributed in the interstellar medium while other species (NaI, KI, CaI, CH, CN, DIB carriers) are not. This fact is of basic importance as the ob- served spectra cannot be physically interpreted if they mix features originated in different clouds, i.e. in different environments. The abundance ratios of interstellar molecules (identified and DIB carriers) differ from cloud to cloud due to different physical processes which govern their formation. High resolution, high S/N spectra, prove that also profiles of diffuse bands vary from cloud to cloud - this fact strongly supports a molecular origin of these, still nidentified, features and motivates investigation of their relations to other molecules; they can reveal physical conditions which facilitate formation of the DIB carriers and lead to their identification.

  2. 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.

  3. Polarimetry of the Interstellar Medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandford, Scott; Witteborn, Fred C. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    The talk will review what is known about the composition of ices and organics in the dense and diffuse interstellar media (ISM). Mixed molecular ices make up a significant fraction of the solid materials in dense molecular clouds and it is now known that thermal and radiation processing of these ices results in the production of more complex organic species, some of which may survive transport into forming stellar systems and the diffuse ISM. Molecular species identified in interstellar ices include H2O, CH3OH, CO, CH4, CO2, and somewhat surprisingly, H2. Theoretical and laboratory studies of the processing of interstellar analog ices containing these species indicate that species like HCO, H2CO, CH3, and NH3 are readily made and should also be present. The irradiation of mixed molecular ices containing these species, when followed by warming, leads to the production of a large variety of more complex species, including ethanol (CH3CH2OH), formamide (HC(=O)NH2), acetamide (CH3C(=O)NH2), nitriles or isonitriles (R-CN or R-NC hexamethylenetetramine (HMT; C6H12N4), a number of polymeric species related to polyoxymethylene [POM,(-CH2O-)n], and ketones {R-C(=O)-R'}. Spectral studies of dust in the diffuse ISM indicate the presence of fairly complex organics, some of which may be related to the organics produced in dense molecular clouds. Spectral comparisons indicate that the diffuse ISM organics may be quite similar to meteoritic kerogens, i.e. they may consist largely of aromatic moieties interlinked by short aliphatic bridges. Interestingly, recent evidence indicates that the galactic distribution of this material closely matches that of silicates, but does not correlate directly with visual extinction. This implies that a large fraction of the visual extinction is caused by a material other than these organics and silicates and that this other material has a significantly different distribution within the galaxy.

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. Abundance fluctuations in the interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jura, M.

    1982-01-01

    The determination of abundances within the interstellar medium is reviewed. It appears that interstellar abundances within 1 kpc of the Sun are uniform to within a factor of two or three, but it is not yet possible to determine whether there are real fluctuations at this level except for deuterium for which the factor of two variations appear to be real. Establishing the level of local fluctuations in the abundances is of considerable importance for understanding the history of nucleosynthesis in the solar neighborhood, the evolution of the interstellar medium and the formation of stars.

  7. Local interstellar medium and modeling the heliosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ratkiewicz, R.; Barnes, A.; Spreiter, J. R.

    2000-11-01

    We use the best currently available estimates for interstellar parameters to update and expand the earlier study of Ratkiewicz et al. [1998]. We report (1) a more complete survey of the morphology of the heliosphere and the ways it may be modified by variation of external interstellar parameters, (2) a detailed classification of the several asymmetries and distortions associated with exterior field-flow obliquity, including cross sections of the three-dimensional structure in all three principal planes, (3) an analysis of the transition from supermagnetosonic to nearly transmagnetosonic flow, and (4) specific results for the heliosphere for the best current understanding of conditions in the local interstellar medium.

  8. The interstellar connection to solar system bodies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greenberg, J. Mayo; Hage, Joniek

    1991-01-01

    Solar system bodies such as comets and meteorites are examined for interstellar signatures which may ultimately indicate what the protoplanetary nebula conditions were at the time the bodies formed. This involves retracing the sequence starting with a dense interstellar cloud, through the accretion disk phase of the protoplanetary nebula to the various steps in the aggregation process and finally to the physical and chemical metamorphic processes in the final body during the subsequent 4.55 billion years. Models of interstellar dust and comets which aid in such analysis are presented.

  9. 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.

  10. Interstellar grains: Effect of inclusions on extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katyal, N.; Gupta, R.; Vaidya, D. B.

    2011-10-01

    A composite dust grain model which simultaneously explains the observed interstellar extinction, polarization, IR emission and the abundance constraints, is required. We present a composite grain model, which is made up of a host silicate oblate spheroid and graphite inclusions. The interstellar extinction curve is evaluated in the spectral region 3.4-0.1 μm using the extinction efficiencies of composite spheroidal grains for three axial ratios. Extinction curves are computed using the discrete dipole approximation (DDA). The model curves are subsequently compared with the average observed interstellar extinction curve and with an extinction curve derived from the IUE catalogue data.

  11. 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

  12. Interstellar O2. II - VUV oscillator strengths of Schumann-Runge lines and prospects for Space Telescope observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, P. L.; Griesinger, H. E.; Black, J. H.; Yoshino, K.; Freeman, D. E.

    1984-01-01

    Interstellar molecular oxygen should be detectable in interstellar clouds through observation of its absorption lines in the spectra of background stars. This paper describes and presents the results of measurements of oscillator strengths for some lines in the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) spectrum of O2. Lines of the (13, 0) through (16, 0) bands of the B 3Sigma(-)u - X 3Sigma(-)g, Schumann-Runge system between 1760 A and 1790 A will be the most suitable for searches for absorption by interstellar O2 with the High Resolution Spectrograph on Space Telescope. The strongest lines in these bands have oscillator strengths of about 3 x 10 to the -5th.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. A Proposal for an Interstellar Rosetta Stone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumas, S.

    2010-04-01

    Interstellar radio messages is our only, and probably best, way to communicate with another alien civilisation. Since the delay of communication over long distance is considerable, the content of the broadcast is very important.

  16. 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.

  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. The interstellar gas experiment: Analysis in progress

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

    The interstellar gas experiment (IGE) exposed thin metallic foils in order to collect neutral interstellar particles which penetrate the solar system due to their motion relative to the sun. These atoms were entrapped in the collecting foils along with precipitating magnetospheric ions and with ambient atmospheric atoms. For the entire duration of the LDEF mission, seven of the foils collected particles arriving from seven different directions as seen from the spacecraft. In the mass spectrometric analysis of the trapped noble gas component, we detected the He-3, He-4, Ne-20, and Ne-22 isotopes. In order to infer the isotopic ratios in the interstellar medium from the measured concentrations found in the foil piece, several lines of investigation had to be initiated. The flux of incident noble gas atoms from the ambient atmosphere was estimated by detailed calculations. The contributions proved to be negligible, supporting the experimental evidence. Foil and machine backgrounds for the four isotopes which were measured had to be assessed individually. While this was easy for He-4, spurious foil background of He-3 had to be monitored carefully by analyzing unflown foil pieces. Trapped Ne concentrations are not far above the background. During the flight, a stuck electrical relay precluded the foil-trays from sequencing as designed. Therefore, we could not use the seasonal variation of the direction of the incoming interstellar atoms to make the distinction between interstellar and magnetospheric components of the trapped particles. Instead, we had to try the method of stepwise heating to extract the interstellar component at lower temperatures than we use to extract the magnetospheric component (the interstellars hit the foil with lower energies than most of the magnetospherics). New limiting values for the isotopic composition of the interstellar medium, unavailable yet from any other method of measurement, are emerging from this analysis.

  19. The Diffuse Interstellar Bands: Contributed papers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tielens, Alexander G. G. M. (Editor)

    1994-01-01

    Drawing a coherent picture of the observational characteristics of the Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIB's) and the physical and chemical properties of its proposed carriers was the focus of this NASA sponsored conference. Information relating to absoption spectra, diffuse radiation carriers, carbon compounds, stellar composition, and interstellar extinction involving T-Tauri stars, Reflection Nebulae, Red Giants, and accretion discs are discussed from those papers presented at the conference, which are included in this analytic.

  20. Unidentified infrared bands in the interstellar medium across the Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahanpää, J.; Mattila, K.; Lehtinen, K.; Leinert, C.; Lemke, D.

    2003-07-01

    We present a set of 6-12 mu m ISOPHOT-S spectra of the general interstellar medium of the Milky Way. This part of the spectrum is dominated by a series of strong, wide emission features commonly called the Unidentified Infrared Bands. The sampled area covers the inner Milky Way from l = -60 degr to +60 degr with a ten-degree step in longitude and nominal latitudes b = 0 degr, +/-1 degr. For each grid position the actual observed direction was selected from IRAS 100 mu m maps to minimize contamination by point sources and molecular clouds. All spectra were found to display the same spectral features. Band ratios are independent of band strength and Galactic coordinates. A comparison of total observed flux in band features and IRAS 100 mu m emission, a tracer for large interstellar dust grains, shows high correlation at large as well as small (1 arcmin) scales. This implies a strong connection between large dust grains and the elusive band carriers; the evolutionary history and heating energy source of these populations must be strongly linked. The average mid-infrared spectrum of the Milky Way is found to be similar to the average spectrum of spiral galaxy NGC 891 and the spectra of other spirals. The common spectrum can therefore be used as a template for the 6-12 mu m emission of late-type spiral galaxies. Finally, we show that interstellar extinction only weakly influences the observed features even at lambda  = 10 mu m, where the silicate absorption feature is strongest. Table 2 is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?I/A+A/405/999

  1. Amino Acid Formation on Interstellar Dust Particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meierhenrich, U. J.; Munoz Caro, G. M.; Barbier, B.; Brack, A.; Thiemann, W.; Goesmann, F.; Rosenbauer, H.

    2003-04-01

    In the dense interstellar medium dust particles accrete ice layers of known molecular composition. In the diffuse interstellar medium these ice layers are subjected to energetic UV-irradiation. Here, photoreactions form complex organic molecules. The interstellar processes were recently successfully simulated in two laboratories. At NASA Ames Research Center three amino acids were detected in interstellar ice analogues [1], contemporaneously, our European team reported on the identification of 16 amino acids therein [2]. Amino acids are the molecular building blocks of proteins in living organisms. The identification of amino acids on the simulated icy surface of interstellar dust particles strongly supports the assumption that the precursor molecules of life were delivered from interstellar and interplanetary space via (micro-) meteorites and/or comets to the earyl Earth. The results shall be verified by the COSAC experiment onboard the ESA cometary mission Rosetta [3]. [1] M.P. Bernstein, J.P. Dworkin, S.A. Sandford, G.W. Cooper, L.J. Allamandola: itshape Nature \\upshape 416 (2002), 401-403. [2] G.M. Muñoz Caro, U.J. Meierhenrich, W.A. Schutte, B. Barbier, A. Arcones Sergovia, H. Rosenbauer, W.H.-P. Thiemann, A. Brack, J.M. Greenberg: itshape Nature \\upshape 416 (2002), 403-406. [3] U. Meierhenrich, W.H.-P. Thiemann, H. Rosenbauer: itshape Chirality \\upshape 11 (1999), 575-582.

  2. 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.

  3. Emission and Absorption Study of the Vela Supernova Remnant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raymond, John C.

    The combination of emission and absorption studies of the shocked gas in a supernova remnant can provide information not available from either study by itself, especially relating to the liberation of refractory elements from interstellar grains in the cooling zone behind the shock and the effects of departures from steady flow. No such combined studies have been attempted due to the need for a hot, bright background star behind supernova remnant nebulosity bright enough for emission line observations. Wallerstein and Balick have discovered a suitable patch of nebulosity in the Vela Supernova Remnant adjacent to the B3 III star HD 72088. IUE spectra of the star show a 94 km/s component in C IV and Si IV in absorption, and the optical spectra of Wallerstein and Balick show strong high excitation emission lines close to the star. We wish to obtain IUE spectra of the nebulosity as close to the star as possible and further high dispersion spectra of the star to improve the signal-tonoise.

  4. 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.

  5. Characterization of Interstellar Organic Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-11-01

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. 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

  13. The Interstellar Medium and Feedback in the Progenitors of the Compact Passive Galaxies at z ~ 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Christina C.; Giavalisco, Mauro; Lee, Bomee; Tundo, Elena; Mobasher, Bahram; Nayyeri, Hooshang; Ferguson, Henry C.; Koekemoer, Anton; Trump, Jonathan R.; Cassata, Paolo; Dekel, Avishai; Guo, Yicheng; Lee, Kyoung-Soo; Pentericci, Laura; Bell, Eric F.; Castellano, Marco; Finkelstein, Steven L.; Fontana, Adriano; Grazian, Andrea; Grogin, Norman; Kocevski, Dale; Koo, David C.; Lucas, Ray A.; Ravindranath, Swara; Santini, Paola; Vanzella, Eros; Weiner, Benjamin J.

    2015-02-01

    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 ΣSFR. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Probing Milky Way Structure with Near-Infrared Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zasowski, Gail; Ménard, Brice; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Garcia-Hernandez, D.; García Pérez, Ana; Hayden, Michael R.; Hearty, Fred; Holtzman, Jon A.; Johnson, Jennifer; Kinemuchi, Karen; Majewski, Steven R.; Nidever, David L.; Sellgren, Kristen; Shetrone, Matthew D.; Whelan, David G.; Wilson, John C.

    2015-01-01

    Astronomers have studied the set of interstellar absorption features known as the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) for nearly a century, characterizing them into families and using them as probes of local interstellar medium (ISM) conditions even while trying to understand their origin. Though most DIB studies have focused on the optical features, recent DIB identifications at infrared (IR) wavelengths -- where extinction by interstellar dust is significantly decreased -- provide us with tracers of ISM along heavily extincted, previously inaccessible sightlines. This talk will briefly summarize results from a project using the strongest of these IR DIBs (detected in more than 60,000 sightlines towards cool, distant giant stars observed as part of the SDSS-III/APOGEE survey) to characterize the large-scale distribution and properties of the Galactic ISM, including in the heavily reddened bulge and inner disk. The DIB absorption's tight correlation with foreground reddening makes it a powerful, independent probe of line-of-sight dust extinction. For the first time, we map the velocity field of a DIB on large scales and find that it displays the signature of the rotating Galactic disk. Three-dimensional modeling of the carrier distribution reveals not only large-scale gradients consistent with other ISM components, but also substructures that coincide with particular Galactic bulge and disk features. Finally, we find that features that are outliers in the distribution of DIB profile shapes may have an origin in circumstellar, rather than interstellar, environments along these particular sightlines, and the properties of these atypical features may contain clues towards identifying the currently-unknown carrier molecule of this DIB.

  18. 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.

  19. Discovery of molecular hydrogen fluorescence in the diffuse interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, Christopher; Hurwitz, Mark; Bowyer, Stuart

    1990-01-01

    The first detection of molecular hydrogen fluorescence in the diffuse interstellar medium is reported. Using the Berkeley UVX Shuttle Spectrometer, H2 Lyman band fluorescence has been observed in four directions, each with high significance. Molecular hydrogen fluorescence is detected in all directions that have previously been found to contain significant CO emission. A simple equilibrium model has been developed that includes attenuation of the incident UV radiation field by H2 line and dust continuum absorption. Evidence is found that the gas in the CO emission portions of the clouds may be clumpy, with a filling factor less than 0.2 and an average density greater than 30/cu cm in most cases.

  20. Low intensity H-beta emission from the interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reynolds, R. J.

    1972-01-01

    Pulsar pulse dispersions and low-frequency absorption of galactic and extragalactic radio sources strongly suggest that the interstellar medium is much more ionized than previously assumed. The search was confined to directions near pulsars because of the additional information provided by the dispersion measure which gives the total number of electrons along the line of sight to the pulsar. Of the four directions in which observations were made, an emission line appears to be present in at least two and possibly three directions. The data are shown from a low galactic latitude direction near the Crab Nebula pulsar. The observing direction was about 9 arcmin off the Crab with the field of view of about 1.5 arcmin. The number of counts was plotted versus the local standard of rest velocity and local standard wavelength of H-beta.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Synthesis of prebiotic glycerol in interstellar ices.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-02

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Interstellar Travel. (Latest citations from the Aerospace Database)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    The bibliography contains citations concerning travel between the stars. Topics include cost considerations, hyperspace navigation, exploration, and propulsion systems for vehicles to be used in interstellar travel. Human factor issues and social aspects of interstellar travel are also discussed.

  20. Preliminary Examination of the Interstellar Collector of Stardust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westphal, A. J.; Allen, C. C.; Bastien, R.; Borg, J.; Brenker, F.; Bridges, J. C.; Brownlee, D. E.; Butterworth, A. L.; Floss, C.; Flynn, G. J.; Frank, D.; Gainsforth, Z.; Gruen, E.; Hoppe, P.; Kearsley, A. T.; Leroux, H.; Nittler, L. R.; Sandford, S. A.

    2008-03-01

    We describe the Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination (ISPE), which will use non-destructive, non-invasive techniques to identify and characterize candidate interstellar impacts in the Stardust aerogel and foil collectors.

  1. Interstellar magnetic field effects on the heliosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ratkiewicz, Romana; Ben-Jaffel, Lotfi; McKenzie, James F.; Webb, Gary M.

    2003-09-01

    This paper summarizes the numerical results obtained by three-dimensional MHD simulations of the interaction between the solar wind and interstellar medium in Ratkiewicz and Ben-Jaffel [2002], Ratkiewicz and McKenzie [2002], and Ratkiewicz and Webb [2002]. We analyze the configuration in which Maxwell stresses lead to squeezing and/or pushing the heliospheric boundary. In particular, we explain the mechanism giving rise to a suction effect of the heliopause. Numerical results for the case of aligned interstellar MHD flow are compared with previous studies.

  2. 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.

  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. Problems of Interplanetary and Interstellar Trade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hickman, John

    2008-01-01

    If and when interplanetary and interstellar trade develops, it will be novel in two respects. First, the distances and time spans involved will reduce all or nearly all trade to the exchange of intangible goods. That threatens the possibility of conducting business in a genuinely common currency and of enforcing debt agreements, especially those involving sovereign debt. Second, interstellar trade suggests trade between humans and aliens. Cultural distance is a probable obstacle to initiating and sustaining such trade. Such exchange also threatens the release of new and potentially toxic memes.

  5. Diffuse interstellar bands in reflection nebulae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fischer, O.; Henning, Thomas; Pfau, Werner; Stognienko, R.

    1994-01-01

    A Monte Carlo code for radiation transport calculations is used to compare the profiles of the lambda lambda 5780 and 6613 Angstrom diffuse interstellar bands in the transmitted and the reflected light of a star embedded within an optically thin dust cloud. In addition, the behavior of polarization across the bands were calculated. The wavelength dependent complex indices of refraction across the bands were derived from the embedded cavity model. In view of the existence of different families of diffuse interstellar bands the question of other parameters of influence is addressed in short.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Visualizing the three-dimensional structure of the local interstellar medium and possible physical causes for this structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linsky, Jeffrey L.; Redfield, Seth; Schwarz, Max

    2016-11-01

    Analysis of high-resolution interstellar absorption lines observed in the ultraviolet spectra of nearby stars provides the basis for identifying 15 partially ionized warm “clouds” of interstellar gas located within a few parsecs of the Sun. We show visualizations of these clouds as seen from different directions. The presence of discrete clouds implies one or more physical processes that establish these structures and the presence of gas with very different properties between these clouds. While classical models of the interstellar medium based on the assumptions of pressure and ionization equilibrium in a nonmagnetic medium are not consistent with observations, dynamical simulations without these assumptions are likely more realistic. Possible physical processes that could structure the clouds include ram pressure, magnetic fields, and photoionization by extreme-ultraviolet radiation. We describe the available evidence concerning these three processes.

  11. 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.

  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. The influence of the ionized medium on synchrotron emission in interstellar space.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramaty, R.

    1972-01-01

    The effect of the ionized gas on synchrotron emission in the interstellar medium is investigated. A detailed calculation of the synchrotron emissivity of cosmic electrons, assumed to have an isotropic pitch-angle distribution in a uniform magnetic field, is made as a function of frequency and observation angle with respect to the field. The results are presented both as a local emissivity and as an intensity, the latter obtained by neglecting free-free absorption in the interstellar medium and by assuming that the emissivity is constant along the line of sight. The comparison of these results with previous studies on the nature of the low-frequency turnover of the galactic nonthermal radio background reveals that, except if the component perpendicular to the line of sight of the interstellar magnetic field is small (less than 1 microgauss), or if the cosmic-ray electron spectrum is cut off at energies below a few hundred MeV, the suppression of synchrotron emission by the ambient electrons has in general a lesser effect than free-free absorption by these electrons, and that in some cases this suppression effect is almost entirely negligible.

  14. The spacing of the interstellar 6.2 and 7.7 micron emission features as an indicator of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon size

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hudgins, D. M.; Allamandola, L. J.

    1999-01-01

    A database of astrophysically relevant, infrared spectral measurements on a wide variety of neutral as well as positively and negatively charged polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), ranging in size from C10H8 through C48H20, is now available to extend the interstellar PAH model. Beyond simply indicating general characteristics of the carriers, this collection of data now makes it possible to conduct a more thorough interpretation of the details of the interstellar spectra and thereby derive deeper insights into the nature of the emitting material and conditions in the emission zones. This Letter is the first such implementation of this spectral database. The infrared spectra of PAH cations, the main PAH form in the most energetic emission zones, are usually dominated by a few strong features in the 1650-1100 cm-1 (6.1-9.1 microns) region that tend to cluster the vicinity of the interstellar emission bands at 1610 and 1320 cm-1 (6.2 and 7.6 microns), but with spacings typically somewhat less than that observed in the canonical interstellar spectrum. However, the spectra in the database show that this spacing increases steadily with molecular size. Extrapolation of this trend indicates that PAHs in the 50-80 carbon atom size range are entirely consistent with the observed interstellar spacing. Furthermore, the profile of the 1610 cm-1 (6.2 microns) interstellar band indicates that PAHs containing as few as 20 carbon atoms contribute to this feature.

  15. The Spacing of the Interstellar 6.2 Microns and 7.7 Microns Emission Features as an Indicator of PAH Size

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hudgins, Douglas M.; Allamandola, L. J.; Mead, Susan (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    A database of astrophysically relevant, infrared spectral measurements on a wide variety of neutral as well as positively and negatively charged polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons ranging in size from C10H8 through C48H20 is now available to extend the interstellar PAH model. Beyond simply indicating general characteristics of the carriers, this collection of data now makes it possible to conduct a more thorough interpretation of the details of the interstellar spectra and thereby derive deeper insights into the nature of the emitting material and conditions in the emission zones. This paper is the first such implementation of this spectral database. The infrared spectra of PAH cations, the main PAH form in the most energetic emission zones, are usually dominated by a few strong features in the 1650 - 1100 per centimeter (6.1 - 9.1 microns) region which tend to cluster in the vicinity of the interstellar emission bands at 1610 per centimeter and 1320 per centimeter (6.2 and 7.6 microns) but with spacings typically somewhat less than that observed in the canonical interstellar spectrum. However, the spectra in the database show that this spacing increases steadily with molecular size. Extrapolation of this trend indicates that PAHS in the 50 to 80 carbon atom size range are entirely consistent with the observed interstellar spacing. Furthermore, the profile of the 1610 per centimeter (6.2 microns) interstellar band indicates that PAHS containing as few as 20 carbon atoms contribute to this feature.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.}

  18. 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-

  19. 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

  20. INTERSTELLAR MAGNETIC FIELD SURROUNDING THE HELIOPAUSE

    SciTech Connect

    Whang, Y. C.

    2010-02-20

    This paper presents a three-dimensional analytical solution, in the limit of very low plasma beta-ratio, for the distortion of the interstellar magnetic field surrounding the heliopause. The solution is obtained using a line dipole method that is the integration of point dipole along a semi-infinite line; it represents the magnetic field caused by the presence of the heliopause. The solution allows the variation of the undisturbed magnetic field at any inclination angle. The heliosphere is considered as having blunt-nosed geometry on the upwind side and it asymptotically approaches a cylindrical geometry having an open exit for the continuous outflow of the solar wind on the downwind side. The heliopause is treated as a magnetohydrodynamic tangential discontinuity; the interstellar magnetic field lines at the boundary are tangential to the heliopause. The interstellar magnetic field is substantially distorted due to the presence of the heliopause. The solution shows the draping of the field lines around the heliopause. The magnetic field strength varies substantially near the surface of the heliopause. The effect on the magnetic field due to the presence of the heliopause penetrates very deep into the interstellar space; the depth of penetration is of the same order of magnitude as the scale length of the heliosphere.

  1. 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.

  2. The Voyager Journey to Interstellar Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, E. C.

    Launched in 1977 to explore Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, the two Voyager spacecraft continued their journeys beyond the planets as they searched for the heliopause, the boundary between the solar wind and the local interstellar medium. After traveling more than 23 billion kilometers, Voyager 1 left the heliosphere on August 25, 2012, and began returning the first in-situ observations of local interstellar space. Voyager 1 found a wall of interstellar plasma beyond the heliopause with a density forty times greater than inside and an interstellar magnetic field that is compressed and wrapped around the outside. Voyager 1 also observed the energy spectrum of low energy galactic cosmic ray protons that are excluded from the heliosphere by solar modulation, finding a peak intensity at ˜30 MeV. that is ten times the maximum intensity at 1 AU that occurs at ˜300 MeV. An overview of the journey and the new aspects of the interaction of the sun and the nearby region of the Milky Way will be discussed.

  3. Legal challenges in realizing interstellar initiatives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodge, Suzanne M.; Osmond, Elizabeth B.; Urrutia, Manuel C.

    Legal aspects of interstellar exploration and travel are examined. The concept of a space management and legal infrastructure is discussed. Attention is given to space law applicable to social customs, birth, citizenship, ownership, the right to protect one's property and life through insurance, commercial endeavors, colonial government, law and order, space debris, hazardous wastes, and burial and inheritance.

  4. The Age of the Local Interstellar Bubble

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abt, Helmut A.

    2011-05-01

    The Local Interstellar Bubble is an irregular region from 50 to 150 pc from the Sun in which the interstellar gas density is 10-2-10-3 of that outside the bubble and the interstellar temperature is 106 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 & 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.

  5. Deuteration of formaldehyde on an interstellar dust surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hidaka, H.; Watanabe, N.; Kouchi, A.

    Recently, the formaldehyde (H2CO) and methanol (CH3OH) were observed abundantly in ice toward various molecular clouds. It has been expected that these organic molecules were produced by the hydrogenation reaction of CO on the surface of interstellar ice. Watanabe & Kouchi (2002) observed experimentally the successive production of these molecules by the hydrogenation of CO on the ice surface, indicating that the surface hydrogenation reactions at low temperatures play an important role in evolution of molecules on the interstellar ice. The high gas-phase abundance of deuterated molecules, which include H2CO-d1,2 and CH3OH-d1-3, have observed in molecular clouds (Loinard et al. 2000, Parise et al. 2002, Parise et al. 2004) and comet (Crovisier et al. 2004) compared to the ratio of D/H ratio in space. This deuterium fractionation in interstellar molecules has been an interesting topic in interstellar chemistry. There have been several studies on the mechanism of the deuterium fractionation. The pure gas-phase models are difficult to reproduce the high D/H ratio observed. We deduce that the surface reaction on interstellar ice is a key process not only for the production of H2CO and CH3OH but also for that of H2CO-d1,2 and CH3OH-d1-3. In fact, Nagaoka, Watanabe & Kouchi (2005) indicated the validity of deuterium fractionation by surface reaction in methanol, including multiple deuterations. In the present work, we investigated the formation of deuterated formaldehyde experimentally. Below 20 K, solid H2CO and D2CO were exposed to cold (30 K) D and H atoms, respectively. The variations of IR absorption spectra for the solid samples were measured by a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer during the exposure to atoms. The rates of H-D substitution in those molecules were measured. H2CO was converted to HDCO and D2CO by the reaction with D atom. The conversions to HDCO and H2CO also occur in exposure of D2CO to H atom. In the case of methanol, this substitution

  6. Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination III: Infrared spectroscopic analysis of interstellar dust candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

    Under the auspices of the Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination, picokeystones extracted from the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector were examined with synchrotron Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) microscopy to establish whether they contained extraterrestrial organic material. The picokeystones were found to be contaminated with varying concentrations and speciation of organics in the native aerogel, which hindered the search for organics in the interstellar dust candidates. Furthermore, examination of the picokeystones prior to and post X-ray microprobe analyses yielded evidence of beam damage in the form of organic deposition or modification, particularly with hard X-ray synchrotron X-ray fluorescence. From these results, it is clear that considerable care must be taken to interpret any organics that might be in interstellar dust particles. For the interstellar candidates examined thus far, however, there is no clear evidence of extraterrestrial organics associated with the track and/or terminal particles. However, we detected organic matter associated with the terminal particle in Track 37, likely a secondary impact from the Al-deck of the sample return capsule, demonstrating the ability of synchrotron FTIR to detect organic matter in small particles within picokeystones from the Stardust interstellar dust collector.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. The physics of grain-grain collisions and gas-grain sputtering in interstellar shocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

    Grain-grain collisions and ion sputtering destroy dust grains in interstellar shocks. An analytical theory is developed for the propagation of shock waves in solids driven by grain-grain collisions, which compares very favorably with detailed numerical calculations. This theory is used to determine the fraction of grain vaporized by a grain-grain collision. Our results predict much less vaporization of colliding grains in interstellar shocks than previous estimates. This theory can also be used to determine the fraction of a colliding grain that melts, shatter, or undergoes a phase transformation to a higher density phase. In particular, the latter two processes can be much more important in interstellar shocks than vaporization. The sputtering of grains by impacting gas ions is reanalyzed based upon extensive laboratory studies and a theoretically derived 'universal'sputtering relation. The analytical results are compared to available experimental studies of sputtering of graphite/amorphous carbon, SiO2, SiC, Fe, and H2O. Sputtering yields for astrophysically relevant materials as a function of impact energy and ion mass are derived. These yields are also averaged over thermal impact spectrum and simple polynomial fits to the resulting yields as a function of temperature are presented. The derived sputtering yields are similar to those adopted in previous studies, except for graphite near threshold where the new yields are much larger due to a lower adopted binding energy. The ion bombardment will amorphitize the surface layers of interstellar grains. It will also convert graphite into hydrogenated amorphous carbon (HAC) to a depth of 10-20 A. It is suggested that these HAC surfaces are the carriers of the 3.4 micrometer absorption feature in the interstellar medium.

  10. 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

  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. The interstellar D1 line at high resolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

    Observations at a resolving power or a velocity resolution are reported of the interstellar D(sub 1) line of Na I in the spectra of Gamma Cas, Delta Ori, Epsilon Ori, Pi Sco, Delta Cyg, and Alpha Cyg. An echelle grating was used in a double-pass configuration with a CCD detector in the coude spectrograph of the 2.7 m reflector at McDonald Observatory. At least 42 kinematically distinct clouds are detected along the light paths to the five more distant stars, in addition to a single cloud seen toward Delta Cyg. The absorption lines arising in 13 of the clouds are sufficiently narrow and unblended to reveal clearly resolved hyperfine structure components split by 1.05 km/s. An additional 13 clouds apparently show comparably narrow, but more strongly blended, lines. For each individual cloud, upper limits T(sub max) and (v sub t) (sub max) on the temperature and the turbulent velocity, respectively, are derived by fitting the observing lines with theoretical absorption profiles.

  13. The interstellar D1 line at high resolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

    Observations at a resolving power or a velocity resolution are reported of the interstellar D(sub 1) line of Na I in the spectra of gamma Cas, delta Ori, epsilon Ori, pi Sco, delta Cyg, and alpha Cyg. An echelle grating was used in a double-pass configuration with a CCD detector in the coude spectrograph of the 2.7 m reflector at McDonald Observatory. At least 42 kinematically distinct clouds are detected along the light paths to the five more distant stars, in addition to a single cloud seen toward delta Cyg. The absorption lines arising in 13 of the clouds are sufficiently narrow and unblended to reveal clearly resolved hyperfine structure components split by 1.05 km/s. An additional 13 clouds apparently show comparably narrow, but more strongly blended, lines. For each individual cloud, upper limits T(sub max) and (v sub t)(sub max) on the temperature and the turbulent velocity, respectively, are derived by fitting the observed lines with theoretical absorption profiles.

  14. Interstellar C2, CH, and CN in translucent molecular clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

    Optical absorption-line techniques have been applied to the study of a number of translucent molecular clouds in which the total column densities are large enough that substantial molecular abundances can be maintained. Results are presented for a survey of absorption lines of interstellar C2, CH, and CN. Detections of CN through the A 2Pi-X 2Sigma(+) (1,O) and (2,O) bands of the red system are reported and compared with observations of the violet system for one line of sight. The population distributions in C2 provide diagnostic information on temperature and density. The measured column densities of the three species can be used to test details of the theory of molecule formation in clouds where photoprocesses still play a significant role. The C2 and CH column densities are strongly correlated with each other and probably also with the H2 column density. In contrast, the CN column densities are found to vary greatly from cloud to cloud. The observations are discussed with reference to detailed theoretical models.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Plasma processing of interstellar PAHs into solar system kerogen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wdowiak, Thomas J.; Lee, Wei; Cronin, John; Beegle, Luther W.; Robinson, Michael S.

    1995-02-01

    Processes resulting in the formation of hydrocarbons of carbonaceous chondrites and the identity of the interstellar molecular precursors involved are an objective of im-estigations 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 Lit Birmingham Astrophysics Laboratory to produce from the. precursor PAH naphthalene, a new material having an I R 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Infrared Emission From Interstellar PAHs, New Probes of the Interstellar Medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hudgins, D. M.; Allamandola, L. J.

    2002-01-01

    Tremendous strides have been made in the understanding of interstellar material over the past twenty years thanks to significant, parallel developments in two closely related areas: observational IR astronomy and laboratory astrophysics. Twenty years ago the composition of interstellar dust was largely unknown and the notion of abundant, gas phase, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) anywhere in the interstellar medium (ISM) considered impossible. Today the dust composition of the diffuse and dense ISM is reasonably well constrained and the spectroscopic case for interstellar PAHs, impossibly large molecules by early interstellar chemistry standards, is very strong. PAH spectral features are now being used as new probes of the ISM. PAH ionization states reflect the ionization balance of the medium while PAH size and structure reflect the energetic and chemical history of the medium. Aromatic carbon-rich materials ranging in size from PAHs and PAH nanoclusters, to sub-micron and micron-sized dust grains represent an important component of the ISM. These species: (1) dominate the heating and cooling of interstellar clouds via energetic photoelectron ejection and infrared (IR) emission; (2) moderate the ionization balance in photodissociation regions and molecular clouds; (3) moderate the composition of the gas phase and play an important role in determining the chemistry of the ISM; (4) contribute to the interstellar extinction in the near IR, visible, and UV spectral regions; and (5) convert UV, visible, and near-IR radiation to mid- and far-IR radiation in the ISM and, as such, are responsible for the well known, widespread family of mid-IR emission features with major components near 3.3, 6.2, 7.7, 8.6, and 11.3 microns.

  6. 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

  7. New observations of interstellar organic molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Irvine, W. M.; Friberg, P.; Matthews, H. E.; Minh, Y. C.; Ziurys, L. M.

    1990-01-01

    Discussed here are new observations of 3-carbon-containing interstellar molecules which play an important role in the chemistry of dense molecular clouds: protonated carbon dioxide, formic acid, and propynal. In 1984 a new oxide of carbon, C3O, was discovered in the interstellar medium (Matthews et al. 1984; Brown et al. 1985). Theoretical models suggest that C3O is produced by dissociative electron recombination with the ion H3C3O+. Although no laboratory data for the branching ratios of such a recombination exist, it seemed to us likely that additional products would include H2C3O. This molecule has more than one isomeric form, but one stable species is propynal (HC2CHO), which had been suggested as a possible interstellar molecule by Winnewisser (1973). In observations at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory 43 m telescope in Green Bank earlier this year, researchers detected a line in the cold cloud TMC-1 which they assign to the 2(0,2)-1(0,1) transition of propynal. The observed line agrees with the laboratory frequency to well within the experimental uncertainty a few parts in 10 to the 7th power. Researchers sought and failed to detect the corresponding 2(1,1)-1(1,0) line, which is understandable given the presence of both a and b components of the electric dipole moment in propynal. The b type transitions will drain population from energy levels with K(sub p) does not equal 0 into the K(sub p) equal 0 stack. If the researchers' assignment is correct, this is the first interstellar detection of propynal. Assuming typical rotational temperatures for TMC-1 and that the line is optically thin, the column density determined is about 5 times 10 to the 12th power cm to the -2nd power, or about three times that for C3O. Formic acid (HCOOH) was the first organic acid to be observed in the interstellar medium, in the Galactic center source Sgr B2. The only other interstellar detection has been recently made in the giant molecular cloud in Orion. As part of the

  8. DIBSyRCH: The Diffuse Interstellar Band Synchrotron Radiation Carrier Hunt: New Tools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stockett, M. H.; Wood, M. P.; Lawler, J. E.

    2010-11-01

    The identity of the carrier molecules of the Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs) is the most durable mystery of spectroscopic astronomy. The DIBs are persistent absorption features, >300 total, observed along many lines of sight through the Interstellar Medium (ISM). The DIBs are scattered throughout the visible and near infrared, with widths in the 2-100 cm-1 range. For nearly a century, laboratory spectroscopists have struggled to match astrophysical wavelengths to laboratory wavelengths of known molecules including a variety of stable molecules, radicals, cations, and anions. Many researchers have hypothesized that hydrocarbon molecules are responsible for the DIBs, due to the rich chemistry and high cosmic abundance of carbon and hydrogen. Though large Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are now suspected to be the source of the DIBs, no definitive matches have yet been made to laboratory PAH spectra. Aromatic clusters are also thought to be an important constituent of the interstellar dust distribution and may contribute to the 2175 Å "bump" in the interstellar extinction curve. The Diffuse Interstellar Band Synchrotron Radiation Carrier Hunt (DIBSyRCH) experiment has been built at the Synchrotron Radiation Center (SRC) to test these hypotheses by conducting a spectroscopic survey of a broad range of cold, gas phase and clustered PAH molecules and ions. Using a custom echelle spectrograph and the innovative Cryogenic Circulating Advective Multi-Pass (CCAMP) absorption cell, we routinely achieve a detection sensitivity to molecular densities on the order of 107 cm-3 with a signal-to-noise ratio of 10,000 in 60 seconds of data collection in the visible. This instrument, coupled with the high spectral radiance of the synchrotron radiation continuum from the SRC's White Light Beamline, permits rapid acquisition of spectra covering broad wavelength regions with resolution appropriate for the DIBs. In order to obtain astrophysically relevant spectra of low

  9. Safety Zones

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    These are established primarily to reduce the accidental spread of hazardous substances by workers or equipment from contaminated areas to clean areas. They include the exclusion (hot) zone, contamination reduction (warm) zone, and support (cold) zone.

  10. Sulphur trioxide absorption apparatus and process

    SciTech Connect

    Cameron, G.M.

    1987-03-31

    This patent describes a contact process for producing a concentrated sulphuric acid from dry sulphur dioxide and oxygen containing mixtures which employs the absorption of sulphur trioxide from a hot, dry gas stream containing sulphur trioxide into at least one sulphuric acid stream. The improvement described here comprises: (a) feeding the gas stream to a lower packed absorption zone contained within an absorption tower; (b) feeding a first sulphuric acid stream to the lower absorption zone to effect absorption of a major portion of the sulphur trioxide from the gas stream into the first sulphuric acid stream to produce a first enriched sulphuric acid stream and a depleted sulphur trioxide gas stream; (c) feeding the depleted sulphur trioxide gas stream to an upper packed absorption zone above the lower absorption zone within the tower; and (d) feeding a second sulphuric acid stream to the upper absorption zone to effect absorption of substantially all of the sulphur trioxide remaining in the depleted sulphur trioxide gas stream to produce a second enriched sulphuric acid stream and a substantially sulphur trioxide-free gas stream.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. CHIPS: The Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dixon, W. V.; Hurwitz, M.; Jelinsky, P.; Welsh, B. Y.; Edelstein, J. E.; Siegmund, O. H. W.; McKee, C. F.; Malina, R. F.; Hawkins, I.; Vallerga, J. V.; Breitschwerdt, D.; Slavin, J.

    1998-12-01

    The Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer (CHIPS), a University-Class Explorer (UNEX) mission, will carry out all-sky spectroscopy of the diffuse background at wavelengths from 90 to 260 Angstroms with a peak resolution of lambda / 150 (about 0.5 eV). CHIPS data will help determine the electron temperature, ionization conditions, and cooling mechanisms of the million-degree plasma believed to fill the local interstellar bubble. The majority of the luminosity from diffuse million-degree plasma is expected to emerge in the poorly-explored CHIPS band, making CHIPS data of relevance in a wide variety of Galactic and extragalactic astrophysical environments. The compact CHIPS instrument will be accommodated aboard a commercial FAISAT communications spacecraft currently scheduled for launch in mid to late 2001.

  14. 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.

  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. Diffuse Interstellar Bands: Families and Correlations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krełowski, J.

    2014-02-01

    The term ``families of diffuse bands'' (DIBs) appeared in 1986/87 when my collaborators: Gordon A.H. Walker, Bengt E. Westerlund and I found that the strength ratio of the major DIBs 5780 and 5797 is heavily variable. We proved that at the same E(B-V) the DIB intensities may vary by as much as a factor of three or more. A similar result was published by Karl Josafatsson and Ted Snow soon after. A decade later, we proved (with Chris Sneden) that certain DIB strength ratios seem to be related to intensities of the known features of simple molecular species; this led to the introduction of the so called σ and ζ type interstellar clouds. The former are characterized by very weak molecular features (but broad DIBs - very strong) while the latter by rather strong bands of simple radicals and weak broad DIBs. Currently we face a bunch of questions: are the DIB intensities related to those of certain molecular species, e.g. C2 as suggested by Lew Hobbs' and Ted Snow's group? Do the DIB profiles, found to be complex by Peter Sarre, depend on e.g. the rotational temperatures of simple, linear carbon species? Do the DIB profiles depend on the irradiation of interstellar clouds by nearby stars? The relative DIB strengths as well as those of the simple radicals seem to be related to the shapes of interstellar extinction curves. We thus face three players in the interstellar translucent clouds: dust particles, simple radicals and the DIB carriers. Apparently, their mutual relations depend on local physical parameters of intervening clouds; these relations are not clear yet.

  18. Stochastic histories of refractory interstellar dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liffman, Kurt; Clayton, Donald D.

    1988-01-01

    Histories of refractory interstellar dust particles (IDPs) are calculated. The profile of a particle population is assembled from a large number of stochastic, or Monte Carlo, histories of single particles; the probabilities for each of the events that may befall a given particle are specified, and the particle's history is unfolded by a sequence of random numbers. The assumptions that are made and the techniques of the calculation are described together with the results obtained. Several technical demonstrations are presented.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Studying the spatial distribution of interstellar dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, Helen J.; Werner, Michael W.; Allen, C.; Henry, R. C.; Kimble, R.; Wofford, J.; Murthy, Jayant

    1989-01-01

    The spacial distribution of interstellar dust reflects both interstellar dynamics and the processes which form and destroy dust in the interstellar medium (ISM). The IRAS survey, because of its high sensitivity to thermal emission from dust in the IR, provides new approaches to determining the spatial distribution of dust. The initial results are reported of an attempt to use the IRAS data to probe the spatial distribution of dust - by searching for thermal emission from dust in the vicinity of bright stars. These results show that this technique (which relies on finding IR emission associated with randomly selected stars) can ultimately be used to study the distribution of dust in the ISM. The density of the cloud producing the IR emission may be derived by assuming that the dust is at its projected distance from the star and that the heating is due to the star's (known) radiation field. The heating radiation is folded into a grain model, and the number of emitting grains adjusted to reproduce the observed energy distribution. It is noted that this technique is capable in principle of detecting dust densities much lower than those typical of the cirrus clouds.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Thermal phases of interstellar and quasar gas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lepp, S.; Mccray, R.; Shull, J. M.; Woods, D. T.; Kallman, T.

    1985-01-01

    Interstellar gas may be in a variety of thermal phases, depending on how it is heated and ionized; here a unified picture of the equation of state of interstellar and quasar gas is presented for a variety of such mechanisms over a broad range of temperatures, densities, and column densities of absorbing matter. It is found that for select ranges of gas pressure, photoionizing flux, and heating, three thermally stable phases are allowed: coronal gas (T above 100,000 K); warm gas (T about 10,000 K); and cold gas (T less than 100 K). With attenuation of ultraviolet and X-ray radiation, the cold phase may undergo a transition to molecules. In quasar broad-line clouds, this transition occurs at column density N(H) = about 10 to the 23rd/sq cm and could result in warm molecular cores and observable emission from H2 and OH. The underlying atomic physics behind each of these phase transitions and their relevance to interstellar matter and quasars are discussed.

  6. 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.

  7. 3D mapping of the dense interstellar gas around the Local Bubble

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lallement, R.; Welsh, B. Y.; Vergely, J. L.; Crifo, F.; Sfeir, D.

    2003-12-01

    We present intermediate results from a long-term program of mapping the neutral absorption characteristics of the local interstellar medium, motivated by the availability of accurate and consistent parallaxes from the Hipparcos satellite. Equivalent widths of the interstellar NaI D-line doublet at 5890 Å are presented for the lines-of-sight towards some 311 new target stars lying within ~ 350 pc of the Sun. Using these data, together with NaI absorption measurements towards a further ~ 240 nearby targets published in the literature (for many of them, in the directions of molecular clouds), and the ~ 450 lines-of-sight already presented by (Sfeir et al. \\cite{sfeir99}), we show 3D absorption maps of the local distribution of neutral gas towards 1005 sight-lines with Hipparcos distances as viewed from a variety of different galactic projections. The data are synthesized by means of two complementary methods, (i) by mapping of iso-equivalent width contours, and (ii) by density distribution calculation from the inversion of column-densities, a method devised by Vergely et al. (\\cite{vergely01}). Our present data confirms the view that the local cavity is deficient in cold and neutral interstellar gas. The closest dense and cold gas ``wall'', in the first quadrant, is at ~ 55-60 pc. There are a few isolated clouds at closer distance, if the detected absorption is not produced by circumstellar material. The maps reveal narrow or wide ``interstellar tunnels'' which connect the Local Bubble to surrounding cavities, as predicted by the model of Cox & Smith (1974). In particular, one of these tunnels, defined by stars at 300 to 600 pc from the Sun showing negligible sodium absorption, connects the well known CMa void (Gry et al. \\cite{gry85}), which is part of the Local Bubble, with the supershell GSH 238+00+09 (Heiles \\cite{heiles98}). High latitude lines-of-sight with the smallest absorption are found in two ``chimneys'', whose directions are perpendicular to the

  8. GHRS Observations of the Interstellar Medium toward 23 ORI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welty, D. E.; Hobbs, L. M.; Lauroesch, J. T.; Morton, D. C.; Spitzer, L.; York, D. G.

    1996-05-01

    High-resolution optical spectra, GHRS echelle and G160M spectra, and Copernicus spectra are combined to study the abundances and physical conditions in the diffuse interstellar clouds seen toward 23 Ori. High-resolution (0.3--2.0 km s(-1) ) spectra of Na I, Ca I, Ca II, and K I are used to define the underlying component structure that is unresolved in the UV spectra, enabling more accurate individual cloud abundances and physical conditions to be derived from the numerous transitions found in the UV. Multiple absorption components are present for each of several distinct types of gas. Strong low-velocity (SLV) absorption, due to cool, moderately dense neutral gas, is seen for neutral and singly ionized species at 20 km s(-1) la vsun la 30 km s(-1) . Weaker low-velocity (WLV) absorption, probably due to warmer gas, is seen primarily for singly ionized species at 0 km s(-1) la vsun la 20 km s(-1) . Weak absorption from C II, Mg II, and Si III is seen at -45 km s(-1) la vsun la 0 km s(-1) , and from more highly ionized species at -5 km s(-1) la vsun la 25 km s(-1) . Absorption from singly and doubly ionized species is seen at -110 km s(-1) la vsun la -80 km s(-1) ; this apparently shock-ionized gas is not in collisional ionization equilibrium, having cooled more quickly than it could recombine. The various types of gas present along this line of sight are characterized by different relative abundance / depletion patterns; these depletion patterns are compared with the physical conditions derived for the different components. For the SLV components, most typically depleted species are less depleted by factors of 2--4, compared to the ``cold, dense cloud'' pattern found, for example, toward zeta Oph. The depletions in the WLV gas are typically another factor of 2--3 less than in the SLV gas, similar to the ``warm cloud'' pattern seen in less reddened lines of sight. While there is some uncertainty, due to unobserved ionization stages, as to the depletions in the high

  9. Laboratory evidence for highly unsaturated hydrocarbons as carriers of some of the diffuse interstellar bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fulara, J.; Lessen, D.; Freivogel, P.; Maier, J. P.

    1993-12-01

    THERE are many absorption lines in the visible and near-infrared spectra of stars located on the far side of diffuse interstellar clouds. The origin of these 'diffuse interstellar bands' (DIBs) has remained an unanswered question since their discovery almost 70 years ago1,2. There are now over 100 known bands1,3-6 and it is clear from the range of line widths, depths and shapes that the lines are unlikely to come from a single 'carrier'. Many of the proposed carriers, such as gas-phase carbon chains7, fullerenes8 and dust grains9, fail in having ultraviolet absorption lines where none has yet been observed in the stellar spectra. Poly cyclic aromatic species such as Ci16H10+ (ref. 10) and C10H8 (ref. 11) were recently claimed to be good candidates for carriers of some of the DIBs. Here we present laboratory evidence that highly unsaturated hydrocarbons with carbon numbers 6-12 may be the carriers of some of the DIBs in the range 480-1,000 nm. We deposit mass-selected molecules in a neon matrix at 5 K and measure their near-infrared, visible and ultraviolet spectra. Not only do these species have visible and near-infrared lines corresponding to fifteen DIBs, but they also show no absorption lines in the ultraviolet, consistent with astronomical observations.

  10. Collection of interstellar gas on the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Häberli, Roman M.; Reber, Martin J.; Bassi, Marco L.

    1997-09-01

    The isotopic composition of He and Ne in the local interstellar medium (LISM) is of great scientific interest, since it will help us to understand the chemical evolution of our galaxy since the formation of the solar system 4.6 × 10 9 years ago. In addition, the He isotope ratio is of cosmological interest as it is linked to primordial (Big Bang) nucleosynthesis and gives us a clue to the baryon density in the universe. To measure the abundance of He and Ne and their isotopes in situ in the interstellar gas is very ambitious due to the low density. Remote sensing, however, gives us only little information on the isotopic composition. Currently, most of the information on He and Ne isotopes comes from the measurement of pick-up ions and of the anomalous component of the cosmic rays, however, the measurement errors are still too high to reach firm conclusions. Recently, a novel measurement method has been proposed, using the foil collection technique and the Moon as a collection platform (Reber et al., 1995). In this notice a detailed description of the experiment is given. The foil collection technique uses thin metallic foils to trap the atoms which impinge on the foil. After retrieval of the foil the trapped particles are extracted by stepwise heating and the released atoms can be analysed using laboratory mass spectrometers. This technique was applied for the first time to successfully measure the noble gas composition of the solar wind (Geiss et al., 1970, 1972). (Interestingly enough, this experiment has been carried out on the Moon as well.) It has been tried before to measure the composition of the interstellar gas applying the foil collection method on an Earth orbiting satellite. However, in this case the measurements might be contaminated by the high fluxes of magnetospheric particles. It is shown that by using the Moon as a platform to collect the interstellar atoms one can overcome these difficulties. The experiment has to be carried out during the

  11. 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

  12. Probing the interstellar dust in galaxies over >10 Gyr of cosmic history

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

    Dust has a profound effect on the physics and chemistry of the interstellar gas in galaxies and on the appearance of galaxies. Understanding the cosmic evolution of dust with time is therefore crucial for understanding the evolution of galaxies. Despite the importance of interstellar dust, very little is known about its nature and composition in distant galaxies. We summarize the results of our ongoing programs using observations of distant quasars to obtain better constraints on dust grains in foreground galaxies that happen to lie along the quasar sightlines. These observations consist of a combination of mid-infrared data obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope and optical/UV data obtained with ground-based telescopes and/or the Hubble Space Telescope. The mid-IR data target the 10 μm and 18 μm silicate absorption features, while the optical/UV data allow determinations of element depletions, extinction curves, 2175 Å bumps, etc. Measurements of such properties in absorption-selected galaxies with redshifts ranging from z 0 to z > 2 provide constraints on the evolution of interstellar dust over the past > 10 Gyr . The optical depth of the 10 μm silicate absorption feature (τ10) in these galaxies is correlated with the amount of reddening along the sightline. But there are indications (e.g., based on the τ10 / E(B - V) ratio and possible grain crystallinity) that the dust in these distant galaxies differs in structure and composition from the dust in the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds. We briefly discuss the implications of these results for the evolution of galaxies and their star formation history.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Assessment of detectability of neutral interstellar deuterium by IBEX observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kubiak, M. A.; Bzowski, M.; Sokół, J. M.; Möbius, E.; Rodríguez, D. F.; Wurz, P.; McComas, D. J.

    2013-08-01

    Context. The abundance of deuterium in the interstellar gas in front of the Sun gives insight into the processes of filtration of neutral interstellar species through the heliospheric interface and potentially into the chemical evolution of the Galactic gas. Aims: We investigate the possibility of detection of neutral interstellar deuterium at 1 AU from the Sun by direct sampling by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX). Methods: Using both previous and the most recent determinations of the flow parameters of neutral gas in the local interstellar cloud (LIC) and an observation-based model of solar radiation pressure and ionization in the heliosphere, we simulated the flux of neutral interstellar D at IBEX for the actual measurement conditions. We assessed the number of interstellar D atom counts expected during the first three years of IBEX operation. We also simulated the observations expected during an epoch of high solar activity. In addition, we calculated the expected counts of D atoms from the thin terrestrial water layer covering the IBEX-Lo conversion surface, sputtered by neutral interstellar He atoms. Results: Most D counts registered by IBEX-Lo are expected to come from the water layer, exceeding the interstellar signal by 2 orders of magnitude. However, the sputtering should stop once the Earth leaves the portion of orbit traversed by interstellar He atoms. We identify seasons during the year when mostly the genuine interstellar D atoms are expected in the signal. During the first 3 years of IBEX operations about 2 detectable interstellar D atoms are expected. This number is comparable to the expected number of sputtered D atoms registered during the same time intervals. Conclusions: The most favorable conditions for the detection occur during low solar activity, in an interval including March and April each year. The detection chances could be improved by extending the instrument duty cycle, say, by making observations in the special deuterium mode

  19. 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.

  20. Laboratory investigations of irradiated acetonitrile-containing ices on an interstellar dust analog

    SciTech Connect

    Abdulgalil, Ali G. M.; Marchione, Demian; Rosu-Finsen, Alexander; Collings, Mark P.; McCoustra, Martin R. S.

    2012-07-15

    Reflection-absorption infrared spectroscopy is used to study the impact of low-energy electron irradiation of acetonitrile-containing ices, under conditions close to those in the dense star-forming regions in the interstellar medium. Both the incident electron energy and the surface coverage were varied. The experiments reveal that solid acetonitrile is desorbed from its ultrathin solid films with a cross section of the order of 10{sup -17} cm{sup 2}. Evidence is presented for a significantly larger desorption cross section for acetonitrile molecules at the water-ice interface, similar to that previously observed for the benzene-water system.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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)

  4. Angular motion of a PAH molecule in interstellar environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rouan, D.; Leger, Alain; Omont, A.; Giard, Martin

    1989-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules have recently been proposed as an important and hitherto undetected component of the Interstellar Medium (ISM). The theory was based on an explanation of the Unidentified IR Emission Bands by Leger et al. It has already led to a verified prediction on extended galactic and extragalactic emissions measured by IRAS, or by a recent balloon borne experiment. The physics that rules the motion of such molecules in the ISM was studied, taking into account their coupling with the ambient gas, the radiation field (absorption and emission) and the static magnetic field. This is important for many implications of the PAH theory such as the radio emission by these molecules or the expected polarization of their IR emission. A reflection nebulae is considered where the situation is rather well known. Every day life of a mean PAH molecule in such a region is as follows: every 3 hrs a UV photon is absorbed heating the molecule to a thousand degs; the temperature decay due to cooling by IR emission follows then within a few seconds. A collision with a molecule of gas occurs typically once a week, while an H atom is ejected or captured at the same rate. A typical cooling cycle after a heat impulse is given. The PAH molecules studied as representative of the family has typically 50 atoms, a radius of 4.5 A, is circular and has a molecular mass of M = 300; its permanent dipole moment is 3 Debye.

  5. 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.

  6. The Abundances of Solid N2 and Gaseous CO2 in Interstellar Dense Molecular Clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandford, Scott A.; Bernstein, Max P.; Allamandola, Louis J.; Goorvitch, David; Teixeira, Teresa C. V. S.; DeVincenzi, D. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    We present 2338-2322 per centimeter (4.277-4.307 micrometer) infrared spectra of a number of N2-containing mixed molecular ices and demonstrate that the strength of the infrared "forbidden" band due to the N=N stretch near 2328 per centimeter (4.295 micrometer) is extremely sensitive to the composition of the ice. The strength of the 2328 per centimeter N2 fundamental is significantly enhanced relative to that of pure N2 ice when NH3, H2O, or CO2 are present, but is largely unaffected by the presence of CO, CH4 or O2. We use the laboratory data in coil junction with ISO data that probes several lines-of-sight through dense molecular clouds to place limits on the abundance of interstellar solid phase N2 and the composition of the ices. Deriving upper limits is complicated by the presence of overlapping absorptions due to CO2 gas in the clouds and, in some cases, to photospheric CO in the background star. These upper limits are just beginning to be low enough to constrain interstellar grain models and the composition of possible N2-bearing interstellar ices. We outline the search criteria that will need to be met if solid interstellar N2 is to be detected in the future. We also discuss some of the implications of the presence of warm CO2 gas along the lines-of-sight to embedded protostars and demonstrate that its presence may help resolve certain puzzles associated with the previously derived gas/solid CO2 ratios and the relative abundances of polar and nonpolar ices towards these objects. Finally, we briefly comment on the possible implications of these results for the interpretation of N2 detections on outer solar system bodies.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Magnetic Fields in the Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, Susan

    2017-01-01

    The Milky Way is magnetized. Invisible magnetic fields thread the Galaxy on all scales and play a vital but still poorly understood role in regulating flows of gas in the interstellar medium and the formation of stars. I will present highlights from my thesis work on magnetic fields in the diffuse interstellar gas and in accretion disks. At high Galactic latitudes, diffuse neutral hydrogen is organized into an intricate network of slender linear features. I will show that these neutral hydrogen “fibers” are extremely well aligned with the ambient magnetic field as traced by both starlight polarization (Clark et al. 2014) and Planck 353 GHz polarized dust emission (Clark et al. 2015). The structure of the neutral interstellar medium is more tightly coupled to the magnetic field than previously known. Because the orientation of neutral hydrogen is an independent predictor of the local dust polarization angle, our work provides a new tool in the search for inflationary gravitational wave B-mode polarization in the cosmic microwave background, which is currently limited by dust foreground contamination. Magnetic fields also drive accretion in astrophysical disks via the magnetorotational instability (MRI). I analytically derive the behavior of this instability in the weakly nonlinear regime and show that the saturated state of the instability depends on the geometry of the background magnetic field. The analytical model describes the behavior of the MRI in a Taylor-Couette flow, a set-up used by experimentalists in the ongoing quest to observe MRI in the laboratory (Clark & Oishi 2016a, 2016b).

  10. Are Silicon Nanoparticles an Interstellar Dust Component?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Aigen; Draine, B. T.

    2002-01-01

    Silicon nanoparticles (SNPs) with oxide coatings have been proposed as the source of the observed ``extended red emission'' (ERE) from interstellar dust. We calculate the thermal emission expected from such particles, both in a reflection nebula such as NGC 2023 and in the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM). It is shown that Si/SiO2 SNPs (both neutral and charged) would produce a strong emission feature at 20 μm. The observational upper limit on the 20 μm feature in NGC 2023 imposes an upper limit of less than 0.2 parts per million in Si/SiO2 SNPs. The observed ERE intensity from NGC 2023 then gives a lower bound on the product ηPLf0, where ηPL<1 is the photoluminescence efficiency for a neutral SNP and f0<=1 is the fraction of SNPs that are uncharged. For foreground extinction A0.68μm=1.2mag, we find ηPLf0>0.24 for Si/SiO2 SNPs in NGC 2023. Measurement of the R-band extinction toward the ERE-emitting region could strengthen this lower limit. The ERE emissivity of the diffuse interstellar medium appears to require >~42% of solar Si abundance in Si/SiO2 SNPs even with ηPLf0=1. We predict IR emission spectra and show that DIRBE photometry appears to rule out such high abundances of free-flying SNPs in the diffuse ISM. We conclude that if the ERE is due to SNPs, they must be either in clusters or attached to larger grains.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Discovery of two distorted interstellar bubbles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gull, T. R.; Sofia, S.

    1978-01-01

    During an extensive program of direct imagery of emission nebulae, arcuate structures were found around two stars. A well-defined shock-like structure was found about the T-Orionis variable LL Orionis, located to the side of the Orion Nebula. A less extensive shock-like structure was also found about the runaway star zeta Ophiuchus. These structures can best be described in terms of distorted interstellar bubbles. A direct consequence of this interpretation is an independent estimate of the rates of mass loss for these stars.

  17. 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.

  18. Can spores survive in interstellar space?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weber, P.; Greenberg, J. M.

    1985-01-01

    Experimental evidence is presented for the effects of very low temperature and UV radiation, characteristic of the interstellar medium, on the survival of bacteria. In the most general space environment, 10 percent survival times are only of the order of hundreds of years, too short for panspermia to work. In a substantial fraction of space within dark clouds, however, it is shown that, even with conservative figures, survival times as long as millions to tens of millions of years are attainable. In such conditions, clouds could transport organisms from one solar system to another in times significantly shorter than the mean survival time. This occurs with significant probability.

  19. Interstellar scattering of the Vela pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Backer, D. C.

    1974-01-01

    The frequency dependence of the parameters of interstellar scattering between 837 and 8085 MHz for the Vela pulsar are consistent with thin-screen models of strong scattering. The magnitudes of the parameters indicate an anomalous turbulence along the path when they are compared with results for other pulsars with comparable column densities of free electrons in the line of sight. This anomaly is due presumably to the Gum Nebula. The decorrelation frequency, appropriately defined, is related to the pulse broadening time by 2 pi as predicted theoretically.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. LOCAL INTERSTELLAR MAGNETIC FIELD DETERMINED FROM THE INTERSTELLAR BOUNDARY EXPLORER RIBBON

    SciTech Connect

    Zirnstein, E. J.; Livadiotis, G.; McComas, D. J.; Heerikhuisen, J.; Pogorelov, N. V.; Funsten, H. O.

    2016-02-10

    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.

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The abundance of boron in diffuse interstellar clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ritchey, Adam M.

    The origins of the stable isotopes of boron remain uncertain despite much theoretical and observational effort. Spallation reactions between relativistic Galactic cosmic rays (GCR) and interstellar nuclei can adequately account for the production of 10 B and contribute to the cosmic abundance of 11 B. However, an additional source of 11 B synthesis is required to raise the isotopic ratio of 11 B/ 10 B from its GCR spallation value (2.4) to the value measured in carbonaceous chondrites (4.0). The n-process, neutrino-induced spallation in Type II supernovae, is a potentially significant source of 11 B production. Since neutrino-induced spallation does not result in substantial yields for 10 B, this process could naturally explain the enhancement in 11 B/ 10 B over the predictions of standard GCR spallation. Without the n-process, enhanced 11 B production, relative to 10 B, could be attributed to an increased flux of low- energy (5-40 MeV nucleon -1 ) cosmic rays, which are unobservable from Earth due to magnetic shielding by the solar wind. In this thesis, I present a comprehensive survey of boron abundances in diffuse interstellar clouds from Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) observations made with the Hubble Space Telescope in an effort to identify the sources responsible for light element nucleosynthesis. The present sample of 56 Galactic sight lines is the result of a complete search of archival STIS data for the B II l1362 resonance line. Each detection is confirmed by the presence of absorption due to O I l1355, Cu II l1358, and Ga II l1414 (when available) at the same velocity. Like B + , these species represent the dominant ionization stage of their element in neutral diffuse clouds and therefore should coexist. Profile templates based on synthesized absorption profiles of O I, Cu II, and Ga II are fitted to the B II line, yielding the total boron column density along each line of sight. By synthesizing B II profiles with components seen in high

  8. Sending and searching for interstellar messages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaitsev, Alexander L.

    2008-09-01

    There is a close interrelation between searching for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) and messaging to extraterrestrial intelligence (METI). For example, the answers to the questions "Where to search" and "Where to send" are equivalent, in that both require an identical selection from the same target star lists. Similar considerations lead to a strategy of time synchronization between sending and searching. Both SETI and METI use large reflectors. The concept of "magic frequencies" may be applicable to both SETI and METI. Efforts to understand an alien civilization's interstellar messages (IMs), and efforts to compose our own IMs so they will be easily understood by unfamiliar extraterrestrials, are mutually complementary. Furthermore, the METI-question: "How can we benefit from sending IMs, if a response may come only thousands of years later?" begs an equivalent SETI-question: "How can we benefit from searching, if it is impossible now to perceive the motivations and feelings of those who may have sent messages in the distant past?" A joint consideration of the theoretical and the practical aspects of both sending and searching for IMs, in the framework of a unified, disciplined scientific approach, can be quite fruitful. We seek to resolve the cultural disconnect between those who advocate sending interstellar messages, and others who anathematize those who would transmit.

  9. A Search for Interstellar Monohydric Thiols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorai, Prasanta; Das, Ankan; Das, Amaresh; Sivaraman, Bhalamurugan; Etim, Emmanuel E.; Chakrabarti, Sandip K.

    2017-02-01

    It has been pointed out by various astronomers that a very interesting relationship exists between interstellar alcohols and the corresponding thiols (sulfur analog of alcohols) as far as the spectroscopic properties and chemical abundances are concerned. Monohydric alcohols such as methanol and ethanol are widely observed and 1-propanol was recently claimed to have been seen in Orion KL. Among the monohydric thiols, methanethiol (chemical analog of methanol) has been firmly detected in Orion KL and Sgr B2(N2) and ethanethiol (chemical analog of ethanol) has been observed in Sgr B2(N2), though the confirmation of this detection is yet to come. It is very likely that higher order thiols could be observed in these regions. In this paper, we study the formation of monohydric alcohols and their thiol analogs. Based on our quantum chemical calculation and chemical modeling, we find that the Tg conformer of 1-propanethiol is a good candidate of astronomical interest. We present various spectroscopically relevant parameters of this molecule to assist in its future detection in the interstellar medium.

  10. Cometary Silicates: Interstellar and Nebular Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wooden, Diane H.

    2002-01-01

    Evidence for interstellar material in comets is deduced from IR spectra, insitu measurements of Halley, and chondritic porous interplanetary dust particles (CP IDPs). IR spectra of comets reveal the spectrally active minerals: amorphous carbon, amorphous silicates, and (in some comets) crystalline silicates. Evidence suggests amorphous silicates are of interstellar origin while crystalline silicates are of nebular origin. 10 microns spectra of comets and submicron amorphous silicate spherules in CP IDPs have shapes similar to lines-of-sight through the ISM. Thermal emission models of cometary IR spectra require Fe-bearing amorphous silicates. Fe-bearing amorphous silicates may be Fe-bearing crystalline silicates formed in AGB outflows that are amorphized through He+ ion bombardment in supernova shocks in the ISM. Crystalline silicates in comets, as revealed by IR spectra, and their apparent absence in the ISM, argues for their nebular origin. The high temperatures (less than l000 K) at which crystals form or are annealed occur in the inner nebula or in nebular shocks in the 5-10 AU region. Oxygen isotope studies of CP IDPs show by mass only 1 % of the silicate crystals are of AGB origin. Together this suggests crystalline silicates in comets are probably primitive grains from the early solar nebula.

  11. Formation of Benzene in the Interstellar Medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Brant M.; Zhang, Fangtong; Kaiser, Ralf I.; Jamal, Adeel; Mebel, Alexander M.; Cordiner, Martin A.; Charnley, Steven B.; Crim, F. Fleming (Editor)

    2010-01-01

    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-butadlene 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.

  12. Graphene Solar Photon Sails and Interstellar Arks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matloff, G. L.

    2014-06-01

    A review of conceptual interstellar generation ships is followed by a presentation of optical and thermal properties of graphene and a discussion of kinematics/thermal-aspects of the solar-acceleration phase of a starship propelled by a graphene hollowbody solar-photon sail. The spacecraft departs from an initially parabolic solar orbit and the sail is oriented normal to the Sun during solar-acceleration. Perihelion is constrained to 0.1 AU because humans can tolerate ~3g for several hours without lasting effects. The 5 × 106 kg payload mass and 9.16 × 106 kg sail mass are applied as cosmic-ray shielding for the ship's 20-50 person population during the ~1,400-year cruise phase. Artificial gravity, the Coriolis Effect, closed-environment agriculture, illumination, on-board energy requirements, thermal dissipation, and hygiene/recreation are considered in a discussion of habitat design. Many concepts for mid-course trajectory correction are discussed including a new one that expels mass collected by a Cassenti toroidal ion scoop in a direction normal to the ship's trajectory. Although acceleration is affected by the unfurled sail, other options are discussed, as is the problem of protection from interstellar-dust erosion. As well as presenting the total mass budget, the conclusion reviews published variations and modifications on the generation-ship theme.

  13. 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.

  14. Hydrodynamical Modeling of the Local Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slavin, Jonathan David

    2017-01-01

    Studies of the Local Interstellar Medium (LISM) provide us with the opportunity to make progress in understanding a wide range of physical processes that operate in the diffuse insterstellar medium (ISM) of galaxies. The LISM includes a large bubble of hot, supernova created gas, known as the Local Bubble, and several low density, warm clouds close to the Sun, known as the Complex of Local Insterstellar Clouds (CLIC). The CLIC includes the Local Interstellar Cloud that surrounds and confines the heliosphere and is the source of neutral H and He that has been detected flowing into the Solar System. Several important questions remain unanswered about the LISM including how the Local Bubble formed, how the CLIC got to be inside the Local Bubble, and what are the ongoing interactions of the hot gas with the CLIC gas. We report on our progress in creating numerical hydrodynamical models of the LISM that aim to help us to understand the wide range of observations we have of the CLIC and the Local Bubble and the origins and evolution of the LISM.

  15. 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.

  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. 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

  18. 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.

  19. The Age of the Local Interstellar Bubble

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abt, H. A.

    2011-12-01

    The Local Interstellar Bubble is an irregular-shaped region that happens to be centered on the Sun. It has minimum and maximum radii of 50 and 150 pc. The density inside the bubble is 1/200 of that outside and the temperature is about 1 million K. Therefore the density times the temperature at the borders is constant, so the bubble is stable and can be very old. It was evidently cleared of interstellar gas by one or more supernovae. Because of the low density, no new stars could have been formed in the bubble since the supernovae explosions. We looked for the youngest stars within the bubble. In the central region they are B7 so that region is about 160 million years old. The Pleiades lobe has B3 stars so it is about 60 million years old. The lobe toward the galactic center has O9.5 stars so it is about 4 million years old. In fact, it has a pulsar with a spin-down time of 3.76 million years, so that must be the remnant of the supernova that created that region. The bubble has measureable OVI and CII lines, but no HI, confirming its high temperature. The Sun was probably formed elsewhere and happened to drift into the bubble some millions of years ago. The full text of this talk was published in the Astronomical Journal (Abt 2011).

  20. 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.

  1. LOCAL INTERSTELLAR NEUTRAL HYDROGEN SAMPLED IN SITU BY IBEX

    SciTech Connect

    Saul, Lukas; Wurz, Peter; Rodriguez, Diego; Scheer, Juergen; Moebius, Eberhard; Schwadron, Nathan; Kucharek, Harald; Leonard, Trevor; Bzowski, Maciej; Fuselier, Stephen; Crew, Geoff; McComas, Dave

    2012-02-01

    Hydrogen gas is the dominant component of the local interstellar medium. However, owing to ionization and interaction with the heliosphere, direct sampling of neutral hydrogen in the inner heliosphere is more difficult than sampling the local interstellar neutral helium, which penetrates deep into the heliosphere. In this paper, we report on the first detailed analysis of the direct sampling of neutral hydrogen from the local interstellar medium. We confirm that the arrival direction of hydrogen is offset from that of the local helium component. We further report the discovery of a variation of the penetrating hydrogen over the first two years of Interstellar Boundary Explorer observations. Observations are consistent with hydrogen experiencing an effective ratio of outward solar radiation pressure to inward gravitational force greater than unity ({mu} > 1); the temporal change observed in the local interstellar hydrogen flux can be explained with solar variability.

  2. Streaming of interstellar grains in the solar system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gustafson, B. A. S.; Misconi, N. Y.

    1979-01-01

    Results of a theoretical study of the interactions between interstellar grains streaming through the solar system and the solar wind are presented. It is shown that although elongated core-mantle interstellar particles of a characteristic radius of about 0.12 microns are subject to a greater force due to radiation pressure than to gravitational attraction, they are still able to penetrate deep inside the solar system. Calculations of particle trajectories within the solar system indicate substantial effects of the solar activity cycle as reflected in the interplanetary magnetic field on the distribution of 0.12- and 0.0005-micron interstellar grains streaming through the solar system, leading to a 50-fold increase in interstellar grain densities 3 to 4 AU ahead of the sun during years 8 to 17 of the solar cycle. It is noted that during the Solar Polar Mission, concentrations are expected which will offer the opportunity of detecting interstellar grains in the solar system.

  3. Charting the Interstellar Magnetic Field causing the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) Ribbon of Energetic Neutral Atoms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    The interstellar magnetic field (ISMF) near the heliosphere is a fundamental component of the solar galactic environment that can only be studied using polarized starlight. The results of an ongoing survey of the linear polarizations of local stars are analyzed with the goal of linking the ISMF that shapes the heliosphere to the nearby field in interstellar space. We present new results on the direction of the magnetic field within 40 pc obtained from analyzing polarization data using a merit function that determines the field direction that provides the best fit to the polarization data. Multiple magnetic components are identified, including a dominant interstellar field, {B}{POL}, that is aligned with the direction ℓ, b = 36.°2, 49.°0 (±16.°0). Stars tracing {B}{POL} have the same mean distance as stars that do not trace {B}{POL}, but show weaker average polarizations consistent with a smaller column density of polarizing material. {B}{POL} is aligned with the ISMF traced by the IBEX Ribbon to within {7.6}-7.6+14.9 degrees. The variations in the polarization position angle directions derived from the data that best match {B}{POL} indicate a low level of magnetic turbulence, ˜9° ± 1°. The direction of {B}{POL} is obtained after excluding polarization data tracing a separate magnetic structure that appears to be associated with interstellar dust deflected around the heliosphere. The velocities of local interstellar clouds relative to the Local Standard of Rest (LSR) increase with the angles between the LSR velocities and {B}{POL}, indicating that the kinematics of local interstellar material is ordered by the ISMF. The Loop I superbubble that extends close to the Sun contains dust that reddens starlight and whose distance is determined by the color excess E(B - V) of starlight. Polarizations caused by grains aligned with respect to {B}{POL} are consistent with the location of the Sun in the rim of the Loop I superbubble. An angle of {76

  4. PERITONEAL ABSORPTION

    PubMed Central

    Hahn, P. F.; Miller, L. L.; Robscheit-Robbins, F. S.; Bale, W. F.; Whipple, G. H.

    1944-01-01

    The absorption of red cells from the normal peritoneum of the dog can be demonstrated by means of red cells labeled with radio-iron incorporated in the hemoglobin of these red cells. Absorption in normal dogs runs from 20 to 100 per cent of the amount given within 24 hours. Dogs rendered anemic by bleeding absorb red cells a little less rapidly—ranging from 5 to 80 per cent of the injected red cells. Doubly depleted dogs (anemic and hypoproteinemic) absorb even less in the three experiments recorded. This peritoneal absorption varies widely in different dogs and even in the same dog at different times. We do not know the factors responsible for these variations but there is no question about active peritoneal absorption. The intact red cells pass readily from the peritoneal cavity into lymph spaces in diaphragm and other areas of the peritoneum. The red cells move along the lymphatics and through the lymph glands with little or no phagocytosis and eventually into the large veins through the thoracic ducts. PMID:19871404

  5. Nutrient absorption.

    PubMed

    Rubin, Deborah C

    2004-03-01

    Our understanding of nutrient absorption continues to grow, from the development of unique animal models and from studies in which cutting-edge molecular and cellular biologic approaches have been used to analyze the structure and function of relevant molecules. Studies of the molecular genetics of inherited disorders have also provided many new insights into these processes. A major advance in lipid absorption has been the cloning and characterization of several intestinal acyl CoA:monoacylglycerol acyltransferases; these may provide new targets for antiobesity drug therapy. Studies of intestinal cholesterol absorption and reverse cholesterol transport have encouraged the development of novel potential treatments for hyperlipidemia. Observations in genetically modified mice and in humans with mutations in glucose transporter 2 suggest the importance of a separate microsomal membrane transport pathway for glucose transport. The study of iron metabolism has advanced greatly with the identification of the hemochromatosis gene and the continued examination of the genetic regulation of iron absorptive pathways. Several human thiamine transporters have been identified, and their specific roles in different tissues are being explored.

  6. Determining the Composition and Distribution of Interstellar Dust with X-rays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Julia C.; Xiang, J.; Ravel, B.; Kortright, J.

    2008-03-01

    Dust particles smaller than 10 microns are partially transparent to X-rays so that the measured absorption should be sensitive to ALL atoms in both gas and solid phase. High resolution X-ray spectroscopy, as currently possible with the Chandra X-ray satellite can therefore provide a powerful and unique tool for determining the state and composition of interstellar material, since dust grains along the line of sight will imprint oscillatory features (X-ray absorption fine structure - XAFS) near photoelectric edges. I will show how we have begun to determine dust composition through XAFS signatures using laboratory solid state work in complement with space (Chandra and Spitzer spectra) studies to determine and differentiate dust composition along different lines-of-sight, and in different environments.

  7. 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.

  8. Variations between Dust and Gas in the Diffuse Interstellar Medium. II. Search for Cold Gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reach, William T.; Heiles, Carl; Bernard, Jean-Philippe

    2017-01-01

    The content of interstellar clouds, in particular the inventory of diffuse molecular gas, remains uncertain. We identified a sample of isolated clouds, approximately 100 M⊙ in size, and used the dust content to estimate the total amount of gas. In Paper I, the total inferred gas content was found significantly larger than that seen in 21 cm emission measurements of H i. In this paper we test the hypothesis that the apparent excess “dark” gas is cold H i, which would be evident in absorption but not in emission due to line saturation. The results show that there is not enough 21 cm absorption toward the clouds to explain the total amount of “dark” gas.

  9. An investigation of the 661.3 nm diffuse interstellar band in Cepheid spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashuba, S. V.; Andrievsky, S. M.; Chekhonadskikh, F. A.; Luck, R. E.; Kovtyukh, V. V.; Korotin, S. A.; Krełowski, J.; Galazutdinov, G. A.

    2016-09-01

    We have investigated the diffuse interstellar band (DIB) at 661.3 nm seen in the spectra of Cepheid stars. After removal of the blending lines of ionized yttrium and neutral iron, we determined the equivalent widths (EWs) of the DIB and used these values to investigate the E(B - V)-DIB EW relation. The relation found from Cepheids matches that found in B stars. This relation can help to find the reddening for newly discovered Cepheids without extensive photometric data, and thus determine their distances. The relation between E(B - V) and the DIB EW does not yield precise reddening values. It is not a substitute for better photometric or spectroscopic methods. At best, it is indicative, but it provides some information that may not be otherwise available. Defining R* = E(B - V)/DIB EW, which we consider to be the analogue of R = E(B - V)/Av, we investigated the Galactic longitudinal dependence of R* assuming that the DIB EW value is representative of the interstellar absorption Av. We found that there is an apparent increase of the R* value that corresponds to the abnormal absorption seen towards Cygnus constellation. Finally, we constructed a 2D map of the DIB EW distribution in the Galactic disc basing on our rather limited sample of 253 spectra of 176 Cepheids.

  10. Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwadron, N. A.; Opher, M.; Kasper, J.; Mewaldt, R.; Moebius, E.; Spence, H. E.; Zurbuchen, T. H.

    2016-11-01

    Our piece of cosmic real estate, the heliosphere, is the domain of all human existence - an astrophysical case history of the successful evolution of life in a habitable system. By exploring our global heliosphere and its myriad interactions, we develop key physical knowledge of the interstellar interactions that influence exoplanetary habitability as well as the distant history and destiny of our solar system and world. IBEX is the first mission to explore the global heliosphere and in concert with Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 is discovering a fundamentally new and uncharted physical domain of the outer heliosphere. In parallel, Cassini/INCA maps the global heliosphere at energies (˜5-55 keV) above those measured by IBEX. The enigmatic IBEX ribbon and the INCA belt were unanticipated discoveries demonstrating that much of what we know or think we understand about the outer heliosphere needs to be revised. This paper summarizes the next quantum leap enabled by IMAP that will open new windows on the frontier of Heliophysics at a time when the space environment is rapidly evolving. IMAP with 100 times the combined resolution and sensitivity of IBEX and INCA will discover the substructure of the IBEX ribbon and will reveal, with unprecedented resolution, global maps of our heliosphere. The remarkable synergy between IMAP, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 will remain for at least the next decade as Voyager 1 pushes further into the interstellar domain and Voyager 2 moves through the heliosheath. Voyager 2 moves outward in the same region of sky covered by a portion of the IBEX ribbon. Voyager 2’s plasma measurements will create singular opportunities for discovery in the context of IMAP's global measurements. IMAP, like ACE before, will be a keystone of the Heliophysics System Observatory by providing comprehensive measurements of interstellar neutral atoms and pickup ions, the solar wind distribution, composition, and magnetic field, as well as suprathermal ion, energetic

  11. 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.

  12. Spatial distribution of interstellar dust in the Sun's vicinity. Comparison with neutral sodium-bearing gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vergely, J.-L.; Valette, B.; Lallement, R.; Raimond, S.

    2010-07-01

    Aims: 3D tomography of the interstellar dust and gas may be useful in many respects, from the physical and chemical evolution of the interstellar medium itself to foreground decontamination of the cosmic microwave background, or various studies of the environments of specific objects. However, while spectral data cubes of the galactic emission become increasingly precise, the information on the distance to the emitting regions has not progressed as well and relies essentially on the galactic rotation curve. Our goal here is to bring more precise information on the distance to nearby interstellar dust and gas clouds within 250 pc. Methods: We apply the best available calibration methods to a carefully screened set of stellar Strömgren photometry data for targets possessing a Hipparcos parallax and spectral type classification. We combine the derived interstellar extinctions and the parallax distances for about 6000 stars to build a 3D tomography of the local dust. We use an inversion method based on a regularized Bayesian approach and a least squares criterion, optimized for this specific data set. We apply the same inversion technique to a totally independent set of neutral sodium absorption data available for about 1700 target stars. Results: We obtain 3D maps of the opacity and the distance to the main dust-bearing clouds within 250 pc and identify in those maps well-known dark clouds and high galactic more diffuse entities. We calculate the integrated extinction between the Sun and the cube boundary and compare this with the total galactic extinction derived from infrared 2D maps. The two quantities reach similar values at high latitudes, as expected if the local dust content is satisfyingly reproduced and the dust is closer than 250 pc. Those maps show a larger high latitude dust opacity in the North compared to the South, reinforcing earlier evidences. Interestingly the gas maps do not show the same asymmetry, suggesting a polar asymmetry of the dust to gas

  13. AN ANALYTICAL MODEL OF INTERSTELLAR GAS IN THE HELIOSPHERE TAILORED TO INTERSTELLAR BOUNDARY EXPLORER OBSERVATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Martin A.; Kucharek, Harald; Moebius, Eberhard; Wu Xian; Bzowski, Maciej; McComas, David

    2012-02-01

    The stationary distribution of interstellar neutral gas in the heliosphere subject to solar gravity, solar radiation pressure, photoionization, and charge exchange is investigated analytically assuming ionization rates and radiation pressure that are proportional to R{sup -2}, where R is the heliocentric radius. The collisionless hyperbolic trajectories of the individual atoms including ionization losses are combined with Liouville's Theorem to construct the heliospheric phase-space distribution function of an interstellar gas species in the solar reference frame under the assumption that the distribution is a drifting Maxwellian at large distances from the Sun. The distribution is transformed to the Earth (essentially Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX)) frame as a function of solar longitude. The expression is then tailored to the latitudinal scan of IBEX as a function of longitude using the fact that IBEX detects each atom close to perihelion in its hyperbolic orbit. The distribution is further adapted to IBEX by integrating the differential intensity over the entrance aperture solid angle of the IBEX-Lo collimator, and over energy to predict the IBEX count rate of helium. The major features of the predicted count rate are described, including a peak in longitude, a peak in latitude at each longitude, and the widths of the major peak in both latitude and longitude. Analytical formulae for these features are derived for comparison with IBEX observations in order to determine the temperature and bulk velocity of the gas in interstellar space. Based in part on these formulae, the results for helium are presented in the companion paper by Moebius et al.

  14. New Interstellar Dust Models Consistent with Interstellar Extinction, Emission and Abundances Constraints

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zubko, V.; Dwek, E.; Arendt, R. G.; Oegerle, William (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    We present new interstellar dust models that are consistent with both, the FUV to near-IR extinction and infrared (IR) emission measurements from the diffuse interstellar medium. The models are characterized by different dust compositions and abundances. The problem we solve consists of determining the size distribution of the various dust components of the model. This problem is a typical ill-posed inversion problem which we solve using the regularization approach. We reproduce the Li Draine (2001, ApJ, 554, 778) results, however their model requires an excessive amount of interstellar silicon (48 ppM of hydrogen compared to the 36 ppM available for an ISM of solar composition) to be locked up in dust. We found that dust models consisting of PAHs, amorphous silicate, graphite, and composite grains made up from silicates, organic refractory, and water ice, provide an improved fit to the extinction and IR emission measurements, while still requiring a subsolar amount of silicon to be in the dust. This research was supported by NASA Astrophysical Theory Program NRA 99-OSS-01.

  15. Molecular hydrogen in interstellar dark clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, M.; Robinson, G. W.

    1976-01-01

    A simplified H2 formation mechanism is proposed in which small interstellar grains furnish the reaction sites. This mechanism results in a maximum value for the rate constant of about 2 by 10 to the -18th power per cu cm/sec for dark clouds at 10 K. Also, the nascent molecules are ejected in excited states, in qualitative agreement with Copernicus observations. A time-dependent treatment of the chemical evolution of a dark cloud with little or no ionizing radiation shows that the clouds require more than 10 million years to achieve chemical equilibrium. The observed residual atomic hydrogen in several dark clouds suggests that the clouds are 1 to 10 million years old. Other consequences of the temporal cloud model are in accord with astronomical observations.

  16. SPIRE spectroscopy of the interstellar medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Habart, E.; Dartois, E.; Abergel, A.; Baluteau, J.-P.; Naylor, D.; Polehampton, E.; Joblin, C.

    2010-12-01

    The SPIRE Fourier Transform Spectrometer on-board Herschel allows us, for the first time, to simultaneously measure the complete far-infrared spectrum from 194 to 671 μm. A wealth of rotational lines of CO (and its isotopologues), fine structure lines of C^0 and N^+, and emission lines from radicals and molecules has been observed towards several galactic regions and nearby galaxies. The strengths of the atomic and molecular lines place fundamental constraints on the physical conditions but also the chemistry of the interstellar medium. FTS mapping capabilities are also extremely powerful in characterizing the spatial morphology of the extended region and understand how the gas properties vary within the studied region. Here, we present a first analysis of SPIRE spectroscopic observations of the prototypical Orion Bar photodissociation region.

  17. Optically thick ablation fronts. [in interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Konigl, A.

    1984-01-01

    The physical characteristics of optically thick ablation fronts such as interstellar clouds are analyzed. Attention is given to cold clumps in both planar and spherical geometries and modifications caused by accelerations in a gravitational field or by evaporation of the clumps when encountered hot gas. The effects of ablation on the appearance of the Rayleigh-Taylor instability are examined in both linear and nonlinear regimes. The results of the calculations are applied to the astrophysical phenomena of cold clumps immersed in a supersonic flow, optically thick jets, and ablation in stellar envelopes. Evaporation in an optically thick front is projected to be orders of magnitude larger than evaporation in electron-conduction fronts in optically thin conditions. The optically thick processes could then be useful for modeling flows from, e.g., newly formed stars and active galactic nuclei.

  18. The Centauri project: Manned interstellar travel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ciesla, Thomas M.

    1990-01-01

    The development of antimatter engines for spacecraft propulsion will allow man to expand to the nearest stellar neighbors such as the Alpha Centuri system. Compared to chemically powered rockets like the Apollo mission class which would take 50,000 years to reach the Centauri system, antimatter propulsion would reduce one way trip time to 30 years or less. The challenges encountered by manned interstellar travel are formidable. The spacecraft must be a combination of sublight speed transportation system and a traveling microplanet serving an expanding population. As the population expands from the initial 100 people to approximately 300, the terraformed asteroid, enclosed by a man-made shell will allow for expansion over its surface in the fashion of a small terrestrial town. All aspects of human life - birth; death; physical, emotional, and educational needs; and government and law must be met by the structure, systems, and institutions on-board.

  19. Scattering by interstellar graphite dust analog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmed, Gazi A.; Gogoi, Ankur

    2014-10-01

    The analysis of optical scattering data of interstellar carbonaceous graphite dust analog at 543.5 nm, 594.5 nm and 632.8 nm laser wavelengths by using an original laboratory light scattering setup is presented. The setup primarily consisted of a laser source, optical units, aerosol sprayer, data acquisition system and associated instrumentation. The instrument measured scattered light signals from 10° to 170° in steps of 1°. The results of the measurements of the volume scattering function β(θ) and degree of linear polarization P(θ) of the carbonaceous graphite dust particles that were sprayed in front of the laser beam by using an aerosol sprayer were subsequently compared with theoretically generated Mie plots with estimated parameters.

  20. Spin-related magnetism of interstellar grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Srnka, L. J.; De, B. R.

    1978-01-01

    The magnetic dipole moments and internal magnetic fields due to the spin of electrically charged elongated nonmagnetic interstellar grains in kinetic equilibrium with their surroundings are computed for the grain-size range from 0.01 to 1.0 micron. It is shown that the induced magnetic moments and internal magnetic fields of charged spinning nonmagnetic grains of arbitrary composition and prolate spheroidal shape can be appreciable, possibly even exceeding 0.01 emu/cu cm for 0.01-micron grains. The results indicate that virtually all grains smaller than 0.1 micron in mean diameter, and all elongated grains smaller than about 1 micron in length, are immersed in local magnetic fields due to spin that are much larger than the ambient galactic field. Some implications of this effect are discussed in relation to the polarization of starlight by aligned dust grains and the primordial remanent magnetization found in primitive carbonaceous chondrites.

  1. A radio search for interstellar phosphorus compounds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hollis, J. M.; Snyder, L. E.; Lovas, F. J.; Ulich, B. L.

    1980-01-01

    The J = 1-0 and 3-2 transitions of phosphorus nitride, PN, with resolvable hyperfine components at 46.99 GHz and blended components at 140.97 GHz, and transitions of phosphine, PH3, at 47.39 and 46.94 GHz, arising from a small induced dipole moment, have been searched for but not found in interstellar molecular clouds. The J = 3/2-1/2, F - 3/2-3/2 transition of nitric oxide, NO, and the J(K-K+) = 16(4, 12) -15(5, 11) transition of sulfur dioxide, SO2, have been detected in Orion and Sagittarius B2. An unidentified emission line, U140921.8 MHz, has been observed in IRC + 10216.

  2. Interstellar H_3^+: Herzberg and Hydrogenic Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oka, Takeshi

    2000-06-01

    Gerhard Herzberg was fascinated by the physics of hydrogen throughout his life (1,2) and studied spectra of a variety of hydrogenic species including H, H^-, H_2, H2 ^+ and H_3^+. He was the first to advocate the importance of spectroscopy of H_3^+, both from astronomical and chemical points of view. I shall talk on how his idea and enthusiasm have been succeeded by the younger generation and led to the detection of the laboratory spectrum of H_3^+, as well as to the detection of H_3^+ in astronomical objects such as planetary ionospheres, molecular clouds, and the diffuse interstellar medium. 1. G. Herzberg, Trans. R. Soc. Can. 5: 3 (1967). 2. G. Herzberg, Trans. R. Soc. Can. 20: 151 (1982).

  3. Modelling Study of Interstellar Ethanimine Isomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quan, Donghui; Herbst, Eric; Corby, Joanna F.; Durr, Allison; Hassel, George

    2016-06-01

    Ethanimine (CH3CHNH) , including both the E- and Z- isomers, were detected towards the star-forming region Sgr B2(N) using the GBT PRIMOS data (Loomis et al 2013), and were recently imaged by the ACTA (Corby et al. 2015). These aldimines can serve as precursors of biological molecules such as amino acids thus are considered prebiotic molecules in interstellar medium. In this study, we present chemical simulations of ethanimine with various physical conditions. From models for Sgr B2(N) and environs, calculated ethanimine abundances show reasonable agreement with observed values, while the translucent cloud models yield much lower abundances. These results agree with locations suggested by observations that ethanimine isomers were detected in the foreground of the shells of the hot core.

  4. Ortho and parahydrogen in interstellar material

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reeves, R. R.; Harteck, P.

    1979-01-01

    The ortho/para molecular hydrogen ratio in the interstellar medium is considered. It is shown that the ortho/para ratio will be 3:1 in practically all chemical reactions, even at relatively low temperatures. Two examples of exothermic processes that will result in the formation of a 3:1 ortho:para ratio, corresponding to a high-temperature equilibrium, are examined: H2 formation via three-body or surface recombination and catalytic recombination involving electrons and H(-) ions. Gas-phase scrambling ion reactions are also discussed, and it is suggested that virtually all the H2 equilibrated via scrambling reactions involving H(+) and H3(+) ions should exist as parahydrogen in the J ? 0 quantum state. Arguments are given that deuterium cannot interfere with the long scrambling chain that results in parahydrogen formation.

  5. The kinetic chemistry of dense interstellar clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Graedel, T. E.; Langer, W. D.; Frerking, M. A.

    1982-01-01

    A model of the time-dependent chemistry of dense interstellar clouds is formulated to study the dominant chemical processes in carbon and oxygen isotope fractionation, the formation of nitrogen-containing molecules, and the evolution of product molecules as a function of cloud density and temperature. The abundances of the dominant isotopes of the carbon- and oxygen-bearing molecules are calculated. The chemical abundances are found to be quite sensitive to electron concentration since the electron concentration determines the ratio of H3(+) to He(+), and the electron density is strongly influenced by the metals abundance. For typical metal abundances and for H2 cloud density not less than 10,000 molecules/cu cm, nearly all carbon exists as CO at late cloud ages. At high cloud density, many aspects of the chemistry are strongly time dependent. Finally, model calculations agree well with abundances deduced from observations of molecular line emission in cold dense clouds.

  6. The nature and origin of interstellar diamond.

    PubMed

    Blake, D F; Freund, F; Krishnan, K F; Echer, C J; Shipp, R; Bunch, T E; Tielens, A G; Lipari, R J; Hetherington, C J; Chang, S

    1988-04-14

    Microscopic diamond was recently discovered in oxidized acid residues from several carbonaceous chondrite meteorites (for example, the C delta component of the Allende meteorite). Some of the reported properties of C delta seem in conflict with those expected of diamond. Here we present high spatial resolution analytical data which may help to explain such results. The C delta diamond is an extremely fine-grained (0.5-10 nm) single-phase material, but surface and interfacial carbon atoms, which may comprise as much as 25% of the total, impart an 'amorphous' character to some spectral data. These data support the proposed high-pressure conversion of amorphous carbon and graphite into diamonds due to grain-grain collisions in the interstellar medium although a low-pressure mechanism of formation cannot be ruled out.

  7. Diffuse interstellar bands: a comprehensive laboratory study.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Fred M

    2006-12-01

    As a result of the search for the identity of the chromophores responsible for producing the diffuse interstellar bands, a comprehensive exposition of experimental data is presented, which implicates the following molecules: (1) The extremely stable organic molecules, magnesium tetrabenzoporphyrin (MgTBP) and H(2)TBP. (2) A paraffin matrix (referred to as "grains") containing TBPs. (3) A low concentration of pyridine (also within the grains), whose transmission window at 2175 A, accounts for the ubiquitous UV bump. The blue emission spectra associated with the central star, HD44179, of the Red Rectangle displays the fluorescence excitation spectra of bare MgTBP. This unique spectrum matches the low temperature lab data of MgTBP in the vapor phase. An effective grain temperature of 2.728 K (+/-0.008) was deduced, based on MgTBP's lowest measured vibrational state of 341 GHz.

  8. A speckle hologram of the interstellar plasma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

    Observations of a speckle hologram of scattering material along the line of sight to the Vela pulsar indicate that this material is concentrated in the Vela supernova remnant, deep within the Gum Nebula. The speckle hologram is observed through the amplitude and phase variations of the interferometric cross-power spectrum with time and frequency. These variations describe the density fluctuations of the interstellar plasma, in a holographic fashion. The decorrelation due to the phase variations of the speckles yields the angular size of the scattering disk; comparison with the bandwidth of their amplitude variations yields a characteristic distance from earth to the scattering material of 0.81 +/- 0.03 of the distance from earth to the pulsar. This result is consistent with theories of irregularities associated with particle acceleration in shocks in supernova remnants.

  9. Sun Focus Comes First, Interstellar Comes Second

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maccone, C.

    of focal spheres) between 550 and 17,000 AU, thus located much beyond the well known Kuiper Belt of small bodies, remnants from the Solar System's formation, located between 30 to 55 AU.There is an even more important question, tough, that we face in this paper: how to INSURE any future interstellar radio links between the solar system and future interstellar probes. We show by calculations that only exploiting the gravitational lens of the Sun as a huge antenna we will be able to achieve such an interstellar link. In other words, we calculate the Bit Error Rate (BER) across interstellar distances both with and without using the gravitational lens effect of the Sun. The conclusion is that only when we will exploit the Sun as a gravitational lens we will be able to communicate with our own probes (or with nearby Aliens) across the distances of even the nearest stars to us in the Galaxy, and that at a reasonable Bit Error Rate.

  10. Searching for Cost-Optimized Interstellar Beacons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benford, Gregory; Benford, James; Benford, Dominic

    2010-01-01

    What would SETI beacon transmitters be like if built by civilizations that had a variety of motives but cared about cost? In a companion paper, we presented how, for fixed power density in the far field, a cost-optimum interstellar beacon system could be built. Here, we consider how we should search for a beacon if it were produced by a civilization similar to ours. High-power transmitters could be built for a wide variety of motives other than the need for two-way communication, this would include beacons built to be seen over thousands of light-years. Extraterrestrial beacon builders would likely have to contend with economic pressures just as their terrestrial counterparts do. Cost, spectral lines near 1GHz, and interstellar scintillation favor radiating frequencies substantially above the classic "water hole." Therefore, the transmission strategy for a distant, cost-conscious beacon would be a rapid scan of the galactic plane with the intent to cover the angular space. Such pulses would be infrequent events for the receiver. Such beacons built by distant, advanced, wealthy societies would have very different characteristics from what SETI researchers seek. Future searches should pay special attention to areas along the galactic disk where SETI searches have seen coherent signals that have not recurred on the limited listening time intervals we have used. We will need to wait for recurring events that may arrive in intermittent bursts. Several new SETI search strategies have emerged from these ideas. We propose a new test for beacons that is based on the Life Plane hypotheses.

  11. Searching for cost-optimized interstellar beacons.

    PubMed

    Benford, Gregory; Benford, James; Benford, Dominic

    2010-06-01

    What would SETI beacon transmitters be like if built by civilizations that had a variety of motives but cared about cost? In a companion paper, we presented how, for fixed power density in the far field, a cost-optimum interstellar beacon system could be built. Here, we consider how we should search for a beacon if it were produced by a civilization similar to ours. High-power transmitters could be built for a wide variety of motives other than the need for two-way communication; this would include beacons built to be seen over thousands of light-years. Extraterrestrial beacon builders would likely have to contend with economic pressures just as their terrestrial counterparts do. Cost, spectral lines near 1 GHz, and interstellar scintillation favor radiating frequencies substantially above the classic "water hole." Therefore, the transmission strategy for a distant, cost-conscious beacon would be a rapid scan of the galactic plane with the intent to cover the angular space. Such pulses would be infrequent events for the receiver. Such beacons built by distant, advanced, wealthy societies would have very different characteristics from what SETI researchers seek. Future searches should pay special attention to areas along the galactic disk where SETI searches have seen coherent signals that have not recurred on the limited listening time intervals we have used. We will need to wait for recurring events that may arrive in intermittent bursts. Several new SETI search strategies have emerged from these ideas. We propose a new test for beacons that is based on the Life Plane hypotheses.

  12. Searching for Cost-Optimized Interstellar Beacons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benford, Gregory; Benford, James; Benford, Dominic

    2010-06-01

    What would SETI beacon transmitters be like if built by civilizations that had a variety of motives but cared about cost? In a companion paper, we presented how, for fixed power density in the far field, a cost-optimum interstellar beacon system could be built. Here, we consider how we should search for a beacon if it were produced by a civilization similar to ours. High-power transmitters could be built for a wide variety of motives other than the need for two-way communication; this would include beacons built to be seen over thousands of light-years. Extraterrestrial beacon builders would likely have to contend with economic pressures just as their terrestrial counterparts do. Cost, spectral lines near 1 GHz, and interstellar scintillation favor radiating frequencies substantially above the classic "water hole." Therefore, the transmission strategy for a distant, cost-conscious beacon would be a rapid scan of the galactic plane with the intent to cover the angular space. Such pulses would be infrequent events for the receiver. Such beacons built by distant, advanced, wealthy societies would have very different characteristics from what SETI researchers seek. Future searches should pay special attention to areas along the galactic disk where SETI searches have seen coherent signals that have not recurred on the limited listening time intervals we have used. We will need to wait for recurring events that may arriarrive in intermittent bursts. Several new SETI search strategies have emerged from these ideas. We propose a new test for beacons that is based on the Life Plane hypotheses.

  13. Realistic Detectability of Close Interstellar Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, Nathaniel V.; Ragozzine, Darin; Granvik, Mikael; Stephens, Denise C.

    2016-07-01

    During the planet formation process, billions of comets are created and ejected into interstellar space. The detection and characterization of such interstellar comets (ICs) (also known as extra-solar planetesimals or extra-solar comets) would give us in situ information about the efficiency and properties of planet formation throughout the galaxy. However, no ICs have ever been detected, despite the fact that their hyperbolic orbits would make them readily identifiable as unrelated to the solar system. Moro-Martín et al. have made a detailed and reasonable estimate of the properties of the IC population. We extend their estimates of detectability with a numerical model that allows us to consider “close” ICs, e.g., those that come within the orbit of Jupiter. We include several constraints on a “detectable” object that allow for realistic estimates of the frequency of detections expected from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and other surveys. The influence of several of the assumed model parameters on the frequency of detections is explored in detail. Based on the expectation from Moro-Martín et al., we expect that LSST will detect 0.001-10 ICs during its nominal 10 year lifetime, with most of the uncertainty from the unknown number density of small (nuclei of ˜0.1-1 km) ICs. Both asteroid and comet cases are considered, where the latter includes various empirical prescriptions of brightening. Using simulated LSST-like astrometric data, we study the problem of orbit determination for these bodies, finding that LSST could identify their orbits as hyperbolic and determine an ephemeris sufficiently accurate for follow-up in about 4-7 days. We give the hyperbolic orbital parameters of the most detectable ICs. Taking the results into consideration, we give recommendations to future searches for ICs.

  14. The chemistry of dense interstellar clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Irvine, W. M.

    1991-01-01

    The basic theme of this program is the study of molecular complexity and evolution in interstellar and circumstellar clouds incorporating the biogenic elements. Recent results include the identification of a new astronomical carbon-chain molecule, C4Si. This species was detected in the envelope expelled from the evolved star IRC+10216 in observations at the Nobeyama Radio Observatory in Japan. C4Si is the carrier of six unidentified lines which had previously been observed. This detection reveals the existence of a new series of carbon-chain molecules, C sub n Si (n equals 1, 2, 4). Such molecules may well be formed from the reaction of Si(+) with acetylene and acetylene derivatives. Other recent research has concentrated on the chemical composition of the cold, dark interstellar clouds, the nearest dense molecular clouds to the solar system. Such regions have very low kinetic temperatures, on the order of 10 K, and are known to be formation sites for solar-type stars. We have recently identified for the first time in such regions the species of H2S, NO, HCOOH (formic acid). The H2S abundance appears to exceed that predicted by gas-phase models of ion-molecule chemistry, perhaps suggesting the importance of synthesis on grain surfaces. Additional observations in dark clouds have studied the ratio of ortho- to para-thioformaldehyde. Since this ratio is expected to be unaffected by both radiative and ordinary collisional processes in the cloud, it may well reflect the formation conditions for this molecule. The ratio is observed to depart from that expected under conditions of chemical equilibrium at formation, perhaps reflecting efficient interchange between cold dust grains in the gas phase.

  15. Diffuse Interstellar Bands in NGC 1448

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sollerman, J.; Cox, N.; Mattila, S.; Ehrenfreund, P.; Kaper, L.; Leibundgut, B.; Lundqvist, P.

    2005-01-01

    We present spectroscopic VLT/UVES observations of two emerging supernovae, the Type Ia SN 2001el and the Type II SN 2003hn, in the spiral galaxy NGC 1448. Our high resolution and high signal-to-noise spectra display atomic lines of Ca II, Na I, Ti II and K I in the host galaxy. In the line of sight towards SN 2001el, we also detect over a dozen diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) within NGC 1448. These DIBs have strengths comparable to low reddening galactic lines of sight, albeit with some variations. In particular, a good match is found with the line of sight towards the σ type diffuse cloud (HD 144217). The DIBs towards SN 2003hn are significantly weaker, and this line of sight has also lower sodium column density. The DIB central velocities show that the DIBs towards SN 2001el are closely related to the strongest interstellar Ca II and Na I components, indicating that the DIBs are preferentially produced in the same cloud. The ratio of the λ 5797 and λ 5780 DIB strengths (r ˜ 0.14) suggests a rather strong UV field in the DIB environment towards SN 2001el. We also note that the extinction estimates obtained from the sodium lines using multiple line fitting agree with reddening estimates based on the colors of the Type Ia SN 2001el. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Paranal, Chile (ESO Programmes 67.D-0227 and 71.D-0033). Table \\ref{tb:ISfit} and Figs. \\ref{fig:IS_MW} and \\ref{fig:6284} are only available in electronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org