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Title: HD/H{sub 2} AS A PROBE OF THE ROLES OF GAS, DUST, LIGHT, METALLICITY, AND COSMIC RAYS IN PROMOTING THE GROWTH OF MOLECULAR HYDROGEN IN THE DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM

We modeled recent observations of UV absorption of HD and H{sub 2} in the Milky Way and toward damped/subdamped Lyα systems at z = 0.18 and z >1.7. N(HD)/N(H{sub 2}) ratios reflect the separate self-shieldings of HD and H{sub 2} and the coupling introduced by deuteration chemistry. Locally, observations are explained by diffuse molecular gas with 16 cm{sup –3} ≲ n(H) ≲ 128 cm{sup –3} if the cosmic-ray ionization rate per H nucleus ζ {sub H} =2 × 10{sup –16} s{sup –1}, as inferred from H{sub 3} {sup +} and OH{sup +}. The dominant influence on N(HD)/N(H{sub 2}) is the cosmic-ray ionization rate with a much weaker downward dependence on n(H) at solar metallicity, but dust extinction can drive N(HD) higher as with N(H{sub 2}). At z > 1.7, N(HD) is comparable to the Galaxy but with 10 times smaller N(H{sub 2}) and somewhat smaller N(H{sub 2})/N(H I). Comparison of our Galaxy with the Magellanic Clouds shows that smaller H{sub 2}/H is expected at subsolar metallicity, and we show by modeling that HD/H{sub 2} increases with density at low metallicity, opposite to the Milky Way. Observations of HD would be explained with higher n(H) at low metallicity, but high-z systems havemore » high HD/H{sub 2} at metallicity 0.04 ≲ Z ≲ 2 solar. In parallel, we trace dust extinction and self-shielding effects. The abrupt H{sub 2} transition to H{sub 2}/H ≈ 1%-10% occurs mostly from self-shielding, although it is assisted by extinction for n(H) ≲ 16 cm{sup –3}. Interior H{sub 2} fractions are substantially increased by dust extinction below ≲ 32 cm{sup –3}. At smaller n(H), ζ {sub H}, small increases in H{sub 2} triggered by dust extinction can trigger abrupt increases in N(HD)« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903-2475 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364483
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 799; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABSORPTION; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; COSMIC DUST; COSMIC RADIATION; DENSITY; DEUTERATION; HYDROGEN; INTERSTELLAR SPACE; IONIZATION; MAGELLANIC CLOUDS; METALLICITY; MILKY WAY; MOLECULES; PROBES; SELF-SHIELDING; VISIBLE RADIATION