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Title: EVALUATING THE MORPHOLOGY OF THE LOCAL INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM: USING NEW DATA TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN MULTIPLE DISCRETE CLOUDS AND A CONTINUOUS MEDIUM

Ultraviolet and optical spectra of interstellar gas along the lines of sight to nearby stars have been interpreted by Redfield and Linsky and previous studies as a set of discrete warm, partially ionized clouds each with a different flow vector, temperature, and metal depletion. Recently, Gry and Jenkins proposed a fundamentally different model consisting of a single cloud with nonrigid flows filling space out to 9 pc from the Sun that they propose better describes the local ISM. Here we test these fundamentally different morphological models against the spatially unbiased Malamut et al. spectroscopic data set, and find that the multiple cloud morphology model provides a better fit to both the new and old data sets. The detection of three or more velocity components along the lines of sight to many nearby stars, the presence of nearby scattering screens, the observed thin elongated structures of warm interstellar gas, and the likely presence of strong interstellar magnetic fields also support the multiple cloud model. The detection and identification of intercloud gas and the measurement of neutral hydrogen density in clouds beyond the Local Interstellar Cloud could provide future morphological tests.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Astronomy Department and Van Vleck Observatory, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT 06459-0123 (United States)
  2. JILA, University of Colorado and NIST, Boulder, CO 80309-0440 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22518782
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 812; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ATOMS; DENSITY; DETECTION; EMISSION SPECTRA; HYDROGEN; INTERSTELLAR MAGNETIC FIELDS; INTERSTELLAR SPACE; METALS; MORPHOLOGY; SUN; ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION