Microstructure of the local interstellar cloud and the identification of the Hyades cloud.
REDFIELD S. and LINSKY J.L.
Abstract (from CDS):
We analyze high-resolution UV spectra of the Mg II h and k lines for 18 members of the Hyades to study inhomogeneity along these proximate lines of sight. The observations were taken by the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) instrument on board the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Three distinct velocity components are observed. All 18 lines of sight show absorption by the Local Interstellar Cloud (LIC); 10 stars show absorption by an additional cloud, which we name the Hyades Cloud; and one star exhibits a third absorption component. The LIC absorption is observed at a lower radial velocity than predicted by the LIC velocity vector derived by Lallement & Bertin in 1992 and Lallement et al. in 1995 [vpredicted(LIC)-vobserved(LIC)=2.9±0.7 km.s–1], which may indicate a compression or deceleration at the leading edge of the LIC. We propose an extension of the Hyades Cloud boundary based on previous HST observations of other stars in the general vicinity of the Hyades, as well as ground-based Ca II observations. We present our fits of the interstellar parameters for each absorption component. The availability of 18 similar lines of sight provides an excellent opportunity to study the inhomogeneity of the warm, partially ionized local interstellar medium (LISM). We find that these structures are roughly homogeneous. The measured Mg II column densities do not vary by more than a factor of 2 for angular separations of ≲8°, which at the outer edge of the LIC correspond to physical separations of ≲0.6 pc.