The velocity distribution of the nearest interstellar gas.
FRISCH P.C., GRODNICKI L. and WELTY D.E.
Abstract (from CDS):
The bulk flow velocity for the cluster of interstellar cloudlets within ∼30 pc of the Sun is determined from optical and ultraviolet absorption line data, after omitting from the sample stars with circumstellar disks or variable emission lines and the active variable HR 1099. A total of 96 velocity components toward the remaining 60 stars yield a streaming velocity through the local standard of rest of -17.0±4.6 km.s–1, with an upstream direction of l=2°.3, b=-5°.2 (using Hipparcos values for the solar apex motion). The velocity dispersion of the interstellar matter (ISM) within 30 pc is consistent with that of nearby diffuse clouds, but present statistics are inadequate to distinguish between a Gaussian or exponential distribution about the bulk flow velocity. The upstream direction of the bulk flow vector suggests an origin associated with the Loop I supernova remnant. Groupings of component velocities by region are seen, indicating regional departures from the bulk flow velocity or possibly separate clouds. The absorption components from the cloudlet feeding ISM into the solar system form one of the regional features. The nominal gradient between the velocities of upstream and downstream gas may be an artifact of the Sun's location near the edge of the local cloud complex. The Sun may emerge from the surrounding gas patch within several thousand years.
ISM: Structure - Galaxy: Solar Neighborhood