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2009AJ....137.4526L - Astron. J., 137, 4526-4537 (2009/May-0)

Spatial variations in galactic H I structure on au-scales toward 3C 147 observed with the Very Long Baseline Array.


Abstract (from CDS):

This paper reports dual-epoch, Very Long Baseline Array observations of H I absorption toward 3C 147. One of these epochs (2005) represents new observations, while one (1998) represents the reprocessing of previous observations to obtain higher signal-to-noise results. Significant H I opacity and column density variations, both spatially and temporally, are observed with typical variations at the level of Δτ ~ 0.20 and in some cases as large as Δτ ~ 0.70, corresponding to column density fluctuations of order 5x1019/cm2 for an assumed 50 K spin temperature. The typical angular scale is 15 mas; while the distance to the absorbing gas is highly uncertain, the equivalent linear scale is likely to be about 10 AU. Approximately 10% of the face of the source is covered by these opacity variations, probably implying a volume filling factor for the small-scale absorbing gas of no more than about 1%. Comparing our results with earlier results toward 3C 138 (Brogan et al.), we find numerous similarities, and we conclude that small-scale absorbing gas is a ubiquitous phenomenon, albeit with a low probability of intercept on any given line of sight. Further, we compare the volumes sampled by the line of sight through the Galaxy between our two epochs and conclude that, on the basis of the motion of the Sun alone, these two volumes are likely to be substantially different. In order to place more significant constraints on the various models for the origin of these small-scale structures, more frequent sampling is required in any future observations.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): galaxies: individual: 3C 147 - ISM: general - ISM: structure - radio lines: ISM - techniques: interferometric

Simbad objects: 10

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