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2017ApJ...838..165V - Astrophys. J., 838, 165-165 (2017/April-1)

Thermal pressure in diffuse H2 gas measured by Herschel [C II] emission and FUSE UV H2 absorption.


Abstract (from CDS):

UV absorption studies with the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) satellite have made important observations of H2 molecular gas in Galactic interstellar translucent and diffuse clouds. Observations of the 158 µm [C II] fine-structure line with Herschel trace the same H2 molecular gas in emission. We present [C II] observations along 27 lines of sight (LOSs) toward target stars of which 25 have FUSE H2 UV absorption. Two stars have only HST STIS C II λ2325 absorption data. We detect [C II] 158 µm emission features in all but one target LOS. For three target LOSs that are close to the Galactic plane, | b|   1°, we also present position-velocity maps of [C II] emission observed by Herschel Heterodyne Instrument in the Far Infrared (HIFI) in on-the-fly spectral-line mapping. We use the velocity-resolved [C II] spectra observed by the HIFI instrument toward the target LOSs observed by FUSE to identify [C II] velocity components associated with the H2 clouds. We analyze the observed velocity integrated [C II] spectral-line intensities in terms of the densities and thermal pressures in the H2 gas using the H2 column densities and temperatures measured by the UV absorption data. We present the H2 gas densities and thermal pressures for 26 target LOSs and from the [C II] intensities derive a mean thermal pressure in the range of ∼6100-7700 K cm–3 in diffuse H2 clouds. We discuss the thermal pressures and densities toward 14 targets, comparing them to results obtained using the UV absorption data for two other tracers C i and CO. Our results demonstrate the richness of the far-IR [C II] spectral data which is a valuable complement to the UV H2 absorption data for studying diffuse H2 molecular clouds. While the UV absorption is restricted to the directions of the target star, far-IR [C II] line emission offers an opportunity to employ velocity-resolved spectral-line mapping capability to study in detail the clouds' spatial and velocity structures.

Abstract Copyright: © 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Journal keyword(s): ISM: clouds - ISM: structure - local interstellar matter - local interstellar matter

Simbad objects: 36

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