, Volume 143, Issue 1-4, pp 191-204
Date: 28 Jun 2008

Is the Sun Embedded in a Typical Interstellar Cloud?

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Abstract

Interstellar material around the Sun is typical for our neighborhood of the Galaxy. The physical properties and kinematics of the partially ionized interstellar material (ISM) near the Sun are typical of warm diffuse clouds in the solar vicinity. The direction of the interstellar magnetic field at the heliosphere, the polarization of light from nearby stars, and the kinematics of nearby clouds are naturally explained in terms of the S1 superbubble shell. The interstellar radiation field at the Sun appears to be harder than the field ionizing ambient diffuse gas, which may be a consequence of the low opacity of the tiny cloud surrounding the heliosphere.