Space Science Reviews

, Volume 78, Issue 1–2, pp 213–222

LISM structure — Fragmented superbubble shell?

  • P. C. Frisch
The Local Interstellar Medium


Small scale structure in local interstellar matter (LISM) is considered. Overall morphology of the local cloud complex is inferred from Ca II absorption lines and observations of H I in white dwarf stars. Clouds with column densities ranging from 2–100 × 1017 cm−2 are found within 20 pc of the Sun. Cold (50 K) dense (∼105 cm−3) small (5–10 au) clouds could be embedded and currently undetected in the upwind gas. The Sun appears to be embedded in a filament of gas with thickness ≤0.7 pc, and cross-wise column density ≤ 2 × 1017 cm−2. The local magnetic field direction is parallel to the filament, suggesting that the physical process causing the filamentation is MHD related. Enhanced abundances of refractory elements and LISM kinematics indicate outflowing gas from the Scorpius-Centaurus Association. The local flow vector and λ Sco data are consistent with a 4,000,000 year old superbubble shell at ∼−22 km s−1, which is a shock front passing through preshock gas at ∼−12 km s−1, and yielding cooled postshock gas at ∼−26 km s−1in the upwind direction. A preshock magnetic field strength of 1.6 μG, and postshock field strength of 5.2 μG embedded in the superbubble shell, are consistent with the data.

Key words

Local Interstellar Medium Superbubbles Local Bubble models 



Local ISM


Surrounding Interstellar Cloud


Local Interstellar Cloud


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. C. Frisch
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. Astronomy AstrophysicsUniv. ChicagoChicagoUSA

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