The local ISM in three dimensions: kinematics, morphology and physical properties
We summarize the results of our long-term program to study the kinematics, morphology, and physical properties of warm partially ionized interstellar gas located within 100 pc of the Sun. Using the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) and other spectrographs on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), we measure radial velocities of neutral and singly ionized atoms that identify comoving structures (clouds) of warm interstellar gas. We have identified 15 of these clouds located within 15 pc of the Sun. Each of them moves with a different velocity vector, and they have narrow ranges of temperature, turbulence, and metal depletions. We compute a three-dimensional model for the Local Interstellar Cloud (LIC), in which the Sun is likely embedded near its edge, and the locations and shapes of the other nearby clouds. These clouds are likely separated by ionized Strömgren sphere gas produced by ϵ CMa, Sirius B, and other hot white dwarfs. We propose that some of these partially ionized clouds are shells of the Strömgren spheres.
KeywordsInterstellar medium Interstellar gas Hot stars Extreme ultraviolet radiation
We acknowledge support by NASA HST Grant GO-11568 from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., for NASA under contract NAS 5-26555. We also thank the Organizing Committee of the Conference on “Challenges in UV Astronomy” for the opportunity to present our work.