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Astron. Astrophys. 350, 643-658 (1999)

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Ultraviolet observations of Sirius A and Sirius B with HST-GHRS *

An interstellar cloud with a possible low deuterium abundance

G. Hébrard 1,2, C. Mallouris 3, R. Ferlet 1, D. Koester 4, M. Lemoine 5, A. Vidal-Madjar 1 and D. York 3

1 Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, 98 bis Boulevard Arago, 75014 Paris, France
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
3 University of Chicago, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 5640 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
4 Institut für Theoretische Physik und Astrophysik der Christian-Albrechts-Universität, 24098 Kiel, Germany
5 DARC, UPR-176 CNRS, Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, 92195 Meudon Cédex, France

Received 31 March 1999 / Accepted 27 August 1999


We present new observations of the binary Sirius A / Sirius B performed with HST-GHRS. Two interstellar clouds are detected on this sightline, one of them being identified as the Local Interstellar Cloud (LIC), in agreement with previous HST-GHRS observations of Sirius A (Lallement et al. 1994). The interstellar structure of this sightline, which we assume is the same toward both stars (separated by less than 4 arcsec at the time of observation), is constrained by high spectral resolution data of the species OI , NI , SiII , CII , FeII and MgII .

Lyman [FORMULA] interstellar lines are also observed toward the two stars. But whereas the deuterium Lyman [FORMULA] line is well detected in the LIC with an abundance in agreement with that obtained by Linsky et al. (1993 & 1995), no significant DI line is detected in the other cloud.

However, the Lyman [FORMULA] lines toward Sirius A and Sirius B are not trivial. An excess of absorption is seen in the blue wing of the Sirius A Lyman [FORMULA] line and interpreted as the wind from Sirius A. In its white dwarf companion, an excess in absorption is seen in the red wing and interpreted as the core of the Sirius B photospheric Lyman [FORMULA] line. A composite Lyman [FORMULA] profile can nonetheless be constructed, and allows one to measure the deuterium abundance in the second cloud [FORMULA](D/H)ISM[FORMULA], which is marginally in agreement with the Linsky et al. (1993 & 1995) value. This sightline appears consequently as a good candidate for a low (D/H)ISM.

Key words: stars: individual: Sirius A – stars: individual: Sirius B – stars: white dwarfs – ISM: abundances – ultraviolet: ISM – ultraviolet: stars

* Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. under NASA contract No. NAS5-26555.

Send offprint requests to: Guillaume Hébrard

Correspondence to: hebrard@iap.fr

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: October 4, 1999