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Astron. Astrophys. 363, 733-743 (2000)

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Absorption line systems on the line of sight from SN 1987A to SN 1993J and the intergalactic cloud in front of M 81

O. Marggraf and K.S. de Boer

Sternwarte der Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany

Received 4 November 1999 / Accepted 5 September 2000


We present an extended analysis of the high dispersion IUE spectra of SN 1993J in M 81, based on the improved data in the IUE final archive. Eight interstellar absorption components can be identified in the velocity range from -200 km s-1 to [FORMULA] km s-1. Column densities are determined for FeII , MgI , MgII , OI , SII , SiII , and ZnII . From the ion ratios, we estimate electron densities and temperatures of the gas in these components. In addition, we rederive column density profiles for the higher ionisation stages AlIII , SiIV , and CIV for the entire line of sight.

Of special interest are the absorption components at positive velocities, which are associated with the intergalactic medium (IGM) in the foreground of M 81. The medium has many gas components, as known from radio measurements, probably released in dynamical interactions by galaxies in the M 81 group. The IUE spectra contain the only UV absorption information on such gas. We find neutral and ionised gas absorption at the same velocity, having a metal content similar to a galactic disk.

We combine the spectra towards SN 1993J in M 81 with those towards SN 1987A in the LMC, the directions being essentially antipodes on the celestical sphere. Comparing the total profile with QSO spectra, we conclude that most absorption in QSO spectra occurs in diffuse clouds on those sight lines and is not similar to absorption by galactic disk gas. However, one absorption component towards SN 1993J is clearly very similar to some of the absorption components in QSO spectra.

Key words: stars: supernovae: individual: SN 1993J – Galaxy: halo – galaxies: intergalactic medium – galaxies: ISM – galaxies: quasars: absorption lines – ultraviolet: stars

Send offprint requests to: O. Marggraf (marggraf@astro.uni-bonn.de)

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: December 11, 2000