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Astron. Astrophys. 335, 661-672 (1998)

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Diffuse ionized gas toward [FORMULA] Canis Majoris *

Olivier Dupin and Cécile Gry

Laboratoire d'Astronomie Spatiale, B.P. 8, F-13376 Marseille Cedex 12, France (oDupin@astrsp-mrs.fr, cecile@astrsp-mrs.fr)

Received 6 September 1996 / Accepted 4 April 1998


This paper presents the study of the interstellar medium toward [FORMULA] CMa, a disk sight-line known for its low neutral gas density. This study uses high and medium resolution HST-GHRS spectra including lines from the following species: H I, D I, N I, O I, S II, S III, Si II, Si III, Si IV, Al II, Al III, Fe II, Mg I, Mg II, Mn II, C II and C IV .
The line of sight to [FORMULA] CMa (153 pc) is dominated by two ionized regions with a velocity difference of 10 km s-1. The ionized regions account for most of the total hydrogen column density, around 2 1019 cm-2, and the neutral gas represents only 10% of the total gas. The two ionized clouds display characteristics of the warm diffuse gas detected in the disk and the halo. Their gas-phase abundances indicate that their depletion is low, especially for the more ionized of the two clouds.
Special models of photoionization by the two EUV-excess stars [FORMULA] CMa and [FORMULA] CMa would be needed for a detailed discussion of the ionizing mechanisms of the clouds; their ionization ratios are nevertheless roughly compatible with collisional ionization at temperatures around 20 000 K, substantially higher than the kinetic temperatures derived from the line widths. Their characteristics suggest that the clouds may be in the process of cooling down and recombining after having been shocked and ionized by some violent events, possibly related to the Local Bubble formation.

Key words: ISM: abundances – ISM: atoms – ISM: clouds – ISM: bubbles – stars: individual: fi CMa – ultraviolet: ISM

* Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.

Send offprint requests to: O. Dupin

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: June 18, 1998