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Session 50 - Interstellar Medium I.
Display session, Thursday, January 08
Exhibit Hall,

[50.11] ORFEUS-II Observations of Molecular Hydrogen in the Interstellar Medium

W. V. Dixon, G. Wright, M. Hurwitz (SSL/UCB), T. Sasseen (UCSB)

We present measurements of interstellar H_2 absorption lines in the continuum spectra of 15 early-type stars observed with the Berkeley spectrometer on the ORFEUS telescope during the ORFEUS-SPAS II space-shuttle mission in November/December 1996. The spectra extend from the interstellar cutoff at 912 Å\ to about 1216 Å\ with a resolution of 3000 and statistical signal-to-noise ratios between 20 and 80. We determine column densities for each observed rotational level and derive excitation temperatures and densities for the H_2 clouds along each line of sight. We compare our results with those of previous Copernicus and ORFEUS observations. This work is supported by NASA grant NAG5-696.

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