AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 65. Interstellar Dust and Gas
Display, Friday, January 8, 1999, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall 1

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[65.19] Optical Photometric and Spectroscopic Studies of the Draco and Other High Latitude Molecular Clouds

B. E. Penprase (PC), E. Covino (Capodimonte Observatory), E. Palazzi (CNR), J. Rhodes (Princeton), E. Harris (PC), H. Schwartz (NOT)

We report new spectroscopic and photometric observations of the Draco Molecular Cloud, one of the most interesting and distant known high galactic latitude molecular clouds. We have detected photometric reddening and optical Na I D absorption lines from a large sample of stars, using telescopes at Palomar, and La Palma. By estimating the expected starcounts using a model of the galactic halo and comparing with our observed star counts we derive a photometric distance estimate of 1100 pc, with a best fit of 2.0 < Av < 3.0 magnitudes. The spectroscopic results allow us to estimate the distance to the cloud by using spectroscopic parallaxes for our sample of 15 stars with high dispersion spectra, and the spectroscopic distance is consistent with the photometric results, giving a distance of approximately 1000 pc. We also report some new results on other molecular clouds and high latitude features observed using high dispersion spectroscopy to reveal the distance and kinematics of a sample of high galactic latitude clouds.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: bpenprase@pomona.edu

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