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Session 15 - Interstellar Medium I.
Display session, Monday, January 15
North Banquet Hall, Convention Center

[15.10] Heating of the Diffuse Interstellar Medium via Turbulent Wave Dissipation

A. Minter (NRAO), S. Spangler (U. Iowa)

We consider the heating of the interstellar medium (ISM) due to obliquely propagating fast magnetosonic waves which have been postulated to comprise a portion of the observed turbulence in the ISM. Recent papers have reported measurements of the outer scale of the turbulence in the ISM and the strength of the turbulent magnetic field (Minter and Spangler 1996 ApJ, in press), the inner scale of the turbulence (Molnar et al. 1995 ApJ, 438, 708) and the plasma density in the scattering regions from H_\alpha measurements (Reynolds 1991, ApJ Letters, 372, L21). We can now completely specify the characteristics of the turbulence in the diffuse ISM. These new measurements allow us to apply theoretical expressions for the heating rates for various magnetohydrodynamical wave damping mechanisms presented by Spangler (1991, ApJ, 376, 540). These calculates show that heating of the ISM by wave damping would exceed its radiative cooling capability. We are therefore able to rule out the possibility that the turbulence in the diffuse ISM is composed entirely of obliquely propagating fast magnetosonic waves

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