AAS 195th Meeting, January 2000
Session 6. Early Results from the FUSE Mission
Display, Wednesday, January 12, 2000, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[6.07] FUSE Observations of Molecular Hydrogen in Translucent Interstellar Clouds

T. P. Snow, B. L. Rachford, J. Tumlinson, J. M. Shull (University of Colorado), W. P. Blair (Johns Hopkins University), R. Ferlet (Institut d'Astrophysique, Paris), S. D. Friedman (Johns Hopkins University), C. Gry (ESA - Vilspa Madrid), E. B. Jenkins (Princeton University), D. C. Morton (Herzberg Institute - National Research Council of Canada), B. D. Savage (University of Wisconsin), K. R. Sembach (Johns Hopkins University), A. Vidal-Madjar (Institut d'Astrophysique, Paris), D. E. Welty, D. G. York (University of Chicago), FUSE Science Team

We report the results of initial FUSE observations of molecular hydrogen (H2) in translucent clouds. These clouds are denser and more heavily-reddened than any of the diffuse clouds previously observed for far-UV H2 absorption, thus providing new insights into the physics and chemistry of these denser regions. The initial results include column densities, molecular fractions, and gas kinetic temperatures from the ratio of populations in the J = 0 and J = 1 rotational levels. In addition, we derive information on the relationship between H2 and dust extinction while also extending the CO/H2 correlation into regions of heavier extinction than previously accessible by direct observational means. In addition to reporting preliminary results on the first stars to be observed in late 1999, we present also a summary of the planned FUSE survey of molecular hydrogen in an ensemble of some 35 translucent-cloud lines of sight.

This research is supported by NASA contract NAS5-32985.

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

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