AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 110 Interstellar Medium I
Poster, Thursday, January 8, 2004, 9:20am-4:00pm, Grand Hall

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[110.09] Abundances and Depletions of Interstellar Oxygen

A. G. Jensen, B. L. Rachford, T. P. Snow (University of Colorado-Boulder)

We extend previous work on interstellar oxygen abundances with the addition of data from the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE). We report on the abundance of interstellar neutral oxygen (OI) for several sightlines, using data from FUSE, the International Spectroscopic Explorer (IUE), and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). OI column densities are derived by measuring the equivalent widths of several ultraviolet absorption lines, and subsequently fitting those to a curve of growth. The column densities of our best-constrained sightlines show a ratio of O/H that agrees with the current best solar value if dust is considered. We do not see evidence of enhanced depletion of gas-phase oxygen that is systematically variable with respect to the physical parameters of different environments (e.g., reddening or molecular fraction). The column densities of our less well-constrained sightlines show some scatter in O/H, but many agree with the solar value to within errors. We discuss these results in the context of deriving the best methods for determining interstellar abundances, the unresolved question of the best value for O/H in the interstellar medium (ISM), the O/H ratio observed in Galactic stars, and the depletion of gas-phase oxygen onto dust grains.

Financial support for this research has been provided by the National Science Foundation GK-12 Program and NASA contract NAS 5-32985.

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

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