AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 61 Structures in the Interstellar Medium
Poster, Wednesday, June 2, 2004, 10:00am-7:00pm, Ballroom

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[61.08] Ionization Structure of the Local Interstellar Medium

S. Redfield (McDonald Observatory, University of Texas)

The apparent thermal pressure imbalance between the warm, partially ionized material of the local interstellar medium and the surrounding hot, low density Local Bubble has been a long standing problem in understanding the structure of our interstellar environment. Resolving this puzzle with respect to the local interstellar medium is critical to understanding the fundamental properties of the general interstellar medium, and applying that knowledge to more distant interstellar gas. High resolution ultraviolet absorption spectra of nearby cool stars, (less than 100 parsecs away) and the intervening interstellar material, observed by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE), provide important information about the chemical abundance, ionization, temperature, kinematics, density, morphology, and turbulent structures of the local interstellar medium. This poster focuses on the ionization structure of local gas based on observations of multiple ionization levels and fine-structure excitation lines. Resonant line absorption features of multiple ionization stages are presented for many elements (e.g., CI-II-III, SiII-III, and MgI-II), as well as, CII fine-structure excitation absorption detections. Observations are compared to ionization models and spatial variations are examined in order to characterize the ionization structure of the local interstellar medium.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: sredfield@astro.as.utexas.edu

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