The available data on interstellar absorption lines in the spectrum of gamma Ara observed from the ground and with the Copernicus telescope have been analyzed to give column densities of various ion stages of H, C, N, O, Na, Mg, Si, P, S, Ar, Ca, Mn, and Fe. The element abundances with respect to H nuclei in H I regions are similar to the values for zeta Oph, with depletions relative to the sun tending to increase with increasing condensation temperature. For example, toward gamma Ara, Fe is depleted by a factor of 50; Mg, Si, and Mn by about 10; and S, P, and N little or none. Interstellar Si IV and probably S IV appear stronger than in most other stars, but still their low ratios to Si III and S III suggest that soft X-rays and low-energy cosmic rays are not important sources of ionization. The width of the O VI lines and the absence of N V have been interpreted as evidence for a collisionally ionized region with a temperature between 300,000 and 700,000 K containing at least 0.0004 of the total interstellar column density.
Astrophysical Journal; 202; Dec. 15