We report the results of an initial Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) survey of O VI Lambda 1032 absorption along the lines of sight to eleven nearby white dwarfs, ten of which are within the Local Bubble (LB; d 〈 or approximately equal 100 pc). A goal of this survey is to investigate the possible formation of O VI in the conductive interfaces between cool (about 10(exp 4) K) clouds immersed in the presumably hot (10(exp 6) K) gas within the LB. This mechanism is often invoked to explain the widespread presence of 0 VI throughout the Galactic disk. We find no 0 VI absorption toward two stars, and the column densities along three additional sight lines are quite low; N(O VI) about 5 x 10(exp 13)/sq cm. In several directions, we observe rather broad, shallow absorption with N(O VI) about 1 - 2 x 10(exp 13)/sq cm. Models of conductive interfaces predict narrow profiles with N(OVI) 〉 or about equal to 10(exp 13)/sq cm per interface, in the absence of a significant transverse magnetic field. Hence, our observations of weak 0 VI absorption indicate that conduction is being quenched, possibly by non-radial magnetic fields. Alternatively, the gas within the LB may not be hot. Breitschwerdt & Schmutzler have proposed a model for the LB in which an explosive event within a dense cloud created rapid expansion and adiabatic cooling, resulting in a cavity containing gas with a kinetic temperature of T about 50,000 K, but with an ionization state characteristic of much hotter gas. This model has a number of attractive features, but appears to predict significantly more O VI than we observe.
American Astronomical Society Meeting; Jan 07, 2001 - Jan 11, 2001; San Diego, CA; United States