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  • Astrophysics  (2)
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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-07-18
    Description: This paper summarizes the results of the Far-Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) program to study 0 VI in the Milky Way halo. Spectra of 100 extragalactic objects and two distant halo stars are analyzed to obtain measures of O VI absorption along paths through the Milky Way thick disk/halo. Strong O VI absorption over the velocity range from -100 to 100 km/s reveals a widespread but highly irregular distribution of O VI, implying the existence of substantial amounts of hot gas with T approx. 3 x 10(exp 5) K in the Milky Way thick disk/halo. The overall distribution of O VI is not well described by a symmetrical plane-parallel layer of patchy O VI absorption. The simplest departure from such a model that provides a reasonable fit to the observations is a plane-parallel patchy absorbing layer with an average O VI mid-plane density of n(sub 0)(O VI) = 1.7 x 10(exp -2)/cu cm, a scale height of approx. 2.3 kpc, and a approx. 0.25 dex excess of O VI in the northern Galactic polar region. The distribution of O VI over the sky is poorly correlated with other tracers of gas in the halo, including low and intermediate velocity H I, Ha emission from the warm ionized gas at approx. l0(exp 4) K, and hot X-ray emitting gas at approx. l0(exp 6) K . The O VI has an average velocity dispersion, b approx. 60 km/s and standard deviation of 15 km/s. Thermal broadening alone cannot explain the large observed profile widths. A combination of models involving the radiative cooling of hot fountain gas, the cooling of supernova bubbles in the halo, and the turbulent mixing of warm and hot halo gases is required to explain the presence of O VI and other highly ionized atoms found in the halo. The preferential venting of hot gas from local bubbles and superbubbles into the northern Galactic polar region may explain the enhancement of O VI in the North.
    Keywords: Astrophysics
    Type: IAU XXV General Assembly, Symposium No. 217; Jul 01, 2003; Sydney; Australia
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-07-10
    Description: The neutral hydrogen and the ionized helium absorption in the spectra of high-redshift quasi-stellar objects (QSOs) are unique probes of structure in the universe at epochs intermediate between the earliest density fluctuations seen in the cosmic background radiation and the distribution of galaxies visible today. We present Far-Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) observations of the line of sight to the QSO HE2347-4342 in the 1000-1187 angstrom band at a resolving power of 15,000. Above redshift z = 2.7, the IGM is largely opaque in He II Ly-alpha (304 angstroms). At lower redshifts, the optical depth gradually decreases to a mean value tau = 1 at z = 2.4. We resolve the He II Ly-alpha absorption as a discrete forest of absorption lines in the z = 2.3 - 2.7 redshift range. Approximately 50% of these spectral features have H I counterparts with column densities N(sub HI) 〉 10(exp 12.3)/sq cm visible in a Keck spectrum. These account for most of the observed opacity in He II Ly-alpha. The remainder have N(sub HI) 〈 10(exp 12.3)/sq cm, below the threshold for current observations. A short extrapolation of the power-law distribution of H I column densities to lower values can account for these new absorbers. The He II to H I column density ratio eta averages approximately 80, consistent with photoionization of the IGM by a hard ionizing spectrum resulting from the integrated light of quasars at high redshift, but there is considerable scatter. Values of eta 〉 100 in many locations indicate that there may be localized contributions from starbursts or heavily filtered QSO radiation.
    Keywords: Astrophysics
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