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Investigation of low-latitude hydrogen emission in terms of a two-component interstellar gas model
Baker, P. L.; Burton, W. B.
AA(NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Physics, Greenbelt, Md.), AB(National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Green Bank, W. Va.)
Astrophysical Journal, vol. 198, June 1, 1975, pt. 1, p. 281-297. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Astronomical Models, Galactic Structure, H Lines, Hydrogen Clouds, Interstellar Gas, Spatial Distribution, Interstellar Matter, Optical Thickness, Spin Temperature
Bibliographic Code:


High-resolution 21-cm hydrogen line observations at low galactic latitude are analyzed to determine the large-scale distribution of galactic hydrogen. Distribution parameters are found by model fitting, optical depth effects are computed using a two-component gas model suggested by the observations, and calculations are made for a one-component uniform spin-temperature gas model to show the systematic departures between this model and data obtained by incorrect treatment of the optical depth effects. Synthetic 21-cm line profiles are computed from the two-component model, and the large-scale trends of the observed emission profiles are reproduced together with the magnitude of the small-scale emission irregularities. Values are determined for the thickness of the galactic hydrogen disk between half density points, the total observed neutral hydrogen mass of the galaxy, and the central number density of the intercloud hydrogen atoms. It is shown that typical hydrogen clouds must be between 1 and 13 pc in diameter and that optical thinness exists on large-scale despite the presence of optically thin gas.

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