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Title:
Characteristics of the helium component of the local interstellar medium
Authors:
Weller, C. S.; Meier, R. R.
Affiliation:
AA(U.S. Navy, E. O. Hulburt Center for Space Research, Washington, DC), AB(U.S. Navy, E. O. Hulburt Center for Space Research, Washington, DC)
Publication:
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1, vol. 246, June 1, 1981, p. 386-393. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
06/1981
Category:
Astrophysics
Origin:
STI
NASA/STI Keywords:
Abundance, Helium, Interstellar Gas, Ultraviolet Spectra, Emission Spectra, Extreme Ultraviolet Radiation, Flow Velocity, Gas Density, Gas Ionization, Gas Temperature, Solar System, Spaceborne Astronomy, Ultraviolet Astronomy
DOI:
10.1086/158936
Bibliographic Code:
1981ApJ...246..386W

Abstract

Extreme ultraviolet instruments on the Solrad 11B satellite observed helium in the local interstellar medium (LISM) flowing through the solar system through resonantly scattered 584 A solar radiation. Since this satellite orbited the earth at 130,000 km altitude and thus was far removed from the geocoronal airglow, reliable measurements over many directions at a given time were made. As a result, these data, together with hot gas density-resonance scatter computations and previous results, permit accurate determination of quite narrow ranges of LISM velocity (22-28 km/s) and temperature (9,000-15,000 K). The derived LISM helium density of 0.011-0.027/cu cm, when compared with the derived density of the inflowing LISM hydrogen of 0.04-0.06/cu cm, suggests that the local interstellar gas is substantially ionized.

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