WorldWideScience

Sample records for interstellar space

  1. Chemistry of interstellar space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gammon, R.H.

    1978-01-01

    Descriptions of the sun and other stars, energy sources in the interstellar clouds, spectroscopy and excitation, the chemistry and chemical abundance of interstellar elements, recent developments in interstellar molecular spectroscopy for a deeper insight into star evolution and other dynamics of the galaxy, and the next ten years of interstellar chemistry are described in an overall picture of the chemistry of interstellar space

  2. Chemistry in interstellar space. [environment characteristics influencing reaction dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donn, B.

    1973-01-01

    The particular characteristics of chemistry in interstellar space are determined by the unique environmental conditions involved. Interstellar matter is present at extremely low densities. Large deviations from thermodynamic equilibrium are, therefore, to be expected. A relatively intense ultraviolet radiation is present in many regions. The temperatures are in the range from 5 to 200 K. Data concerning the inhibiting effect of small activation energies in interstellar clouds are presented in a table. A summary of measured activation energies or barrier heights for exothermic exchange reactions is also provided. Problems of molecule formation are discussed, taking into account gas phase reactions and surface catalyzed processes.

  3. Diatoms on earth, comets, Europa and in interstellar space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, R. B.; Hoover, M. J.; Hoyle, F.; Wickramasinghe, N. C.; Al-Mufti, S.

    1986-01-01

    There exists a close correspondence between the measured infrared properties of diatoms and the infrared spectrum of interstellar dust as observed in the Trapezium nebula and toward the galactic center source GC-IRS 7. Diatoms and bacteria also exhibit an absorbance peak near 2200 A, which is found to agree with the observed ultraviolet absorbance properties of interstellar grains. The observational data are reviewed, and the known properties of diatoms and bacteria are considered. It is suggested that these characteristics are consistent with the concept of a cosmic microbiological system in which these or similar microorganisms might exist on comets, Europa and in interstellar space.

  4. PAH in the laboratory and interstellar space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wdowiak, T.J.; Flickinger, G.C.; Boyd, D.A.

    1989-01-01

    The theory that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a constituent of the interstellar medium, and a source of the IR emission bands at 3.3, 6.2, 7.7, 8.6, and 11.3 microns is being studied using PAH containing acid insoluble residue of the Orgueil CI meteorite and coal tar. FTIR spectra of Orgueil PAH material that has undergone thermal treatment, and a solvent insoluble fraction of coal tar that has been exposed to hydrogen plasma are presented. The UV excided luminescence spectrum of a solvent soluble coal tar film is also shown. Comparison of the lab measurements with observations appears to support the interstellar PAH theory, and shows the process of dehydrogenation expected to take place in the interstellar medium

  5. Strategic Roadmap for the Development of an Interstellar Space Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gifra, M.; Peeters, W.

    Recent technological advances and scientific discoveries, particularly in astronomy and space technology, are opening our minds into the deepest realms of the universe, and also they are bringing a new era of space exploration and development. This sense of entering into a new era of space exploration is being boosted by the permanent discovery of new planets - to date, there are 684 confirmed extrasolar planets [1] - outside our solar system. The possibility that astronomers may soon find a habitable extrasolar planet near Earth and the recent advances in space propulsion that could reduce travel times have stimulated the space community to consider the development of an interstellar manned mission. But this scenario of entering into a new era of space development is ultimately contingent on the outcome of the actual world's economic crisis. The current financial crisis, on top of recent national and sovereign debts problems, could have serious consequences for space exploration and development as the national budgets for space activities are to freeze [2].This paper proposes a multi-decade space program for an interstellar manned mission. It designs a roadmap for the achievement of interstellar flight capability within a timeframe of 40 years, and also considers different scenarios where various technological and economical constraints are taken into account in order to know if such a space endeavour could be viable. It combines macro-level scenarios with a strategic roadmap to provide a framework for condensing all information in one map and timeframe, thus linking decision-making with plausible scenarios. The paper also explores the state of the art of space technologies 20 to 40 years in the future and its potential economic impact. It estimates the funding requirements, possible sources of funds, and the potential returns.The Interstellar Space Program proposed in this paper has the potential to help solve the global crisis by bringing a new landscape of

  6. Interstellar ice : The Infrared Space Observatory legacy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gibb, EL; Whittet, DCB; Boogert, ACA; Tielens, AGGM

    We present 2.5-30 mum spectra from the Short-Wavelength Spectrometer of the Infrared Space Observatory for a total of 23 sources. The sources include embedded young stellar objects spanning a wide range of mass and luminosity, together with field stars sampling quiescent dark clouds and the diffuse

  7. Trans-cis molecular photoswitching in interstellar Space*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuadrado, S.; Goicoechea, J. R.; Roncero, O.; Aguado, A.; Tercero, B.; Cernicharo, J.

    2016-01-01

    As many organic molecules, formic acid (HCOOH) has two conformers (trans and cis). The energy barrier to internal conversion from trans to cis is much higher than the thermal energy available in molecular clouds. Thus, only the most stable conformer (trans) is expected to exist in detectable amounts. We report the first interstellar detection of cis-HCOOH. Its presence in ultraviolet (UV) irradiated gas exclusively (the Orion Bar photodissociation region), with a low trans-to-cis abundance ratio of 2.8 ± 1.0, supports a photoswitching mechanism: a given conformer absorbs a stellar photon that radiatively excites the molecule to electronic states above the interconversion barrier. Subsequent fluorescent decay leaves the molecule in a different conformer form. This mechanism, which we specifically study with ab initio quantum calculations, was not considered in Space before but likely induces structural changes of a variety of interstellar molecules submitted to UV radiation. PMID:28003686

  8. Scientists Toast the Discovery of Vinyl Alcohol in Interstellar Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-10-01

    Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's 12 Meter Telescope at Kitt Peak, AZ, have discovered the complex organic molecule vinyl alcohol in an interstellar cloud of dust and gas near the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. The discovery of this long-sought compound could reveal tantalizing clues to the mysterious origin of complex organic molecules in space. Vinyl Alcohol and its fellow isomers "The discovery of vinyl alcohol is significant," said Barry Turner, a scientist at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Charlottesville, Va., "because it gives us an important tool for understanding the formation of complex organic compounds in interstellar space. It may also help us better understand how life might arise elsewhere in the Cosmos." Vinyl alcohol is an important intermediary in many organic chemistry reactions on Earth, and the last of the three stable members of the C2H4O group of isomers (molecules with the same atoms, but in different arrangements) to be discovered in interstellar space. Turner and his colleague A. J. Apponi of the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory in Tucson detected the vinyl alcohol in Sagittarius B -- a massive molecular cloud located some 26,000 light-years from Earth near the center of our Galaxy. The astronomers were able to detect the specific radio signature of vinyl alcohol during the observational period of May and June of 2001. Their results have been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. Of the approximately 125 molecules detected in interstellar space, scientists believe that most are formed by gas-phase chemistry, in which smaller molecules (and occasionally atoms) manage to "lock horns" when they collide in space. This process, though efficient at creating simple molecules, cannot explain how vinyl alcohol and other complex chemicals are formed in detectable amounts. For many years now, scientists have been searching for the right mechanism to explain how the building

  9. Formation of buckminsterfullerene (C60) in interstellar space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berné, Olivier; Tielens, A. G. G. M.

    2012-01-01

    Buckminsterfullerene (C60) was recently confirmed as the largest molecule identified in space. However, it remains unclear how and where this molecule is formed. It is generally believed that C60 is formed from the buildup of small carbonaceous compounds in the hot and dense envelopes of evolved stars. Analyzing infrared observations, obtained by Spitzer and Herschel, we found that C60 is efficiently formed in the tenuous and cold environment of an interstellar cloud illuminated by strong ultraviolet (UV) radiation fields. This implies that another formation pathway, efficient at low densities, must exist. Based on recent laboratory and theoretical studies, we argue that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are converted into graphene, and subsequently C60, under UV irradiation from massive stars. This shows that alternative—top-down—routes are key to understanding the organic inventory in space. PMID:22198841

  10. Toroidal Plasma Thruster for Interplanetary and Interstellar Space Flights

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gorelenkov, N.N.; Zakharov, L.E.; Gorelenkova, M.V.

    2001-01-01

    This work involves a conceptual assessment for using the toroidal fusion reactor for deep space interplanetary and interstellar missions. Toroidal thermonuclear fusion reactors, such as tokamaks and stellarators, are unique for space propulsion, allowing for a design with the magnetic configuration localized inside toroidal magnetic field coils. Plasma energetic ions, including charged fusion products, can escape such a closed configuration at certain conditions, a result of the vertical drift in toroidal rippled magnetic field. Escaping particles can be used for direct propulsion (since toroidal drift is directed one way vertically) or to create and heat externally confined plasma, so that the latter can be used for propulsion. Deuterium-tritium fusion neutrons with an energy of 14.1 MeV also can be used for direct propulsion. A special design allows neutrons to escape the shield and the blanket of the tokamak. This provides a direct (partial) conversion of the fusion energy into the directed motion of the propellant. In contrast to other fusion concepts proposed for space propulsion, this concept utilizes the natural drift motion of charged particles out of the closed magnetic field configuration

  11. Dr. K. Rangadhama Rao memorial lecture - 1979: Molecules in interstellar space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asundi, R.K.

    1980-01-01

    A large number of di- and polyatomic molecules including organic molecules involved in synthesis of amino-acids has been discovered in interstellar medium by radio frequency spectroscopy techniques during the last decade. Particularly significant among them are vinyl-cyanide (H 2 C=CHCN) having a double bond c = c and, the whole series of long chain linear molecules, HCN, HC 3 N, HC 5 N, HC 7 N and HC 9 N, the last being discovered in 1978 in interstellar space, but not yet on earth. A detailed knowledge of the state in which molecules are found existing in different parts of interstellar space is expected to throw useful light on the origin of celestial bodies like stars, etc. and of life as we know it. The study of interstellar molecules has thus become an area with a hectic pace of discovery for several disciplines of Science. (author)

  12. Mach Effects for in Space Propulsion: Interstellar Mission

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to study the implementation of an innovative thrust producing technology for use in NASA missions involving in space main propulsion. Mach Effect Thruster...

  13. Origins Space Telescope: Nearby Galaxies, the Milky Way, and the Interstellar Medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battersby, Cara; Sandstrom, Karin; Origins Space Telescope Science and Technology Definition Team

    2018-01-01

    The Origins Space Telescope (OST) is the mission concept for the Far-Infrared Surveyor, one of the four science and technology definition studies of NASA Headquarters for the 2020 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal survey. Origins will enable flagship-quality general observing programs led by the astronomical community in the 2030s. We welcome you to contact the Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT) with your science needs and ideas by emailing us at ost_info@lists.ipac.caltech.eduThis presentation will summarize the science case related to Nearby Galaxies, the Milky Way, and the Interstellar Medium (Interstellar Medium). The Origins Space Telescope will enable a wealth of unprecedented scientific advances in this area, both those we know to expect, and the discovery space that lies unexplored. Origins will enable a comprehensive view of magnetic fields, turbulence, and the multiphase ISM; connecting these physics across scales of galaxies to protostellar cores. With unprecedented sensitivity, Origins will measure and characterize the mechanisms of feedback from star formation and Active Galactic Nuclei, and their interplay, over cosmic time. Origins will unveil the abundance and availability of water for habitable planets by allowing us to trace the trail of water from interstellar clouds to protoplanetary disks, to Earth itself.

  14. A comment on "the far future of exoplanet direct characterization"--the case for interstellar space probes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Ian A

    2010-10-01

    Following on from ideas presented in a recent paper by Schneider et al. on "The Far Future of Exoplanet Direct Characterization," I argue that they have exaggerated the technical obstacles to performing such "direct characterization" by means of fast (order 0.1c) interstellar space probes. A brief summary of rapid interstellar spaceflight concepts that may be found in the literature is presented. I argue that the presence of interstellar dust grains, while certainly something that will need to be allowed for in interstellar vehicle design, is unlikely to be the kind of showstopper suggested by Schneider et al. Astrobiology as a discipline would be a major beneficiary of developing an interstellar spaceflight capability, albeit in the longer term, and I argue that astrobiologists should keep an open mind to the possibilities.

  15. Deep space propulsion a roadmap to interstellar flight

    CERN Document Server

    Long, K F

    2012-01-01

    As humans take their first tentative steps off our home planet, and debate the costs/benefits of sending people back to the Moon and perhaps on to Mars, we must also start to make plans for the day when we will venture forth as pioneers farther out into the Solar System and beyond - perhaps far, far beyond - to explore and settle new worlds around other stars. It is vital that we develop the deep space propulsion technologies that will take us there, first to explore with robotic probes, then to follow ourselves. This is necessary so that if anything catastrophic happened to Earth, our species would survive. And the possibilities for catastrophe are great. An impacting asteroid ended the reign of the dinosaurs, and today we have many other threats such as global war, climate change, pollution, resource limitations and overpopulation. In this book, Kelvin F. Long takes us on all the possible journeys - the mission targets, the technologies we might use to power such journeys, and what scientific knowledge we a...

  16. From the Laboratory to Space: Neutral and Ionized PAHs in Translucent Interstellar Clouds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salama, Farid; Galazutdinov, G.; Biennier, L.; Krelowski, J.

    2012-05-01

    We describe and discuss the laboratory experiments that were designed to test the proposal of relating the origin of some of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) to neutral and ionized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) present in diffuse interstellar clouds. The spectra of several cold, isolated gas-phase PAH ions and neutral molecules have been measured using the COSmIC laboratory facility at NASA-Ames and are compared with an extensive set of astronomical spectra of reddened, early type stars. The COSmIC facility combines a supersonic free jet expansion with discharge plasma and high-sensitivity cavity ringdown spectroscopy to provide experimental conditions that closely mimic the interstellar conditions. This comparison provides - for the first time - accurate upper limits for the abundances of specific PAH molecules and ions along specific lines-of-sight. Something that is not attainable from infrared observations alone. The comparison of these unique laboratory data with high resolution, high S/N ratio astronomical observations leads to major findings regarding the column densities of the individual PAH molecules and ions that are probed in this survey and leads to clear and unambiguous conclusions regarding the expected abundances for PAHs of various sizes and charge states in these environments. This quantitative survey of neutral and ionized PAHs in the optical range opens the way for unambiguous quantitative searches of PAHs and complex organics in a variety of interstellar and circumstellar environments. Acknowledgements: F.S. acknowledges the support of the NASA’s Space Mission Directorate APRA Program. The authors are deeply grateful to the ESO archive as well as to the ESO staff members for their active support.

  17. Interstellar scintillations of PSR B1919+21: space-ground interferometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shishov, V. I.; Smirnova, T. V.; Gwinn, C. R.; Andrianov, A. S.; Popov, M. V.; Rudnitskiy, A. G.; Soglasnov, V. A.

    2017-07-01

    We carried out observations of pulsar PSR B1919+21 at 324 MHz to study the distribution of interstellar plasma in the direction of this pulsar. We used the RadioAstron (RA) space radio telescope, together with two ground telescopes: Westerbork (WB) and Green Bank (GB). The maximum baseline projection for the space-ground interferometer was about 60 000 km. We show that interstellar scintillation of this pulsar consists of two components: diffractive scintillations from inhomogeneities in a layer of turbulent plasma at a distance z1 = 440 pc from the observer or homogeneously distributed scattering material to the pulsar; and weak scintillations from a screen located near the observer at z2 = 0.14 ± 0.05 pc. Furthermore, in the direction to the pulsar we detected a prism that deflects radiation, leading to a shift in observed source position. We show that the influence of the ionosphere can be ignored for the space-ground baseline. Analysis of the spatial coherence function for the space-ground baseline (RA-GB) yielded a scattering angle in the observer plane of θscat = 0.7 mas. An analysis of the time-frequency correlation function for weak scintillations yielded an angle of refraction in the direction to the pulsar θref, 0 = 110 ms and a distance to the prism zprism ≤ 2 pc.

  18. Vector space methods of photometric analysis - Applications to O stars and interstellar reddening

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massa, D.; Lillie, C. F.

    1978-01-01

    A multivariate vector-space formulation of photometry is developed which accounts for error propagation. An analysis of uvby and H-beta photometry of O stars is presented, with attention given to observational errors, reddening, general uvby photometry, early stars, and models of O stars. The number of observable parameters in O-star continua is investigated, the way these quantities compare with model-atmosphere predictions is considered, and an interstellar reddening law is derived. It is suggested that photospheric expansion affects the formation of the continuum in at least some O stars.

  19. Photochirogenesis: photochemical models on the absolute asymmetric formation of amino acids in interstellar space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meinert, Cornelia; de Marcellus, Pierre; d'Hendecourt, Louis Le Sergeant; Nahon, Laurent; Jones, Nykola C; Hoffmann, Søren V; Bredehöft, Jan Hendrik; Meierhenrich, Uwe J

    2011-10-01

    Proteins of all living organisms including plants, animals, and humans are made up of amino acid monomers that show identical stereochemical L-configuration. Hypotheses for the origin of this symmetry breaking in biomolecules include the absolute asymmetric photochemistry model by which interstellar ultraviolet (UV) circularly polarized light (CPL) induces an enantiomeric excess in chiral organic molecules in the interstellar/circumstellar media. This scenario is supported by a) the detection of amino acids in the organic residues of UV-photo-processed interstellar ice analogues, b) the occurrence of L-enantiomer-enriched amino acids in carbonaceous meteorites, and c) the observation of CPL of the same helicity over large distance scales in the massive star-forming region of Orion. These topics are of high importance in topical biophysical research and will be discussed in this review. Further evidence that amino acids and other molecules of prebiotic interest are asymmetrically formed in space comes from studies on the enantioselective photolysis of amino acids by UV-CPL. Also, experiments have been performed on the absolute asymmetric photochemical synthesis of enantiomer-enriched amino acids from mixtures of astrophysically relevant achiral precursor molecules using UV-circularly polarized photons. Both approaches are based on circular dichroic transitions of amino acids that will be highlighted here as well. These results have strong implications on our current understanding of how life's precursor molecules were possibly built and how life selected the left-handed form of proteinogenic amino acids. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Evolution of interstellar dust in light of Herschel Space Observatory data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arab, Heddy

    2012-01-01

    Interstellar dust grains are nanometer to micrometer sized particles. Although a weak proportion of the total interstellar mass is at solid state, dust plays a fundamental role in the evolution of the interstellar medium (ISM) and of the galaxy itself. Grains can be observed in the UV and visible wavelength through extinction whereas their emission is in the infrared to submillimeter range. Astrophysical observations combined to numerical models and laboratory studies of dust analogs improve our comprehension of the nature and the physics of interstellar grains. For example, evidence of dust evolution in the interstellar medium are now numerous, even if the physical processes responsible of this evolution are still poorly understood. Understanding how grains evolve with physical conditions requires observations of various environments. Photodissociation regions (PDRs) are zones of the ISM where the radiation field and the local density vary on short spatial scales (∼10''- 20''). Moreover the many gas tracers offer the opportunity to constraint efficiently the physical conditions within PDRs. Past missions such as ISO and Spitzer allow to study the evolution of dust in the near-Infrared range. At longer wavelengths, where the emission is dominated by the grains at thermal equilibrium with the radiation, instruments rarely resolved the spatial emission in PDRs. PACS and SPIRE instruments onboard Herschel Space Observatory provide spectro-photometric data between 70 and 500 μm. Their high spatial resolution (from 5 to 35 arcmin) makes these observations ideal for the study of dust evolution in PDRs. We present here an analysis of Herschel observations of three PDRs: the Orion Bar, the Horsehead and NGC 7023 East, characterized by different physical conditions. By combining these data with shorter wavelength observations from Spitzer, we can study the dust emission spectrum from 3.6 to 500 μm at different positions within the PDR. Intensity

  1. Radioisotope electric propulsion of sciencecraft to the outer Solar System and near-interstellar space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noble, R.J.

    1999-01-01

    Radioisotopes have been used successfully for more than 25 years to supply the heat for thermoelectric generators on various deep-space probes. Radioisotope electric propulsion (REP) systems have been proposed as low-thrust ion propulsion units based on radioisotope electric generators and ion thrusters. The perceived liability of radioisotope electric generators for ion propulsion is their high mass. Conventional radioisotope thermoelectric generators have a specific mass of about 200 kg/kW of electric power. Many development efforts have been undertaken with the aim of reducing the specific mass of radioisotope electric systems. Recent performance estimates suggest that specific masses of 50 kg/kW may be achievable with thermophotovoltaic and alkali metal thermal-to-electric conversion generators. Powerplants constructed from these near-term radioisotope electric generators and long-life ion thrusters will likely have specific masses in the range of 100 to 200 kg/kW of thrust power if development continues over the next decade. In earlier studies, it was concluded that flight times within the Solar System are indeed insensitive to reductions in the powerplant specific mass, and that a timely scientific program of robotic planetary rendezvous and near-interstellar space missions is enabled by primary electric propulsion once the powerplant specific mass is in the range of 100 to 200 kg/kW. Flight times can be substantially reduced by using hybrid propulsion schemes that combine chemical propulsion, gravity assist, and electric propulsion. Hybrid schemes are further explored in this article to illustrate how the performance of REP is enhanced for Pluto rendezvous, heliopause orbiter, and gravitational lens missions

  2. Radiation Hazard of Relativistic Interstellar Flight

    OpenAIRE

    Semyonov, Oleg G.

    2006-01-01

    From the point of view of radiation safety, interstellar space is not an empty void. Interstellar gas and cosmic rays, which consist of hydrogen and helium nucleons, present a severe radiation hazard to crew and electronics aboard a relativistic interstellar ship. Of the two, the oncoming relativistic flow of interstellar gas produces the most intence radiation. A protection shield will be needed to block relativistic interstellar gas that can also absorb most of the cosmic rays which, as a r...

  3. Are Neutral-Neutral Reactions Effective for the Carbon-Chain Growth of Cyanopolyynes and Polyacetylenes in Interstellar Space?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fukuzawa, K.; Osamura, Y.; Schaefer, H.F. III

    1998-01-01

    Ab initio molecular quantum-mechanical methods have been applied to explore the possibility of neutral-neutral reactions leading to the formation of cyanopolyynes and polyacetylenes in interstellar cloud. Potential energy surfaces for the reactions between the CN radical and polyacetylenes indicate that all reactions, C 2n H 2 + CN (n = 1 endash 4), which form HC 2n+1 N molecules, are exothermic and have no energy barriers. We have also examined the possibility of the various product channels from the reactions C 2n H 2 + CN based on the thermochemical relationships. The theoretical results show that none of the product channels is exothermic except the case which produces HC 2n+1 N, with the carbon chain being longer than the reactant polyacetylene. Similar results are obtained for the regioselectivity of the reactions, C 2n H 2 + C 2 H (n = 1 endash 4), to produce hydrocarbons. The only possible products from the latter reactions are shown to be HC 2n+2 H + H under the conditions of interstellar space. These results clearly demonstrate the importance of the neutral-neutral reactions on the carbon-chain growth of cyanopolyynes and polyacetylenes. copyright copyright 1998. The American Astronomical Society

  4. Interstellar PAH analogs in the laboratory: A step toward the identification and the quantification of organic molecules in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biennier, L.; Salama, F.; Gupta, M.; O'Keefe, A.

    In spite of recent progress in our understanding of the organic component of interstellar dust, little has been revealed about the identification and the quantification of large organic molecules in space (e.g., column densities of specific molecular species, physical and chemical processes of formation and destruction, etc...). Experimental studies of "true" cosmic organic analogs are essential to address theses issues. In our laboratory, we have developed a dedicated chamber to generate species under space-like conditions (i.e., free, cold, neutral and ionized species). The chamber is combined with a powerful state-of-the-art instrument to characterize the spectral fingerprints of these molecular species. Polycylic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules are the precursors/building blocks of complex organic molecules and have been the first targets studied using this innovative approach. Our measurements provide data that can now be directly compared to astronomical spectra of the interstellar (IS) extinction curve and of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs), both tracers of cosmic organics. The harsh physical conditions of the diffuse IS medium - characterized by a low temperature, an absence of collisions and strong VUV radiation fields - are simulated in the laboratory by associating a free jet expansion with an ionizing discharge that altogether generate a cold plasma expansion in the chamber. The spectra of these organics are measured using two complementary high sensitivity techniques: Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy (CRDS) and Multiplex Integrated Cavity Output Spectroscopy (MICOS). These two techniques have been applied to the measurement of the electronic spectrum of a set of representative PAHs such as the cold Naphthalene (C10H_8}) cation, neutral Methylnaphthalene (C11H10}), neutral and ionized Acenaphtene (C12H10), neutral Phenanthrene (C14H10), and neutral and ionized Pyrene (C16H10). These experiments provide unique information on the spectra of free

  5. Interstellar Extinction

    OpenAIRE

    Gontcharov, George

    2017-01-01

    This review describes our current understanding of interstellar extinction. This differ substantially from the ideas of the 20th century. With infrared surveys of hundreds of millions of stars over the entire sky, such as 2MASS, SPITZER-IRAC, and WISE, we have looked at the densest and most rarefied regions of the interstellar medium at distances of a few kpc from the sun. Observations at infrared and microwave wavelengths, where the bulk of the interstellar dust absorbs and radiates, have br...

  6. Systematic Search for Chemical Reactions in Gas Phase Contributing to Methanol Formation in Interstellar Space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamez-Garcia, Victoria G; Galano, Annia

    2017-10-05

    A massive search for chemical routes leading to methanol formation in gas phase has been conducted using computational chemistry, at the CBS-QB3 level of theory. The calculations were performed at five different temperatures (100, 80, 50, 20, and 10 K) and at three pressures (0.1, 0.01, and 0.001 atm) for each temperature. The search was focused on identifying reactions with the necessary features to be viable in the interstellar medium (ISM). A searching strategy was applied to that purpose, which allowed to reduce an initial set of 678 possible reactions to a subset of 11 chemical routes that are recommended, for the first time, as potential candidates for contributing to methanol formation in the gas phase of the ISM. They are all barrier-less, and thus they are expected to take place at collision rates. Hopefully, including these reactions in the currently available models, for the gas-phase methanol formation in the ISM, would help improving the predicted fractional abundance of this molecule in dark clouds. Further investigations, especially those dealing with grain chemistry and electronic excited states, would be crucial to get a complete picture of the methanol formation in the ISM.

  7. Molecular spectroscopy of interstellar medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Varshalovich, D.A.; Khersonskij, V.K.

    1980-01-01

    Experimental data obtained in the investigation into molecules of interstellar medium by molecular-spectroscopic methods are discussed generally. Ion-molecule reactions play a significant part in the formation of multiatom molecules in the interstellar medium as well as reactions proceeding on the surface of interstellar dust. More than 50 types of molecules have been detected in the interstellar medium at present. In a wide range of wave lengths over 500 spectral lines belonging to various molecules and molecular fragments have been recorded. Interstellar molecules permit to investigate interstellar gas from all the sides. They are a suitable indicator of the isotope composition of interstellar gas. Radio observations of interstellar molecules make it possible to effectively investigate kinematics and space structure both separate gas-dust complexes and total gas distribution in Galaxy. It is noted that achievements of molecular spectroscopy of the interstellar medium radically change representations of the chemical composition of interstellar gas, of isotope abundance and organic substance in the Universe

  8. Tracing the ingredients for a habitable earth from interstellar space through planet formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergin, Edwin A; Blake, Geoffrey A; Ciesla, Fred; Hirschmann, Marc M; Li, Jie

    2015-07-21

    We use the C/N ratio as a monitor of the delivery of key ingredients of life to nascent terrestrial worlds. Total elemental C and N contents, and their ratio, are examined for the interstellar medium, comets, chondritic meteorites, and terrestrial planets; we include an updated estimate for the bulk silicate Earth (C/N = 49.0 ± 9.3). Using a kinetic model of disk chemistry, and the sublimation/condensation temperatures of primitive molecules, we suggest that organic ices and macromolecular (refractory or carbonaceous dust) organic material are the likely initial C and N carriers. Chemical reactions in the disk can produce nebular C/N ratios of ∼1-12, comparable to those of comets and the low end estimated for planetesimals. An increase of the C/N ratio is traced between volatile-rich pristine bodies and larger volatile-depleted objects subjected to thermal/accretional metamorphism. The C/N ratios of the dominant materials accreted to terrestrial planets should therefore be higher than those seen in carbonaceous chondrites or comets. During planetary formation, we explore scenarios leading to further volatile loss and associated C/N variations owing to core formation and atmospheric escape. Key processes include relative enrichment of nitrogen in the atmosphere and preferential sequestration of carbon by the core. The high C/N bulk silicate Earth ratio therefore is best satisfied by accretion of thermally processed objects followed by large-scale atmospheric loss. These two effects must be more profound if volatile sequestration in the core is effective. The stochastic nature of these processes hints that the surface/atmospheric abundances of biosphere-essential materials will likely be variable.

  9. Interstellar H3+

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oka, Takeshi

    2006-01-01

    Protonated molecular hydrogen, H3+, is the simplest polyatomic molecule. It is the most abundantly produced interstellar molecule, next only to H2, although its steady state concentration is low because of its extremely high chemical reactivity. H3+ is a strong acid (proton donor) and initiates chains of ion-molecule reactions in interstellar space thus leading to formation of complex molecules. Here, I summarize the understandings on this fundamental species in interstellar space obtained from our infrared observations since its discovery in 1996 and discuss the recent observations and analyses of H3+ in the Central Molecular Zone near the Galatic center that led to a revelation of a vast amount of warm and diffuse gas existing in the region. PMID:16894171

  10. Probing the interstellar medium in early-type galaxies with Infrared Space Oberservatory observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malhotra, S.; Hollenbach, D.; Helou, D.; Silbermann, N.; Valjavec, E.; Rubin, R.; Dale, D.; Hunter, D.; Lu, N.; Lord, S.; hide

    2000-01-01

    Four IRAS-detected early-type galaxies were observed with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). With the exception of the 15 mu m image of NGC 1052, the mid-IR images of NGC 1052, NGC 1155, NGC 5866, and NGC 6958 at 4.5, 7, and 15 mu m show extended emission.

  11. Interstellar matter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peimbert, M.; Lequeux, J.; Mebold, U.; Wannier, P.G.; Mathis, J.S.; Elmegreen, B.G.; Shaver, P.A.; D'Odorico, S.; Terzian, Y.

    1985-01-01

    It has become more evident during the last three years that the study of interstellar matter is paramount to understand the evolution of the universe and its constituents. From observations of the present state of the interstellar medium, in our galaxy, in other galaxies, and between galaxies, it is possible to test theories of: evolution of the universe, formation and evolution of galaxies, formation and evolution of stars and of the evolution of the interstellar medium itself. The amount of information on the interstellar medium that has been gathered during the 1982-1984 period has been very large and the theoretical models that have been ellaborated to explain these observations have been very numerous. This report on IAU research on interstellar matter covers the period 1982-1984 and is divided in self-contained sections. For those papers considered, only very brief summaries are presented here. A detailed list of articles on the physics of the interstellar medium and gaseous nebulae carried out in the Soviet Union in the 1981-1984 period was prepared by N.G. Bochkarev and G. Rudnitskij; only a small fraction of these articles are discussed in this report; copies of this list are available from the office of the President of Commission 34. (Auth.)

  12. The Wait Calculation: The Broader Consequences of the Minimum Time from Now to Interstellar Destinations and its Significance to the Space Economy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, A.

    This paper summarises the wait calculation [1] of interstellar voyagers which finds the minimum time to destination given exponential growth in the rate of travel available to a civilisation. The minimum time obliges stellar system colonisers to consider departure times a significant risk factor in their voyages since a departure then to a destination will beat a departure made at any other time before or after. Generalised conclusions will be drawn about the significant impact that departures to interstellar destinations before, at, or after the minimum time will have on the economic potential of missions and on the inevitability of competition between them. There will be no international law operating in interstellar space and an ability to escape predatory actions en route, or at the destination, can only be done by precise calculations of departure times. Social and economic forces affecting the factors in the growth equation are discussed with reference to the probability of accelerating growth reaching the technological Singularity and strengthening the growth incentive trap. Islamic banking practices are discussed as a credible alternative to compounding interest bearing paper for funding the space economy in the long term and for supporting stakeholder investment in such long term mission development. The paper considers the essential free productivity of the Earth's biosphere and the capital accumulations made possible by land productivity are essential components to a viable long term space economy and that research into re-creating the costless productivity of the biosphere at a destination will determine both the mission's ultimate success and provide means of returns for stakeholders during the long build up. Conclusions of these arguments suggest that the Icarus project should ignore a robotic interstellar mission concept and develop a manned colonising mission from now.

  13. Riddling bifurcation and interstellar journeys

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kapitaniak, Tomasz

    2005-01-01

    We show that riddling bifurcation which is characteristic for low-dimensional attractors embedded in higher-dimensional phase space can give physical mechanism explaining interstellar journeys described in science-fiction literature

  14. Interstellar holography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Walker, M. A.; Koopmans, L. V. E.; Stinebring, D. R.; van Straten, W.

    2008-01-01

    The dynamic spectrum of a radio pulsar is an in-line digital hologram of the ionized interstellar medium. It has previously been demonstrated that such holograms permit image reconstruction, in the sense that one can determine an approximation to the complex electric field values as a function of

  15. Interstellar scattering and resolution limitations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennison, Brian

    Density irregularities in both the interplanetary medium and the ionized component of the interstellar medium scatter radio waves, resulting in limitations on the achievable resolution. Interplanetary scattering (IPS) is weak for most observational situations, and in principle the resulting phase corruption can be corrected for when observing with sufficiently many array elements. Interstellar scattering (ISS), on the other hand, is usually strong at frequencies below about 8 GHz, in which case intrinsic structure information over a range of angular scales is irretrievably lost. With the earth-space baselines now planned, it will be possible to search directly for interstellar refraction, which is suspected of modulating the fluxes of background sources.

  16. Kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of water ice porosity: extrapolations of deposition parameters from the laboratory to interstellar space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clements, Aspen R.; Berk, Brandon; Cooke, Ilsa R.; Garrod, Robin T.

    2018-02-01

    Using an off-lattice kinetic Monte Carlo model we reproduce experimental laboratory trends in the density of amorphous solid water (ASW) for varied deposition angle, rate and surface temperature. Extrapolation of the model to conditions appropriate to protoplanetary disks and interstellar dark clouds indicate that these ices may be less porous than laboratory ices.

  17. A possible causal relation of the source composition of cosmic rays with the elemental depletion in the interstellar space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sakurai, Kunitomo

    2003-01-01

    Based on the observed results on the source composition of cosmic rays, a possible mechanism for the formation of this composition is considered by taking into account the fractionation of the elements in the interstellar molecular clouds, in which there may exist dusts and grains enriched with the elements whose condensation temperature is higher than about 1000K. Most of these nuclei enhanced in the source composition are identified as heavy and ultra-heavy ones, which must have been synthesized in the r-process initiated with the explosions of type II supernovae and/or supergiant stars. It seems that these nuclei in atomic states may have been relatively efficiently condensed into dusts and grains in the interstellar clouds, which are formed in supernova ejectae while being cooled off

  18. Interstellar PAH in the Laboratory and in Space. What have we Learned from the New Generation of Laboratory and Observational Studies?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salama, Farid

    2005-01-01

    Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are an important and ubiquitous component of carbon-bearing materials in space. PAHs are the best-known candidates to account for the IR emission bands (UIR bands) and PAH spectral features are now being used as new probes of the ISM. PAHs are also thought to be among the carriers of the diffuse interstellar absorption bands (DIBs). In the model dealing with the interstellar spectral features, PAHs are present as a mixture of radicals, ions and neutral species. PAH ionization states reflect the ionization balance of the medium while PAH size, composition, and structure reflect the energetic and chemical history of the medium. A major challenge for laboratory astrophysics is to reproduce (in a realistic way) the physical conditions that exist in the emission and/or absorption interstellar zones. An extensive laboratory program has been developed at NASA Ames to assess the physical and chemical properties of PAHs in such environments and to describe how they influence the radiation and energy balance in space and the interstellar chemistry. In particular, laboratory experiments provide measurements of the spectral characteristics of interstellar PAH analogs from the ultraviolet and visible range to the infrared range for comparison with astronomical data. This paper will focus on the recent progress made in the laboratory to measure the direct absorption spectra of neutral and ionized PAHs in the gas phase in the near-UV and visible range in astrophysically relevant environments. These measurements provide data on PAHs and nanometer-sized particles that can now be directly compared to astronomical observations. The harsh physical conditions of the IS medium - characterized by a low temperature, an absence of collisions and strong VUV radiation fields - are simulated in the laboratory by associating a molecular beam with an ionizing discharge to generate a cold plasma expansion. PAH ions are formed from the neutral precursors in

  19. Interstellar chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klemperer, William

    2006-01-01

    In the past half century, radioastronomy has changed our perception and understanding of the universe. In this issue of PNAS, the molecular chemistry directly observed within the galaxy is discussed. For the most part, the description of the molecular transformations requires specific kinetic schemes rather than chemical thermodynamics. Ionization of the very abundant molecular hydrogen and atomic helium followed by their secondary reactions is discussed. The rich variety of organic species observed is a challenge for complete understanding. The role and nature of reactions involving grain surfaces as well as new spectroscopic observations of interstellar and circumstellar regions are topics presented in this special feature. PMID:16894148

  20. Kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of water ice porosity: extrapolations of deposition parameters from the laboratory to interstellar space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clements, Aspen R; Berk, Brandon; Cooke, Ilsa R; Garrod, Robin T

    2018-02-21

    Dust grains in cold, dense interstellar clouds build up appreciable ice mantles through the accretion and subsequent surface chemistry of atoms and molecules from the gas. These mantles, of thicknesses on the order of 100 monolayers, are primarily composed of H 2 O, CO, and CO 2 . Laboratory experiments using interstellar ice analogues have shown that porosity could be present and can facilitate diffusion of molecules along the inner pore surfaces. However, the movement of molecules within and upon the ice is poorly described by current chemical kinetics models, making it difficult either to reproduce the formation of experimental porous ice structures or to extrapolate generalized laboratory results to interstellar conditions. Here we use the off-lattice Monte Carlo kinetics model MIMICK to investigate the effects that various deposition parameters have on laboratory ice structures. The model treats molecules as isotropic spheres of a uniform size, using a Lennard-Jones potential. We reproduce experimental trends in the density of amorphous solid water (ASW) for varied deposition angle, rate and surface temperature; ice density decreases when the incident angle or deposition rate is increased, while increasing temperature results in a more-compact water ice. The models indicate that the density behaviour at higher temperatures (≥80 K) is dependent on molecular rearrangement resulting from thermal diffusion. To reproduce trends at lower temperatures, it is necessary to take account of non-thermal diffusion by newly-adsorbed molecules, which bring kinetic energy both from the gas phase and from their acceleration into a surface binding site. Extrapolation of the model to conditions appropriate to protoplanetary disks, in which direct accretion of water from the gas-phase may be the dominant ice formation mechanism, indicate that these ices may be less porous than laboratory ices.

  1. Secondary cosmic-ray e+- from 1 to 100 GeV in the upper atmosphere and interstellar space, and interpretation of a recent e+ flux measurement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Orth, C.D.; Buffington, A.

    1976-01-01

    Secondary fluxes of cosmic-ray e from the decay of mesons produced by nuclear interactions are calculated for depths under 10 g cm -2 of atmosphere or interstellar space for energies from 1 to 100 GeV. Secondary meson spectra applicable for energies > or =5 GeV are obtained from the recently measured spectra of Carey et al. using Monte Carlo techniques. An analytic model is presented which identifies all essential parameters and enables easy calculation of efluxes for various parameter values. This model is used to interpret the e + measurement of Buffington, Orth, and Smoot. We find the mean thickness of interstellar and source material to be 4.3 (+1.8,-1.2) g cm -2 for cosmic-ray e + above 4 GeV. This result is difficult to reconcile with the recently proposed two-containment-volume propagation models of Cowsik and Wilson; Rengarajan, Stephens, and Verma; and Meneguzzi: all of the models predict a result near 1.8 g cm -2 at these energies due to the energy dependence of the measured (Li+Be+B)/(C+O) ratio. Single-containment-volume (galactic) models invoking an energy-dependent leakage lifetime are compatible with the e + data, but lack a mechanism to explain the energy dependence

  2. A Data-driven Model of the Solar Wind, Interstellar Pickup Ions, and Turbulence Throughout the Interplanetary Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, T. K.; Kryukov, I.; Pogorelov, N. V.; Elliott, H. A.; Zank, G. P.

    2017-12-01

    The outer heliosphere is an interesting region characterized by the interaction between the solar wind and the interstellar neutral atoms. Having accomplished the mission to Pluto in 2015 and currently on the way to the Kuiper Belt, the New Horizons spacecraft is following the footsteps of the two Voyager spacecraft that previously explored this region lying roughly beyond 30 AU from the Sun. We model the three-dimensional, time-dependent solar wind plasma flow to the outer heliosphere using our own software Multi-Scale Fluid-Kinetic Simulation Suite (MS-FLUKSS), which, in addition to the thermal solar wind plasma, takes into account charge exchange of the solar wind protons with interstellar neutral atoms and treats nonthermal ions (i.e., pickup ions) born during this process as a separate fluid. Additionally, MS-FLUKSS allows us to model turbulence generated by pickup ions. We use MS-FLUKSS to investigate the evolution of plasma and turbulent fluctuations along the trajectory of the New Horizons spacecraft using plasma and turbulence parameters from OMNI data as time-dependent boundary conditions at 1 AU for the Reynolds-averaged MHD equations. We compare the model with in situ plasma observations by New Horizons, Voyager 2, and Ulysses. We also compare the model pickup proton parameters with those derived from the Ulysses-SWICS data.

  3. Spectroscopy and chemistry of interstellar ice analogues

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bouwman, Jordy

    2010-01-01

    Mid-infrared (mid-IR) astronomical observations show that molecules freeze out on interstellar grains to form interstellar ices. These ices play an important role in the chemical evolution of molecules in space. Understanding the physical interactions and chemical reactions that take place in these

  4. Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westphal, A.; Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examation Team: http://www. ssl. berkeley. edu/~westphal/ISPE/

    2011-12-01

    A. J. Westphal, C. Allen, A. Ansari, S. Bajt, R. S. Bastien, H. A. Bechtel, J. Borg, F. E. Brenker, J. Bridges, D. E. Brownlee, M. Burchell, M. Burghammer, A. L. Butterworth, A. M. Davis, P. Cloetens, C. Floss, G. Flynn, D. Frank, Z. Gainsforth, E. Grün, P. R. Heck, J. K. Hillier, P. Hoppe, G. Huss, J. Huth, B. Hvide, A. Kearsley, A. J. King, B. Lai, J. Leitner, L. Lemelle, H. Leroux, R. Lettieri, W. Marchant, L. R. Nittler, R. Ogliore, F. Postberg, M. C. Price, S. A. Sandford, J.-A. Sans Tresseras, T. Schoonjans, S. Schmitz, G. Silversmit, A. Simionovici, V. A. Solé, R. Srama, T. Stephan, V. Sterken, J. Stodolna, R. M. Stroud, S. Sutton, M. Trieloff, P. Tsou, A. Tsuchiyama, T. Tyliszczak, B. Vekemans, L. Vincze, D. Zevin, M. E. Zolensky, >29,000 Stardust@home dusters ISPE author affiliations are at http://www.ssl.berkeley.edu/~westphal/ISPE/. In 2000 and 2002, a ~0.1m2 array of aerogel tiles and alumi-num foils onboard the Stardust spacecraft was exposed to the interstellar dust (ISD) stream for an integrated time of 200 days. The exposure took place in interplanetary space, beyond the orbit of Mars, and thus was free of the ubiquitous orbital debris in low-earth orbit that precludes effective searches for interstellar dust there. Despite the long exposure of the Stardust collector, infrared and X-ray microprobes that enable non-destructive analyses of sub-μm particles in situ in aerogel; and (6) the development of focused-ion beam (FIB) milling tech-niques for sample preparation. The Stardust Interstellar PE consists of six related projects: the identification of tracks through automated scanning microscopy and distributed searching by volunteers (Stardust@home); the extraction of tracks from aerogel in "picokeystones"; the analysis of tracks using synchrotron microprobes; the identifica-tion and analysis of impacts in aluminum foils; laboratory investigations of ISD analogs using an electrostatic dust accelerator; and modeling of ISD propagation in the

  5. Interstellar Probe: First Step to the Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNutt, R. L., Jr.

    2017-12-01

    The idea of an "Interstellar Probe," a robotic spacecraft traveling into the nearby interstellar medium for the purpose of scientific investigation, dates to the mid-1960s. The Voyager Interstellar Mission (VIM), an "accidental" 40-year-old by-product of the Grand Tour of the solar system, has provided initial answers to the problem of the global heliospheric configuration and the details of its interface with interstellar space. But the twin Voyager spacecraft have, at most, only another decade of lifetime, and only Voyager 1 has emerged from the heliosheath interaction region. To understand the nature of the interaction, a near-term mission to the "near-by" interstellar medium with modern and focused instrumentation remains a compelling priority. Imaging of energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) by the Ion Neutral CAmera (INCA) on Cassini and from the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) in Earth orbit have provided significant new insights into the global interaction region but point to discrepancies with our current understanding. Exploring "as far as possible" into "pristine" interstellar space can resolve these. Hence, reaching large heliocentric distances rapidly is a driver for an Interstellar Probe. Such a mission is timely; understanding the interstellar context of exoplanet systems - and perhaps the context for the emergence of life both here and there - hinges upon what we can discover within our own stellar neighborhood. With current spacecraft technology and high-capability launch vehicles, such as the Space Launch System (SLS), a small, but extremely capable spacecraft, could be dispatched to the near-by interstellar medium with at least twice the speed of the Voyagers. Challenges remain with payload mass and power constraints for optimized science measurements. Mission longevity, as experienced by, but not designed into, the Voyagers, communications capability, and radioisotope power system performance and lifetime are solvable engineering challenges. Such

  6. Global observations of the interstellar interaction from the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX).

    Science.gov (United States)

    McComas, D J; Allegrini, F; Bochsler, P; Bzowski, M; Christian, E R; Crew, G B; DeMajistre, R; Fahr, H; Fichtner, H; Frisch, P C; Funsten, H O; Fuselier, S A; Gloeckler, G; Gruntman, M; Heerikhuisen, J; Izmodenov, V; Janzen, P; Knappenberger, P; Krimigis, S; Kucharek, H; Lee, M; Livadiotis, G; Livi, S; MacDowall, R J; Mitchell, D; Möbius, E; Moore, T; Pogorelov, N V; Reisenfeld, D; Roelof, E; Saul, L; Schwadron, N A; Valek, P W; Vanderspek, R; Wurz, P; Zank, G P

    2009-11-13

    The Sun moves through the local interstellar medium, continuously emitting ionized, supersonic solar wind plasma and carving out a cavity in interstellar space called the heliosphere. The recently launched Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft has completed its first all-sky maps of the interstellar interaction at the edge of the heliosphere by imaging energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) emanating from this region. We found a bright ribbon of ENA emission, unpredicted by prior models or theories, that may be ordered by the local interstellar magnetic field interacting with the heliosphere. This ribbon is superposed on globally distributed flux variations ordered by both the solar wind structure and the direction of motion through the interstellar medium. Our results indicate that the external galactic environment strongly imprints the heliosphere.

  7. Interstellar molecules: guides for new chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandal, Swadhin K; Roesky, Herbert W

    2010-09-07

    Interstellar space is among the most remarkable chemical laboratories in the universe. The existence of many unstable species with low-valent main group elements in the interstellar medium inspired us to investigate the feasibility of laboratory synthesis of such unstable molecules. Particularly the lighter Group 14 element carbon plays a very important role in space astrochemistry. Low-valent carbon as well as silicon were detected in the interstellar environment. This article describes our recent efforts in developing amazing chemistry of heavier low-valent Group 14 elements. This study unravels that the disproportionation pathway of the low-valent Group 14 elements can be arrested by using a sterically protected ligand, then one can artificially generate the situation observed in the interstellar surrounding where the chance of disproportionation is very low as the molecules are extremely dilute.

  8. Interstellar Molecules Their Laboratory and Interstellar Habitat

    CERN Document Server

    Yamada, Koichi M T

    2011-01-01

    This book deals with the astrophysics and spectroscopy of the interstellar molecules. In the introduction, overview and history of interstellar observations are described in order to help understanding how the modern astrophysics and molecular spectroscopy have been developed interactively. The recent progress in the study of this field, after the 4th Cologne-Bonn-Zermatt symposium 2003 is briefly summarized. Furthermore, the basic knowledge of molecular spectroscopy, which is essential to correctly comprehend the astrophysical observations, is presented in a compact form.

  9. PAHs in Translucent Interstellar Clouds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salama, Farid; Galazutdinov, G.; Krelowski, J.; Biennier, L.; Beletsky, Y.; Song, I.

    2011-05-01

    We discuss the proposal of relating the origin of some of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) to neutral polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) present in translucent interstellar clouds. The spectra of several cold, isolated gas-phase PAHs have been measured in the laboratory under experimental conditions that mimic the interstellar conditions and are compared with an extensive set of astronomical spectra of reddened, early type stars. This comparison provides - for the first time - accurate upper limits for the abundances of specific PAH molecules along specific lines-of-sight. Something that is not attainable from IR observations alone. The comparison of these unique laboratory data with high resolution, high S/N ratio astronomical observations leads to two major findings: (1) a finding specific to the individual molecules that were probed in this study and, which leads to the clear and unambiguous conclusion that the abundance of these specific neutral PAHs must be very low in the individual translucent interstellar clouds that were probed in this survey (PAH features remain below the level of detection) and, (2) a general finding that neutral PAHs exhibit intrinsic band profiles that are similar to the profile of the narrow DIBs indicating that the carriers of the narrow DIBs must have close molecular structure and characteristics. This study is the first quantitative survey of neutral PAHs in the optical range and it opens the way for unambiguous quantitative searches of PAHs in a variety of interstellar and circumstellar environments. // Reference: F. Salama et al. (2011) ApJ. 728 (1), 154 // Acknowledgements: F.S. acknowledges the support of the NASA's Space Mission Directorate APRA Program. J.K. acknowledges the financial support of the Polish State (grant N203 012 32/1550). The authors are deeply grateful to the ESO archive as well as to the ESO staff members for their active support.

  10. Local interstellar medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crutcher, R.M.; and Radio Astronomy Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley)

    1982-01-01

    Analysis of the velocities of optical interstellar lines shows that the Sun is immersed in a coherently moving local interstellar medium whose velocity vector agrees with that of the interstellar wind observed through backscatter of solar H Lyα and He lambda584 photons. The local interstellar medium consists of both cool clouds and warm intercloud medium gas, has a mass of perhaps approx.30 M/sub sun/, does not have severe depletion of trace elements from the gas phase, and appears to be material which has been shocked and accelerated by stellar winds and supernovae associated with the Sco-Oph OB association

  11. The Interstellar Conspiracy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Les; Matloff, Gregory L.

    2005-01-01

    If we were designing a human-carrying starship that could be launched in the not-too-distant future, it would almost certainly not use a warp drive to instantaneously bounce around the universe, as is done in Isaac Asimov's classic Foundation series or in episodes of Star Trek or Star Wars. Sadly, those starships that seem to be within technological reach could not even travel at high relativistic speeds, as does the interstellar ramjet in Poul Anderson's Tau Zero. Warp-speeds seem to be well outside the realm of currently understood physical law; proton-fusing ramjets may never be technologically feasible. Perhaps fortunately in our terrorist-plagued world, the economics of antimatter may never be attractive for large-scale starship propulsion. But interstellar travel will be possible within a few centuries, although it will certainly not be as fast as we might prefer. If humans learn how to hibernate, perhaps we will sleep our way to the stars, as do the crew in A. E. van Vogt's Far Centaurus. However, as discussed in a landmark paper in The Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, the most feasible approach to transporting a small human population to the planets (if any) of Alpha Centauri is the worldship. Such craft have often been featured in science fiction. See for example Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama, and Robert A. Heinlein's Orphans of the Sky. Worldships are essentially mobile versions of the O Neill free-space habitats. Constructed mostly from lunar and/or asteroidal materials, these solar-powered, multi-kilometer-dimension structures could house 10,000 to 100,000 humans in Earth-approximating environments. Artificial gravity would be provided by habitat rotation, and cosmic ray shielding would be provided by passive methods, such as habitat atmosphere and mass shielding, or magnetic fields. A late 21st century space-habitat venture might support itself economically by constructing large solar-powered satellites to beam energy back to

  12. INTERSTELLAR ANALOGS FROM DEFECTIVE CARBON NANOSTRUCTURES ACCOUNT FOR INTERSTELLAR EXTINCTION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tan, Zhenquan; Abe, Hiroya; Sato, Kazuyoshi; Ohara, Satoshi; Chihara, Hiroki; Koike, Chiyoe; Kaneko, Kenji

    2010-01-01

    Because interstellar dust is closely related to the evolution of matter in the galactic environment and many other astrophysical phenomena, the laboratory synthesis of interstellar dust analogs has received significant attention over the past decade. To simulate the ultraviolet (UV) interstellar extinction feature at 217.5 nm originating from carbonaceous interstellar dust, many reports focused on the UV absorption properties of laboratory-synthesized interstellar dust analogs. However, no general relation has been established between UV interstellar extinction and artificial interstellar dust analogs. Here, we show that defective carbon nanostructures prepared by high-energy collisions exhibit a UV absorption feature at 220 nm which we suggest accounts for the UV interstellar extinction at 217.5 nm. The morphology of some carbon nanostructures is similar to that of nanocarbons discovered in the Allende meteorite. The similarity between the absorption feature of the defective carbon nanostructures and UV interstellar extinction indicates a strong correlation between the defective carbon nanostructures and interstellar dust.

  13. Complexes in the interstellar space?

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    , in particular in giant molecular clouds…Laboratory model compound studies in concert with direct astronomical observations are needed to elucidate the role of molecular complexes in ''close in'' planetary atmospheres and ''far away'' ...

  14. The galactic interstellar medium

    CERN Document Server

    Burton, WB; Genzel, R

    1992-01-01

    This volume contains the papers of three extended lectures addressing advanced topics in astronomy and astrophysics. The topics discussed include the most recent observational data on interstellar matter outside our galaxy and the physics and chemistry of molecular clouds.

  15. Photochemistry of interstellar molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stief, L. J.

    1971-01-01

    The photochemistry of two diatomic and eight polyatomic molecules is discussed quantitatively. For an interstellar molecule, the lifetime against photodecomposition depends upon the absorption cross section, the quantum yield or probability of dissociation following photon absorption, and the interstellar radiation field. The constant energy density of Habing is used for the unobserved regions of interstellar radiation field, and the field in obscuring clouds is estimated by combining the constant flux with the observed interstellar extinction curve covering the visible and ultraviolet regions. Lifetimes against photodecomposition in the unobscured regions and as a function of increasing optical thickness in obscuring clouds are calculated for the ten species. The results show that, except for CO, all the molecules have comparable lifetimes of less than one hundred years. Thus they can exist only in dense clouds and can never have been exposed to the unobscured radiation. The calculations further show that the lifetimes in clouds of moderate opacity are of the order of one million years.

  16. Interstellar Dust - A Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salama, Farid

    2012-01-01

    The study of the formation and the destruction processes of cosmic dust is essential to understand and to quantify the budget of extraterrestrial organic materials. Although dust with all its components plays an important role in the evolution of interstellar physics and chemistry and in the formation of organic materials, little is known on the formation and destruction processes of carbonaceous dust. Laboratory experiments that are performed under conditions that simulate interstellar and circumstellar environments to provide information on the nature, the size and the structure of interstellar dust particles, the growth and the destruction processes of interstellar dust and the resulting budget of extraterrestrial organic molecules. A review of the properties of dust and of the laboratory experiments that are conducted to study the formation processes of dust grains from molecular precursors will be given.

  17. Dynamics of interstellar matter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kahn, F.D.

    1975-01-01

    A review of the dynamics of interstellar matter is presented, considering the basic equations of fluid flow, plane waves, shock waves, spiral structure, thermal instabilities and early star cocoons. (B.R.H.)

  18. Interstellar organic chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagan, C.

    1972-01-01

    Most of the interstellar organic molecules have been found in the large radio source Sagittarius B2 toward the galactic center, and in such regions as W51 and the IR source in the Orion nebula. Questions of the reliability of molecular identifications are discussed together with aspects of organic synthesis in condensing clouds, degradational origin, synthesis on grains, UV natural selection, interstellar biology, and contributions to planetary biology.

  19. Interstellar grain surface chemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tielens, A.G.G.M.

    1989-01-01

    Theoretical calculations, laboratory studies, and observations of interstellar icy grain mantles are reviewed. The emphasis is on recent ground-based observations of the interstellar 2167 cm -1 (4.67μm) band and air-borne studies of the interstellar 1665 and 1460 cm -1 (6.0 and 6.85μm) bands. From a comparison with laboratory studies it is concluded that interstellar icy gain mantles consist mainly of H 2 O, CH 3 OH and CO in an approximate ratio of 100:50:5. Traces of other molecules have also been detected. Evidence for the presence of a separate, more inert, grain mantle component, perhaps consisting mainly of solid CO, will also be presented. Theoretical calculations of the composition of interstellar icy gain mantles are confronted with observational data and the shortcomings of the models are pointed out. Finally, the evolution of icy grain mantles under UV irradiation and their possible interrelationship with an organic grain component observed in the diffuse interstellar medium are discussed

  20. ULY JUPITER INTERSTELLAR NEUTRAL-GAS EXPERIMENT - NO DATA

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — No data were provided by the Interstellar Neutral-Gas Experiment (GAS) instrument team in connection with this volume. For data made available to the PDS subsequent...

  1. DEEP IN Directed Energy Propulsion for Interstellar Exploration

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We will examine a system that will allow us to take a significant step towards interstellar exploration using directed energy propulsion combined with wafer scale...

  2. Diffuse Interstellar Bands: Successes and Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnentrucker, Paule G.; York, Donald G.; Welty, Daniel E.; Hobbs, Lew M.; Fan, Haoyu; DIB Collaboration

    2018-01-01

    To-date, the spectroscopic signatures of over 170 molecular species have been positively identified in interstellar clouds. However, the number of unidentified features observed either in emission (UIB, ERE, AME) or in absorption (Diffuse Interstellar Bands, DIBs) points to the existence of a substantial reservoir of species in interstellar space that are unaccounted for in theories of interstellar clouds and of star and planet formation. The DIBs are a set of about 600 weak absorption features detected mostly in the optical/NIR (4400 to 12000 Å) that appear to be ubiquitous in the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM). The carriers of the DIBs are potentially the champion contributors, by number, to this pool of unidentified species. While the nature of the DIB carriers remains elusive to this day, our understanding of the DIB behavior has matured to a point at which some DIBs can be used as ISM diagnostics regardless of their true nature. I will briefly review progress made in understanding the DIB dependence on the local ISM physical conditions. I will also present recent results - and the challenges that emerged- from an optical survey tailored to characterize a subset of the DIB spectrum: the broadest (FWHM >6 Å) DIB features.

  3. Human factors issues for interstellar spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Marc M.; Brody, Adam R.

    1991-01-01

    Developments in research on space human factors are reviewed in the context of a self-sustaining interstellar spacecraft based on the notion of traveling space settlements. Assumptions about interstellar travel are set forth addressing costs, mission durations, and the need for multigenerational space colonies. The model of human motivation by Maslow (1970) is examined and directly related to the design of space habitat architecture. Human-factors technology issues encompass the human-machine interface, crew selection and training, and the development of spaceship infrastructure during transtellar flight. A scenario for feasible instellar travel is based on a speed of 0.5c, a timeframe of about 100 yr, and an expandable multigenerational crew of about 100 members. Crew training is identified as a critical human-factors issue requiring the development of perceptual and cognitive aids such as expert systems and virtual reality.

  4. Parameterizing the interstellar dust temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hocuk, S.; Szűcs, L.; Caselli, P.; Cazaux, S.; Spaans, M.; Esplugues, G. B.

    2017-08-01

    The temperature of interstellar dust particles is of great importance to astronomers. It plays a crucial role in the thermodynamics of interstellar clouds, because of the gas-dust collisional coupling. It is also a key parameter in astrochemical studies that governs the rate at which molecules form on dust. In 3D (magneto)hydrodynamic simulations often a simple expression for the dust temperature is adopted, because of computational constraints, while astrochemical modelers tend to keep the dust temperature constant over a large range of parameter space. Our aim is to provide an easy-to-use parametric expression for the dust temperature as a function of visual extinction (AV) and to shed light on the critical dependencies of the dust temperature on the grain composition. We obtain an expression for the dust temperature by semi-analytically solving the dust thermal balance for different types of grains and compare to a collection of recent observational measurements. We also explore the effect of ices on the dust temperature. Our results show that a mixed carbonaceous-silicate type dust with a high carbon volume fraction matches the observations best. We find that ice formation allows the dust to be warmer by up to 15% at high optical depths (AV> 20 mag) in the interstellar medium. Our parametric expression for the dust temperature is presented as Td = [ 11 + 5.7 × tanh(0.61 - log 10(AV) ]χuv1/5.9, where χuv is in units of the Draine (1978, ApJS, 36, 595) UV field.

  5. Composition of interstellar dust

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Field, G.B.

    1975-01-01

    Direct evidence that interstellar dust is composed partly of silicates, graphite, and water ice is reviewed. Indirect evidence, from recent studies of the chemical composition of interstellar gas, is assessed in terms of two possible models for the formation of the dust: condensation under thermal-equilibrium conditions and accretion under nonequilibrium conditions. It is concluded that probably the more refractory elements condense under equilibrium conditions and that probably the more volatile ones condense under nonequilibrium conditions. Equilibrium condensation may occur either in stellar atmospheres or in circumstellar nebulae, but arguments from stellar evolution favor the latter. If this is correct, all but a tiny fraction of the present interstellar medium has at least once been involved in circumstellar nebulae. This is consistent with the hypothesis that planetary systems are commonplace

  6. Diffuse interstellar clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Black, J.H.

    1987-01-01

    The author defines and discusses the nature of diffuse interstellar clouds. He discusses how they contribute to the general extinction of starlight. The atomic and molecular species that have been identified in the ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared regions of the spectrum of a diffuse cloud are presented. The author illustrates some of the practical considerations that affect absorption line observations of interstellar atoms and molecules. Various aspects of the theoretical description of diffuse clouds required for a full interpretation of the observations are discussed

  7. The pioneering investigations in the field of the interstellar molecules, 1935-1942

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swings, P.

    1978-01-01

    In the course of recent years numerous molecules have been discovered in interstellar space. Most of these discoveries were quite unexpected. Almost all the recently discovered interstellar molecules have been found in the radio-region. Several molecules, for example H 2 , were also found recently in the vacuum ultraviolet, thanks to the space vehicles. A short history of the first pioneering investigations into interstellar molecules is given. (Auth.)

  8. Nebulae and interstellar matter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-01-01

    The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) has investigated the IRAS source 1912+172. This source appears to be a young planetary nebula with a binary central star. During 1986 SAAO has also studied the following: hydrogen deficient planetary nebulae; high speed flows in HII regions, and the wavelength dependence of interstellar polarization. 2 figs

  9. Interstellar extinction and interstellar polarization: old and new models

    OpenAIRE

    Voshchinnikov, N. V.

    2012-01-01

    The review contains an analysis of the observed and model curves of the interstellar extinction and polarization. The observations mainly give information on dust in diffuse and translucent interstellar clouds. The features of various dust grain models including spherical/non-spherical, homogeneous/inhomogeneous particles are discussed. A special attention is devoted to the analysis of the grain size distributions, alignment mechanisms and magnetic field structure in interstellar clouds. It i...

  10. Interstellar extinction correlations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, A.P.; Williams, D.A.; Duley, W.W.

    1987-01-01

    A recently proposed model for interstellar grains in which the extinction arises from small silicate cores with mantles of hydrogenated amorphous carbon (HAC or α-C:H), and large, but thinly coated, silicate grains can successfully explain many of the observed properties of interstellar dust. The small silicate cores give rise to the 2200 A extinction feature. The extinction in the visual is produced by the large silicates and the HAC mantles on the small cores, whilst the far UV extinction arises in the HAC mantles with a small contribution form the silicate grains. The grain model requires that the silicate material is the more resilient component and that variations in the observed extinction from region to region are due to the nature and depletion of the carbon in the HAC mantles. (author)

  11. Interstellar Probe: The Next Step To Flight

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNutt, Ralph; Zurbuchen, Thomas H.

    2016-07-01

    In the years following the discovery of the solar wind, the term "heliosphere" was coined and defined as "the region of interplanetary space where the solar wind is flowing supersonically." In June 1971, with the development of the Pioneer probes to Jupiter and beyond well underway, a session of the American Astronautical Society meeting considered scientific exploration reaching beyond the solar system and into the interstellar medium. Despite many discussions, studies, and meetings since, the most recent held under the auspices of the Keck Institute for Space Studies (8-11 September 2014 and 13-15 January 2015), such missions have been relegated to the '"future" due to the large distances and solar system escape speeds contemplated for their execution. In the meantime, the Voyager Interstellar Mission (VIM), consisting of the twin Voyager spacecraft almost 40 years since their respective launches, are making inroads into this region beyond the termination shock of the solar wind, a new region of the solid bodies of the solar system has been opened by the New Horizons flyby of the Pluto system, and the Cassini Ion and Neutral CAmera (INCA) and Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) have remotely sensed neutral atoms that have provided significant clues to the global structure of the interaction of the solar wind and interstellar medium. It is now time for a dedicated mission to the regime beyond the solar system to explore our galactic environment. A first, near-term implementation can be carried out with the near-current flight system technology. What is also clear is that the high speeds required will limit the spacecraft to a relatively small mass of no more than ~500 kg, regardless of the propulsion details. The recent success of the New Horizons mission at the Pluto system illustrates that with modern technologies, such spacecraft sizes can still accommodate the means to produce paradigm-shifting science, providing for a compelling scientific mission. The

  12. Dust in the Diffuse Neutral Interstellar Medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sofia, Ulysses J.

    2008-05-01

    Studies of interstellar dust have always relied heavily upon Laboratory Astrophysics for interpretation. Laboratory values, in the broad sense that includes theory, are needed for the most basic act of measuring interstellar abundances, to the more complex determination of what grains are responsible for particular extinction. The symbiotic relationship between astronomical observations and Laboratory Astrophysics has prompted both fields to move forward, especially in the era of high-resolution ultraviolet spectroscopy when new elemental species could be interpreted and observations were able to show the limits of laboratory determinations. Thanks to this synergy, we currently have a good idea of the quantity of the most abundant elements incorporated into dust in diffuse neutral interstellar clouds: carbon, oxygen, iron, silicon and magnesium. Now the task is to figure out how, chemically and physically, those elements are integrated into interstellar grains. We can do this by comparing extinction curves to grain populations in radiative transfer models. The limitation at the present time is the availability of optical constants in the infrared through ultraviolet for species that are likely to exist in dust, i.e., those that are easy to form in the physical environments around stars and in molecular clouds. Extinction in some lines of sight can be fit within current abundance limits and with the optical constants that are available. However the inability to reproduce other extinction curves suggests that optical constants can be improved, either in quality for compounds that have been measured, or quantity in the sense of providing data for more materials. This talk will address the current state and the future of dust studies in the diffuse neutral interstellar medium. This work is supported by the grant HST-AR-10979.01-A from the Space Telescope Science Institute to Whitman College.

  13. From Interstellar PAHs and Ices to the Origin of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allamandola, Louis J.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Tremendous strides have been made in our understanding of interstellar material over the past twenty years thanks to significant, parallel developments in observational astronomy and laboratory astrophysics. Twenty years ago the composition of interstellar dust was largely guessed at, the concept of ices in dense molecular clouds ignored, and the notion of large, abundant, gas phase, carbon rich molecules widespread throughout the interstellar medium (ISM) considered impossible. Today the composition of dust in the diffuse ISM is reasonably well constrained to micron-sized cold refractory materials comprised of amorphous and crystalline silicates mixed with an amorphous carbonaceous material containing aromatic structural units and short, branched aliphatic chains. In dense molecular clouds, the birthplace of stars and planets, these cold dust particles are coated with mixed molecular ices whose composition is very well constrained. Lastly, the signature of carbon-rich polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), shockingly large molecules by earlier interstellar chemistry standards, is widespread throughout the Universe. The first part of this lecture will describe how infrared studies of interstellar space, combined with laboratory simulations, have revealed the composition of interstellar ices (the building blocks of comets) and the high abundance and nature of interstellar PAHs. The laboratory database has now enabled us to gain insight into the identities, concentrations, and physical state of many interstellar materials. Within a dense molecular cloud, and especially in the solar nebula during the star and planet formation stage, the materials frozen into interstellar/precometary ices are photoprocessed by ultraviolet light, producing more complex molecules. The remainder of the presentation will focus on the photochemical evolution of these materials and the possible role of these compounds on the early Earth. As these materials are thought to be the building

  14. Chemistry of the interstellar medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Umanskij, S.Ya.

    1979-01-01

    Some aspects of chemistry of interstellar gas-dust clouds are considered. The specific attention is paid to the molecule formation in the interstellar medium. Discussed are the process of hydrogen atom recombination on interstellar specks of dust as well as the formation of double-atom molecules. An ion-molecular mechanism plays the main role in the origination of multiatom molecules. It is noted, that the real progress in chemistry of the interstellar medium will be determined by the development of laboratory investigations at ultralow temperatures and study of the processes proceeding on solid surfaces

  15. Stellar evolution - Motivation for mass interstellar migrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuckerman, B.

    1985-03-01

    The ease and likelihood of interstellar rocket travel is a much-debated issue which is relevant to another controversial topic - the value of 'N' - the number of technological civilizations in our Galaxy. It is argued that even if N is as small as 10 - 100, at least one of these will already have been forced, by the termination of the main-sequence evolutionary phase of their home 'Sun', to carry out a massive interstellar migration. If, as is often argued, N ≡ 105, then as many as 104 such migrations may well have taken place. Since each such migration could easily populate the space around more than 106 stars, such large values for N imply that our Galaxy is nearly saturated with extraterrestrial creatures.

  16. Interstellar grain chemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buch, V.

    1990-01-01

    This chapter discusses the chemical evolution and composition of dust in dense interstellar clouds. Studies use observations in the infrared, visible and ultraviolet spectral regions. These grains are thought to be made largely of highly disordered and/or composite materials. Recently acquired data on Halley's comet and on the structure, composition and spectral properties of interplanetary dust particles (IDP) are used to study grain chemistry. These substances are though to be similar to dense cloud dust. Dense clouds are thought to contain minerals, poorly crystallized carbonaceous/organic polymers, coating mineral grains and dirty ice mantles and the chemistry of these substances is considered. (UK)

  17. Parameterizing the interstellar dust temperature

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hocuk, S.; Szűcs, L.; Caselli, P.; Cazaux, S.; Spaans, M.; Esplugues, G. B.

    2017-01-01

    The temperature of interstellar dust particles is of great importance to astronomers. It plays a crucial role in the thermodynamics of interstellar clouds, because of the gas-dust collisional coupling. It is also a key parameter in astrochemical studies that governs the rate at which molecules form

  18. Molecular diagnostics of interstellar shocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartquist, T. W.; Dalgarno, A.; Oppenheimer, M.

    1980-01-01

    The chemistry of molecules in shocked regions of the interstellar gas is considered and calculations are carried out for a region subjected to a shock at a velocity of 8 km/sec. Substantial enhancements are predicted in the concentrations of the molecules H2S, SO, and SiO compared to those anticipated in cold interstellar clouds.

  19. Interstellar deuterium chemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, R.D.; Rice, E.

    1981-01-01

    An interstellar reaction scheme of the type described by E. Iglesias has been extended to include deuterium chemistry and also isomeric forms of some molecules. The role of isomeric forms of the intermediates CNH 2 + and HCNH + in the production of interstellar HCN and HNC is considered. The lowest triplet states of these ions probably play an important part in determining the proportions of HCN and HNC produced. The results of numerical integration of the 108 coupled kinetic equations involved in the extended scheme are presented as time-dependent plots of concentrations of the different chemical species. Calculated concentrations at a molecular cloud age of 10 Ma (1 Ma = 10 6 years) are within the experimental uncertainties for 11 of the 14 species for which suitable observational data are available. Predicted values of HX/DX ratios fall into three broad groups around 10 2 , 10 3 and the accepted cosmic H/D/ ratio, 10 5 , and observations are broadly in agreement. Some reported enrichments that are higher than the predicted figures may arise from the use of data for optically thick molecular lines. Some previously unpublished observations of DNC and HN 13 C illustrate doubts associated with optically thick lines. (author)

  20. Efficient surface formation route of interstellar hydroxylamine through NO hydrogenation. I. The submonolayer regime on interstellar relevant substrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Congiu, E; Chaabouni, H; Laffon, C; Parent, P; Baouche, S; Dulieu, F

    2012-08-07

    Dust grains in the interstellar medium are known to serve as the first chemical laboratory where the rich inventory of interstellar molecules are synthesized. Here we present a study of the formation of hydroxylamine--NH(2)OH--via the non-energetic route NO + H (D) on crystalline H(2)O and amorphous silicate under conditions relevant to interstellar dense clouds. Formation of nitrous oxide (N(2)O) and water (H(2)O, D(2)O) is also observed and the reaction network is discussed. Hydroxylamine and water results are detected in temperature-programmed desorption (TPD) experiments, while N(2)O is detected by both reflection-absorption IR spectroscopy and TPD techniques. The solid state NO + H reaction channel proves to be a very efficient pathway to NH(2)OH formation in space and may be a potential starting point for prebiotic species in dark interstellar clouds. The present findings are an important step forward in understanding the inclusion of interstellar nitrogen into a non-volatile aminated species since NH(2)OH provides a solid state nitrogen reservoir along the whole evolutionary process of interstellar ices from dark clouds to planetary systems.

  1. Abundance of interstellar aluminum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, E. S.; Lugger, P. M.; Weiler, E. J.; York, D. G.

    1984-01-01

    New observations of Al II 1670 A, the only line of the dominant ionization stage of interstellar aluminum detected to date, are presented. Observations of ionized silicon are used to define an empirical curve of growth from which aluminum depletions can be derived. The depletion ranges from a factor of 10 in alpha Vir, with E(B-V) of about 0.04, to a factor of 1000 in omicron Per. The depletion is similar to that of iron, but a factor of 2-10 lower than that for silicon in the same stars. The observations of near-UV lines using the Copernicus V1 tubes with removal of a high cosmic-ray-induced fluorescent background are described.

  2. Characterization of Interstellar Organic Molecules

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gencaga, Deniz; Knuth, Kevin H.; Carbon, Duane F.

    2008-01-01

    Understanding the origins of life has been one of the greatest dreams throughout history. It is now known that star-forming regions contain complex organic molecules, known as Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), each of which has particular infrared spectral characteristics. By understanding which PAH species are found in specific star-forming regions, we can better understand the biochemistry that takes place in interstellar clouds. Identifying and classifying PAHs is not an easy task: we can only observe a single superposition of PAH spectra at any given astrophysical site, with the PAH species perhaps numbering in the hundreds or even thousands. This is a challenging source separation problem since we have only one observation composed of numerous mixed sources. However, it is made easier with the help of a library of hundreds of PAH spectra. In order to separate PAH molecules from their mixture, we need to identify the specific species and their unique concentrations that would provide the given mixture. We develop a Bayesian approach for this problem where sources are separated from their mixture by Metropolis Hastings algorithm. Separated PAH concentrations are provided with their error bars, illustrating the uncertainties involved in the estimation process. The approach is demonstrated on synthetic spectral mixtures using spectral resolutions from the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). Performance of the method is tested for different noise levels.

  3. Update on an Interstellar Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2018-01-01

    Lowell Observatorys 4.3-m Discovery Channel Telescope. The data indicate that the asteroids period is at least 3 hours in length,and most likely more than 5 hours. Assuming the light curves variation is caused by the tumbling asteroids changing cross-section, Oumuamuamust be a minimum of3 times as long as it is wide. Knight and collaborators seeno signs in their images of a coma or tail emitted from Oumuamua, suggesting there isno volatile material sublimating from its surface under the heat of the Sun.No coma is visible around Oumuamua. [Knight et al. 2017]A study of the asteroids photometry, led by Michele Bannister (Queens University Belfast, UK), usedthe Gemini-North telescope in Hawaii and the William Herschel Telescope in Spainto explore the asteroids shape and color. Bannister and collaborators refined the estimate of the asteroids shape to be at least 5.3 times as long as it is wide, which requiresthis body to have significant internal cohesion to hold together as it tumbles. Their measured color for Oumuamua is largely neutral.What Does This Visitor Imply?Masses and semimajor axes of known exoplanets. Colors correspond to the ratio of escape velocity to circular velocity. The presence of Oumuamua implies a vast and cool, stillundetected population of planets. [Laughlin Batygin, 2017]Gregory Laughlinof Yale University and Konstantin Batyginof Caltech(andPlanet Nine fame) explore some of the consequences of Oumuamuas parameters. They arguethat its current passage, if its not a fluke, suggests the presence ofan enormous number (1027) ofsuch objects in our galaxy alone enough to account for two Earth-masses of material for every star in the galaxy. Flinging asteroids like Oumuamuaout into interstellar space isnteasy, though; the necessary multi-body interaction requires the system to containa giant and long-period planet like our Neptune or Jupiter. Taken together, this information suggests that every star in the galaxy may host a Neptune-like planet at a Neptune

  4. The Interstellar Gas Experiment (IGE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lind, Don

    1991-01-01

    The Interstellar Gas Experiment (IGE) exposed thin metallic foils in order to collect neutral particles from the interstellar gas. These particles were entrapped in the foils along with precipitating magnetospheric and ambient atmospheric particles. Seven of these foils collected particles arriving from seven different directions as seen from the spacecraft for the entire duration of the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) mission. The authors' mass spectroscopy analysis of the noble gas component of these interstellar particles detected isotopes of helium and neon. These preliminary measurements suggest that the various isotopes are occurring in approximately the expected amounts and that their distribution in direction of arrival is close to what models predict. The analysis to subtract the background fluxes of magnetospheric and atmospheric particles is still in progress. The hope of this experiment is to investigate the noble gas isotopic ratios of this interstellar sample of matter which originated outside the solar system.

  5. Probing the local interstellar medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suess, S.T.; Dessler, A.J.

    1985-01-01

    The paper concerns the location of the heliospheric shock, in view of the discrepancy between the theoretical and experimental values. To determine whether the discrepancy may be attributed to parameters used to describe the local interstellar medium [LISM], the authors applied a sophisticated model of solar-wind expansion to deduce a range of parameters for the LISM. Both the interstellar magnetic field and the pressure due to galactic cosmic rays are considered. (U.K.)

  6. Editorial: Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX): Direct Sampling of the Interstellar Medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    McComas, D. J.

    2012-02-01

    This special supplement issue of the Astrophysical Journal comprises six coordinated papers that provide the first detailed analyses of the direct sampling of interstellar neutral atoms by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX). Interstellar atoms are the detritus of older stars—their stellar winds, novae, and supernovae—spread across the galaxy, which fill the vast interstellar space between the stars. The very local interstellar medium around the Sun is filled with both ionized and neutral atoms with approximately equal numbers, and occasional ionization, charge exchange, and recombination makes them a single interacting material over large distances. IBEX (McComas et al. 2009a) is a NASA Small Explorer mission with the sole, focused science objective to discover the global interaction between the solar wind and the interstellar medium; this objective has primarily been achieved by taking the first global energetic neutral atom (ENA) images, which provide detailed ENA fluxes and energy spectra over all look directions in space. IBEX was launched 2008 October 19 and subsequently maneuvered into a high-altitude, highly elliptical (~15,000 × 300,000 km), roughly week-long orbit. The payload comprises two very high sensitivity, single-pixel ENA cameras: IBEX-Hi (Funsten et al. 2009a), which measures ENAs from ~300 eV to 6 keV, and IBEX-Lo (Fuselier et al. 2009a), which measures ENAs from ~10 eV to 2 keV. The initial IBEX ENA results were published together in a special issue of Science magazine (McComas et al. 2009b; Funsten et al. 2009b; Fuselier et al. 2009b; Schwadron et al. 2009). Since then there have been numerous additional studies of the IBEX ENA observations of the heliosphere, as well as ENAs from the Moon and Earth's magnetosphere (see recent review by McComas et al. 2011 and references therein). Prior to IBEX, the only interstellar neutral atoms to be directly sampled were He, observed by the Ulysses spacecraft a decade ago (Witte et al. 1996

  7. SUPERNOVA REMNANTS AND THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM OF M83: IMAGING AND PHOTOMETRY WITH THE WIDE FIELD CAMERA 3 ON THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dopita, Michael A.; Blair, William P.; Kuntz, Kip D.; Long, Knox S.; Mutchler, Max; Whitmore, Bradley C.; Bond, Howard E.; MacKenty, John; Balick, Bruce; Calzetti, Daniela; Carollo, Marcella; Disney, Michael; Frogel, Jay A.; O'Connell, Robert; Hall, Donald; Holtzman, Jon A.; Kimble, Randy A.; McCarthy, Patrick; Paresce, Francesco; Saha, Abhijit

    2010-01-01

    We present Wide Field Camera 3 images taken with the Hubble Space Telescope within a single field in the southern grand design star-forming galaxy M83. Based on their size, morphology, and photometry in continuum-subtracted Hα, [S II], Hβ, [O III], and [O II] filters, we have identified 60 supernova remnant (SNR) candidates, as well as a handful of young ejecta-dominated candidates. A catalog of these remnants, their sizes and, where possible, their Hα fluxes are given. Radiative ages and pre-shock densities are derived from those SNRs that have good photometry. The ages lie in the range 2.62 rad /yr) 0 /cm -3 min = 16 +7 -5 M sun . Finally, we give evidence for the likely detection of the remnant of the historical supernova, SN1968L.

  8. The Interstellar Ethics of Self-Replicating Probes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, K.

    Robotic spacecraft have been our primary means of exploring the Universe for over 50 years. Should interstellar travel become reality it seems unlikely that humankind will stop using robotic probes. These probes will be able to replicate themselves ad infinitum by extracting raw materials from the space resources around them and reconfiguring them into replicas of themselves, using technology such as 3D printing. This will create a colonising wave of probes across the Galaxy. However, such probes could have negative as well as positive consequences and it is incumbent upon us to factor self-replicating probes into our interstellar philosophies and to take responsibility for their actions.

  9. On the number density of interstellar comets as a constraint on the formation rate of planetary systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stern, S.A.

    1990-01-01

    The importance of detecting interstellar comets as an indirect indicator of the rate of planetary formation in the galaxy is discussed. The tie between interstellar comet (ISC) detection and planetary-system detection rests on the assumptions (1) that interstellar comets result from dynamical losses from planetary systems, (2) that comets are a natural product of planetary-system formation, (3) that comets are neither created nor destroyed in the interstellar medium, and (4) that the distribution of comets in interstellar space is approximately homogeneous. It is found that the present constraint on the space density of interstellar comets, if valid, is not far from constraining the statistical frequency and average population of extrasolar Oort clouds. An efficient method for dedicated ISC searches is briefly described. 10 refs

  10. A scenario for interstellar exploration and its financing

    CERN Document Server

    Bignami, Giovanni F

    2013-01-01

    This book develops a credible scenario for interstellar exploration and colonization. In so doing, it examines: • the present situation and prospects for interstellar exploration technologies; • where to go: the search for habitable planets; • the motivations for space travel and colonization; • the financial mechanisms required to fund such enterprises. The final section of the book analyzes the uncertainties surrounding the presented scenario. The purpose of building a scenario is not only to pinpoint future events but also to highlight the uncertainties that may propel the future in different directions. Interstellar travel and colonization requires a civilization in which human beings see themselves as inhabitants of a single planet and in which global governance of these processes is conducted on a cooperative basis. The key question is, then, whether our present civilization is ready for such an endeavor, reflecting the fact that the critical uncertainties are political and cultural in nature. I...

  11. UV observations of local interstellar medium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurt, V.; Mironova, E.; Fadeev, E.

    2008-12-01

    The methods of the interstellar matter study are described. The brief information of space missions aimed at observations in the unreachable for ground based telescopes UV spectral range (IUE, As- tron, HST and GALEX.) is presented. The history of discovery of H and He atoms entering the Solar System from the local interstellar medium (LISM) is given in brief. The results of observations performed by the group from Stern- berg Astronomical Institute (SAI MSU) and Space Research Institute (IKI RAS) performed with the help of the missions Prognoz-5, Prognoz-6 and the stations Zond-1, Venera and Mars and aimed at estimation of all basic LISM parameters (the velocity of the Sun in relation to LISM, directions of movement, densities of H and He atoms, LISM temperature) are presented. We also describe the present-day investigations of LISM performed with SOHO and ULYSSES mis- sions including the direct registration of He atoms entering the Solar System. The problem of interaction between the incoming flow of the ISM atoms ("in- terstellar wind") and the area of two shocks at the heliopause border (100-200 AU) is discussed. The LISM parameters obtained using the available data are presented in two tables.

  12. Long Term Perspective On Interstellar Flight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millis, M. G.

    2017-12-01

    The process and interim findings of a broad interstellar flight assessment is presented. In contrast to precursor mission studies, this assessment takes a longer view and also considers factors that have been underrepresented in prior studies. The goal is to chart a conceptual roadmap for interstellar flight development that takes all the factors into account and ultimately identifies which research options, today, might have the greatest overall impact on future progress. Three envisioned flight eras are examined, the "era of precursors," the "era of infrastructure," and the "unforeseeable future." Several influential factors have typically been missing from prior studies that will now be assessed; a) the impact of different, often implicit, motivations, b) the interdependency of infrastructure with vehicle design, c) the pace of different developments, and d) the enormous energy required for any interstellar mission. Regarding motivations for example, if the driving motivation is to launch soon, then the emphasis is on existing technologies. In contrast, if the motivation is the survival of humanity, then the emphasis would be on 'world ships.' Infrastructure considerations are included in a broader system-level context. Future infrastructure will support multiple in-space activities, not just one mission-vehicle development. Though it may be too difficult to successfully assess, the study will attempt to compare the rates of different developments, such as the pace of Earth-based astronomy, miniaturization, artificial intelligence, infrastructure development, transhumanism, and others. For example, what new information could be acquired after 30 years of further advances in astronomy compared to a space probe with current technology and a 30 year flight time? The final factor of the study is to assess the pace and risks of the enormous energy levels required for interstellar flight. To compare disparate methods, a set of 'meta measures' will be defined and

  13. Thermodynamics and Charging of Interstellar Iron Nanoparticles

    OpenAIRE

    Hensley, Brandon S.; Draine, B. T.

    2016-01-01

    Interstellar iron in the form of metallic iron nanoparticles may constitute a component of the interstellar dust. We compute the stability of iron nanoparticles to sublimation in the interstellar radiation field, finding that iron clusters can persist down to a radius of $\\simeq 4.5\\,$\\AA, and perhaps smaller. We employ laboratory data on small iron clusters to compute the photoelectric yields as a function of grain size and the resulting grain charge distribution in various interstellar envi...

  14. Interstellar Initiative Web Page Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Alkesh

    1999-01-01

    This summer at NASA/MSFC, I have contributed to two projects: Interstellar Initiative Web Page Design and Lenz's Law Relative Motion Demonstration. In the Web Design Project, I worked on an Outline. The Web Design Outline was developed to provide a foundation for a Hierarchy Tree Structure. The Outline would help design a Website information base for future and near-term missions. The Website would give in-depth information on Propulsion Systems and Interstellar Travel. The Lenz's Law Relative Motion Demonstrator is discussed in this volume by Russell Lee.

  15. Kramers-Kronig relations for interstellar polarization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, P.G.

    1975-01-01

    The difficulties encountered in using the Kramers-Kronig relations to predict the behavior of interstellar polarization are pointed out, while at the same time their value in an interpretive role is acknowledged. Observations of interstellar circular polarization lead to restrictions on the interstellar grain composition, and additional constraints should be possible through measurement of linear polarization in the infrared and the ultraviolet

  16. Absorption line spectroscopy of the interstellar medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jura, M.

    1983-01-01

    Absorption line studies of the interstellar medium are described. The discussion is in three parts. The first describes current views of diffuse interstellar clouds, while the second reports the results of recent extensive surveys of interstellar regions. The final part is an outline of possible future observations. (orig.)

  17. Experimental interstellar organic chemistry - Preliminary findings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khare, B. N.; Sagan, C.

    1973-01-01

    Review of the results of some explicit experimental simulation of interstellar organic chemistry consisting in low-temperature high-vacuum UV irradiation of condensed simple gases known or suspected to be present in the interstellar medium. The results include the finding that acetonitrile may be present in the interstellar medium. The implication of this and other findings are discussed.

  18. The Voyager Journey to Interstellar Space

    KAUST Repository

    Stone, Edward

    2017-01-09

    Edward Stone joined Caltech as a research fellow in physics after receiving his Master of Science degree and Ph.D. in physics at the University of Chicago. Over the years, he held a variety of positions, from assistant professor to Vice-President for Astronomical Facilities. In 1972 he became project scientist for the Voyager mission, a position he currently still holds. He was nationally known as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) public spokesman during the planetary flybys, explaining the Voyager\\'s scientific discoveries to the public. He became the Director of Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) from January 1991 to April 2001. While Stone was Director, JPL\\'s Mars Pathfinder and its Sojourner rover sent back images that were seen by millions of people on television and the Web. Highlights of his decade of leadership as the Direction of JPL include Galileo\\'s five-year orbital mission to Jupiter, the launch of Cassini to Saturn, the launch of Mars Global Surveyor and a new generation of Earth science satellites such as TOPEX/Poseidon and SeaWinds.

  19. Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwadron, N. A.; Moebius, E.; Spence, H. E.; Opher, M.; Kasper, J.; Zurbuchen, T. H.; Mewaldt, R.

    2016-01-01

    Our piece of cosmic real estate, the heliosphere, is the domain of all human existence – an astrophysical case history of the successful evolution of life in a habitable system. By exploring our global heliosphere and its myriad interactions, we develop key physical knowledge of the interstellar interactions that influence exoplanetary habitability as well as the distant history and destiny of our solar system and world. IBEX is the first mission to explore the global heliosphere and in concert with Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 is discovering a fundamentally new and uncharted physical domain of the outer heliosphere. In parallel, Cassini/INCA maps the global heliosphere at energies (∼5-55 keV) above those measured by IBEX. The enigmatic IBEX ribbon and the INCA belt were unanticipated discoveries demonstrating that much of what we know or think we understand about the outer heliosphere needs to be revised. This paper summarizes the next quantum leap enabled by IMAP that will open new windows on the frontier of Heliophysics at a time when the space environment is rapidly evolving. IMAP with 100 times the combined resolution and sensitivity of IBEX and INCA will discover the substructure of the IBEX ribbon and will reveal, with unprecedented resolution, global maps of our heliosphere. The remarkable synergy between IMAP, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 will remain for at least the next decade as Voyager 1 pushes further into the interstellar domain and Voyager 2 moves through the heliosheath. Voyager 2 moves outward in the same region of sky covered by a portion of the IBEX ribbon. Voyager 2’s plasma measurements will create singular opportunities for discovery in the context of IMAP's global measurements. IMAP, like ACE before, will be a keystone of the Heliophysics System Observatory by providing comprehensive measurements of interstellar neutral atoms and pickup ions, the solar wind distribution, composition, and magnetic field, as well as suprathermal ion

  20. Interstellar Propulsion Research: Realistic Possibilities and Idealistic Dreams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Les

    2009-01-01

    Though physically possible, interstellar travel will be exceedingly difficult. Both the known laws of physics and the limits of our current understanding of engineering place extreme limits on what may actually be possible. Our remote ancestors looked at the night sky and assumed those tiny points of light were campfires around which other tribes were gathered -- and they dreamed of someday making the trip to visit them. In our modern era, we've grown accustomed to humans regularly traveling into space and our robots voyaging ever-deeper into the outer edges of our solar system. Traveling to those distant campfires (stars) has been made to look easy by the likes of Captains Kirk and Picard as well as Han Solo and Commander Adama. Our understanding of physics and engineering has not kept up with our imaginations and many are becoming frustrated with the current pace at which we are exploring the universe. Fortunately, there are ideas that may one day lead to new physical theories about how the universe works and thus potentially make rapid interstellar travel possible -- but many of these are just ideas and are not even close to being considered a scientific theory or hypothesis. Absent any scientific breakthroughs, we should not give up hope. Nature does allow for interstellar travel, albeit slowly and requiring an engineering capability far beyond what we now possess. Antimatter, fusion and photon sail propulsion are all candidates for relatively near-term interstellar missions. The plenary lecture will discuss the dreams and challenges of interstellar travel, our current understanding of what may be possible and some of the "out of the box" ideas that may allow us to become an interstellar species someday in the future.

  1. Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination (ISPE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westphal, A. J.; Allen, C.; Bajt, S.; Basset, R.; Bastien, R.; Bechtel, H.; Bleuet, P.; Borg, J.; Brenker F.; Bridges, J.

    2009-01-01

    In January 2006 the Stardust sample return capsule returned to Earth bearing the first solid samples from a primitive solar system body, C omet 81P/Wild2, and a collector dedicated to the capture and return o f contemporary interstellar dust. Both collectors were approximately 0.1m(exp 2) in area and were composed of aerogel tiles (85% of the co llecting area) and aluminum foils. The Stardust Interstellar Dust Col lector (SIDC) was exposed to the interstellar dust stream for a total exposure factor of 20 m(exp 2-) day during two periods before the co metary encounter. The Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination ( ISPE) is a three-year effort to characterize the collection using no ndestructive techniques. The ISPE consists of six interdependent proj ects: (1) Candidate identification through automated digital microsco py and a massively distributed, calibrated search (2) Candidate extr action and photodocumentation (3) Characterization of candidates thro ugh synchrotronbased FourierTranform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), S canning XRay Fluoresence Microscopy (SXRF), and Scanning Transmission Xray Microscopy (STXM) (4) Search for and analysis of craters in f oils through FESEM scanning, Auger Spectroscopy and synchrotronbased Photoemission Electron Microscopy (PEEM) (5) Modeling of interstell ar dust transport in the solar system (6) Laboratory simulations of h ypervelocity dust impacts into the collecting media

  2. Term Projects on Interstellar Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mack, John E.

    1975-01-01

    Presents two calculations of the probability of detection of an interstellar comet, under the hypothesis that such comets would escape from comet clouds similar to that believed to surround the sun. Proposes three problems, each of which would be a reasonable term project for a motivated undergraduate. (Author/MLH)

  3. Physical processes in the interstellar medium

    CERN Document Server

    Spitzer, Lyman

    2008-01-01

    Physical Processes in the Interstellar Medium discusses the nature of interstellar matter, with a strong emphasis on basic physical principles, and summarizes the present state of knowledge about the interstellar medium by providing the latest observational data. Physics and chemistry of the interstellar medium are treated, with frequent references to observational results. The overall equilibrium and dynamical state of the interstellar gas are described, with discussions of explosions produced by star birth and star death and the initial phases of cloud collapse leading to star formation.

  4. The local distribution of Na I interstellar gas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welsh, B. Y.; Craig, N.; Vedder, P. W.; Vallerga, J. V.

    1994-01-01

    We present high-resolution absorption measurements (lambda/Delta lambda approximately 75,000) of the interstellar Na I D lines at 5890 A toward 80 southern hemisphere early-type stars located in the local interstellar medium (LISM). Combining these results with other sodium measurements taken from the literature, we produce galactic maps of the distribution of neutral sodium column density for a total of 293 stars generally lying within approximately 250 pc of the Sun. These maps reveal the approximate shape of the mid-plane contours of the rarefied region of interstellar space termed the Local Bubble. Its shape is seen as highly asymmetric, with a radius ranging from 30 to 300 pc, and with an average radius of 60 pc. Similar plots of the Galactic mid-plane distribution of sources emitting extreme ultraviolet radiation show that they also trace out similar contours of the Local Bubble derived from Na I absorption measurements. We conclude that the Local Bubble absorption interface can be represented by a hydrogen column density, Nu(sub ETA) = 2 x 10(exp 19) cm(exp -2), which explains both the local distribution of Na I absorption and the observed galactic distribution of extreme ultraviolet sources. The derived mid-plane contours of the Bubble generally reproduce the large-scale features carved out in the interstellar medium by several nearby galactic shell structures.

  5. Radio observations of molecules in the interstellar gas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thaddeus, P.

    1981-01-01

    Most interstellar molecules are familiar stable compounds but nearly one-fifth are ions, radicals and acetylenic carbon chains so reactive in the laboratory that before being detected in space they had rarely been observed or were entirely unknown. The heavy atom backbone of the known interstellar molecules is a linear chain of C,N,O or S; rings and branched chains are missing. The most readily observed spectral lines of most interstellar molecules are rotational transitions at millimetre wavelengths. These are generally excited by H2 collisions. Maser line emission from OH, H2O, SiO and CH3OH-extremely intense, small sources, often polarized and sometimes time-dependent - are examples of nonequilibrium excitation. A number of rare isotopic species, particularly those of C,N and O are observed in interstellar molecules. Isotopic ratios differing from those on Earth by two- or threefold apparently exist, and in all but one case can be attributed to stellar nucleosynthesis since the formation of the Solar System. Molecular clouds are important in star formation and galactic structure: it is possible that all stars form in molecular clouds, and as these are largely restricted to the spiral arms, they provide a new and highly specific tracer of the large-scale structure of the galactic system. (author)

  6. Interstellar Matters: Neutral Hydrogen and the Galactic Magnetic Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verschuur, Gerrit; Schmelz, Joan T.; Asgari-Targhi asgari-Targhi, M.

    2018-01-01

    The physics of the interstellar medium was revolutionized by the observations of the Galactic Arecibo L-Band Feed Array (GALFA) HI survey done at the Arecibo Observatory. The high-resolution, high-sensitivity, high-dynamic- range images show complex, tangled, extended filaments, and reveal that the fabric of the neutral interstellar medium is deeply tied to the structure of the ambient magnetic field. This discovery prompts an obvious question – how exactly is the interstellar {\\it neutral} hydrogen being affected by the galactic magnetic field? We look into this question by examining a set of GALFA-HI data in great detail. We have chosen a long, straight filament in the southern galactic sky. This structure is both close by and isolated in velocity space. Gaussian analysis of profiles both along and across the filament reveal internal structure – braided strands that can be traced through the simplest part, but become tangled in more complex segments. These braids do not resemble in any way the old spherical HI clouds and rudimentary pressure balance models that were used to explain the pre-GALFA- HI interstellar medium. It is clear that these structures are created, constrained, and dominated by magnetic fields. Like many subfields of astronomy before it, e.g., physics of the solar coronal, extragalactic radio jets, and pulsar environment, scientists are confronted with observations that simply cannot be explained by simple hydrodynamics and are forced to consider magneto-hydrodynamics.

  7. Heating of the interstellar medium by the solar wind

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunc, J. A.; Wu, F. M.; Judge, D. L.

    1983-01-01

    The heating of inflowing interstellar gas by the solar wind is calculated. The experimental differential cross sections have been used for calculating electron-H(He) and proton-H(He) elastic scattering rate coefficients. The solar wind is assumed to be a two-component (protons and electrons), steady, spherically symmetric stream moving radially outward, with the inflowing gas following Keplerian trajectories. The spatial distributions of effective temperature increase within interplanetary space have been obtained.

  8. Plasma Diagnostics of the Interstellar Medium with Radio Astronomy

    OpenAIRE

    Haverkorn, Marijke; Spangler, Steven R.

    2013-01-01

    We discuss the degree to which radio propagation measurements diagnose conditions in the ionized gas of the interstellar medium (ISM). The "signal generators" of the radio waves of interest are extragalactic radio sources (quasars and radio galaxies), as well as Galactic sources, primarily pulsars. The polarized synchrotron radiation of the Galactic non-thermal radiation also serves to probe the ISM, including space between the emitting regions and the solar system. Radio propagation measurem...

  9. Modelling interstellar extinction: Pt. 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, A.P.

    1988-01-01

    Several methods of calculating the extinction of porous silicate grains are discussed, these include effective medium theories and hollow spherical shells. Porous silicate grains are shown to produce enhanced infrared, ultraviolet and far-ultraviolet extinction and this effect can be used to reduce the abundance of carbon required to match the average interstellar extinction, however, matching the visual extinction is rather more problematical. We have shown that the enhanced extinction at long and short wavelengths have different origins, and have explained why the visual extinction is little affected by porosity. The implications of porous grains in the interstellar medium are discussed with particular reference to surface chemistry, the polarization of starlight, and their dynamical evolution. (author)

  10. Interstellar organic matter in meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, J.; Epstein, S.

    1983-12-01

    Deuterium-enriched hydrogen is present in organic matter in such meteorites as noncarbonaceous chondrites. The majority of the unequilibrated primitive meteorites contain hydrogen whose D/H ratios are greater than 0.0003, requiring enrichment (relative to cosmic hydrogen) by isotope exchange reactions taking place below 150 K. The D/H values presented are the lower limits for the organic compounds derived from interstellar molecules, since all processes subsequent to their formation, including terrestrial contamination, decrease their D/H ratios. In contrast, the D/H ratios of hydrogen associated with hydrated silicates are relatively uniform for the meteorites analyzed. The C-13/C-12 ratios of organic matter, irrespective of D/H ratio, lie well within those observed for the earth. Present findings suggest that other interstellar material, in addition to organic matter, is preserved and is present in high D/H ratio meteorites.

  11. Representing culture in interstellar messages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakoch, Douglas A.

    2008-09-01

    As scholars involved with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) have contemplated how we might portray humankind in any messages sent to civilizations beyond Earth, one of the challenges they face is adequately representing the diversity of human cultures. For example, in a 2003 workshop in Paris sponsored by the SETI Institute, the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) SETI Permanent Study Group, the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (ISAST), and the John Templeton Foundation, a varied group of artists, scientists, and scholars from the humanities considered how to encode notions of altruism in interstellar messages . Though the group represented 10 countries, most were from Europe and North America, leading to the group's recommendation that subsequent discussions on the topic should include more globally representative perspectives. As a result, the IAA Study Group on Interstellar Message Construction and the SETI Institute sponsored a follow-up workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA in February 2005. The Santa Fe workshop brought together scholars from a range of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, chemistry, communication science, philosophy, and psychology. Participants included scholars familiar with interstellar message design as well as specialists in cross-cultural research who had participated in the Symposium on Altruism in Cross-cultural Perspective, held just prior to the workshop during the annual conference of the Society for Cross-cultural Research . The workshop included discussion of how cultural understandings of altruism can complement and critique the more biologically based models of altruism proposed for interstellar messages at the 2003 Paris workshop. This paper, written by the chair of both the Paris and Santa Fe workshops, will explore the challenges of communicating concepts of altruism that draw on both biological and cultural models.

  12. Silicon chemistry in interstellar clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Langer, W.D.; Glassgold, A.E.

    1989-05-01

    Interstellar SiO was discovered shortly after CO but it has been detected mainly in high density and high temperature regions associated with outflow sources. A new model of interstellar silicon chemistry that explains the lack of SiO detections in cold clouds is presented which contains an exponential temperature dependence for the SiO abundance. A key aspect of the model is the sensitivity of SiO production by neutral silicon reactions to density and temperature, which arises from the dependence of the rate coefficients on the population of the excited fine structure levels of the silicon atom. This effect was originally pointed out in the context of neutral reactions of carbon and oxygen by Graff, who noted that the leading term in neutral atom-molecule interactions involves the quadrupole moment of the atom. Similar to the case of carbon, the requirement that Si has a quadrupole moment requires population of the J = 1 level, which lies 111K above the J = 0 ground state and has a critical density n(cr) equal to or greater than 10(6)/cu cm. The SiO abundance then has a temperature dependence proportional to exp(-111/T) and a quadratic density dependence for n less than n(cr). As part of the explanation of the lack of SiO detections at low temperatures and densities, this model also emphasizes the small efficiencies of the production routes and the correspondingly long times needed to reach equilibrium. Measurements of the abundance of SiO, in conjunction with theory, can provide information on the physical properties of interstellar clouds such as the abundances of oxygen bearing molecules and the depletion of interstellar silicon

  13. Shock processing of interstellar grains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seab, C.G.; Shull, J.M.

    1986-01-01

    Shock processing plays an important role in the life of a typical interstellar grain. Shocks of 100 km/s-l or greater can destroy about 50% of the grain material under appropriate preshock conditions of density and magnetic field. The destruction occurs by grain-grain collisions and nonthermal sputtering for steady state radiative shocks and by thermal sputtering for fast adiabatic shocks. The evaluation of the lifetime of grains against shock destruction depends on models of the interstellar medium (ISM) structure and on supernova remnants (SNR) evolution. Results from various authors give lifetimes between 10 to the 8th and 10 to the 9th power years, compared to typical injection times for new grains of a few times 10 to the 9th power years. These numbers require that a major portion of the interstellar silicon bearing grain material must be formed by grain growth in the ISM. At the same time, the presence of isotopic anomalies in some meteorites implies that at least some grains must survive from their formation in SNRs or red giant winds through incorporation into the solar system

  14. On the ionization of interstellar magnesium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gurzadyan, G.A.

    1977-01-01

    It has been shown that two concentric ionization zones of interstellar magnesium must exist around each star: internal, with a radius coinciding with that of the zone of hydrogen ionization Ssub(H); and external, with a radius greater than Ssub(H), by one order. Unlike interstellar hydrogen, interstellar magnesium is ionized throughout the Galaxy. It also transpires that the ionizing radiation of ordinary hot stars cannot provide for the observed high degree of ionization of interstellar magnesium. The discrepance can be eliminated by assuming the existence of circumstellar clouds or additional ionization sources of interstellar magnesium (X-ray background radiation, high-energy particles, etc.). Stars of the B5 and BO class play the main role in the formation of ionization zones of interstellar magnesium; the contribution of O class stars is negligible (<1%). (Auth.)

  15. Interstellar matter in early-type galaxies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, D.W.

    1988-01-01

    Multi-wavelength observations were performed in order to investigate various phases of interstellar matter in early type galaxies. The IRAS coadding procedure for a large sample of galaxies, the author found that about half of early type galaxies contain detectable amounts of cold interstellar dust. Selecting galaxies with strong far infrared fluxes, he undertook optical imaging and spectroscopy, HI λ21 cm line observations and CO J = 1-0 line observations. He successfully detected cold dust, HI gas, ionized gas and molecular material; proving that the far infrared flux is indeed a good indicator for the presence of interstellar matter. The infrared emission mechanism and origin and fate of interstellar matter are discussed using the data obtained from various phases of interstellar matter. The interstellar matter is also used as a probe of dynamical structure, nuclear activity and star formation in early type galaxies

  16. Synthesis and chirality of amino acids under interstellar conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giri, Chaitanya; Goesmann, Fred; Meinert, Cornelia; Evans, Amanda C; Meierhenrich, Uwe J

    2013-01-01

    Amino acids are the fundamental building blocks of proteins, the biomolecules that provide cellular structure and function in all living organisms. A majority of amino acids utilized within living systems possess pre-specified orientation geometry (chirality); however the original source for this specific orientation remains uncertain. In order to trace the chemical evolution of life, an appreciation of the synthetic and evolutional origins of the first chiral amino acids must first be gained. Given that the amino acids in our universe are likely to have been synthesized in molecular clouds in interstellar space, it is necessary to understand where and how the first synthesis might have occurred. The asymmetry of the original amino acid synthesis was probably the result of exposure to chiral photons in the form of circularly polarized light (CPL), which has been detected in interstellar molecular clouds. This chirality transfer event, from photons to amino acids, has been successfully recreated experimentally and is likely a combination of both asymmetric synthesis and enantioselective photolysis. A series of innovative studies have reported successful simulation of these environments and afforded production of chiral amino acids under realistic circumstellar and interstellar conditions: irradiation of interstellar ice analogues (CO, CO2, NH3, CH3OH, and H2O) with circularly polarized ultraviolet photons at low temperatures does result in enantiomer enriched amino acid structures (up to 1.3% ee). This topical review summarizes current knowledge and recent discoveries about the simulated interstellar environments within which amino acids were probably formed. A synopsis of the COSAC experiment onboard the ESA cometary mission ROSETTA concludes this review: the ROSETTA mission will soft-land on the nucleus of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November 2014, anticipating the first in situ detection of asymmetric organic molecules in cometary ices.

  17. Interstellar dust in and around the heliosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, I.; Czechowski, A.

    The motion of the sun relative to the local interstellar medium causes a stream of interstellar medium dust toward the heliosphere. Small dust particles gain a high charge to mass ratio and are deflected from their original flow direction with the interstellar gas. The majority of interstellar dust particles of sizes below 0.1 micrometer are deflected from entering the heliosphere. A pile-up of interstellar dust similar to that of the hydrogen wall appears around the heliosphere, but is restricted to small grains. We use a simple model of the heliospheric transition region to calculate the velocity distributions of these interstellar grains in the neighborhood of the heliosphere. Different assumptions about the interstellar magnetic field and the structure of the plasma flow are considered. We find that the distributions are sensitive to the structure of the heliospheric transition region, in particular to the presence of a sharp bow shock. Larger interstellar dust particles enter the heliosphere where several deflection mechanisms selectively act on dust particles of certain sizes and properties. When considering the dynamics of small grains that have entered the heliosphere the effects of the heliospheric current sheet (downstream and upstream from the termination shock) and the solar cycle can facilitate the entry of charged grains into the inner solar system, although the unipolar field regions approaching the ecliptic act as an obstacle to it. The dust fluxes in the inner heliosphere also depend on the influence of radiation pressure and solar gravity. The influence of these forces can be seen in the mass distributions of interstellar dust measured in-situ from spacecraft at different locations. The conditions of dust dynamics depend on the initial velocity distribution of grains in the interstellar medium. Small dust particles are coupled to the gas of the interstellar medium while larger dust particles may not be coupled to the local interstellar cloud and

  18. From Interstellar Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Ice to the Origin of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allamandola, Louis

    2004-01-01

    Tremendous strides have been made in our understanding of interstellar material over the past twenty years thanks to significant, parallel developments in observational astronomy and laboratory astrophysics. Twenty years ago the composition of interstellar dust was largely guessed at, the concept of ices in dense molecular clouds ignored, and the notion of large, abundant, gas phase, carbon rich molecules widespread throughout the interstellar medium (ISM) considered impossible. Today the composition of dust in the diffuse ISM is reasonably well constrained to cold refractory materials comprised of amorphous and crystalline silicates mixed with an amorphous carbonaceous material containing aromatic structural units and short, branched aliphatic chains. In the dense ISM, the birthplace of stars and planets, these cold dust particles are coated with mixed molecular ices whose composition is very well constrained. Lastly, the signature of carbon-rich polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), shockingly large molecules by early interstellar chemistry standards, is widespread throughout the Universe. The first part of this talk will describe how infrared studies of interstellar space, combined with laboratory simulations, have revealed the composition of interstellar ices (the building blocks of comets) and the high abundance and nature of interstellar PAHs. The laboratory database has now enabled us to gain insight into the identities, abundances, and physical state of many interstellar materials. Within a dense molecular cloud, and especially in the presolar nebula, the materials frozen into the interstellar/precometary ices are photoprocessed by ultraviolet light and produce more complex molecules. The remainder of the presentation will focus on the photochemical evolution of these materials and the possible role of these compounds on the to the carbonaceous components of micrometeorites, they are likely to have been important sources of complex materials on the early

  19. The heliosphere's interstellar interaction: no bow shock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McComas, D J; Alexashov, D; Bzowski, M; Fahr, H; Heerikhuisen, J; Izmodenov, V; Lee, M A; Möbius, E; Pogorelov, N; Schwadron, N A; Zank, G P

    2012-06-08

    As the Sun moves through the local interstellar medium, its supersonic, ionized solar wind carves out a cavity called the heliosphere. Recent observations from the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft show that the relative motion of the Sun with respect to the interstellar medium is slower and in a somewhat different direction than previously thought. Here, we provide combined consensus values for this velocity vector and show that they have important implications for the global interstellar interaction. In particular, the velocity is almost certainly slower than the fast magnetosonic speed, with no bow shock forming ahead of the heliosphere, as was widely expected in the past.

  20. Unreddened stars and the two-phase model of the interstellar medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Joshi, P.; Tarafdar, S.P.

    1977-01-01

    Two phase models have been computed of the interstellar medium, with cosmic rays and X-rays assumed to be the main ionizing agents, heating due to photoelectron ejection from the interstellar grains. It is shown that it is possible to have a hot and tenuous intercloud medium in pressure equilibrium with the interstellar clouds for a wide range of physical conditions, possibly existing in the interstellar space. The atomic and ionic line observations towards lambda Sco are shown to be consistent with the origin of these lines in the intercloud medium for a range of values of the ionizing flux. It is suggested that the intercloud medium may be predominantly neutral, with ionization rates consistent with the limits imposed by molecular observations. The mean fractional ionization of the intercloud medium is approximately 1%. (Auth.)

  1. Deuterium enrichment of interstellar dusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Ankan; Chakrabarti, Sandip Kumar; Majumdar, Liton; Sahu, Dipen

    2016-07-01

    High abundance of some abundant and simple interstellar species could be explained by considering the chemistry that occurs on interstellar dusts. Because of its simplicity, the rate equation method is widely used to study the surface chemistry. However, because the recombination efficiency for the formation of any surface species is highly dependent on various physical and chemical parameters, the Monte Carlo method is best suited for addressing the randomness of the processes. We carry out Monte-Carlo simulation to study deuterium enrichment of interstellar grain mantle under various physical conditions. Based on the physical properties, various types of clouds are considered. We find that in diffuse cloud regions, very strong radiation fields persists and hardly a few layers of surface species are formed. In translucent cloud regions with a moderate radiation field, significant number of layers would be produced and surface coverage is mainly dominated by photo-dissociation products such as, C, CH_3, CH_2D, OH and OD. In the intermediate dense cloud regions (having number density of total hydrogen nuclei in all forms ˜2 × 10^4 cm^{-3}), water and methanol along with their deuterated derivatives are efficiently formed. For much higher density regions (˜10^6 cm^{-3}), water and methanol productions are suppressed but surface coverage of CO, CO_2, O_2, O_3 are dramatically increased. We find a very high degree of fractionation of water and methanol. Observational results support a high fractionation of methanol but surprisingly water fractionation is found to be low. This is in contradiction with our model results indicating alternative routes for de-fractionation of water.

  2. Probing the diffuse interstellar medium with diffuse interstellar bands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theodorus van Loon, Jacco; Bailey, Mandy; Farhang, Amin; Javadi, Atefeh; Khosroshahi, Habib

    2015-08-01

    For a century already, a large number of absorption bands have been known at optical wavelengths, called the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs). While their carriers remain unidentified, the relative strengths of these bands in various environments make them interesting new probes of the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM). We present the results from two large, dedicated campaigns to map the ISM using DIBs measured in the high signal-to-noise spectra of hundreds of early-type stars: [1] in and around the Local Bubble using ESO's New Technology Telescope and the Isaac Newton Telescope, and [2] across both Magellanic Clouds using the Very Large Telescope and the Anglo-Australian Telescope. We discuss the implications for the structure and dynamics of the ISM, as well as the constraints these maps place on the nature of the carriers of the DIBs. Partial results have appeared in the recent literature (van Loon et al. 2013; Farhang et al. 2015a,b; Bailey, PhD thesis 2014) with the remainder being prepared for publication now.

  3. The Abundance of Mg in the Interstellar Medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, Edward L.

    1997-06-01

    An empirical determination of the f-values of the far-UV Mg II λλ1239, 1240 lines is reported. The strong near-UV Mg II λλ2796, 2803 lines are generally highly saturated along most interstellar sight lines outside the local interstellar medium (ISM) and usually yield extremely uncertain estimates of Mg+ column densities in interstellar gas. Since Mg+ is the dominant form of Mg in the neutral ISM, and since Mg is expected to be a significant constituent of interstellar dust grains, the far-UV lines are critical for assessing the role of this important element in the ISM. This study consists of complete component analyses of the absorption along the lines of sight toward HD 93521 in the Galactic halo and ξ Persei and ζ Ophiuchi in the Galactic disk, including all four UV Mg+ lines and numerous other transitions. The three analyses yield consistent determinations of the λλ1239, 1240 f-values, with weighted means of (6.4 +/- 0.4) × 10-4 and (3.2 +/- 0.2) × 10-4, respectively. These results are a factor of ~2.4 larger than a commonly used theoretical estimate, and a factor of ~2 smaller than a recently suggested empirical revision. The effects of this result on gas- and dust-phase abundance measurements of Mg are discussed. Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, under NASA contract NAS5-2655. This Letter is dedicated to the memory of Professor Lyman Spitzer Jr. He was a great guy.

  4. MEASURING THE FRACTAL STRUCTURE OF INTERSTELLAR CLOUDS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    VOGELAAR, MGR; WAKKER, BP

    1994-01-01

    To study the structure of interstellar matter we have applied the concept of fractal curves to the brightness contours of maps of interstellar clouds and from these estimated the fractal dimension for some of them. We used the so-called perimeter-area relation as the basis for these estimates. We

  5. Interstellar grains - the 75th anniversary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Aigen

    2005-01-01

    The year of 2005 marks the 75th anniversary since Trumpler (1930) provided the first definitive proof of interstellar grains by demonstrating the existence of general absorption and reddening of starlight in the galactic plane. This article reviews our progressive understanding of the nature of interstellar dust

  6. Photodissociation of OH in interstellar clouds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dishoeck, van E.F.; Dalgarno, A.

    1984-01-01

    Calculations are presented of the lifetime of OH against photodissociation by the interstellar radiation field as a function of depth into interstellar clouds containing grains of various scattering properties. The effectiveness of the different photodissociation channels changes with depth into a

  7. Historical Reveiw of Interstellar Probe Concepts and Examination of Payload Mass Considerations for Different System Architectures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, K.

    2017-12-01

    The ability to send a space probe beyond the Voyager probes, through the interstellar medium and towardsthe distant stars, has long been the ambition of both the science ction literature but also a small community ofadvocates that have argued for a broader and deeper vision of space exploration that goes outside of our SolarSystem. In this paper we discuss some of the historical interstellar probe concepts which are propelled usingdierent types of propulsion technology, from energetic reaction engines to directed energy beaming, and considerthe payload mass associated with such concepts. We compare and contrast the dierent design concepts, payloadmass fractions, powers and energies and discuss the implications for robotic space exploration within the stellarneighbourhood. Finally, we consider the Breakthrough Starshot initiative, which proposes to send a Gram-scalelaser driven spacecraft to the Alpha Centauri system in a 20 year mission travelling at v 0.2c. We show howthis is a good start in pushing our robotic probes towards interstellar destinations, but also discuss the potentialfor scaling up this systems architecture to missions closer at home, or higher mass missions wider aeld. This is apresentation for the American Geophysical Union at the AGU Fall meeting, New Orleans, 11-15 December 2017,Special Session on the Interstellar Probe Missions.Keywords: Interstellar Probe, Breakthrough Starshot

  8. Science From Beyond: NASA's Pioneer Plaque and the History of Interstellar Communication, 1957- 1972

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macauley, William

    2012-05-01

    In the late twentieth century, science and technology facilitated exploration beyond the Solar System and extended human knowledge through messages comprised of pictures and mathematical symbols, transmitted from radio telescopes and inscribed on material artifacts attached to spacecraft. ‘Interstellar communication' refers to collective efforts by scientists and co-workers to detect and transmit intelligible messages between humans and supposed extraterrestrial intelligence in remote star systems. Interstellar messages are designed to communicate universal knowledge without recourse to text, human linguistic systems or anthropomorphic content because it is assumed that recipients have no prior knowledge of humankind or the planet we inhabit. Scientists must therefore imagine how extraterrestrials will relate to human knowledge and culture. The production and transmission of interstellar messages became interdisciplinary design problems that involved collaboration and exchange of ideas between scientists, visual artists, and others. My proposed paper will review sociocultural aspects of interstellar communication since the late 1950s and focus on key issues regarding conception, design and production of a specific interstellar message launched into space during the early 1970s - NASA's Pioneer plaque. The paper will explore how research on the history of interstellar communication relates to previous historical and sociological studies on rhetorical aspects of visual representation and mathematics in scientific practice. In particular, I will explain how the notion of ‘inscription' is an appropriate conceptual tool for analyzing how scientists have used pictures to articulate and validate knowledge claims and scientific facts. I argue that scientific knowledge carried on interstellar messages such as the Pioneer plaque is constituted in material practices and inscription technologies that translate natural objects, agency and culture into legible forms

  9. INTERSTELLAR PICKUP ION PRODUCTION IN THE GLOBAL HELIOSPHERE AND HELIOSHEATH

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Y.; Florinski, V.; Guo, X., E-mail: yw0009@uah.edu [Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35805 (United States)

    2016-11-20

    Interstellar pickup ions (PUIs) play a significant part in mediating the solar wind (SW) interaction with the interstellar medium. In this paper, we examine the details of spatial variation of the PUI velocity distribution function (VDF) in the SW by solving the PUI transport equation. We assume the PUI distribution is isotropic resulting from strong pitch-angle scattering by wave–particle interaction. A three-dimensional model combining the MHD treatment of the background SW and neutrals with a kinetic treatment of PUIs throughout the heliosphere and the surrounding local interstellar medium has been developed. The model generates PUI power-law tails via second-order Fermi process. We analyze how PUIs transform across the heliospheric termination shock and obtain the PUI phase space distribution in the inner heliosheath including continuing velocity diffusion. Our simulated PUI spectra are compared with observations made by New Horizons , Ulysses , Voyager 1, 2 , and Cassini , and a satisfactory agreement is demonstrated. Some specific features in the observations, for example, a cutoff of PUI VDF at v = V {sub SW} and a f ∝ v {sup -5} tail in the reference frame of the SW, are well represented by the model.

  10. Reaction between HN and SN: a possible channel for the interstellar formation of N2 and SH in the cold interstellar clouds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhasi, Priya; Nhlabatsi, Zanele P; Sitha, Sanyasi

    2015-12-28

    Using computational calculations the potential energy surface (PES) of the reaction between NH and NS has been analysed. The PES of the reaction shows the formation of two very stable species, HNSN and HNNS. Out of these two, HNNS which has the signature N-N linkage was found to be the most stable species in the PES. In view of the highly exothermic nature of the reaction surface, it has been proposed that these two species can possibly be detected in the interstellar space. For the first time it has also been shown that the reaction between the NH and NS can lead to the possible formation of N2via the isomer HNNS, and how the effect of tunnelling can make this reaction very much feasible, even under the extremely low temperature conditions prevailing in the interstellar medium. Based on the already reported results, a similar kind of behaviour for the NH + NO reaction surface has also been proposed. These dissociation reactions leading to the formation of N2 can be considered as potential secondary contributing channels while accounting for the total estimates of N2 in the interstellar medium, and thus HNNS as well as HNNO can be considered as stable reservoir molecules for interstellar N2. Besides the formation of N2, the formation of another astronomically important radical, SH in the cold interstellar clouds, has also been proposed.

  11. Reaction between CH2 and HCCN: a theoretical approach to acrylonitrile formation in the interstellar medium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shivani; Misra, Alka; Tandon, Poonam

    2014-04-01

    Acrylonitrile (CH2CHCN) was first detected in dense molecular cloud SgrB2. The synthesis of this interstellar molecule is reported to be quite difficult. Therefore, in the present work an attempt has been made to explore the possibility of formation of acrylonitrile from some simple molecules and radicals detected in interstellar space by radical-radical interaction scheme, both in the gas phase and in the icy grains. All calculations are performed using quantum chemical methods with density functional theory (DFT) at the B3LYP/6-311G (d,p) level and Møller-Plesset perturbation theory at the MP2/6-311G (d,p) level. In the discussed chemical pathway, the reaction is found to be totally exothermic and barrier less giving rise to a high probability of acrylonitrile formation in Interstellar space.

  12. Interstellar extinction in the infrared

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Draine, B.T.

    1989-01-01

    Extinction by insterstellar dust at infrared wavelengths is reviewed. For 0.7 λ proportional to λ -1.75 , although the observational uncertainties remain appreciable. In the 8-30 μ m region interstellar extinction is dominated by the 9.7 μ m and 18 μ m silicate features; the absolute strength (relative to the continuum extinction at shorter wavelengths), the detailed wavelength-dependence of these features, and the possible variation of the profile shape from diffuse clouds to dense clouds, all remain somewhat controversial. In the farinfrared λ > ∼ 30 μ m grain emissivity estimates by different authors vary considerably; future observations of thermal emission from diffuse clouds in the 300 μ m region offer the prospect of substantially reducing uncertainties in far-infrared emissivities

  13. Interstellar dust. Evidence for interstellar origin of seven dust particles collected by the Stardust spacecraft.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westphal, Andrew J; Stroud, Rhonda M; Bechtel, Hans A; Brenker, Frank E; Butterworth, Anna L; Flynn, George J; Frank, David R; Gainsforth, Zack; Hillier, Jon K; Postberg, Frank; Simionovici, Alexandre S; Sterken, Veerle J; Nittler, Larry R; Allen, Carlton; Anderson, David; Ansari, Asna; Bajt, Saša; Bastien, Ron K; Bassim, Nabil; Bridges, John; Brownlee, Donald E; Burchell, Mark; Burghammer, Manfred; Changela, Hitesh; Cloetens, Peter; Davis, Andrew M; Doll, Ryan; Floss, Christine; Grün, Eberhard; Heck, Philipp R; Hoppe, Peter; Hudson, Bruce; Huth, Joachim; Kearsley, Anton; King, Ashley J; Lai, Barry; Leitner, Jan; Lemelle, Laurence; Leonard, Ariel; Leroux, Hugues; Lettieri, Robert; Marchant, William; Ogliore, Ryan; Ong, Wei Jia; Price, Mark C; Sandford, Scott A; Sans Tresseras, Juan-Angel; Schmitz, Sylvia; Schoonjans, Tom; Schreiber, Kate; Silversmit, Geert; Solé, Vicente A; Srama, Ralf; Stadermann, Frank; Stephan, Thomas; Stodolna, Julien; Sutton, Stephen; Trieloff, Mario; Tsou, Peter; Tyliszczak, Tolek; Vekemans, Bart; Vincze, Laszlo; Von Korff, Joshua; Wordsworth, Naomi; Zevin, Daniel; Zolensky, Michael E

    2014-08-15

    Seven particles captured by the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector and returned to Earth for laboratory analysis have features consistent with an origin in the contemporary interstellar dust stream. More than 50 spacecraft debris particles were also identified. The interstellar dust candidates are readily distinguished from debris impacts on the basis of elemental composition and/or impact trajectory. The seven candidate interstellar particles are diverse in elemental composition, crystal structure, and size. The presence of crystalline grains and multiple iron-bearing phases, including sulfide, in some particles indicates that individual interstellar particles diverge from any one representative model of interstellar dust inferred from astronomical observations and theory. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  14. Large-scale Interstellar Structure and the Heliosphere

    OpenAIRE

    Frisch, P. C.; Schwadron, N. A.

    2013-01-01

    The properties of interstellar clouds near the Sun are ordered by the Loop I superbubble and by the interstellar radiation field. Comparisons of the kinematics and magnetic field of the interstellar gas flowing past the Sun, including the Local Interstellar Cloud (LIC), indicate a geometric relation between Loop I as defined by radio synchrotron emission, and the interstellar magnetic field that polarizes nearby starlight. Depletion of Fe and Mg onto dust grains in the LIC shows a surprising ...

  15. The composition of circumstellar and interstellar dust

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tielens, AGGM; Woodward, CE; Biscay, MD; Shull, JM

    2001-01-01

    A large number of solid dust components have been identified through analysis of stardust recovered from meteorites, and analysis of IR observations of circumstellar shells and the interstellar medium. These include graphite, hydrogenated amorphous carbon, diamond, PAHs, silicon-, iron-, and

  16. Interstellar Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds and Astrophysics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudgins, Douglas M.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Over the past fifteen years, thanks to significant, parallel advancements in observational, experimental, and theoretical techniques, tremendous strides have been made in our understanding of the role polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAC) in the interstellar medium (ISM). Twenty years ago, the notion of an abundant population of large, carbon rich molecules in the ISM was considered preposterous. Today, the unmistakable spectroscopic signatures of PAC - shockingly large molecules by previous interstellar chemistry standards - are recognized throughout the Universe. In this paper, we will examine the interstellar PAC model and its importance to astrophysics, including: (1) the evidence which led to inception of the model; (2) the ensuing laboratory and theoretical studies of the fundamental spectroscopic properties of PAC by which the model has been refined and extended; and (3) a few examples of how the model is being exploited to derive insight into the nature of the interstellar PAC population.

  17. Abundances in the diffuse interstellar medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harris, A.W.

    1988-04-01

    The wealth of interstellar absorption line data obtained with the Copernicus and IUE satellites has opened up a new era in studies of the interstellar gas. It is now well established that certain elements, generally those with high condensation temperatures, are substantially under-abundant in the gas-phase relative to total solar or cosmic abundances. This depletion of elements is due to the existence of solid material in the form of dust grains in the interstellar medium. Surprisingly, however, recent surveys indicate that even volatile elements such as Zn and S are significantly depleted in many sight lines. Developments in this field which have been made possible by the large base of UV interstellar absorption line data built up over recent years are reviewed and the implications of the results for our understanding of the physical processes governing depletion are discussed. (author)

  18. Molecule production on interstellar oxide grains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duley, W.W.; Millar, T.J.; Williams, D.A.

    1978-01-01

    The microscopic nature of the surface of metal oxides is discussed, and a variety of surface defects are described. The chemical activity of these defects form the basis for the well-known catalytic properties of oxide materials. The types of defects likely to occur on interstellar oxide grains are investigated. Guided by extensive laboratory data on the catalytic properties of oxide materials, a list is given of reactions likely to occur on oxide grains in the interstellar medium. A specific model is proposed for the site which catalyses H 2 formation on interstellar grain surfaces. Sites of importance in the formation of the molecules are proposed to be of the (OH - ) type, as commonly observed on the surface of oxide materials. Under a plausible set of assumptions, molecular formation rates are estimated for low-density clouds, and it is suggested that the mechanisms described here will contribute significantly to interstellar chemistry. (author)

  19. (New molecular ions in the interstellar medium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roueff Evelyne

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We summarize the present knowledge on the molecular ionic content in the interstellar medium and in circumstellar envelopes. Emphasis is given on the most recent detections and the related chemical issues.

  20. Experimental interstellar organic chemistry: Preliminary findings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khare, B. N.; Sagan, C.

    1971-01-01

    In a simulation of interstellar organic chemistry in dense interstellar clouds or on grain surfaces, formaldehyde, water vapor, ammonia and ethane are deposited on a quartz cold finger and ultraviolet-irradiated in high vacuum at 77K. The HCHO photolytic pathway which produces an aldehyde radical and a superthermal hydrogen atom initiates solid phase chain reactions leading to a range of new compounds, including methanol, ethanol, acetaldehyde, acetonitrile, acetone, methyl formate, and possibly formic acid. Higher nitriles are anticipated. Genetic relations among these interstellar organic molecules (e.g., the Cannizzaro and Tischenko reactions) must exist. Some of them, rather than being synthesized from smaller molecules, may be degradation products of larger organic molecules, such as hexamethylene tetramine, which are candidate consitituents of the interstellar grains. The experiments reported here may also be relevant to cometary chemistry.

  1. The Abundance of Interstellar Fluorine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauroesch, James T.

    2005-01-01

    The primary objective of this program was to obtain FUSE observations of the interstellar absorption lines of F I at 951 and 954 Angstroms to derive the abundance of fluorine toward the star HD 164816. The nucleosynthetic source(s) of fluorine are still a matter of debate - the present day abundance of fluorine can potentially constrain models for pulsationally driven dredge-up in asymptotic giant branch stars. An accurate measure for the depletion behavior of fluorine will determine whether it may be detectable in QSO absorption line systems - an unambiguous detection of fluorine at suitably high redshifts would provide the best evidence to date for the neutrino process in massive stars. Furthermore, due to its extreme reactivity, measurement of the gas-phase interstellar fluorine abundance is important for models of grain chemistry. Despite the importance of measuring the interstellar fluorine abundance, at the time of our proposal only one previous detection has been made due to the low relative abundance of fluorine, the lack of lines outside the far-UV, and the blending of the available F I transitions with lines of Hz. The star HD 164816 is associated with the Lagoon nebula (M8), and at a distance of approximately 1.5 kpc probes both distant and local gas. Beginning April 8th, 2004 FUSE FP-Split observations of the star HD 164816 were obtained for this program. This data became available in the FUSE data archive May 21, 2004, and these observations were then downloaded and we began our analysis. Our analysis procedure has involved (1) fitting stellar models to the FUSE spectra, (2) using the multiple lines of Hz and N I at other wavelengths in the FUSE bandpass to derive column densities for the lines of H2 and N I which are blended with the F I features at 951 and 954 angstroms (3) the measurement of the column densities of F I and the species O I and C1 I which are important species for the dis-entangling of dust and nucleosynthetic effects. As discussed in

  2. Enabling the First Interstellar Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubin, P.

    2017-12-01

    All propulsion systems that leave the Earth are based on chemical reactions. Chemical reactions, at best, have an efficiency compared to rest mass of 10-10 (or about 1eV per bond). All the mass in the universe converted to chemical reactions would not propel even a single proton to relativistic speeds. While chemistry will get us to Mars it will not allow interstellar capability in any reasonable mission time. Barring new physics we are left with few realistic solutions. None of our current propulsion systems, including nuclear, are capable of the relativistic speeds needed for exploring the many nearby stellar systems and exo-planets. However recent advances in photonics and directed energy systems now allow us to realize what was only a decade ago, simply science fiction, namely the ability to seriously conceive of and plan for relativistic flight. From fully-functional gram-level wafer-scale spacecraft capable of speeds greater than c/4 that could reach the nearest star in 20 years to spacecraft for large missions capable of supporting human life with masses more than 105 kg (100 tons) for rapid interplanetary transit that could reach speeds of greater than 1000 km/s can be realized. With this technology spacecraft can be propelled to speeds currently unimaginable. Photonics, like electronics, and unlike chemical propulsion is an exponential technology with a current double time of about 20 months. This is the key. The cost of such a system is amortized over the essentially unlimited number of launches. In addition, the same photon driver can be used for many other purposes including beamed energy to power high Isp ion engines, remote asteroid composition analysis and planetary defense. This would be a profound change in human capability with enormous implications. Known as Starlight we are now in a NASA Phase II study. The FY 2017 congressional appropriations request directs NASA to study the feasibility of an interstellar mission to coincide with the 100th

  3. Stardust@home: An Interactive Internet-based Search for Interstellar Dust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez, B. J.; Westphal, A. J.; Butterworth, A. L.; Craig, N.

    2006-12-01

    On January 15, 2006, NASA's Stardust mission returned to Earth after nearly seven years in interplanetary space. During its journey, Stardust encountered comet Wild 2, collecting dust particles from it in a special material called aerogel. At two other times in the mission, aerogel collectors were also opened to collect interstellar dust. The Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector is being scanned by an automated microscope at the Johnson Space Center. There are approximately 700,000 fields of view needed to cover the entire collector, but we expect only a few dozen total grains of interstellar dust were captured within it. Finding these particles is a daunting task. We have recruited many thousands of volunteers from the public to aid in the search for these precious pieces of space dust trapped in the collectors. We call the project Stardust@home. Through Stardust@home, volunteers from the public search fields of view from the Stardust aerogel collector using a web-based Virtual Microscope. Volunteers who discover interstellar dust particles have the privilege of naming them. The interest and response to this project has been extraordinary. Many people from all walks of life are very excited about space science and eager to volunteer their time to contribute to a real research project such as this. We will discuss the progress of the project and the education and outreach activities being carried out for it.

  4. Balloon observations of interstellar CII (158 microns) and OI (63 microns) forbidden lines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shibai, H.; Okuda, H.; Nakagawa, T.; Maihara, T.; Mizutani, K.; Matsuhara, H.; Kobayashi, Y.; Hiromoto, N.; Low, F. J.; Nishimura, T.

    1993-01-01

    Interstellar CII and OI forbidden lines were observed by the Balloon-Borne Infrared Telescope (BIRT) with a Fabry-Perot spectrometer. Two balloon flights were successfully made. With a method of 'frequency switching', diffuse CII forbidden-line emission was efficiently detected and mapped in extended regions around HII/molecular cloud complexes and in a wide area of the Galactic plane. It has been shown that the CII forbidden-line emission is very strong and ubiquitously distributed in interstellar space in the Galaxy.

  5. Structure analysis of interstellar clouds - II. Applying the Delta-variance method to interstellar turbulence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ossenkopf, V.; Krips, M.; Stutzki, J.

    Context. The Delta-variance analysis is an efficient tool for measuring the structural scaling behaviour of interstellar turbulence in astronomical maps. It has been applied both to simulations of interstellar turbulence and to observed molecular cloud maps. In Paper I we proposed essential

  6. Photoelectric heating of interstellar gas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Draine, B.T.

    1978-01-01

    Photoelectric emission from interstellar grains is reexamined, and it is argued that some of the assumptions made by other authors lead to an overestimate of the heating rate associated with this process, particularly at temperatures T> or approx. =3000 K. Steady-state solutions for the temperature of diffuse gas (including radiative cooling and recombination, cosmic ray or X-ray heating and ionization, grain photoelectric heating, and other heating mechanisms) are found. Grains do not contribute significantly to the heating of the ''hot'' (Tapprox. =8000 K) phase, although they dominate the heating of the ''cold'' (Tapprox. =100 K) phase. The minimum pressure for which the ''cold'' phase can exist is sensitive to the choice of grain properties and grain abundance, and under some circumstances the coexistence of two distinct phases in pressure equilibrium is forbidden. A steady-state model with intercloud H I heated by soft X-rays and clouds heated by grain photoemission is in accord with some observations but lacks intermediate-temperature H I. The time-dependent cooling of a fossil H II region is calculated; grain photoelectric heating significantly prolongs the time required for the gas to cool. Fossil H II in the wakes of runaway O stars may produce significant amounts of the intermediate temperatue (500> or approx. =T> or approx. =3000 K) H I inferred from 21 cm observations

  7. The photoevaporation of interstellar clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertoldi, F.

    1989-01-01

    The dynamics of the photoevaporation of interstellar clouds and its consequences for the structure and evolution of H II regions are studied. An approximate analytical solution for the evolution of photoevaporating clouds is derived under the realistic assumption of axisymmetry. The effects of magnetic fields are taken into account in an approximate way. The evolution of a neutral cloud subjected to the ionizing radiation of an OB star has two distinct stages. When a cloud is first exposed to the radiation, the increase in pressure due to the ionization at the surface of the cloud leads to a radiation-driven implosion: an ionization front drives a shock into the cloud, ionizes part of it and compresses the remaining into a dense globule. The initial implosion is followed by an equilibrium cometary stage, in which the cloud maintains a semistationary comet-shaped configuration; it slowly evaporates while accelerating away from the ionizing star until the cloud has been completely ionized, reaches the edge of the H II region, or dies. Expressions are derived for the cloud mass-loss rate and acceleration. To investigate the effect of the cloud photoevaporation on the structure of H II regions, the evolution of an ensemble of clouds of a given mass distribution is studied. It is shown that the compressive effect of the ionizing radiation can induce star formation in clouds that were initially gravitationally stable, both for thermally and magnetically supported clouds

  8. The interstellar medium in galaxies

    CERN Document Server

    1997-01-01

    It has been more than five decades ago that Henk van de Hulst predicted the observability of the 21-cm line of neutral hydrogen (HI ). Since then use of the 21-cm line has greatly improved our knowledge in many fields and has been used for galactic structure studies, studies of the interstellar medium (ISM) in the Milky Way and other galaxies, studies of the mass distribution of the Milky Way and other galaxies, studies of spiral struc­ ture, studies of high velocity gas in the Milky Way and other galaxies, for measuring distances using the Tully-Fisher relation etc. Regarding studies of the ISM, there have been a number of instrumen­ tal developments over the past decade: large CCD's became available on optical telescopes, radio synthesis offered sensitive imaging capabilities, not only in the classical 21-cm HI line but also in the mm-transitions of CO and other molecules, and X-ray imaging capabilities became available to measure the hot component of the ISM. These developments meant that Milky Way was n...

  9. Spectroscopy and thermal modelling of the first interstellar object 1I/2017 U1 `Oumuamua

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzsimmons, Alan; Snodgrass, Colin; Rozitis, Ben; Yang, Bin; Hyland, Méabh; Seccull, Tom; Bannister, Michele T.; Fraser, Wesley C.; Jedicke, Robert; Lacerda, Pedro

    2018-02-01

    During the formation and evolution of the Solar System, significant numbers of cometary and asteroidal bodies were ejected into interstellar space1,2. It is reasonable to expect that the same happened for planetary systems other than our own. Detection of such interstellar objects would allow us to probe the planetesimal formation processes around other stars, possibly together with the effects of long-term exposure to the interstellar medium. 1I/2017 U1 `Oumuamua is the first known interstellar object, discovered by the Pan-STARRS1 telescope in October 2017 (ref. 3). The discovery epoch photometry implies a highly elongated body with radii of 200 × 20 m when a comet-like geometric albedo of 0.04 is assumed. The observable interstellar object population is expected to be dominated by comet-like bodies in agreement with our spectra, yet the reported inactivity of 'Oumuamua implies a lack of surface ice. Here, we report spectroscopic characterization of `Oumuamua, finding it to be variable with time but similar to organically rich surfaces found in the outer Solar System. We show that this is consistent with predictions of an insulating mantle produced by long-term cosmic ray exposure4. An internal icy composition cannot therefore be ruled out by the lack of activity, even though `Oumuamua passed within 0.25 au of the Sun.

  10. A theoretical quantum chemical study of alanine formation in interstellar medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shivani; Pandey, Parmanad; Misra, Alka; Tandon, Poonam

    2017-08-01

    The interstellar medium, the vast space between the stars, is a rich reservoir of molecular material ranging from simple diatomic molecules to more complex, astrobiologically important molecules such as amino acids, nucleobases, and other organic species. Radical-radical and radical-neutral interaction schemes are very important for the formation of comparatively complex molecules in low temperature chemistry. An attempt has been made to explore the possibility of formation of complex organic molecules in interstellar medium, through detected interstellar molecules like CH3CN and HCOOH. The gas phase reactions are theoretically studied using quantum chemical techniques. We used the density functional theory (DFT) at the B3LYP/6-311G( d, p) level. The reaction energies, potential barrier and optimized structures of all the geometries, involved in the reaction path, has been discussed. We report the potential energy surfaces for the reactions considered in this work.

  11. Observations of Nitrogen Fractionation in Prestellar Cores: Nitriles Tracing Interstellar Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milam, S. N.; Charnley, S. B.

    2012-01-01

    Primitive materials provide important clues on the processes that occurred during the formation and early evolution of the Solar System. Space-based and ground-based observations of cometary comae show that comets appear to contain a mixture of the products of both interstellar and nebular chemistries. Significant 15-nitrogen enrichments have been measured in CN and HCN towards a number of comets and may suggest an origin of interstellar chemical fractionation. Additionally, large N-15 enhancements are found in meteorites and has also led to to the view that the N-15 traces material formed in the interstellar medium (ISM), although multiple sources cannot be excluded. Here, we show the results of observations of the nitrogen and carbon fractionation in prestellar cores for various N-bearing species to decipher the origin of primitive material isotopic enrichments.

  12. Cosmic Carbon Chemistry: From the Interstellar Medium to the Early Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Cami, Jan

    2010-01-01

    Astronomical observations have shown that carbonaceous compounds in the gas and solid state, refractory and icy are ubiquitous in our and distant galaxies. Interstellar molecular clouds and circumstellar envelopes are factories of complex molecular synthesis. A surprisingly large number of molecules that are used in contemporary biochemistry on Earth are found in the interstellar medium, planetary atmospheres and surfaces, comets, asteroids and meteorites, and interplanetary dust particles. In this article we review the current knowledge of abundant organic material in different space environments and investigate the connection between presolar and solar system material, based on observations of interstellar dust and gas, cometary volatiles, simulation experiments, and the analysis of extraterrestrial matter. Current challenges in astrochemistry are discussed and future research directions are proposed. PMID:20554702

  13. Organic chemistry and biology of the interstellar medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagan, C.

    1973-01-01

    Interstellar organic chemistry is discussed as the field of study emerging from the discovery of microwave lines of formaldehyde and of hydrogen cyanide in the interstellar medium. The reliability of molecular identifications and comparisons of interstellar and cometary compounds are considered, along with the degradational origin of simple organics. It is pointed out that the contribution of interstellar organic chemistry to problems in biology is not substantive but analogical. The interstellar medium reveals the operation of chemical processes which, on earth and perhaps on vast numbers of planets throughout the universe, led to the origin of life, but the actual molecules of the interstellar medium are unlikely to play any significant biological role.

  14. Summer school on interstellar processes: Abstracts of contributed papers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hollenbach, D.J.; Thronson, H.A. Jr.

    1986-10-01

    The Summer School on Interstellar Processes was held to discuss the current understanding of the interstellar medium and to analyze the basic physical processes underlying interstellar phenomena. Extended abstracts of the contributed papers given at the meeting are presented. Many of the papers concerned the local structure and kinematics of the interstellar medium and focused on such objects as star formation regions, molecular clouds, HII regions, reflection nebulae, planetary nebulae, supernova remnants, and shock waves. Other papers studied the galactic-scale structure of the interstellar medium either in the Milky Way or other galaxies. Some emphasis was given to observations of interstellar grains and

  15. Detection of Buckminsterfullerene emission in the diffuse interstellar medium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berné, O; Cox, N L J; Mulas, G; Joblin, C

    2017-09-01

    Emission of fullerenes in their infrared vibrational bands has been detected in space near hot stars. The proposed attribution of the diffuse interstellar bands at 9577 and 9632 Å to electronic transitions of the buckminsterfullerene cation (i.e. [Formula: see text]) was recently supported by new laboratory data, confirming the presence of this species in the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM). In this letter, we present the detection, also in the diffuse ISM, of the 17.4 and 18.9 μ m emission bands commonly attributed to vibrational bands of neutral C 60 . According to classical models that compute the charge state of large molecules in space, C 60 is expected to be mostly neutral in the diffuse ISM. This is in agreement with the abundances of diffuse C 60 we derive here from observations. We also find that C 60 is less abundant in the diffuse ISM than in star-forming regions, supporting the theory that C 60 can be formed in these regions.

  16. Communicating Concepts about Altruism in Interstellar Messages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakoch, Douglas A.

    2002-01-01

    This project identifies key principles of altruism that can be translated into interstellar messages for communication with extraterrestrial intelligence. The message contents will focus specifically on the evolution of altruism, drawing on recent insights in evolutionary biology, with particular emphasis on sociobiological accounts of kin selection and reciprocal altruism. This focus on altruism for message contents has several advantages. First, the subject can be translated into interstellar messages both via an existing formal interstellar language and via pictorial messages. For example, aspects of reciprocal altruism can be described through mathematical modeling, such as game theoretic approaches, which in turn can be described readily in the interstellar language Lincos. Second, concentrating on altruism as a message content may facilitate communications with extraterrestrial intelligence. Some scientists have argued that humans may be expected to communicate something about their moral status and development in an exchange with extraterrestrials. One of the most salient ways that terrestrial and extraterrestrial civilizations might be expected to evaluate one another is in terms of ethical motivations. Indeed, current search strategies assume some measure of altruism on the part of transmitting civilizations; with no guarantee of a response, the other civilization would be providing information to us with no direct payoff. Thus, concepts about altruism provide an appropriate content for interstellar messages, because the concepts themselves might be understood by extraterrestrial civilizations.

  17. Organic molecules in translucent interstellar clouds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krełowski, Jacek

    2014-09-01

    Absorption spectra of translucent interstellar clouds contain many known molecular bands of CN, CH+, CH, OH, OH(+), NH, C2 and C3. Moreover, one can observe more than 400 unidentified absorption features, known as diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs), commonly believed to be carried by complex, carbon-bearing molecules. DIBs have been observed in extragalactic sources as well. High S/N spectra allow to determine precisely the corresponding column densities of the identified molecules, rotational temperatures which differ significantly from object to object in cases of centrosymmetric molecular species, and even the (12)C/(13)C abundance ratio. Despite many laboratory based studies of possible DIB carriers, it has not been possible to unambiguously link these bands to specific species. An identification of DIBs would substantially contribute to our understanding of chemical processes in the diffuse interstellar medium. The presence of substructures inside DIB profiles supports the idea that DIBs are very likely features of gas phase molecules. So far only three out of more than 400 DIBs have been linked to specific molecules but none of these links was confirmed beyond doubt. A DIB identification clearly requires a close cooperation between observers and experimentalists. The review presents the state-of-the-art of the investigations of the chemistry of interstellar translucent clouds i.e. how far our observations are sufficient to allow some hints concerning the chemistry of, the most common in the Galaxy, translucent interstellar clouds, likely situated quite far from the sources of radiation (stars).

  18. Composition, structure and chemistry of interstellar dust

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tielens, A.G.G.M.; Allamandola, L.J.

    1986-09-01

    The observational constraints on the composition of the interstellar dust are analyzed. The dust in the diffuse interstellar medium consists of a mixture of stardust (amorphous silicates, amorphous carbon, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and graphite) and interstellar medium dust (organic refractory material). Stardust seems to dominate in the local diffuse interstellar medium. Inside molecular clouds, however, icy grain mantles are also important. The structural differences between crystalline and amorphous materials, which lead to differences in the optical properties, are discussed. The astrophysical consequences are briefly examined. The physical principles of grain surface chemistry are discussed and applied to the formation of molecular hydrogen and icy grain mantles inside dense molecular clouds. Transformation of these icy grain mantles into the organic refractory dust component observed in the diffuse interstellar medium requires ultraviolet sources inside molecular clouds as well as radical diffusion promoted by transient heating of the mantle. The latter process also returns a considerable fraction of the molecules in the grain mantle to the gas phase

  19. On the nature of interstellar turbulence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Altunin, V.I.

    1981-01-01

    Possible reasons of interstellar medium turbulence manifested in pulsar scintillation and radio-frequency emission scattering of extragalactic sources near by the Galaxy plane, are discussed. Sources and conditions of turbulence emergence in HII region shells, supernova, residue and in stellar wind giving observed scattering effects are considered. It is shown that in the formation of the interstellar scintillation pattern of discrete radio-frequency emission sources a certain role can be played by magnetosound turbulence, which arises due to shock-waves propagating in the interstellar medium at a velocity Vsub(sh) approximately 20-100 km/s as well as by stellar-wind inhomogeneity of OB classes stars [ru

  20. Observational astrochemistry: The quest for interstellar molecules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guélin M.

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Over 160 molecular species, not counting isotopologues, have been identified in circumstellar envelopes and interstellar clouds. These species have revealed a wealth of familiar, as much as exotic molecules and in complex organic (and silicon compounds, that was fully unexpected in view of the harshness of surrounding conditions: vanishingly low densities, extreme temperatures and intense embedding UV radiation. They illustrate the diversity of astrochemistry and show robust prebiotic molecules may be. In this lecture, we review the quest for interstellar molecules and show how tributary it is from theoretical ideas and technology developments. A. A. Penzias, who discovered interstellar CO and the 2.7 K Cosmic Background radiation, used to joke that astronomical research is easy: the great questions have largely been formulated; one only has to wait until technological progress makes it possible to answer.

  1. Positron annihilation in the interstellar medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guessoum, Nidhal; Ramaty, Reuven; Lingenfelter, Richard E.

    1991-01-01

    Positronium formation and annihilation are studied in a model for the interstellar medium consisting of cold cloud cores, warm partially ionized cloud envelopes, and hot intercloud gas. The gamma-ray spectra resulting from positron annihilation in these components of the interstellar medium are calculated. The spectra from the individual components are then combined, using two limiting assumptions for the propagation of the positrons, namely, that the positrons propagate freely throughout the interstellar medium, and that the positrons are excluded from the cold cloud cores. In the first case, the bulk of the positrons annihilate in the cloud cores and the annihilation line exhibits broad wings resulting from the annihilation of positronium formed by charge exchange in flight. In the second case, the positrons annihilate mainly in the warm envelopes, and the line wings are suppressed.

  2. Spatial distributions and interstellar reaction processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neill, Justin L; Steber, Amanda L; Muckle, Matt T; Zaleski, Daniel P; Lattanzi, Valerio; Spezzano, Silvia; McCarthy, Michael C; Remijan, Anthony J; Friedel, Douglas N; Widicus Weaver, Susanna L; Pate, Brooks H

    2011-06-23

    Methyl formate presents a challenge for the conventional chemical mechanisms assumed to guide interstellar organic chemistry. Previous studies of potential formation pathways for methyl formate in interstellar clouds ruled out gas-phase chemistry as a major production route, and more recent chemical kinetics models indicate that it may form efficiently from radical-radical chemistry on ice surfaces. Yet, recent chemical imaging studies of methyl formate and molecules potentially related to its formation suggest that it may form through previously unexplored gas-phase chemistry. Motivated by these findings, two new gas-phase ion-molecule formation routes are proposed and characterized using electronic structure theory with conformational specificity. The proposed reactions, acid-catalyzed Fisher esterification and methyl cation transfer, both produce the less stable trans-conformational isomer of protonated methyl formate in relatively high abundance under the kinetically controlled conditions relevant to interstellar chemistry. Gas-phase neutral methyl formate can be produced from its protonated counterpart through either a dissociative electron recombination reaction or a proton transfer reaction to a molecule with larger proton affinity. Retention (or partial retention) of the conformation in these neutralization reactions would yield trans-methyl formate in an abundance that exceeds predictions under thermodynamic equilibrium at typical interstellar temperatures of ≤100 K. For this reason, this conformer may prove to be an excellent probe of gas-phase chemistry in interstellar clouds. Motivated by new theoretical predictions, the rotational spectrum of trans-methyl formate has been measured for the first time in the laboratory, and seven lines have now been detected in the interstellar medium using the publicly available PRIMOS survey from the NRAO Green Bank Telescope.

  3. Eyes in the sky. Interactions between asymptotic giant branch star winds and the interstellar magnetic field

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Marle, A. J.; Cox, N. L. J.; Decin, L.

    2014-10-01

    Context. The extended circumstellar envelopes (CSEs) of evolved low-mass stars display a large variety of morphologies. Understanding the various mechanisms that give rise to these extended structures is important to trace their mass-loss history. Aims: Here, we aim to examine the role of the interstellar magnetic field in shaping the extended morphologies of slow dusty winds of asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars in an effort to pin-point the origin of so-called eye shaped CSEs of three carbon-rich AGB stars. In addition, we seek to understand if this pre-planetary nebula (PN) shaping can be responsible for asymmetries observed in PNe. Methods: Hydrodynamical simulations are used to study the effect of typical interstellar magnetic fields on the free-expanding spherical stellar winds as they sweep up the local interstellar medium (ISM). Results: The simulations show that typical Galactic interstellar magnetic fields of 5 to 10 μG are sufficient to alter the spherical expanding shells of AGB stars to appear as the characteristic eye shape revealed by far-infrared observations. The typical sizes of the simulated eyes are in accordance with the observed physical sizes. However, the eye shapes are transient in nature. Depending on the stellar and interstellar conditions, they develop after 20 000 to 200 000 yrs and last for about 50 000 to 500 000 yrs, assuming that the star is at rest relative to the local interstellar medium. Once formed, the eye shape develops lateral outflows parallel to the magnetic field. The explosion of a PN in the centre of the eye-shaped dust shell gives rise to an asymmetrical nebula with prominent inward pointing Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities. Conclusions: Interstellar magnetic fields can clearly affect the shaping of wind-ISM interaction shells. The occurrence of the eyes is most strongly influenced by stellar space motion and ISM density. Observability of this transient phase is favoured for lines-of-sight perpendicular to the

  4. The chemistry of interstellar HnO+: Beyond the galaxy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Tak, Floris

    The astrochemistry of the HnO+ (n=1..3) ions is important as the main gas-phase formation route for water, and as tracer of the interstellar ionization rate by cosmic rays and other processes. While interstellar H3O+ has been known since the early 1990's, interstellar OH+ and H2O+ have only recently

  5. Disparities in the estimation of the interstellar electron spectrum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tan, L.C.; Ng, L.K.

    1981-01-01

    Two disparities have been observed: 1. Careful analysis of the interstellar electron data shows that anomalous modulation has happened in the years 1972 - 75, which has caused some confusion in the estimation of the interstellar electron spectrum. 2. At low-energy region, the local effect on the interstellar electron spectrum is significant if one compares the measured electron data with the radio data

  6. A Tale of Two Mysteries in Interstellar Astrophysics: The 2175 Å Extinction Bump and Diffuse Interstellar Bands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiang, F. Y.; Li, Aigen; Zhong, J. X.

    2011-06-01

    The diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are ubiquitous absorption spectral features arising from the tenuous material in the space between stars—the interstellar medium (ISM). Since their first detection nearly nine decades ago, over 400 DIBs have been observed in the visible and near-infrared wavelength range in both the Milky Way and external galaxies, both nearby and distant. However, the identity of the species responsible for these bands remains as one of the most enigmatic mysteries in astrophysics. An equally mysterious interstellar spectral signature is the 2175 Å extinction bump, the strongest absorption feature observed in the ISM. Its carrier also remains unclear since its first detection 46 years ago. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules have long been proposed as a candidate for DIBs as their electronic transitions occur in the wavelength range where DIBs are often found. In recent years, the 2175 Å extinction bump is also often attributed to the π-π* transition in PAHs. If PAHs are indeed responsible for both the 2175 Å extinction feature and DIBs, their strengths may correlate. We perform an extensive literature search for lines of sight for which both the 2175 Å extinction feature and DIBs have been measured. Unfortunately, we found no correlation between the strength of the 2175 Å feature and the equivalent widths of the strongest DIBs. A possible explanation might be that DIBs are produced by small free gas-phase PAH molecules and ions, while the 2175 Å bump is mainly from large PAHs or PAH clusters in condensed phase so that there is no tight correlation between DIBs and the 2175 Å bump.

  7. Theflux and the energy spectrum of interstellar ions in the solar system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vasyliunas, V.M.; Siscoe, G.L.

    1976-01-01

    The flux density of ions created by ionization of interstellar neutral particles in the solar system and picked up by the solar wind is calculated as a function of the neutral particles. A very broad maximum occurs at an angle of 0 and a distance that depends on the density and speed of the neutral particles and on the ionization time but is typically in the general region of 10 AU. For atomic hydrogen the flux density is estimated to exceed 10 4 cm -2 s -1 over the distance range from a few to nearly 100 AU. The velocity space distribution of the interstellar ions is calculated under the assumption of no significant energy diffusion but with inclusion of adiabatic effects as well as a possible strong pitch angle diffusion. The energy spectrum is highly nonthermal and much broader than that of the solar wind ions; under the assumed conditions, interstellar protons are easily distinguishable from solar wind protons by their location in velocity space. If charge exchange is an important contributor to the ionization of hydrogen, the observed local intensity of interstellar protons should exhibit time variations correlated with the density changes of the solar wind stream structure

  8. Characterization of Interstellar Organic Molecules

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Understanding the origins of life has been one of the greatest dreams throughout history. It is now known that star-forming regions contain complex organic...

  9. Directed Energy for Interstellar Study

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to expand our investigations started in our NIAC Phase I of using directed energy to allow the achievement of relativistic flight to pave the way to the...

  10. Graphene etching on SiC grains as a path to interstellar polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merino, P; Švec, M; Martinez, J I; Jelinek, P; Lacovig, P; Dalmiglio, M; Lizzit, S; Soukiassian, P; Cernicharo, J; Martin-Gago, J A

    2014-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as well as other organic molecules appear among the most abundant observed species in interstellar space and are key molecules to understanding the prebiotic roots of life. However, their existence and abundance in space remain a puzzle. Here we present a new top-down route to form polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in large quantities in space. We show that aromatic species can be efficiently formed on the graphitized surface of the abundant silicon carbide stardust on exposure to atomic hydrogen under pressure and temperature conditions analogous to those of the interstellar medium. To this aim, we mimic the circumstellar environment using ultra-high vacuum chambers and investigate the SiC surface by in situ advanced characterization techniques combined with first-principles molecular dynamics calculations. These results suggest that top-down routes are crucial to astrochemistry to explain the abundance of organic species and to uncover the origin of unidentified infrared emission features from advanced observations.

  11. Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination II: Curating the Interstellar Dust Collector, Picokeystones, and Sources of Impact Tracks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, David R.; Westphal, Andrew J.; Zolensky, Michael E.; Gainsforth, Zack; Butterworth, Anna L.; Bastien, Ronald K.; Allen, Carlton; Anderson, David; Bechtel, Hans A.; Sandford, Scott A.

    2013-01-01

    We discuss the inherent difficulties that arise during "ground truth" characterization of the Stardust interstellar dust collector. The challenge of identifying contemporary interstellar dust impact tracks in aerogel is described within the context of background spacecraft secondaries and possible interplanetary dust particles and beta-meteoroids. In addition, the extraction of microscopic dust embedded in aerogel is technically challenging. Specifically, we provide a detailed description of the sample preparation techniques developed to address the unique goals and restrictions of the Interstellar Preliminary Exam. These sample preparation requirements and the scarcity of candidate interstellar impact tracks exacerbate the difficulties. We also illustrate the role of initial optical imaging with critically important examples, and summarize the overall processing of the collection to date.

  12. Instability of interaction network for interstellar gas and interstellar diffusive energy in the shear field

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fujimoto, Mitsuaki; Mizuno, Takao.

    1987-01-01

    A model network for interaction between interstellar gas and interstellar diffusive energy is considered in the shear field. Local linearized equations are derived around the equilibrium states which are realized when no shear field exists. A wavy perturbation is followed by employing the WKB method. It is concluded that the shear field brings about various unstable waves depending on their configuration. A great variety of observed dark and luminous pattern in spiral galaxies could be understood as related to these waves. (author)

  13. MEASURING THE FRACTAL STRUCTURE OF INTERSTELLAR CLOUDS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    VOGELAAR, MGR; WAKKER, BP; SCHWARZ, UJ

    1991-01-01

    To study the structure of interstellar clouds we used the so-called perimeter-area relation to estimate fractal dimensions. We studied the reliability of the method by applying it to artificial fractals and discuss some of the problems and pitfalls. Results for two different cloud types

  14. SILICATE COMPOSITION OF THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fogerty, S.; Forrest, W.; Watson, D. M.; Koch, I. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627 (United States); Sargent, B. A., E-mail: sfogerty@pas.rochester.edu [Center for Imaging Science and Laboratory for Multiwavelength Astrophysics, Rochester Institute of Technology, 54 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623 (United States)

    2016-10-20

    The composition of silicate dust in the diffuse interstellar medium and in protoplanetary disks around young stars informs our understanding of the processing and evolution of the dust grains leading up to planet formation. An analysis of the well-known 9.7 μ m feature indicates that small amorphous silicate grains represent a significant fraction of interstellar dust and are also major components of protoplanetary disks. However, this feature is typically modeled assuming amorphous silicate dust of olivine and pyroxene stoichiometries. Here, we analyze interstellar dust with models of silicate dust that include non-stoichiometric amorphous silicate grains. Modeling the optical depth along lines of sight toward the extinguished objects Cyg OB2 No. 12 and ζ Ophiuchi, we find evidence for interstellar amorphous silicate dust with stoichiometry intermediate between olivine and pyroxene, which we simply refer to as “polivene.” Finally, we compare these results to models of silicate emission from the Trapezium and protoplanetary disks in Taurus.

  15. REVISITING ULYSSES OBSERVATIONS OF INTERSTELLAR HELIUM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wood, Brian E.; Müller, Hans-Reinhard; Witte, Manfred

    2015-01-01

    We report the results of a comprehensive reanalysis of Ulysses observations of interstellar He atoms flowing through the solar system, the goal being to reassess the interstellar He flow vector and to search for evidence of variability in this vector. We find no evidence that the He beam seen by Ulysses changes at all from 1994-2007. The direction of flow changes by no more than ∼0.°3 and the speed by no more than ∼0.3 km s –1 . A global fit to all acceptable He beam maps from 1994-2007 yields the following He flow parameters: V ISM = 26.08 ± 0.21 km s –1 , λ = 75.54 ± 0.°19, β = –5.44 ± 0.°24, and T = 7260 ± 270 K; where λ and β are the ecliptic longitude and latitude direction in J2000 coordinates. The flow vector is consistent with the original analysis of the Ulysses team, but our temperature is significantly higher. The higher temperature somewhat mitigates a discrepancy that exists in the He flow parameters measured by Ulysses and the Interstellar Boundary Explorer, but does not resolve it entirely. Using a novel technique to infer photoionization loss rates directly from Ulysses data, we estimate a density of n He = 0.0196 ± 0.0033 cm –3 in the interstellar medium

  16. REVISITING ULYSSES OBSERVATIONS OF INTERSTELLAR HELIUM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wood, Brian E. [Naval Research Laboratory, Space Science Division, Washington, DC 20375 (United States); Müller, Hans-Reinhard [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755 (United States); Witte, Manfred, E-mail: brian.wood@nrl.navy.mil [Max-Planck-Institute for Solar System Research, Katlenburg-Lindau D-37191 (Germany)

    2015-03-01

    We report the results of a comprehensive reanalysis of Ulysses observations of interstellar He atoms flowing through the solar system, the goal being to reassess the interstellar He flow vector and to search for evidence of variability in this vector. We find no evidence that the He beam seen by Ulysses changes at all from 1994-2007. The direction of flow changes by no more than ∼0.°3 and the speed by no more than ∼0.3 km s{sup –1}. A global fit to all acceptable He beam maps from 1994-2007 yields the following He flow parameters: V {sub ISM} = 26.08 ± 0.21 km s{sup –1}, λ = 75.54 ± 0.°19, β = –5.44 ± 0.°24, and T = 7260 ± 270 K; where λ and β are the ecliptic longitude and latitude direction in J2000 coordinates. The flow vector is consistent with the original analysis of the Ulysses team, but our temperature is significantly higher. The higher temperature somewhat mitigates a discrepancy that exists in the He flow parameters measured by Ulysses and the Interstellar Boundary Explorer, but does not resolve it entirely. Using a novel technique to infer photoionization loss rates directly from Ulysses data, we estimate a density of n {sub He} = 0.0196 ± 0.0033 cm{sup –3} in the interstellar medium.

  17. SILICATE COMPOSITION OF THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fogerty, S.; Forrest, W.; Watson, D. M.; Koch, I.; Sargent, B. A.

    2016-01-01

    The composition of silicate dust in the diffuse interstellar medium and in protoplanetary disks around young stars informs our understanding of the processing and evolution of the dust grains leading up to planet formation. An analysis of the well-known 9.7 μ m feature indicates that small amorphous silicate grains represent a significant fraction of interstellar dust and are also major components of protoplanetary disks. However, this feature is typically modeled assuming amorphous silicate dust of olivine and pyroxene stoichiometries. Here, we analyze interstellar dust with models of silicate dust that include non-stoichiometric amorphous silicate grains. Modeling the optical depth along lines of sight toward the extinguished objects Cyg OB2 No. 12 and ζ Ophiuchi, we find evidence for interstellar amorphous silicate dust with stoichiometry intermediate between olivine and pyroxene, which we simply refer to as “polivene.” Finally, we compare these results to models of silicate emission from the Trapezium and protoplanetary disks in Taurus.

  18. Fluorescent excitation of interstellar H2

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Black, J.H.; Dishoeck, van E.F.

    1987-01-01

    The infrared emission spectrum of H2 excited by ultraviolet absorption, followed by fluorescence, was investigated using comprehensive models of interstellar clouds for computing the spectrum and to assess the effects on the intensity to various cloud properties, such as density, size, temperature,

  19. Infrared spectroscopy of interstellar apolar ice analogs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ehrenfreund, P; Boogert, ACA; Gerakines, PA; Tielens, AGGM; van Dishoeck, EF

    1997-01-01

    Apolar ices have been observed in several regions in dense clouds and are likely dominated by molecules such as CO, CO(2) and the infrared inactive molecules O(2) and N(2). Interstellar solid CO has been well characterized by ground-based high resolution measurements. Recent ISO results showed the

  20. Water in the interstellar medium of galaxies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Tak, Floris

    Water is a key constituent of interstellar matter, with a great influence on the formation of stars, planets, and life.The rotational and vibrational transitions of H2O are useful tracers of physical and chemical conditions in a broad range of astrophysical objects.This talk reviews recent

  1. Phosphorus in the dense interstellar medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Turner, B.E.; Tsuji, T.; Bally, J.; Guelin, M.; Cernicharo, J.

    1990-01-01

    An observational study was made of interstellar (and circumstellar) phosphorus chemistry by means of (1) a survey of PN in energetic star-forming regions (several new detections); (2) a search for PN in cold cloud cores; and (3) a search for HPO, HCP, and PH3 in interstellar and circumstellar sources. The results are consistent with previously developed ion-molecule models of phosphorus chemistry and imply large depletion factors for P in dense clouds: about 1000 in warm star-forming cores and more than 10,000 in cold cloud cores. Thermochemical equilibrium models have been developed for the P chemistry in C-rich and O-rich environments, and it is found that HCP contains all the phosphorus in the C-rich case. The search for HCP in IRC 10216 yields an upper limit which, taken together with the recent detection of CP, implies significant depletion of HCP onto grains. Depletion factors for first- and second-row elements in diffuse and dense interstellar clouds are summarized, and an overall picture of circumstellar and interstellar grain and gas-phase processes is proposed to explain the depletions of N, O, C, S, Si, P, and in particular the high depletions of Si and P. 101 refs

  2. Elemental nitrogen partitioning in dense interstellar clouds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daranlot, Julien; Hincelin, Ugo; Bergeat, Astrid; Costes, Michel; Loison, Jean-Christophe; Wakelam, Valentine; Hickson, Kevin M

    2012-06-26

    Many chemical models of dense interstellar clouds predict that the majority of gas-phase elemental nitrogen should be present as N(2), with an abundance approximately five orders of magnitude less than that of hydrogen. As a homonuclear diatomic molecule, N(2) is difficult to detect spectroscopically through infrared or millimeter-wavelength transitions. Therefore, its abundance is often inferred indirectly through its reaction product N(2)H(+). Two main formation mechanisms, each involving two radical-radical reactions, are the source of N(2) in such environments. Here we report measurements of the low temperature rate constants for one of these processes, the N + CN reaction, down to 56 K. The measured rate constants for this reaction, and those recently determined for two other reactions implicated in N(2) formation, are tested using a gas-grain model employing a critically evaluated chemical network. We show that the amount of interstellar nitrogen present as N(2) depends on the competition between its gas-phase formation and the depletion of atomic nitrogen onto grains. As the reactions controlling N(2) formation are inefficient, we argue that N(2) does not represent the main reservoir species for interstellar nitrogen. Instead, elevated abundances of more labile forms of nitrogen such as NH(3) should be present on interstellar ices, promoting the eventual formation of nitrogen-bearing organic molecules.

  3. The photodissociation and chemistry of interstellar CO

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dishoeck, van E.F.; Black, J.H.

    1988-01-01

    Recent work on the vacuum UV absorption spectrum of CO to the description of the photodissociation of interstellar CO and its principal isotopic varieties is discussed. The effects of line broadening, self-shielding, shielding by H and H2, and isotope-selective shielding are examined as functions of

  4. Chemistry and infrared spectroscopy of interstellar grains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hagen, W.

    1982-01-01

    This thesis focuses on three aspects of interstellar grains: the photochemistry of the grain mantles, their infrared spectroscopy and the surface chemistry that takes place during mantle accretion. It provides a combination of pure and applied chemistry and spectroscopy. The experiments described in this thesis have been carried out with low temperature (10 K) solid molecular mixtures representing the mantles of interstellar grains. The samples have been prepared by slowly condensing gaseous mixtures of simple molecules (e.g. CO, H 2 O, NH 3 , CH 4 ) on a cold substrate (mirror or window) cooled by a cryogenic refrigerator mounted in a high vacuum chamber. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy has been used to study the sample. A laboratory study of the photochemistry in interstellar grain mantles is described. It shows that irradiation of solid binary mixtures of CO with H 2 O, NH 3 or CH 4 with 1600 A vacuum ultraviolet light, which is representative of the interstellar ultraviolet field, gives rise to the formation of a number of large molecules as well as radicals. Moreover, a theoretical study is given of the chemical composition of grain mantles accreted in dense clouds. (Auth.)

  5. The influence of the interstellar medium on climate and life

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Talbot, R.J. Jr.

    1980-01-01

    Recent studies of the gas and dust between the stars, the interstellar medium, reveal a complex chemistry which indicates that prebiotic organic chemistry is ubiquitous. The relationship between this interstellar chemistry and the organic chemistry of the early solar system and the Earth is explored. The interstellar medium is also considered as likely to have a continuing influence upon the climate of the Earth and other planets. Life forms as known are not only descendants of the organic evolution begun in the interstellar medium, but their continuing evolution is also molded through occasional interactions between the interstellar medium, the Sun and the climate on Earth. (author)

  6. Complex Chemistry on Interstellar Grains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widicus Weaver, Susanna L.; Kelley, Matthew J.; Blake, Geoffrey A.

    Early interstellar chemical models considered complex molecule formation on grains [Allen & Robinson (1977)], but current models assume that simple molecules form on grains and subsequent gas phase ion-molecule reactions produce the more complex species [Ruffle & Herbst (2001), Charnley (2001)]. It has been shown, however, that gas phase ion-molecule reactions are insufficient for the production of such complex organic species as ethanol (CH3CH2OH) and methyl formate (CH3OCHO) [Horn et al. (2004)]. Organics such as acetaldehyde (CH3CHO), ethanol, methyl formate, acetic acid (CH3COOH), and glycolaldehyde (CH2OHCHO) have also been detected in high abundance in regions of grain mantle disruption or evaporation, indicating that these species are formed on grain surfaces [see Chengalur & Kanekar (2003), Bottinelli et al. (2004), Hollis et al. (2001)]. The mechanisms for complex molecule production on grains are clearly much more important, and much more complex, than has been recognized. Recent observational studies of these types of species have offered insight into the mechanisms for their possible grain surface synthesis. The relative hot core abundances of the 2C structural isomers methyl formate, acetic acid, and glycolaldehyde (52:2:1, respectively [Hollis et al. (2001)]) indicate that if they form on grains it is not from kinetically-controlled single-atom addition reactions. Likewise, the 3C aldose sugar, glyceraldehyde (CH2OHCHOHCHO), was not detected in Sgr B2(N-LMH) [Hollis et al. (2004)] while the 3C ketose sugar, dihydroxyacetone (CO(CH2OH)2) was detected in this source [Widicus Weaver & Blake (2005)]. Chemical pathways favoring the more stable carbonates over acids and aldehydes are required to explain these results. Interestingly, all of these species can be formed from reactions involving the abundant grain mantle constituents CO, HCOOH, and CH3OH and their radical precursors. A model has been developed to investigate this type of chemical network, and

  7. Prebiotic molecules and interstellar grain clumps

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoyle, F.; Wickramasinghe, N.C.

    1977-01-01

    It is stated that interstellar molecules detected by radioastronomical techniques in galactic clouds cover a wide range of types and complexities. Amongst the heaviest recently discovered is cyanodiacetylene. There have also been earlier detections of precursors to the simplest amino-acid, glycine and probably detections of polyoxymethylene polymers and co-polymers. A possible identification of organic molecules of even greater complexity is here discussed, together with implications for the commencement of biological activity. The large departures from thermodynamic equilibrium in the interstellar medium and the co-existence of solid grains, molecules, radicals, ions, and uv photons provide conditions that are ideal for production of 'exotic' molecular species. The effect of clumping of dust grains is discussed. The possible spectral identification of highly complex organic species in the interstellar medium is also discussed and reference is made to a property common to a wide class of such molecules, that is, an absorption band centered at 2,200 A. It is tempting to identify this feature with the well-known 2,200 A band of the interstellar extinction curve. It is thought that it may be tentatively concluded that the data so far obtained could be interpreted as independent new chemical evidence of the existence of composite grain clumps in the interstellar medium and in carbonaceous chondrites, and that these grain clumps probably include a significant mass fraction of highly complex organic pre-biotic molecules that could have led to the start and dispersal of biological activity on the Earth and elsewhere in the Galaxy. Processes of natural selection probably also played an important part, particularly in the production of self-replicable peptide chains. The problem of protection of pre-biotic material against external disruptive agencies, such as u/v light, is also discussed. (U.K.)

  8. TRIANGULATION OF THE INTERSTELLAR MAGNETIC FIELD

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schwadron, N. A.; Moebius, E. [University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824 (United States); Richardson, J. D. [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Burlaga, L. F. [Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); McComas, D. J. [Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX 78228 (United States)

    2015-11-01

    Determining the direction of the local interstellar magnetic field (LISMF) is important for understanding the heliosphere’s global structure, the properties of the interstellar medium, and the propagation of cosmic rays in the local galactic medium. Measurements of interstellar neutral atoms by Ulysses for He and by SOHO/SWAN for H provided some of the first observational insights into the LISMF direction. Because secondary neutral H is partially deflected by the interstellar flow in the outer heliosheath and this deflection is influenced by the LISMF, the relative deflection of H versus He provides a plane—the so-called B–V plane in which the LISMF direction should lie. Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) subsequently discovered a ribbon, the center of which is conjectured to be the LISMF direction. The most recent He velocity measurements from IBEX and those from Ulysses yield a B–V plane with uncertainty limits that contain the centers of the IBEX ribbon at 0.7–2.7 keV. The possibility that Voyager 1 has moved into the outer heliosheath now suggests that Voyager 1's direct observations provide another independent determination of the LISMF. We show that LISMF direction measured by Voyager 1 is >40° off from the IBEX ribbon center and the B–V plane. Taking into account the temporal gradient of the field direction measured by Voyager 1, we extrapolate to a field direction that passes directly through the IBEX ribbon center (0.7–2.7 keV) and the B–V plane, allowing us to triangulate the LISMF direction and estimate the gradient scale size of the magnetic field.

  9. The loop I superbubble and the local interstellar magnetic field

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frisch, Priscilla Chapman

    2014-01-01

    Recent data on the interstellar magnetic field in the low density nearby interstellar medium suggest a new perspective for understanding interstellar clouds within 40 pc. The directions of the local interstellar magnetic field found from measurements of optically polarized starlight and the very local field found from the Ribbon of energetic neutral atoms discovered by IBEX nearly agree. The geometrical relation between the local magnetic field, the positions and kinematics of local interstellar clouds, and the Loop I S1 superbubble, suggest that the Sun is located in the boundary of this evolved superbubble. The quasiperpendicular angle between the bulk kinematics and magnetic field of the local ISM indicates that a complete picture of low density interstellar clouds needs to include information on the interstellar magnetic field.

  10. Altobiobots: A Biorobotic Interface Platform for Interstellar Travel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altomare, A. C.

    Altobiobots (ABB) are a category of ideal nanorobots with specific capabilities which allow them to reside symbiotically within the nuclei of all nucleate cells in the human body. ABBs facilitate a biorobotic interface through genetic interaction with a host organism and wireless communication among external sources. ABBs create an intra-organism network of uniquely identifiable constituants by utilizing a recursive algorithm, AAnotation, to self-assign non-redundant alphanumerically compressed addresses. The primary context for the development of the ABB biorobotic interface platform is to facilitate interplanetary and interstellar space travel by liberating the capacity for human adaptability. Secondary goals include precise spatial and temporal control of gene expression, enhancement of cerebral brain functions, and disease intervention.

  11. Development of a high resolution interstellar dust engineering model - overview of the project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterken, V. J.; Strub, P.; Soja, R. H.; Srama, R.; Krüger, H.; Grün, E.

    2013-09-01

    Beyond 3 AU heliocentric distance, the flow of interstellar dust through the solar system is a dominant component of the total dust population. The modulation of this flux with the solar cycle and the position in the solar system has been predicted by theoretical studies since the seventies. The modulation was proven to exist by matching dust trajectory simulations with real spacecraft data from Ulysses in 1998. The modulations were further analyzed and studies in detail in 2012. The current ESA interplanetary meteoroid model IMEM includes an interstellar dust component, but this component was modelled only with straight line trajectories through the solar system. For the new ESA IMEX model, a high-resolution interstellar dust component is implemented separately from a dust streams module. The dust streams module focuses on dust in streams that was released from comets (cf. Abstract R. Soja). Parallel processing techniques are used to improve computation time (cf. Abstract P. Strub). The goal is to make predictions for the interstellar dust flux as close to the Sun as 1 AU or closer, for future space mission design.

  12. Interstellar processes: Ortho/para conversion, radiative association, and dissociative recombination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herbst Eric

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The study of the ortho-to-para ratio of assorted gas-phase interstellar molecules such as H2, H2O, NH3, and H2O+ has gained interest in recent years, based partially on new spectral observations of light hydrides by the Herschel Space Observatory. Although these ratios can yield valuable information about the thermal history of the interstellar cloud where the molecules are found, an understanding of how the ratios are determined involves a number of often poorly studied processes, which can include both gas-phase and grain-surface reactions. In this article, we consider the processes that determine the ortho-to-para ratio of the molecular ion H2O+ in diffuse interstellar clouds and attempt to reproduce an unusual observed ratio for this ion. In addition to the study of ortho-to-para ratios, we look carefully at current uncertainties in the gas-phase formation of large neutral molecules in cold dense interstellar clouds via ion-neutral radiative association and dissociative recombination, among other processes.

  13. Fluctuations in the heliospheric hydrogen distribution induced by generalized and time-dependent interstellar boundary conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scherer, K.; Fahr, H.J.

    1990-01-01

    It is well known that the neutral component of the local interstellar medium (LISM) can effectively pass through the plasma interface ahead of the solar system and can penetrate deeply into the inner heliosphere. Here we present a newly-developed theoretical approach to describe the distribution function of LISM neutral hydrogen in the heliosphere, also taking into account time-dependent solar and interstellar boundary conditions. For this purpose we start from a Boltzmann-Vlasov equation, Fourier-transformed with respect to space and time coordinates, in connection with correspondingly transformed solar radiation forces and ionization rates, and then arrive at semi-analytic solutions for the transformed hydrogen velocity distribution function. As interstellar boundary conditions we allow for very general, non-Maxwellian and time-dependent distribution functions to account for the case that some LISM turbulence patterns or non-linear wave-like shock structures pass over the solar system. We consider this theoretical approach to be an ideal instrument for the synoptic interpretation of huge data samples on interplanetary Ly-α resonance glow intensities registered from different celestial directions over extended periods of time. In addition we feel that the theoretical approach presented here, when applied to interplanetary resonance glow data, may permit the detection of genuine fluctuations in the local interstellar medium. (author)

  14. The flow of interstellar dust through the solar system: the role of dust charging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sterken, V. J.; Altobelli, N.; Schwehm, G.; Kempf, S.; Srama, R.; Strub, P.; Gruen, E.

    2011-01-01

    Interstellar dust can enter the solar system through the relative motion of the Sun with respect to the Local Interstellar Cloud. The trajectories of the dust through the solar system are not only influenced by gravitation and solar radiation pressure forces, but also by the Lorentz forces due to the interaction of the interplanetary magnetic field with the charged dust particles. The interplanetary magnetic field changes on two major time scales: 25 days (solar rotation frequency) and 22 years (solar cycle). The short-term variability averages out for regions that are not too close (>∼2 AU) to the Sun. This interplanetary magnetic field variability causes a time-variability in the interstellar dust densities, that is correlated to the solar cycle.In this work we characterize the flow of interstellar dust through the solar system using simulations of the dust trajectories. We start from the simple case without Lorentz forces, and expand to the full simulation. We pay attention to the different ways of modeling the interplanetary magnetic field, and discuss the influence of the dust parameters on the resulting flow patterns. We also discuss the possibilities of using this modeling for prediction of dust fluxes for different space missions or planets, and we pay attention to where simplified models are justified, and where or when a full simulation, including all forces is necessary. One of the aims of this work is to understand measurements of spacecraft like Ulysses, Cassini and Stardust.

  15. Entering Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zubrin, Robert

    The authors is giving a classification of civilisations depending on the degree of colonisation of the Earth, Solar System and Our Galaxy. The problems of: History of geographic discoveries (The great geographical discoveries during the Middle Age, the concurence of Chinnese and Europeans in this Area); The Astrophysics, such as: Asteroids, Water and Atmosphere on outer planets, Planet Mars Planet, Agriculture on outer planets, Minerals on outer planets; Cosmic flights: Fuels, Robotics, Moon (as an intermediary basis for interplanetary flights), Mars colonisation; Interstellar flights, Space research costs, strategy and tactics of the space colonisation; Policy: War and Peace, International Collaboration are discussed.

  16. Absorption and emission characteristics of interstellar dust

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allamandola, L.J.

    1984-01-01

    Molecular transitions which occur in the middle infrared region of the spectrum correspond with the characteristic frequencies of molecular vibrations. Thus, moderate resolution spectroscopy of the interstellar medium offers unique evidence about the molecules in the condensed and gaseous phases and their distribution. The author discusses the spectral properties of the condensed phase. However, in the astrophysical literature, it is difficult to find a qualitative description of the effects the solid state has on molecular vibrations, and since it is these which largely determine the spectroscopic properties of the interstellar dust, this discussion begins with a general description of these effects and then is directed toward describing the optical characteristics of the molecular ice component of the dust. The properties of this component of the dust are stressed, rather than those expected from more homogeneous components such as silicates, graphite, or amorphous carbon since these have been discussed in considerable detail elsewhere. (Auth.)

  17. Galactic civilizations: Population dynamics and interstellar diffusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, W. I.; Sagan, C.

    1978-01-01

    The interstellar diffusion of galactic civilizations is reexamined by potential theory; both numerical and analytical solutions are derived for the nonlinear partial differential equations which specify a range of relevant models, drawn from blast wave physics, soil science, and, especially, population biology. An essential feature of these models is that, for all civilizations, population growth must be limited by the carrying capacity of the environment. Dispersal is fundamentally a diffusion process; a density-dependent diffusivity describes interstellar emigration. Two models are considered: the first describing zero population growth (ZPG), and the second which also includes local growth and saturation of a planetary population, and for which an asymptotic traveling wave solution is found.

  18. The Rosseland mean opacity of interstellar grain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ali, A.; El Shalaby, M.A.; El-Nawawy, M.S.

    1990-10-01

    We have calculated the opacity of interstellar grains in the temperature range 10 deg. K - 1500 deg. K. Two composite grain models have been considered. One of them consists of silicate coated with ice mantle and the second has a graphite core coated also with ice mantle. These models are compared with isolated grain models. An exact analytical and computational development of Guettler's formulae for composite grain models has been used to calculate the extinction coefficient. It has been found that the thickness of the mantle affects the opacity of the interstellar grains. The opacity of composite models differs from that of the isolated models. The effect of the different species (ice, silicate and graphite) is also clear. (author). 22 refs, 4 figs, 1 tab

  19. Polarization of submillimetre lines from interstellar medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Heshou; Yan, Huirong

    2018-04-01

    Magnetic fields play important roles in many astrophysical processes. However, there is no universal diagnostic for the magnetic fields in the interstellar medium (ISM) and each magnetic tracer has its limitation. Any new detection method is thus valuable. Theoretical studies have shown that submillimetre fine-structure lines are polarized due to atomic alignment by ultraviolet photon-excitation, which opens up a new avenue to probe interstellar magnetic fields. We will, for the first time, perform synthetic observations on the simulated three-dimensional ISM to demonstrate the measurability of the polarization of submillimetre atomic lines. The maximum polarization for different absorption and emission lines expected from various sources, including star-forming regions are provided. Our results demonstrate that the polarization of submillimetre atomic lines is a powerful magnetic tracer and add great value to the observational studies of the submilimetre astronomy.

  20. Interstellar Anions: The Role of Quantum Chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortenberry, Ryan C

    2015-10-01

    Six anions have been conclusively detected in the interstellar medium (ISM). They all arrived within a five-year window ending five years ago. Why have no new anions been detected? It is likely a lack of laboratory data for novel anions. This work reviews the role that valence and dipole-bound excited states may play in the formation, detection, and lifetime of anions that may yet be observed in the ISM and how quantum chemistry enhances this understanding. The list of interstellar anions has certainly not been exhausted by any means, but electronic, spectroscopic, and structural data must be provided to aid in any future detections. Quantum chemistry has the flexibility and completeness to provide a full picture of these systems and has shown exceptional accuracies of late. The work reviewed herein gives an overview of what quantum chemical computations have produced and will continue to provide related to anions and how this will enhance both laboratory experiment and astronomical observation.

  1. Isotope Fractionation in the Interstellar Medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charnley, Steven

    2011-01-01

    Anomalously fractionated isotopic material is found in many primitive Solar System objects, such as meteorites and comets. It is thought, in some cases, to trace interstellar matter that was incorporated into the Solar Nebula without undergoing significant processing. We will present the results of models of the nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon fractionation chemistry in dense molecular clouds, particularly in cores where substantial freeze-out of molecules on to dust has occurred. The range of fractionation ratios expected in different interstellar molecules will be discussed and compared to the ratios measured in molecular clouds, comets and meteoritic material. These models make several predictions that can be tested in the near future by molecular line observations, particularly with ALMA.

  2. Kinetic chemistry of dense interstellar clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Graedel, T.E.; Langer, W.D.; Frerking, M.A.

    1982-01-01

    A detailed model of the time-dependent chemistry of dense interstellar clouds has been developed to study the dominant chemical processes in carbon and oxygen isotope fractionation, formation of nitrogen-containing molecules, evolution of product molecules as a function of cloud density and temperature, and other topics of interest. The full computation involves 328 individual reactions (expanded to 1067 to study carbon and oxygen isotope chemistry); photodegradation processes are unimportant in these dense clouds and are excluded

  3. An investigation of the interstellar extinction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roche, P.F.; Aitken, D.K.; Melbourne Univ., Point Cook

    1984-01-01

    The 10 μm extinction towards six WC8 or WC9 Wolf-Rayet stars is investigated. All objects show smooth dust emission suffering silicate absorption with depths well correlated with the extinction in the visible. The de-reddened spectra are well represented by emission from featureless grain components, possibly from iron or carbon grains. The extinction to the stars is found to be dominantly interstellar in origin with little extinction from the circumstellar shell. (author)

  4. Education and Public Outreach for Stardust@home: An Interactive Internet-based Search for Interstellar Dust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez, Bryan J.; Westphal, A. J.; Butterworth, A. L.; Craig, N.

    2006-12-01

    On January 15, 2006, NASA’s Stardust mission returned to Earth after nearly seven years in interplanetary space. During its journey, Stardust encountered comet Wild 2, collecting dust particles from it in a special material called aerogel. At two other times in the mission, aerogel collectors were also opened to collect interstellar dust. The Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector is being scanned by an automated microscope at the Johnson Space Center. There are approximately 700,000 fields of view needed to cover the entire collector, but we expect only a few dozen total grains of interstellar dust were captured within it. Finding these particles is a daunting task. We have recruited many thousands of volunteers from the public to aid in the search for these precious pieces of space dust trapped in the collectors. We call the project Stardust@home. Through Stardust@home, volunteers from the public search fields of view from the Stardust aerogel collector using a web-based Virtual Microscope. Volunteers who discover interstellar dust particles have the privilege of naming them. The interest and response to this project has been extraordinary. Many people from all walks of life are very excited about space science and eager to volunteer their time to contribute to a real research project such as this. We will discuss the progress of the project and the education and outreach activities being carried out for it.

  5. Gamma rays from the interstellar medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bloemen, J.B.G.M.

    1985-01-01

    This thesis describes new gamma-ray views on cosmic rays and the interstellar medium. The author describes the COS-B data base and the pre-launch and in-flight calibration data used for all analyses. Diffuse galactic gamma radiation (> 50 MeV) may be either a result of cosmic-ray-matter interactions, or of the cosmic-ray electrons with the interstellar radiation field (mainly at optical and infrared wavelengths), through the inverse-Compton process. A detailed comparison between the gamma-ray observations of the large complex of interstellar clouds in Orion and Monoceros and the CO and HI surveys of this region is given. It gives insight into the cloud penetration of cosmic rays and in the relation between CO detections and molecular hydrogen column densities. Next, the radial distribution of gamma rays in the Galaxy is studied, as well as the galactic centre (more precisely, the central 400 pc), which contains a large concentration of CO molecules. The H 2 /CO abundance and the cosmic-ray density in the galactic centre are discussed and compared to the findings for the galactic disk. In various analyses in this thesis a likelihood-ratio method is applied for parameter estimation and hypothesis testing. A general description of this method is added as an appendix. (Auth.)

  6. Synthesis of prebiotic glycerol in interstellar ices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser, Ralf I; Maity, Surajit; Jones, Brant M

    2015-01-02

    Contemporary mechanisms for the spontaneous formation of glycerol have not been able to explain its existence on early Earth. The exogenous origin and delivery of organic molecules to early Earth presents an alternative route to their terrestrial in situ formation since biorelevant molecules like amino acids, carboxylic acids, and alkylphosphonic acids have been recovered from carbonaceous chondrites. Reported herein is the first in situ identification of glycerol, the key building block of all cellular membranes, formed by exposure of methanol-based - interstellar model ices to ionizing radiation in the form of energetic electrons. These results provide compelling evidence that the radiation-induced formation of glycerol in low-temperature interstellar model ices is facile. Synthesized on interstellar grains and eventually incorporated into the "building material" of solar systems, biorelevant molecules such as glycerol could have been dispensed to habitable planets such as early Earth by comets and meteorites. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  7. Interstellar and Planetary Analogs in the Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salama, Farid

    2013-01-01

    We present and discuss the unique capabilities of the laboratory facility, COSmIC, that was developed at NASA Ames to investigate the interaction of ionizing radiation (UV, charged particles) with molecular species (neutral molecules, radicals and ions) and carbonaceous grains in the Solar System and in the Interstellar Medium (ISM). COSmIC stands for Cosmic Simulation Chamber, a laboratory chamber where interstellar and planetary analogs are generated, processed and analyzed. It is composed of a pulsed discharge nozzle (PDN) expansion that generates a free jet supersonic expansion in a plasma cavity coupled to two ultrahigh-sensitivity, complementary in situ diagnostics: a cavity ring down spectroscopy (CRDS) system for photonic detection and a Reflectron time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ReTOF-MS) for mass detection. This setup allows the study of molecules, ions and solids under the low temperature and high vacuum conditions that are required to simulate some interstellar, circumstellar and planetary physical environments providing new fundamental insights on the molecular level into the processes that are critical to the chemistry in the ISM, circumstellar and planet forming regions, and on icy objects in the Solar System. Recent laboratory results that were obtained using COSmIC will be discussed, in particular the progress that have been achieved in monitoring in the laboratory the formation of solid particles from their gas-phase molecular precursors in environments as varied as circumstellar outflow and planetary atmospheres.

  8. Properties of interstellar dust in reflection nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sellgren, K.

    1988-01-01

    Observations of interstellar dust in reflection nebulae are the closest analog in the interstellar medium to studies of cometary dust in our solar system. The presence of a bright star near the reflection nebula dust provides the opportunity to study both the reflection and emission characteristics of interstellar dust. At 0.1 to 1 micrometer, the reflection nebula emission is due to starlight scattered by dust. The albedo and scattering phase function of the dust is determined from observations of the scattered light. At 50 to 200 micrometers, thermal emission from the dust in equilibrium with the stellar radiation field is observed. The derived dust temperature determines the relative values of the absorption coefficient of the dust at wavelengths where the stellar energy is absorbed and at far infrared wavelengths where the absorbed energy is reradiated. These emission mechanisms directly relate to those seen in the near and mid infrared spectra of comets. In a reflection nebula the dust is observed at much larger distances from the star than in our solar system, so that the equilibrium dust temperature is 50 K rather than 300 K. Thus, in reflection nebulae, thermal emission from dust is emitted at 50 to 200 micrometer

  9. Heating of the local interstellar medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arnaud, M.; Rothenflug, R.

    1986-07-01

    From soft X ray measurements evidence emerges that a large volume of the local interstellar medium is filled with hot gas. The sky has now been almost entirely scanned in the soft X ray bands. Although the very contribution of a halo or/and large scale galactic components is still debated, it appears that an important part of this soft X ray emission has a local origin. Its thermal nature was strongly supported after X ray lines of some highly stripped ions were observed. This local interstellar medium is likely to have been heated by the energy released in Supernova(e) explosion(s). We review such models and discuss whether they may account for both the observed fluxes in soft X ray bands and the X ray spectral data. Special emphasis is put on the intricacy of the data, which presently makes hopeless a detailed understanding of the hot local interstellar medium. Consistency of such models with key parameters (such as OVI column density) is also studied

  10. Kelvin-Helmholtz interface instability in the interstellar environment. II. Interstellar cloud rotation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fleck, R.C. Jr.

    1989-01-01

    It is suggested that interstellar clouds may derive their rotation from the vortex flow associated with the nonlinear Kelvin-Helmholtz 'rollup' accompanying shear flows in the interstellar medium. The predicted maximum angular velocity, expressed as a ratio with respect to the galactic background, is 100 R(pc) exp -1/2 for a cloud radius R(pc), and the corresponding specific angular momentum is 3 x 10 to the 23rd R(pc) exp 3/2 sq cm/sec. These predictions nicely match the upper envelope of values reported for rotating clouds. It is concluded that, for those clouds that are rotating, the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability is a viable candidate for providing angular momentum to interstellar material. 28 references

  11. Interstellar propulsion using a pellet stream for momentum transfer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Singer, C.E.

    1979-10-01

    A pellet-stream concept for interstellar propulsion is described. Small pellets are accelerated in the solar system and accurately guided to an interstellar probe where they are intercepted and transfer momentum. This propulsion system appears to offer orders-of-magnitude improvements in terms of engineering simplicity and power requirements over any other known feasible system for transport over interstellar distance in a time comparable to a human lifespan

  12. The Heliosphere---Blowing in the Interstellar Wind

    OpenAIRE

    Frisch, P. C.

    2012-01-01

    Measurements of the velocity of interstellar HeI inside of the heliosphere have been conducted over the past forty years. These historical data suggest that the ecliptic longitude of the direction of the interstellar flow has increased at an average rate of about 0.19 degrees per year over time. Possible astronomical explanations for these short-term variations in the interstellar gas entering the heliosphere are presented.

  13. Interstellar propulsion using a pellet stream for momentum transfer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Singer, C.E.

    1979-10-01

    A pellet-stream concept for interstellar propulsion is described. Small pellets are accelerated in the solar system and accurately guided to an interstellar probe where they are intercepted and transfer momentum. This propulsion system appears to offer orders-of-magnitude improvements in terms of engineering simplicity and power requirements over any other known feasible system for transport over interstellar distance in a time comparable to a human lifespan.

  14. The Properties of the local Interstellar Medium and the Interaction of the Stellar Winds of epsilon Indi and lambda Andromedae with the Interstellar Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Brian E.; Alexander, William R.; Linsky, Jeffrey L.

    1996-01-01

    We present new observations of the Ly alpha lines of Epsilon Indi (K5 5) and A Andromedae (G8 4-3 + ?) These data were obtained by the Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph (GHRS) on the Hubble Space Telescope. Analysis of the interstellar H 1 and D 1 absorption lines reveals that the velocities and temperatures inferred from the H 1 lines are inconsistent with the parameters inferred from the D 1 lines, unless the H 1 absorption is assumed to be produced by two absorption components. One absorption component is produced by interstellar material. For both lines of sight observed, the velocity of this component is consistent with the velocity predicted by the local flow vector. For the Epsilon Indi data, the large velocity separation between the stellar emission and the interstellar absorption allows us to measure the H 1 column density independent of the shape of the intrinsic stellar Ly alpha profile. This approach permits us to quote an accurate column density and to assess its uncertainty with far more confidence than in previous analyses, for which the errors were dominated by uncertainties in the assumed stellar profiles.

  15. Synthesis of molecules in interstellar clouds and star formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ghosh, K.K.; Ghosh, S.N.

    1981-01-01

    Study of the formation and destruction processes of interstellar molecules may throw certain light on interstellar medium. Formation and destruction processes of some interstellar molecules are proposed on the basis of laboratory data. The abundances of these molecules are calculated under steady-state condition. The calculated values are then compared with the observed values, obtained by different investigators. It appears that gas phase ion-neutral reactions are capable of synthesizing most interstellar molecules. The role of ion-neutral reactions to star formation has also been discussed. (author)

  16. An introduction to the physics of interstellar dust

    CERN Document Server

    Krugel, Endrik

    2007-01-01

    Streamlining the extensive information from the original, highly acclaimed monograph, this new An Introduction to the Physics of Interstellar Dust provides a concise reference and overview of interstellar dust and the interstellar medium. Drawn from a graduate course taught by the author, a highly regarded figure in the field, this all-in-one book emphasizes astronomical formulae and astronomical problems to give a solid foundation for the further study of interstellar medium. Covering all phenomena associated with cosmic dust, this inclusive text eliminates the need to consult special physica

  17. Engineering planetary lasers for interstellar communication. M.S. Thesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwood, Brent

    1988-01-01

    Transmitting large amounts of data efficiently among neighboring stars will vitally support any eventual contact with extrasolar intelligence, whether alien or human. Laser carriers are particularly suitable for high-quality, targeted links. Space laser transmitter systems designed by this work, based on both demonstrated and imminent advanced space technology, could achieve reliable data transfer rates as high as 1 kb/s to matched receivers as far away as 25 pc, a distance including over 700 approximately solar-type stars. The centerpiece of this demonstration study is a fleet of automated spacecraft incorporating adaptive neural-net optical processing active structures, nuclear electric power plants, annular momentum control devices, and ion propulsion. Together the craft sustain, condition, modulate, and direct to stellar targets an infrared laser beam extracted from the natural mesospheric, solar-pumped, stimulated CO2 emission recently discovered at Venus. For a culture already supported by mature interplanetary industry, the cost of building planetary or high-power space laser systems for interstellar communication would be marginal, making such projects relevant for the next human century. Links using high-power lasers might support data transfer rates as high as optical frequencies could ever allow. A nanotechnological society such as we might become would inevitably use 10 to the 20th power b/yr transmission to promote its own evolutionary expansion out of the galaxy.

  18. Dust in Space

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Figure B. The concept of photon nlust travel such that the probability of its interacting is interaction length is ex- almost unity. Putting the above probability equal to unity, and plained. writing ~x = 1, the interaction length, 1, is given by 1 = (/n'. How much Dust is there? One can estimate the amount of dust in interstellar space ...

  19. Analysis of "Midnight" Tracks in the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector: Possible Discovery of a Contemporary Interstellar Dust Grain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westphal, A. J.; Allen, C.; Bajit, S.; Bastien, R.; Bechtel, H.; Bleuet, P.; Borg, J.; Brenker, F.; Bridges, J.; Brownlee, D. E.; hide

    2010-01-01

    In January 2006, the Stardust sample return capsule returned to Earth bearing the first solid samples from a primitive solar system body, Comet 81P/Wild2, and a collector dedicated to the capture and return of contemporary interstellar dust. Both collectors were approximately 0.1m(exp 2) in area and were composed of aerogel tiles (85% of the collecting area) and aluminum foils. The Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector (SIDC) was exposed to the interstellar dust stream for a total exposure factor of 20 m(exp 2) day. The Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination (ISPE) is a three-year effort to characterize the collection using nondestructive techniques.

  20. The Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe - A Mission to Discover the Origin of Particle Acceleration and its Fundamental Connection to the Global Interstellar Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwadron, N.

    2017-12-01

    Our piece of cosmic real-estate, the heliosphere, is the domain of all human existence - an astrophysical case-history of the successful evolution of life in a habitable system. The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) was the first mission to explore the global heliosphere and in concert with Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 is discovering a fundamentally new and uncharted physical domain of the outer heliosphere. In parallel, Cassini/INCA maps the global heliosphere at energies ( 5-55 keV) above those measured by IBEX. The enigmatic IBEX ribbon and the INCA belt were unanticipated discoveries demonstrating that much of what we know or think we understand about the outer heliosphere needs to be revised. The global structure of the heliosphere is highly complex and influenced by competing factors ranging from the local interstellar magnetic field, suprathermal populations both within and beyond the heliopause, and the detailed flow properties of the LISM. Global heliospheric structure and microphysics in turn influences the acceleration of energetic particles and creates feedbacks that modify the interstellar interaction as a whole. The next quantum leap enabled by IMAP will open new windows on the frontier of Heliophysics and probe the acceleration of suprathermal and higher energy particles at a time when the space environment is rapidly evolving. IMAP ultimately connects the acceleration processes observed directly at 1 AU with unprecedented sensitivity and temporal resolution with the global structure of our heliosphere. The remarkable synergy between IMAP, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 will remain for at least the next decade as Voyager 1 pushes further into the interstellar domain and Voyager 2 moves through the heliosheath. IMAP, like ACE before it, will be a keystone of the Heliophysics System Observatory by providing comprehensive energetic particle, pickup ion, suprathermal ion, neutral atom, solar wind, solar wind heavy ion, and magnetic field observations to diagnose

  1. LOCAL INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM: SIX YEARS OF DIRECT SAMPLING BY IBEX

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McComas, D. J.; Fuselier, S. A.; Schwadron, N. A.

    2015-01-01

    The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) has been directly observing neutral atoms from the local interstellar medium for the last six years (2009–2014). This paper ties together the 14 studies in this Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series Special Issue, which collectively describe the IBEX interstellar neutral results from this epoch and provide a number of other relevant theoretical and observational results. Interstellar neutrals interact with each other and with the ionized portion of the interstellar population in the “pristine” interstellar medium ahead of the heliosphere. Then, in the heliosphere's close vicinity, the interstellar medium begins to interact with escaping heliospheric neutrals. In this study, we compare the results from two major analysis approaches led by IBEX groups in New Hampshire and Warsaw. We also directly address the question of the distance upstream to the pristine interstellar medium and adjust both sets of results to a common distance of ∼1000 AU. The two analysis approaches are quite different, but yield fully consistent measurements of the interstellar He flow properties, further validating our findings. While detailed error bars are given for both approaches, we recommend that for most purposes, the community use “working values” of ∼25.4 km s −1 , ∼75.°7 ecliptic inflow longitude, ∼ −5.°1 ecliptic inflow latitude, and ∼7500 K temperature at ∼1000 AU upstream. Finally, we briefly address future opportunities for even better interstellar neutral observations to be provided by the Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe mission, which was recommended as the next major Heliophysics mission by the NRC's 2013 Decadal Survey

  2. Interstellar depletions and the filling factor of the hot interstellar medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dwek, E.; Scalo, J.M.

    1979-01-01

    We have examined theoretically the evolution of refractory interstellar grain abundances and corresponding metal deplections in the solar neighborhood. The calculations include a self-consistent treatment of red-giant winds, planetary nebulae, protostellar nebulae, and suprnovae as sources of grains and star formation, and of encounters with supernova blast waves as sinks. We find that in the standard two-phase model for the interstellar medium (ISM), grain destruction is very efficient, and the abundance of refractory grains should be negligible, contrary to observations. In a cloudy three-phase ISM most grains reside in the warm and cold phases of the medium. Supernova blast waves expand predominantly in the hot and tenuous phase of the medium and are showed down as they propagate through a cloud. In order to obtain significant (approx.3) depletions of metals presubably locked up in refractory grain cores, the destruction of grains that reside in the clouds must be minimal. This requires that (a) the density contrast between the cloud and intercloud medium be sufficiently high, and (b) the filling factor of the hot and tenuous gas of the interstellar medium, which presumably gives rise to the O VI absorption and soft X-ray emission, be nearly unity. Much larger depletions (> or approx. =10) must reflect accretion of mantles within interstellar clouds

  3. The rate of the reaction between CN and C2H2 at interstellar temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woon, D. E.; Herbst, E.

    1997-01-01

    The rate coefficient for the important interstellar reaction between CN and C2H2 has been calculated as a function of temperature between 10 and 300 K. The potential surface for this reaction has been determined through ab initio quantum chemical techniques; the potential exhibits no barrier in the entrance channel but does show a small exit channel barrier, which lies below the energy of reactants. Phase-space calculations for the reaction dynamics, which take the exit channel barrier into account, show the same unusual temperature dependence as determined by experiment, in which the rate coefficient at first increases as the temperature is reduced below room temperature and then starts to decrease as the temperature drops below 50-100 K. The agreement between theory and experiment provides strong confirmation that the reaction occurs appreciably at cool interstellar temperatures.

  4. Magnetic Fields in the Interstellar Medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Susan

    2017-01-01

    The Milky Way is magnetized. Invisible magnetic fields thread the Galaxy on all scales and play a vital but still poorly understood role in regulating flows of gas in the interstellar medium and the formation of stars. I will present highlights from my thesis work on magnetic fields in the diffuse interstellar gas and in accretion disks. At high Galactic latitudes, diffuse neutral hydrogen is organized into an intricate network of slender linear features. I will show that these neutral hydrogen “fibers” are extremely well aligned with the ambient magnetic field as traced by both starlight polarization (Clark et al. 2014) and Planck 353 GHz polarized dust emission (Clark et al. 2015). The structure of the neutral interstellar medium is more tightly coupled to the magnetic field than previously known. Because the orientation of neutral hydrogen is an independent predictor of the local dust polarization angle, our work provides a new tool in the search for inflationary gravitational wave B-mode polarization in the cosmic microwave background, which is currently limited by dust foreground contamination. Magnetic fields also drive accretion in astrophysical disks via the magnetorotational instability (MRI). I analytically derive the behavior of this instability in the weakly nonlinear regime and show that the saturated state of the instability depends on the geometry of the background magnetic field. The analytical model describes the behavior of the MRI in a Taylor-Couette flow, a set-up used by experimentalists in the ongoing quest to observe MRI in the laboratory (Clark & Oishi 2016a, 2016b).

  5. Interstellar extinction in the Taurus dark clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meistas, E.; Straizys, V.

    1981-01-01

    The results of photoelectric photometry of 89 stars in the Vilnius seven-color system in the area of the Taurus dark clouds with corrdinates (1950) 4sup(h)16sup(m)-4sup(h)33sup(m), +16 0 -+20 0 are presented. Photometric spectral types, absolute magnitude, color excesses, interstellar extinctions and distances of the stars are determined. The distance of the dark nebula is found to be 140 pc and is in a good agreement with the distance determined for the dark nebula Khavtassi 286, 278. The average extinction Asub(v) in the investigated area is of the order of 1.4. (author)

  6. IMAGINE: Interstellar MAGnetic field INference Engine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steininger, Theo

    2018-03-01

    IMAGINE (Interstellar MAGnetic field INference Engine) performs inference on generic parametric models of the Galaxy. The modular open source framework uses highly optimized tools and technology such as the MultiNest sampler (ascl:1109.006) and the information field theory framework NIFTy (ascl:1302.013) to create an instance of the Milky Way based on a set of parameters for physical observables, using Bayesian statistics to judge the mismatch between measured data and model prediction. The flexibility of the IMAGINE framework allows for simple refitting for newly available data sets and makes state-of-the-art Bayesian methods easily accessible particularly for random components of the Galactic magnetic field.

  7. THE 2014 KIDA NETWORK FOR INTERSTELLAR CHEMISTRY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wakelam, V.; Loison, J. -C.; Herbst, E.; Pavone, B.; Bergeat, A.; Béroff, K.; Chabot, M.; Faure, A.; Galli, D.; Geppert, W. D.; Gerlich, D.; Gratier, P.; Harada, N.; Hickson, K. M.; Honvault, P.; Klippenstein, S. J.; Picard, S. D. Le; Nyman, G.; Ruaud, M.; Schlemmer, S.; Sims, I. R.; Talbi, D.; Tennyson, J.; Wester, R.

    2015-03-25

    Chemical models used to study the chemical composition of the gas and the ices in the interstellar medium are based on a network of chemical reactions and associated rate coefficients. These reactions and rate coefficients are partially compiled from data in the literature, when available. We present in this paper kida.uva.2014, a new updated version of the kida.uva public gas-phase network first released in 2012. In addition to a description of the many specific updates, we illustrate changes in the predicted abundances of molecules for cold dense cloud conditions as compared with the results of the previous version of our network, kida.uva.2011.

  8. Planetary nebulae and the interstellar magnetic field

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heiligman, G.M.

    1980-01-01

    Previous workers have found a statistical correlation between the projected directions of the interstellar magnetic field and the major axes of planetary nebulae. This result has been examined theoretically using a numerical hydromagnetic model of a cold plasma nebula expanding into a uniform vacuum magnetic field, with nebular gas accreting on the surface. It is found that magnetic pressure alone is probably not sufficient to shape most planetary nebulae to the observed degree. Phenomena are discussed which could amplify simple magnetic pressure, alter nebular morphology and account for the observed correlation. (author)

  9. Interstellar extinction in the Large Magellanic Cloud

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nandy, K.; Morgan, D.H.; Willis, A.J.; Wilson, R.; Gondhalekar, P.M.; Houziaux, L.

    1980-01-01

    Recent UV observations together with complementary visible data of several reddened and comparison stars of similar spectral types in the Large Magellanic Cloud have been used to study the interstellar extinction in that galaxy. Most of the reddened stars studied here are located within 2 0 of 30 Doradus and show remarkably high extinction in the far UV, suggesting a large abundance of small particles. From the optical wavelength to 2,600 A the normalised extinction curves of the LMC stars are similar to the mean galactic extinction law. (author)

  10. PROPERTIES OF DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR BANDS AT DIFFERENT PHYSICAL CONDITIONS OF THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kos, J.; Zwitter, T.

    2013-01-01

    Diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) can trace different conditions of the interstellar medium (ISM) along the sightline toward the observed stars. A small survey was made in optical wavelengths, producing high-resolution and high signal-to-noise spectra. We present measurements of 19 DIBs' properties in 50 sightlines toward hot stars, distributed at a variety of galactic coordinates and interstellar reddening. Equivalent widths were obtained by fitting asymmetric Gaussian and variable continua to DIBs. Conditions of the ISM were calculated from eight atomic and molecular interstellar lines. Two distinctly different types of DIBs were identified by carefully comparing correlation coefficients between DIBs and reddening and by different behavior in UV-shielded (ζ) and nonshielded (σ) sightlines. A ratio of DIBs at 5780 Å and 5797 Å proved to be reliable enough to distinguish between two different sightline types. Based on the linear relations between DIB equivalent width and reddening for σ and ζ sightlines, we divide DIBs into type I (where both linear relations are similar) and type II (where they are significantly different). The linear relation for ζ type sightlines always shows a higher slope and larger x-intercept parameter than the relation for σ sightlines. Scatter around the linear relation is reduced after the separation, but it does not vanish completely. This means that UV shielding is the dominant factor of the DIB equivalent width versus reddening relation shape for ζ sightlines, but in σ sightlines other physical parameters play a major role. No similar dependency on gas density, electron density, or turbulence was observed. A catalog of all observed interstellar lines is made public

  11. LOCAL INTERSTELLAR MAGNETIC FIELD DETERMINED FROM THE INTERSTELLAR BOUNDARY EXPLORER RIBBON

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zirnstein, E. J.; Livadiotis, G.; McComas, D. J.; Heerikhuisen, J.; Pogorelov, N. V.; Funsten, H. O.

    2016-01-01

    The solar wind emanating from the Sun interacts with the local interstellar medium (LISM), forming the heliosphere. Hydrogen energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) produced by the solar-interstellar interaction carry important information about plasma properties from the boundaries of the heliosphere, and are currently being measured by NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX). IBEX observations show the existence of a “ribbon” of intense ENA emission projecting a circle on the celestial sphere that is centered near the local interstellar magnetic field (ISMF) vector. Here we show that the source of the IBEX ribbon as a function of ENA energy outside the heliosphere, uniquely coupled to the draping of the ISMF around the heliopause, can be used to precisely determine the magnitude (2.93 ± 0.08 μG) and direction (227.°28 ± 0.°69, 34.°62 ± 0.°45 in ecliptic longitude and latitude) of the pristine ISMF far (∼1000 AU) from the Sun. We find that the ISMF vector is offset from the ribbon center by ∼8.°3 toward the direction of motion of the heliosphere through the LISM, and their vectors form a plane that is consistent with the direction of deflected interstellar neutral hydrogen, thought to be controlled by the ISMF. Our results yield draped ISMF properties close to that observed by Voyager 1, the only spacecraft to directly measure the ISMF close to the heliosphere, and give predictions of the pristine ISMF that Voyager 1 has yet to sample

  12. Three-Component Dust Models for Interstellar Extinction C ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Abstract. Interstellar extinction curves obtained from the 'extinction without standard' method were used to constrain the dust characteristics in the mean ISM (RV = 3.1), along the lines of sight through a high latitude diffuse molecular cloud towards HD 210121 (RV = 2.1) and in a dense interstellar environment towards the ...

  13. Distribution of Interstellar Reddening Material in the Galactic Plane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chulhee Kim

    1987-12-01

    Full Text Available By using the recently determined color excess and distance data of classical cepheids by Kim(1985, the distribution of interstellar reddening material was studied to see the general picture of the average rate of interstellar absorption out to about 7-8kpc in the Galactic plane in various directions from the sun.

  14. Catalog of open clusters and associated interstellar matter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leisawitz, D.

    1988-06-01

    The Catalog of Open Clusters and Associated Interstellar Matter summarizes observations of 128 open clusters and their associated ionized, atomic, and molecular iinterstellar matter. Cluster sizes, distances, radial velocities, ages, and masses, and the radial velocities and masses of associated interstellar medium components, are given. The database contains information from approximately 400 references published in the scientific literature before 1988

  15. The ribose and glycine Maillard reaction in the interstellar medium ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Chemical Sciences; Volume 120; Issue 3. The ribose and glycine Maillard reaction in the interstellar medium (ISM): A theoretical study. Abraham F Jalbout Md Abul Haider ... Keywords. Density functional computational study; ribose; glycine; Maillard reaction; gaseous phase interstellar medium.

  16. Classical analogue of an interstellar travel through a hydrodynamic wormhole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euvé, L.-P.; Rousseaux, G.

    2017-09-01

    The classical theory of space-time, namely general relativity, suggests but does not demonstrate the existence of so-called wormholes allowing for interstellar journeys. Alternative proposals such as quantum gravity theories are developed nowadays to allow for wormhole travels by assuming hypothetical trans-Planckian effects at tiny scales. Here we show experimentally that analogue traversable and bidirectional wormholes exist in hydrodynamics following a suggestion by Wheeler. Using a water channel, we sent free surface waves on a countercurrent in an analogue gravity setup aiming at showing that hydrodynamic wormhole travels are controlled by a cascade of dispersive scales including surface tension effects: the capillary wavelength plays the role of a Planckian scale below which long gravity waves are transformed into short capillary waves that are able to move at speeds higher than the "flow" of space-time. Whereas our results do not apply to putative astrophysical wormholes per se, we anticipate that they will trigger new ideas to explore quantum gravity physics.

  17. Streaming of interstellar grains in the solar system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustafson, B. A. S.; Misconi, N. Y.

    1979-01-01

    Results of a theoretical study of the interactions between interstellar grains streaming through the solar system and the solar wind are presented. It is shown that although elongated core-mantle interstellar particles of a characteristic radius of about 0.12 microns are subject to a greater force due to radiation pressure than to gravitational attraction, they are still able to penetrate deep inside the solar system. Calculations of particle trajectories within the solar system indicate substantial effects of the solar activity cycle as reflected in the interplanetary magnetic field on the distribution of 0.12- and 0.0005-micron interstellar grains streaming through the solar system, leading to a 50-fold increase in interstellar grain densities 3 to 4 AU ahead of the sun during years 8 to 17 of the solar cycle. It is noted that during the Solar Polar Mission, concentrations are expected which will offer the opportunity of detecting interstellar grains in the solar system.

  18. LOCAL INTERSTELLAR NEUTRAL HYDROGEN SAMPLED IN SITU BY IBEX

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saul, Lukas; Wurz, Peter; Rodriguez, Diego; Scheer, Jürgen; Möbius, Eberhard; Schwadron, Nathan; Kucharek, Harald; Leonard, Trevor; Bzowski, Maciej; Fuselier, Stephen; Crew, Geoff; McComas, Dave

    2012-01-01

    Hydrogen gas is the dominant component of the local interstellar medium. However, owing to ionization and interaction with the heliosphere, direct sampling of neutral hydrogen in the inner heliosphere is more difficult than sampling the local interstellar neutral helium, which penetrates deep into the heliosphere. In this paper, we report on the first detailed analysis of the direct sampling of neutral hydrogen from the local interstellar medium. We confirm that the arrival direction of hydrogen is offset from that of the local helium component. We further report the discovery of a variation of the penetrating hydrogen over the first two years of Interstellar Boundary Explorer observations. Observations are consistent with hydrogen experiencing an effective ratio of outward solar radiation pressure to inward gravitational force greater than unity (μ > 1); the temporal change observed in the local interstellar hydrogen flux can be explained with solar variability.

  19. Iron or iron oxide grains in the interstellar medium?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, A.P.

    1990-01-01

    Iron grains have often been proposed as a component of circumstellar and interstellar grains. It is apparent that 'cosmic abundance' circumstellar shells should condense iron-rich particles such as metallic iron, iron/nickel alloys and iron carbides. It is not, however, clear that these grains can survive in this state in the interstellar medium. In this paper the chemistry of iron particles in the diffuse interstellar medium is examined and it is concluded that these grains cannot survive as pristine metallic iron-rich entities. The reactivity of iron, and in particular its reaction with interstellar gas-phase oxygen and sulphur species, will result in the rapid degradation of the metal to an oxide, sulphide or even sulphate. The lack of metallic phases in the mineralogy of primitive interplanetary dust particles is consistent with the absence of metallic particles in the interstellar medium. (author)

  20. Status of Solar Sail Propulsion Within NASA - Moving Toward Interstellar Travel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Les

    2015-01-01

    NASA is developing solar sail propulsion for two near-term missions and laying the groundwork for their future use in deep space and interstellar precursor missions. Solar sails use sunlight to propel vehicles through space by reflecting solar photons from a large, mirror-like sail made of a lightweight, highly reflective material. This continuous photon pressure provides propellantless thrust, allowing for very high (Delta)V maneuvers on long-duration, deep space exploration. Since reflected light produces thrust, solar sails require no onboard propellant. The Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout mission, managed by MSFC, will use the sail as primary propulsion allowing it to survey and image one or more NEA's of interest for possible future human exploration. Lunar Flashlight, managed by JPL, will search for and map volatiles in permanently shadowed Lunar craters using a solar sail as a gigantic mirror to steer sunlight into the shaded craters. The Lunar Flashlight spacecraft will also use the propulsive solar sail to maneuver into a lunar polar orbit. Both missions use a 6U cubesat architecture, a common an 85 sq m solar sail, and will weigh less than 12 kilograms. Both missions will be launched on the first flight of the Space Launch System in 2018. NEA Scout and Lunar Flashlight will serve as important milestones in the development of solar sail propulsion technology for future, more ambitious missions including the Interstellar Probe - a mission long desired by the space science community which would send a robotic probe beyond the edge of the solar system to a distance of 250 Astronomical Units or more. This paper will summarize the development status of NEA Scout and Lunar Flashlight and describe the next steps required to enable an interstellar solar sail capability.

  1. A Search for Interstellar Monohydric Thiols

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gorai, Prasanta; Das, Ankan; Das, Amaresh; Chakrabarti, Sandip K. [Indian Centre for Space Physics, 43 Chalantika, Garia Station Rd., Kolkata, 700084 (India); Sivaraman, Bhalamurugan [Atomic Molecular and Optical Physics Division, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, 380009 (India); Etim, Emmanuel E., E-mail: ankan.das@gmail.com [Indian Institute of Science Bangalore, 560012 (India)

    2017-02-10

    It has been pointed out by various astronomers that a very interesting relationship exists between interstellar alcohols and the corresponding thiols (sulfur analog of alcohols) as far as the spectroscopic properties and chemical abundances are concerned. Monohydric alcohols such as methanol and ethanol are widely observed and 1-propanol was recently claimed to have been seen in Orion KL. Among the monohydric thiols, methanethiol (chemical analog of methanol) has been firmly detected in Orion KL and Sgr B2(N2) and ethanethiol (chemical analog of ethanol) has been observed in Sgr B2(N2), though the confirmation of this detection is yet to come. It is very likely that higher order thiols could be observed in these regions. In this paper, we study the formation of monohydric alcohols and their thiol analogs. Based on our quantum chemical calculation and chemical modeling, we find that the Tg conformer of 1-propanethiol is a good candidate of astronomical interest. We present various spectroscopically relevant parameters of this molecule to assist in its future detection in the interstellar medium.

  2. Galactic civilizations - Population dynamics and interstellar diffusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, W. I.; Sagan, C.

    1981-01-01

    A model is developed of the interstellar diffusion of galactic civilizations which takes into account the population dynamics of such civilizations. The problem is formulated in terms of potential theory, with a family of nonlinear partial differential and difference equations specifying population growth and diffusion for an organism with advantageous genes that undergoes random dispersal while increasing in population locally, and a population at zero population growth. In the case of nonlinear diffusion with growth and saturation, it is found that the colonization wavefront from the nearest independently arisen galactic civilization can have reached the earth only if its lifetime exceeds 2.6 million years, or 20 million years if discretization can be neglected. For zero population growth, the corresponding lifetime is 13 billion years. It is concluded that the earth is uncolonized not because interstellar spacefaring civilizations are rare, but because there are too many worlds to be colonized in the plausible colonization lifetime of nearby civilizations, and that there exist no very old galactic civilizations with a consistent policy of the conquest of inhabited worlds.

  3. Formation of Benzene in the Interstellar Medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Brant M.; Zhang, Fangtong; Kaiser, Ralf I.; Jamal, Adeel; Mebel, Alexander M.; Cordiner, Martin A.; Charnley, Steven B.; Crim, F. Fleming (Editor)

    2010-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and related species have been suggested to play a key role in the astrochemical evolution of the interstellar medium, but the formation mechanism of even their simplest building block-the aromatic benzene molecule-has remained elusive for decades. Here we demonstrate in crossed molecular beam experiments combined with electronic structure and statistical calculations that benzene (C6H6) can be synthesized via the barrierless, exoergic reaction of the ethynyl radical and 1,3- butadiene, C2H + H2CCHCHCH2 --> C6H6, + H, under single collision conditions. This reaction portrays the simplest representative of a reaction class in which aromatic molecules with a benzene core can be formed from acyclic precursors via barrierless reactions of ethynyl radicals with substituted 1,3-butadlene molecules. Unique gas-grain astrochemical models imply that this low-temperature route controls the synthesis of the very first aromatic ring from acyclic precursors in cold molecular clouds, such as in the Taurus Molecular Cloud. Rapid, subsequent barrierless reactions of benzene with ethynyl radicals can lead to naphthalene-like structures thus effectively propagating the ethynyl-radical mediated formation of aromatic molecules in the interstellar medium.

  4. Formation of benzene in the interstellar medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Brant M.; Zhang, Fangtong; Kaiser, Ralf I.; Jamal, Adeel; Mebel, Alexander M.; Cordiner, Martin A.; Charnley, Steven B.

    2011-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and related species have been suggested to play a key role in the astrochemical evolution of the interstellar medium, but the formation mechanism of even their simplest building block—the aromatic benzene molecule—has remained elusive for decades. Here we demonstrate in crossed molecular beam experiments combined with electronic structure and statistical calculations that benzene (C6H6) can be synthesized via the barrierless, exoergic reaction of the ethynyl radical and 1,3-butadiene, C2H + H2CCHCHCH2 → C6H6 + H, under single collision conditions. This reaction portrays the simplest representative of a reaction class in which aromatic molecules with a benzene core can be formed from acyclic precursors via barrierless reactions of ethynyl radicals with substituted 1,3-butadiene molecules. Unique gas-grain astrochemical models imply that this low-temperature route controls the synthesis of the very first aromatic ring from acyclic precursors in cold molecular clouds, such as in the Taurus Molecular Cloud. Rapid, subsequent barrierless reactions of benzene with ethynyl radicals can lead to naphthalene-like structures thus effectively propagating the ethynyl-radical mediated formation of aromatic molecules in the interstellar medium. PMID:21187430

  5. Interstellar shock waves with magnetic precursors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Draine, B.T.

    1980-01-01

    The structure of steady, radiative, one-dimensional shock waves in partially ionized gas with a transverse magnetic field B 0 is investigated. Under a broad range of conditions applicable to the interstellar medium it is found that such shocks may be preceded by a magnetic precursor which heats and compresses the medium ahead of the front where the neutral gas undergoes a discontinuous change of state; indeed, if B 0 is sufficiently large, a shock can exist with no discontinuities in hydrodynamical variables. Within this magnetic precursor both ions and electrons stream through the neutral fluid with velocities which may be a significant fraction of the shock speed. The physical processes operative in such shocks are examined, including the effects of charged dust grains in dense molecular clouds. Numerical examples are shown for v/sub s/ = 10 km s -1 shocks propagating into diffuse H I or H 2 . Shocks with magnetic precursors may have important consequences for the interstellar medium, some of which are briefly considered

  6. Nitrogen Chemistry in the Interstellar Medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGonagle, D.

    1995-01-01

    We have carried out radio observations for the interstellar molecules NO, NS, and HCCN in order to investigate the role of nitrogen in the chemistry of the interstellar medium (ISM). Abundances of these species and implications for chemistry models are discussed. In addition, we have conducted a spectral line survey towards the star forming region Orion(KL) over the frequency range 160-170 GHz, which revealed a large number of spectral features arising from such nitrogen-bearing molecules as NS, HNCO, HCCCN, CHCN, CHCHCN, and CHCHCN. The first detection of interstellar nitric oxide (NO) in the cold dark cloud L134N is reported, and we also confirm the subsequent detection towards TMC-1. The inferred NO fractional abundance relative to molecular hydrogen for L134N is f ~ 5 W 10 towards the position of peak SO emission in that cloud. The inferred fractional abundance for TMC-1 is f ~ 2 W 10 towards the position of peak NH emission. These fractional abundances are in good agreement with predictions of quiescent cloud ion-molecule chemistry. We estimate f(N)/f(NO) ~ 140, which suggests that the bulk of the gas-phase nitrogen in quiescent clouds is in the form of N , as the ion-molecule chemistry models suggest. The first detection of interstellar nitrogen sulfide (NS) in cold dark clouds is reported. Several components of the , J = 3/2 --> 1/2 and J = 5/2 --> 3/2 rotational transitions were observed towards TMC-1 and L134N. The inferred column density for TMC-1 is f ~ 8 W 10 towards the NH peak in that cloud, and in L134N is f ~ 6 W 10 towards the position of peak NH emission. We have found that NS emission is extended in both clouds. The inferred NS fractional abundances are significantly higher than those predicted by some recent gas-phase ion-molecule models. Our astronomical observations of NS have led to new laboratory spectroscopy which has resulted in more accurate NS transition frequencies, and a corresponding determination of the NS molecular constants to a

  7. Interstellar dehydrogenated PAH anions: vibrational spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buragohain, Mridusmita; Pathak, Amit; Sarre, Peter; Gour, Nand Kishor

    2018-03-01

    Interstellar polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules exist in diverse forms depending on the local physical environment. Formation of ionized PAHs (anions and cations) is favourable in the extreme conditions of the interstellar medium (ISM). Besides in their pure form, PAHs are also likely to exist in substituted forms; for example, PAHs with functional groups, dehydrogenated PAHs etc. A dehydrogenated PAH molecule might subsequently form fullerenes in the ISM as a result of ongoing chemical processes. This work presents a density functional theory (DFT) calculation on dehydrogenated PAH anions to explore the infrared emission spectra of these molecules and discuss any possible contribution towards observed IR features in the ISM. The results suggest that dehydrogenated PAH anions might be significantly contributing to the 3.3 μm region. Spectroscopic features unique to dehydrogenated PAH anions are highlighted that may be used for their possible identification in the ISM. A comparison has also been made to see the size effect on spectra of these PAHs.

  8. Latest Observations of Interstellar Plasma Waves, Radio Emissions, and Dust Impacts from the Voyager 1 Plasma Wave Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurnett, D. A.

    2017-12-01

    Voyager 1, which is now 140 AU (Astronomical Units) from the Sun, crossed the heliopause into interstellar space in 2012 at a heliospheric radial distance of 121 AU. Since crossing the heliopause the plasma wave instrument has on several occasions detected plasma oscillations and radio emissions at or near the electron plasma frequency. The most notable of these events occurred in Oct.-Nov. 2012, April-May 2013, Feb.-Nov. 2014, and Sept.-Nov. 2015. Most recently, a very weak emission has been observed at or near the electron plasma frequency through most of 2016. These emissions are all believed to be produced by shock waves propagating into the interstellar medium from energetic solar events. The oscillation frequency of the plasma indicates that the electron density in the interstellar plasma has gradually increased from about 0.06 cm-3 near the heliopause to about 0.12 cm-3 in the most recent data. The plasma wave instrument also continues to detect impacts of what are believed to be interstellar dust grains at an impact rate of a few per year. Comparisons with Ulysses observations of similar interstellar dust near 5 AU suggest that the dust grains have sizes in the range from about 0.1 to 1 micrometer. Although the statistics are poor due to the low count rate, the dust flux observed in the outer heliosphere appears to be as much as a factor of two greater than that observed in the interstellar medium. Since the dust particles are likely to be charged, this increase in the heliosphere suggests that there may be a significant electrodynamic interaction of the dust particles with the heliospheric magnetic field.

  9. Direct measurement of interstellar extinction toward young stars using atomic hydrogen Lyα absorption

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McJunkin, Matthew; France, Kevin; Brown, Alexander [Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy, University of Colorado, 389 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309 (United States); Schneider, P. C. [Hamburger Sternwarte, Gojenbergsweg 112, D-21029 Hamburg (Germany); Herczeg, Gregory J. [Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (China); Hillenbrand, Lynne [California Institute of Technology, Department of Astrophysics, MC105-24, 1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Schindhelm, Eric [Southwest Research Institute, 1050 Walnut Street, Suite 300, Boulder, CO 80302 (United States); Edwards, Suzan, E-mail: matthew.mcjunkin@colorado.edu [Five College Astronomy Department, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063 (United States)

    2014-01-10

    Interstellar reddening corrections are necessary to reconstruct the intrinsic spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of accreting protostellar systems. The stellar SED determines the heating and chemical processes that can occur in circumstellar disks. Measurement of neutral hydrogen absorption against broad Lyα emission profiles in young stars can be used to obtain the total H I column density (N(H I)) along the line of sight. We measure N(H I) with new and archival ultraviolet observations from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) of 31 classical T Tauri and Herbig Ae/Be stars. The H I column densities range from log{sub 10}(N(H I)) ≈19.6-21.1, with corresponding visual extinctions of A{sub V} =0.02-0.72 mag, assuming an R{sub V} of 3.1. We find that the majority of the H I absorption along the line of sight likely comes from interstellar rather than circumstellar material. Extinctions derived from new HST blue-optical spectral analyses, previous IR and optical measurements, and new X-ray column densities on average overestimate the interstellar extinction toward young stars compared to the N(H I) values by ∼0.6 mag. We discuss possible explanations for this discrepancy in the context of a protoplanetary disk geometry.

  10. Design of interstellar digital communication links: Some insights from communication engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messerschmitt, David G.; Morrison, Ian S.

    2012-09-01

    The design of an end-to-end digital interstellar communication system at radio frequencies is discussed, drawing on the disciplines of digital communication engineering and computer network engineering in terrestrial and near-space applications. One goal is a roadmap to the design of such systems, aimed at future designers of either receivers (SETI) or transmitters (METI). In particular we emphasize the implications arising from the impossibility of coordination between transmitter and receiver prior to a receiver's search for a signal. A system architecture based on layering, as commonly used in network and software design, assists in organizing and categorizing the various design issues and identifying dependencies. Implications of impairments introduced in the interstellar medium, such as dispersion, scattering, Doppler, noise, and signal attenuation are discussed. Less fundamental (but nevertheless influential) design issues are the motivations of the transmitter designers and associated resource requirements at both transmitter and receiver. Unreliability is inevitably imposed by non-idealities in the physical communication channel, and this unreliability will have substantial implications for those seeking to convey interstellar messages.

  11. First-principles study of the formation of glycine-producing radicals from common interstellar species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Akimasa; Kitazawa, Yuya; Ochi, Toshiro; Shoji, Mitsuo; Komatsu, Yu; Kayanuma, Megumi; Aikawa, Yuri; Umemura, Masayuki; Shigeta, Yasuteru

    2018-03-01

    Glycine, the simplest amino acid, has been intensively searched for in molecular clouds, and the comprehensive clarification of the formation path of interstellar glycine is now imperative. Among all the possible glycine formation pathways, we focused on the radical pathways revealed by Garrod (2013). In the present study, we have precisely investigated all the chemical reaction steps related to the glycine formation processes based on state-of-the-art density functional theory (DFT) calculations. We found that two reaction pathways require small activation barriers (ΔE‡ ≤ 7.75 kJ mol-1), which demonstrates the possibility of glycine formation even at low temperatures in interstellar space if the radical species are generated. The origin of carbon and nitrogen in the glycine backbone and their combination patterns are further discussed in relation to the formation mechanisms. According to the clarification of the atomic correspondence between glycine and its potential parental molecules, it is shown that the nitrogen and two carbons in the glycine can originate in three common interstellar molecules, methanol, hydrogen cyanide, and ammonia, and that the source molecules of glycine can be described by any of their combinations. The glycine formation processes can be categorized into six patterns. Finally, we discussed two other glycine formation pathways expected from the present DFT calculation results.

  12. Ultraviolet Irradiation of Pyrimidine in Interstellar Ice Analogs: Formation and Photo-Stability of Nucleobases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuevo, Michel; Milam, Stefanie N.; Sandford, Scott A.; Elsila, Jamie E.; Dworkin, Jason P.

    2010-01-01

    Astrochemistry laboratory experiments recently showed that molecules of prebiotic interest can potentially form in space, as supported by the detection of amino acids in organic residues formed by the UV photolysis of ices simulating interstellar and cometary environments (H2O, CO, CO2, CH3OH, NH3, etc.). Although the presence of amino acids in the interstellar medium (ISM) is still under debate, experiments and the detection of amino acids in meteorites both support a scenario in which prebiotic molecules could be of extraterrestrial origin, before they are delivered to planets by comets, asteroids, and interplanetary dust particles. Nucleobases, the informational subunits of DNA and RNA, have also been detected in meteorites, although they have not yet been observed in the ISM. Thus, these molecules constitute another family of prebiotic compounds that can possibly form via abiotical processes in astrophysical environments. Nucleobases are nitrogen-bearing cyclic aromatic species with various functional groups attached, which are divided into two classes: pyrimidines (uracil, cytosine, and thymine) and purines (adenine and guanine). In this work, we study how UV irradiation affects pyrimidine mixed in interstellar ice analogs (H2O, NH3, CH3OH). In particular, we show that the UV irradiation of H2O:pyrimidine mixtures leads to the production of oxidized compounds including uracil, and show that both uracil and cytosine are formed upon irradiation of H2O:NH3:pyrimidine mixtures. We also study the photostability of pyrimidine and its photoproducts formed during these experiments.

  13. Implications for Planetary System Formation from Interstellar Object 1I/2017 U1 (‘Oumuamua)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trilling, David E.; Robinson, Tyler; Roegge, Alissa; Chandler, Colin Orion; Smith, Nathan; Loeffler, Mark; Trujillo, Chad; Navarro-Meza, Samuel; Glaspie, Lori M.

    2017-12-01

    The recently discovered minor body 1I/2017 U1 (‘Oumuamua) is the first known object in our solar system that is not bound by the Sun’s gravity. Its hyperbolic orbit (eccentricity greater than unity) strongly suggests that it originated outside our solar system; its red color is consistent with substantial space weathering experienced over a long interstellar journey. We carry out a simple calculation of the probability of detecting such an object. We find that the observed detection rate of 1I-like objects can be satisfied if the average mass of ejected material from nearby stars during the process of planetary formation is ˜20 Earth masses, similar to the expected value for our solar system. The current detection rate of such interstellar interlopers is estimated to be 0.2 yr-1, and the expected number of detections over the past few years is almost exactly one. When the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope begins its wide, fast, deep all-sky survey, the detection rate will increase to 1 yr-1. Those expected detections will provide further constraints on nearby planetary system formation through a better estimate of the number and properties of interstellar objects.

  14. Voyager 1 Observations of Galactic Cosmic Rays in the Local Interstellar Medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cummings, A. C.; Stone, E. C.; Heikkila, B. C.; Lal, N.; Webber, W. R.

    2014-12-01

    The twin Voyager spacecraft were launched in 1977 and continue to be on a remarkable journey of exploration. Both spacecraft have crossed the termination shock of the solar wind and Voyager 1 (V1) crossed into interstellar space in ~mid-2012. At that crossing of the heliopause, the particles of heliospheric origin that had dominated the energy spectrum of most cosmic ray nuclei below approximately 50 MeV/nucleon disappeared, revealing for the first time the energy spectra of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) down to about 3 MeV/nucleon. The intensity of GCRs has not shown any significant long-term gradient since the crossing, suggesting that V1 is observing the energy spectra of GCRs in the local interstellar medium unaffected by solar modulation. The energy spectra of H, He, C, and O have rather broad peaks in the ~20-100 MeV/nucleon energy range. The H/He ratio in this energy range is ~12 and that of C/O is ~1. We are also observing the local interstellar electron spectrum and find that a power-law energy dependence with spectral index approximately -1.5 from ~5-70 MeV is consistent with the data. We will report on the latest observations at the meeting. This work was supported by NASA under contract NNN12AA012.

  15. On the Synthesis of Chocolate Flavonoids (Propanols, Butanals) in the Interstellar Medium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abplanalp, Matthew J; Góbi, Sándor; Bergantini, Alexandre; Turner, Andrew M; Kaiser, Ralf I

    2018-03-05

    Complex organic molecules are ubiquitous in star- and planet-forming regions as well as on comets such as on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, but their origins have remained largely unexplained until now. Here, we report the first laboratory detection of distinct C 3 H 8 O (propanol, methyl ethyl ether) and C 4 H 8 O (n-butanal, i-butanal) isomers formed within interstellar analog ices through interaction with ionizing radiation. This study reveals that complex organics with propyl (C 3 H 7 ) and butyl (C 4 H 9 ) groups can be synthesized easily in deep space and may act as key evolutionary tracers of a cosmic ray driven non-equilibrium chemistry in low temperature interstellar ices at 10 K. These processes are of vital importance in initiating a chain of chemical reactions leading to complex organics-some of which are responsible for the flavors of chocolate-not only in the interstellar medium, but also on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. © 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  16. Chirality, photochemistry and the detection of amino acids in interstellar ice analogues and comets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Amanda C; Meinert, Cornelia; Giri, Chaitanya; Goesmann, Fred; Meierhenrich, Uwe J

    2012-08-21

    The primordial appearance of chiral amino acids was an essential component of the asymmetric evolution of life on Earth. In this tutorial review we will explore the original life-generating, symmetry-breaking event and summarise recent thoughts on the origin of enantiomeric excess in the universe. We will then highlight the transfer of asymmetry from chiral photons to racemic amino acids and elucidate current experimental data on the photochemical synthesis of amino and diamino acid structures in simulated interstellar and circumstellar ice environments. The chirality inherent within actual interstellar (cometary) ice environments will be considered in this discussion: in 2014 the Rosetta Lander Philae onboard the Rosetta space probe is planned to detach from the orbiter and soft-land on the surface of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It is equipped for the in situ enantioselective analysis of chiral prebiotic organic species in cometary ices. The scientific design of this mission will therefore be presented in the context of analysing the formation of amino acid structures within interstellar ice analogues as a means towards furthering understanding of the origin of asymmetric biological molecules.

  17. Turbulence in nearly incompressible fluids: density spectrum, flows, correlations and implication to the interstellar medium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Dastgeer

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Interstellar scintillation and angular radio wave broadening measurements show that interstellar and solar wind (electron density fluctuations exhibit a Kolmogorov-like k-5/3 power spectrum extending over many decades in wavenumber space. The ubiquity of the Kolmogorov-like interstellar medium (ISM density spectrum led to an explanation based on coupling incompressible magnetohydrodynamic (MHD fluctuations to density fluctuations through a 'pseudosound' relation within the context of 'nearly incompressible' (NI hydrodynamics (HD and MHD models. The NI theory provides a fundamentally different explanation for the observed ISM density spectrum in that the density fluctuations can be a consequence of passive scalar convection due to background incompressible fluctuations. The theory further predicts generation of long-scale structures and various correlations between the density, temperature and the (magneto acoustic as well as convective pressure fluctuations in the compressible ISM fluids in different thermal regimes that are determined purely by the thermal fluctuation level. In this paper, we present the results of our two dimensional nonlinear fluid simulations, exploring various nonlinear aspects that lead to inertial range ISM turbulence within the context of a NI hydrodymanics model. In qualitative agreement with the NI predictions and the in-situ observations, we find that i the density fluctuations exhibit a Kolmogorov-like spectrum via a passive convection in the field of the background incompressible fluctuations, ii the compressible ISM fluctuations form long scale flows and structures, and iii the density and the temperature fluctuations are anti-correlated.

  18. Extinction and polarization of light by dust in the interstellar medium. Interstellar extinction curves

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Voshchinnokov, N.V.; Il'in, A.E.; Il'in, V.B.

    1986-01-01

    A model of two-layer cylindrical interstellar dust grains is used to calculate the interstellar extinction curves in the visible and near infrared regions of the spectrum and the ratio R /sub V/ of the total to the selective extinction. It is assumed that the core of the two-layer grains consists of ''astronomical silicate'' and the mantle of dirty ice and that they are completely or partly oriented under the influence of the Davis-Greenstein mechanism. A study is made of the dependence of R /sub V/ on the diameter of the grains and the degree and direction of their orientation. It is shown that to find the total extinction it is best to use the relation A /sub V/ = 1.1E(V - K), which holds to an accuracy ≤ 3% in a wide range of parameters of the problem

  19. COMPARISONS OF THE INTERSTELLAR MAGNETIC FIELD DIRECTIONS OBTAINED FROM THE IBEX RIBBON AND INTERSTELLAR POLARIZATIONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frisch, Priscilla C.; Andersson, B-G; Berdyugin, Andrei; Piirola, Vilppu; Funsten, Herbert O.; Magalhaes, Antonio M.; McComas, David J.; Schwadron, Nathan A.; Slavin, Jonathan D.; Wiktorowicz, Sloane J.

    2010-01-01

    Variations in the spatial configuration of the interstellar magnetic field (ISMF) near the Sun can be constrained by comparing the ISMF direction at the heliosphere found from the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft observations of a 'Ribbon' of energetic neutral atoms (ENAs), with the ISMF direction derived from optical polarization data for stars within ∼40 pc. Using interstellar polarization observations toward ∼30 nearby stars within ∼90 0 of the heliosphere nose, we find that the best fits to the polarization position angles are obtained for a magnetic pole directed toward ecliptic coordinates of λ, β ∼ 263 0 , 37 0 (or galactic coordinates of l, b ∼ 38 0 , 23 0 ), with uncertainties of ±35 0 based on the broad minimum of the best fits and the range of data quality. This magnetic pole is 33 0 from the magnetic pole that is defined by the center of the arc of the ENA Ribbon. The IBEX ENA ribbon is seen in sight lines that are perpendicular to the ISMF as it drapes over the heliosphere. The similarity of the polarization and Ribbon directions for the local ISMF suggests that the local field is coherent over scale sizes of tens of parsecs. The ISMF vector direction is nearly perpendicular to the flow of local interstellar material (ISM) through the local standard of rest, supporting a possible local ISM origin related to an evolved expanding magnetized shell. The local ISMF direction is found to have a curious geometry with respect to the cosmic microwave background dipole moment.

  20. A brief visit from a red and extremely elongated interstellar asteroid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meech, Karen J; Weryk, Robert; Micheli, Marco; Kleyna, Jan T; Hainaut, Olivier R; Jedicke, Robert; Wainscoat, Richard J; Chambers, Kenneth C; Keane, Jacqueline V; Petric, Andreea; Denneau, Larry; Magnier, Eugene; Berger, Travis; Huber, Mark E; Flewelling, Heather; Waters, Chris; Schunova-Lilly, Eva; Chastel, Serge

    2017-12-21

    None of the approximately 750,000 known asteroids and comets in the Solar System is thought to have originated outside it, despite models of the formation of planetary systems suggesting that orbital migration of giant planets ejects a large fraction of the original planetesimals into interstellar space. The high predicted number density of icy interstellar objects (2.4 × 10 -4 per cubic astronomical unit) suggests that some should have been detected, yet hitherto none has been seen. Many decades of asteroid and comet characterization have yielded formation models that explain the mass distribution, chemical abundances and planetary configuration of the Solar System today, but there has been no way of telling whether the Solar System is typical of planetary systems. Here we report observations and analysis of the object 1I/2017 U1 ('Oumuamua) that demonstrate its extrasolar trajectory, and that thus enable comparisons to be made between material from another planetary system and from our own. Our observations during the brief visit by the object to the inner Solar System reveal it to be asteroidal, with no hint of cometary activity despite an approach within 0.25 astronomical units of the Sun. Spectroscopic measurements show that the surface of the object is spectrally red, consistent with comets or organic-rich asteroids that reside within the Solar System. Light-curve observations indicate that the object has an extremely oblong shape, with a length about ten times its width, and a mean radius of about 102 metres assuming an albedo of 0.04. No known objects in the Solar System have such extreme dimensions. The presence of 'Oumuamua in the Solar System suggests that previous estimates of the number density of interstellar objects, based on the assumption that all such objects were cometary, were pessimistically low. Planned upgrades to contemporary asteroid survey instruments and improved data processing techniques are likely to result in the detection of

  1. Formation of unsaturated hydrocarbons by cosmic ray analogs in interstellar ices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilling, S.; Andrade, D. P. P.; da Silveira, E. F.; Rothard, H.; Domaracka, A.; Boduch, P.

    2011-05-01

    The presence of large unsaturated carbon chain species, such as polyacetylenes, cyanopolyes and PAHs, in interstellar regions has been detected in the last 30 years. During the years, several mechanism have been proposed to explain the presence of these compounds in space including, gas-phase ion-molecule reactions and neutral-neutral reactions. Although no direct detection of large saturated carbon chains in interstellar medium such as cyclohexane (c-C_6H12) has been achieved, the presence of this compound as well as others large saturated hydrocarbons, have been suggested in these regions. These compounds form easily in grain surface by direct hydrogenation. We present an experimental study concerning the formation of C=C and C≡C bonds from the processing of pure c-C_6H12 and mixed H_2O:NH_3:c-C_6H12 ices by heavy, highly-charged, and energetic ions (219 MeV 16O7+ ; 46 MeV 58Ni13+). The experiments simulate the physical chemistry induced by heavy-ion cosmic rays at interstellar ices. The measurements were performed inside a high vacuum chamber at the heavy-ion accelerator GANIL (Grand Accelerateur National d'Ions Lourds) in Caen, France. The gas samples were deposited onto a polished CsI substrate previously cooled to 13 K. In-situ analysis was performed by a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR) at different ion fluences. The results suggest an alternative scenario for the production of unsaturated carbon chain species (and dehydrogenation) in interstellar ices induced by cosmic rays bombardment.

  2. Interstellar medium. Pseudo-three-dimensional maps of the diffuse interstellar band at 862 nm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kos, Janez; Zwitter, Tomaž; Wyse, Rosemary; Bienaymé, Olivier; Binney, James; Bland-Hawthorn, Joss; Freeman, Kenneth; Gibson, Brad K; Gilmore, Gerry; Grebel, Eva K; Helmi, Amina; Kordopatis, Georges; Munari, Ulisse; Navarro, Julio; Parker, Quentin; Reid, Warren A; Seabroke, George; Sharma, Sanjib; Siebert, Arnaud; Siviero, Alessandro; Steinmetz, Matthias; Watson, Fred G; Williams, Mary E K

    2014-08-15

    The diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are absorption lines observed in visual and near-infrared spectra of stars. Understanding their origin in the interstellar medium is one of the oldest problems in astronomical spectroscopy, as DIBs have been known since 1922. In a completely new approach to understanding DIBs, we combined information from nearly 500,000 stellar spectra obtained by the massive spectroscopic survey RAVE (Radial Velocity Experiment) to produce the first pseudo-three-dimensional map of the strength of the DIB at 8620 angstroms covering the nearest 3 kiloparsecs from the Sun, and show that it follows our independently constructed spatial distribution of extinction by interstellar dust along the Galactic plane. Despite having a similar distribution in the Galactic plane, the DIB 8620 carrier has a significantly larger vertical scale height than the dust. Even if one DIB may not represent the general DIB population, our observations outline the future direction of DIB research. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  3. Hot interstellar matter in elliptical galaxies

    CERN Document Server

    Kim, Dong-Woo

    2012-01-01

    Based on a number of new discoveries resulting from 10 years of Chandra and XMM-Newton observations and corresponding theoretical works, this is the first book to address significant progress in the research of the Hot Interstellar Matter in Elliptical Galaxies. A fundamental understanding of the physical properties of the hot ISM in elliptical galaxies is critical, because they are directly related to the formation and evolution of elliptical galaxies via star formation episodes, environmental effects such as stripping, infall, and mergers, and the growth of super-massive black holes. Thanks to the outstanding spatial resolution of Chandra and the large collecting area of XMM-Newton, various fine structures of the hot gas have been imaged in detail and key physical quantities have been accurately measured, allowing theoretical interpretations/predictions to be compared and tested against observational results. This book will bring all readers up-to-date on this essential field of research.

  4. The kinetic chemistry of dense interstellar clouds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graedel, T. E.; Langer, W. D.; Frerking, M. A.

    1982-01-01

    A model of the time-dependent chemistry of dense interstellar clouds is formulated to study the dominant chemical processes in carbon and oxygen isotope fractionation, the formation of nitrogen-containing molecules, and the evolution of product molecules as a function of cloud density and temperature. The abundances of the dominant isotopes of the carbon- and oxygen-bearing molecules are calculated. The chemical abundances are found to be quite sensitive to electron concentration since the electron concentration determines the ratio of H3(+) to He(+), and the electron density is strongly influenced by the metals abundance. For typical metal abundances and for H2 cloud density not less than 10,000 molecules/cu cm, nearly all carbon exists as CO at late cloud ages. At high cloud density, many aspects of the chemistry are strongly time dependent. Finally, model calculations agree well with abundances deduced from observations of molecular line emission in cold dense clouds.

  5. Molecular hydrogen in interstellar dark clouds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, M.; Robinson, G. W.

    1976-01-01

    A simplified H2 formation mechanism is proposed in which small interstellar grains furnish the reaction sites. This mechanism results in a maximum value for the rate constant of about 2 by 10 to the -18th power per cu cm/sec for dark clouds at 10 K. Also, the nascent molecules are ejected in excited states, in qualitative agreement with Copernicus observations. A time-dependent treatment of the chemical evolution of a dark cloud with little or no ionizing radiation shows that the clouds require more than 10 million years to achieve chemical equilibrium. The observed residual atomic hydrogen in several dark clouds suggests that the clouds are 1 to 10 million years old. Other consequences of the temporal cloud model are in accord with astronomical observations.

  6. Thermal instability in the interstellar medium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Ghanbari

    2000-06-01

    Full Text Available   This study demonstrates how thermal structures in the interstellar medium can emerge as a result of thermal instability. For a two-dimensional case, the steady state thermal structures was investigeted and it was shown that a large class of solutions exist. For a one –dimensional case the conductivity was found to be negligible. The effects of to cal cooling on the thermal instability were explored in some depth. In this case analytical results for time-dependent cooling function were presented, too. We studied nonlinear wave phenomena in thermal fluid systems, with a particular emphasis on presenting analytical results. When conductivity is proportional to temperature, the beliavior of thermal waves is soliton like. For slow thermal waves, approximate analytical results were presented. Extensions of this work are discussed briefly, together with possible astrophysical applications.

  7. The mass spectrum of interstellar clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dickey, J.M.; Garwood, R.W.

    1989-01-01

    The abundances of diffuse clouds and molecular clouds in the inner Galaxy and at the solar circle are compared. Using results of recent low-latitude 21 cm absorption studies, the number of diffuse clouds per kiloparsec along the line of sight is derived as a function of the cloud column density, under two assumptions relating cloud densities and temperatures. The density of clouds is derived as a function of cloud mass. The results are consistent with a single, continuous mass spectrum for interstellar clouds from less than 1 solar mass to 1,000,000 solar masses, with perhaps a change of slope at masses where the atomic and molecular mass fractions are roughly equal. 36 refs

  8. Structure and characteristics of diffuse interstellar clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arshutkin, L.N.; Kolesnik, I.G.

    1978-01-01

    The results of model calculations for spherically symmetrical interstellar clouds being under external pressure are given. Thermal balance of gas clouds is considered. Ultraviolet radiation fields in clouds and equilibrium for chemical elements are calculated for this purpose. Calculations were carried out in the case when cooling is under way mainly by carbon atoms and ions. The clouds with mass up to 700 Msub(sun) under external pressure from 800 to 3000 K cm -3 are considered. In typical for Galactic disk conditions, clouds have dense n > or approximately 200 cm -3 , and cold T approximately 20-30 K state clouds depending on external pressure is given. The critical mass for clouds at the Galactic disk is approximately 500-600 Msub(sun). It is less than the isothermal solution by a factor of approximately 1.5. The massive gas-dust cloud formation problem is discussed

  9. Gas density gradient for three dark interstellar clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fulkerson, S.A.; Clark, F.O.

    1984-01-01

    A grid of models has been constructed of the surface brightness of selected transitions of interstellar formal-dehyde for three interstellar clouds. The grid included radial gas density gradients over a considerable range from uniform to very steep. The model results were then compared to observations of the interstellar dark clouds B361, L183, and L134. In all three cases, the comparison indicates that the gas is centrally condensed and follows a gradient in density which closely approximates an inverse square law. This result offers a hint that the dust may be more centrally condensed than the gas in B361

  10. Turbulent interstellar medium and pressure-bounded molecular clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maloney, P.

    1988-01-01

    The existence of turbulence throughout the interstellar medium suggests that an appropriate value for the average pressure may be P/K larger than about 10,000. Negative-index polytropic models of interstellar clouds in equilibrium with an external medium at these pressures are predicted to have sizes, line widths, masses, and size-line width and size-density relations in good agreement with those observed and inferred for dark clouds. Thus these observed features of interstellar clouds do not require that they be completely self-gravitating or 'virialized' in the commonly used sense. 41 references

  11. Studies of interstellar vibrationally-excited molecules

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ziurys, L.M.; Snell, R.L.; Erickson, N.R.

    1986-01-01

    Several molecules thus far have been detected in the ISM in vibrationally-excited states, including H 2 , SiO, HC 3 N, and CH 3 CN. In order for vibrational-excitation to occur, these species must be present in unusually hot and dense gas and/or where strong infrared radiation is present. In order to do a more thorough investigation of vibrational excitation in the interstellar medium (ISM), studies were done of several mm-wave transitions originating in excited vibrational modes of HCN, an abundant interstellar molecule. Vibrationally-excited HCN was recently detected toward Orion-KL and IRC+10216, using a 12 meter antenna. The J=3-2 rotational transitions were detected in the molecule's lowest vibrational state, the bending mode, which is split into two separate levels, due to l-type doubling. This bending mode lies 1025K above ground state, with an Einstein A coefficient of 3.6/s. The J=3-2 line mode of HCN, which lies 2050K above ground state, was also observed toward IRC+10216, and subsequently in Orion-KL. Further measurements of vibrationally-excited HCN were done using a 14 meter telescope, which include the observations of the (0,1,0) and (0,2,0) modes towards Orion-KL, via their J=3-2 transitions at 265-267 GHz. The spectrum of the J=3-2 line in Orion taken with the 14 meter telescope, is shown, along with a map, which indicates that emission from vibrationally-excited HCN arises from a region probably smaller than the 14 meter telescope's 20 arcsec beam

  12. Interstellar Silicon Depletion and the Ultraviolet Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Ajay; Li, Aigen

    2018-01-01

    Spinning small silicate grains were recently invoked to account for the Galactic foreground anomalous microwave emission. These grains, if present, will absorb starlight in the far ultraviolet (UV). There is also renewed interest in attributing the enigmatic 2175 Å interstellar extinction bump to small silicates. To probe the role of silicon in the UV extinction, we explore the relations between the amount of silicon required to be locked up in silicates [Si/H]dust and the 2175 Å bump or the far-UV extinction rise, based on an analysis of the extinction curves along 46 Galactic sightlines for which the gas-phase silicon abundance [Si/H]gas is known. We derive [Si/H]dust either from [Si/H]ISM - [Si/H]gas or from the Kramers- Kronig relation which relates the wavelength-integrated extinction to the total dust volume, where [Si/H]ISM is the interstellar silicon reference abundance and taken to be that of proto-Sun or B stars. We also derive [Si/H]dust from fi�tting the observed extinction curves with a mixture of amorphous silicates and graphitic grains. We fi�nd that in all three cases [Si/H]dust shows no correlation with the 2175 Å bump, while the carbon depletion [C/H]dust tends to correlate with the 2175 Å bump. This supports carbon grains instead of silicates as the possible carrier of the 2175 Å bump. We also �find that neither [Si/H]dust nor [C/H]dust alone correlates with the far-UV extinction, suggesting that the far-UV extinction is a combined effect of small carbon grains and silicates.

  13. Frequency of hyperbolic and interstellar meteoroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajduková, Maria; Kornoš, Leonard; Tóth, Juraj

    2014-01-01

    Hyperbolic meteor orbits from the catalog of 64,650 meteors observed by the multistation video meteor network located in Japan (SonotaCo 2009) have been investigated with the aim of determining the relation between the frequency of hyperbolic and interstellar meteors. The proportion of hyperbolic meteors in the data decreased significantly (from 11.58% to 3.28%) after a selection of quality orbits, which shows its dependence on the quality of observations. Initially, the hyperbolic orbits were searched for meteors unbound due to planetary perturbation. It was determined that 22 meteors from the 7489 hyperbolic orbits in the catalog (and 2 from the selection of the orbits with the highest quality) had had a close encounter with a planet, none of which, however, produced essential changes in their orbits. Similarly, the fraction of hyperbolic orbits in the data, which could be hyperbolic by reason of a meteor's interstellar origin, was determined to be at most 3.9 × 10-2. From the statistical point of view, the vast majority of hyperbolic meteors in the database have definitely been caused by inaccuracy in the velocity determination. This fact does not necessarily assume great measurement errors, since, especially near the parabolic limit, a small error in the value of the heliocentric velocity of a meteor can create an artificial hyperbolic orbit that does not really exist. The results show that the remaining 96% of meteoroids with apparent hyperbolic orbits belong to the solar system meteoroid population. This is also supported by their high abundance (about 50%) among the meteor showers.

  14. NEW ULTRAVIOLET EXTINCTION CURVES FOR INTERSTELLAR DUST IN M31

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clayton, Geoffrey C. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (United States); Gordon, Karl D.; Bohlin, R. C. [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Bianchi, Luciana C. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Massa, Derck L.; Wolff, Michael J. [Space Science Institute, 4750 Walnut Street, Suite 205, Boulder, CO 80301 (United States); Fitzpatrick, Edward L., E-mail: gclayton@fenway.phys.lsu.edu, E-mail: bohlin@stsci.edu, E-mail: kgordon@stsci.edu, E-mail: bianchi@jhu.edu, E-mail: mjwolff@spacescience.org, E-mail: edward.fitzpatrick@villanova.edu [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085 (United States)

    2015-12-10

    New low-resolution UV spectra of a sample of reddened OB stars in M31 were obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope/STIS to study the wavelength dependence of interstellar extinction and the nature of the underlying dust grain populations. Extinction curves were constructed for four reddened sightlines in M31 paired with closely matching stellar atmosphere models. The new curves have a much higher signal-to-noise ratio than previous studies. Direct measurements of N(H i) were made using the Lyα absorption lines enabling gas-to-dust ratios to be calculated. The sightlines have a range in galactocentric distance of 5–14 kpc and represent dust from regions of different metallicities and gas-to-dust ratios. The metallicities sampled range from solar to 1.5 solar. The measured curves show similarity to those seen in the Milky Way and the Large Magellanic Cloud. The Maximum Entropy Method was used to investigate the dust composition and size distribution for the sightlines observed in this program, finding that the extinction curves can be produced with the available carbon and silicon abundances if the metallicity is super-solar.

  15. OBSERVATIONS OF THE INTERPLANETARY HYDROGEN DURING SOLAR CYCLES 23 AND 24. WHAT CAN WE DEDUCE ABOUT THE LOCAL INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vincent, Frédéric E.; Quémerais, Eric; Koutroumpa, Dimitra; Katushkina, Olga; Izmodenov, Vladislav; Ben-Jaffel, Lotfi; Harris, Walter M.; Clarke, John

    2014-01-01

    Observations of interstellar helium atoms by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft in 2009 reported a local interstellar medium (LISM) velocity vector different from the results of the Ulysses spacecraft between 1991 and 2002. The interplanetary hydrogen (IPH), a population of neutrals that fills the space between planets inside the heliosphere, carries the signatures of the LISM and its interaction with the solar wind. More than 40 yr of space-based studies of the backscattered solar Lyα emission from the IPH provided limited access to the velocity distribution, with the first temporal evolution map of the IPH line-shift during solar cycle 23. This work presents the results of the latest IPH observations made by the Hubble Space Telescope's Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph during solar cycle 24. These results have been compiled with previous measurements, including data from the Solar Wind Anisotropies instrument on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. The whole set has been compared to physically realistic models to test both sets of LISM physical parameters as measured by Ulysses and IBEX, respectively. This comparison shows that the LISM velocity vector has not changed significantly since Ulysses measurements

  16. OBSERVATIONS OF THE INTERPLANETARY HYDROGEN DURING SOLAR CYCLES 23 AND 24. WHAT CAN WE DEDUCE ABOUT THE LOCAL INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vincent, Frédéric E.; Quémerais, Eric; Koutroumpa, Dimitra [Université Versailles St.-Quentin, Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ. Paris 06, CRNS/INSU, LATMOS-IPSL, 11 boulevard d' Alembert, 78280 Guyancourt (France); Katushkina, Olga; Izmodenov, Vladislav [Space Research Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (Russian Federation); Ben-Jaffel, Lotfi [UPMC Univ. Paris 06, UMR7095, Institut d' Astrophysique de Paris, F-75014, Paris (France); Harris, Walter M. [University of Arizona, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, 1629 E. University Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Clarke, John [Center for Space Physics, Boston University, 725 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215 (United States)

    2014-06-20

    Observations of interstellar helium atoms by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft in 2009 reported a local interstellar medium (LISM) velocity vector different from the results of the Ulysses spacecraft between 1991 and 2002. The interplanetary hydrogen (IPH), a population of neutrals that fills the space between planets inside the heliosphere, carries the signatures of the LISM and its interaction with the solar wind. More than 40 yr of space-based studies of the backscattered solar Lyα emission from the IPH provided limited access to the velocity distribution, with the first temporal evolution map of the IPH line-shift during solar cycle 23. This work presents the results of the latest IPH observations made by the Hubble Space Telescope's Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph during solar cycle 24. These results have been compiled with previous measurements, including data from the Solar Wind Anisotropies instrument on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. The whole set has been compared to physically realistic models to test both sets of LISM physical parameters as measured by Ulysses and IBEX, respectively. This comparison shows that the LISM velocity vector has not changed significantly since Ulysses measurements.

  17. DEVELOPMENT OF THE MODEL OF GALACTIC INTERSTELLAR EMISSION FOR STANDARD POINT-SOURCE ANALYSIS OF FERMI LARGE AREA TELESCOPE DATA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Acero, F.; Ballet, J. [Laboratoire AIM, CEA-IRFU/CNRS/Université Paris Diderot, Service d’Astrophysique, CEA Saclay, F-91191 Gif sur Yvette (France); Ackermann, M.; Buehler, R. [Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron DESY, D-15738 Zeuthen (Germany); Ajello, M. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Clemson University, Kinard Lab of Physics, Clemson, SC 29634-0978 (United States); Albert, A.; Baldini, L.; Bloom, E. D.; Bottacini, E.; Caliandro, G. A.; Cameron, R. A. [W. W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory, Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Department of Physics and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 (United States); Barbiellini, G. [Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Trieste, I-34127 Trieste (Italy); Bastieri, D. [Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Padova, I-35131 Padova (Italy); Bellazzini, R. [Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Pisa, I-56127 Pisa (Italy); Bissaldi, E. [Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Bari, I-70126 Bari (Italy); Bonino, R. [Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, I-10125 Torino (Italy); Brandt, T. J.; Buson, S. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Bregeon, J. [Laboratoire Univers et Particules de Montpellier, Université Montpellier, CNRS/IN2P3, Montpellier (France); Bruel, P., E-mail: isabelle.grenier@cea.fr, E-mail: casandjian@cea.fr [Laboratoire Leprince-Ringuet, École polytechnique, CNRS/IN2P3, Palaiseau (France); and others

    2016-04-01

    Most of the celestial γ rays detected by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on board the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope originate from the interstellar medium when energetic cosmic rays interact with interstellar nucleons and photons. Conventional point-source and extended-source studies rely on the modeling of this diffuse emission for accurate characterization. Here, we describe the development of the Galactic Interstellar Emission Model (GIEM), which is the standard adopted by the LAT Collaboration and is publicly available. This model is based on a linear combination of maps for interstellar gas column density in Galactocentric annuli and for the inverse-Compton emission produced in the Galaxy. In the GIEM, we also include large-scale structures like Loop I and the Fermi bubbles. The measured gas emissivity spectra confirm that the cosmic-ray proton density decreases with Galactocentric distance beyond 5 kpc from the Galactic Center. The measurements also suggest a softening of the proton spectrum with Galactocentric distance. We observe that the Fermi bubbles have boundaries with a shape similar to a catenary at latitudes below 20° and we observe an enhanced emission toward their base extending in the north and south Galactic directions and located within ∼4° of the Galactic Center.

  18. Exploiting single photon vacuum ultraviolet photoionization to unravel the synthesis of complex organic molecules in interstellar ices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abplanalp, Matthew J.; Förstel, Marko; Kaiser, Ralf I.

    2016-01-01

    Complex organic molecules (COM) such as aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, esters, and amides are ubiquitous in the interstellar medium, but traditional gas phase astrochemical models cannot explain their formation routes. By systematically exploiting on line and in situ vacuum ultraviolet photoionization coupled with reflectron time of flight mass spectrometry (PI-ReTOF-MS) and combining these data with infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), we reveal that complex organic molecules can be synthesized within interstellar ices that are condensed on interstellar grains via non-equilibrium reactions involving suprathermal hydrogen atoms at temperatures as low as 5 K. By probing for the first time specific structural isomers without their degradation (fragment-free), the incorporation of tunable vacuum ultraviolet photoionization allows for a much greater understanding of reaction mechanisms that exist in interstellar ices compared to traditional methods, thus eliminating the significant gap between observational and laboratory data that existed for the last decades. With the commission of the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA), the number of detections of more complex organic molecules in space will continue to grow ⿿ including biorelevant molecules connected to the Origins of Life theme ⿿ and an understanding of these data will rely on future advances in sophisticated physical chemistry laboratory experiments.

  19. ON THE RELATIVE 'TRANSPARENCY' OF GAS-PHASE CORONENE MOLECULES TO LOW-ENERGY ELECTRONS: EFFECTS ON THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carelli, F.; Gianturco, F. A.

    2011-01-01

    Free, gas-phase polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are understood to play an important role in the interstellar medium (ISM), as they are thought to significantly contribute to both diffused and unidentified infrared interstellar bands. They are also considered fundamental blocks of the interstellar dust, whose nature has important implications for a plethora of physical and chemical nanoscopic processes within the ISM. Since free electrons represent a versatile alternative way to transport energy in the interstellar space, in this paper we compute from quantum scattering methods the angular redistributions of free electrons by gas-phase coronene molecules, the latter of which are believed to be one of the most representative PAHs, in order to assess their role in describing the efficiency of electron deflection by this molecule. The associated rates can provide useful information about the coupling mechanism between external radio-frequency fields and complex molecular plasmas containing neutral and ionized PAHs. They can also yield information on the possible presence of such species in the dust phase of the medium.

  20. Development of the Model of Galactic Interstellar Emission for Standard Point-Source Analysis of Fermi Large Area Telescope Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acero, F.; Ackermann, M.; Ajello, M.; Albert, A.; Baldini, L.; Ballet, J.; Barbiellini, G.; Bastieri, D.; Bellazzini, R.; Brandt, T. J.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Most of the celestial gamma rays detected by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on board the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope originate from the interstellar medium when energetic cosmic rays interact with interstellar nucleons and photons. Conventional point-source and extended-source studies rely on the modeling of this diffuse emission for accurate characterization. Here, we describe the development of the Galactic Interstellar Emission Model (GIEM),which is the standard adopted by the LAT Collaboration and is publicly available. This model is based on a linear combination of maps for interstellar gas column density in Galactocentric annuli and for the inverse-Compton emission produced in the Galaxy. In the GIEM, we also include large-scale structures like Loop I and the Fermi bubbles. The measured gas emissivity spectra confirm that the cosmic-ray proton density decreases with Galactocentric distance beyond 5 kpc from the Galactic Center. The measurements also suggest a softening of the proton spectrum with Galactocentric distance. We observe that the Fermi bubbles have boundaries with a shape similar to a catenary at latitudes below 20deg and we observe an enhanced emission toward their base extending in the north and south Galactic directions and located within approximately 4deg of the Galactic Center.

  1. Formation of Amino Acid Precursors by Bombardment of Interstellar Ice Analogs with High Energy Heavy Ions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Kensei; Mita, Hajime; Yoshida, Satoshi; Shibata, Hiromi; Enomoto, Shingo; Matsuda, Tomoyuki; Fukuda, Hitoshi; Kondo, Kotaro; Oguri, Yoshiyuki; Kebukawa, Yoko

    2016-07-01

    experiment, the energy of heavy ions was quite high and passed through the target mixtures. Therefore only small part of energy was deposited to the target, as is the case of the actual cosmic ray particles in interstellar ices. It is safe to say that amino acid precursors can be formed in water-rich ice mantles of interstellar dust particles (ISDs) by the action of cosmic rays. In order to compare the roles of CO and CH4 in organic formation in interstellar environments, we irradiated gaseous mixtures of CO, CH4, NH3 and/or H2O. A mixture of CO (and/or CH4) and NH3 (total 700 Torr) with liquid water was sealed in a glass tube, and the gas mixture was irradiated with 2.5 MeV protons from a Tandem accelerator (Tokyo Tech, Japan). Amino acids were determined after hydrolysis. When CO was the sole carbon source, G-value of glycine was as high as 0.3, but it was drastically decreased when CH4 was the sole carbon source. In both cases, glycine was predominant amino acids, and the other amino acids yielded much less than glycine. However, when both CO and CH4 were used as carbon sources, a wide variety of amino acids were yielded. Thus it is suggested that CH4 is an important source to give various side chains of amino acid precursors if it is present in interstellar media together with CO. Interstellar ices are actually quite complex mixtures of H2O, CO, CH3OH, CO2, CH4, NH3, and HCHO etc. It is probable that a wide variety of complex molecules including precursors of many kinds of amino acids, together with other organic compounds of biological interest, were formed in interstellar ices by cosmic rays, and such interstellar organic would be important sources of orgnics in small bodies in the solar system. [1] K. A. Kvenvolden et al., Nature, 228, 923-926 (1970). [2] J. M. Greenberg and A. Li, Biol. Sci. Space, 12, 96-101 (1998). [3] K. Kobayashi et al., Adv. Space Res., 16, 21-26 (1995). [4] T. Kasamatsu et al., Bull. Chem. Soc. Jpn., [5] M. Bernstein et al., Nature, 416, 401

  2. Sub-microradian pointing for deep space optical telecommunications network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, G.; Lee, S.; Alexander, J.

    2001-01-01

    This presentation will cover innovative hardware, algorithms, architectures, techniques and recent laboratory results that are applicable to all deep space optical communication links, such as the Mars Telecommunication Network to future interstellar missions.

  3. The Interstellar Medium in External Galaxies: Summaries of contributed papers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollenbach, David J. (Editor); Thronson, Harley A., Jr. (Editor)

    1990-01-01

    The Second Wyoming Conference entitled, The Interstellar Medium in External Galaxies, was held on July 3 to 7, 1989, to discuss the current understanding of the interstellar medium in external galaxies and to analyze the basic physical processes underlying interstellar phenomena. The papers covered a broad range of research on the gas and dust in external galaxies and focused on such topics as the distribution and morphology of the atomic, molecular, and dust components; the dynamics of the gas and the role of the magnetic field in the dynamics; elemental abundances and gas depletions in the atomic and ionized components; cooling flows; star formation; the correlation of the nonthermal radio continuum with the cool component of the interstellar medium; the origin and effect of hot galactic halos; the absorption line systems seen in distant quasars; and the effect of galactic collisions.

  4. In situ observations of interstellar plasma with Voyager 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurnett, D A; Kurth, W S; Burlaga, L F; Ness, N F

    2013-09-27

    Launched over 35 years ago, Voyagers 1 and 2 are on an epic journey outward from the Sun to reach the boundary between the solar plasma and the much cooler interstellar medium. The boundary, called the heliopause, is expected to be marked by a large increase in plasma density, from about 0.002 per cubic centimeter (cm(-3)) in the outer heliosphere, to about 0.1 cm(-3) in the interstellar medium. On 9 April 2013, the Voyager 1 plasma wave instrument began detecting locally generated electron plasma oscillations at a frequency of about 2.6 kilohertz. This oscillation frequency corresponds to an electron density of about 0.08 cm(-3), very close to the value expected in the interstellar medium. These and other observations provide strong evidence that Voyager 1 has crossed the heliopause into the nearby interstellar plasma.

  5. Electromagnetic Forces on a Relativistic Spacecraft in the Interstellar Medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoang, Thiem; Loeb, Abraham

    2017-10-01

    A relativistic spacecraft of the type envisioned by the Breakthrough Starshot initiative will inevitably become charged through collisions with interstellar particles and UV photons. Interstellar magnetic fields would therefore deflect the trajectory of the spacecraft. We calculate the expected deflection for typical interstellar conditions. We also find that the charge distribution of the spacecraft is asymmetric, producing an electric dipole moment. The interaction between the moving electric dipole and the interstellar magnetic field is found to produce a large torque, which can result in fast oscillation of the spacecraft around the axis perpendicular to the direction of motion, with a period of ˜0.5 hr. We then study the spacecraft rotation arising from impulsive torques by dust bombardment. Finally, we discuss the effect of the spacecraft rotation and suggest several methods to mitigate it.

  6. Accelerated chemistry in the reaction between the hydroxyl radical and methanol at interstellar temperatures facilitated by tunnelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shannon, Robin J; Blitz, Mark A; Goddard, Andrew; Heard, Dwayne E

    2013-09-01

    Understanding the abundances of molecules in dense interstellar clouds requires knowledge of the rates of gas-phase reactions between uncharged species. However, because of the low temperatures within these clouds, reactions with an activation barrier were considered too slow to play an important role. Here we show that, despite the presence of a barrier, the rate coefficient for the reaction between the hydroxyl radical (OH) and methanol--one of the most abundant organic molecules in space--is almost two orders of magnitude larger at 63 K than previously measured at ∼200 K. We also observe the formation of the methoxy radical product, which was recently detected in space. These results are interpreted by the formation of a hydrogen-bonded complex that is sufficiently long-lived to undergo quantum-mechanical tunnelling to form products. We postulate that this tunnelling mechanism for the oxidation of organic molecules by OH is widespread in low-temperature interstellar environments.

  7. The Interstellar Probe (ISP): Pre-Perihelion Trajectories and Application of Holography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matloff, G. L.; Vulpetti, G.; Bangs, C.; Haggerty, R.; Johnson, L. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Between February and September 2001, a number of aspects of the solar-sail-launched Interstellar probe (ISP), which is under consideration by NASA for launch in the 2010-2015 timeframe, were researched. The effort was conducted in New York City (NYC) February-May, at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) May-July (when the PI served as a NASA Summer 2001 Faculty Fellow), and in NYC August-September. In addition to the people listed on the title sheet, many people in NYC and at MSFC participated in this research.

  8. The Turbulent Interstellar Medium: Insights and Questions from Numerical Models

    OpenAIRE

    Mac Low, Mordecai-Mark; de Avillez, Miguel A.; Korpi, Maarit J.

    2003-01-01

    "The purpose of numerical models is not numbers but insight." (Hamming) In the spirit of this adage, and of Don Cox's approach to scientific speaking, we discuss the questions that the latest generation of numerical models of the interstellar medium raise, at least for us. The energy source for the interstellar turbulence is still under discussion. We review the argument for supernovae dominating in star forming regions. Magnetorotational instability has been suggested as a way of coupling di...

  9. Interstellar medium structure and content and gamma ray astronomy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lebrun, F.

    1982-05-01

    A general description of gamma-ray astronomy is presented with special emphasis on the study of diffuse gamma-ray emission. This is followed by a collection of reflections and observations on the structure and the gas and dust content of the local interstellar medium. Results of gamma-ray observations on the local interstellar medium are given. The last part is devoted to the whole of the galactic gamma-ray emission and its interpretation [fr

  10. Starry messages: Searching for signatures of interstellar archaeology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carrigan, Richard A., Jr.; /Fermilab

    2009-12-01

    Searching for signatures of cosmic-scale archaeological artifacts such as Dyson spheres or Kardashev civilizations is an interesting alternative to conventional SETI. Uncovering such an artifact does not require the intentional transmission of a signal on the part of the original civilization. This type of search is called interstellar archaeology or sometimes cosmic archaeology. The detection of intelligence elsewhere in the Universe with interstellar archaeology or SETI would have broad implications for science. For example, the constraints of the anthropic principle would have to be loosened if a different type of intelligence was discovered elsewhere. A variety of interstellar archaeology signatures are discussed including non-natural planetary atmospheric constituents, stellar doping with isotopes of nuclear wastes, Dyson spheres, as well as signatures of stellar and galactic-scale engineering. The concept of a Fermi bubble due to interstellar migration is introduced in the discussion of galactic signatures. These potential interstellar archaeological signatures are classified using the Kardashev scale. A modified Drake equation is used to evaluate the relative challenges of finding various sources. With few exceptions interstellar archaeological signatures are clouded and beyond current technological capabilities. However SETI for so-called cultural transmissions and planetary atmosphere signatures are within reach.

  11. The ESO Diffuse Interstellar Band Large Exploration Survey (EDIBLES)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cami, J.; Cox, N. L.; Farhang, A.; Smoker, J.; Elyajouri, M.; Lallement, R.; Bacalla, X.; Bhatt, N. H.; Bron, E.; Cordiner, M. A.; de Koter, A..; Ehrenfreund, P.; Evans, C.; Foing, B. H.; Javadi, A.; Joblin, C.; Kaper, L.; Khosroshahi, H. G.; Laverick, M.; Le Petit, F..; Linnartz, H.; Marshall, C. C.; Monreal-Ibero, A.; Mulas, G.; Roueff, E.; Royer, P.; Salama, F.; Sarre, P. J.; Smith, K. T.; Spaans, M.; van Loon, J. T..; Wade, G.

    2018-03-01

    The ESO Diffuse Interstellar Band Large Exploration Survey (EDIBLES) is a Large Programme that is collecting high-signal-to-noise (S/N) spectra with UVES of a large sample of O and B-type stars covering a large spectral range. The goal of the programme is to extract a unique sample of high-quality interstellar spectra from these data, representing different physical and chemical environments, and to characterise these environments in great detail. An important component of interstellar spectra is the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs), a set of hundreds of unidentified interstellar absorption lines. With the detailed line-of-sight information and the high-quality spectra, EDIBLES will derive strong constraints on the potential DIB carrier molecules. EDIBLES will thus guide the laboratory experiments necessary to identify these interstellar “mystery molecules”, and turn DIBs into powerful diagnostics of their environments in our Milky Way Galaxy and beyond. We present some preliminary results showing the unique capabilities of the EDIBLES programme.

  12. Matrix isolation as a tool for studying interstellar chemical reactions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ball, D.W.; Ortman, B.J.; Hauge, R.H.; Margrave, J.L.

    1989-01-01

    Since the identification of the OH radical as an interstellar species, over 50 molecular species were identified as interstellar denizens. While identification of new species appears straightforward, an explanation for their mechanisms of formation is not. Most astronomers concede that large bodies like interstellar dust grains are necessary for adsorption of molecules and their energies of reactions, but many of the mechanistic steps are unknown and speculative. It is proposed that data from matrix isolation experiments involving the reactions of refractory materials (especially C, Si, and Fe atoms and clusters) with small molecules (mainly H2, H2O, CO, CO2) are particularly applicable to explaining mechanistic details of likely interstellar chemical reactions. In many cases, matrix isolation techniques are the sole method of studying such reactions; also in many cases, complexations and bond rearrangements yield molecules never before observed. The study of these reactions thus provides a logical basis for the mechanisms of interstellar reactions. A list of reactions is presented that would simulate interstellar chemical reactions. These reactions were studied using FTIR-matrix isolation techniques

  13. Use of Mini-Mag Orion and superconducting coils for near-term interstellar transportation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenard, Roger X.; Andrews, Dana G.

    2007-06-01

    Interstellar transportation to nearby star systems over periods shorter than the human lifetime requires speeds in the range of 0.1-0.15 c and relatively high accelerations. These speeds are not attainable using rockets, even with advanced fusion engines because at these velocities, the energy density of the spacecraft approaches the energy density of the fuel. Anti-matter engines are theoretically possible but current physical limitations would have to be suspended to get the mass densities required. Interstellar ramjets have not proven practicable, so this leaves beamed momentum propulsion or a continuously fueled Mag-Orion system as the remaining candidates. However, deceleration is also a major issue, but part of the Mini-Mag Orion approach assists in solving this problem. This paper reviews the state of the art from a Phases I and II SBIT between Sandia National Laboratories and Andrews Space, applying our results to near-term interstellar travel. A 1000 T crewed spacecraft and propulsion system dry mass at .1c contains ˜9×1021J. The author has generated technology requirements elsewhere for use of fission power reactors and conventional Brayton cycle machinery to propel a spacecraft using electric propulsion. Here we replace the electric power conversion, radiators, power generators and electric thrusters with a Mini-Mag Orion fission-fusion hybrid. Only a small fraction of fission fuel is actually carried with the spacecraft, the remainder of the propellant (macro-particles of fissionable material with a D-T core) is beamed to the spacecraft, and the total beam energy requirement for an interstellar probe mission is roughly 1020J, which would require the complete fissioning of 1000 ton of Uranium assuming 35% power plant efficiency. This is roughly equivalent to a recurring cost per flight of 3.0 billion dollars in reactor grade enriched uranium using today's prices. Therefore, interstellar flight is an expensive proposition, but not unaffordable, if the

  14. Status of the Stardust ISPE and the Origin of Four Interstellar Dust Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westphal, A. J.; Allen, C.; Ansari, A.; Bajt, S.; Bastien, R. S.; Bassim, N.; Bechtel, H. A.; Borg, J.; Brenker, F. E.; Bridges, J.; hide

    2012-01-01

    Some bulk properties of interstellar dust are known through infrared and X-ray observations of the interstellar medium. However, the properties of individual interstellar dust particles are largely unconstrained, so it is not known whether individual interstellar dust particles can be definitively distinguished from interplanetary dust particles in the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector (SIDC) based only on chemical, mineralogical or isotopic analyses. It was therefore understood from the beginning of the Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination (ISPE) that identification of interstellar dust candidates would rest on three criteria - broad consistency with known extraterrestrial materials, inconsistency with an origin as secondary ejecta from impacts on the spacecraft, and consistency, in a statistical sense, of observed dynamical properties - that is, trajectory and capture speed - with an origin in the interstellar dust stream. Here we quantitatively test four interstellar dust candidates, reported previously [1], against these criteria.

  15. Reactions of Azine Anions with Nitrogen and Oxygen Atoms: Implications for Titan's Upper Atmosphere and Interstellar Chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhe-Chen; Cole, Callie A; Demarais, Nicholas J; Snow, Theodore P; Bierbaum, Veronica M

    2015-08-26

    Azines are important in many extraterrestrial environments, from the atmosphere of Titan to the interstellar medium. They have been implicated as possible carriers of the diffuse interstellar bands in astronomy, indicating their persistence in interstellar space. Most importantly, they constitute the basic building blocks of DNA and RNA, so their chemical reactivity in these environments has significant astrobiological implications. In addition, N and O atoms are widely observed in the ISM and in the ionospheres of planets and moons. However, the chemical reactions of molecular anions with abundant interstellar and atmospheric atomic species are largely unexplored. In this paper, gas-phase reactions of deprotonated anions of benzene, pyridine, pyridazine, pyrimidine, pyrazine, and s-triazine with N and O atoms are studied both experimentally and computationally. In all cases, the major reaction channel is associative electron detachment; these reactions are particularly important since they control the balance between negative ions and free electron densities. The reactions of the azine anions with N atoms exhibit larger rate constants than reactions of corresponding chain anions. The reactions of azine anions with O atoms are even more rapid, with complex product patterns for different reactants. The mechanisms are studied theoretically by employing density functional theory; spin conversion is found to be important in determining some product distributions. The rich gas-phase chemistry observed in this work provides a better understanding of ion-atom reactions and their contributions to ionospheric chemistry as well as the chemical processing that occurs in the boundary layers between diffuse and dense interstellar clouds.

  16. Detection of interstellar vibrationally excited HCN

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ziurys, L.M.; Turner, B.E.

    1986-01-01

    Vibrationally excited HCN has been observed for the first time in the interstellar medium. The J = 3-2 rotational transitions of the l-doubled (0,1/sup 1d/,1c, 0) bending mode of HCN have been detected toward Orion-KL and IRC +10216. In Orion, the overall column density in the (0,1,0) mode, which exclusively samples the ''hot core,'' is 1.7-10 16 cm -2 and can be understood in terms of the ''doughnut'' model for Orion. The ground-state HCN column density implied by the excited-state observations is 2.3 x 10 18 cm -2 in the hot core, at least one order of magnitude greater than the column densities derived for HCN in its spike and plateau/doughnut components. Radiative excitation by 14 μm flux from IRc2 accounts for the (0,1,0) population provided the hot core is approx.6-7 x 10 16 cm distant from IRc2, in agreement with the ''cavity'' model for KL. Toward IRC +10216 we have detected J = 3-2 transitions of both (0,1/sup 1c/,/sup 1d/,0) and (0,2 0 ,0) excited states. The spectral profiles have been modeled to yield abundances and excitation conditions throughout the expanding envelope

  17. Interstellar extinction in the Large Magellanic Cloud

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nandy, K.; Morgan, D.H.; Willis, A.J.; Wilson, R.; Gondhalekar, P.M.

    1981-01-01

    A systematic investigation of interstellar extinction in the ultraviolet as a function of position in the Large Magellanic Cloud has been made from an enlarged sample of reddened and comparison stars distributed throughout the cloud. Except for one star SK-69-108, the most reddened star of our sample, the shape of the extinction curves for the LMC stars do not show significant variations. All curves show an increase in extinction towards 2200 A, but some have maxima near 2200 A, some near 1900 A. It has been shown that the feature of the extinction curve near 1900 A is caused by the mismatch of the stellar F III 1920 A feature. The strength of this 1920 A feature as a function of luminosity and spectral type has been determined. The extinction curves have been corrected for the mismatch of the 1920 feature and a single mean extinction curve for the LMC normalized to Asub(V) = 0 and Esub(B-V) = 1 is presented. For the same value of Esub(B-V) the LMC stars show the 2200 A feature weaker by a factor 2 as compared with the galactic stars. Higher extinction shortward of 2000 A in the LMC extinction curves than that in our Galaxy, as reported in earlier papers, is confirmed. (author)

  18. Interstellar Extinction in 20 Open Star Clusters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangwal, Geeta; Yadav, R. K. S.; Durgapal, Alok K.; Bisht, D.

    2017-12-01

    The interstellar extinction law in 20 open star clusters namely, Berkeley 7, Collinder 69, Hogg 10, NGC 2362, Czernik 43, NGC 6530, NGC 6871, Bochum 10, Haffner 18, IC 4996, NGC 2384, NGC 6193, NGC 6618, NGC 7160, Collinder 232, Haffner 19, NGC 2401, NGC 6231, NGC 6823, and NGC 7380 have been studied in the optical and near-IR wavelength ranges. The difference between maximum and minimum values of E(B - V) indicates the presence of non-uniform extinction in all the clusters except Collinder 69, NGC 2362, and NGC 2384. The colour excess ratios are consistent with a normal extinction law for the clusters NGC 6823, Haffner 18, Haffner 19, NGC 7160, NGC 6193, NGC 2401, NGC 2384, NGC 6871, NGC 7380, Berkeley 7, Collinder 69, and IC 4996. We have found that the differential colour-excess ΔE(B - V), which may be due to the occurrence of dust and gas inside the clusters, decreases with the age of the clusters. A spatial variation of colour excess is found in NGC 6193 in the sense that it decreases from east to west in the cluster region. For the clusters Berkeley 7, NGC 7380, and NGC 6871, a dependence of colour excess E(B - V) with spectral class and luminosity is observed. Eight stars in Collinder 232, four stars in NGC 6530, and one star in NGC 6231 have excess flux in near-IR. This indicates that these stars may have circumstellar material around them.

  19. First Detection of Interstellar S2H

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuente, Asunción; Goicoechea, Javier R.; Pety, Jérôme; Le Gal, Romane; Martín-Doménech, Rafael; Gratier, Pierre; Guzmán, Viviana; Roueff, Evelyne; Loison, Jean Christophe; Muñoz Caro, Guillermo M.; Wakelam, Valentine; Gerin, Maryvonne; Riviere-Marichalar, Pablo; Vidal, Thomas

    2017-12-01

    We present the first detection of gas-phase S2H in the Horsehead, a moderately UV-irradiated nebula. This confirms the presence of doubly sulfuretted species in the interstellar medium and opens a new challenge for sulfur chemistry. The observed S2H abundance is ∼5 × 10‑11, only a factor of 4–6 lower than that of the widespread H2S molecule. H2S and S2H are efficiently formed on the UV-irradiated icy grain mantles. We performed ice irradiation experiments to determine the H2S and S2H photodesorption yields. The obtained values are ∼1.2 × 10‑3 and <1 × 10‑5 molecules per incident photon for H2S and S2H, respectively. Our upper limit to the S2H photodesorption yield suggests that photodesorption is not a competitive mechanism to release the S2H molecules to the gas phase. Other desorption mechanisms such as chemical desorption, cosmic-ray desorption, and grain shattering can increase the gaseous S2H abundance to some extent. Alternatively, S2H can be formed via gas-phase reactions involving gaseous H2S and the abundant ions S+ and SH+. The detection of S2H in this nebula therefore could be the result of the coexistence of an active grain-surface chemistry and gaseous photochemistry.

  20. Modelling interstellar structures around Vela X-1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gvaramadze, V. V.; Alexashov, D. B.; Katushkina, O. A.; Kniazev, A. Y.

    2018-03-01

    We report the discovery of filamentary structures stretched behind the bow-shock-producing high-mass X-ray binary Vela X-1 using the SuperCOSMOS H-alpha Survey and present the results of optical spectroscopy of the bow shock carried out with the Southern African Large Telescope. The geometry of the detected structures suggests that Vela X-1 has encountered a wedge-like layer of enhanced density on its way and that the shocked material of the layer partially outlines a wake downstream of Vela X-1. To substantiate this suggestion, we carried out 3D magnetohydrodynamic simulations of interaction between Vela X-1 and the layer for three limiting cases. Namely, we run simulations in which (i) the stellar wind and the interstellar medium (ISM) were treated as pure hydrodynamic flows, (ii) a homogeneous magnetic field was added to the ISM, while the stellar wind was assumed to be unmagnetized, and (iii) the stellar wind was assumed to possess a helical magnetic field, while there was no magnetic field in the ISM. We found that although the first two simulations can provide a rough agreement with the observations, only the third one allowed us to reproduce not only the wake behind Vela X-1, but also the general geometry of the bow shock ahead of it.

  1. Interstellar clouds and the formation of stars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alfen, H.; Carlqvist, P.

    1977-12-01

    The 'pseudo-plasma formalism' which up to now has almost completely dominated theoretical astrophysics must be replaced by an experimentally based approach, involving the introduction of a number of neglected plasma phenomena, such as electric double layers, critical velocity, and pinch effect. The general belief that star light is the main ionizer is shown to be doubtful; hydromagnetic conversion of gravitational and kinetic energy may often be much more important. The revised plasma physics is applied to dark clouds and star formation. Magnetic fields do not necessarily counteract the contraction of a cloud, they may just as well 'pinch' the cloud. Magnetic compression may be the main mechanism for forming interstellar clouds and keeping them together. Star formation is due to an instability, but it is very unlikely that it has anything to do with the Jeans instablility. A reasonable mechanism is that the sedimentation of 'dust' (including solid bodies of different size) is triggering off a gravitationally assisted accretion. The study of the evolution of a dark cloud leads to a scenario of planet formation which is reconcilable with the results obtained from studies based on solar system data. This means that the new approach to cosmical plasma physics discussed logically leads to a consistent picture of the evolution of dark clouds and the formation of solar systems

  2. Deuterium fractionation in dense interstellar clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Millar, T.J.; Bennett, A.; Herbst, E.

    1989-01-01

    The time-dependent gas-phase chemistry of deuterium fractionation in dense interstellar clouds ranging in temperature between 10 and 70 K was investigated using a pseudo-time-dependent model similar to that of Brown and Rice (1986). The present approach, however, considers much more complex species, uses more deuterium fractionation reactions, and includes the use of new branching ratios for dissociative recombinations reactions. Results indicate that, in cold clouds, the major and most global source of deuterium fractionation is H2D(+) and ions derived from it, such as DCO(+) and H2DO(+). In warmer clouds, reactions of CH2D(+), C2HD(+), and associated species lead to significant fractionation even at 70 K, which is the assumed Orion temperature. The deuterium abundance ratios calculated at 10 K are consistent with those observed in TMC-1 for most species. However, a comparison between theory and observatiom for Orion, indicates that, for species in the ambient molecular cloud, the early-time results obtained with the old dissociative recombination branching ratios are superior if a temperature of 70 K is utilized. 60 refs

  3. Deuterium fractionation in dense interstellar clouds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millar, T. J.; Bennett, A.; Herbst, Eric

    1989-05-01

    The time-dependent gas-phase chemistry of deuterium fractionation in dense interstellar clouds ranging in temperature between 10 and 70 K was investigated using a pseudo-time-dependent model similar to that of Brown and Rice (1986). The present approach, however, considers much more complex species, uses more deuterium fractionation reactions, and includes the use of new branching ratios for dissociative recombinations reactions. Results indicate that, in cold clouds, the major and most global source of deuterium fractionation is H2D(+) and ions derived from it, such as DCO(+) and H2DO(+). In warmer clouds, reactions of CH2D(+), C2HD(+), and associated species lead to significant fractionation even at 70 K, which is the assumed Orion temperature. The deuterium abundance ratios calculated at 10 K are consistent with those observed in TMC-1 for most species. However, a comparison between theory and observatiom for Orion, indicates that, for species in the ambient molecular cloud, the early-time results obtained with the old dissociative recombination branching ratios are superior if a temperature of 70 K is utilized.

  4. Three milieux for interstellar chemistry: gas, dust, and ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbst, Eric

    2014-02-28

    The interdisciplinary science of astrochemistry is 45 years of age, if we pinpoint its origin to have occurred when the first polyatomic molecules were detected in the interstellar gas. Since that time, the field has grown remarkably from an esoteric area of research to one that unites scientists around the globe. Almost 200 different molecules have been detected in the gas-phase of interstellar clouds, mainly by rotational spectroscopy, while dust particles and their icy mantles in colder regions can be probed by vibrational spectroscopy. Astrochemistry is exciting to scientists in a number of different fields. Astronomers are interested in molecular spectra from the heavens because such spectra are excellent probes of the physical conditions where molecules exist, while chemists are interested in the exotic molecules, their spectra, and the unusual chemical processes that produce and destroy them under conditions often very different from those on our home planet. Chemical simulations involving thousands of reactions are now used to calculate concentrations and spectra of interstellar molecules as functions of time. Even biologists share an interest in the subject, because the interstellar clouds of gas and dust, portions of which collapse to form stars and planetary systems, contain organic molecules that may become part of the initial inventory of new planets and may indeed be the precursors of life. An irresistible subject to its practitioners, astrochemistry is proving to be exciting to a much wider audience. In this perspective article, the field is first introduced, and the emphasis is then placed on the three environments in which chemistry occurs in the interstellar medium: the gas phase, the surfaces of bare dust particles, and the ice mantles that cover bare grains in cold dense interstellar clouds. What we do know and what we do not know is distinguished. The status of chemical simulations for a variety of interstellar sources having to do with stellar

  5. Is the solar system entering a nearby interstellar cloud

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vidal-Madjar, A.; Laurent, C.; Bruston, P.; Audouze, J.

    1978-01-01

    A model, based on different observations of the local interstellar medium, indicates the presence of a very close interstellar cloud in front of the Scorpius-Ophiuchus association (almost in the direction of the galactic center) approaching the solar system from a distance of about 0.03 pc at a velocity of about 15--20 km s -1 . These observations are as follows:1. The strong gradient of the hydrogen density in the interstellar medium deduced from current observations of this gas inside the solar system (n/sub H/approx.0.1 cm -3 ) and in front of many nearby stars in the anticenter direction (n/sub H/approx.0.01 cm -3 ).2. The anisotropy of the UV flux (around 950 A) from the brightest and closest O and B stars.3. The important variation of the deuterium to hydrogen ratio, which ranges from 2 x 10 -6 in the α Cen A direction to 4 x 10 -5 in the Aga Aur direction.A mechanism based on a selective radiation pressure effect that acts on deuterium atoms and not on hydrogen atoms explains satisfactorily the large spread in the deuterium abundance in the local interstellar medium. The operation of this mechanism requires that the geometrical configuration remain stable for approximately 10 7 years. This requirement implies the existence of a nearby interstellar cloud.Possible candidates do exist in the proper sky direction. One candidate, extensively discussed, presents a persistent interstellar absorption pattern over an angle of 40 0 related to a high column density, although covering only a few degrees in the sky, would lead to the same consequence. The presence of such condidates is not all contradicted by the interstellar reddening and absorption line observations.Other implications of the presence of such a close cloud are presented

  6. Scientific Research with the Space Telescope: International Astronomical Union Colloquium No. 54. [conferences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longair, M. S.; Warner, J. W.

    1979-01-01

    The application of the space telescope for extragalactic astronomy, planetary research, and stellar, interstellar, and galactic structural problems is discussed. Topics include investigations of small solar system objects, the physical characteristics of ionized gaseous nebulae, the central regions of active galaxies and quasars, problems of cosmology, and the distribution and composition of interstellar matter.

  7. LABORATORY FORMATION OF FULLERENES FROM PAHS: TOP-DOWN INTERSTELLAR CHEMISTRY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhen, Junfeng; Castellanos, Pablo; Tielens, Alexander G. G. M.; Paardekooper, Daniel M.; Linnartz, Harold

    2014-01-01

    Interstellar molecules are thought to build up in the shielded environment of molecular clouds or in the envelope of evolved stars. This follows many sequential reaction steps of atoms and simple molecules in the gas phase and/or on (icy) grain surfaces. However, these chemical routes are highly inefficient for larger species in the tenuous environment of space as many steps are involved and, indeed, models fail to explain the observed high abundances. This is definitely the case for the C 60 fullerene, recently identified as one of the most complex molecules in the interstellar medium. Observations have shown that, in some photodissociation regions, its abundance increases close to strong UV-sources. In this Letter we report laboratory findings in which C 60 formation can be explained by characterizing the photochemical evolution of large polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Sequential H losses lead to fully dehydrogenated PAHs and subsequent losses of C 2 units convert graphene into cages. Our results present for the first time experimental evidence that PAHs in excess of 60 C-atoms efficiently photo-isomerize to buckminsterfullerene, C 60 . These laboratory studies also attest to the importance of top-down synthesis routes for chemical complexity in space

  8. SECONDARY POPULATION OF INTERSTELLAR NEUTRALS seems deflected to the side

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakagawa, H.; Bzowski, M.; Yamazaki, A.; Fukunishi, H.; Watanabe, S.; Takahashi, Y.; Taguchi, M.

    Recently the neutral hydrogen flow in the inner heliosphere was found to be deflected relative to the helium flow by about 4 degrees Lallement et al 2005 The explanation of this delfection offered was a distortion of the heliosphere under the action of an ambient interstellar magnetic field In a separate study a number of data sets pertaining to interstellar neutral atoms obtained with various techniques were compiled and interpreted as due to an inflow of interstellar gas from an ecliptic longitude shifted by 10 - 40 degrees from the canonical upstream interstellar neutral flow direction at 254 degrees Collier et al 2004 The origin and properties of such a flow is still under debate We have performed a cross-experiment analysis of the heliospheric hydrogen and helium photometric observations performed simltaneously by the Nozomi spacecraft between the Earth and Mars orbit and explored possible deflection of hydrogen and helium flows with respect to the canonical upwind direction For the interpretation we used predictions of a state of the art 3D and fully time-dependent model of the neutral gas in the heliosphere with the boundary conditions ionization rates and radiation pressure taken from literature The model includes two populations of the thermal interstellar hydrogen predicted by the highly-reputed Moscow Monte Carlo model of the heliosphere The agreement between the data and simulations is not satifactory when one assumes that the upwind direction is the same for both populations and identical with the direction derived from inerstellar helium

  9. Physics, astronomy and astrophysics: interstellar matter and extragalactic light

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, R.C.

    1979-01-01

    Analyses of two experimental programs designed to estimate the density of the universe are reported. First, the Copernicus satellite was used to observe hydrogen and deuterium absorption in local interstellar matter. Secondly, two far-ultraviolet spectrometers were used to study galactic plane light scattered off interstellar dust, in order to measure the scattering properties of the dust, and also to detect cosmic background radiation. The interstellar absorption spectra were obtained using bright, close stars as light sources. The density and temperature of interstellar hydrogen and deuterium along the line of sight to each target star were obtained by fitting appropriate models to the data. A set of acceptable densities and temperatures is presented for each star. Generally, the measurements were insufficiently precise to infer spatial variations in the deuterium/hydrogen ratio. A far ultraviolet spectrometer aboard the Apollo 17 lunar mission was used to observe two dusty fields at low galactic latitudes. Virtually all of the observed signal is believed due to emission by field stars. The absence of diffuse galactic light implies the interstellar dust is an extremely poor backscattering medium in the far ultraviolet. If the albedo a of the grains is 0.5, then the scattering parameter g greater than or equal to 0.9

  10. AAT observations of the interstellar medium towards SN 1987A

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pettini, M.

    1988-01-01

    The exceptional brightness of SN 1987A has provided a unique opportunity to probe intervening gas clouds in the disk and halo of our Galaxy and in the Large Magellanic Cloud, (LMC) as well as intergalactic matter between the two. At the Anglo-Australian Observatory this opportunity has been exploited in two ways: in searches for very weak interstellar features requiring exceptionally high signal-to-noise ratio spectra, and in recording known interstellar lines with unprecedentedly high spectral resolution. The evolution of the light-echoes is also being monitored photographically to map the three-dimensional distribution of interstellar matter near the supernova. Surprisingly high column densities of million-degree gas have been found in the LMC through the first detection of [Fe X] in absorption. The hot gas may fill the interior of a 'superbubble' created by the combined effects of previous supernovae in this active region of star-formation; this cavity may be related to the shells of interstellar matter giving rise to the light-echoes. The ultra-high resolution observations, which required the rapid construction of a dedicated new spectrograph, were successful in resolving the hyperfine structure of the sodium D lines in several interstellar clouds. This implies that the clouds are at temperatures of at most 170 K and have internal turbulent velocities of no more than 0.3 km s -1 , even though some are moving with high velocities relative to the Sun. 47 refs., 3 figs

  11. INTERSTELLAR ABUNDANCES TOWARD X Per, REVISITED

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Valencic, Lynne A.; Smith, Randall K.

    2013-01-01

    The nearby X-ray binary X Per (HD 24534) provides a useful beacon with which to examine dust grain types and measure elemental abundances in the local interstellar medium (ISM). The absorption features of O, Fe, Mg, and Si along this line of sight were measured using spectra from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory's LETG/ACIS-S and XMM-Newton's RGS instruments, and the Spex software package. The spectra were fit with dust analogs measured in the laboratory. The O, Mg, and Si abundances were compared to those from standard references, and the O abundance was compared to that along lines of sight toward other X-ray binaries. The results are as follows. First, it was found that a combination of MgSiO 3 (enstatite) and Mg 1.6 Fe 0.4 SiO 4 (olivine) provided the best fit to the O K edge, with N(MgSiO 3 )/N(Mg 1.6 Fe 0.4 SiO 4 ) = 3.4. Second, the Fe L edge could be fit with models that included metallic iron, but it was not well described by the laboratory spectra currently available. Third, the total abundances of O, Mg, and Si were in very good agreement with that of recently re-analyzed B stars, suggesting that they are good indicators of abundances in the local ISM, and the depletions were also in agreement with expected values for the diffuse ISM. Finally, the O abundances found from X-ray binary absorption spectra show a similar correlation with Galactocentric distances as seen in other objects.

  12. Surfatron accelerator in the local interstellar cloud

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Loznikov, V. M., E-mail: vloznikov@yandex.ru; Erokhin, N. S.; Zol’nikova, N. N.; Mikhailovskaya, L. A. [Russian Academy of Sciences, Space Research Institute (Russian Federation)

    2017-01-15

    Taking into account results of numerous experiments, the variability of the energy spectra of cosmic rays (protons and helium nuclei) in the energy range of 10 GeV to ~10{sup 7} GeV is explained on the basis of a hypothesis of the existence of two variable sources close to the Sun. The first (soft) surfatron source (with a size of ~100 AU) is located at the periphery of the heliosphere. The second (hard) surfatron source (with a size of ~1 pc) is situated in the Local Interstellar Cloud (LIC) at a distance of <1 pc. The constant background is described by a power-law spectrum with a slope of ~2.75. The variable heliospheric surfatron source is described by a power-law spectrum with a variable amplitude, slope, and cutoff energy, the maximum cutoff energy being in the range of E{sub CH}/Z < 1000 GeV. The variable surfatron source in the LIC is described by a power-law spectrum with a variable amplitude, slope, and cut-off energy, the maximum cut-off energy being E{sub Ð}¡{sub L}/Z ≤ 3 × 10{sup 6} GeV. The proposed model is used to approximate data from several experiments performed at close times. The energy of each cosmic-ray component is calculated. The possibility of surfatron acceleration of Fe nuclei (Z = 26) in the LIC up to an energy of E{sub CL} ~ 10{sup 17} eV and electron and positrons to the “knee” in the energy spectrum is predicted. By numerically solving a system of nonlinear equations describing the interaction between an electromagnetic wave and a charged particle with an energy of up to E/Z ~ 3 × 10{sup 6} GeV, the possibility of trapping, confinement, and acceleration of charged cosmic-ray particles by a quasi-longitudinal plasma wave is demonstrated.

  13. Exploring the Interstellar Medium with SOFIA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Edwin F.

    2004-01-01

    SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, is being developed to operate at wavelengths from 0.3 microns to 1.6 mm over a 20 year lifetime. Its 2.5 m effective diameter telescope will be diffraction limited (approximately 8.5 arc seconds FWHM at 100 microns) at wavelengths beyond about 5 microns. Its B747SP aircraft platform will allow coverage of the entire sky and enable observation of ephemeral events. Nine first-generation focal plane instruments are being built, and more will be added later. These attributes assure SOFIA a vital role in future studies of the interstellar medium (ISM), in addition to topics such as the solar system. SOFIA observers will explore the gamut of ISM topics: star formation; the Galactic Center; debris disks; recycling of materials through the stellar life cycle; the origin and evolution of biogenic materials; shock, photodissociation, and photoexcitation physics; gas and grain chemistry. Imaging, spectroscopy, and eventually polarimetry covering much of the infrared spectrum will all be part of SOFIA's arsenal in the attack on these and other important problems. The talk will describe the observatory, its status, its science instruments and anticipated program. SOFIA is a joint program of NASA in the U.S. and DLR in Germany. Broad participation by the international science community in SOFIA observations will be encouraged via annual proposal opportunities and user-friendly tools. Roughly 80% of the observing time will be granted by the U.S. and 20% by Germany. For further information, see http://sofia.arc.nasa.gov.

  14. Interstellar MHD Turbulence and Star Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vázquez-Semadeni, Enrique

    This chapter reviews the nature of turbulence in the Galactic interstellar medium (ISM) and its connections to the star formation (SF) process. The ISM is turbulent, magnetized, self-gravitating, and is subject to heating and cooling processes that control its thermodynamic behavior, causing it to behave approximately isobarically, in spite of spanning several orders of magnitude in density and temperature. The turbulence in the warm and hot ionized components of the ISM appears to be trans- or subsonic, and thus to behave nearly incompressibly. However, the neutral warm and cold components are highly compressible, as a consequence of both thermal instability (TI) in the atomic gas and of moderately-to-strongly supersonic motions in the roughly isothermal cold atomic and molecular components. Within this context, we discuss: (1) the production and statistical distribution of turbulent density fluctuations in both isothermal and polytropic media; (2) the nature of the clumps produced by TI, noting that, contrary to classical ideas, they in general accrete mass from their environment in spite of exhibiting sharp discontinuities at their boundaries; (3) the density-magnetic field correlation (and, at low densities, lack thereof) in turbulent density fluctuations, as a consequence of the superposition of the different wave modes in the turbulent flow; (4) the evolution of the mass-to-magnetic flux ratio (MFR) in density fluctuations as they are built up by dynamic compressions; (5) the formation of cold, dense clouds aided by TI, in both the hydrodynamic (HD) and the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) cases; (6) the expectation that star-forming molecular clouds are likely to be undergoing global gravitational contraction, rather than being near equilibrium, as generally believed, and (7) the regulation of the star formation rate (SFR) in such gravitationally contracting clouds by stellar feedback which, rather than keeping the clouds from collapsing, evaporates and disperses

  15. Recommended Rest Frequencies for Observed Interstellar Molecular Microwave Transitions - 2002 Revision

    Science.gov (United States)

    SRD 116 NIST Recommended Rest Frequencies for Observed Interstellar Molecular Microwave Transitions - 2002 Revision (Web, free access)   Critically evaluated transition frequencies for the molecular transitions detected in interstellar and circumstellar clouds are presented.

  16. Angular Broadening of Intraday Variable AGNs II. Interstellar and Intergalactic Scattering

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lazio, T. J; Ojha, Roopesh; Fey, Alan L; Kedziora-Chudczer, Lucyna; Cordes, James M; Jauncey, David L; Lovell, James E

    2008-01-01

    ... (interstellar scintillation), while the other 25% do not show intraday variability. We find that interstellar scattering is measurable for most of these AGNs, and the typical broadening diameter is 2 mas at 1 GHz...

  17. A Test of the Interstellar Boundary EXplorer Ribbon Formation in the Outer Heliosheath

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gamayunov, Konstantin V.; Rassoul, Hamid [Department of Physics and Space Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL 32901 (United States); Heerikhuisen, Jacob, E-mail: kgamayunov@fit.edu [Department of Space Science, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899 (United States)

    2017-08-10

    NASA’s Interstellar Boundary EXplorer ( IBEX ) mission is imaging energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) propagating to Earth from the outer heliosphere and local interstellar medium (LISM). A dominant feature in all ENA maps is a ribbon of enhanced fluxes that was not predicted before IBEX . While more than a dozen models of the ribbon formation have been proposed, consensus has gathered around the so-called secondary ENA model. Two classes of secondary ENA models have been proposed; the first class assumes weak scattering of the energetic pickup protons in the LISM, and the second class assumes strong but spatially localized scattering. Here we present a numerical test of the “weak scattering” version of the secondary ENA model using our gyro-averaged kinetic model for the evolution of the phase-space distribution of protons in the outer heliosheath. As input for our test, we use distributions of the primary ENAs from our MHD-plasma/kinetic-neutral model of the heliosphere-LISM interaction. The magnetic field spectrum for the large-scale interstellar turbulence and an upper limit for the amplitude of small-scale local turbulence (SSLT) generated by protons are taken from observations by Voyager 1 in the LISM. The hybrid simulations of energetic protons are also used to set the bounding wavenumbers for the spectrum of SSLT. Our test supports the “weak scattering” version. This makes an additional solid step on the way to understanding the origin and formation of the IBEX ribbon and thus to improving our understanding of the interaction between the heliosphere and the LISM.

  18. THz and mid-IR spectroscopy of interstellar ice analogs: methyl and carboxylic acid groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ioppolo, S; McGuire, B A; Allodi, M A; Blake, G A

    2014-01-01

    A fundamental problem in astrochemistry concerns the synthesis and survival of complex organic molecules (COMs) throughout the process of star and planet formation. While it is generally accepted that most complex molecules and prebiotic species form in the solid phase on icy grain particles, a complete understanding of the formation pathways is still largely lacking. To take full advantage of the enormous number of available THz observations (e.g., Herschel Space Observatory, SOFIA, and ALMA), laboratory analogs must be studied systematically. Here, we present the THz (0.3-7.5 THz; 10-250 cm(-1)) and mid-IR (400-4000 cm(-1)) spectra of astrophysically-relevant species that share the same functional groups, including formic acid (HCOOH) and acetic acid (CH3COOH), and acetaldehyde (CH3CHO) and acetone ((CH3)2CO), compared to more abundant interstellar molecules such as water (H2O), methanol (CH3OH), and carbon monoxide (CO). A suite of pure and mixed binary ices are discussed. The effects on the spectra due to the composition and the structure of the ice at different temperatures are shown. Our results demonstrate that THz spectra are sensitive to reversible and irreversible transformations within the ice caused by thermal processing, suggesting that THz spectra can be used to study the composition, structure, and thermal history of interstellar ices. Moreover, the THz spectrum of an individual species depends on the functional group(s) within that molecule. Thus, future THz studies of different functional groups will help in characterizing the chemistry and physics of the interstellar medium (ISM).

  19. A new class of solutions for interstellar magnetohydrodynamic shock waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberge, W. G.; Draine, B. T.

    1990-01-01

    An analysis is presented of the equations of motion for steady MHD shock waves proopagating in interstellar clouds, for boundary conditions that preclude C shocks. In addition to J shocks, in which the neutral fluid component becomes subsonic at an adiabatic jump front, the equations admit a new class of solutions, called C-asterisk shocks, in which the transition to subsonic flow occurs continuously at a sonic point. Numerical methods are developed for computing the structure of J and C-asterisk shocks propagating in diffuse interstellar clouds. The effects of chemical, ionization, and recombination processes are included in this treatment. An alternative numerical method, which uses artificial viscosity to facilitate integration through sonic points, is analyzed and shown to be invalid. A set of exemplary solutions, computed for realistic shock parameters, shows that C-asterisk shocks occur for a broad range of conditions relevant to diffuse interstellar clouds.

  20. Dust clouds in Orion and the interstellar neutral hydrogen distribution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bystrova, N.V.

    1989-01-01

    According to published examples of the far IR observations in the Orion and its surroundings, several well defined dust clouds of different sizes and structure are present. For comparison of these clouds with the neutral hydrogen distribution on the area of approx. 1000 sq degs, the data from Pulkovo Sky Survey in the interstellar neutral Hydrogen Radio Line as well as special observations with the RATAN-600 telescope in 21 cm line were used. From the materials of Pulkovo HI Survey, the data were taken near the line emission at ten velocities between -21.8 and +25.6 km/s LSR for the structural component of the interstellar hydrogen emission. The results given concern mainly the Orion's Great Dust Cloud and the Lambda Orionis region where the information about the situation with the dust and interstellar hydrogen is very essential for interpretation

  1. Cosmic ray diffusion in a violent interstellar medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bykov, A.M.; Toptygin, I.N.

    1985-01-01

    A variety of the avaiable observational data on the cosmic ray (CR) spectrum, anisotropy and composition are in good agreement with a suggestion on the diffusion propagation of CR with energy below 10(15) eV in the interstellar medium. The magnitude of the CR diffusion coefficient and its energy dependence are determined by interstellar medium (ISM) magnetic field spectra. Direct observational data on magnetic field spectra are still absent. A theoretical model to the turbulence generation in the multiphase ISM is resented. The model is based on the multiple generation of secondary shocks and concomitant large-scale rarefactions due to supernova shock interactions with interstellar clouds. The distribution function for ISM shocks are derived to include supernova statistics, diffuse cloud distribution, and various shock wave propagation regimes. This permits calculation of the ISM magnetic field fluctuation spectrum and CR diffusion coefficient for the hot phase of ISM

  2. The existence and nature of the interstellar bow shock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ben-Jaffel, Lotfi [UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR7095, Institut d' Astrophysique de Paris, F-75014, Paris (France); Strumik, M.; Ratkiewicz, R.; Grygorczuk, J., E-mail: bjaffel@iap.fr [Space Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, Bartycka 18A, 00-716 Warsaw (Poland)

    2013-12-20

    We report a new diagnosis of two different states of the local interstellar medium (LISM) near our solar system by using a sensitivity study constrained by several distinct and complementary observations of the LISM, solar wind, and inner heliosphere. Assuming the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) He flow parameters for the LISM, we obtain a strength of ∼2.7 ± 0.2 μG and a direction pointing away from galactic coordinates (28, 52) ± 3° for the interstellar magnetic field as a result of fitting Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 in situ plasma measurements and IBEX energetic neutral atoms ribbon. When using Ulysses parameters for the LISM He flow, we recently reported the same direction but with a strength of 2.2 ± 0.1 μG. First, we notice that with Ulysses He flow, our solution is in the expected hydrogen deflection plane (HDP). In contrast, for the IBEX He flow, the solution is ∼20° away from the corresponding HDP plane. Second, the long-term monitoring of the interplanetary H I flow speed shows a value of ∼26 km s{sup –1} measured upwind from the Doppler shift in the strong Lyα sky background emission line. All elements of the diagnosis seem therefore to support Ulysses He flow parameters for the interstellar state. In that frame, we argue that reliable discrimination between superfast, subfast, or superslow states of the interstellar flow should be based on most existing in situ and remote observations used together with global modeling of the heliosphere. For commonly accepted LISM ionization rates, we show that a fast interstellar bow shock should be standing off upstream of the heliopause.

  3. Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination V: XRF analyses of interstellar dust candidates at ESRF ID13

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenker, Frank E.; Westphal, Andrew J.; Vincze, Laszlo; Burghammer, Manfred; Schmitz, Sylvia; Schoonjans, Tom; Silversmit, Geert; Vekemans, Bart; Allen, Carlton; Anderson, David; Ansari, Asna; Bajt, SašA.; Bastien, Ron K.; Bassim, Nabil; Bechtel, Hans A.; Borg, Janet; Bridges, John; Brownlee, Donald E.; Burchell, Mark; Butterworth, Anna L.; Changela, Hitesh; Cloetens, Peter; Davis, Andrew M.; Doll, Ryan; Floss, Christine; Flynn, George; Fougeray, Patrick; Frank, David R.; Gainsforth, Zack; Grün, Eberhard; Heck, Philipp R.; Hillier, Jon K.; Hoppe, Peter; Hudson, Bruce; Huth, Joachim; Hvide, Brit; Kearsley, Anton; King, Ashley J.; Lai, Barry; Leitner, Jan; Lemelle, Laurence; Leroux, Hugues; Leonard, Ariel; Lettieri, Robert; Marchant, William; Nittler, Larry R.; Ogliore, Ryan; Ong, Wei Ja; Postberg, Frank; Price, Mark C.; Sandford, Scott A.; Tresseras, Juan-Angel Sans; Simionovici, Alexandre S.; Solé, Vicente A.; Srama, Ralf; Stadermann, Frank; Stephan, Thomas; Sterken, Veerle J.; Stodolna, Julien; Stroud, Rhonda M.; Sutton, Steven; Trieloff, Mario; Tsou, Peter; Tsuchiyama, Akira; Tyliszczak, Tolek; Korff, Joshua; Wordsworth, Naomi; Zevin, Daniel; Zolensky, Michael E.

    2014-09-01

    Here, we report analyses by synchrotron X-ray fluorescence microscopy of the elemental composition of eight candidate impact features extracted from the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector (SIDC). Six of the features were unambiguous tracks, and two were crater-like features. Five of the tracks are so-called "midnight" tracks—that is, they had trajectories consistent with an origin either in the interstellar dust stream or as secondaries from impacts on the Sample Return Capsule (SRC). In a companion paper reporting synchrotron X-ray diffraction analyses of ISPE candidates, we show that two of these particles contain natural crystalline materials: the terminal particle of track 30 contains olivine and spinel, and the terminal particle of track 34 contains olivine. Here, we show that the terminal particle of track 30, Orion, shows elemental abundances, normalized to Fe, that are close to CI values, and a complex, fine-grained structure. The terminal particle of track 34, Hylabrook, shows abundances that deviate strongly from CI, but shows little fine structure and is nearly homogenous. The terminal particles of other midnight tracks, 29 and 37, had heavy element abundances below detection threshold. A third, track 28, showed a composition inconsistent with an extraterrestrial origin, but also inconsistent with known spacecraft materials. A sixth track, with a trajectory consistent with secondary ejecta from an impact on one of the spacecraft solar panels, contains abundant Ce and Zn. This is consistent with the known composition of the glass covering the solar panel. Neither crater-like feature is likely to be associated with extraterrestrial materials. We also analyzed blank aerogel samples to characterize background and variability between aerogel tiles. We found significant differences in contamination levels and compositions, emphasizing the need for local background subtraction for accurate quantification.

  4. Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination V: XRF Analyses of Interstellar Dust Candidates at ESRF ID13

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenker, Frank E.; Westphal, Andrew J.; Simionovici, Alexandre S.; Flynn, George J.; Gainsforth, Zack; Allen, Carlton C.; Sanford, Scott; Zolensky, Michael E.; Bastien, Ron K.; Frank, David R.

    2014-01-01

    Here, we report analyses by synchrotron X-ray fluorescence microscopy of the elemental composition of eight candidate impact features extracted from the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector (SIDC). Six of the features were unambiguous tracks, and two were crater-like features. Five of the tracks are so-called midnight tracks that is, they had trajectories consistent with an origin either in the interstellar dust stream or as secondaries from impacts on the Sample Return Capsule (SRC). In a companion paper reporting synchrotron X-ray diffraction analyses of ISPE candidates, we show that two of these particles contain natural crystalline materials: the terminal particle of track 30contains olivine and spinel, and the terminal particle of track 34 contains olivine. Here, we show that the terminal particle of track 30, Orion, shows elemental abundances, normalized to Fe, that are close to CI values, and a complex, fine-grained structure. The terminal particle of track 34, Hylabrook, shows abundances that deviate strongly from CI, but shows little fine structure and is nearly homogenous. The terminal particles of other midnight tracks, 29 and 37, had heavy element abundances below detection threshold. A third, track28, showed a composition inconsistent with an extraterrestrial origin, but also inconsistent with known spacecraft materials. A sixth track, with a trajectory consistent with secondary ejecta from an impact on one of the spacecraft solar panels, contains abundant Ce and Zn. This is consistent with the known composition of the glass covering the solar panel. Neither crater-like feature is likely to be associated with extraterrestrial materials. We also analyzed blank aerogel samples to characterize background and variability between aerogel tiles. We found significant differences in contamination levels and compositions, emphasizing the need for local background subtraction for accurate quantification.

  5. Rotational Spectra in 29 Vibrationally Excited States of Interstellar Aminoacetonitrile

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kolesniková, L.; Alonso, E. R.; Mata, S.; Alonso, J. L. [Grupo de Espectroscopia Molecular (GEM), Edificio Quifima, Área de Química-Física, Laboratorios de Espectroscopia y Bioespectroscopia, Parque Científico UVa, Unidad Asociada CSIC, Universidad de Valladolid, E-47011 Valladolid (Spain)

    2017-04-01

    We report a detailed spectroscopic investigation of the interstellar aminoacetonitrile, a possible precursor molecule of glycine. Using a combination of Stark and frequency-modulation microwave and millimeter wave spectroscopies, we observed and analyzed the room-temperature rotational spectra of 29 excited states with energies up to 1000 cm{sup −1}. We also observed the {sup 13}C isotopologues in the ground vibrational state in natural abundance (1.1%). The extensive data set of more than 2000 new rotational transitions will support further identifications of aminoacetonitrile in the interstellar medium.

  6. Thermoluminescence of Simulated Interstellar Matter after Gamma-ray Irradiation

    OpenAIRE

    Koike, K.; Nakagawa, M.; Koike, C.; Okada, M.; Chihara, H.

    2002-01-01

    Interstellar matter is known to be strongly irradiated by radiation and several types of cosmic ray particles. Simulated interstellar matter, such as forsterite $\\rm Mg_{2}SiO_{4}$, enstatite $\\rm MgSiO_{3}$ and magnesite $\\rm MgCO_{3}$ has been irradiated with the $\\rm ^{60}Co$ gamma-rays in liquid nitrogen, and also irradiated with fast neutrons at 10 K and 70 K by making use of the low-temperature irradiation facility of Kyoto University Reactor (KUR-LTL. Maximum fast neutron dose is $10^{...

  7. Implications of Captured Interstellar Objects for Panspermia and Extraterrestrial Life

    OpenAIRE

    Lingam, Manasvi; Loeb, Abraham

    2018-01-01

    We estimate the capture rate of interstellar objects by means of three-body gravitational interactions. We apply this model to the Sun-Jupiter system and the Alpha Centauri A\\&B binary system, and find that the radius of the largest captured object is a few tens of km and Earth-sized respectively. We explore the implications of our model for the transfer of life by means of rocky material. The interstellar comets captured by the "fishing net" of the Solar system can be potentially distinguish...

  8. Interstellar Scintillation and Scattering of Micro-arc-second AGN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David L. Jauncey

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of the first quasar 3C 273 led directly to the discovery of their variability at optical and radio wavelengths. We review the radio variability observations, in particular the variability found at frequencies below 1 GHz, as well as those exhibiting intra-day variability (IDV at cm wavelengths. Observations have shown that IDV arises principally from scintillation caused by scattering in the ionized interstellar medium of our Galaxy. The sensitivity of interstellar scintillation towards source angular sizes has provided a powerful tool for studying the most compact components of radio-loud AGN at microarcsecond and milliarcsecond scale resolution.

  9. IUE observations of N V, a diagnostic of hot interstellar gas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, L.J.; Hartquist, T.W.

    1980-01-01

    IUE observations are reported of interstellar N V toward a number of Wolf-Rayet stars and the derived number density is compared with that predicted by one theory of the interstellar medium. The observed N V/O VI ratio implies that most of the hot gas in the interstellar medium is at T = approximately 2.3 x 10 5 K. (author)

  10. A brief visit from a red and extremely elongated interstellar asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meech, Karen J.; Weryk, Robert; Micheli, Marco; Kleyna, Jan T.; Hainaut, Olivier R.; Jedicke, Robert; Wainscoat, Richard J.; Chambers, Kenneth C.; Keane, Jacqueline V.; Petric, Andreea; Denneau, Larry; Magnier, Eugene; Berger, Travis; Huber, Mark E.; Flewelling, Heather; Waters, Chris; Schunova-Lilly, Eva; Chastel, Serge

    2017-12-01

    None of the approximately 750,000 known asteroids and comets in the Solar System is thought to have originated outside it, despite models of the formation of planetary systems suggesting that orbital migration of giant planets ejects a large fraction of the original planetesimals into interstellar space. The high predicted number density of icy interstellar objects (2.4 × 10‑4 per cubic astronomical unit) suggests that some should have been detected, yet hitherto none has been seen. Many decades of asteroid and comet characterization have yielded formation models that explain the mass distribution, chemical abundances and planetary configuration of the Solar System today, but there has been no way of telling whether the Solar System is typical of planetary systems. Here we report observations and analysis of the object 1I/2017 U1 (‘Oumuamua) that demonstrate its extrasolar trajectory, and that thus enable comparisons to be made between material from another planetary system and from our own. Our observations during the brief visit by the object to the inner Solar System reveal it to be asteroidal, with no hint of cometary activity despite an approach within 0.25 astronomical units of the Sun. Spectroscopic measurements show that the surface of the object is spectrally red, consistent with comets or organic-rich asteroids that reside within the Solar System. Light-curve observations indicate that the object has an extremely oblong shape, with a length about ten times its width, and a mean radius of about 102 metres assuming an albedo of 0.04. No known objects in the Solar System have such extreme dimensions. The presence of ‘Oumuamua in the Solar System suggests that previous estimates of the number density of interstellar objects, based on the assumption that all such objects were cometary, were pessimistically low. Planned upgrades to contemporary asteroid survey instruments and improved data processing techniques are likely to result in the detection

  11. Laboratory Studies of the Formation of Interstellar Dust from Molecular Precursors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contreras, Cesar S.; Salama, Farid

    2009-06-01

    The study of the formation and the destruction processes of cosmic dust is essential to understand and to quantify the budget of extraterrestrial organic molecules. Interstellar dust presents a continuous size distribution from large molecules, radicals and ions to nanometer-sized particles to micron-sized grains. The lower end of the carbonaceous dust size distribution is thought to be responsible for the ubiquitous spectral features that are seen in emission in the IR (UIBs) and in absorption in the visible (DIBs). The higher end of the dust-size distribution is thought to be responsible for the continuum emission plateau that is seen in the IR and for the strong absorption seen in the interstellar UV extinction curve. All these spectral signatures are characteristic of cosmic organic materials that are ubiquitous and present in various forms from gas-phase molecules to solid-state grains and all are expected to exhibit FIR spectral signatures. Space observations from the UV (HST) to the IR (ISO, Spitzer) help place size constraints on the molecular component of carbonaceous IS dust and its contribution to the IS features in the UV and in the IR. Studies of large molecular and nano-sized IS dust analogs formed from PAH precursors have been performed in our laboratory under conditions that simulate interstellar and circumstellar environments. The species (molecules, molecular fragments, ions, nanoparticles, etc...) formed in the pulsed discharge nozzle (PDN) plasma source are detected and characterized with a high-sensitivity cavity ringdown spectrometer (CRDS) coupled to a Reflectron time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ReTOF-MS). We will present new experimental results that indicate that nanoparticles are generated in the plasma. From these unique measurements, we derive information on the nature, the size and the structure of interstellar dust particles, the growth and the destruction processes of IS dust and the resulting budget of extraterrestrial organic

  12. Is life the rule or the exception? The answer may be in the interstellar clouds

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-05-01

    Credits: ESA 2002. Illustration by Medialab Did the main ingredients for life come from outer space? In addition to forming in comets and asteroids, amino acids, the 'building blocks' of life, may form in dust grains in the space between the stars Rosetta artist view hi-res Size hi-res: 397 kb Credits: ESA Rosetta’s mission to a comet An artist's impression of the Rosetta spacecraft, its target Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and the Philae lander being delivered onto its surface. Rosetta’s 11-year expedition began in March 2004, with an Ariane 5 launch from Kourou in French Guiana, and the spacecraft was then sent towards the outer Solar System. The long journey includes three gravity assists at Earth (2004, 2007, 2009), one at Mars (2007), and two asteroid encounters: (2867) Steins (2008) and (21) Lutetia (2010). Rosetta will reach Comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014, and will be the first mission ever to orbit a comet’s nucleus and to deliver a lander, called Philae, on its surface. Artist's Impression of the Herschel Spacecraft hi-res Size hi-res: 138 Kb Artist's Impression of the Herschel Spacecraft Herschel is the only space facility dedicated to the submillimetre and far infrared part of the spectrum. Its vantage point in space provides several decisive advantages, including a low and stable background and full access to this part of the spectrum. Herschel has the potential of discovering the earliest epoch proto-galaxies, revealing the cosmologically evolving AGN-starburst symbiosis, and unraveling the mechanisms involved in the formation of stars and planetary system bodies. The key science objectives emphasise specifically the formation of stars and galaxies, and the interrelation between the two, but also includes the physics of the interstellar medium, astrochemistry, and solar system studies. Herschel will carry a 3.5 metre diameter passively cooled telescope. The science payload complement - two cameras/medium resolution spectrometers

  13. Prospects for Backtracing 1I/‘Oumuamua and Future Interstellar Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qicheng

    2018-01-01

    1I/‘Oumuamua is the first of likely many small bodies of extrasolar origin to be found in the solar system. These interstellar objects (ISOs) are hypothesized to have formed in extrasolar planetary systems prior to being ejected into interstellar space and subsequently arriving at the solar system. This paper discusses necessary considerations for tracing ISOs back to their parent stars via trajectory analysis and places approximate limits on doing so. Results indicate that the capability to backtrace ISOs beyond the immediate solar neighborhood is presently constrained by the quality of stellar astrometry, a factor poised for significant improvement with upcoming Gaia data releases. Nonetheless, prospects for linking 1I or any other ISO to their respective parent stars appear unfavorable on an individual basis due to gravitational scattering from random stellar encounters, which limit traceability to the past few tens of millions of years. These results, however, do not preclude the possibility of occasional success, particularly after considering the potential for observational bias favoring the discovery of younger ISOs, together with the anticipated rise in the ISO discovery rate under forthcoming surveys.

  14. On the Detectability of Interstellar Objects Like 1I/'Oumuamua

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ragozzine, Darin

    2018-04-01

    Almost since Oort's 1950 hypothesis of a tenuously bound cloud of comets, planetary formation theorists have realized that the process of planet formation must have ejected very large numbers of planetesimals into interstellar space. Unforunately, these objects are distributed over galactic volumes, while they are only likely to be detectable if they pass within a few AU of Earth, resulting in an incredibly sparse detectable population. Furthermore, hypotheses for the formation and distribution of these bodies allows for uncertainties of orders of magnitude in the expected detection rate: our analysis suggested LSST would discover 0.01-100 objects during its lifetime (Cook et al. 2016). The discovery of 1I/'Oumuamua by a survey less powerful that LSST indicates either a low probability event and/or that properties of this population are on the more favorable end of the spectrum. We revisit the detailed detection analysis of Cook et al. 2016 in light of the detection of 1I/'Oumuamua. We use these results to better understand 1I/'Oumuamua and to update our assessment of future detections of interstellar objects. We highlight some key questions that can be answered only by additional discoveries.

  15. Surface formation routes of interstellar molecules : a laboratory study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sergio, Ioppolo

    2010-01-01

    It has been a long standing problem in astrochemistry to explain how molecules can form in a highly dilute environment as the interstellar medium. In recent years it has become clear that solid state reactions on icy grains play an important role in the formation of both simple and rather complex

  16. Infrared emission spectra of candidate interstellar aromatic molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlemmer, S.; Balucani, N.; Wagner, D. R.; Steiner, B.; Saykally, R. J.

    1996-01-01

    Interstellar dust is responsible, through surface reactions, for the creation of molecular hydrogen, the main component of the interstellar clouds in which new stars form. Intermediate between small, gas-phase molecules and dust are the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Such molecules could account for 2-30% of the carbon in the Galaxy, and may provide nucleation sites for the formation of carbonaceous dust. Although PAHs have been proposed as the sources of the unidentified infrared emission bands that are observed in the spectra of a variety of interstellar sources, the emission characteristics of such molecules are still poorly understood. Here we report laboratory emission spectra of several representative PAHs, obtained in conditions approximating those of the interstellar medium, and measured over the entire spectral region spanned by the unidentified infrared bands. We find that neutral PAHs of small and moderate size can at best make only a minor contribution to these emission bands. Cations of these molecules, as well as much larger PAHs and their cations, remain viable candidates for the sources of these bands.

  17. Three-Component Dust Models for Interstellar Extinction C ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    without standard' method were used to constrain the dust characteristics .... which is based on the analysis of the extinction curves derived from the 'pair method' ... interstellar dust were also computed by the code by numerically integrating the follow- ing relation over the size distribution: E = (4/3M)πρ. ∫. (dn/da)a3da,. (1).

  18. The Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector and Stardust@home

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westphal, A. J.; Anderson, D.; Bastien, R.; Butterworth, A.; Frank, D.; Gainsforth, Z.; Kelley, N.; Lettieri, R.; Mendez, B.; Prasad, R.; Tsitrin, S.; von Korff, J.; Warren, J.; Wertheimer, D.; Zhang, A.; Zolensky, M.

    2006-12-01

    The Stardust sample return mission is effectively two missions in one. Stardust brought back to earth for analytical study the first solid samples from a known solar system body beyond the moon, comet Wild2. The first results of the analyses of these samples are reported elsewhere in this session. In a separate aerogel collector, Stardust also captured and has returned the first samples of contemporary interstellar dust. Landgraf et al. [1] has estimated that ~ 50 interstellar dust particles in the micron size range have been captured in the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector. Their state after capture is unknown. Before analysis of these particles can begin, they must be located in the collector. Here we describe the current status of Stardust@home, the massively distributed public search for these tiny interstellar dust particles. So far more than 13,000 volunteers have collectively performed more than 10,000,000 searches in stacks of digital images of ~10% of the collector. We report new estimates of the flux of interplanetary dust at ~2 AU based on the results of this search, and will compare with extant models[2]. References: [1] Landgraf et al., (1999) Planet. Spac. Sci. 47, 1029. [2] Staubach et al. (2001) in Interplanetary Dust, E. Grün, ed., Astron. &Astro. Library, Springer, 2001.

  19. Classical dynamics simulations of interstellar glycine formation via ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    YOGESHWARAN KRISHNAN

    2017-09-20

    Sep 20, 2017 ... reaction site. Computational modeling is becoming a very use- ful tool for studying interstellar chemistry.32,33 In the present work, we have investigated the dynamics of reaction 1 and reaction 2 (with n = 2) using ab initio classical trajectory simulations.34,35 Trajectories were initiated at the rate-controlling ...

  20. Classical dynamics simulations of interstellar glycine formation via ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    YOGESHWARAN KRISHNAN

    2017-09-20

    Sep 20, 2017 ... present article, we report ab initio classical trajectory simulations for the interstellar formation of glycine for the above mentioned reaction with n ... Our simulations indicate that the above proposed catalytic effect by the additional ..... Advances in Chemical Physics: Monte Carlo Methods in Chemical Physics I ...

  1. Ionized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and the diffuse interstellar bands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crawford, M.K.; Tielens, A.G.G.M.; Allamandola, L.J.

    1985-01-01

    A good case has recently been made that the unidentified infrared emission features arise from positively charged, partially hydrogenated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In the Letter, we suggest that these exceedingly stable ions are also the carriers of the diffuse interstellar bands. Although a large variety of PAH isomers is possible, the more condensed forms are substantially more stable than the less condensed forms and are expected to be dominant in harsh interstellar environment. While neutral PAHs do not absorb in the visible, their ionized counterparts do. Because of their low ionization potential, a substantial fraction of the interstellar PAHs will be ionized. Visible spectra of the most stable PAH cations isolated in glasses are compared directly to the interstellar band spectra. Although the laboratory spectra are on an extremely compressed scale and solid state shifts are present, the comparison is favorable. Since little information is available concerning the spectroscopic properties of these species in the gas phase, a considerable amount of laboratory and theoretical work is called for to test this hypothesis

  2. Interstellar Medium and Star Formation Studies with the Square ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Stars and planetary systems are formed out of molecular clouds in the interstellar medium. Although the sequence of steps involved in star formation are generally known, a comprehensive theory which describes the details of the processes that drive formation of stars is still missing. The Square Kilometre Array (SKA), with ...

  3. Diffuse Interstellar Bands in NGC 1448 (Sollerman+, 2005)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sollerman, J.; Cox, N.; Mattila, S.; Ehrenfreund, P.; Kaper, L.; Leibundgut, B.; Lundqvist, P.

    2004-01-01

    table3 lists the VPFIT parameters (velocity v, Doppler parameter b and column density N) for the components of the observed atomic interstellar lines of Ca II, Ti II, Na I and K I towards SN 2001el and SN 2003hn. In the last column we give the total column density, summed over the individual

  4. IBEX OBSERVATIONS OF SECONDARY INTERSTELLAR HELIUM AND OXYGEN DISTRIBUTIONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, Jeewoo; Kucharek, Harald; Möbius, Eberhard; Galli, André; Kubiak, Marzena A.; Bzowski, Maciej; McComas, David J.

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we investigate the directional distributions of the secondary interstellar neutral (ISN) He and O populations at Earth's orbit. The secondary populations are created by charge exchange between ISN atoms and interstellar ions in the outer heliosheath. Using the IBEX -Lo He and O observations during the winter–spring seasons (early December to early June) in 2009–2011, we produced all-sky maps for He and O atoms with sputtering corrections. These sky maps include the directional distributions of the primary ISN gas and secondary populations. Our investigations reveal that the secondary He and O populations are observed in the ecliptic longitude range 160°–210°. The peak longitudes of the secondary He and O appear to be 14°–34° and 38°–43° away from the peak longitude of the primary interstellar gas flow, respectively. These results indicate that the secondary populations have lower bulk speeds relative to the Sun and their flow directions deviate from the primary gas flow. These results may indicate that one side of the outer heliosheath is thicker than the other side relative to the flow direction of the primary interstellar gas flow.

  5. Shock processing of large grains in the interstellar medium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slavin, JD; Jones, AP; Tielens, AGGM

    2004-01-01

    There is a growing body of evidence for the existence of large (>0.25 mum) dust grains in the interstellar medium (ISM). Large presolar grains have been found in meteors and have been directly detected flowing into the solar system from the ISM by the Ulysses and Galileo spacecraft. While extending

  6. Space space space

    CERN Document Server

    Trembach, Vera

    2014-01-01

    Space is an introduction to the mysteries of the Universe. Included are Task Cards for independent learning, Journal Word Cards for creative writing, and Hands-On Activities for reinforcing skills in Math and Language Arts. Space is a perfect introduction to further research of the Solar System.

  7. Characterizing interstellar filaments as revealed by the Herschel Gould Belt survey: Insights into the initial conditions for star formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arzoumanian, Doris

    2012-01-01

    This thesis aims to characterize the physical properties of interstellar filaments imaged in nearby molecular clouds with the Herschel Space Observatory as part of the Herschel Gould Belt survey. In order to get insight into the formation and evolution of interstellar filaments I analyzed, during my PhD work, a large sample of filaments detected in various nearby clouds. The observed density profiles of the filaments show a power law behavior at large radii and their dust temperature profiles show a drop towards the center. The filaments are characterized by a narrow distribution of de-convolved inner widths, centered around a typical value of ∼ 0.1 pc, while they span more than three orders of magnitude in central column density. This typical filament width corresponds to the sonic scale below which interstellar turbulence becomes subsonic in diffuse gas, which may suggest that the filaments form as a result of the dissipation of large-scale turbulence. While the turbulent fragmentation picture provides a plausible mechanism for forming interstellar filaments, the fact that pre-stellar cores tend to form in dense, gravitationally unstable filaments suggests that gravity is a major driver in the subsequent evolution of the dense supercritical filaments. The latter hypothesis is supported by molecular line observations with the IRAM 30 m telescope, which show an increase in the non-thermal velocity dispersion of supercritical filaments as a function of their central column density, suggesting that self gravitating filaments grow in mass per unit length by accretion of background material while at the same time fragmenting into star-forming cores. (author) [fr

  8. Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination X: Impact Speeds and Directions of Interstellar Grains on the Stardust Dust Collector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterken, Veerle J.; Westphal, Andrew J.; Altobelli, Nicolas; Grun, Eberhard; Hillier, Jon K.; Postberg, Frank; Allen, Carlton; Stroud, Rhonda M.; Sandford, S. A.; Zolensky, Michael E.

    2014-01-01

    On the basis of an interstellar dust model compatible with Ulysses and Galileo observations, we calculate and predict the trajectories of interstellar dust (ISD) in the solar system and the distribution of the impact speeds, directions, and flux of ISD particles on the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector during the two collection periods of the mission. We find that the expected impact velocities are generally low (less than 10 km per second) for particles with the ratio of the solar radiation pressure force to the solar gravitational force beta greater than 1, and that some of the particles will impact on the cometary side of the collector. If we assume astronomical silicates for particle material and a density of 2 grams per cubic centimeter, and use the Ulysses measurements and the ISD trajectory simulations, we conclude that the total number of (detectable) captured ISD particles may be on the order of 50. In companion papers in this volume, we report the discovery of three interstellar dust candidates in the Stardust aerogel tiles. The impact directions and speeds of these candidates are consistent with those calculated from our ISD propagation model, within the uncertainties of the model and of the observations.

  9. The VLT-FLAMES Tarantula Survey. IX. The interstellar medium seen through diffuse interstellar bands and neutral sodium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Loon, J.Th.; Bailey, M.; Tatton, B.L.; Maíz Apellániz, J.; Crowther, P.A.; de Koter, A.; Evans, C.J.; Hénault-Brunet, V.; Howarth, I.D.; Richter, P.; Sana, H.; Simón-Díaz, S.; Taylor, W.; Walborn, N.R.

    2013-01-01

    Context. The Tarantula Nebula (a.k.a. 30 Dor) is a spectacular star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), seen through gas in the Galactic disc and halo. Diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) offer a unique probe of the diffuse, cool-warm gas in these regions. Aims. The aim is to use DIBs

  10. Interstellar Explorer Observations of the Solar System's Debris Disks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisse, C. M.; McNutt, R. L., Jr.; Brandt, P. C.

    2017-12-01

    Planetesimal belts and debris disks full of dust are known as the "signposts of planet formation" in exosystems. The overall brightness of a disk provides information on the amount of sourcing planetesimal material, while asymmetries in the shape of the disk can be used to search for perturbing planets. The solar system is known to house two such belts, the Asteroid belt and the Kuiper Belt; and at least one debris cloud, the Zodiacal Cloud, sourced by planetisimal collisions and Kuiper Belt comet evaporative sublimation. However these are poorly understood in toto because we live inside of them. E.g., while we know of the two planetesimal belt systems, it is not clear how much, if any, dust is produced from the Kuiper belt since the near-Sun comet contributions dominate near-Earth space. Understanding how much dust is produced in the Kuiper belt would give us a much better idea of the total number of bodies in the belt, especially the smallest ones, and their dynamical collisional state. Even for the close in Zodiacal cloud, questions remain concerning its overall shape and orientation with respect to the ecliptic and invariable planes of the solar system - they aren't explainable from the perturbations caused by the known planets alone. In this paper we explore the possibilities of using an Interstellar Explorer telescope placed at 200 AU from the sun to observe the brightness, shape, and extent of the solar system's debris disk(s). We should be able to measure the entire extent of the inner, near-earth zodiacal cloud; whether it connects smoothly into an outer cloud, or if there is a second outer cloud sourced by the Kuiper belt and isolated by the outer planets, as predicted by Stark & Kuchner (2009, 2010) and Poppe et al. (2012, 2016; Figure 1). VISNIR imagery will inform about the dust cloud's density, while MIR cameras will provide thermal imaging photometry related to the cloud's dust particle size and composition. Observing at high phase angle by looking

  11. Molecule formation and infrared emission in fast interstellar shocks. II. Dissociation speeds for interstellar shock waves

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hollenbach, D.; McKee, C.F.

    1980-01-01

    The postshock destruction of molecules is examined, including the processes of (i) collisions with neutral hydrogen atoms and molecules, (ii) electronic collisions, and (iii) neutral chemical reactions with atoms, particularly atomic hydrogen. Using conservative estimates of collisional dissociation rates from individual vibrational states, we find that process (i) leads to the destruction of molecular hydrogen behind shocks with speeds v/sub s/> or approx. =25 km s -1 if the preshock molecular gas has hydrogen nucleus densities of n 0 > or approx. =10 4 cm -3 . At lower densities (n 0 approx. =10 2 cm -3 ), destruction occurs for v/sub s/> or approx. =50 km s -1 and process (ii) dominates. Dissociation of molecules such as CO, H 2 O, and O 2 follows the destruction of H 2 , as the resultant hydrogen atoms chemically dissociate the metal atoms from their bonds (process iii) in the hot postshock gas. These results demonstrate that many of the observed high-speed interstellar molecules, if shock accelerated, must have dissociated and reformed in the postshock gas

  12. Hot hydrogen atoms reactions of interest in molecular evolution and interstellar chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, R. S.; Hong, K.; Hong, J. H.

    1974-01-01

    Hot hydrogen atoms which are photochemically generated initiate reactions among mixtures of methane, ethane, water and ammonia, to produce ethanol, organic amines, organic acids, and amino acids. Both ethanol and ethyl amine can also act as substrates for formation of amino acids. The one carbon substrate methane is sufficient as a carbon source to produce amino acids. Typical quantum yields for formation of amino acids are approximately 0.00002 to 0.00004. In one experiment, 6 protein amino acids were identified and 8 nonprotein amino acids verified utilizing gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy. We propose that hot atoms, especially hydrogen, initiate reactions in the thermodynamic nonequilibrium environment of interstellar space as well as in the atmospheres of planets.

  13. Three-dimensional simulations of turbulent spectra in the local interstellar medium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Shaikh

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Three-dimensional time dependent numerical simulations of compressible magnetohydrodynamic fluids describing super-Alfvénic, supersonic and strongly magnetized space and laboratory plasmas show a nonlinear relaxation towards a state of near incompressibility. The latter is characterized essentially by a subsonic turbulent Mach number. This transition is mediated dynamically by disparate spectral energy dissipation rates in compressible magnetosonic and shear Alfvénic modes. Nonlinear cascades lead to super-Alfvénic turbulent motions decaying to a sub-Alfvénic regime that couples weakly with (magnetoacoustic cascades. Consequently, the supersonic plasma motion is transformed into highly subsonic motion and density fluctuations experience a passive convection. This model provides a self-consistent explaination of the ubiquitous nature of incompressible magnetoplasma fluctuations in the solar wind and the interstellar medium.

  14. Some insights into formamide formation through gas-phase reactions in the interstellar medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Redondo, Pilar; Barrientos, Carmen; Largo, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    We study the viability of different gas-phase ion-molecule reactions that could produce precursors of formamide in the interstellar medium. We analyze different reactions between cations containing a nitrogen atom (NH 3 + , NH 4 + , NH 3 OH + , and NH 2 OH + ) and neutral molecules having one carbonyl group (H 2 CO and HCOOH). First, we report a theoretical estimation of the reaction enthalpies for the proposed processes. Second, for more favorable reactions, from a thermodynamic point of view, we perform a theoretical study of the potential energy surface. In particular, the more exothermic processes correspond to the reactions of ionized and protonated hydroxylamine with formaldehyde. In addition, a neutral-neutral reaction has also been considered. The analysis of the potential energy surfaces corresponding to these reactions shows that these processes present a net activation barrier and that they cannot be considered as a source of formamide in space.

  15. Some Insights into Formamide Formation through Gas-phase Reactions in the Interstellar Medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redondo, Pilar; Barrientos, Carmen; Largo, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    We study the viability of different gas-phase ion-molecule reactions that could produce precursors of formamide in the interstellar medium. We analyze different reactions between cations containing a nitrogen atom (NH_{3}^{+}, NH_{4}^{+}, NH3OH+, and NH2OH+) and neutral molecules having one carbonyl group (H2CO and HCOOH). First, we report a theoretical estimation of the reaction enthalpies for the proposed processes. Second, for more favorable reactions, from a thermodynamic point of view, we perform a theoretical study of the potential energy surface. In particular, the more exothermic processes correspond to the reactions of ionized and protonated hydroxylamine with formaldehyde. In addition, a neutral-neutral reaction has also been considered. The analysis of the potential energy surfaces corresponding to these reactions shows that these processes present a net activation barrier and that they cannot be considered as a source of formamide in space.

  16. Experimental and Observational Studies of Molecular Hydrogen in Interstellar and Circumstellar Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoadley, Keri

    2017-08-01

    Understanding the evolution of gas over the lifetime of protoplanetary disks provides us with important clues about how planet formation mechanisms drive the diversity of exoplanetary systems observed to date. In the first part of my thesis, I discuss how I use fluorescent emission observations of molecular hydrogen (H2) in the far-ultraviolet (far-UV) with the Hubble Space Telescope to study the warm molecular regions (a rocket experiment designed to probe the warm and cool atoms and molecules near sites of recent star formation in the local interstellar medium. I present the science goals, design, research and development components, and calibration of the CHESS instrument. I provide results on observations taken during both launches of CHESS, with detailed analysis of the epsilon Per sightline, as inferred from the flight data. I conclude by providing future works and simple estimates of the performance of an instrument like CHESS on LUVOIR to study planet-forming environments.

  17. One possible origin of ethanol in interstellar medium: Photochemistry of mixed CO2-C2H6 films at 11 K. A FTIR study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schriver, A.; Schriver-Mazzuoli, L.; Ehrenfreund, P.; D'Hendecourt, L.

    2007-01-01

    It has been predicted by theoretical models that ethane and ethanol are present in icy mantles covering dust particles in dense interstellar clouds. Laboratory spectra of ethanol embedded in astrophysically relevant ice matrices were compared to the Infrared Space Observatory and ground-based astronomical spectra of high mass protostars. From this comparison strict upper-limits of ethanol (compared to solid water) on interstellar grains could be derived that are below 1.2%. In dense star forming regions ethanol is observed in gas phase with an abundance which is many orders of magnitude in excess of predictions based on pure gas-phase chemistry. Ethane has not been observed in the interstellar gas or on grains. In contrast, ethane has been detected in several comets with a percentage of 2 + C 2 H 6 , of CH 3 CH 2 OH and CH 3 CHO in addition to photoproducts of CO 2 or C 2 H 6 and their implications for interstellar/cometary chemistry

  18. Antenna concepts for interstellar search systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Basler, R.P.; Johnson, G.L.; Vondrak, R.R.

    1977-01-01

    An evaluation is made of microwave receiving systems designed to search for signals from extraterrestrial intelligence. Specific design concepts are analyzed parametrically to determine whether the optimum antenna system location is on earth, in space, or on the moon. Parameters considered include the hypothesized number of transmitting civilizations, the number of stars that must be searched to give any desired probability of receiving a signal, the antenna collecting area, the search time, the search range, and the cost. This analysis suggests that search systems based on the moon are not cost-competitive, if the search is extended only a few hundred light years from the earth, a Cyclops-type array on earth may be the most cost-effective system, for a search extending to 500 light years or more, a substantial cost and search-time advantage can be achieved with a large spherical reflector in space with multiple feeds, radio frequency interference shields can be provided for space systems, and cost can range from a few hundred million to tens of billions of dollars, depending on the parameter values assumed

  19. Observations of Carbon Isotopic Fractionation in Interstellar Formaldehyde

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirstrom, E. S.; Charnley, S. B.; Geppert, W. D.; Persson, C. M.

    2012-01-01

    Primitive Solar System materials (e.g. chondrites. IDPs, the Stardust sample) show large variations in isotopic composition of the major volatiles (H, C, N, and O ) even within samples, witnessing to various degrees of processing in the protosolar nebula. For ex ample. the very pronounced D enhancements observed in IDPs [I] . are only generated in the cold. dense component of the interstellar medium (ISM), or protoplanetary disks, through ion-molecule reactions in the presence of interstellar dust. If this isotopic anomaly has an interstellar origin, this leaves open the possibility for preservation of other isotopic signatures throughout the form ation of the Solar System. The most common form of carbon in the ISM is CO molecules, and there are two potential sources of C-13 fractionation in this reservoir: low temperature chemistry and selective photodissociation. While gas-phase chemistry in cold interstellar clouds preferentially incorporates C-13 into CO [2], the effect of self-shielding in the presence of UV radiation instead leads to a relative enhancement of the more abundant isotopologue, 12CO. Solar System organic material exhibit rather small fluctuations in delta C-13 as compared to delta N-15 and delta D [3][1], the reason for which is still unclear. However, the fact that both C-13 depleted and enhanced material exists could indicate an interstellar origin where the two fractionation processes have both played a part. Formaldehyde (H2CO) is observed in the gas-phase in a wide range of interstellar environments, as well as in cometary comae. It is proposed as an important reactant in the formation of more complex organic molecules in the heated environments around young stars, and formaldehyde polymers have been suggested as the common origin of chondritic insoluable organic matter (IOM) and cometary refractory organic solids [4]. The relatively high gas-phase abundance of H2CO observed in molecular clouds (10(exp- 9) - 10(exp- 8) relative to H2) makes

  20. Kinetics of the Methanol Reaction with OH at Interstellar, Atmospheric, and Combustion Temperatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Lu Gem; Zheng, Jingjing; Fernández-Ramos, Antonio; Truhlar, Donald G; Xu, Xuefei

    2018-02-28

    The OH radical is the most important radical in combustion and in the atmosphere, and methanol is a fuel and antifreeze additive, model biofuel, and trace atmospheric constituent. These reagents are also present in interstellar space. Here we calculate the rate constants, branching ratios, and kinetic isotope effects (KIEs) of the hydrogen abstraction reaction of methanol by OH radical in a broad temperature range of 30-2000 K, covering interstellar space, the atmosphere, and combustion by using the competitive canonical unified statistical (CCUS) model in both the low-pressure and high-pressure limits and, for comparison, the pre-equilibrium model. Coupled cluster CCSD(T)-F12a theory and multi-reference CASPT2 theory were used to carry out benchmark calculations of the stationary points on the potential energy surface to select the most appropriate density functional method for direct dynamics calculations of rate constants. We find a significant effect of the anharmonicity of high-frequency modes of transition states on the low-temperature rate constant, and we show how tunneling leads to an unusual negative temperature dependence of the rate constants in the range 200 K > T > 100 K. The calculations also demonstrate the importance of the extent of stabilization of the pre-reactive complex. The capture rate for the formation of the complex is the dominant dynamical bottleneck for T < 100 K, and it leads to weak temperature dependence of the rate below 100 K in the high-pressure-limit of the CCUS model. We also report the pressure dependence of branching ratios (which are hard to measure so theory is essential) and the KIEs, and we report an unusual nonmonotonic variation of the KIE in the high-pressure limit at low temperatures.

  1. Fission-Based Electric Propulsion for Interstellar Precursor Missions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    HOUTS,MICHAEL G.; LENARD,ROGER X.; LIPINSKI,RONALD J.; PATTON,BRUCE; POSTON,DAVID; WRIGHT,STEVEN A.

    1999-11-03

    This paper reviews the technology options for a fission-based electric propulsion system for interstellar precursor missions. To achieve a total {Delta}V of more than 100 km/s in less than a decade of thrusting with an electric propulsion system of 10,000s Isp requires a specific mass for the power system of less than 35 kg/kWe. Three possible configurations are described: (1) a UZrH-fueled,NaK-cooled reactor with a steam Rankine conversion system,(2) a UN-fueled gas-cooled reactor with a recuperated Brayton conversion system, and (3) a UN-fueled heat pipe-cooled reactor with a recuperated Brayton conversion system. All three of these systems have the potential to meet the specific mass requirements for interstellar precursor missions in the near term. Advanced versions of a fission-based electric propulsion system might travel as much as several light years in 200 years.

  2. Mission Design for the Innovative Interstellar Explorer Vision Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiehler, Douglas I.; McNutt, Ralph L.

    2005-01-01

    The Innovative Interstellar Explorer, studied under a NASA Vision Mission grant, examined sending a probe to a heliospheric distance of 200 Astronomical Units (AU) in a "reasonable" amount of time. Previous studies looked at the use of a near-Sun propulsive maneuver, solar sails, and fission reactor powered electric propulsion systems for propulsion. The Innovative Interstellar Explorer's mission design used a combination of a high-energy launch using current launch technology, a Jupiter gravity assist, and electric propulsion powered by advanced radioisotope power systems to reach 200 AU. Many direct and gravity assist trajectories at several power levels were considered in the development of the baseline trajectory, including single and double gravity assists utilizing the outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune). A detailed spacecraft design study was completed followed by trajectory analyses to examine the performance of the spacecraft design options.

  3. Interstellar extinction in the dark Taurus clouds. Pt. 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Straizys, V.; Meistas, E.

    1980-01-01

    The results of photoelectric photometry of 74 stars in the Vilnius seven-color system in the area of Taurus dark clouds with coordinates (1950) 4sup(h)20sup(m)-4sup(h)48sup(m)+24 0 .5-+27 0 are presented. Photometric spectral types, absolute magnitudes, color excesses, interstellar extinctions and distances of the stars are determined. The dark cloud Khavtassi 286, 278 and the surrounding absorbing nebulae are found to extend from 140 to 175 pc from the sun. The average interstellar extinction Asub(V) on both sides of the dark cloud is of the order of 1sup(m).5. We find no evidence of the existence of several absorbing clouds situated at various distances. (author)

  4. Interstellar material in front of chi ophiuchi. I. Optical observations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frisch, P.C.

    1979-01-01

    Optical observations of the interstellar material in front of chi Oph are discussed. The main interstellar cloud is made up of several regions with velocities between -6 and -12 km s -1 (heliocentric). Both CH and CH + are found within this feature, but with central velocities which differ by 2 km s -1 . Another cloud, with a velocity of -26 km s -1 , contains relatively strong Ca + lines. It has a ratio between Ca + and Na 0 column densities that is appropriate for ''high-velocity'' clouds. Calcium, iron, and sodium column densities are used to estimate an average electron density for the line of sight as well as for each cloud. The abundances of CH and CH + , and the absence of CN, are analyzed in terms of current theories about their origin

  5. Fission-Based Electric Propulsion for Interstellar Precursor Missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    HOUTS, MICHAEL G.; LENARD, ROGER X.; LIPINSKI, RONALD J.; PATTON, BRUCE; POSTON, DAVID; WRIGHT, STEVEN A.

    1999-01-01

    This paper reviews the technology options for a fission-based electric propulsion system for interstellar precursor missions. To achieve a total ΔV of more than 100 km/s in less than a decade of thrusting with an electric propulsion system of 10,000s Isp requires a specific mass for the power system of less than 35 kg/kWe. Three possible configurations are described: (1) a UZrH-fueled,NaK-cooled reactor with a steam Rankine conversion system,(2) a UN-fueled gas-cooled reactor with a recuperated Brayton conversion system, and (3) a UN-fueled heat pipe-cooled reactor with a recuperated Brayton conversion system. All three of these systems have the potential to meet the specific mass requirements for interstellar precursor missions in the near term. Advanced versions of a fission-based electric propulsion system might travel as much as several light years in 200 years

  6. Tholins - Organic chemistry of interstellar grains and gas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagan, C.; Khare, B. N.

    1979-01-01

    The paper discusses tholins, defined as complex organic solids formed by the interaction of energy - for example, UV light or spark discharge - with various mixtures of cosmically abundant gases - CH4, C2H6, NH3, H2O, HCHO, and H2S. It is suggested that tholins occur in the interstellar medium and are responsible for some of the properties of the interstellar grains and gas. Additional occurrences of tholins are considered. Tholins have been produced experimentally; 50 or so pyrolytic fragments of the brown, sometimes sticky substances have been identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and the incidence of these fragments in tholins produced by different procedures is reported.

  7. Energetic Processing of Interstellar Silicate Grains by Cosmic Rays

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bringa, E M; Kucheyev, S O; Loeffler, M J; Baragiola, R A; Tielens, A G Q M; Dai, Z R; Graham, G; Bajt, S; Bradley, J; Dukes, C A; Felter, T E; Torres, D F; van Breugel, W

    2007-03-28

    While a significant fraction of silicate dust in stellar winds has a crystalline structure, in the interstellar medium nearly all of it is amorphous. One possible explanation for this observation is the amorphization of crystalline silicates by relatively 'low' energy, heavy ion cosmic rays. Here we present the results of multiple laboratory experiments showing that single-crystal synthetic forsterite (Mg{sub 2}SiO{sub 4}) amorphizes when irradiated by 10 MeV Xe{sup ++} ions at large enough fluences. Using modeling, we extrapolate these results to show that 0.1-5.0 GeV heavy ion cosmic rays can rapidly ({approx}70 Million yrs) amorphize crystalline silicate grains ejected by stars into the interstellar medium.

  8. TSALLIS STATISTICS AS A TOOL FOR STUDYING INTERSTELLAR TURBULENCE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Esquivel, A.; Lazarian, A.

    2010-01-01

    We used magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations of interstellar turbulence to study the probability distribution functions (PDFs) of increments of density, velocity, and magnetic field. We found that the PDFs are well described by a Tsallis distribution, following the same general trends found in solar wind and electron MHD studies. We found that the PDFs of density are very different in subsonic and supersonic turbulence. In order to extend this work to ISM observations, we studied maps of column density obtained from three-dimensional MHD simulations. From the column density maps, we found the parameters that fit to Tsallis distributions and demonstrated that these parameters vary with the sonic and Alfven Mach numbers of turbulence. This opens avenues for using Tsallis distributions to study the dynamical and perhaps magnetic states of interstellar gas.

  9. Interstellar ^{60}Fe on the Surface of the Moon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fimiani, L; Cook, D L; Faestermann, T; Gómez-Guzmán, J M; Hain, K; Herzog, G; Knie, K; Korschinek, G; Ludwig, P; Park, J; Reedy, R C; Rugel, G

    2016-04-15

    A dying massive star ends in a supernova explosion ejecting a large fraction of its mass into the interstellar medium. If this happens nearby, part of the ejecta might end on Solar System bodies and, in fact, radioactive ^{60}Fe has been detected on the Pacific ocean floor in about 2 Ma old layers. Here, we report on the detection of this isotope also in lunar samples, originating presumably from the same event. The concentration of the cosmic ray produced isotope ^{53}Mn, measured in the same samples, proves the supernova origin of the ^{60}Fe. From the ^{60}Fe concentrations found we deduce a reliable value for the local interstellar fluence in the range of 1×10^{8}  at/cm^{2}. Thus, we obtain constraints on the recent and nearby supernova(e).

  10. A review of the theory of interstellar communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billingham, J.; Wolfe, J. H.; Oliver, B. M.

    1975-01-01

    The probability is analyzed that intelligent civilizations capable of interstellar communication exist in the galaxy. Drake's (1960) equation for the prevalence of communicative civilization is used in the calculations, and attempts are made to place limits on the search range that must be covered to contact other civilizations, the longevity of the communicative phase of such civilizations, and the possible number of two-way exchanges between civilizations in contact with each other. The minimum estimates indicate that some 100,000 civilizations probably coexist within several tens of astronomical units of each other and that some 1,000,000 probably coexist within 10 light years of each other. Attempts to detect coherent signals characteristic of intelligent life are briefly noted, including Projects Ozma and Cyclops as well as some Soviet attempts. Recently proposed American and Soviet programs for interstellar communication are outlined.

  11. The nature of interstellar dust as revealed by light scattering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. A. Williams

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Interstellar dust was first identified through the extinction that it causes of optical starlight. Initially, observational and theoretical studies of extinction were made to identify simple ways of removing the effect of extinction. Over the last few decades it has become clear that dust has a number of very important roles in interstellar physics and chemistry, and that through these roles dust affects quite fundamentally the evolution of the Milky Way and other galaxies. However, our detailed knowledge of the actual material of dust remains relatively poor. The use of accurate models for the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with particles of arbitrary shape and composition remains vital, if our description of dust is to improve.

  12. Dissociative recombination of interstellar ions: electronic structure calculations for HCO+

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kraemer, W.P.; Hazi, A.U.

    1985-01-01

    The present study of the interstellar formyl ion HCO + is the first attempt to investigate dissociative recombination for a triatomic molecular ion using an entirely theoretical approach. We describe a number of fairly extensive electronic structure calculations that were performed to determine the reaction mechanism of the e-HCO + process. Similar calculations for the isoelectronic ions HOC + and HN 2 + are in progress. 60 refs

  13. Hot interstellar tunnels. I. Simulation of interacting supernova remnants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, B.W.

    1977-01-01

    Reexamining a suggestion of Cox and Smith, we find that intersecting supernova remnants can indeed generate and maintain hot interstellar regions with napproximately-less-than10 -2 cm -3 and Tapprox.10 6 K. These regions are likely to occupy at least 30% of the volume of a spiral arm near the midplane of the gaseous disk if the local supernova rate there is greater than 1.5 x 10 -7 Myr -1 pc -3 . Their presence in the interstellar medium is supported by observations of the soft X-ray background. The theory required to build a numerical simulation of interacting supernova remnants is developed. The hot cavities within a population of remnants will become connected for a variety of assumed conditions in the outer shells of old remnants. Extensive hot cavity regions or tunnels are built and enlarged by supernovae occurring in relatively dense gas which produce connections, but tunnels are kept hot primarily by supernovae occurring within the tunnels. The latter supernovae initiate fast shock waves which apparently reheat tunnels faster than they are destroyed by thermal conduction in a galactic magnetic field or by radiative cooling. However, the dispersal of these rejuvenating shocks over a wide volume is inhibited by motions of cooler interstellar gas in the interval between shocks. These motions disrupt the contiguity of the component cavities of a tunnel and may cause its death.The Monte Carlo simulations indicate that a quasi-equilibrium is reached within 10 7 years of the first supernova in a spiral arm. This equilibrium is characterized by a constant average filling fraction for cavities in the interstellar volume. Aspects of the equilibrium are discussed for a range of supernova rates. Two predictions of Cox and Smith are not confirmed within this range: critical growth of hot regions to encompass the entire medium, and the efficient quenching of a remnant's expansion by interaction with other cavities

  14. Flicker of extragalactic radio sources and refractive interstellar scintillation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blandford, R.; Narayan, R.; Romani, R.W.

    1986-01-01

    Recent work has identified variability of flat-spectrum extragalactic radio sources at lambdaroughly-equal10 cm with rms amplitude of approx.2%--3% and time scale of days. We show that this ''flicker'' is consistent with intensity fluctuations caused by refractive scintillation in an extended interstellar medium in our Galaxy. Further observation of flicker may allow the structure of suitable sources to be partially resolved on angular scales smaller than those probed by VLBI

  15. The interstellar chemistry of H2C3O isomers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loison, Jean-Christophe; Agúndez, Marcelino; Marcelino, Núria; Wakelam, Valentine; Hickson, Kevin M; Cernicharo, José; Gerin, Maryvonne; Roueff, Evelyne; Guélin, Michel

    2016-03-11

    We present the detection of two H 2 C 3 O isomers, propynal and cyclopropenone, toward various starless cores and molecular clouds, together with upper limits for the third isomer propadienone. We review the processes controlling the abundances of H 2 C 3 O isomers in interstellar media showing that the reactions involved are gas-phase ones. We show that the abundances of these species are controlled by kinetic rather than thermodynamic effects.

  16. Challenges in modelling the reaction chemistry of interstellar dust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromley, S T; Goumans, T P M; Herbst, E; Jones, A P; Slater, B

    2014-09-21

    Studies aiming to understand the physicochemical properties of interstellar dust and the chemical reactions that occur on and in it have traditionally been the preserve of astronomical observation and experimental attempts to mimic astronomically relevant conditions in the laboratory. Increasingly, computational modelling in its various guises is establishing a complementary third pillar of support to this endeavour by providing detailed insights into the complexities of interstellar dust chemistry. Inherently, the basis of computational modelling is to be found in the details (e.g. atomic structure/composition, reaction barriers) that are difficult to probe accurately from observation and experiment. This bottom-up atom-based theoretical approach, often itself based on deeper quantum mechanical principles, although extremely powerful, also has limitations when systems become too large or complex. In this Perspective, after first providing a general background to the current state of observational-based knowledge, we introduce a number of computational modelling methods with reference to recent state-of-the-art studies, in order to highlight the capabilities of such approaches in this field. Specifically, we first outline the use of computational chemistry methods for dust nucleation, structure, and individual reactions on bare and icy dust surfaces. Later, we review kinetic modelling of networks of reactions relevant to dust chemistry and how to take into account quantum tunnelling effects in the low temperature reactions in the interstellar medium. Finally, we point to the future challenges that need to be overcome for computational modelling to provide even more detailed and encompassing perspectives on the nature and reaction chemistry of interstellar dust.

  17. Optical properties of likely constituents of interstellar dust

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dayawansa, I.J.

    1977-07-01

    Optical properties of polyoxymethylene (POM) at room temperature have been measured from the near ultra-violet to infrared as an initial stage of a link between interstellar dust and organic matter, and the results, which are particularly relevant to interstellar extinction, are reported. There is a strong possibility of a more complex organic component which could significantly contribute to the interstellar extinction. Measurements have also been made of the effect of fast neutron bombardment on the optical properties of quartz (SiO 2 ). At a high total flux of neutrons the crystalline quartz will change to its amorphous form which has extinction properties that resemble the interstellar extinction. Extinction due to small particles of several forms of SiO 2 has been measured and among them the hydrated mineral, opal, behaved like an amorphous silica. Neutron irradiated olivine showed a stronger and a broader 10μm band in addition to weaker bands towards the longer wavelengths which indicated that atomic damage has been produced. At high fluxes more atomic damage is expected to change the crystalline structure and thereby cause changes in the infrared absorption properties. Extinction measurements were also made for smoke particles of MgO in the infrared. When the measurements were made with the particles deposited on substrates, in addition to a very broad surface mode absorption feature around 20μm an extinction maximum was observed typical of the bulk mode at 25μm. Extinction measurements for MgO smoke particles in air also showed similar results. However when the particles were dispersed in a non-absorbing medium, the bulk absorption mode was not observed. This implies that the appearance of the bulk mode is due to clumping. (author)

  18. Two phases of the interstellar medium in nebulas around quasars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zentsova, A.S.

    1988-05-01

    It is shown that for the interstellar gas in nebulas surrounding quasars the condition of thermal instability is satisfied, and the gas must separate into two phases: cold (T /approx equal/ 10/sup 4//degree/K) dense clouds and a hot (T /approx equal/ 10/sup 8//degree/K) rarefied medium. The density, size, and mass of the clouds formed by the development of the thermal instability are estimated.

  19. Detection of scattering in the 2175 A interstellar band

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Witt, A.N.; Bohlin, R.C.; Stecher, T.P.; Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD; NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD)

    1986-01-01

    Spectrophotometric observations of two reflection nebulae and their illuminating stars obtained with the International Ultraviolet Explorer Satellite have provided the first evidence for the presence of a scattering contribution to the 2175 A interstellar extinction band. Lower than normal far-UV extinction for the stars embedded in the nebulae indicates that the nebulae have a dust particle size distribution that is dominated by larger particles. The strength of the 2175 A band is larger than normal in both cases. The scattering is found to dominate the long-wavelength wing of the band, without shifting the central wavelength of the band by more than 20 A toward longer wavelengths. These observations are taken to indicate that the solid particles responsible for the 2175 A band can be considerably larger than the Rayleigh limit in some interstellar locations. The absence of a notable shift in the central wavelength of the band in such large particles presents a new severe constraint for models of interstellar grains. 29 references

  20. Microanalysis of Hypervelocity Impact Residues of Possible Interstellar Origin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroud, Rhonda M.; Achilles, Cheri; Allen, Carlton; Anasari, Asna; Bajt, Sasa; Bassim, Nabil; Bastien, Ron S.; Bechtel, H. A.; Borg, Janet; Brenker, Frank E.; hide

    2012-01-01

    The NASA Stardust spacecraft deployed two collector trays, one dedicated to the collection of dust from Comet Wild 2, and the other for the capture of interstellar dust (ISD). The samples were returned successfully to Earth in 2006, and now provide an unprecedented opportunity for laboratory-based microanalysis of materials from the outer solar system and beyond. Results from the cometary sample studies have demonstrated that Wild 2 contains much more refractory condensate material and much less pristine extra-solar material than expected, which further indicates that there was significant transport of inner solar system materials to the Kuiper Belt in the early solar system [1]. The analysis of the interstellar samples is still in the preliminary examination (PE) phase, due to the level of difficulty in the definitive identification of the ISD features, the overall low abundance, and its irreplaceable nature, which necessitates minimally invasive measurements [2]. We present here coordinated microanalysis of the impact features on the Al foils, which have led to the identification of four impacts that are possibly attributable to interstellar dust. Results from the study of four ISD candidates captured in aerogel are presented elsewhere [2].

  1. Age structure of refractory interstellar dust and isotopic consequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clayton, Donald D.; Scowen, Paul; Liffman, Kurt

    1989-01-01

    A sputtering and recycling Monte Carlo model, developed by Liffman and Clayton (1988) is used to calculate the distribution of existence times of the matter in interstellar dust composed of refractory metals. The mean age of each dust particle is defined not as the time it has existed but rather as the mass-weighted existence times of its parts at t = 6 Gyr of the modeled solar system formation. It is shown that Galactic evolution generates a mean correlation, applying to large numbers of particles binned according to size rather than according to individual particles, whose mean ages fluctuate statistically. The cosmochemical consequence is that if interstellar particles can be dynamically sorted into separate size populations during the aggregation history of solar system bodies, the collections of larger grains will constitute matter that is chemically older than collections of smaller grains. The macroscopic age difference generates isotopic anomalies by virtue of the time dependence of the secondary/primary nucleosynthesis yields. Results are compared with three different prescriptions for the sputtering of interstellar dust.

  2. Flux and composition of interstellar dust at Saturn from Cassini's Cosmic Dust Analyzer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altobelli, N; Postberg, F; Fiege, K; Trieloff, M; Kimura, H; Sterken, V J; Hsu, H-W; Hillier, J; Khawaja, N; Moragas-Klostermeyer, G; Blum, J; Burton, M; Srama, R; Kempf, S; Gruen, E

    2016-04-15

    Interstellar dust (ISD) is the condensed phase of the interstellar medium. In situ data from the Cosmic Dust Analyzer on board the Cassini spacecraft reveal that the Saturnian system is passed by ISD grains from our immediate interstellar neighborhood, the local interstellar cloud. We determine the mass distribution of 36 interstellar grains, their elemental composition, and a lower limit for the ISD flux at Saturn. Mass spectra and grain dynamics suggest the presence of magnesium-rich grains of silicate and oxide composition, partly with iron inclusions. Major rock-forming elements (magnesium, silicon, iron, and calcium) are present in cosmic abundances, with only small grain-to-grain variations, but sulfur and carbon are depleted. The ISD grains in the solar neighborhood appear to be homogenized, likely by repeated processing in the interstellar medium. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  3. One possible origin of ethanol in interstellar medium: Photochemistry of mixed CO 2-C 2H 6 films at 11 K. A FTIR study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schriver, A.; Schriver-Mazzuoli, L.; Ehrenfreund, P.; d'Hendecourt, L.

    2007-04-01

    It has been predicted by theoretical models that ethane and ethanol are present in icy mantles covering dust particles in dense interstellar clouds. Laboratory spectra of ethanol embedded in astrophysically relevant ice matrices were compared to the Infrared Space Observatory and ground-based astronomical spectra of high mass protostars. From this comparison strict upper-limits of ethanol (compared to solid water) on interstellar grains could be derived that are below 1.2%. In dense star forming regions ethanol is observed in gas phase with an abundance which is many orders of magnitude in excess of predictions based on pure gas-phase chemistry. Ethane has not been observed in the interstellar gas or on grains. In contrast, ethane has been detected in several comets with a percentage of water ice. Only upper limit could be obtained for cometary ethanol. In order to investigate a possible pathway leading to icy ethanol, we have studied the reaction of atomic oxygen with condensed ethane films by insertion of an oxygen atom in a CH bond. We generated oxygen atoms in situ by photolysis of ozone and carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is an abundant ice in the interstellar medium and comets. We recorded a set of IR spectra of ethane ice (mixed with carbon dioxide or with ethanol) at 11 K and studied the photolysis of ethane with ultraviolet photons below 200 nm. We discuss our experimental results, production from irradiation of CO 2 + C 2H 6, of CH 3CH 2OH and CH 3CHO in addition to photoproducts of CO 2 or C 2H 6 and their implications for interstellar/cometary chemistry.

  4. INTERSTELLAR GAS FLOW PARAMETERS DERIVED FROM INTERSTELLAR BOUNDARY EXPLORER-Lo OBSERVATIONS IN 2009 AND 2010: ANALYTICAL ANALYSIS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Möbius, E.; Bochsler, P.; Heirtzler, D.; Kucharek, H.; Lee, M. A.; Leonard, T.; Schwadron, N. A.; Wu, X.; Petersen, L.; Valovcin, D.; Wurz, P.; Bzowski, M.; Kubiak, M. A.; Fuselier, S. A.; Crew, G.; Vanderspek, R.; McComas, D. J.; Saul, L.

    2012-01-01

    Neutral atom imaging of the interstellar gas flow in the inner heliosphere provides the most detailed information on physical conditions of the surrounding interstellar medium (ISM) and its interaction with the heliosphere. The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) measured neutral H, He, O, and Ne for three years. We compare the He and combined O+Ne flow distributions for two interstellar flow passages in 2009 and 2010 with an analytical calculation, which is simplified because the IBEX orientation provides observations at almost exactly the perihelion of the gas trajectories. This method allows separate determination of the key ISM parameters: inflow speed, longitude, and latitude, as well as temperature. A combined optimization, as in complementary approaches, is thus not necessary. Based on the observed peak position and width in longitude and latitude, inflow speed, latitude, and temperature are found as a function of inflow longitude. The latter is then constrained by the variation of the observed flow latitude as a function of observer longitude and by the ratio of the widths of the distribution in longitude and latitude. Identical results are found for 2009 and 2010: an He flow vector somewhat outside previous determinations (λ ISM∞ = 79. 0 0+3. 0 0(–3. 0 5), β ISM∞ = –4. 0 9 ± 0. 0 2, V ISM∞ 23.5 + 3.0(–2.0) km s –1 , T He = 5000-8200 K), suggesting a larger inflow longitude and lower speed. The O+Ne temperature range, T O+Ne = 5300-9000 K, is found to be close to the upper range for He and consistent with an isothermal medium for all species within current uncertainties.

  5. Interstellar and Solar Nebula Materials in Cometary Dust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messenger, Scott; Nakamura-Messenger, Keiko; Keller, Lindsay; Nguyen, Ann; Clemett, Simon

    2017-01-01

    Laboratory studies of cometary dust collected in the stratosphere and returned from comet 81P/Wild 2 by the Stardust spacecraft have revealed ancient interstellar grains and molecular cloud organic matter that record a range of astrophysical processes and the first steps of planetary formation. Presolar materials are rarer meteorites owing to high temperature processing in the solar nebula and hydrothermal alteration on their asteroidal parent bodies. The greater preservation of presolar materials in comets is attributed to their low accretion temperatures and limited planetary processing. Yet, comets also contain a large complement of high temperature materials from the inner Solar System. Owing to the limited and biased sampling of comets to date, the proportions of interstellar and Solar System materials within them remains highly uncertain. Interstellar materials are identified by coordinated isotopic, mineralogical, and chemical measurements at the scale of individual grains. Chondritic porous interplanetary dust particles (CP IDPs) that likely derive from comets are made up of 0.1 - 10 micron-sized silicates, Fe-Ni-sulfides, oxides, and other phases bound by organic material. As much as 1% of the silicates are interstellar grains that have exotic isotopic compositions imparted by nucleosynthetic processes in their parent stars. Crystalline silicates in CP IDPs dominantly have normal isotopic compositions and probably formed in the Solar System. 81P samples include isotopically normal refractory minerals that resemble Ca-Al rich inclusions and chondrules common in meteorites. The origins of sub-micron amorphous silicates in IDPs are not certain, but at least a few % of them are interstellar grains. The remainder have isotopic compositions consistent with Solar System origins and elemental compositions that are inconsistent with interstellar grain properties, thus favoring formation in the solar nebula [4]. The organic component in comets and primitive

  6. Secondary Interstellar Oxygen in the Heliosphere: Numerical Modeling and Comparison with IBEX-Lo Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baliukin, I. I.; Izmodenov, V. V.; Möbius, E.; Alexashov, D. B.; Katushkina, O. A.; Kucharek, H.

    2017-12-01

    Quantitative analysis of the interstellar heavy (oxygen and neon) atom fluxes obtained by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) suggests the existence of the secondary interstellar oxygen component. This component is formed near the heliopause due to charge exchange of interstellar oxygen ions with hydrogen atoms, as was predicted theoretically. A detailed quantitative analysis of the fluxes of interstellar heavy atoms is only possible with a model that takes into account both the filtration of primary and the production of secondary interstellar oxygen in the boundary region of the heliosphere as well as a detailed simulation of the motion of interstellar atoms inside the heliosphere. This simulation must take into account photoionization, charge exchange with the protons of the solar wind and solar gravitational attraction. This paper presents the results of modeling interstellar oxygen and neon atoms through the heliospheric interface and inside the heliosphere based on a three-dimensional kinetic-MHD model of the solar wind interaction with the local interstellar medium and a comparison of these results with the data obtained on the IBEX spacecraft.

  7. Physical processes for the formation and destruction of interstellar molecules. Course 5

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watson, W.D.

    1975-01-01

    Topics covered include: factors that influence the rate of formation of molecules on interstellar grains; temperatures of interstellar grains; nature of grain surfaces and binding energies of particles to grains; sticking of neutral atoms and molecules onto grain surfaces; mobility of atoms on grain surfaces; processes for ejecting gas atoms and molecules from grains; basic chemical energies; photo-dissociation of interstellar molecules; rates for molecular reactions; molecule formation by radiative association; neutral-neutral reactions; ion-neutral reactions; electron recombination; formation and destruction of molecular hydrogen; comparison with observation in diffuse interstellar clouds; excitation of the rotational states of molecular hydrogen in diffuse interstellar clouds; abundance of the HD molecule and comparison with observation-derived proton density and cosmic ray flux in low-density interstellar clouds; formation of molecules other than H 2 and HD in diffuse interstellar clouds; dense interstellar clouds-fractional ionization; dense clouds--formation of small molecule ions; and dense clouds--deuterium in interstellar molecules. 27 figs, 33 tables, 149 refs

  8. SWIFT ULTRAVIOLET OBSERVATIONS OF SUPERNOVA 2014J IN M82: LARGE EXTINCTION FROM INTERSTELLAR DUST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Peter J.; Smitka, Michael T.; Wang, Lifan; Krisciunas, Kevin [George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy, Texas A. and M. University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 4242 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843 (United States); Breeveld, Alice; Kuin, N. Paul; Page, Mat [Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking Surrey, RH5 6NT (United Kingdom); De Pasquale, Massimiliano [Instituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica di Palermo Via Ugo la Malfa 153 90146 Palermo (Italy); Hartmann, Dieter H. [Clemson University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Kinard Lab of Physics, Clemson, SC 29634-0978 (United States); Milne, Peter A. [Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Siegel, Michael [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The Pennsylvania State University, 525 Davey Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802 (United States)

    2015-05-20

    We present optical and ultraviolet (UV) photometry and spectra of the very nearby and highly reddened supernova (SN) 2014J in M82 obtained with the Swift Ultra-Violet/Optical Telescope (UVOT). Comparison of the UVOT grism spectra of SN 2014J with Hubble Space Telescope observations of SN2011fe or UVOT grism spectra of SN 2012fr are consistent with an extinction law with a low value of R{sub V} ∼1.4. The high reddening causes the detected photon distribution in the broadband UV filters to have a much longer effective wavelength than for an unreddened SN. The light curve evolution is consistent with this shift and does not show a flattening due to photons being scattered back into the line of sight (LOS). The light curve shapes and color evolution are inconsistent with a contribution scattered into the LOS by circumstellar dust. We conclude that most or all of the high reddening must come from interstellar dust. We show that even for a single dust composition, there is not a unique reddening law caused by circumstellar scattering. Rather, when considering scattering from a time-variable source, we confirm earlier studies that the reddening law is a function of the dust geometry, column density, and epoch. We also show how an assumed geometry of dust as a foreground sheet in mixed stellar/dust systems will lead to a higher inferred R{sub V}. Rather than assuming the dust around SNe is peculiar, SNe may be useful probes of the interstellar reddening laws in other galaxies.

  9. SEARCH FOR INTERSTELLAR METHOXYACETONITRILE AND CYANOETHANOL: INSIGHTS INTO COUPLING OF CYANO- TO METHANOL AND AMMONIA CHEMISTRY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Braakman, R.; Belloche, A.; Menten, K. M.; Blake, G. A.

    2010-01-01

    As part of an effort to study gas-grain chemical models in star-forming regions as they relate to molecules containing cyanide (-C≡N) groups, we present here a search for the molecules 2-cyanoethanol (OHCH 2 CH 2 CN) and methoxyacetonitrile (CH 3 OCH 2 CN) in the galactic center region SgrB2. These species are structural isomers of each other and are targeted to investigate the cross-coupling of pathways emanating from the photolysis products of methanol and ammonia with pathways involving cyano-containing molecules. Methanol and ammonia ices are two of the main repositories of the elements C, O, and N in cold clouds and understanding their link to cyanide chemistry could give important insights into prebiotic molecular evolution. Neither species was positively detected, but the upper limits we determined allow comparison to the general patterns gleaned from chemical models. Our results indicate the need for an expansion of the model networks to better deal with cyano-chemistry, in particular with respect to pathways including products of methanol photolysis. In addition to these results, the two main observational routes for detecting new interstellar molecules are discussed. One route is by decreasing detection limits at millimeter wavelength through spatial filtering with interferometric studies at the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), and the second is by searching for intense torsional states at THz frequencies using the Herschel Space Observatory. 2-cyanoethanol and methoxyacetonitrile would both be good test beds for exploring the capabilities of ALMA and Herschel in the study of complex interstellar chemistry.

  10. Cosmic ray processing of N2-containing interstellar ice analogues at dark cloud conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedoseev, G.; Scirè, C.; Baratta, G. A.; Palumbo, M. E.

    2018-04-01

    N2 is believed to lock considerable part of nitrogen elemental budget and, therefore, to be one of the most abundant ice constituent in cold dark clouds. This laboratory-based research utilizes high energetic processing of N2 containing interstellar ice analogues using 200 keV H+ and He+ ions that mimics cosmic ray processing of the interstellar icy grains. It aims to investigate the formation of (iso)cyanates and cyanides in the ice mantles at the conditions typical for cold dark clouds and prestellar cores. Investigation of cosmic ray processing as a chemical trigger mechanism is explained by the high stability of N2 molecules that are chemically inert in most of the atom- and radical-addition reactions and cannot be efficiently dissociated by cosmic ray induced UV-field. Two sets of experiments are performed to closer address solid-state chemistry occurring in two distinct layers of the ice formed at different stages of dark cloud evolution, i.e. `H2O-rich' and `CO-rich' ice layers. Formation of HNCO and OCN- is discussed in all of the performed experiments. Corresponding kinetic curves for HNCO and OCN- are obtained. Furthermore, a feature around 2092 cm-1 assigned to the contributions of 13CO, CN-, and HCN is analysed. The kinetic curves for the combined HCN/CN- abundance are derived. In turn, normalized formation yields are evaluated by interpolation of the obtained results to the low irradiation doses relevant to dark cloud stage. The obtained values can be used to interpret future observations towards cold dark clouds using James Webb Space Telescope.

  11. Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination VII: Synchrotron X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis of Six Stardust Interstellar Candidates Measured with the Advanced Photon Source 2-ID-D Microprobe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Carlton C.; Anderson, David; Bastien, Ron K.; Brenker, Frank E.; Flynn, George J.; Frank, David; Gainsforth, Zack; Sandford, Scott A.; Simionovici, Alexandre S.; Zolensky, Michael E.

    2014-01-01

    The NASA Stardust spacecraft exposed an aerogel collector to the interstellar dust passing through the solar system. We performed X-ray fluorescence element mapping and abundance measurements, for elements 19 interstellar candidates," potential interstellar impacts identified by Stardust@Home and extracted for analyses in picokeystones. One, I1044,3,33, showed no element hot-spots within the designated search area. However, we identified a nearby surface feature, consistent with the impact of a weak, high-speed particle having an approximately chondritic (CI) element abundance pattern, except for factor-of-ten enrichments in K and Zn and an S depletion. This hot-spot, containing approximately 10 fg of Fe, corresponds to an approximately 350 nm chondritic particle, small enough to be missed by Stardust@Home, indicating that other techniques may be necessary to identify all interstellar candidates. Only one interstellar candidate, I1004,1,2, showed a track. The terminal particle has large enrichments in S, Ti, Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu, and Zn relative to Fe-normalized CI values. It has high Al/Fe, but does not match the Ni/Fe range measured for samples of Al-deck material from the Stardust sample return capsule, which was within the field-of-view of the interstellar collector. A third interstellar candidate, I1075,1,25, showed an Al-rich surface feature that has a composition generally consistent with the Al-deck material, suggesting that it is a secondary particle. The other three interstellar candidates, I1001,1,16, I1001,2,17, and I1044,2,32, showed no impact features or tracks, but allowed assessment of submicron contamination in this aerogel, including Fe hot-spots having CI-like Ni/Fe ratios, complicating the search for CI-like interstellar/interplanetary dust.

  12. Hydro-chemical study of the evolution of interstellar pre-biotic molecules during the collapse of molecular clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Majumdar, Liton; Das, Ankan; Chakrabarti, Sandip K.; Chakrabarti, Sonali

    2012-01-01

    One of the stumbling blocks for studying the evolution of interstellar molecules is the lack of adequate knowledge about the rate coefficients of various reactions which take place in the interstellar medium and molecular clouds. Some theoretical models of rate coefficients do exist in the literature for computing abundances of complex pre-biotic molecules. So far these have been used to study the abundances of these molecules in space. However, in order to obtain more accurate final compositions in these media, we have calculated the rate coefficients for the formation of some of the most important interstellar pre-biotic molecules by using quantum chemical theory. We use these rates inside our hydro-chemical model to examine the chemical evolution and final abundances of pre-biotic species during the collapsing phase of a proto-star. We find that a significant amount of various pre-biotic molecules could be produced during the collapse phase of a proto-star. We thoroughly study the formation of these molecules via successive neutral-neutral and radical-radical/radical-molecular reactions. We present the time evolution of the chemical species with an emphasis on how the production of these molecules varies with the depth of a cloud. We compare the formation of adenine in interstellar space using our rate-coefficients and using those obtained from existing theoretical models. Formation routes of the pre-biotic molecules are found to be highly dependent on the abundances of the reactive species and the rate coefficients involved in the reactions. The presence of grains strongly affects the abundances of the gas phase species. We also carry out a comparative study between different pathways available for the synthesis of adenine, alanine, glycine and other molecules considered in our network. Despite the huge abundances of the neutral reactive species, production of adenine is found to be strongly dominated by the radical-radical/radical-molecular reaction pathways

  13. Stochastic histories of dust grains in the interstellar medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liffman, K.; Clayton, D.D.

    1989-01-01

    The purpose is to study an evolving system of refractory dust grains within the Interstellar Medium (ISM). This is done via a combination of Monte Carlo processes and a system of partial differential equations, where refractory dust grains formed within supernova remnants and ejecta from high mass loss stars are subjected to the processes of sputtering and collisional fragmentation in the diffuse media and accretion within the cold molecular clouds. In order to record chemical detail, the authors take each new particle to consist of a superrefractory core plus a more massive refractory mantle. The particles are allowed to transfer to and fro between the different phases of the interstellar medium (ISM) - on a time scale of 10(exp 8) years - until either the particles are destroyed or the program finishes at a Galaxy time of 6x10(exp 9) years. The resulting chemical and size spectrum(s) are then applied to various astrophysical problems with the following results. For an ISM which has no collisional fragmentation of the dust grains, roughly 10 percent by mass of the most refractory material survives the rigors of the ISM intact, which leaves open the possibility that fossilized isotopically anomalous material may have been present within the primordial solar nebula. Stuctured or layered refractory dust grains within the model cannot explain the observed interstellar depletions of refractory material. Fragmentation due to grain-grain collisions in the diffuse phase plus the accretion of material in the molecular cloud phase can under certain circumstances cause a bimodal distribution in grain size

  14. OBSERVATIONAL CONSTRAINTS ON METHANOL PRODUCTION IN INTERSTELLAR AND PREPLANETARY ICES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whittet, D. C. B.; Cook, A. M.; Herbst, Eric; Chiar, J. E.; Shenoy, S. S.

    2011-01-01

    Methanol (CH 3 OH) is thought to be an important link in the chain of chemical evolution that leads from simple diatomic interstellar molecules to complex organic species in protoplanetary disks that may be delivered to the surfaces of Earthlike planets. Previous research has shown that CH 3 OH forms in the interstellar medium predominantly on the surfaces of dust grains. To enhance our understanding of the conditions that lead to its efficient production, we assemble a homogenized catalog of published detections and limiting values in interstellar and preplanetary ices for both CH 3 OH and the other commonly observed C- and O-bearing species, H 2 O, CO, and CO 2 . We use this catalog to investigate the abundance of ice-phase CH 3 OH in environments ranging from dense molecular clouds to circumstellar envelopes around newly born stars of low and high mass. Results show that CH 3 OH production arises during the CO freezeout phase of ice-mantle growth in the clouds, after an ice layer rich in H 2 O and CO 2 is already in place on the dust, in agreement with current astrochemical models. The abundance of solid-phase CH 3 OH in this environment is sufficient to account for observed gas-phase abundances when the ices are subsequently desorbed in the vicinity of embedded stars. CH 3 OH concentrations in the ices toward embedded stars show order-of-magnitude object-to-object variations, even in a sample restricted to stars of low mass associated with ices lacking evidence of thermal processing. We hypothesize that the efficiency of CH 3 OH production in dense cores and protostellar envelopes is mediated by the degree of prior CO depletion.

  15. Consequences of the Solar System passage through dense interstellar clouds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. G. Yeghikyan

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available Several consequences of the passage of the solar system through dense interstellar molecular clouds are discussed. These clouds, dense (more than 100 cm-3, cold (10–50 K and extended (larger than 1 pc, are characterized by a gas-to-dust mass ratio of about 100, by a specific power grain size spectrum (grain radii usually cover the range 0.001–3 micron and by an average dust-to-gas number density ratio of about 10-12. Frequently these clouds contain small-scale (10–100 AU condensations with gas concentrations ranging up to 10 5 cm-3. At their casual passage over the solar system they exert pressures very much enhanced with respect to today’s standards. Under these conditions it will occur that the Earth is exposed directly to the interstellar flow. It is shown first that even close to the Sun, at 1 AU, the cloud’s matter is only partly ionized and should mainly interact with the solar wind by charge exchange processes. Dust particles of the cloud serve as a source of neutrals, generated by the solar UV irradiation of dust grains, causing the evaporation of icy materials. The release of neutral atoms from dust grains is then followed by strong influences on the solar wind plasma flow. The behavior of the neutral gas inflow parameters is investigated by a 2-D hydrodynamic approach to model the interaction processes. Because of a reduction of the heliospheric dimension down to 1 AU, direct influence of the cloud’s matter to the terrestrial environment and atmosphere could be envisaged.Key words. Interplanetary physics (heliopause and solar wind termination; interplanetary dust; interstellar gas

  16. Top-down formation of fullerenes in the interstellar medium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berné, O; Montillaud, J; Joblin, C

    2015-05-01

    Fullerenes have been recently detected in various circumstellar and interstellar environments, raising the question of their formation pathway. It has been proposed that they can form at the low densities found in the interstellar medium by the photo-chemical processing of large polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Following our previous work on the evolution of PAHs in the NGC 7023 reflection nebula, we evaluate, using photochemical modeling, the possibility that the PAH C 66 H 20 (i.e. circumovalene) can lead to the formation of C 60 upon irradiation by ultraviolet photons. The chemical pathway involves full dehydrogenation of C 66 H 20 , folding into a floppy closed cage and shrinking of the cage by loss of C 2 units until it reaches the symmetric C 60 molecule. At 10" from the illuminating star and with realistic molecular parameters, the model predicts that 100% of C 66 H 20 is converted into C 60 in ~ 10 5 years, a timescale comparable to the age of the nebula. Shrinking appears to be the kinetically limiting step of the whole process. Hence, PAHs larger than C 66 H 20 are unlikely to contribute significantly to the formation of C 60 , while PAHs containing between 60 and 66 C atoms should contribute to the formation of C 60 with shorter timescales, and PAHs containing less than 60 C atoms will be destroyed. Assuming a classical size distribution for the PAH precursors, our model predicts absolute abundances of C 60 are up to several 10 -4 of the elemental carbon, i.e. less than a percent of the typical interstellar PAH abundance, which is consistent with observational studies. According to our model, once formed, C 60 can survive much longer (> 10 7 years for radiation fields below G 0 = 10 4 ) than other fullerenes because of the remarkable stability of the C 60 molecule at high internal energies. Hence, a natural consequence is that C 60 is more abundant than other fullerenes in highly irradiated environments.

  17. Discovery of Interstellar Anions in Cepheus and Auriga

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordiner, M. A.; Charnely, S. B.; Buckle, J. V.; Walsh, C.

    2011-01-01

    We report the detection of microwave emission lines from the hydrocarbon anion C6H(-) and its parent neutral C6H in the star-forming region LI251 A (in Cepheus), and the pre-stellar core LI512 (in Auriga). The carbon chain-bearing species C4H, HC3N, HC5N, HC7N, and C3S are also detected in large abundances. The observations of L1251A constitute the first detections of anions and long-chain polyynes and cyanopolyynes (with more than five carbon atoms) in the Cepheus Flare star-forming region, and the first detection of anions in the vicinity of a protostar outside of the Taurus molecular cloud complex, indicating a possible wider importance for anions in the chemistry of star formation. Rotational excitation temperatures have been derived from the HC3N hyperfine structure lines and are found to be 6.2 K for L1251A and 8.7 K for LI5l2. The anion-to-neutral ratios are 3.6% and 4.1%, respectively, which are within the range of values previously observed in the interstellar medium, and suggest a relative uniformity in the processes governing anion abundances in different dense interstellar clouds. This research contributes toward the growing body of evidence that carbon chain anions are relatively abundant in interstellar clouds throughout the Galaxy, but especially in the regions of relatively high density and high depletion surrounding pre-stellar cores and young, embedded protostars.

  18. Achievable space elevators for space transportation and starship acceleration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, Jerome

    1990-01-01

    Space elevator concepts for low-cost space launches are reviewed. Previous concepts suffered from requirements for ultra-high-strength materials, dynamically unstable systems, or from danger of collision with space debris. The use of magnetic grain streams solves these problems. Magnetic grain streams can support short space elevators for lifting payloads cheaply into Earth orbit, overcoming the material strength problem in building space elevators. Alternatively, the stream could support an international spaceport circling the Earth daily tens of miles above the equator, accessible to advanced aircraft. Mars could be equipped with a similar grain stream, using material from its moons Phobos and Deimos. Grain-stream arcs about the sun could be used for fast launches to the outer planets and for accelerating starships to near lightspeed for interstellar reconnaisance. Grain streams are essentially impervious to collisions, and could reduce the cost of space transportation by an order of magnitude.

  19. Capture of interplanetary and interstellar dust by the jovian magnetosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colwell, J E; Horányi, M; Grün, E

    1998-04-03

    Interplanetary and interstellar dust grains entering Jupiter's magnetosphere form a detectable diffuse faint ring of exogenic material. This ring is composed of particles in the size range of 0. 5 to 1.5 micrometers on retrograde and prograde orbits in a 4:1 ratio, with semimajor axes 3 jovian radii, eccentricities 0. 1 < e < 0.3, and inclinations i less, similar 20 degrees or i greater, similar 160 degrees. The size range and the orbital characteristics are consistent with in situ detections of micrometer-sized grains by the Galileo dust detector, and the measured rates match the number densities predicted from numerical trajectory integrations.

  20. Spectroscopy of the earth's atmosphere and interstellar medium

    CERN Document Server

    Rao, KN

    1992-01-01

    Spectroscopy of the Earth's Atmosphere and Interstellar Medium focuses on the characteristics of the electromagnetic spectrum of the Earth's atmosphere in the far-infrared and microwave regions. It discusses the modes of observation in field measurements and reviews the two techniques used in the spectral region. Organized into six chapters, this volume begins with an overview of the effect of water-vapor absorption, followed by a discussion on the two frequently used method for deriving atmospheric parameters from high-resolution infrared atmospheric spectra, namely, the equivalent width

  1. Template matching method for the analysis of interstellar cloud structure

    OpenAIRE

    Juvela, M.

    2016-01-01

    The structure of interstellar medium can be characterised at large scales in terms of its global statistics (e.g. power spectra) and at small scales by the properties of individual cores. Interest has been increasing in structures at intermediate scales, resulting in a number of methods being developed for the analysis of filamentary structures. We describe the application of the generic template-matching (TM) method to the analysis of maps. Our aim is to show that it provides a fast and stil...

  2. Interstellar ice grains in the Taurus molecular clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whittet, D.C.B.; Bode, M.F.; Baines, D.W.T.; Evans, A.

    1983-01-01

    Observations made in November 1981 using the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) at Mauna Kea of the 3 μm ice absorption feature in the spectra of several obscured stars in the Taurus interstellar clouds are reported. The feature correlated in strength with extinction at visual wavelengths (Asub(v)), and is present in stars with Asub(v) as low as 4-6 mag. Ice may be widespread in the Taurus clouds, vindicating ideas on grain composition and growth first reported nearly 50 yr ago. (author)

  3. Dense interstellar cloud chemistry: Basic issues and possible dynamical solution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prasad, S.S.; Heere, K.R.; Tarafdar, S.P.

    1989-01-01

    Standing at crossroad of enthusiasm and frustration, dense intertellar cloud chemistry has a squarely posed fundamental problem: Why do the grains appear to play at best a minor role in the chemistry? Grain surface chemistry creates considerable difficulties when the authors treat dense clouds as static objects and ignore the implications of the processes by which the clouds became dense in the first place. A new generation of models which treat chemical and dynamical evolutions concurrently are therefore presented as possible solution to the current frustrations. The proposed modeling philosophy and agenda could make the next decade quite exciting for interstellar chemistry

  4. Recommended rest frequencies for observed interstellar molecular transitions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lovas, F.J.; Snyder, I.E.; Johnson, D.R.

    1979-01-01

    The most accurate values presently available for the rest frequencies of all known interstellar molecular transitions are presented and recommended for reference in future astronomical observations in the radio and microwave regions. The recommended values have been carefully selected after critical evaluation of the spectroscopic literature. Probable error limits along with the proper molecular and quantum mechanical labels are presented for each observed transition. Representative line antenna temperatures are also presented for a typical source as a convenience to users. References are cited to both the astronomical and the laboratory literature

  5. Physical conditions in CaFe interstellar clouds

    OpenAIRE

    Gnacinski, P.; Krogulec, M.

    2007-01-01

    Interstellar clouds that exhibit strong Ca I and Fe I lines were called CaFe clouds. The ionisation equilibrium equations were used to model the column densities of Ca II, Ca I, K I, Na I, Fe I and Ti II in CaFe clouds. The chemical composition of CaFe clouds is that of the Solar System and no depletion of elements onto dust grains is seen. The CaFe clouds have high electron densities n=1 cm^-3 that leads to high column densities of neutral Ca and Fe.

  6. Trajectories for a Near Term Mission to the Interstellar Medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arora, Nitin; Strange, Nathan; Alkalai, Leon

    2015-01-01

    Trajectories for rapid access to the interstellar medium (ISM) with a Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) flyby, launching between 2022 and 2030, are described. An impulsive-patched-conic broad search algorithm combined with a local optimizer is used for the trajectory computations. Two classes of trajectories, (1) with a powered Jupiter flyby and (2) with a perihelion maneuver, are studied and compared. Planetary flybys combined with leveraging maneuvers reduce launch C3 requirements (by factor of 2 or more) and help satisfy mission-phasing constraints. Low launch C3 combined with leveraging and a perihelion maneuver is found to be enabling for a near-term potential mission to the ISM.

  7. Ketene Formation in Interstellar Ices: A Laboratory Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Reggie L.; Loeffler, Mark Josiah

    2013-01-01

    The formation of ketene (H2CCO, ethenone) in polar and apolar ices was studied with in situ 0.8 MeV proton irradiation, far-UVphotolysis, and infrared spectroscopic analyses at 10-20 K. Using isotopically enriched reagents, unequivocal evidencewas obtained for ketene synthesis in H2O-rich and CO2-rich ices, and several reaction products were identified. Results from scavenging experiments suggested that ketene was formed by free-radical pathways, as opposed to acid-base processes or redox reactions. Finally, we use our results to draw conclusions about the formation and stability of ketene in the interstellar medium.

  8. SEDIGISM: Structure, excitation, and dynamics of the inner Galactic interstellar medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuller, F.; Csengeri, T.; Urquhart, J. S.; Duarte-Cabral, A.; Barnes, P. J.; Giannetti, A.; Hernandez, A. K.; Leurini, S.; Mattern, M.; Medina, S.-N. X.; Agurto, C.; Azagra, F.; Anderson, L. D.; Beltrán, M. T.; Beuther, H.; Bontemps, S.; Bronfman, L.; Dobbs, C. L.; Dumke, M.; Finger, R.; Ginsburg, A.; Gonzalez, E.; Henning, T.; Kauffmann, J.; Mac-Auliffe, F.; Menten, K. M.; Montenegro-Montes, F. M.; Moore, T. J. T.; Muller, E.; Parra, R.; Perez-Beaupuits, J.-P.; Pettitt, A.; Russeil, D.; Sánchez-Monge, Á.; Schilke, P.; Schisano, E.; Suri, S.; Testi, L.; Torstensson, K.; Venegas, P.; Wang, K.; Wienen, M.; Wyrowski, F.; Zavagno, A.

    2017-05-01

    data in the (1-0) transition of CO isotopologues from the ThrUMMS survey, we are able to compute a 3D realization of the excitation temperature and optical depth in the interstellar medium. Ultimately, this survey will provide a detailed, global view of the inner Galactic interstellar medium at an unprecedented angular resolution of 30''. This publication is based on data acquired with the Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment (APEX) under programmes 092.F-9315(A) and 193.C-0584(A). APEX is a collaboration between the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, the European Southern Observatory, and the Onsala Space Observatory.Full Table 5 and Table A.1 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/601/A124

  9. Deuterium Fractionation upon the Formation of Hexamethylenetetramines through Photochemical Reactions of Interstellar Ice Analogs Containing Deuterated Methanol Isotopologues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oba, Yasuhiro; Takano, Yoshinori; Naraoka, Hiroshi; Kouchi, Akira; Watanabe, Naoki

    2017-11-01

    Hexamethylenetetramine (HMT) is a representative product after the photolysis of interstellar ice analogs containing methanol followed by warming-up to room temperature. Since interstellar methanol is often significantly enriched in deuterium (D), the HMT photoproduct is expected to inherit D atoms from deuterated methanol. However, D fractionation upon the formation of HMT is not well understood, especially when it is produced from partly deuterated methanol isotopologues such as CH2DOH and CH3OD. Here, we experimentally studied the composition of deuterated HMT (d n -HMT, where n is the number of D atoms) at the isotopologue level formed by the photolysis of ice mixtures containing deuterated methanol, CH2DOH or CH3OD, at 10 or 77 K. The analyses were performed using a state-of-the-art high-resolution mass spectrometer coupled with a compound-specific separation technique. The formation of d n -HMT (n = 0-8) was confirmed under all experimental conditions. In addition, methyl- and hydroxyl-substituted HMT and their deuterated isotopologues were also obtained in the products. The deuterium enrichment was outstanding when CH2DOH was used rather than CH3OD, and when photolysis was performed at 77 K rather than 10 K. We found that the deuteration level of the formed HMT far exceeded that of the reactants under the present experimental conditions. These results obtained during stable isotope probing of deuterium strongly suggest that HMT can play a role as an organic pool of interstellar D atoms. These may be distributed into other chemical species through molecular evolution in space.

  10. Search for an interstellar Si2C molecule: A theoretical prediction

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Very little information about this molecule is known. Theoretical study of the structure of Si2C has been carried out by some scientists. In the event of observation of Si2C in interstellar medium, information about spectra of the molecule is essentially needed. Since temperature in interstellar molecular clouds is generally low, ...

  11. Extraterrestrial Organic Chemistry: From the Interstellar Medium to the Origins of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohorille, Andrew; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Extraterrestrially delivered organics in the origin of cellular life. Various processes leading to the emergence of cellular life from organics delivered from space to earth or other planetary bodies in the solar system will be reviewed. The focus will be on: (1) self-assembly of amphiphilic material to vesicles and other structures, such as micelles and multilayers, and its role in creating environments suitable for chemical catalysis, (2) a possible role of extraterrestrial delivery of organics in the formation of the simplest bioenergetics (3) mechanisms leading from amino acids or their precursors to simple peptides and, subsequently, to the evolution of metabolism. These issues will be discussed from two opposite points of view: (1) Which molecules could have been particularly useful in the protobiological evolution; this may provide focus for searching for these molecules in interstellar media. (2) Assuming that a considerable part of the inventory of organic matter on the early earth was delivered extraterrestrially, what does relative abundance of different organics in space tell us about the scenario leading to the origin of life.

  12. Revealing Asymmetries in the HD181327 Debris Disk: A Recent Massive Collision or Interstellar Medium Warping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, Christopher C.; Schneider, Glenn; Weinberger, Alycia J.; Debes, John H.; Grady, Carol A.; Jang-Condell, Hannah; Kuchner, Marc J.

    2014-01-01

    New multi-roll coronagraphic images of the HD181327 debris disk obtained using the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph on board the Hubble Space Telescope reveal the debris ring in its entirety at high signal-to-noise ratio and unprecedented spatial resolution. We present and apply a new multi-roll image processing routine to identify and further remove quasi-static point-spread function-subtraction residuals and quantify systematic uncertainties. We also use a new iterative image deprojection technique to constrain the true disk geometry and aggressively remove any surface brightness asymmetries that can be explained without invoking dust density enhancements/ deficits. The measured empirical scattering phase function for the disk is more forward scattering than previously thought and is not well-fit by a Henyey-Greenstein function. The empirical scattering phase function varies with stellocentric distance, consistent with the expected radiation pressured-induced size segregation exterior to the belt. Within the belt, the empirical scattering phase function contradicts unperturbed debris ring models, suggesting the presence of an unseen planet. The radial profile of the flux density is degenerate with a radially varying scattering phase function; therefore estimates of the ring's true width and edge slope may be highly uncertain.We detect large scale asymmetries in the disk, consistent with either the recent catastrophic disruption of a body with mass greater than 1% the mass of Pluto, or disk warping due to strong interactions with the interstellar medium.

  13. Metallicity fluctuation statistics in the interstellar medium and young stars - I. Variance and correlation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krumholz, Mark R.; Ting, Yuan-Sen

    2018-04-01

    The distributions of a galaxy's gas and stars in chemical space encode a tremendous amount of information about that galaxy's physical properties and assembly history. However, present methods for extracting information from chemical distributions are based either on coarse averages measured over galactic scales (e.g. metallicity gradients) or on searching for clusters in chemical space that can be identified with individual star clusters or gas clouds on ˜1 pc scales. These approaches discard most of the information, because in galaxies gas and young stars are observed to be distributed fractally, with correlations on all scales, and the same is likely to be true of metals. In this paper we introduce a first theoretical model, based on stochastically forced diffusion, capable of predicting the multiscale statistics of metal fields. We derive the variance, correlation function, and power spectrum of the metal distribution from first principles, and determine how these quantities depend on elements' astrophysical origin sites and on the large-scale properties of galaxies. Among other results, we explain for the first time why the typical abundance scatter observed in the interstellar media of nearby galaxies is ≈0.1 dex, and we predict that this scatter will be correlated on spatial scales of ˜0.5-1 kpc, and over time-scales of ˜100-300 Myr. We discuss the implications of our results for future chemical tagging studies.

  14. A dirty window diffuse and translucent molecular gas in the interstellar medium

    CERN Document Server

    Magnani, Loris

    2017-01-01

    This book provides an introduction to the physics of interstellar gas in the Galaxy. It deals with the diffuse interstellar medium which supplies a complex environment for exploring the neutral gas content of a galaxy like the Milky Way and the techniques necessary for studying this non-stellar component. After an initial exposition of the phases of the interstellar medium and the role of gas in a spiral galaxy, the authors discuss the transition from atomic to molecular gas. They then consider basic radiative transfer and molecular spectroscopy with particular emphasis on the molecules useful for studying low-density molecular gas. Observational techniques for investigating the gas and the dust component of the diffuse interstellar medium throughout the electromagnetic spectrum are explored emphasizing results from the recent Herschel and Planck missions. A brief exposition on dust in the diffuse interstellar medium is followed by a discussion of molecular clouds in general and high-latitude molecular clouds...

  15. Boundary conditions for the paleoenvironment: Chemical and Physical Processes in dense interstellar clouds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irvine, W. M.; Schloerb, F. P.; Ziurys, L. M.

    1986-01-01

    The present research includes searches for important new interstellar constituents; observations relevant to differentiating between different models for the chemical processes that are important in the interstellar environment; and coordinated studies of the chemistry, physics, and dynamics of molecular clouds which are the sites or possible future sites of star formation. Recent research has included the detection and study of four new interstellar molecules; searches which have placed upper limits on the abundance of several other potential constituents of interstellar clouds; quantitative studies of comparative molecular abundances in different types of interstellar clouds; investigation of reaction pathways for astrochemistry from a comparison of theory and the observed abundance of related species such as isomers and isotopic variants; studies of possible tracers of energenic events related to star formation, including silicon and sulfur containing molecules; and mapping of physical, chemical, and dynamical properties over extended regions of nearby cold molecular clouds.

  16. Determination of interstellar pickup ion distributions in the solar wind with SOHO and Cluster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Möbius

    Full Text Available Over the last 10 years, the experimental basis for the study of the local interstellar medium has been substantially enhanced by the direct detection of interstellar pickup ions and of interstellar neutral helium within the heliosphere. Pickup ions can be studied for a wide range of interstellar species. However, currently the accuracy of the method to determine the parameters of the interstellar medium, namely neutral density, temperature and relative velocity, is hampered by two problems: (1 In most cases the crucial ionization rates are not available from simultaneous measurements and (2 the transport of the pickup ions in the interplanetary medium substantially modifies the measured spatial distribution of the ions. In this study we will discuss how the enhanced capabilities of the instrumentation on SOHO and Cluster in combination with ongoing efforts to model the pickup ion distributions will lead to a significant improvement over the coming years.

  17. CAN IBEX DETECT INTERSTELLAR NEUTRAL HELIUM OR OXYGEN FROM ANTI-RAM DIRECTIONS?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Galli, A.; Wurz, P.; Park, J.; Kucharek, H.; Möbius, E.; Schwadron, N. A.; Sokół, J. M.; Bzowski, M.; Kubiak, M. A.; Swaczyna, P.; Fuselier, S. A.; McComas, D. J.

    2015-01-01

    To better constrain the parameters of the interstellar neutral flow, we searched the Interstellar Boundary EXplorer (IBEX)-Lo database for helium and oxygen from the interstellar medium in the anti-ram direction in the three years (2009–2011) with the lowest background rates. We found that IBEX-Lo cannot observe interstellar helium from the anti-ram direction because the helium energy is too low for indirect detection by sputtering off the IBEX-Lo conversion surface. Our results show that this sputtering process has a low energy threshold between 25 and 30 eV, whereas the energy of the incident helium is only 10 eV for these observations. Interstellar oxygen, on the other hand, could in principle be detected in the anti-ram hemisphere, but the expected magnitude of the signal is close to the detection limit imposed by counting statistics and by the magnetospheric foreground

  18. The effect of catastrophic collisional fragmentation and diffuse medium accretion on a computational interstellar dust system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liffman, K.

    1990-01-01

    The effects of catastrophic collisional fragmentation and diffuse medium accretion on a the interstellar dust system are computed using a Monte Carlo computer model. The Monte Carlo code has as its basis an analytic solution of the bulk chemical evolution of a two-phase interstellar medium, described by Liffman and Clayton (1989). The model is subjected to numerous different interstellar processes as it transfers from one interstellar phase to another. Collisional fragmentation was found to be the dominant physical process that shapes the size spectrum of interstellar dust. It was found that, in the diffuse cloud phase, 90 percent of the refractory material is locked up in the dust grains, primarily due to accretion in the molecular medium. This result is consistent with the observed depletions of silicon. Depletions were found to be affected only slightly by diffuse cloud accretion. 42 refs

  19. Decades-long changes of the interstellar wind through our solar system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frisch, P C; Bzowski, M; Livadiotis, G; McComas, D J; Moebius, E; Mueller, H-R; Pryor, W R; Schwadron, N A; Sokół, J M; Vallerga, J V; Ajello, J M

    2013-09-06

    The journey of the Sun through the dynamically active local interstellar medium creates an evolving heliosphere environment. This motion drives a wind of interstellar material through the heliosphere that has been measured with Earth-orbiting and interplanetary spacecraft for 40 years. Recent results obtained by NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer mission during 2009-2010 suggest that neutral interstellar atoms flow into the solar system from a different direction than found previously. These prior measurements represent data collected from Ulysses and other spacecraft during 1992-2002 and a variety of older measurements acquired during 1972-1978. Consideration of all data types and their published results and uncertainties, over the three epochs of observations, indicates that the trend for the interstellar flow ecliptic longitude to increase linearly with time is statistically significant.

  20. Determination of interstellar pickup ion distributions in the solar wind with SOHO and Cluster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Möbius

    1996-05-01

    Full Text Available Over the last 10 years, the experimental basis for the study of the local interstellar medium has been substantially enhanced by the direct detection of interstellar pickup ions and of interstellar neutral helium within the heliosphere. Pickup ions can be studied for a wide range of interstellar species. However, currently the accuracy of the method to determine the parameters of the interstellar medium, namely neutral density, temperature and relative velocity, is hampered by two problems: (1 In most cases the crucial ionization rates are not available from simultaneous measurements and (2 the transport of the pickup ions in the interplanetary medium substantially modifies the measured spatial distribution of the ions. In this study we will discuss how the enhanced capabilities of the instrumentation on SOHO and Cluster in combination with ongoing efforts to model the pickup ion distributions will lead to a significant improvement over the coming years.

  1. Ideal Biological Characteristics for Long-Duration Manned Space Travel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardion, A. L.

    As we consider the technical challenges we will overcome to launch our first interstellar mission, it is natural that we envision our own view from the deck of that starship. However, the cold reality of the vast distances of interstellar space, in keeping with the history of space flight, clearly indicates that our first forays into such missions will likely be unmanned probes. Indeed, it is the limitations of our own biology and psychology, primarily in their fragility and brevity, that anchor us to the terrestrial environment upon which we depend. But by considering the diversity of biological adaptation documented on Earth, in combination with the promise of an advanced bioengineering program, we can begin to imagine how evolution or design could adapt the intrepid travellers to long-duration stresses inherent to interstellar flight.

  2. BENZENE FORMATION ON INTERSTELLAR ICY MANTLES CONTAINING PROPARGYL ALCOHOL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sivaraman, B.; Mukherjee, R.; Subramanian, K. P.; Banerjee, S. B.

    2015-01-01

    Propargyl alcohol (CHCCH 2 OH) is a known stable isomer of the propenal (CH 2 CHCHO) molecule that was reported to be present in the interstellar medium (ISM). At astrochemical conditions in the laboratory, icy layers of propargyl alcohol grown at 85 K were irradiated by 2 keV electrons and probed by a Fourier Transform InfraRed spectrometer in the mid-infrared (IR) region, 4000-500 cm –1 . Propargyl alcohol ice under astrochemical conditions was studied for the first time; therefore, IR spectra of reported amorphous (85 K) and crystalline (180 K) propargyl alcohol ices can be used to detect its presence in the ISM. Moreover, our experiments clearly show benzene (C 6 H 6 ) formation to be the major product from propargyl alcohol irradiation, confirming the role of propargyl radicals (C 3 H 3 ) formed from propargyl alcohol dissociation that was long expected based on theoretical modeling to effectively synthesize C 6 H 6 in the interstellar icy mantles

  3. Nuclear abundances and evolution of the interstellar medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wannier, P.G.

    1980-01-01

    Observations of molecular and elemental abundances in the interstellar medium (ISM) are reviewed, with special attention given to isotope ratios. The derivation of molecular isotope abundances for the ISM is discussed, along with H and C fractionation. Millimeter- and centimeter-wave spectra of giant clouds are examined with respect to isotope abundances of C, O, N, Si, S, and D. Evidence for the current enrichment of the ISM by mass loss from evolved stars is considered, together with chemical abundance gradients in H II regions and planetary nebulae. Cosmic-ray observations pertaining to abundances in the ISM are summarized, with emphasis on available results for Ne, Mg, Si, Fe, and Ni. The observations reviewed are shown to support arguments in favor of: (1) the cosmological production of D and He-3 (2) the production of the CNO elements by hydrostatic hydrogen burning (3) the nucleosynthesis of Ne, Mg, Si, S, Fe, and Ni as a result of He burning (4) solar abundances of interstellar S, Fe, and Ni and (5) a direct association between observed inhomogeneities in the ISM and mass loss from evolved stellar objects

  4. THE STRUCTURE, ORIGIN, AND EVOLUTION OF INTERSTELLAR HYDROCARBON GRAINS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chiar, J. E.; Ricca, A.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Adamson, A. J.

    2013-01-01

    Many materials have been considered for the carrier of the hydrocarbon absorption bands observed in the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM). In order to refine the model for ISM hydrocarbon grains, we analyze the observed aromatic (3.28, 6.2 μm) and aliphatic (3.4 μm) hydrocarbon absorption features in the diffuse ISM along the line of sight toward the Galactic center Quintuplet Cluster. Observationally, sp 2 bonds can be measured in astronomical spectra using the 6.2 μm CC aromatic stretch feature, whereas the 3.4 μm aliphatic feature can be used to quantify the fraction of sp 3 bonds. The fractional abundance of these components allows us to place the Galactic diffuse ISM hydrocarbons on a ternary phase diagram. We conclude that the Galactic hydrocarbon dust has, on average, a low H/C ratio and sp 3 content and is highly aromatic. We have placed the results of our analysis within the context of the evolution of carbon dust in the ISM. We argue that interstellar carbon dust consists of a large core of aromatic carbon surrounded by a thin mantle of hydrogenated amorphous carbon (a-C:H), a structure that is a natural consequence of the processing of stardust grains in the ISM.

  5. VARIATIONS BETWEEN DUST AND GAS IN THE DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reach, William T.; Heiles, Carl; Bernard, Jean-Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Using the Planck far-infrared and Arecibo GALFA 21 cm line surveys, we identified a set of isolated interstellar clouds (approximately degree-sized on the sky and comprising 100 solar masses) and assessed the ratio of gas mass to dust mass. Significant variations of the gas/dust ratio are found both from cloud to cloud and within regions of individual clouds; within the clouds, the atomic gas per unit dust decreases by more than a factor of 3 compared with the standard gas/dust ratio. Three hypotheses are considered. First, the apparently low gas/dust ratio could be due to molecular gas. Comparing to Planck CO maps, the brightest clouds have a H 2 /CO ratio comparable to Galactic plane clouds, but a strong lower limit is placed on the ratio for other clouds, such that the required amount of molecular gas is far higher than would be expected based on the CO upper limits. Second, we consider self-absorbed 21 cm lines and find that the optical depth must be ∼3, significantly higher than found from surveys of radio sources. Third, grain properties may change within the clouds: they become more emissive when they are colder, while not utilizing heavy elements that already have their cosmic abundance fully locked into grains. It is possible that all three processes are active, and follow-up studies will be required to disentangle them and measure the true total gas and dust content of interstellar clouds

  6. Protostellar formation in rotation interstellar clouds. III. Nonaxisymmetric collapse

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boss, A.P.

    1980-01-01

    A full three spatial-dimension gravitational hydrodynamics code has been used to follow the collapse of isothermal rotating clouds subjected to various nonaxialy symmetric perturbations (NAP). An initially axially symmetric cloud collapsed to form a ring which then fragmented into a binary protostellar system. A low thermal energy cloud with a large bar-shaped NAP collapsed and fragmented directly into a binary; higher thermal energy clouds damp out such NAPs while higher rotational rotational energy clouds produce binaries with wider separations. Fragmentation into single and binary systems has been seen. The tidal effects of other nearby protostellar clouds are shown to have an important effect upon the collapse and should not be neglected. The three-dimensional calculations indicate that isothermal interstellar clouds may fragment (with or without passing through a transitory ring phase) into protostellar objects while still in the isothermal regime. The fragments obtained have masses and specific spin angular momenta roughly a 10th that of the original cloud. Interstellar clouds and their fragments may pass through successive collapse phases with fragmentation and reduction of spin angular momentum (by conversion to orbital angular momentum and preferential accretion of low angular momentum matter) terminating in the formation of pre--main-sequence stars with the observed pre--main-sequence rotation rates

  7. Polarimetric study of the interstellar medium in Taurus Dark Clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hsu, J.

    1985-01-01

    An optical linear polarimetric survey was completed for more than 300 stars in an area of 6.5 0 x 10 0 toward the Taurus Dark Clouds Complex. It was found that the orientation of the magnetic field is roughly perpendicular to the elongation direction of the dust lanes, indicating cloud contraction along the magnetic field lines. The distance to the front edge of the dark clouds in Taurus is determined to be 126 pc. There is only insignificant amount of obscuring material between the cloud complex and the Sun. Besides the polarization data, the reddenings of about 250 stars were also obtained from the UBV photometry. The mean polarization to reddening ratio in the Taurus region is 4.6, which is similar to that of the general interstellar matter. The wavelengths of maximum polarization were determined for 30 stars in Taurus. They show an average value of lambda/sub max/ = 0.57 μm, which is only slightly higher than the mean value of the general interstellar medium, lambda/sub max/ = 0.55 μm. A few stars that show higher values of lambda/sub max/ are found near the small isolated regions of very high extinction. One such highly obscured small region where very complex long chain molecules have been discovered in the ratio spectra, is the Taurus Molecular Cloud 1

  8. ACCURATE MODELING OF X-RAY EXTINCTION BY INTERSTELLAR GRAINS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoffman, John; Draine, B. T., E-mail: jah5@astro.princeton.edu, E-mail: draine@astro.princeton.edu [Princeton University Observatory, Peyton Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544-1001 (United States)

    2016-02-01

    Interstellar abundance determinations from fits to X-ray absorption edges often rely on the incorrect assumption that scattering is insignificant and can be ignored. We show instead that scattering contributes significantly to the attenuation of X-rays for realistic dust grain size distributions and substantially modifies the spectrum near absorption edges of elements present in grains. The dust attenuation modules used in major X-ray spectral fitting programs do not take this into account. We show that the consequences of neglecting scattering on the determination of interstellar elemental abundances are modest; however, scattering (along with uncertainties in the grain size distribution) must be taken into account when near-edge extinction fine structure is used to infer dust mineralogy. We advertise the benefits and accuracy of anomalous diffraction theory for both X-ray halo analysis and near edge absorption studies. We present an open source Fortran suite, General Geometry Anomalous Diffraction Theory (GGADT), that calculates X-ray absorption, scattering, and differential scattering cross sections for grains of arbitrary geometry and composition.

  9. ACCURATE MODELING OF X-RAY EXTINCTION BY INTERSTELLAR GRAINS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoffman, John; Draine, B. T.

    2016-01-01

    Interstellar abundance determinations from fits to X-ray absorption edges often rely on the incorrect assumption that scattering is insignificant and can be ignored. We show instead that scattering contributes significantly to the attenuation of X-rays for realistic dust grain size distributions and substantially modifies the spectrum near absorption edges of elements present in grains. The dust attenuation modules used in major X-ray spectral fitting programs do not take this into account. We show that the consequences of neglecting scattering on the determination of interstellar elemental abundances are modest; however, scattering (along with uncertainties in the grain size distribution) must be taken into account when near-edge extinction fine structure is used to infer dust mineralogy. We advertise the benefits and accuracy of anomalous diffraction theory for both X-ray halo analysis and near edge absorption studies. We present an open source Fortran suite, General Geometry Anomalous Diffraction Theory (GGADT), that calculates X-ray absorption, scattering, and differential scattering cross sections for grains of arbitrary geometry and composition

  10. An infrared measurement of chemical desorption from interstellar ice analogues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oba, Y.; Tomaru, T.; Lamberts, T.; Kouchi, A.; Watanabe, N.

    2018-03-01

    In molecular clouds at temperatures as low as 10 K, all species except hydrogen and helium should be locked in the heterogeneous ice on dust grain surfaces. Nevertheless, astronomical observations have detected over 150 different species in the gas phase in these clouds. The mechanism by which molecules are released from the dust surface below thermal desorption temperatures to be detectable in the gas phase is crucial for understanding the chemical evolution in such cold clouds. Chemical desorption, caused by the excess energy of an exothermic reaction, was first proposed as a key molecular release mechanism almost 50 years ago1. Chemical desorption can, in principle, take place at any temperature, even below the thermal desorption temperature. Therefore, astrochemical network models commonly include this process2,3. Although there have been a few previous experimental efforts4-6, no infrared measurement of the surface (which has a strong advantage to quantify chemical desorption) has been performed. Here, we report the first infrared in situ measurement of chemical desorption during the reactions H + H2S → HS + H2 (reaction 1) and HS + H → H2S (reaction 2), which are key to interstellar sulphur chemistry2,3. The present study clearly demonstrates that chemical desorption is a more efficient process for releasing H2S into the gas phase than was previously believed. The obtained effective cross-section for chemical desorption indicates that the chemical desorption rate exceeds the photodesorption rate in typical interstellar environments.

  11. BENZENE FORMATION ON INTERSTELLAR ICY MANTLES CONTAINING PROPARGYL ALCOHOL

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sivaraman, B.; Mukherjee, R.; Subramanian, K. P.; Banerjee, S. B., E-mail: bhala@prl.res.in [Space and Atmospheric Sciences Division, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad (India)

    2015-01-10

    Propargyl alcohol (CHCCH{sub 2}OH) is a known stable isomer of the propenal (CH{sub 2}CHCHO) molecule that was reported to be present in the interstellar medium (ISM). At astrochemical conditions in the laboratory, icy layers of propargyl alcohol grown at 85 K were irradiated by 2 keV electrons and probed by a Fourier Transform InfraRed spectrometer in the mid-infrared (IR) region, 4000-500 cm{sup –1}. Propargyl alcohol ice under astrochemical conditions was studied for the first time; therefore, IR spectra of reported amorphous (85 K) and crystalline (180 K) propargyl alcohol ices can be used to detect its presence in the ISM. Moreover, our experiments clearly show benzene (C{sub 6}H{sub 6}) formation to be the major product from propargyl alcohol irradiation, confirming the role of propargyl radicals (C{sub 3}H{sub 3}) formed from propargyl alcohol dissociation that was long expected based on theoretical modeling to effectively synthesize C{sub 6}H{sub 6} in the interstellar icy mantles.

  12. On the formation of pyridine in the interstellar medium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Dorian S N; Kaiser, Ralf I; Kostko, Oleg; Troy, Tyler P; Ahmed, Musahid; Sun, Bing-Jian; Chen, Shih-Hua; Chang, A H H

    2015-12-21

    Nitrogen-substituted polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (NPAHs) have been proposed to play a key role in the astrochemical evolution of the interstellar medium, but the formation mechanism of even their simplest building block - the aromatic pyridine molecule - has remained elusive for decades. Here we reveal a potential pathway to a facile pyridine (C5H5N) synthesis via the reaction of the cyano vinyl (C2H2CN) radical with vinyl cyanide (C2H3CN) in high temperature environments simulating conditions in carbon-rich circumstellar envelopes of Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) stars like IRC+10216. Since this reaction is barrier-less, pyridine can also be synthesized via this bimolecular reaction in cold molecular clouds such as in TMC-1. The synchronized aromatization of precursors readily available in the interstellar medium leading to nitrogen incorporation into the aromatic rings would open up a novel route to pyridine derivatives such as vitamin B3 and pyrimidine bases as detected in carbonaceous chondrites like Murchison.

  13. Molecular Oxygen Formation in Interstellar Ices Does Not Require Tunneling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pezzella, Marco; Unke, Oliver T; Meuwly, Markus

    2018-03-29

    The formation of molecular oxygen in and on amorphous ice in the interstellar medium requires oxygen diffusion to take place. Recent experiments suggest that this process involves quantum tunneling of the oxygen atoms at sufficiently low temperatures. Fitting experimental diffusion rates between 6 and 25 K to an expression that accounts for the roughness of the surface yields excellent agreement. The molecular dynamics of adsorbed oxygen is characterized by rapid intrasite dynamics, followed by intersite transitions over distances of ∼10 Å. Explicit simulations using a realistic free-energy surface for oxygen diffusion on amorphous ice down to 10 K show that quantum tunneling is not required for mobility of adsorbed oxygen. This is confirmed by comparing quantum and classical simulations using the same free-energy surface. The ratio of diffusional and desorption energy E dif / E des = 275/1082 ≈ 0.3 is at the lower end of typically used values but is still consistent with the assumptions made in models for interstellar chemistry.

  14. Formation of Hydroxylamine in Low-Temperature Interstellar Model Ices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsegaw, Yetsedaw A; Góbi, Sándor; Förstel, Marko; Maksyutenko, Pavlo; Sander, Wolfram; Kaiser, Ralf I

    2017-10-12

    We irradiated binary ice mixtures of ammonia (NH 3 ) and oxygen (O 2 ) ices at astrophysically relevant temperatures of 5.5 K with energetic electrons to mimic the energy transfer process that occurs in the track of galactic cosmic rays. By monitoring the newly formed molecules online and in situ utilizing Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy complemented by temperature-programmed desorption studies with single-photon photoionization reflectron time-of-flight mass spectrometry, the synthesis of hydroxylamine (NH 2 OH), water (H 2 O), hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ), nitrosyl hydride (HNO), and a series of nitrogen oxides (NO, N 2 O, NO 2 , N 2 O 2 , N 2 O 3 ) was evident. The synthetic pathway of the newly formed species, along with their rate constants, is discussed exploiting the kinetic fitting of the coupled differential equations representing the decomposition steps in the irradiated ice mixtures. Our studies suggest the hydroxylamine is likely formed through an insertion mechanism of suprathermal oxygen into the nitrogen-hydrogen bond of ammonia at such low temperatures. An isotope-labeled experiment examining the electron-irradiated D3-ammonia-oxygen (ND 3 -O 2 ) ices was also conducted, which confirmed our findings. This study provides clear, concise evidence of the formation of hydroxylamine by irradiation of interstellar analogue ices and can help explain the question how potential precursors to complex biorelevant molecules may form in the interstellar medium.

  15. Observations of strongly deuterated molecules: Implications for interstellar chemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Turner, B.E.; Zuckerman, B.

    1978-01-01

    We surveyed the J=1→0 transitons of DCO + , N 2 D + , and DNC in 13 interstellar clouds. In the dark dust clouds L63 and L134N, the apparent ratio DCO + /HCO + exceeds unity. While the apparent ratio DNC/HNC is of order unity in these clouds, N 2 D+/N 2 H + is significantly smaller. In other sources outside of the galactic center, DCO + /HCO + and DNC/HNC are typically a few times 10 -2 and somewhat larger than DCN/HCN. None of these deuterated species is detected in the galactic center region. These results are analyzed in terms of current ion-molecule reaction schemes. Possible differences between DCO + /HCO + and N 2 D + /N 2 H + are considered and used to place restrictions on physical conditions and abundances in deuterated sources. Predictions are made for NH 2 D/NH 3 and HDO/H 2 O and compared with recent observations. Ion-molecule chemistry, as at present understood, appears consistent with existing observationsof deuterated interstellar molecules

  16. Self Organization in the Solar Corona and Interstellar Medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spangler, Steven

    2009-11-01

    Self-organization can be defined as the process by which a physical system, in the course of its evolution, changes its spatial structure, the form of its equations of motions, or key coefficients in those equations. Paradigmatic examples are chemical reactions of the reaction-diffusion type, and biological systems. I discuss astrophysical processes where similar sorts of dynamics may be occurring. The first example is Joule heating of the solar corona. A major problem in astrophysics is the physical mechanism or mechanisms responsible for heating the solar corona to 1-2 million K. Coronal heating by turbulent current sheets is negligible if a standard expression for the resistivity of a plasma is used, but as the current sheets evolve, they develop progressively higher current densities. These high current densities can enhance the resistivity via plasma instabilities, and make Joule heating a more effective process. The second example is from the interstellar medium. The formation of massive stars leads to processes which compress the nearby interstellar medium, making star formation a more efficient process. Similarities and differences with better studied systems exhibiting self organization will be discussed.

  17. Solar neutrinos and solar accretion of interstellar matter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Newman, M.J.; Talbot, R.J. Jr.

    1976-01-01

    It is argued that if the Hoyle-Lyttleton mass accretion rate applies (Proc. Camb. Phil. Soc., Math. Phys. Sci. 35: 405 (1939)) the accretion of interstellar matter by the Sun is sufficient to enhance the surface heavy element abundances. This will also apply to other solar-type stars. The enhancement may be sufficient to allow the construction of consistent solar models with an interior heavy element abundance significantly lower than the observed surface abundance. This state of affairs lowers the predicted solar neutrino flux. It has been suggested that a similar enhancement of surface abundances might occur due to accretion of 'planetesimals' left over after formation of the solar system, and both processes may occur, thereby increasing the effect. The simple accretion model of Hoyle and Lyttleton is discussed mathematically. A crucial question to be answered by future research, however, is whether or not accretion on to the solar surface actually occurs. One of the most obvious obstacles is the outward flowing solar wind, and this is discussed. It appears that the outward flow can be reversed to an inward flow for certain interstellar cloud densities. (U.K.)

  18. Interstellar scintillation of the double pulsar J0737–3039

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rickett, B. J.; Coles, W. A.; Nava, C. F. [ECE Dept., University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0407 (United States); McLaughlin, M. A. [West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26505 (United States); Ransom, S. M. [National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Charlottesville, VA 22903 (United States); Camilo, F. [National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, Arecibo, PR 00612-8346 (United States); Ferdman, R. D.; Kramer, M.; Lyne, A. G. [Jodrell Bank Center for Astrophysics, University of Manchester, M13 9PL (United Kingdom); Freire, P. C. C. [Dept. of Physics, McGill University, Montréal, QC H3A 2T8 (Canada); Stairs, I. H., E-mail: bjrickett@ucsd.edu [Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1 (Canada)

    2014-06-01

    We report a series of observations of the interstellar scintillation (ISS) of the double pulsar J0737–3039 over the course of 18 months. As in earlier work, the basic phenomenon is the variation in the ISS caused by the changing transverse velocities of each pulsar, the ionized interstellar medium (IISM), and the Earth. The transverse velocity of the binary system can be determined both by very long baseline interferometry and timing observations. The orbital velocity and inclination is almost completely determined from timing observations, but the direction of the orbital angular momentum is not known. Since the Earth's velocity is known, and can be compared with the orbital velocity by its effect on the timescale of the ISS, we can determine the orientation Ω of the pulsar orbit with respect to equatorial coordinates (Ω = 65 ± 2°). We also resolve the ambiguity (i = 88.°7 or 91.°3) in the inclination of the orbit deduced from the measured Shapiro delay by our estimate i = 88.°1 ± 0.°5. This relies on the analysis of the ISS over both frequency and time, and provides a model for the location, anisotropy, turbulence level, and transverse phase gradient of the IISM. We find that the IISM can be well-modeled during each observation, typically of a few orbital periods, but its turbulence level and mean velocity vary significantly over the 18 months.

  19. THE INTERSTELLAR MAGNETIC FIELD CLOSE TO THE SUN. II

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frisch, P. C. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States); Andersson, B-G [SOFIA Science Center, Universities Space Research Association, NASA Ames Research Center, M.S. N232-12 Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Berdyugin, A.; Piirola, V. [Finnish Centre for Astronomy with ESO, University of Turku (Finland); DeMajistre, R. [The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD (United States); Funsten, H. O. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM (United States); Magalhaes, A. M.; Seriacopi, D. B. [Inst. de Astronomia, Geofisica e Ciencias Atmosfericas, Universidade de Sao Paulo (Brazil); McComas, D. J. [Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX (United States); Schwadron, N. A. [Space Science Center, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (United States); Slavin, J. D. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA (United States); Wiktorowicz, S. J. [Department of Astronomy, University of California at Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA (United States)

    2012-12-01

    The magnetic field in the local interstellar medium (ISM) provides a key indicator of the galactic environment of the Sun and influences the shape of the heliosphere. We have studied the interstellar magnetic field (ISMF) in the solar vicinity using polarized starlight for stars within 40 pc of the Sun and 90 Degree-Sign of the heliosphere nose. In Frisch et al. (Paper I), we developed a method for determining the local ISMF direction by finding the best match to a group of interstellar polarization position angles obtained toward nearby stars, based on the assumption that the polarization is parallel to the ISMF. In this paper, we extend the analysis by utilizing weighted fits to the position angles and by including new observations acquired for this study. We find that the local ISMF is pointed toward the galactic coordinates l, b =47 Degree-Sign {+-} 20 Degree-Sign , 25 Degree-Sign {+-} 20 Degree-Sign . This direction is close to the direction of the ISMF that shapes the heliosphere, l, b =33 Degree-Sign {+-} 4 Degree-Sign , 55 Degree-Sign {+-} 4 Degree-Sign , as traced by the center of the 'Ribbon' of energetic neutral atoms discovered by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission. Both the magnetic field direction and the kinematics of the local ISM are consistent with a scenario where the local ISM is a fragment of the Loop I superbubble. A nearby ordered component of the local ISMF has been identified in the region l Almost-Equal-To 0 Degree-Sign {yields} 80 Degree-Sign and b Almost-Equal-To 0 Degree-Sign {yields} 30 Degree-Sign , where PlanetPol data show a distance-dependent increase of polarization strength. The ordered component extends to within 8 pc of the Sun and implies a weak curvature in the nearby ISMF of {approx}0.{sup 0}25 pc{sup -1}. This conclusion is conditioned on the small sample of stars available for defining this rotation. Variations from the ordered component suggest a turbulent component of {approx}23 Degree-Sign . The

  20. THE INTERSTELLAR MAGNETIC FIELD CLOSE TO THE SUN. II

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frisch, P. C.; Andersson, B-G; Berdyugin, A.; Piirola, V.; DeMajistre, R.; Funsten, H. O.; Magalhaes, A. M.; Seriacopi, D. B.; McComas, D. J.; Schwadron, N. A.; Slavin, J. D.; Wiktorowicz, S. J.

    2012-01-01

    The magnetic field in the local interstellar medium (ISM) provides a key indicator of the galactic environment of the Sun and influences the shape of the heliosphere. We have studied the interstellar magnetic field (ISMF) in the solar vicinity using polarized starlight for stars within 40 pc of the Sun and 90° of the heliosphere nose. In Frisch et al. (Paper I), we developed a method for determining the local ISMF direction by finding the best match to a group of interstellar polarization position angles obtained toward nearby stars, based on the assumption that the polarization is parallel to the ISMF. In this paper, we extend the analysis by utilizing weighted fits to the position angles and by including new observations acquired for this study. We find that the local ISMF is pointed toward the galactic coordinates l, b =47° ± 20°, 25° ± 20°. This direction is close to the direction of the ISMF that shapes the heliosphere, l, b =33° ± 4°, 55° ± 4°, as traced by the center of the 'Ribbon' of energetic neutral atoms discovered by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission. Both the magnetic field direction and the kinematics of the local ISM are consistent with a scenario where the local ISM is a fragment of the Loop I superbubble. A nearby ordered component of the local ISMF has been identified in the region l ≈0° → 80° and b ≈0° → 30°, where PlanetPol data show a distance-dependent increase of polarization strength. The ordered component extends to within 8 pc of the Sun and implies a weak curvature in the nearby ISMF of ∼0. 0 25 pc –1 . This conclusion is conditioned on the small sample of stars available for defining this rotation. Variations from the ordered component suggest a turbulent component of ∼23°. The ordered component and standard relations between polarization, color excess, and H o column density predict a reasonable increase of N(H) with distance in the local ISM. The similarity of the ISMF directions traced

  1. Investigating the interstellar dust through the Fe K-edge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogantini, D.; Costantini, E.; Zeegers, S. T.; de Vries, C. P.; Bras, W.; de Groot, F.; Mutschke, H.; Waters, L. B. F. M.

    2018-01-01

    Context. The chemical and physical properties of interstellar dust in the densest regions of the Galaxy are still not well understood. X-rays provide a powerful probe since they can penetrate gas and dust over a wide range of column densities (up to 1024 cm-2). The interaction (scattering and absorption) with the medium imprints spectral signatures that reflect the individual atoms which constitute the gas, molecule, or solid. Aims: In this work we investigate the ability of high resolution X-ray spectroscopy to probe the properties of cosmic grains containing iron. Although iron is heavily depleted into interstellar dust, the nature of the Fe-bearing grains is still largely uncertain. Methods: In our analysis we use iron K-edge synchrotron data of minerals likely present in the ISM dust taken at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility. We explore the prospects of determining the chemical composition and the size of astrophysical dust in the Galactic centre and in molecular clouds with future X-ray missions. The energy resolution and the effective area of the present X-ray telescopes are not sufficient to detect and study the Fe K-edge, even for bright X-ray sources. Results: From the analysis of the extinction cross sections of our dust models implemented in the spectral fitting program SPEX, the Fe K-edge is promising for investigating both the chemistry and the size distribution of the interstellar dust. We find that the chemical composition regulates the X-ray absorption fine structures in the post edge region, whereas the scattering feature in the pre-edge is sensitive to the mean grain size. Finally, we note that the Fe K-edge is insensitive to other dust properties, such as the porosity and the geometry of the dust. The absorption, scattering, and extinction cross sections of the compounds are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/609/A22

  2. IBEX views the global structure of the heliosphere influenced by the Interstellar Magnetic Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwadron, Nathan

    The IBEX ribbon has been separated from the surrounding globally distributed flux (GDF), revealing ENA emission largely from the inner heliosheath. The line-of-sight (LOS) integrated pressure in the GDF is quite large, requiring that the interstellar magnetic field be sufficiently strong (e.g. 3 microG) to balance the pressure of the inner heliosheath. The LOS emissions from the GDF have revealed signatures of the nose of the heliosphere, and the heliotail, which has been examined carefully. The strong interstellar magnetic field has broad implications for the structure of the heliosphere and the existence or lack of a bow shock. These global heliospheric structures also filter primary interstellar neutral atoms and lead to creation of secondary atoms through charge-exchange in the outer heliosheath. IBEX observations of H atoms from the Local Interstellar Medium reveal remarkable signatures of both filtration and the secondary component likely reflecting influences of the interstellar magnetic field on the outer heliosheath. New determinations of the LISM velocity from neutral atom measurments and the LISM magnetic field direction from the IBEX ribbon are shown to be consistent with the interstellar modulation of TeV cosmic rays revealed in global anisotropy maps of Milagro, Asgamma and IceCube. Thus, IBEX observations reveal a new picture of heliospheric structures and interactions that are strongly influenced by the interstellar magnetic field.

  3. Challenges in the determination of the interstellar flow longitude from the pickup ion cutoff

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taut, A.; Berger, L.; Möbius, E.; Drews, C.; Heidrich-Meisner, V.; Keilbach, D.; Lee, M. A.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R. F.

    2018-03-01

    Context. The interstellar flow longitude corresponds to the Sun's direction of movement relative to the local interstellar medium. Thus, it constitutes a fundamental parameter for our understanding of the heliosphere and, in particular, its interaction with its surroundings, which is currently investigated by the Interstellar Boundary EXplorer (IBEX). One possibility to derive this parameter is based on pickup ions (PUIs) that are former neutral ions that have been ionized in the inner heliosphere. The neutrals enter the heliosphere as an interstellar wind from the direction of the Sun's movement against the partially ionized interstellar medium. PUIs carry information about the spatial variation of their neutral parent population (density and flow vector field) in their velocity distribution function. From the symmetry of the longitudinal flow velocity distribution, the interstellar flow longitude can be derived. Aim. The aim of this paper is to identify and eliminate systematic errors that are connected to this approach of measuring the interstellar flow longitude; we want to minimize any systematic influences on the result of this analysis and give a reasonable estimate for the uncertainty. Methods: We use He+ data measured by the PLAsma and SupraThermal Ion Composition (PLASTIC) sensor on the Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory Ahead (STEREO A) spacecraft. We analyze a recent approach, identify sources of systematic errors, and propose solutions to eliminate them. Furthermore, a method is introduced to estimate the error associated with this approach. Additionally, we investigate how the selection of interplanetary magnetic field angles, which is closely connected to the pickup ion velocity distribution function, affects the result for the interstellar flow longitude. Results: We find that the revised analysis used to address part of the expected systematic effects obtains significantly different results than presented in the previous study. In particular

  4. Interstellar clouds toward 3C 154 and 3C 353

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Federman, S.R.; Evans, N.J. II; Willson, R.F.; Falgarone, E.; Combes, F.; Texas Univ., Austin; Tufts Univ., Medford, MA; Meudon, Observatoire, France)

    1987-01-01

    Molecular observations of the interstellar clouds toward the radio sources 3C 154 and 3C 353 were obtained in order to elucidate the physical conditions within the clouds. Maps of (C-12)O emission in the J = 1-0 and J = 2-1 lines were compared with observations of the (C-13)O, CH, and OH molecules. The peak emission in the (C-12)O transitions does not occur in the direction of the continuum sources, and thus, an incomplete picture arises when only one line of sight in the two clouds is analyzed. The cloud toward 3C 154 appears to have a low extinction, but a relatively high CO abundance, suggesting that it is similar to high-latitude clouds and CO-rich diffuse clouds. The cloud toward 3C 353 is considerably denser than that toward 3C 154 and may be more like a dark cloud. 32 references

  5. On the distribution of interstellar gas in the galactic halo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobbs, L. M.; Morgan, W. W.; Albert, C. E.; Lockman, F. J.

    1982-01-01

    New and existing observations of 21-cm emission lines toward 10 distant, high-latitude OB stars are combined with existing observations of interstellar Lyman-alpha absorption lines, in order to determine the ratio, N21/N-alpha, of the two different column densities of H I. This ratio, which is related to the fraction of the cool, neutral gas in the halo that lies beyond each star, decreases smoothly to about unity with increasing distance from the galactic plane. The column density of neutral gas beyond about 1 kpc can be as much as one-third of the total above the plane, but only relatively small amounts of such gas lie more than 2 kpc from the plane. The distances to, and the possible birthplaces of, these Population I stars in the halo are discussed.

  6. COS-B gamma-ray sources and interstellar gas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollock, A. M. T.; Bennett, K.; Bignami, G. F.; Bloemen, J. B. G. M.; Buccheri, R.; Caraveo, P. A.; Hermsen, W.; Kanbach, G.; Lebrun, F.; Mayer-Hasselwander, H. A.

    1985-01-01

    Of the gamma-radiation observed above 100 MeV only a few percent is due to the catalogued sources which are viewed against intense background mission from the Galactic plane. There has been considerable recent success in modelling the Galactic plane emission as the interactions of cosmic rays with atomic and molecular interstellar gas; Bloemen, et al., demonstrate that large angular scale features of the observations are well reproduced in this way. By extending the analysis to small angular scales, which of the eCG sources might be due to conventional levels of cosmic rays within clumps of gas are shown and which cannot be so explained. With the use of a more sophisticated model the results presented improve and extend those of an earlier report. So far only the data above 300 MeV is used where the instrument's angular resolution is at its best.

  7. Organic Chemistry: From the Interstellar Medium to the Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandford, Scott; Witteborn, Fred C. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    This talk will review the various types of organic materials observed in different environments in the interstellar medium, discuss the processes by which these materials may have formed and been modified, and present the evidence supporting the contention that at least a fraction of this material survived incorporation, substantially unaltered, into our Solar System during its formation. The nature of this organic material is of direct interest to issues associated with the origin of life, both because this material represents a large fraction of the Solar System inventory of the biogenically-important elements, and because many of the compounds in this inventory have biogenic implications. Several specific examples of such molecules will be briefly discussed.

  8. Deuterium Enrichment of PAHs by VUV Irradiation of Interstellar Ices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernstein, Max P.; Sandford, Scott A.; Allamandola, Louis J.; Gillette, J. Seb; Zare, Richard N.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    Laboratory results demonstrate that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) rapidly exchange their hydrogen atoms with those of nearby molecules when they are frozen into low-temperature ices and exposed to vacuum ultraviolet radiation. As a result, PAHs quickly become deuterium-enriched when VUV irradiated in D-containing ices. This mechanism has important consequences for several astrophysical issues owing to the ubiquitous nature of PAHs in the interstellar medium. For example, this process may explain the deuterium enrichments found in PAHs in meteorites and interplanetary dust particles. These results also provide general predictions about the molecular siting of the deuterium on aromatic materials in meteorites if this process produced a significant fraction of their D-enrichment.

  9. Characteristics of old neutron stars in dense interstellar clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boehringer, H.; Morfill, G.E.; Zimmermann, H.U.

    1987-01-01

    The forms observable radiation will assume as old neutron stars pass through interstellar clouds and accrete material are examined theoretically. The radiation, mainly X-rays and gamma rays, will be partially absorbed by the surrounding dust and gas, which in turn produces far-IR radiation from warm dust and line radiation from the gas. Adiabatic compression of the accretion flow and the accretion shock are expected to produce cosmic rays, while gamma rays will be emitted by interaction of the energetic particles with the cloud material. The calculations indicate that the stars will then be identified as X-ray sources, some of which may be unidentified sources in the COS-B database. 37 references

  10. Investigating the dynamical history of the interstellar object 'Oumuamua

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dybczyński, Piotr A.; Królikowska, Małgorzata

    2018-02-01

    Here we try to find the origin of 1I/2017 U1 'Oumuamua, the first interstellar object recorded inside the solar system. To this aim, we searched for close encounters between 'Oumuamua and all nearby stars with known kinematic data during their past motion. We had checked over 200 thousand stars and found just a handful of candidates. If we limit our investigation to within a 60 pc sphere surrounding the Sun, then the most probable candidate for the 'Oumuamua parent stellar habitat is the star UCAC4 535-065571. However GJ 876 is also a favourable candidate. However, the origin of 'Oumuamua from a much more distant source is still an open question. Additionally, we found that the quality of the original orbit of 'Oumuamua is accurate enough for such a study and that none of the checked stars had perturbed its motion significantly. All numerical results of this research are available in the appendix.

  11. The formation of molecules in contracting interstellar clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suzuki, Hiroko; Miki, Satoshi; Sato, Katsuhiko; Kiguchi, Masayoshi; Nakagawa, Yoshitsugu

    1976-01-01

    The abundances of atoms, molecules and ions in contracting interstellar clouds are investigated in the wide ranges of density (from 10 cm -3 to 10 7 cm -3 ) and optical depth. Abundances of molecules are not in a steady state in optically thick stages because their reaction time scales are very long (10sup(12.5)-10sup(13.5) sec) compared with the contraction time scales. At some stage of contraction the abundances of neutral molecules become frozen, and the frozen abundances are considerably different from the steady-state abundances. The frozen abundances are mainly determined by the contraction time scale of the cloud. Especially, molecules containing carbon except for CO are less abundant for the cloud contracting more slowly. (auth.)

  12. On the effects of rotation on interstellar molecular line profiles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adelson, L.M.; Chunming Leung

    1988-01-01

    Theoretical models are constructed to study the effects of systematic gas rotation on the emergent profiles of interstellar molecular lines, in particular the effects of optical depth and different velocity laws. Both rotational and radial motions (expansion or contraction) may produce similar asymmetric profiles, but the behaviour of the velocity centroid of the emergent profile over the whole cloud (iso-centroid maps) can be used to distinguish between these motions. Iso-centroid maps can also be used to determine the location and orientation of the rotation axis and of the equatorial axis. For clouds undergoing both radial and rotational motion, the component of the centroid due to the rotational motion can be separated from that due to the radial motion. Information on the form of the rotational velocity law can also be derived. (author)

  13. Liquid-like behavior of UV-irradiated interstellar ice analog at low temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tachibana, Shogo; Kouchi, Akira; Hama, Tetsuya; Oba, Yasuhiro; Piani, Laurette; Sugawara, Iyo; Endo, Yukiko; Hidaka, Hiroshi; Kimura, Yuki; Murata, Ken-ichiro; Yurimoto, Hisayoshi; Watanabe, Naoki

    2017-09-01

    Interstellar ice is believed to be a cradle of complex organic compounds, commonly found within icy comets and interstellar clouds, in association with ultraviolet (UV) irradiation and subsequent warming. We found that UV-irradiated amorphous ices composed of H2O, CH3OH, and NH3 and of pure H2O behave like liquids over the temperature ranges of 65 to 150 kelvin and 50 to 140 kelvin, respectively. This low-viscosity liquid-like ice may enhance the formation of organic compounds including prebiotic molecules and the accretion of icy dust to form icy planetesimals under certain interstellar conditions.

  14. Liquid-like behavior of UV-irradiated interstellar ice analog at low temperatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tachibana, Shogo; Kouchi, Akira; Hama, Tetsuya; Oba, Yasuhiro; Piani, Laurette; Sugawara, Iyo; Endo, Yukiko; Hidaka, Hiroshi; Kimura, Yuki; Murata, Ken-Ichiro; Yurimoto, Hisayoshi; Watanabe, Naoki

    2017-09-01

    Interstellar ice is believed to be a cradle of complex organic compounds, commonly found within icy comets and interstellar clouds, in association with ultraviolet (UV) irradiation and subsequent warming. We found that UV-irradiated amorphous ices composed of H 2 O, CH 3 OH, and NH 3 and of pure H 2 O behave like liquids over the temperature ranges of 65 to 150 kelvin and 50 to 140 kelvin, respectively. This low-viscosity liquid-like ice may enhance the formation of organic compounds including prebiotic molecules and the accretion of icy dust to form icy planetesimals under certain interstellar conditions.

  15. Chemistry of nitrile anions in the interstellar medium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carles, S.; Le Garrec, J.-L.; Biennier, L. [Institut de Physique de Rennes, Département de Physique Moléculaire, Astrophysique de Laboratoire, UMR CNRS 6251, Université de Rennes 1, Campus de Beaulieu, 35042 Rennes Cedex (France); Guillemin, J.-C. [Institut des Sciences Chimiques de Rennes, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes, CNRS, UMR 6226, 11 Allée de Beaulieu, CS 50837,35708 Rennes Cedex 7 (France)

    2015-12-31

    Despite the extreme conditions of temperature (down to 10K) and density (down to 100 molecules/cm{sup 3}), the giant molecular clouds and the circumstellar envelopes present a rich and complex chemistry. To date, more than 180 molecules have been detected in the InterStellar Medium (ISM) with a large abundance of nitriles (RC≡N). In addition, several anions have been recently observed in this medium: C{sub 4}H{sup ¯}, C{sub 6}H{sup ¯}, C{sub 8}H{sup ¯}, CN{sup ¯}, C{sub 3}N{sup ¯} and C{sub 5}N{sup ¯}. These last species should play a key role in the molecular growth towards complexity. To explore this hypothesis, their reactivity must be studied in the laboratory. The FALP-MS and the CRESU experimental apparatuses of the Rennes University are able to measure absolute rate coefficient of various chemical reactions, including the ion – molecule reactions, in gas phase at low temperature (from 300K for the FALP-MS down to 15K for the CRESU). Therefore, these experimental tools are particularly adapted to the kinetic studies of reactions potentially involved in the Interstellar Medium. One of the difficulties encountered in experiments with anions is their generation. We describe here the formation of the CN{sup ¯} and C{sub 3}N{sup ¯} anions by dissociative electron attachment on the molecular precursors BrCN and BrC{sub 3}N.

  16. TRAJECTORIES AND DISTRIBUTION OF INTERSTELLAR DUST GRAINS IN THE HELIOSPHERE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Slavin, Jonathan D. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, MS 83, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Frisch, Priscilla C. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago, 5460 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States); Mueller, Hans-Reinhard [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755 (United States); Heerikhuisen, Jacob; Pogorelov, Nikolai V. [Department of Physics and Center for Space Physics and Aeronomic Research, University of Alabama, Huntsville, AL 35899 (United States); Reach, William T. [Universities Space Research Association, MS 211-3, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Zank, Gary [Department of Physics and Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research, University of Alabama, Huntsville, AL 35805 (United States)

    2012-11-20

    The solar wind carves a bubble in the surrounding interstellar medium (ISM) known as the heliosphere. Charged interstellar dust grains (ISDG) encountering the heliosphere may be diverted around the heliopause or penetrate it depending on their charge-to-mass ratio. We present new calculations of trajectories of ISDG in the heliosphere, and the dust density distributions that result. We include up-to-date grain charging calculations using a realistic UV radiation field and full three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic fluid + kinetic models for the heliosphere. Models with two different (constant) polarities for the solar wind magnetic field (SWMF) are used, with the grain trajectory calculations done separately for each polarity. Small grains a {sub gr} {approx}< 0.01 {mu}m are completely excluded from the inner heliosphere. Large grains, a {sub gr} {approx}> 1.0 {mu}m, pass into the inner solar system and are concentrated near the Sun by its gravity. Trajectories of intermediate size grains depend strongly on the SWMF polarity. When the field has magnetic north pointing to ecliptic north, the field de-focuses the grains resulting in low densities in the inner heliosphere, while for the opposite polarity the dust is focused near the Sun. The ISDG density outside the heliosphere inferred from applying the model results to in situ dust measurements is inconsistent with local ISM depletion data for both SWMF polarities but is bracketed by them. This result points to the need to include the time variation in the SWMF polarity during grain propagation. Our results provide valuable insights for interpretation of the in situ dust observations from Ulysses.

  17. Some insights into formamide formation through gas-phase reactions in the interstellar medium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Redondo, Pilar; Barrientos, Carmen; Largo, Antonio, E-mail: predondo@qf.uva.es [Computational Chemistry Group, Departamento de Química Física, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Valladolid, E-47011 Valladolid (Spain)

    2014-01-10

    We study the viability of different gas-phase ion-molecule reactions that could produce precursors of formamide in the interstellar medium. We analyze different reactions between cations containing a nitrogen atom (NH{sub 3}{sup +}, NH{sub 4}{sup +}, NH{sub 3}OH{sup +}, and NH{sub 2}OH{sup +}) and neutral molecules having one carbonyl group (H{sub 2}CO and HCOOH). First, we report a theoretical estimation of the reaction enthalpies for the proposed processes. Second, for more favorable reactions, from a thermodynamic point of view, we perform a theoretical study of the potential energy surface. In particular, the more exothermic processes correspond to the reactions of ionized and protonated hydroxylamine with formaldehyde. In addition, a neutral-neutral reaction has also been considered. The analysis of the potential energy surfaces corresponding to these reactions shows that these processes present a net activation barrier and that they cannot be considered as a source of formamide in space.

  18. Observations of absorption lines from highly ionized atoms. [of interstellar medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Edward B.

    1987-01-01

    In the ultraviolet spectra of hot stars, absorption lines can be seen from highly ionized species in the interstellar medium. Observations of these features which have been very influential in revising the perception of the medium's various physical states, are discussed. The pervasiveness of O 6 absorption lines, coupled with complementary observations of a diffuse background in soft X-rays and EUV radiation, shows that there is an extensive network of low density gas (n approx. few x 0.001/cu cm) existing at coronal temperatures log T = 5.3 or 6.3. Shocks created by supernova explosions or mass loss from early-type stars can propagate freely through space and eventually transfer a large amount of energy to the medium. To create the coronal temperatures, the shocks must have velocities in excess of 150 km/sec; shocks at somewhat lower velocity (v = 100 km/sec) can be directly observed in the lines of Si3. Observations of other lines in the ultraviolet, such as Si 4V and C 5, may highlight the widespread presence of energetic UV radiation from very hot, dwarf stars. More advanced techniques in visible and X-ray astronomical spectroscopy may open up for inspection selected lines from atoms in much higher stages of ionization.

  19. Telescopic and meteor observation of `Oumuamua, the first known interstellar asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Quan-Zhi

    2018-04-01

    1I/2017 U1 ('Oumuamua), a recently discovered asteroid in a hyperbolic orbit, is the first macroscopic object of extrasolar origin identified in the solar system. I will present imaging and spectroscopic observations of 'Oumuamua as well as a search of meteor activity potentially linked to this object using the Canadian Meteor Orbit Radar. We find that 'Oumuamua exhibits a moderate spectral gradient of 10%+-6% per 100 nm, a value lower than that of outer solar system bodies, indicative of a formation and/or previous residence in a warmer environment. Imaging observation and spectral line analysis show no evidence that 'Oumuamua is presently active. Negative meteor observation is as expected, since ejection driven by sublimation of commonly known cometary species such as CO requires an extreme ejection speed of ~40 m/s at ~100 au in order to reach the Earth. No obvious candidate stars are proposed as the point of origin for 'Oumuamua. Given a mean free path of ~109 ly in the solar neighborhood, 'Oumuamua has likely spent a very long time in interstellar space before encountering the solar system.

  20. The physical properties in the interstellar medium of low-metallicity dwarf galaxies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cormier, Diane

    2012-01-01

    In the framework of galaxy evolution, local star-forming dwarf galaxies are ideal laboratories to study star formation processes at low metallicity and the role of metal enrichment on the physical conditions. My thesis has focused on the study of the gas properties of the dwarf galaxies from 'The Herschel Dwarf Galaxy Survey', combining observations and modeling efforts. I have investigated the role of the most important tracers of the multi-phase the interstellar medium (ISM), in the mid-infrared to submillimeter range. Particular attention was paid to the ionized and neutral gas coolants observed with Herschel Space Observatory (e.g. [OIII] 88, [OI] 63, [CII] 157 micron lines), and to the CO molecule, probing the molecular phase, with complementary ground-based observations. The data are interpreted in physical terms (density, radiation field, filling factors) with radiative transfer models. This work has helped elucidate the structure and conditions of the low-metallicity ISM. It highlights the porosity of the ISM of dwarf galaxies, with ultraviolet photons from the massive star-forming regions exciting the gas out to large distances. This results in the presence of large volume filling factor diffuse ionized/neutral gas, clumpy photodissociation regions, and little observed molecular gas due to large-scale photodissociation. (author) [fr

  1. Atomic Data Revisions for Improving Absorption Line Studies of the Interstellar, Circumgalactic, and Intergalactic Medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cashman, Frances; Kulkarni, Varsha; Kisielius, Romas; Ferland, Gary; Bogdanovich, Pavel

    2018-01-01

    Surveying and studying galaxies at different epochs is essential to understanding how galaxies evolve. Atomic spectroscopy is used to study the gas in and around galaxies by means of the absorption features in the spectra of background quasars. Element abundances derived from the measurement of observed lines in these quasar absorption systems rely on accurate atomic data such as the oscillator strength of electric dipole transitions. We have produced a compilation of recommended oscillator strengths for 576 key transitions for wavelengths longward of 911.753 Angstroms (the H I Lyman limit). This compilation focuses on the recent findings from numerous theoretical and experimental physicists for ions of astrophysical interest that have been observed in the interstellar medium (ISM), the circumgalactic medium (CGM), and the intergalactic medium (IGM), for selected elements ranging from C to Pb. Differences between the former and the newly recommended values are greater than 25% for approximately 22% of lines with updated oscillator strength values. We encourage future absorption line studies of the ISM, CGM, and IGM medium to use this compilation.This work was supported in part by NSF-AST/1108830, NASA/STScI support for HST GO-12536, and a NASA/SC Space Grant graduate fellowship.

  2. A Database of Interplanetary and Interstellar Dust Detected by the Wind Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malaspina, David M.; Wilson, Lynn B., III

    2016-01-01

    It was recently discovered that the WAVES instrument on the Wind spacecraft has been detecting, in situ, interplanetary and interstellar dust of approximately 1 micron radius for the past 22 years. These data have the potential to enable advances in the study of cosmic dust and dust-plasma coupling within the heliosphere due to several unique properties: the Wind dust database spans two full solar cycles; it contains over 107,000 dust detections; it contains information about dust grain direction of motion; it contains data exclusively from the space environment within 350 Earth radii of Earth; and it overlaps by 12 years with the Ulysses dust database. Further, changes to the WAVES antenna response and the plasma environment traversed by Wind over the lifetime of the Wind mission create an opportunity for these data to inform investigations of the physics governing the coupling of dust impacts on spacecraft surfaces to electric field antennas. A Wind dust database has been created to make the Wind dust data easily accessible to the heliophysics community and other researchers. This work describes the motivation, methodology, contents, and accessibility of the Wind dust database.

  3. Diffuse interstellar band at 8620 Å in rave: A new method for detecting the diffuse interstellar band in spectra of cool stars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kos, J.; Zwitter, T. [Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana, Jadranska 19, 1000 Ljubljana (Slovenia); Grebel, E. K. [Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Mönchhofstraße 12-14, D-69120 Heidelberg (Germany); Bienayme, O.; Siebert, A. [Observatorie astronomique de Strasbourg, Université de Strasbourg, 11 rue de l' Université, F-67000 Strasbourg (France); Binney, J. [Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3NP (United Kingdom); Bland-Hawthorn, J. [Sydney Institute for Astronomy, School of Physics A28, University of Sydney, NSW 2008 (Australia); Freeman, K. C. [Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University, Canberra (Australia); Gibson, B. K. [Jeremiah Horrocks Institute, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE (United Kingdom); Gilmore, G.; Kordopatis, G. [Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA (United Kingdom); Navarro, J. F. [University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2 (Canada); Parker, Q.; Reid, W. A. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109 (Australia); Seabroke, G. [Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, Holmbury St Mary, Dorking RH5 6NT (United Kingdom); Siviero, A.; Steinmetz, M. [Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), An der Sternwarte 16, D-14482 Potsdam (Germany); Watson, F. [Australian Astronomical Observatory, P.O. Box 915, North Ryde, NSW 1670 (Australia); Wyse, R. F. G., E-mail: janez.kos@fmf.uni-lj.si [Johns Hopkins University, Homewood Campus, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)

    2013-12-01

    Diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are usually observed in spectra of hot stars, where interstellar lines are rarely blended with stellar ones. The need for hot stars is a strong limitation in the number of sightlines we can observe and their distribution in the Galaxy, as hot stars are rare and concentrated in the Galactic plane. We are introducing a new method, where interstellar lines can be observed in spectra of cool stars in large spectroscopic surveys. The method is completely automated and does not require prior knowledge of the stellar parameters. The main step is a construction of the stellar spectrum, which is done by finding other observed spectra that lack interstellar features and are otherwise very similar to the spectrum in question. Such spectra are then combined into a single stellar spectrum template, matching the stellar component of the observed spectrum. We demonstrate the performance of this new method on a sample of 482,430 Radial Velocity Experiment survey spectra. However, many spectra have to be combined (48 on average) in order to achieve a signal-to-noise ratio high enough to measure the profile of the DIB at 8620 Å, hence limiting the spatial information about the interstellar medium. We compare its equivalent width with extinction maps and with Bayesian reddening, calculated for individual stars, and provide a linear relation between the equivalent width and reddening. Separately from the introduced method, we calculate equivalent widths of the DIB in spectra of hot stars with known extinction and compare all three linear relations.

  4. Diffuse interstellar band at 8620 Å in rave: A new method for detecting the diffuse interstellar band in spectra of cool stars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kos, J.; Zwitter, T.; Grebel, E. K.; Bienayme, O.; Siebert, A.; Binney, J.; Bland-Hawthorn, J.; Freeman, K. C.; Gibson, B. K.; Gilmore, G.; Kordopatis, G.; Navarro, J. F.; Parker, Q.; Reid, W. A.; Seabroke, G.; Siviero, A.; Steinmetz, M.; Watson, F.; Wyse, R. F. G.

    2013-01-01

    Diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are usually observed in spectra of hot stars, where interstellar lines are rarely blended with stellar ones. The need for hot stars is a strong limitation in the number of sightlines we can observe and their distribution in the Galaxy, as hot stars are rare and concentrated in the Galactic plane. We are introducing a new method, where interstellar lines can be observed in spectra of cool stars in large spectroscopic surveys. The method is completely automated and does not require prior knowledge of the stellar parameters. The main step is a construction of the stellar spectrum, which is done by finding other observed spectra that lack interstellar features and are otherwise very similar to the spectrum in question. Such spectra are then combined into a single stellar spectrum template, matching the stellar component of the observed spectrum. We demonstrate the performance of this new method on a sample of 482,430 Radial Velocity Experiment survey spectra. However, many spectra have to be combined (48 on average) in order to achieve a signal-to-noise ratio high enough to measure the profile of the DIB at 8620 Å, hence limiting the spatial information about the interstellar medium. We compare its equivalent width with extinction maps and with Bayesian reddening, calculated for individual stars, and provide a linear relation between the equivalent width and reddening. Separately from the introduced method, we calculate equivalent widths of the DIB in spectra of hot stars with known extinction and compare all three linear relations.

  5. The First Interstellar Explorer: What should it do when it Arrives at its Destination?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, A.; Alkalai, L.

    2017-12-01

    Imagine that we have decided to embark on mankind's most ambitious project: a 40-year duration mission to visit a habitable-zone planet orbiting one of our nearest stellar neighbors. To plan our mission we must consider altogether 6 mission phases: I. Accelerate out of our Solar System; II. Survive Cruise to Proxima Centauri; III. Decelerate on Approach; IV. Adjust Trajectory for Close Encounter; V. Acquire Data; VI. Return Information to Earth. Most papers on this topic address only the first two phases. This paper addresses Phases III-VI - what would we want our interstellar spacecraft to do when it arrives at its destination, and how should it be configured when it gets there? Should the mission be a simple flyby, collecting data on the planetary system as it swings by in a few short days? Or should it attempt orbit insertion around the target star, so that it can spend longer in the system? Categories of information that we might want returned to Earth include: images; spectral signatures from the surface; detailed atmospheric composition; a moon count; the magnetosphere characteristics. These will only be of interest if we have not been able to discern this information remotely, i.e. observing from our own solar system during the 40 years it takes to arrive at the destination. This means that the questions we seek to answer may be refined en route from basic discovery questions to perhaps more process-oriented ones. This brings us to a central point of this paper - that the spacecraft that leaves our solar system will not be configured appropriately for mission Phases III-VI, especially given that those phases may occur nearly 40 years after solar system escape. The ability to reconfigure itself, perhaps even cannibalize itself, should be built into the design of an interstellar explorer from the start, which would allow us to send hardware and software upgrades that mirror technologies developed on Earth during the long cruise. Should the spacecraft carry a 3

  6. Formation routes of interstellar glycine involving carboxylic acids: possible favoritism between gas and solid phase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilling, Sergio; Baptista, Leonardo; Boechat-Roberty, Heloisa M; Andrade, Diana P P

    2011-11-01

    Despite the extensive search for glycine (NH₂CH₂COOH) and other amino acids in molecular clouds associated with star-forming regions, only upper limits have been derived from radio observations. Nevertheless, two of glycine's precursors, formic acid and acetic acid, have been abundantly detected. Although both precursors may lead to glycine formation, the efficiency of reaction depends on their abundance and survival in the presence of a radiation field. These facts could promote some favoritism in the reaction pathways in the gas phase and solid phase (ice). Glycine and these two simplest carboxylic acids are found in many meteorites. Recently, glycine was also observed in cometary samples returned by the Stardust space probe. The goal of this work was to perform theoretical calculations for several interstellar reactions involving the simplest carboxylic acids as well as the carboxyl radical (COOH) in both gas and solid (ice) phase to understand which reactions could be the most favorable to produce glycine in interstellar regions fully illuminated by soft X-rays and UV, such as star-forming regions. The calculations were performed at four different levels for the gas phase (B3LYP/6-31G*, B3LYP/6-31++G**, MP2/6-31G*, and MP2/6-31++G**) and at MP2/6-31++G** level for the solid phase (ice). The current two-body reactions (thermochemical calculation) were combined with previous experimental data on the photodissociation of carboxylic acids to promote possible favoritism for glycine formation in the scenario involving formic and acetic acid in both gas and solid phase. Given that formic acid is destroyed more in the gas phase by soft X-rays than acetic acid is, we suggest that in the gas phase the most favorable reactions are acetic acid with NH or NH₂OH. Another possible reaction involves NH₂CH₂ and COOH, one of the most-produced radicals from the photodissociation of acetic acid. In the solid phase, we suggest that the reactions of formic acid with NH

  7. Peptide bond formation through gas-phase reactions in the interstellar medium: formamide and acetamide as prototypes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Redondo, Pilar; Barrientos, Carmen; Largo, Antonio, E-mail: predondo@qf.uva.es [Computational Chemistry Group, Departamento de Química Física, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Valladolid, E-47011 Valladolid (Spain)

    2014-09-20

    A theoretical study of the reactions of NH{sub 4}{sup +} with formaldehyde and CH{sub 5}{sup +} with formamide is carried out. The viability of these gas-phase ion-molecule reactions as possible sources of formamide and acetamide under the conditions of interstellar medium is evaluated. We report a theoretical estimation of the reaction enthalpies and an analysis of their potential energy surfaces. Formation of protonated formamide from the reaction between ammonium cation and formaldehyde is an exothermic process, but all the channels located on the potential energy surface leading to this product present net activation energies. For the reaction between methanium and formamide, different products are possible from a thermodynamic point of view. An analysis of its potential energy surface showed that formation of protonated acetamide and amino acetaldehyde takes place through barrier-free paths. Therefore, this reaction could be a feasible source of acetamide and amino acetaldehyde in space.

  8. CLASSIFYING STRUCTURES IN THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM WITH SUPPORT VECTOR MACHINES: THE G16.05-0.57 SUPERNOVA REMNANT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beaumont, Christopher N.; Williams, Jonathan P.; Goodman, Alyssa A.

    2011-01-01

    We apply Support Vector Machines (SVMs)-a machine learning algorithm-to the task of classifying structures in the interstellar medium (ISM). As a case study, we present a position-position-velocity (PPV) data cube of 12 CO J = 3-2 emission toward G16.05-0.57, a supernova remnant that lies behind the M17 molecular cloud. Despite the fact that these two objects partially overlap in PPV space, the two structures can easily be distinguished by eye based on their distinct morphologies. The SVM algorithm is able to infer these morphological distinctions, and associate individual pixels with each object at >90% accuracy. This case study suggests that similar techniques may be applicable to classifying other structures in the ISM-a task that has thus far proven difficult to automate.

  9. The high brightness temperature of B0529+483 revealed by RadioAstron and implications for interstellar scattering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilipenko, S. V.; Kovalev, Y. Y.; Andrianov, A. S.; Bach, U.; Buttaccio, S.; Cassaro, P.; Cimò, G.; Edwards, P. G.; Gawroński, M. P.; Gurvits, L. I.; Hovatta, T.; Jauncey, D. L.; Johnson, M. D.; Kovalev, Yu A.; Kutkin, A. M.; Lisakov, M. M.; Melnikov, A. E.; Orlati, A.; Rudnitskiy, A. G.; Sokolovsky, K. V.; Stanghellini, C.; de Vicente, P.; Voitsik, P. A.; Wolak, P.; Zhekanis, G. V.

    2018-03-01

    The high brightness temperatures, Tb ≳ 1013 K, detected in several active galactic nuclei by RadioAstron space VLBI observations challenge theoretical limits. Refractive scattering by the interstellar medium may affect such measurements. We quantify the scattering properties and the sub-mas scale source parameters for the quasar B0529+483. Using RadioAstron correlated flux density measurements at 1.7, 4.8, and 22 GHz on projected baselines up to 240 000 km we find two characteristic angular scales in the quasar core, about 100 and 10 μas. Some indications of scattering substructure are found. Very high brightness temperatures, Tb ≥ 1013 K, are estimated at 4.8 and 22 GHz even taking into account the refractive scattering. Our findings suggest a clear dominance of the particle energy density over the magnetic field energy density in the core of this quasar.

  10. Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination IX: High-Speed Interstellar Dust Analog Capture in Stardust Flight-Spare Aerogel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Postberg, F.; Sterken, V.; Achilles, C.; Allen, C.; Bastien, R. K.; Frank, D.; Sandford, S. A.; Zolensky, M. E.; Butterworth, A.; Gainesforth, Z.

    2014-01-01

    The NASA Stardust mission used silica aerogel slabs to slowly decelerate and capture impinging cosmic dust particles for return to Earth. During this process, impact tracks are generated along the trajectory of the particle into the aerogel. It is believed that the morphology and dimensions of these tracks, together with the state of captured grains at track termini, may be linked to the size, velocity, and density of the impacting cosmic dust grain. Here, we present the results of laboratory hypervelocity impact experiments, during which cosmic dust analog particles (diameters of between 0.2 and 0.4 lm), composed of olivine, orthopyroxene, or an organic polymer, were accelerated onto Stardust flight spare low-density (approximately 0.01 g/cu cm) silica aerogel. The impact velocities (3-21 km/s) were chosen to simulate the range of velocities expected during Stardust's interstellar dust (ISD) collection phases. Track lengths and widths, together with the success of particle capture, are analyzed as functions of impact velocity and particle composition, density, and size. Captured terminal particles from low-density organic projectiles become undetectable at lower velocities than those from similarly sized, denser mineral particles, which are still detectable (although substantially altered by the impact process) at 15 km/s. The survival of these terminal particles, together with the track dimensions obtained during low impact speed capture of small grains in the laboratory, indicates that two of the three best Stardust candidate extraterrestrial grains were actually captured at speeds much lower than predicted. Track length and diameters are, in general, more sensitive to impact velocities than previously expected, which makes tracks of particles with diameters of 0.4 lm and below hard to identify at low capture speeds (<10 km/s). Therefore, although captured intact, the majority of the interstellar dust grains returned to Earth by Stardust remain to be found.

  11. Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination IX: High-Speed Interstellar Dust Analog Capture in Stardust Flight-Spare Aerogel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Postberg, F.; Sterken, V.; Achilles, C.; Allen, C.; Bastien, R. K.; Frank, D.; Sandford, S. A.; Zolensky, M. E.; Butterworth, A.; Gainesforth, Z.

    2014-01-01

    The NASA Stardust mission used silica aerogel slabs to slowly decelerate and capture impinging cosmic dust particles for return to Earth. During this process, impact tracks are generated along the trajectory of the particle into the aerogel. It is believed that the morphology and dimensions of these tracks, together with the state of captured grains at track termini, may be linked to the size, velocity, and density of the impacting cosmic dust grain. Here, we present the results of laboratory hypervelocity impact experiments, during which cosmic dust analog particles (diameters of between 0.2 and 0.4 lm), composed of olivine, orthopyroxene, or an organic polymer, were accelerated onto Stardust flight spare low-density (approximately 0.01 g/cu cm) silica aerogel. The impact velocities (3-21 km/s) were chosen to simulate the range of velocities expected during Stardust's interstellar dust (ISD) collection phases. Track lengths and widths, together with the success of particle capture, are analyzed as functions of impact velocity and particle composition, density, and size. Captured terminal particles from low-density organic projectiles become undetectable at lower velocities than those from similarly sized, denser mineral particles, which are still detectable (although substantially altered by the impact process) at 15 km/s. The survival of these terminal particles, together with the track dimensions obtained during low impact speed capture of small grains in the laboratory, indicates that two of the three best Stardust candidate extraterrestrial grains were actually captured at speeds much lower than predicted. Track length and diameters are, in general, more sensitive to impact velocities than previously expected, which makes tracks of particles with diameters of 0.4 lm and below hard to identify at low capture speeds (interstellar dust grains returned to Earth by Stardust remain to be found.

  12. Laboratory Investigations into the Spectra and Origin of Propylene Oxide: A Chiral Interstellar Molecule

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, R. L.; Loeffler, M. J.; Yocum, K. M.

    2017-01-01

    Propylene oxide was recently identified in the interstellar medium, but few laboratory results are available for this molecule to guide current and future investigations. To address this situation, here we report infrared spectra, absorption coefficients, and band strengths of solid propylene oxide along with the first measurement of its refractive index and a calculation of its density, all for the amorphous solid form of the compound. We present the first experimental results showing a low-temperature formation pathway for propylene oxide near 10 K in interstellar ice analogs. Connections are drawn between our new results and the interstellar molecules propanal and acetone, and predictions are made about several as yet unobserved vinyl alcohols and methylketene. Comparisons are given to earlier laboratory work and a few applications to interstellar and solar system astrochemistry are described.

  13. Attenuation of VHE Gamma Rays by the Milky Way Interstellar Radiation Field

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moskalenko, Igor V.; /Stanford U., HEPL; Porter, Troy A.; /Louisiana State U.; Strong, Andrew W.; /Garching, Max Planck Inst., MPE

    2006-04-19

    The attenuation of very high energy gamma rays by pair production on the Galactic interstellar radiation field has long been thought of as negligible. However, a new calculation of the interstellar radiation field consistent with multi-wavelength observations by DIRBE and FIRAS indicates that the energy density of the Galactic interstellar radiation field is higher, particularly in the Galactic center, than previously thought. We have made a calculation of the attenuation of very high energy gamma rays in the Galaxy using this new interstellar radiation field which takes into account its nonuniform spatial and angular distributions. We find that the maximum attenuation occurs around 100 TeV at the level of about 25% for sources located at the Galactic center, and is important for both Galactic and extragalactic sources.

  14. Laboratory Investigations into the Spectra and Origin of Propylene Oxide: A Chiral Interstellar Molecule

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hudson, R. L.; Loeffler, M. J. [Astrochemistry Laboratory (Code 691), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Yocum, K. M., E-mail: Reggie.Hudson@nasa.gov [Department of Chemistry, Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA 19530 (United States)

    2017-02-01

    Propylene oxide was recently identified in the interstellar medium, but few laboratory results are available for this molecule to guide current and future investigations. To address this situation, here we report infrared spectra, absorption coefficients, and band strengths of solid propylene oxide along with the first measurement of its refractive index and a calculation of its density, all for the amorphous solid form of the compound. We present the first experimental results showing a low-temperature formation pathway for propylene oxide near 10 K in interstellar ice analogs. Connections are drawn between our new results and the interstellar molecules propanal and acetone, and predictions are made about several as yet unobserved vinyl alcohols and methylketene. Comparisons are given to earlier laboratory work and a few applications to interstellar and solar system astrochemistry are described.

  15. Detailed investigation of proposed gas-phase syntheses of ammonia in dense interstellar clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herbst, E.; Defrees, D.J.; Mclean, A.D.; Molecular Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA; IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, CA)

    1987-01-01

    The initial reactions of the Herbst and Klemperer (1973) and the Dalgarno (1974) schemes (I and II, respectively) for the gas-phase synthesis of ammonia in dense interstellar clouds were investigated. The rate of the slightly endothermic reaction between N(+) and H2 to yield NH(+) and H (scheme I) under interstellar conditions was reinvestigated under thermal and nonthermal conditions based on laboratory data. It was found that the relative importance of this reaction in synthesizing ammonia is determined by how the laboratory data at low temperature are interpreted. On the other hand, the exothermic reaction between N and H3(+) to form NH2(+) + H (scheme II) was calculated to possess significant activation energy and, therefore, to have a negligible rate coefficient under interstellar conditions. Consequently, this reaction cannot take place appreciably in interstellar clouds. 41 references

  16. The Infrared Telescope in Space (IRTS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murakami, H.; Bock, J.; Freund, M. M.; Guo, H.; Hirao, T.; Lange, A. E.; Matsuhara, H.; Matsumoto, T.; Matsuura, S.; McMahon, T. J.; Murakami, M.; Nakagawa, T.; Noda, M.; Noguchi, K.; Okuda, H.; Okumura, K.; Onaka, T.; Roellig, T. L.; Sato, S.; Shibai, H.; Tanabe, T.; Watabe, T.; Yagi, T.; Yajima, N.; Yui, M.

    1994-06-01

    The Infrared Telescope in Space (IRTS) is a cryogenically cooled small infrared telescope that will fly aboard the small space platform Space Flyer Unit. It will survey approximately 10% of the sky with a relatively wide beam during its 20 day emission. Four focal-plane instruments will make simultaneous observations of the sky at wavelengths ranging from 1 to 1000 microns. The IRTS will provide significant information on cosmology, interstellar matter, late-type stars, and interplanetary dust. This paper describes the instrumentation and mission.

  17. Identification of Crystalline Material in Two Interstellar Dust Candidates from the Stardust Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gainsforth, Zack; Simionovici, Alexandra; Brenker, Frank E.; Schmitz, Sylvia; Burghammer, Manfred; Cloetens, Peter; Lemelle, Laurence; San Tresseras, Juan-Angel; Schoonjans, Tom; Silversmit, Geert; hide

    2012-01-01

    NASA's interstellar collector from the Stardust mission captured several particles that are now thought to be of interstellar origin. We analyzed two of these via nanodiffraction at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and found them to contain crystalline components. The unit cell of the crystalline material is determined from the diffraction patterns and the most likely mineral components are identified as olivine and spinel.

  18. Structure in the interstellar polarization curve and the nature of the polarizing grains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wolstencroft, R.D.; Smith, R.J.

    1984-01-01

    At this workshop the emphasis is on divining the nature of the interstellar grains by using infrared spectral features as the principal diagnostic. Nevertheless other approaches are also contributing to an understanding of the grains and deserve some attention. This paper describes the structure recently found in the interstellar polarization curve, and discusses its relation to the structure seen in the extinction curve and the nature of the grains producing the spectral features. (author)

  19. A New, Large-scale Map of Interstellar Reddening Derived from H I Emission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenz, Daniel; Hensley, Brandon S.; Doré, Olivier

    2017-09-01

    We present a new map of interstellar reddening, covering the 39% of the sky with low H I column densities ({N}{{H}{{I}}}Peek and Graves based on observed reddening toward passive galaxies. We therefore argue that our H I-based map provides the most accurate interstellar reddening estimates in the low-column-density regime to date. Our reddening map is made publicly available at doi.org/10.7910/DVN/AFJNWJ.

  20. The Physical Characteristics of Interstellar Medium in NGC 3665 with Herschel Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Meng-Yuan; Zhao, Yinghe; Gu, Qiu-Sheng; Shi, Yong

    2018-02-01

    We present the analysis of the physical properties of the interstellar medium in the nearby early-type galaxy NGC 3665, based on the far-infrared photometric and spectroscopic data as observed by the Herschel Space Observatory. The fit to the spectral energy distribution reveals a high dust content in the galaxy, with a dust-to-stellar mass ratio of {M}dust}/M * ∼ 1.1 × 10‑4 that is nearly three times larger than the mean value of local S0+S0a galaxies. For the ionized regions (H II regions), the electron density (n e ) is around 49.5 ± 11.9 cm‑3 based on the [N II] 122 μm/[N II] 205 μm ratio. For the photodissociation regions, the heating efficiency ranges from 1.26 × 10‑3 to 1.37 × 10‑3 based on the ([C II]+[O I] 63 μm)/{L}TIR}, which is slightly lower than other local galaxies; the hydrogen nucleus density and the strength of the far-UV radiation field are n ∼ 104 cm‑3 and G 0 ∼ 10‑0.25, respectively. The above results are consistent with the presence of weak active galactic nuclei and a low level of star-forming activity in NGC 3665. Our results give strong support to the “morphological quenching” scenario, where a compact, massive bulge can stabilize the amount of cool gas against star formation. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.

  1. A strong, highly-tilted interstellar magnetic field near the Solar System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opher, M; Bibi, F Alouani; Toth, G; Richardson, J D; Izmodenov, V V; Gombosi, T I

    2009-12-24

    Magnetic fields play an important (sometimes dominant) role in the evolution of gas clouds in the Galaxy, but the strength and orientation of the field in the interstellar medium near the heliosphere has been poorly constrained. Previous estimates of the field strength range from 1.8-2.5 microG and the field was thought to be parallel to the Galactic plane or inclined by 38-60 degrees (ref. 2) or 60-90 degrees (ref. 3) to this plane. These estimates relied either on indirect observational inferences or modelling in which the interstellar neutral hydrogen was not taken into account. Here we report measurements of the deflection of the solar wind plasma flows in the heliosheath to determine the magnetic field strength and orientation in the interstellar medium. We find that the field strength in the local interstellar medium is 3.7-5.5 microG. The field is tilted approximately 20-30 degrees from the interstellar medium flow direction (resulting from the peculiar motion of the Sun in the Galaxy) and is at an angle of about 30 degrees from the Galactic plane. We conclude that the interstellar medium field is turbulent or has a distortion in the solar vicinity.

  2. Empirical relation between interstellar x-ray absorption and optical extinction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gorenstein, P.

    1975-01-01

    An empirical relation between interstellar X-ray absorption and optical extinction is derived from the correlation of measurements made on objects of large intrinsic diameter. The result is A/subv/=4.5times10 -22 N/subH/ mag, with the principal error being largely systematic in origin, where N/subH/ represents the column density of interstellar matter in the Brown and Gould model for the X-ray absorption coefficient. Applying this ratio to optically identified compact sources, it is concluded that sources in binary systems showing pronounced X-ray occultations have an intrinsic absorption equivalent to approx.10 22 atoms cm -2 of interstellar matter and that there are a few compact sources where the absorption seems to be primarily interstellar in origin. The interstellar absorption expected in Cyg X-1 from the extinction of its optical counterpart is much greater than that suggested by X-ray spectra, which may be due to a soft X-ray component greater than that predicted by the power law fitted to higher energy data. A reinterpretation of published spectral parameters of Cyg X-1 in its posttransition phase suggests that the soft component shifted downward in energy during the transition. The value of A/sub v//N/sub H/ determined from the X-ray measurements is compatible with the Lα results for 0A0 2. It is in accord with an interstellar dust-to-mass ratio of approximately 10 -2 . (U.S.)

  3. Interaction of a strong stellar wind with a mutiphase interstellar medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wolff, M.T.

    1986-01-01

    The interaction of a strong stellar wind with the interstellar medium produces a hot, low density cavity surrounded by a swept-up shell of gas. This cavity-plus-shell structure is collectively called an interstellar bubble. In calculations prior to this work, researchers assumed that the interstellar medium surrounding the wind-blowing star was described by a constant density and temperature (i.e., was homogeneous). This dissertation improves on these earlier calculations by assuming that the interstellar medium surrounding the star is inhomogeneous or multiphase. Gas flows are modeled by assuming that the inhomogeneous phases of the interstellar medium (the clouds) and the intercloud gas form two distinct but interacting fluid that can exchange mass momentum and energy with each other. In one set of calculations, it is assumed that thermal conductive evaporation of clouds brought about by the clouds sitting inside a region of hot (T ≅ 10 6 K) gas is the only mass exchange process operation between the clouds and intercloud fluid. It was found that the mass injection from the clouds to the intercloud gas via the process of thermal evaporation can significantly modify the structure of the interstellar bubble from that found in previous studies

  4. The inventory of interstellar materials available for the formation of the solar system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandford, Scott A.

    1996-07-01

    Tremendous progress has been made in the field of interstellar dust in recent years through the use of telescopic observations, theoretical studies, laboratory studies of analogs, and the study of actual interstellar samples found in meteorites. It is increasingly clear that the interstellar medium (ISM) contains an enormous diversity of materials created by a wide range of chemical and physical processes. This understanding is a far cry from the picture of interstellar materials held as recently as two decades ago, a picture which incorporated only a few generic types of grains and few molecules. In this paper, I attempt to review some of our current knowledge of the more abundant materials thought to exist in the ISM. The review concentrates on matter in interstellar dense molecular clouds since it is the materials in these environments from which new stars and planetary systems are formed. However, some discussion is reserved for materials in circumstellar environments and in the diffuse ISM. The paper also focuses largely on solid materials as opposed to gases since solids contain a major fraction of the heavier elements in clouds and because solids are most likely to survive incorporation into new planetary systems in identifiable form. The paper concludes with a discussion of some of the implications resulting from the recent growth of our knowledge about interstellar materials and also considers a number of areas in which future work might be expected to yield important results.

  5. Black Holes, Worm Holes, and Future Space Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barret, Chris

    2000-01-01

    NASA has begun examining the technologies needed for an Interstellar Mission. In 1998, a NASA Interstellar Mission Workshop was held at the California Institute of Technology to examine the technologies required. Since then, a spectrum of research efforts to support such a mission has been underway, including many advanced and futuristic space propulsion concepts which are being explored. The study of black holes and wormholes may provide some of the breakthrough physics needed to travel to the stars. The first black hole, CYGXI, was discovered in 1972 in the constellation Cygnus X-1. In 1993, a black hole was found in the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. In 1994, the black hole GRO J1655-40 was discovered by the NASA Marshall Space Flight center using the Gamma Ray Observatory. Today, we believe we have found evidence to support the existence of 19 black holes, but our universe may contain several thousands. This paper discusses the dead star states - - both stable and unstable, white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, quasars, the basic features and types of black holes: nonspinning, nonspinning with charge, spinning, and Hawking's mini black holes. The search for black holes, gravitational waves, and Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) are reviewed. Finally, concepts of black hole powered space vehicles and wormhole concepts for rapid interstellar travel are discussed in relation to the NASA Interstellar Mission.

  6. Survival rates of some terrestrial microorganisms under simulated space conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koike, J.; Oshima, T.; Koike, K. A.; Taguchi, H.; Tanaka, R.; Nishimura, K.; Miyaji, M.

    1992-10-01

    In connection with planetary quarantine, we have been studying the survival rates of nine species of terrestrial microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, yeasts, fungi, etc.) under simulated interstellar conditions. If common terrestrial microorganisms cannot survive in space even for short periods, we can greatly reduce expenditure for sterilizing space probes. The interstellar environment in the solar system has been simulated by low temperature, high vacuum (77 k, 4 × 10-6 torr), and protons irradiation from a Van de Graaff generator. After exposure to a barrage of protons corresponding to about 250 years of irradiation in solar space, Tobacco mosaic virus. Bacillus subtilis spores, Aspergillus niger spores, and Clostridium mangenoti spores showed survival rates of 82%, 45%, 28%, and 25%, respectively. Furthermore, pathogenic Candida albicans showed 7% survival after irradiation corresponding to about 60 years in space.

  7. The Survival of Interstellar Clouds against Kelvin-Helmholtz Instabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vietri, Mario; Ferrara, Andrea; Miniati, Francesco

    1997-07-01

    We consider the stability of clouds surrounded by a hotter confining medium with respect to which they are in motion, against Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities (KHIs). In the presence of cooling, sound waves are damped by dissipation. Whenever cooling times are shorter than sound crossing times, as they are in the normal interstellar medium, this implies that the instability generated at the interface of the two media cannot propagate far from the interface itself. To study how this influences the overall stability, first we derive an analytic dispersion relation for cooling media, separated by a shear layer. The inclusion of dissipation does not heal the instability, but it is shown that only a small volume around the interface is affected, the perturbation decaying exponentially with distance from the surface; this is confirmed by numerical simulations. Numerical simulations of spherical clouds moving in a surrounding intercloud medium by which they are pressure confined show that these clouds develop a core/halo structure, with a turbulent halo, and a core in laminar flow nearly unscathed by the KHIs. The related and previously reported ``champagne effect,'' whereby clouds seem to explode from their top sides, is cured by the inclusion of radiative losses.

  8. Black hole feedback in a multiphase interstellar medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourne, Martin A.; Nayakshin, Sergei; Hobbs, Alexander

    2014-07-01

    Ultrafast outflows (UFOs) from supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are thought to regulate the growth of SMBHs and host galaxies, resulting in a number of observational correlations. We present high-resolution numerical simulations of the impact of a thermalized UFO on the ambient gas in the inner part of the host galaxy. Our results depend strongly on whether the gas is homogeneous or clumpy. In the former case all of the ambient gas is driven outward rapidly as expected based on commonly used energy budget arguments, while in the latter the flows of mass and energy de-couple. Carrying most of the energy, the shocked UFO escapes from the bulge via paths of least resistance, taking with it only the low-density phase of the host. Most of the mass is however in the high-density phase, and is affected by the UFO much less strongly, and may even continue to flow inwards. We suggest that the UFO energy leakage through the pores in the multiphase interstellar medium (ISM) may explain why observed SMBHs are so massive despite their overwhelmingly large energy production rates. The multiphase ISM effects reported here are probably under-resolved in cosmological simulations but may be included in prescriptions for active galactic nuclei feedback in future simulations and in semi-analytical models.

  9. DESTRUCTION OF INTERSTELLAR DUST IN EVOLVING SUPERNOVA REMNANT SHOCK WAVES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Slavin, Jonathan D.; Dwek, Eli; Jones, Anthony P.

    2015-01-01

    Supernova generated shock waves are responsible for most of the destruction of dust grains in the interstellar medium (ISM). Calculations of the dust destruction timescale have so far been carried out using plane parallel steady shocks, however, that approximation breaks down when the destruction timescale becomes longer than that for the evolution of the supernova remnant (SNR) shock. In this paper we present new calculations of grain destruction in evolving, radiative SNRs. To facilitate comparison with the previous study by Jones et al., we adopt the same dust properties as in that paper. We find that the efficiencies of grain destruction are most divergent from those for a steady shock when the thermal history of a shocked gas parcel in the SNR differs significantly from that behind a steady shock. This occurs in shocks with velocities ≳200 km s −1 for which the remnant is just beginning to go radiative. Assuming SNRs evolve in a warm phase dominated ISM, we find dust destruction timescales are increased by a factor of ∼2 compared to those of Jones et al., who assumed a hot gas dominated ISM. Recent estimates of supernova rates and ISM mass lead to another factor of ∼3 increase in the destruction timescales, resulting in a silicate grain destruction timescale of ∼2–3 Gyr. These increases, while not able to resolve the problem of the discrepant timescales for silicate grain destruction and creation, are an important step toward understanding the origin and evolution of dust in the ISM

  10. The Implications of Interstellar Dust for the Cosmic Microwave Background

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmelz, Joan T.; Verschuur, Gerrit

    2018-01-01

    A detailed comparison of the full range of PLANCK and WMAP data for small (2 deg by 2 deg) areas of sky and the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) ILC maps reveals that the structure of foreground dust may be more complex than previously thought. If 857 and 353 GHz emission is dominated by galactic dust at a distance data also show that there is no single answer for the question, “To what extent does dust contaminate the cosmologically important 143 GHz data?” In some directions, the contamination appears to be quite strong, but in others, it is less of an issue. This complexity needs to be taken in account in order to derive an accurate foreground mask in the quest to understand the CMB small-scale structure. We hope that a continued investigation of these data will lead to a definitive answer to the question above and, possibly, to new scientific insights on interstellar matter, the CMB, or both.

  11. General physical characteristics of the interstellar molecular gas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Turner, B.E.

    1979-01-01

    The interstellar medium may be characterized by several physically rather distinct regimes: coronal gas, intercloud gas, diffuse clouds, isolated dark clouds and globules (of small to modest mass), more massive molecular clouds containing OB (and later) stars, and giant molecular clouds. Values of temperature, density, ionization fraction, mass, size, and velocity field are discussed for each regime. Heating and cooling mechanisms are reviewed. Nearly all molecular clouds exceed the Jeans criteria for gravitational instability, yet detailed models reveal no cases where observations can be interpreted unambiguously in terms of rapid collapse. The possibility that clouds are supported by turbulence, rotation, or magnetic fields is discussed, and it is concluded that none of these agencies suffice. Comments are made about fragmentation and star formation in molecular clouds, with possible explanations for why only low mass stars form in low mass clouds, why early-type stars form only in clouds with masses > approximately 10 3 M solar masses, and why O-stars seem to form near edges of clouds. Finally, large-scale interactions between molecular clouds and the galactic disk stellar population are discussed. (Auth.)

  12. Using Machine Learning to classify the diffuse interstellar bands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron, Dalya; Poznanski, Dovi; Watson, Darach; Yao, Yushu; Cox, Nick L. J.; Prochaska, J. Xavier

    2015-07-01

    Using over a million and a half extragalactic spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey we study the correlations of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) in the Milky Way. We measure the correlation between DIB strength and dust extinction for 142 DIBs using 24 stacked spectra in the reddening range E(B - V) studied before. Most of the DIBs do not correlate with dust extinction. However, we find 10 weak and barely studied DIBs with correlations that are higher than 0.7 with dust extinction and confirm the high correlation of additional five strong DIBs. Furthermore, we find a pair of DIBs, 5925.9 and 5927.5 Å, which exhibits significant negative correlation with dust extinction, indicating that their carrier may be depleted on dust. We use Machine Learning algorithms to divide the DIBs to spectroscopic families based on 250 stacked spectra. By removing the dust dependence, we study how DIBs follow their local environment. We thus obtain six groups of weak DIBs, four of which are tightly associated with C2 or CN absorption lines.

  13. Interstellar C2 molecules in a Taurus dark cloud

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hobbs, L.M.; Black, J.H.; van Dishoeck, E.F.

    1983-01-01

    Five relatively strong interstellar absorption lines of the 2--0) Phillips band of C 2 near lambda8760 are detected in the spectrum of HD 29647, a late B star which lies behind a substantial part of the Taurus molecular cloud complex about 20triangle-solid from TMC-1. In combination with newly determined oscillator strengths, the observations yield a column density N(C 2 )roughly-equal9 x 10 13 cm -2 , which is comparable to those of widely distributed molecules like CH and H 2 O. Theoreticl models of the observed C 2 rotational level populations indicate a kinetic temperature T = 14 +8 /sub -/ 5 K and a mean density n 3 cm -3 . A narrow, anomalous strong, stellar Mn II line yields for HD 29647 a project rotational velocity v sin i -1 and is explained by previous identifications HD 29647 as a Hg-Mn peculiar star. Similar spectra of ν Cyg and omicron And give an upper limit W/sub lambda/ 2 lines in the 2--0) band, toward both stars

  14. Empirical relationship of ultraviolet extinction and the interstellar diffuse bands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, C.; York, D.G.; Snow, T.P.

    1981-01-01

    New ultraviolet colors are presented for 110 hot stars. These data are combined with infrared colors and diffuse-band measurements to study the relationship of diffuse interstellar bands (lambdalambda4430, 5780, 6284) to the overall extinction curve. Equivalent widths of lambdalambda5780 and 6284 are not well correlated with infrared, visible, or ultraviolet extinction measurements for stars in our sample. The central depth of lambda4430 is well correlated with visible and infrared extinction, but less well correlated with UV extinction at 1800 A. lambda4430 is strongly correlated with the strength of the 2200-A bump. Our data suggest that if small grains account for the general rise in UV extinction, the diffuse bands are not formed in these grains. lambda4430 may well arise in large grains and/or in the material responsible for the 2200-A bump. Correlations with UV extinctions derived by other authors are discussed in detail. It is suggested that definitions of extinction parameters and band shapes, as well as selection effects in small samples of stars, may still compromise conclusions based on correlation studies such as we are attempting

  15. Extragalactic interstellar extinction curves: Indicators of local physical conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cecchi-Pestellini, Cesare [INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, P.zza Parlamento 1, I-90134 Palermo (Italy); Viti, Serena; Williams, David A., E-mail: cecchi-pestellini@astropa.unipa.it, E-mail: sv@star.ucl.ac.uk, E-mail: daw@star.ucl.ac.uk [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT (United Kingdom)

    2014-06-20

    Normalized interstellar extinction curves (ISECs) in the Milky Way and other galaxies show a variety of shapes. This variety is attributed to differences along different sight lines in the abundances of the several dust and gas components contributing to extinction. In this paper we propose that these abundance differences are not arbitrary but are a specific consequence of the physical conditions on those sight lines. If this proposal is correct, then it implies that ISECs contain information about physical conditions in the regions generating extinction. This may be particularly important for high redshift galaxies where information on the conditions may be difficult to obtain. We adopt a model of extinction carriers in which the solid and gaseous components are not immutable but respond time-dependently to the local physics. We validate this model by fitting extinction curves measured on sight lines in the Magellanic Clouds and obtained for the gamma-ray burst afterglow GRB 080605. We present results for this model as follows: (1) we show that computed ISECs are controlled by a small number of physical parameters, (2) we demonstrate the sensitivity of computed ISECs to these parameters, (3) we compute as examples ISECs for particular galaxy types, and (4) we note that different galaxy types have different shapes of ISEC.

  16. Small Body Exploration Technologies as Precursors for Interstellar Robotics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noble, R. J.; Sykes, M. V.

    The scientific activities undertaken to explore our Solar System will be very similar to those required someday at other stars. The systematic exploration of primitive small bodies throughout our Solar System requires new technologies for autonomous robotic spacecraft. These diverse celestial bodies contain clues to the early stages of the Solar System's evolution, as well as information about the origin and transport of water-rich and organic material, the essential building blocks for life. They will be among the first objects studied at distant star systems. The technologies developed to address small body and outer planet exploration will form much of the technical basis for designing interstellar robotic explorers. The Small Bodies Assessment Group, which reports to NASA, initiated a Technology Forum in 2011 that brought together scientists and technologists to discuss the needs and opportunities for small body robotic exploration in the Solar System. Presentations and discussions occurred in the areas of mission and spacecraft design, electric power, propulsion, avionics, communications, autonomous navigation, remote sensing and surface instruments, sampling, intelligent event recognition, and command and sequencing software. In this paper, the major technology themes from the Technology Forum are reviewed, and suggestions are made for developments that will have the largest impact on realizing autonomous robotic vehicles capable of exploring other star systems.

  17. Astrochem: Abundances of chemical species in the interstellar medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maret, Sébastien; Bergin, Edwin A.

    2015-07-01

    Astrochem computes the abundances of chemical species in the interstellar medium, as function of time. It studies the chemistry in a variety of astronomical objects, including diffuse clouds, dense clouds, photodissociation regions, prestellar cores, protostars, and protostellar disks. Astrochem reads a network of chemical reactions from a text file, builds up a system of kinetic rates equations, and solves it using a state-of-the-art stiff ordinary differential equation (ODE) solver. The Jacobian matrix of the system is computed implicitly, so the resolution of the system is extremely fast: large networks containing several thousands of reactions are usually solved in a few seconds. A variety of gas phase process are considered, as well as simple gas-grain interactions, such as the freeze-out and the desorption via several mechanisms (thermal desorption, cosmic-ray desorption and photo-desorption). The computed abundances are written in a HDF5 file, and can be plotted in different ways with the tools provided with Astrochem. Chemical reactions and their rates are written in a format which is meant to be easy to read and to edit. A tool to convert the chemical networks from the OSU and KIDA databases into this format is also provided. Astrochem is written in C, and its source code is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).

  18. CHEMICAL SIMULATIONS OF PREBIOTIC MOLECULES: INTERSTELLAR ETHANIMINE ISOMERS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quan, Donghui; Durr, Allison [Department of Chemistry, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY 40475 (United States); Herbst, Eric [Departments of Chemistry and Astronomy, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904 (United States); Corby, Joanna F. [Department of Astronomy, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904 (United States); Hassel, George [Physics and Astronomy Department, Siena College, Loudonville, NY 12211 (United States)

    2016-06-20

    The E- and Z- isomers of ethanimine (CH{sub 3}CHNH) were recently detected toward the star-forming region Sagittarius (Sgr) B2(N) using the Green Bank Telescope PRIMOS cm-wave spectral data, and imaged by the Australia Telescope Compact Array. Ethanimine is not reported in the hot cores of Sgr B2, but only in gas that absorbs at +64 and +82 km s{sup −1} in the foreground of continuum emission generated by H ii regions. The ethanimine isomers can serve as precursors of the amino acid alanine and may play important roles in forming biological molecules in the interstellar medium. Here we present a study of the chemistry of ethanimine using a gas-grain simulation based on rate equations, with both isothermal and warm-up conditions. In addition, the density, kinetic temperature, and cosmic ray ionization rate have been varied. For a variety of physical conditions in the warm-up models for Sgr B2(N) and environs, the simulations show reasonable agreement with observationally obtained abundances. Isothermal models of translucent clouds along the same line of sight yield much lower abundances, so that ethanimine would be much more difficult to detect in these sources despite the fact that other complex molecules have been detected there.

  19. Detection of interstellar (C-13)N toward Zeta Ophiuchi

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crane, P.; Hegyi, D.J.

    1988-01-01

    Observations of a diffuse interstellar cloud toward Zeta Oph, obtained with resolution 100,000-150,000 near the 3874.608-A R(0) line of (C-12)N using a coude echelle spectrograph on the 1.4-m telescope at ESO during 1984 and 1985, are reported. Data from 54 20-min runs were fitted to Gaussian line shapes using the line center, depth, and width of the R(0) and R(1) lines of (C-12)N and the line center and depth of the R(0) line of (C-13)N as fitting parameters. The (C-13)N R(0) line, with equivalent width 0.190 + or - 0.020 mA, was detected 173.7 + or - 0.8 mA to the red of (C-12)N R(0); the corresponding isotope abundance ratio, (C-12)N/(C-13)N = 47.3 + 5.5 or -4.4, is shown to be in good agreement with previous measurements for CH(+) (Hawkins et al., 1985). 13 references

  20. Plasma generation and processing of interstellar carbonaceous dust analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peláez, R. J.; Maté, B.; Tanarro, I.; Molpeceres, G.; Jiménez-Redondo, M.; Timón, V.; Escribano, R.; Herrero, V. J.

    2018-03-01

    Interstellar (IS) dust analogs, based on amorphous hydrogenated carbon (a-C:H) were generated by plasma deposition in radio frequency discharges of CH4 + He mixtures. The a-C:H samples were characterized by means of secondary electron microscopy, infrared (IR) spectroscopy and UV-visible reflectivity. DFT calculations of structure and IR spectra were also carried out. From the experimental data, atomic compositions were estimated. Both IR and reflectivity measurements led to similar high proportions (≈50%) of H atoms, but there was a significant discrepancy in the sp2/sp3 hybridization ratios of C atoms (sp2/sp3 = 1.5 from IR and 0.25 from reflectivity). Energetic processing of the samples with 5 keV electrons led to a decay of IR aliphatic bands and to a growth of aromatic bands, which is consistent with a dehydrogenation and graphitization of the samples. The decay of the CH aliphatic stretching band at 3.4 μm upon electron irradiation is relatively slow. Estimates based on the absorbed energy and on models of cosmic ray (CR) flux indicate that CR bombardment is not enough to justify the observed disappearance of this band in dense IS clouds.