Absorption Line Spectroscopic Studies of the Local Interstellar Medium

Warm (5,000-10,000 K) gas in the interstellar medium is seen only in isolated clouds that can be identified by their kinematics, temperatures, and metal depletions on to grains. High resolution HST and FUSE spectra covering the 912-3000 A region contain many absorption lines formed in warm clouds. The Sun is located just inside one such cloud, the Local Interstellar Cloud (LIC), and within 100 pc of the Sun there at least 14 other clouds with different kinematic and physical properties. We are building a three-dimensional model of the warm gas clouds within 100 pc of the Sun and developing models for the ionization balance of these clouds. See the Webpage of the Colorado Model of the Local Interstellar Cloud. A view of the LIC looking down from the North Galactic Pole showing that the Sun (located at 0,0) lies barely inside the LIC.

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