CaII K interstellar observations towards early-type disc and halo stars

Jonathan Smoker, W.R.J. Rolleston, H.R. Kay, D. Kilkenny, R. Morras, M. Arnal, Francis Keenan, C.J. Mooney, Philip Dufton, Robert Ryans, N.C. Hambly, D. O'Donoghue, H. McGillivray

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18 Citations (Scopus)


We present high-resolution (R = lambda/Deltalambda similar to 40 000) Ca II K interstellar observations (lambda(air) = 3933.66Angstrom) towards 88 mainly B-type stars, of which 74 are taken from the Edinburgh-Cape or Palomar-Green surveys, and 81 have > 25degrees. The majority of the data come from previously existing spectroscopy, although also included are 18 new observations of stars with echelle spectra taken with UVES on the Very Large Telescope UT2 (Kueyen). Some 49 of the sample stars have distance estimates above the Galactic plane (z) greater than or equal to 1 kpc, and are thus good probes of the halo interstellar medium. Of the 362 interstellar Ca K components that we detect, 75 (21 per cent) have absolute values of their LSR velocity values exceeding 40 km s(-1). In terms of the deviation velocity for the sightlines with distance estimates, 46/273 (17 per cent) of components have velocity values exceeding those predicted by standard Galactic rotation by more than 40 km s(-1). Combining this data set with previous observations, we find that the median value of the reduced equivalent width (REW) of stars with z greater than or equal to 1 kpc (EW x sin ) is similar to 115 mAngstrom (n = 80), similar to that observed in extragalactic sightlines by Bowen. Using data of all z distances, the REW at infinity is found to be similar to 130 mAngstrom, with the scaleheight (1) of the Ca II K column density distribution being;z 800 pc (n = 196) and reduced column density at infinity of log[N(Ca II K) cm(-2)] similar to 12.24. This implies that similar to30 per cent of Ca II K absorption occurs at distances exceeding similar to1 kpc. For nine sightlines, with distance exceeding 1 kpc and with a companion object within 5degrees, we find that all but two have values of Ca II reduced equivalent width the same to within similar to20 per cent, when the REW of the nearest object is extrapolated to the distance of the further of the pair, and assuming 1 = 800 pc. For 29 of our sightlines with z greater than or equal to 1 kpc and a H I detection from the Leiden-Dwingeloo survey (beamsize of 0.5degrees), we find log(N(Ca II K)IN(H I)) ranging from -7.4 to - 8.4. Values of the Ca II K abundance relative to neutral hydrogen (log[N(Ca II K) cm(-2)] - log[N(H I) cm(-2)]) are found to be more than similar to0.5 dex higher in stars with distances exceeding approximate to100 pc, when compared with the (log[N(Ca II K) cm(-2)] -log[N(H-tot) cm(-2)]) values found in nearby sightlines such as those in Wakker & Mathis (2000). Finally, stellar Ca II K equivalent widths of the sample are determined for 26 objects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-134
Number of pages16
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science


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