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The 21-SPONGE H I Absorption Line Survey. I. The Temperature of Galactic H I

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Murray, CE, Stanimirovic, S, Goss, WM, Heiles, C, Dickey, JM ORCID: 0000-0002-6300-7459, Babler, B and Kim, CG 2018 , 'The 21-SPONGE H I Absorption Line Survey. I. The Temperature of Galactic H I' , Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, vol. 238, no. 2 , pp. 1-25 , doi: 10.3847/1538-4365/aad81a.

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Abstract

We present 21 cm Spectral Line Observations of Neutral Gas with the VLA (21-SPONGE), a Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) large project (~600 hr) for measuring the physical properties of Galactic neutral hydrogen (H I). 21-SPONGE is distinguished among previous Galactic H I studies as a result of (1) its exceptional optical depth sensitivity (στ -3 per 0.42 km s-1 channel over 57 lines of sight), (2) matching 21 cm emission spectra with the highest possible angular resolution (∼ 4') from the Arecibo Observatory, and (3) detailed comparisons with numerical simulations for assessing observational biases. We autonomously decompose 21 cm spectra and derive the physical properties (i.e., spin temperature, Ts, and column density) of the cold neutral medium (CNM; Ts  Ts Ts > 1000 K) simultaneously. Of the total H I mass observed, 50% is detected in both absorption and emission. The CNM makes up the majority of the absorbing gas (56% ± 10%) and 28% of the total H I mass including gas detected only in emission. We find that 20% of the total H I mass is thermally unstable (41% ± 10% of H I detected in absorption), with no significant variation with Galactic latitude. Finally, although the WNM makes up 52% of the total H I mass, we detect little evidence for WNM absorption with 1000 K Ts Ts ∼ 104 K. We conclude that excitation in excess of collisions likely produces significantly higher WNM T s than predicted by steady-state models.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Murray, CE and Stanimirovic, S and Goss, WM and Heiles, C and Dickey, JM and Babler, B and Kim, CG
Keywords: clouds, structure, radio lines, radio astronomy
Journal or Publication Title: Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
Publisher: Univ Chicago Press
ISSN: 0067-0049
DOI / ID Number: 10.3847/1538-4365/aad81a
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 The American Astronomical Society

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