Observation of [C II] 158 micron emission from the diffuse interstellar medium at high Galactic latitude

J. J. Bock, V. V. Hristov, M. Kawada, H. Matsuhara, T. Matsumoto, S. Matsuura, P. D. Mauskopf, P. L. Richards, M. Tanaka, A. E. Lange

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32 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report the first detection of [C II] 158 μm line emission from the diffuse interstellar medium at high galactic latitude. We have measured the integrated line intensity in a 36′ field of view along a triangular scan path in a 5° × 20° region in Ursa Major using a rocket-borne, liquid-helium-cooled spectrophotometer. The scan included high-latitude infrared cirrus, molecular clouds, a bright external galaxy, M82, and the H I Hole, which is a region of uniquely low neutral hydrogen column density. Emission from [C II] is observed in all regions, and, in the absence of appreciable CO emission, it is well correlated with neutral hydrogen column density. We observe a [C II] gas cooling rate which varies from (1.18 ± 0.4 to 3.25 ± 0.8) × 10-26 ergs s-1 H-atom-1, in good agreement with recent observations of UV absorption lines at high galactic latitude. Regions with CO emission have enhanced [C II] line emission over that expected from the correlation with neutral hydrogen column density. We measure a line-to-continuum ratio which varies from I[C II]/λIλ = 0.002 to 0.008 in comparison with the all-sky average of 0.0082 reported by FIRAS, which is heavily weighted toward the Galactic plane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L115-L118
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume410
Issue number2 PART 2
StatePublished - Jun 20 1993
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ISM: clouds
  • Infrared: interstellar: lines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Bock, J. J., Hristov, V. V., Kawada, M., Matsuhara, H., Matsumoto, T., Matsuura, S., Mauskopf, P. D., Richards, P. L., Tanaka, M., & Lange, A. E. (1993). Observation of [C II] 158 micron emission from the diffuse interstellar medium at high Galactic latitude. Astrophysical Journal, 410(2 PART 2), L115-L118.