``Astroskiagraphy of Cold Galactic H I''
S. J. Gibson, A. R. Taylor (U. Calgary);
C. M. Brunt, P. E. Dewdney, & L. A. Higgs (HIA)
2001, Bull. A.A.S., 33, 1325, #11.14
Electronic Poster Contents
Note: This poster is similar to another given at the 2001 CASCA meeting.
skiagram - n - a picture made
up of shadows or outlines
Though a major constituent of the interstellar medium, cold atomic gas, with T
< ~100 K, is elusive. Maps of 21cm emission are dominated by warm H I, and most observations of H I absorption
against continuum sources are limited to discrete points. However, H I self-absorption (HISA) against
warmer background H I can give a better view of the
structure and distribution of cold H I clouds in the
A systematic HISA study of cold Galactic H I requires
broad angular coverage to remain unbiased, as well as high angular resolution
to detect small-scale features which might otherwise be washed out. Our
investigation is the first to employ wide-field synthesis imaging to these
ends. We are using Canadian
Galactic Plane Survey (A. R. Taylor et al., in prep) maps taken with
the DRAO Synthesis Telescope. Our CGPS images have ~ 1' resolution with 0.8
km/s velocity channels over the region [147.3° > l > 74.2°,
-3.6° < b < +5.6°].
This poster gives preliminary results for a full-fledged analysis of the gas
properties and distribution of HISA features in the CGPS (S. J. Gibson et al.,
in prep). We employ several automated algorithms to identify self-absorption
within the H I data, estimate the background brightness
being absorbed, and compute its physical properties from a limited set of
assumptions. Figures 1-4 show some of the HISA
mapped to date, while Figures 5-8 show measured and
derived HISA gas properties and an analysis of the relation between HISA and CO
PROPERTY DERIVATION METHOD
A simple radiative transfer model representing a HISA cloud with foreground and
background H I emission and background continuum emission
is described by the expression
where TON and TOFF are observed
brightnesses on and off the HISA feature, TS is the spin or
excitation temperature of the HISA gas, tau is its optical depth,
TC is the continuum intensity, and p is
the fraction of H I emission lying behind the HISA
feature. We measure TON, TOFF, and
TC, and assume a likely value for p, but
TS and tau remain unknown. To constrain these two
variables, we make use of line integral and ideal gas relations to derive a
which gives TS in terms of the line center opacity
tau0, linewidth delta-v, the physical thickness of the
HISA feature along the sightline delta-s, and the partial pressure of
the atomic gas, P fn. With reasonable values applied to
these new parameters, TS and tau can be obtained by
solving the two equations together (see Gibson
et al. 2000 ApJ 540, 851 for details).
For this poster, we assume p = 1, the most favorable value for seeing
HISA, and we determine delta-s from estimated characteristic angular
scales of features and likely distances based on velocity and a simple spiral
arm model (e.g., gas near L=140, V=-40 is in the Perseus arm, with a
distance of ~ 2 kpc, for which 1 arcminute corresponds to 0.6 pc).
We use a canonical ISM pressure of 4000 cm-3 K and consider two
extreme values for fn of 1.0 and 0.01.
- The HISA features have a temperature contrast of only 10% against
typical H I backgrounds of ~100 K. Most are too subtle to
be seen in lower-resolution searches. The crowding of features near zero
contrast suggests many may be missed by our survey as well.
- Most features have very narrow linewidths, indicating quiescent gas.
The strong peaks at 0.8 and 1.6 km/s correspond to 1 and 2 channels,
respectively; many of our features may be undersampled in velocity. Likewise,
most features have angular widths close to the 1' CGPS beam, suggesting there
is finer structure we are missing.
- If the cold gas traced by HISA is purely atomic (fn =
1), it is at the cold end of the normal H I temperature
range, but warmer than molecular gas. If however the gas is mostly
H2 (fn = 0.01), it has typical molecular cloud
- Since the H I column density is proportional to
both TS and tau, it drops precipitously for low
fn. In the fn = 0.01 case, the H I columns should be multiplied by ~200 to obtain the full atomic
+ molecular value. The total HISA mass in this 5 x 5 degree sample is ~10^5
M_sun for fn = 1.
- HISA strength shows no correlation with 12CO brightness, but
when this apparent scatter is converted into a cumulative 2-D histogram of HISA
stronger than one threshhold matching CO stronger than another threshhold, the
resulting diagram shows a degree of HISA-CO association which significantly
exceeds the random probability of association, especially for strong HISA and
weak CO. Consequently, there are many HISA clouds containing CO, but either
the atomic/molecular fraction is not constant in these objects, or the CO is
not tracing all the H2.
Larger versions of each image below are available via links.
Figure 1: HISA in the CGPS
This multiband image of the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey, taken from
press release, shows H I self-absorption
features as faint purple shadows.
Figure 2: HISA Survey Map (l,b)
Sky projection of detected HISA over a 28-degree section of the CGPS, showing
velocity-integrated TON - TOFF values. Darker
features have stronger absorption.
GIF | PS
GIF | PS
Bottom: 12CO emission in the Perseus spiral arm, where
most of the HISA is found for this longitude range. Note: In the AAS poster, this CO map was a transparency overlaid on the HISA map.
Figure 3: HISA Survey Map (l,v)
Longitude-velocity projection of the HISA currently mapped over the full CGPS,
from l = 147 to 74 degrees; data between l = 114 and 87 degrees
have yet to be processed. Contours of latitude-integrated HISA
TON - TOFF contrast are shown on top of H I emission from the Leiden-Dwingeloo survey. Red lines mark
approximate velocity boundaries between gas in the Local, Perseus, and Outer
Figure 4: HISA Survey Coverage and Completeness
A cumulative count of the number of image voxels containing HISA, normalized by
the number of voxels with bright enough H I for HISA to be
detected. About 8% of the voxels in which HISA might be found appear to have
HISA at some level, but there may be more HISA which is too faint to be seen in
Figure 5: Derived HISA Properties
These histograms show the value distributions of a number of properties. The
top row of TON - TOFF, delta-theta, and
delta-v are all directly measured quantities. The two lower rows give
derived values for TS, tau, and NHI,
using the method outlined above with
fn = 1 in the middle row and fn = 0.01 in
the bottom row. The group of plots on the left is linearly scaled, while those
on the right are log-scaled.
Figure 6: HISA Property Correlations and Limits
When one has properties for large numbers of objects, one might ask whether
these correlate in any interesting way. The answer appears to be no. The
figure on the left shows feature angular size vs. linewidth, while that on the
right shows TS vs. tau.
While some property values are preferred over others, there are no obvious
correlations (the linear features are sampling artifacts), and in fact there a
general scatter over the full range of parameter values which are permissible
by the limits of the telescope and the image processing software. No size vs.
linewidth relation is seen in the HISA (perhaps indicating the clouds are not
gravitationally bound), and the bimodality in the characteristic temperatures
and optical depths results from Local arm gas being systematically closer than
Perseus arm gas, which translates to smaller delta-s sightline
dimensions in the property solution method (the HISA we detect has similar
angular size regardless of distance). In effect, this survey is seeing the gas
which it is able to see (which is colder in the local arm), but by no means the
full range of what is actually there.
Figure 7: HISA - CO Correlation
HISA TON - TOFF contrast and 12CO
brightness temperature show no obvious correlation, in contradiction to the
traditional expectation of HISA tracing a small, fixed fraction of atomic gas
in molecular clouds. The intensity scale of the plot is logarithmic.
Figure 8: HISA - CO Association
Despite the lack of quantitative correlation, many HISA clouds do contain CO at
some level, and vice versa. Here we plot the number of image voxels with HISA
above a given contrast and CO above a given brightness, normalized by the
number of voxels which would be associated in a purely random distribution.
The intensity scale is linear. The red contours mark S/N levels of 3,
10, 30, and 100 for the normalized association statistic.
- Steven Gibson,
University of Calgary
- Russ Taylor,
University of Calgary
- Chris Brunt, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (HIA)
- Peter Dewdney, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (HIA)
- Lloyd Higgs, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (HIA)
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