Volume 395, Number 3, December I 2002
|Page(s)||969 - 974|
|Published online||18 November 2002|
The interstellar chain molecule in different interstellar environments*
Special Astrophysical Observatory, Nizhnij Arkhyz 369167, Russia e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com
2 Center for Astronomy, Nicholas Copernicus University, Gagarina 11, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
3 Isaac Newton Institute of Chile, SAO Branch, Russia
4 Laboratorie d'Astrophysique de Marseille, Traverse du Siphon, Les trois Lucs, BP 8, 13376 Marseille Cedex 12, France e-mail: Claire.Moutou@oamp.fr
5 European Southern Observatory, Alonso De Cordova 3107, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Corresponding author: J. Krełowski, email@example.com
Accepted: 6 September 2002
We present an analysis of spectra of six stars taken with high resolution (). The stars are reddened by molecular clouds that differ by the relative strength of the 5797 and 5780 diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs). The high signal-to-noise ratio of the spectra ( ≈ 700–1000) shows that the abundance of the linear molecule C3 with respect to EB-V varies considerably from one star to an other. There is no correlation with EB-V. The strong variations in the abundance of C3 must therefore be caused by another circumstance. We point out that this may be the case: from an analysis of the interstellar potassium lines in the same spectra we conclude large differences in the state of ionization produced by interstellar photons with energies below the ionization potential of hydrogen. The ratio of the abundances of C3 and C2 varies considerably in different directions, even when the ratio between the strengths of various DIBs remains approximately constant.
Key words: ISM: clouds / molecules
© ESO, 2002
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