Volume 521, October 2010
Herschel/HIFI: first science highlights
|Number of page(s)||4|
|Published online||01 October 2010|
Letter to the Editor
C+ detection of warm dark gas in diffuse clouds *
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109-8099, USA e-mail: William.Langer@jpl.nasa.gov
Accepted: 9 July 2010
We present the first results of the Herschel open time key program, Galactic Observations of Terahertz C+ (GOT C+) survey of the [CII] 2P3/2–2P1/2 fine-structure line at 1.9 THz (158 μm) using the HIFI instrument on Herschel. We detected 146 interstellar clouds along sixteen lines-of-sight towards the inner Galaxy. We also acquired HI and CO isotopologue data along each line-of-sight for analysis of the physical conditions in these clouds. Here we analyze 29 diffuse clouds (AV < 1.3 mag) in this sample characterized by having [CII] and HI emission, but no detectable CO. We find that [CII] emission is generally stronger than expected for diffuse atomic clouds, and in a number of sources is much stronger than anticipated based on their HI column density. We show that excess [CII] emission in these clouds is best explained by the presence of a significant diffuse warm H2, dark gas, component. This first [CII] 158 μm detection of warm dark gas demonstrates the value of this tracer for mapping this gas throughout the Milky Way and in galaxies.
Key words: ISM: atoms / ISM: molecules / ISM: structure
© ESO, 2010
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