Volume 543, July 2012
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||25 June 2012|
Departamento de Física – ICEx – UFMG, Caixa Postal 702, 30.123-970 – Belo Horizonte – MG, Brazil
Received: 9 February 2012
Accepted: 1 May 2012
Context. The line-of-sight towards Puppis-Vela contains some of the most interesting and elusive objects in the solar neighbourhood, including the Gum nebula, the IRAS Vela shell, the Vela SNR, and dozens of cometary globules.
Aims. We investigate the distribution of the interstellar dust towards six small volumes of the sky in the region of the Gum nebula.
Methods. New high-quality four-colour uvby and Hβ Strömgren photometry obtained for 352 stars in six selected areas of Kapteyn and complemented with data obtained in a previous investigation for two of these areas, were used to estimate the colour excess and distance to these objects. The obtained colour excess versus distance diagrams, complemented with other information, when available, were analysed in order to infer the properties of the interstellar medium permeating the observed volumes.
Results. On the basis of the overall standard deviation in the photometric measurements, we estimate that colour excesses and distances are determined with an accuracy of and better than 30%, respectively, for a sample of 520 stars. A comparison with 37 stars in common with the new Hipparcos catalogue attests to the high quality of the photometric distance determination. The obtained colour excess versus distance diagrams testify to the low density volume towards the observed lines-of-sight. Very few stars out to distances of 1 kpc from the Sun have colour excesses larger than .
Conclusions. In spite of the low density character of the interstellar medium towards the Puppis-Vela direction, the obtained reddening as a function of the distance indicates that two or more interstellar structures are crossed towards the observed lines-of-sight. One of these structures may be associated with the very low density “wall” of the Local Cavity, which has a distance of 100 − 150 pc from the Sun. Another structure might be related to the Gum nebula, and if so, its front face would be located at ~350 pc from the Sun.
Key words: stars: distances / ISM: clouds / dust, extinction / ISM: individual objects: Gum nebula / techniques: photometric
Table 1 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (220.127.116.11) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/543/A39
© ESO, 2012
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