Small-scale interstellar Na I structure toward M92

Sean M. Andrews*, David M. Meyer, J. T. Lauroesch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We have used integral field echelle spectroscopy with the DensePak fiber-optic array on the KPNO WIYN telescope to observe the central 27″ × 43″ of the globular cluster M92 in the Na I D wavelength region at a spatial resolution of 4″. Two interstellar Na I absorption components are evident in the spectra at LSR velocities of 0 km s-1 (cloud 1) and -19 km s-1 (cloud 2). Substantial strength variations in both components are apparent down to scales limited by the fiber-to-fiber separations. The derived Na I column densities differ by a factor of 4 across the cloud 1 absorption map and by a factor of 7 across the cloud 2 map. Using distance upper limits of 400 and 800 pc for cloud 1 and cloud 2, respectively, the absorption maps indicate structure in the interstellar medium (ISM) down to scales of 1600 and 3200 AU. The fiber-to-fiber Na I column density differences toward M92 are comparable to those found in a similar study of the ISM toward the globular cluster M15. Overall, the structures in the interstellar components toward M92 have significantly lower column densities than those toward M15. We interpret these low column density structures as small-scale turbulent variations in the gas and compare them with the larger scale, higher column density variations toward Ml5, which may be the hallmarks of actual H I structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L73-L76
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 2
StatePublished - May 1 2001


  • ISM: atoms
  • ISM: clouds
  • ISM: structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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