The abundance of interstellar oxygen toward Orion: Evidence for recent infall?

David M. Meyer*, M. Jura, Isabel Hawkins, Jason A. Cardelli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


We present high S/N (>800) Goddard High-Resolution Spectrograph observations of the weak interstellar O I] λ1356 absorption in the low-density sight lines toward ι Ori and κ Ori. By comparing these data with observations toward more reddened stars, we find no evidence of density-dependent depletion from the gas phase for oxygen. The derived total oxygen abundance (gas plus grains) toward ι Ori and κ Ori is consistent with stellar and nebular determinations in Orion at a level that is one-half the solar value. We speculate that the O/H abundance ratio is lower in Orion compared to the Sun because the local Milky Way has suffered a recent infall of metal-poor material, perhaps from the Magellanic Stream.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L59-L61
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 2
StatePublished - Dec 10 1994


  • ISM: abundances
  • ISM: atoms
  • Ultraviolet: ISM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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