The homogeneity of interstellar krypton in the Galactic disk

Stefan I.B. Cartledge*, David M. Meyer, J. T. Lauroesch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We present an analysis of high-resolution Hubble Space Telescope Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) observations of Kr I λ1236 absorption in seven sight lines that probe a variety of interstellar environments. In combination with krypton and hydrogen column densities derived from current and archival STIS and Far-Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer data, the number of sight lines with reliable Kr/H ISM abundance ratios has been increased by 50% to 26 - including paths that sample a range of nearly 5 orders of magnitude in f(H2) and over 2 orders of magnitude in 〈n H〉 and extend up to 4.8 kpc in length. For sight lines contained entirely within the local spiral arm (the Orion spur), the spread of Kr/H ratios about the mean of log10[N(Kr)/N(H)]ISM = -9. 02 ± 0.02 is remarkably tight (0.06 dex), less than the typical data-point uncertainty. Intriguingly, the only two sight lines that extend through neighboring structures, in particular gas associated with the Carina/Sagittarius arm, exhibit relatively large, near-solar krypton abundances (log10[N(Kr)/N(H)]combined = -8.75-0.11 +0.09). Although these deviations are only measured at the 2 σ level, they suggest the possibility that krypton abundances beyond the Orion spur may differ from the local value.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)408-413
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - Nov 1 2003


  • ISM: abundances
  • Ultraviolet: ISM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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