On the Variation of Deuterium and Oxygen Abundances in the Local Interstellar Medium
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Publisher:American Astronomical Society
Citation:Gary Steigman, "On the Variation of Deuterium and Oxygen Abundances in the Local Interstellar Medium," The Astrophysical Journal 586, no. 2 (2003), doi:10.1086/367696
The first observations of deuterium and oxygen in the local interstellar medium (LISM) obtained with the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) can be used to search for local abundance variations. While the very limited sample of these first data may be consistent with no variations, they do offer a hint of anticorrelated variations between D/H and O/H. If confirmed by more data (which will require independently determined, accurate H I column densities), these hints suggest that observations of interstellar gas within a few kiloparsecs of the solar neighborhood will reveal clear signs of the evolution of the abundance of deuterium from there and then (the big bang) to here and now (the local interstellar medium of the Galaxy).