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First detection of the deuterium Balmer series

Authors
Journal
Planetary and Space Science
0032-0633
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
50
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0032-0633(02)00088-0
Keywords
  • Line: Identification
  • Line: Formation
  • Hii Regions

Abstract

Abstract The first detection and identification of deuterium Balmer lines are reported in five H II regions of the Galaxy and the Small Magellanic Cloud. The D I lines appear as faint, narrow emission features in the blue wings of the H I Balmer lines and can be distinguished from high-velocity H I emission. The identification with deuterium and the excitation mechanism by fluorescence are both established beyond doubt. Measurements of deuterium Balmer series might lead to a new, optical method of deuterium abundance measurement in the interstellar medium and beyond.

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