Document Type


Publication Date



We have used the Arecibo telescope to measure the H I absorption spectra of eight pulsars. We show how kinematic distance measurements depend on the values of the Galactic constants R0 and Θ0, and we select our preferred current values from the literature. We then derive kinematic distances for the low-latitude pulsars in our sample and electron densities along their lines of sight. We combine these measurements with all others in the inner Galactic plane visible from Arecibo to study the electron density in this region. The electron density in the interarm range 48° < l < 70° is 0.017-0.007+0.012(68% c.1.) cm-3. This is 0.75-0.22+0.49(68% c.1.) of the value calculated by the Galactic electron density model of Cordes & Lazio. The model agrees more closely with electron density measurements toward Arecibo pulsars lying closer to the Galactic center, at 30° < l < 48°. Our analysis leads to the best current estimate of the distance of the relativistic binary pulsar B1913+16: d = 9.0 ± 3 kpc We use the high-latitude pulsars to search for small-scale structure in the interstellar hydrogen observed in absorption over multiple epochs. PSR B0301+19 exhibited significant changes in its absorption spectrum over 22 yr, indicating H I structure on a ∼500 AU scale. © 2008. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


© Astrophysical Journal. Original version available at:

First Page


Last Page


Publication Title

Astrophysical Journal





To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.