AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 58. Interstellar Medium - II
Display, Tuesday, January 8, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[58.06] A New Outer Galaxy Molecular Cloud Catalog: Applications to Galactic Structure

C. R. Kerton (NRC Canada / HIA / DRAO), C. M. Brunt (U. Calgary / DRAO), C. Pomerleau (U. Montreal)

We have generated a new molecular cloud catalog from a reprocessed version of the Five College Radio Astronomy (FCRAO) Observatory Outer Galaxy Survey (OGS) of 12CO (J=1--0) emission. The catalog has been used to develop a technique that uses the observed angular size-linewidth relation (ASLWR) as a distance indicator to molecular cloud ensembles. The new technique is a promising means to map out the large-scale structure of our Galaxy using the new high spatial dynamic range CO surveys currently available.

The catalog was created using a two-stage object-identification algorithm. We first identified contiguous emission structures of a specified minimum number of pixels above a specified temperature threshold. Each structure so defined was then examined and localized emission enhancements within each structure were identified as separate objects. The resulting cloud catalog, contains basic data on 14595 objects.

From the OGS we identified twenty-three cloud ensembles. For each, bisector fits to angular size vs. linewidth plots were made. The fits vary in a systematic way that allows a calibration of the fit parameters with distance to be made. Our derived distances to the ensembles are consistent with the distance to the Perseus Arm, and the accurate radial velocity measurements available from the same data are in accord with the known non-circular motions at the location of the Perseus Arm.

The ASLWR method was also successfully applied to data from the Boston University/FCRAO Galactic Ring Survey (GRS) of 13CO(J=1--0) emission. Based upon our experience with the GRS and OGS, the ASLWR technique should be usable in any data set with sufficient spatial dynamic range to allow it to be properly calibrated.

C.P. participated in this study through the Women in Engineering and Science (WES) program of NRC Canada. The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory is a National Facility operated by the National Research Council. The Canadian Galactic Plane Survey is a Canadian project with international partners, and is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).

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