AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 112 The Milky Way and Its Environs
Poster, Thursday, January 8, 2004, 9:20am-4:00pm, Grand Hall

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[112.19] Search for Dark Clouds in the Galactic Plane

L. Mercado (Indiana University Bloomington), C. Watson, E. Churchwell, R. Indebetouw (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

We used the 2MASS point source catalogue to search for dark clouds in the Galactic plane. We developed maps of stellar density and average stellar color to identify candidate dark clouds. Using various test fields, we determined the product of color and density contrasts to be the best criterion for detection. We found very close agreement between our results and select MSX dark clouds. This agreement is essential since these clouds are thought to be optically thick in the near-infrared range imaged by the MSX survey. We are in the process of developing a catalogue of candidate dark clouds for publication. It will include ~1500 candidates along with their location, minimum stellar density, maximum color excess and angular extent. The objects in our catalogue are preferentially small (<2), near the galactic center and probably nearby. This work was supported by a NSF-REU site grant (AST-0139563) to the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: lmercado@astro.wisc.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.