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R. A. Benjamin (U of Wisconsin-Whitewater), GLIMPSE Team
We present first Spitzer/GLIMPSE (Galactic Legacy Infrared Midplane Survey Extraordinaire) results on the variation of the mid-infrared stellar and diffuse emission over 220 square degrees of the inner Galactic plane from 10<|l|<65 degrees and |b|< 1 degree using IRAC. Principal results include the following: (1) variation of source counts indicate the Galaxy has a radial scale length of H*= 3.9 ±0.6 kpc; (2) there is strong evidence for a Galactic bar with half-length Rbar=4.4 ±0.5 kpc, tilted by phi=44 ±10 degrees; (3) one spiral arm tangency (Centaurus) is detected in enhanced star counts while another (Sagittarius) is not, (4) diffuse emission in all four bands is dominated by star formation regions; and (5) there is a significant range in diffuse band ratios: [4.5]/[3.6] varies by a factor of ~10 along the Galactic plane, while [8.0]/[5.8] (the most tightly correlated bands) only varies by a factor of ~2. We discuss implications of these results for the study of extragalactic systems where the diffuse and stellar flux are blended, particularly for edge-on systems.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.