AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 137 GLIMPSE: First Results
Poster, Thursday, January 13, 2005, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[137.07] A Systematic and Automated Technique for Detection of Star Clusters Applied to New GLIMPSE Data

E. Mercer, D. Clemens (Boston University), GLIMPSE Team

The Galactic Legacy Infrared Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire (GLIMPSE) Team is currently producing a large database of infrared point sources in the inner Galaxy. The database, which includes a high-reliability catalog and an archive of point sources, is being generated from mid-infrared images taken by the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) aboard the Spitzer Space Telescope. We have developed an algorithm that uses the GLIMPSE point source catalog and archive to systematically search for and detect star clusters. The software operates by locating and characterizing significant over-densities in the sky distribution of point sources. The routine relies on advanced statistical tools for detecting the clusters and measuring several of their properties, including location, angular size, and member density. Our cluster-finder has been tailored to also search for and detect clusters in the 2MASS point source catalog. Using both the GLIMPSE and 2MASS catalogs, the software is able to detect globular, open, and young embedded clusters. Consequently, we are now producing a complete and up-to-date list of clusters located in the inner Galaxy. This new list of clusters, specifically the young embedded clusters, will allow us to identify regions of ongoing star formation in the Milky Way.

Support for this work, part of the Spitzer Space Telescope Legacy Science Program, was provided by NASA through contract 1225025 to Boston University.

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