Early Results from the Wisconsin H-Alpha Mapper Southern Sky Survey

Type Conference Paper
Names L. Matthew Haffner, R. J. Reynolds, G. J. Madsen, A. S. Hill, K. A. Barger, K. P. Jaehnig, E. J. Mierkiewicz, J. W. Percival
Proceedings Title Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society
Conference Name American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #215, #415.28
Volume 42
Pages 265
Date January 1, 2010
URL http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010AAS...21541528H
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract After a successful eleven-year campaign at Kitt Peak, we moved the Wisconsin H-Alpha Mapper (WHAM) to Cerro Tololo in early 2009. Here we present some of the early data after the first nine months under southern skies. These maps begin to complete the first all-sky, kinematic survey of the diffuse Hα emission from the Milky Way. Much of this emission arises from the Warm Ionized Medium (WIM), a significant component of the ISM that extends a few kiloparsecs above the Galactic disk. The WHAM instrument consists of a 0.6 m primary lens housed in a steerable siderostat coupled to a 15 cm dual-etalon Fabry-Perot spectrometer. The optical configuration delivers a spatially integrated spectrum from a one-degree beam on the sky covering 200 km/s with 12 km/s spectral resolution. Short, 30-second exposures allow us to cover the observable sky in about two years at sensitivity levels of about 0.1 R (EM 0.2 pc cm-6). While this first look at the data focuses on the Hα survey, WHAM is also capable of observing many other optical emission lines, revealing fascinating trends in the temperature and ionization state of the WIM. Our ongoing studies of the physical conditions of diffuse ionized gas will continue in the south following the Hα survey. In addition, future observations using our survey mode will cover the full velocity range of the Magellanic Stream, Bridge, and Clouds to trace the ionized gas associated with these neighboring systems. WHAM is supported by NSF award AST-0607512 and has made this smooth relocation south due to the excellent staff at KPNO and CTIO.
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