Most of the galaxy has been explored and prodded by researchers. However, one elusive strip of the night sky has been left relatively untouched. The Zone of Avoidance (ZOA) is the formal name given to that area of the sky, which inconveniently lies behind the dense structure of the Milky Way. Because of the high density of stellar and dust content in the Milky Way, surveys in short wavelengths such as visible and gamma ray have failed in penetrating this layer and seeing beyond the Milky Way. Fortunately, much of the Milky Way disappears in longer wavelengths, i.e. the infrared and radio wavelengths. As a result, numerous studies are now being undertaken in these wavelengths to peer beyond the Milky Way. Henning and Donley et al (2000 & 2006 rspv.) have done such blind surveys of the ZOA in the infrared and mid-infrared bands.

Lamarr L. Parsons
llp4 at cornell dot edu
Cornell University

 A Mid-Infrared Search for Galaxies in the
"Zone of Avoidance"

Data Collection
Weekly Progress

In this study we have searched images obtained through the GLIMPSE and GLIMPSE-3D Legacy projects. The two main scientific questions of the Galactic Legacy Infrared Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire (GLIMPSE) would address the structure of the inner Galaxy, including the disk, number and location of spiral arms, IR-bright star formation regions etc and the statistics and physics of star formation as a function of mass, location in the Milky Way etc. (*1)

GLIMPSE was fully sampled and performed its observations with a spatial resolution of ~2” with wavelengths centered on 3.6, 4.5, 5.8 and 8.0µm, over a range 10º to 70º on both sides of the Galactic center and in the Galactic Longitude ± 1 (Galactic Longitude and Latitude rspv.). This section of the night sky containes approximately 70% of the molecular gas in the Milky Way and most of its star forming regions.

GLIMPSE 3-D is a natural extension of the GLIMPSE survey. This newer survey covered up to |b| < 3º-4º in selected longitudes ranges still in the Galactic Plane. The goal of the GLIMPSE-3D project is to explore the three-dimensional properties of the Galaxy. This survey has enabled researchers to study the vertical structure of the Galaxy, studies of Galactic fountains/flows in the inner Galaxy. However, we are interested in this project for how minimally it is affected by extinction. This property allows us to search for objects, in particular galaxies, hidden by the Galactic Plane and probably undiscovered. The three images I searched were centered at 335 longitude and 330 degrees longitude. Indicated in the picture below.



Advisor: Bob Benjamin

Useful Links:
University of Wisconsin-Madison