NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013A-0070

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Proposal Information for 2013A-0070


PI: Nicolas FLAGEY, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, nflagey@jpl.nasa.gov
Address: California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove, Drive Pasadena, CA 91109, USA

CoI: Alberto NORIEGA CRESPO, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center
CoI: Nicolas BILLOT, IRAM
CoI: Sean CAREY, Spitzer Science Center
CoI: Grazia UMANA, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania
CoI: Adriano INGALLINERA, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania

Title: Hunting for missing massive stars in the Galaxy

Abstract: We propose GNIRS observations of the central sources of 54 circumstellar envelopes discovered in the Spitzer/MIPSGAL 24 microns survey of the Galactic plane to unequivocally determine the nature of these objects and help us better characterize their main properties. Out of the 400 MIPSGAL “bubbles” in our whole catalog, about 50% have a central source detected in the near-IR. Spectroscopic observations of these sources are the only way to identify the "bubbles" as planetary nebulae, Wolf-Rayet or Luminous Blue Variables. Most of the bright Northern hemisphere targets have now been idenified and a significant fraction of these new identifications are massive stars. We propose to complete the identification process in the Southern sky where most of the remaining faint targets are located. These observations will constrain the amount of massive stars hidden in the Galactic plane and help understand their impact in galactic systems. They will also provide the missing information required to infer the dust mass of the "bubbles" from the mid- to far-IR observations at our disposal.


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