NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016B-0279

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Program Information for 2016B-0279


PI: Douglas P Finkbeiner, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, dfinkbeiner@cfa.harvard.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, 60 Garden Street MS-51, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA

CoI: Edward F Schlafly, UC Berkeley
CoI: Gregory Green, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Aaron Meisner, UC Berkeley
CoI: Albert Lee, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Title: Mapping Dust in 3D with DECam: A Galactic Plane Survey

Abstract: We propose to survey the southern Galactic plane in order to determine the three-dimensional distribution of stars, gas, and especially dust in the Milky Way. While the total column of dust through the Galaxy can be estimated by emission-based methods (e.g. Schlegel, Finkbeiner and Davis 1998; Planck Collab. 2014), the 3D distribution of dust must be determined by measurements of the reddening and distance to stars embedded in the dust. Our exposure times are set to see main-sequence turnoff stars at 8.5 kpc through a dust column of $E(B - V)$ = 1.5 mag. Our work with Pan-STARRS1 demonstrates that $grizy$ photometry is satisfactory to create accurate 3D dust maps in the Galactic plane. The proposed survey would extend these maps over area inaccessible from the North, and go deeper than Pan-STARRS 1. Moreover, the survey would provide a valuable legacy data set for studies of Galactic structure and stellar populations, providing, together with Pan-STARRS 1, multi-band optical imaging of the entire Galactic plane at $|b| < 5^$. We observed for 8 nights in 2016A, and are requesting an additional 16 half-nights of observing in 2016B. The remaining 20% of the footprint will be observable with 4-6 additional nights in 2017A.

Program Type: Long Term/Galactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2016B):  CT-4m/DECam -- 4n on Aug 13 - Aug 15 2016, Aug 22 - Aug 26 2016
Run 1 (2017A):  CT-4m/DECam -- 6n on Apr 27 - May 04 2017
Run 2 (2016B):  CT-4m/DECam -- 4n on Jan 16 - Jan 23 2017


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016B-0279

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