Timothy Ellsworth-Bowers


Distance Determination for Bolocam Galactic Plane Survey Sources: A Method for Deriving Distance Probability Density Functions

Jason Glenn, Erik Rosolowsky, John Bally, Wayne Schlingman, Adam Ginsburg, Yancy Shirley


Recent (sub-)millimeter dust-continuum surveys of the Galactic plane have cataloged tens of thousands of cool, dense molecular cloud cores and clumps that are sites of ongoing or potential star formation. Extraction of luminosities and masses from observed flux densities requires distances and temperatures. We present a novel technique for deriving distance probability density functions for molecular cloud clumps cataloged by the Bolocam Galactic Plane Survey (BGPS), a 1.1 mm survey of the northern Galactic plane conducted from the CSO. Using radial velocities derived from spectroscopy of dense gas associated with BGPS clumps we derive kinematic distances, and then apply associations with external data sets to address the kinematic distance ambiguity and compute distance probability density functions for each source in the catalog. This technique is directly applicable to other Galactic plane surveys, such as Hi-GAL.