A Spitzer Catalogue of Infrared Dark Clouds
N. Peretto (CEA, Saclay), C. Lenfestey (Manchester)
Infrared dark clouds (IRDCs) are dense regions seen in absorption against the diffuse infrared emission in the Galactic Plane. They are amongst the best candidates for identifying the quiescent clumps of dense gas in molecular clouds which give rise to stellar clusters and massive stars before star formation significantly modifies their properties. In this presentation I will discuss a recent new catalogue of IRDCs which has identified over 14,000 clouds using the GLIMPSE survey. I will describe the star formation properties of these clouds which has been investigated using the MIPSGAL survey. I will then explore some other initial results on the properties of these clouds and the prospects for future work probing the structure of these clouds and the extremely young stars forming within them.