The balloon-borne large aperture submillimeter telescope (blast) 2005: A 4 deg2 galactic plane survey in vulpecula (ℓ=59°)

E. L. Chapin, P. A.R. Ade, J. J. Bock, C. Brunt, M. J. Devlin, S. Dicker, M. Griffin, J. O. Gundersen, M. Halpern, P. C. Hargrave, D. H. Hughes, J. Klein, G. Marsden, P. G. Martin, P. Mauskopf, C. B. Netterfield, L. Olmi, E. Pascale, G. Patanchon, M. RexD. Scott, C. Semisch, M. D.P. Truch, C. Tucker, G. S. Tucker, M. P. Viero, D. V. Wiebe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


We present the first results from a new 250, 350, and 500 μm Galactic plane survey taken with the Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (BLAST) in 2005. This survey's primary goal is to identify and characterize high-mass protostellar objects ( HMPOs). The region studied here covers 4 deg2 near the open cluster NGC 6823 in the constellation Vulpecula (ℓ = 59°). We find 60 compact sources (<60″ diameter) detected simultaneously in all three bands. Their SEDs are constrained through BLAST, IRAS, Spitzer M IPS, and MSX photometry, with inferred dust temperatures spanning ∼12-40 K assuming a dust emissivity index β = 1.5. The luminosity-to-mass ratio, a distance-independent quantity, spans ∼0.2-130 L M-1. Distances are estimated from coincident 13CO(1 → 0) velocities combined with a variety of other velocity and morphological data in the literature. In total, 49 sources are associated with a molecular cloud complex encompassing NGC 6823 (distance ∼2.3 kpc), 10 objects with the Perseus arm (∼8.5 kpc), and one object is probably in the outer Galaxy (∼14 kpc). Near NGC 6823, the inferred luminosities and masses of BLAST sources span ∼40-104 L and ∼15-700 M, respectively. The mass spectrum is compatible with molecular gas masses in other high-mass star-forming regions. Several luminous sources appear to be ultracompact H ii regions powered by early B stars. However, many of the objects are cool, massive gravitationally bound clumps with no obvious internal radiation from a protostar, and hence excellent HMPO candidates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-452
Number of pages25
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Balloons
  • ISM: clouds
  • Stars: formation
  • Submillimeter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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