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A 3-D Dust Map of our Milky Way Galaxy

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Title A 3-D Dust Map of our Milky Way Galaxy
Period 01 / 2010 - unknown
Status Current
Research number OND1336200
Data Supplier NWO

Abstract

Our view of the Milky Way Galaxy is strongly hindered by the presence of vast amounts of dust. This dust shows a very patchy distribution, ranging from mildly obscuring veils to very dense proto-stellar clouds. A detailed knowledge on the distribution of dust in our Milky Way is important for many fields of astrophysics, ranging from starformation (occuring in the dust clouds), the fundamental properties of dust and chemistry at extremely low temperatures to Galactic structure studies where a correction is needed for the dust to obtain real effective volumes. The new European Galactic Plane Surveys (EGAPS)provide, for the first time ever, a database of close to a billion stars in the plane of our Milky Way in optical colours. We propose to construct from the EGAPS database a 3-D `map' of the dust distribution in our Milky Way Galaxy. This map will have an arcsecond angular resolution and a tens of parsec radial resolution: a combined gain over present best maps by a factor of ~1000.

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Project leader Prof.dr. P.J. Groot

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