January 2009 • 2009PASP..121...76C
Abstract • MIPSGAL is a 278 deg2 survey of the inner Galactic plane using the Multiband Infrared Photometer for Spitzer aboard the Spitzer Space Telescope. The survey field was imaged in two passbands, 24 and 70 μm with resolutions of 6″ and 18″, respectively. The survey was designed to provide a uniform, well-calibrated and well-characterized data set for general inquiry of the inner Galactic plane and as a longer-wavelength complement to the shorter-wavelength Spitzer survey of the Galactic plane: Galactic Plane Infrared Mapping Survey Extraordinaire. The primary science drivers of the current survey are to identify all high-mass (M > 5 M⊙) protostars in the inner Galactic disk and to probe the distribution, energetics, and properties of interstellar dust in the Galactic disk. The observations were planned to minimize data artifacts due to image latents at 24 μm and to provide full coverage at 70 μm. Observations at ecliptic latitudes within 15° of the ecliptic plane were taken at multiple epochs to help reject asteroids. The data for the survey were collected in three epochs, 2005 September-October, 2006 April, and 2006 October with all of the data available to the public. The estimated point-source sensitivities of the survey are 2 and 75 mJy (3 σ) at 24 and 70 μm, respectively. Additional data processing was needed to mitigate image artifacts due to bright sources at 24 μm and detector responsivity variations at 70 μm due to the large dynamic range of the Galactic plane. Enhanced data products including artifact-mitigated mosaics and point-source catalogs are being produced with the 24 μm mosaics already publicly available from the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive. Some preliminary results using the enhanced data products are described.