February 2014 • 2014MNRAS.437.3626I
Abstract • We report the radio observations of a subsample of the 428 Galactic compact bubbles discovered at 24 μm with the MIPSGAL survey. Pervasive through the entire Galactic plane, these objects are thought to be different kinds of evolved stars. The very large majority of the bubbles (∼70 per cent) are however not yet classified. We conducted radio observations with the Expanded Very Large Array at 6 and 20 cm in order to obtain the spectral index of 55 bubbles. We found that at least 70 per cent of the 31 bubbles for which we were effectively able to compute the spectral index (or its lower limit) are likely to be thermal emitters. We were also able to resolve some bubbles, obtaining that the size of the radio nebula is usually similar to the IR size, although our low resolution (with respect to IR images) did not allow further morphological studies. Comparisons between radio flux densities and IR archive data from Spitzer and IRAS suggest that at least three unclassified bubbles can be treated as planetary nebula candidates.