November 2017 • 2017MNRAS.471.2730M
Abstract • We describe new Hi-GAL based maps of the entire Galactic Plane, obtained using continuum data in the wavelength range 70-500 μm. These maps are derived with the PPMAP procedure, and therefore represent a significant improvement over those obtained with standard analysis techniques. Specifically they have greatly improved resolution (12 arcsec) and, in addition to more accurate integrated column densities and mean dust temperatures, they give temperature-differential column densities, I.e., separate column density maps in twelve distinct dust temperature intervals, along with the corresponding uncertainty maps. The complete set of maps is available online. We briefly describe PPMAP and present some illustrative examples of the results. These include (a) multi-temperature maps of the Galactic H II region W5-E, (b) the temperature decomposition of molecular cloud column-density probability distribution functions, and (c) the global variation of mean dust temperature as a function of Galactocentric distance. Amongst our findings are: (I) a strong localised temperature gradient in W5-E in a direction orthogonal to that towards the ionising star, suggesting an alternative heating source and providing possible guidance for models of the formation of the bubble complex, and (II) the overall radial profile of dust temperature in the Galaxy shows a monotonic decrease, broadly consistent both with models of the interstellar radiation field and with previous estimates at lower resolution. However, we also find a central temperature plateau within ∼6 kpc of the Galactic centre, outside of which is a pronounced steepening of the radial profile. This behaviour may reflect the greater proportion of molecular (as opposed to atomic) gas in the central region of the Galaxy.