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Astron. Astrophys. 315, L165-L168 (1996)

First ISOCAM images of the Milky Way*

M. Pérault1,2, A. Omont3, G. Simon4, P. S'eguin1, D. Ojha3, J. Blommaert5, M. Felli6, G. Gilmore7, F. Guglielmo3, H. Habing8, S. Price9, A. Robin10, B. de Batz4, C. Cesarsky11, D. Elbaz11, N. Epchtein4, P. Fouqué12, S. Guest5, D. Levine5, A. Pollock5, T. Prusti5, R. Siebenmorgen5, L. Testi6, and D. Tiphène4

1 Laboratoire de Radioastronomie Millimétrique, ENS and CNRS, Paris, France
2 Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, CNRS, Orsay, France
3 Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, France
4 Observatoire de Paris, France
5 ISO Science Operation Center, ESOC, Villafranca, Spain
6 Osservatorio Astronomico, Arcetri, Italy
7 Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, UK
8 Sterrewacht, Leiden, The Netherlands
9 Air Force Geophysics Laboratory, Bedford MA, USA
10 Observatoire de Besançon, France
11 Service d'Astrophysique, CEA, Saclay, France
12 European South Observatory, La Silla, Chile, on leave from Observatoire de Paris

Received 16 September 1996 / Accepted 20 September 1996

Abstract. ISOGAL is a 15 img1.gifm ISOCAM survey of img2.gif deg2 in the Galactic Plane interior to img4.gif . In combination with IJK data from the near-infrared southern sky survey DENIS, the ISO images allow the first detailed study of stellar populations throughout the inner Galaxy. We present preliminary results from a test observation at img5.gif with 6" pixels and completeness limit 8mJy. Of the img6.gif sources deg-2 detected, about half are KM giants, seen through extinction of up to Aimg8.gif , while most of the remainder are probably dusty young stars. Although away from bright IRAS regions, the field displays spectacular emission features, and, unexpectedly, a number of regions which are optically thick at 15 img1.gifm. The dark regions are presumably dense filaments with Aimg9.gif .

Key words: Galaxy: stellar content - interstellar medium: general - interstellar medium: dust, extinction - infrared: galaxies - infrared: stars

* Based on observations with ISO, an ESA project with instruments funded by ESA Member States (especially the PI countries: France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) and with the participation of ISAS and NASA; and on DENIS observations collected at the European Southern Observatory.

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