Protostars and Planets VI, Heidelberg, July 15-20, 2013

Poster 1S049

SPLASH The Southern Parkes Large-Area Survey in Hydroxyl

Walsh, Andrew (International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research)
Dawson, Joanne (University of Tasmania)

The OH lines at 1612, 1665, 1667 and 1720 MHz are versatile probes of diffuse molecular gas, and may trace a largely unstudied component of the Galactic ISM. SPLASH (the Southern Parkes Large-Area Survey in Hydroxyl) is a large, unbiassed and fully-sampled survey of OH emission, absorption and masers in the Galactic Plane and Galactic Centre, that will achieve sensitivities an order of magnitude better than previous surveys. The project will answer critical questions on the global distribution of diffuse OH, the degree to which it traces ’hidden’ emission caught between the regimes probed by traditional tracers, and its role as a probe of molecular cloud formation. As a blind and sensitive survey of all four ground-state transitions, SPLASH is also detecting many new OH masers, facilitating a broad range of astrophysical studies. I will report on the science aims and strategy of the survey, and present initial results from its first two semesters, which have revealed a rich and complex distribution of OH emission and absorption in a subsection of the Southern Milky Way.

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