University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

From the same journal

By the same authors


  • pdf

    Accepted author manuscript, 2.84 MB, PDF document

  • aa27064-15

    Final published version, 2.86 MB, PDF document

  • N. Peretto
  • C. Lenfestey
  • G. A. Fuller
  • A. Traficante
  • S. Molinari
  • M. A. Thompson
  • D. Ward-Thompson
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Original languageEnglish
Article numberA72
Number of pages11
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Early online date13 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


Galactic plane surveys of pristine molecular clouds are key for establishing a Galactic-scale view of the earliest stages of star formation. For this reason Peretto & Fuller (2009) built an unbiased sample of IRDCs in the 10 deg |b|~18 resolution using the 160micron and 250micron data from the Herschel Galactic plane survey Hi-GAL. We also developed an automated detection scheme that confirms the existence of a SDC through its association with a peak on these Herschel column density maps. Detection simulations, along with visual inspection of a small sub-sample of SDCs, have been performed to get better insight into the limitations of our automated identification scheme. Our analysis shows that 76(+/-19)% of the catalogued SDCs are real. This fraction drops to 55(+/-12)% for clouds with angular diameters larger than ~1 arcminute. The contamination of the PF09 catalogue by large spurious sources reflect the large uncertainties associated to the construction of the 8micron background emission, a key stage towards the identification of SDCs. A comparison of the Herschel confirmed SDC sample with the BGPS and ATLASGAL samples shows that SDCs probe a unique range of cloud properties, reaching down to more compact and lower column density clouds than any of these two (sub-)millimetre Galactic plane surveys.


This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced pdf of an article accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics following peer review. The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Astronomy & Astrophysics, Vol. 590, A72 June 2016, published by EDP Sciences, and is available on line at doi:


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