The Bolocam Galactic Plane Survey
A Census of Embedded Star Formation in the Milky Way

Yancy Shirley



The Bolocam Galactic Plane Survey (BGPS) is a 1.1mm dust continuum survey of over 170 square degrees of the Milky Way Galactic Plane in the 1st and 2nd quadrants. Due to the incredible sensitivity of 1.1mm emission to cold dust, the BGPS can detect dense clumps of gas and dust of only 10s of solar masses across the Galaxy. The BGPS has discovered over 8000 sources in the 1st quadrant of the Galaxy. These sources include the "starless" precursors to star formation as well as the most complete census to date of embedded star forming regions in our Galaxy. In order to determine the basic properties (size, mass, luminosity, etc.) of this new population of dense clumps, we must first determine the kinematic distances. I shall describe a spectroscopic followup observing program using the HCO+ and N2H+ molecules at the University of Arizona to determine kinematic distances for all BGPS sources in the 1st Galactic quadrant. The initial results from observations of ~2500 BGPS sources plus comparison to existing infrared and radio surveys (e.g. GLIMPSE, CORNISH) reveal the evolution of the physical and chemical properties of these BGPS clumps.