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Published January 10, 2010 | Published
Journal Article Open

BLAST05: Power Spectra of Bright Galactic Cirrus at Submillimeter Wavelengths


We report multi-wavelength power spectra of diffuse Galactic dust emission from Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope observations at 250, 350, and 500 μm in Galactic plane fields in Cygnus X and Aquila. These submillimeter power spectra statistically quantify the self-similar structure observable over a broad range of scales and can be used to assess the cirrus noise which limits the detection of faint point sources. The advent of submillimeter surveys with the Herschel Space Observatory makes the wavelength dependence a matter of interest. We show that the observed relative amplitudes of the power spectra can be related through a spectral energy distribution (SED). Fitting a simple modified black body to this SED, we find the dust temperature in Cygnus X to be 19.8 ± 1.5 K and in the Aquila region 16.8 ± 0.8 K. Our empirical estimates provide important new insight into the substantial cirrus noise that will be encountered in forthcoming observations.

Additional Information

© 2010 American Astronomical Society. Print publication: Issue 2 (2010 January 10); received 2009 October 5; accepted for publication 2009 November 19; published 2009 December 23. The BLAST collaboration acknowledges the support of NASA through grant numbers NAG5-12785, NAG5-13301, and NNGO-6GI11G, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the UK Particle Physics & Astronomy Research Council (PPARC), and Canada's Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). We thank the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) staff for their outstanding work.

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Published - Roy2010p6719Astrophys_J.pdf


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