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Published April 1, 2011 | Published
Journal Article Open

Deconvolution of Images from BLAST 2005: Insight into the K3-50 and IC 5146 Star-forming Regions


We present an implementation of the iterative flux-conserving Lucy-Richardson (L-R) deconvolution method of image restoration for maps produced by the Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (BLAST). Compared to the direct Fourier transform method of deconvolution, the L-R operation restores images with better-controlled background noise and increases source detectability. Intermediate iterated images are useful for studying extended diffuse structures, while the later iterations truly enhance point sources to near the designed diffraction limit of the telescope. The L-R method of deconvolution is efficient in resolving compact sources in crowded regions while simultaneously conserving their respective flux densities. We have analyzed its performance and convergence extensively through simulations and cross-correlations of the deconvolved images with available high-resolution maps. We present new science results from two BLAST surveys, in the Galactic regions K3-50 and IC 5146, further demonstrating the benefits of performing this deconvolution. We have resolved three clumps within a radius of 4'.5 inside the star-forming molecular cloud containing K3-50. Combining the well-resolved dust emission map with available multi-wavelength data, we have constrained the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of five clumps to obtain masses (M), bolometric luminosities (L), and dust temperatures (T). The L-M diagram has been used as a diagnostic tool to estimate the evolutionary stages of the clumps. There are close relationships between dust continuum emission and both 21 cm radio continuum and ^(12)CO molecular line emission. The restored extended large-scale structures in the Northern Streamer of IC 5146 have a strong spatial correlation with both SCUBA and high-resolution extinction images. A dust temperature of 12 K has been obtained for the central filament. We report physical properties of ten compact sources, including six associated protostars, by fitting SEDs to multi-wavelength data. All of these compact sources are still quite cold (typical temperature below ~ 16 K) and are above the critical Bonner-Ebert mass. They have associated low-power young stellar objects. Further evidence for starless clumps has also been found in the IC 5146 region.

Additional Information

© 2011 American Astronomical Society. Received 2010 October 22; accepted 2011 February 2; published 2011 March 15. 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 also thank the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) staff for their outstanding work.

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Published - Roy2011p13406Astrophys_J.pdf


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