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Paper: Exploring the Obscured Milky Way with Multi-Object Spectroscopy
Volume: 507, Multi-Object Spectroscopy in the Next Decade: Big Questions, Large Surveys, and Wide Fields
Page: 75
Authors: Negueruela, I.; Clark, J. S.; Dorda, R.; González-Fernández, C.; Marco, A.; Monguió, M.
Abstract: Most of the Milky Way is hidden by dust clouds. Along many sightlines extinction grows to several magnitudes within just 2 or 3 kpc. High-mass stars on the other hand are so luminous that they can be seen, at least in the infrared, out to very large distances. They are short-lived and thus trace recent star formation and Galactic structure. If we were able to identify them in the middle of crowded Galactic Plane fields, we could probe a range of distances and extinctions that most spectroscopic surveys (and even Gaia) will fail to cover. Is it possible to tell a highly-reddened distant high-mass star from a nearby intrinsically faint and red star? We have been developing selection criteria that allow the identification of candidate obscured high-mass stars in different Galactic environments. Here we present a selection of results from several test observations carried out with AF2, AAOmega and FLAMES along different sightlines. The results are extremely encouraging. With the advent of large-scale photometric surveys, such as VVV, IPHAS or VPHAS+, we can refine search criteria to the point that next-generation instruments, such as WEAVE or MOONS, can be used to explore most of the obscured Milky Way.
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