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Using data from the all-sky Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite, we made a catalog of over 8000 Galactic H II regions and H II region candidates by searching for their characteristic mid-infrared (MIR) morphology. WISE has sufficient sensitivity to detect the MIR emission from H II regions located anywhere in the Galactic disk. We believe this is the most complete catalog yet of regions forming massive stars in the Milky Way. Of the ~8000 cataloged sources, ~1500 have measured radio recombination line (RRL) or Hα emission, and are thus known to be H II regions. This sample improves on previous efforts by resolving H II region complexes into multiple sources and by removing duplicate entries. There are ~2500 candidate H II regions in the catalog that are spatially coincident with radio continuum emission. Our group's previous RRL studies show that ~95% of such targets are H II regions. We find that ~500 of these candidates are also positionally associated with known H II region complexes, so the probability of their being bona fide H II regions is even higher. At the sensitivity limits of existing surveys, ~4000 catalog sources show no radio continuum emission. Using data from the literature, we find distances for ~1500 catalog sources, and molecular velocities for ~1500H II region candidates.

Source Citation

Anderson, L. D., Bania, T. M., Balser, Dana S., Cunningham, V., Wenger, T. V., Johnstone, B. M., & Armentrout, W. P. (2014). The Wise Catalog Of Galactic H Ii Regions. The Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series, 212(1), 1.