July 11-15, 2011
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Red Eyes on Wolf-Rayet Stars: New Discoveries in the Galaxy via Infrared Color Selection

Jon Mauerhan (IPAC/Caltech)

Schuyler Van Dyk (IPAC/Caltech), Pat Morris (NHSC/Caltech)

I will present new discoveries from our near-infrared spectroscopic survey for Galactic Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars. WR candidates were selected from the 2MASS+Spitzer/GLIMPSE databases via their infrared excess, which is mainly the result of free-free emission generated in their dense ionized winds. Recent refinement of the selection criteria has significantly increased the WR detection rate relative to previous efforts. Cross-correlation of the list of infrared-selected candidates with archival X-ray point-source catalogs has also proven to be an effective, additional method for identifying WRs. Several new stellar clusters not detectable by existing cluster search algorithms have also been identified as a result of our survey. Future prospects for Galactic WR searches using infrared color selection will also be discussed.
(to be confirmed by the SOC)