Planck intermediate results: XXIII. Galactic plane emission components derived from Planck with ancillary data

R.D. Davies, Jussi Varis, Planck Collaboration

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Planck data when combined with ancillary data provide a unique opportunity to separate the diffuse emission components of the inner Galaxy. The purpose of the paper is to elucidate the morphology of the various emission components in the strong star-formation region lying inside the solar radius and to clarify the relationship between the various components. The region of the Galactic plane covered is l = 300° -> 0° -> 60° wherestar-formation is highest and the emission is strong enough to make meaningful component separation. The latitude widths in this longitude range lie between 1° and 2°, which correspond to FWHM z-widths of 100-200pc at a typical distance of 6kpc. The four emission components studied here are synchrotron, free-free, anomalous microwave emission (AME), and thermal (vibrational) dust emission. These components are identified by constructing spectral energy distributions (SEDs) at positions along the Galactic plane using the wide frequency coverage of Planck (28.4-857 GHz) in combination with low-frequency radio data at 0.408-2.3 GHz plus WMAP data at 23-94 GHz, along with far-infrared (FIR) data from COBE-DIRBE and IRAS. The free-free component is determined from radio recombination line (RRL) data. AME is found to be comparable in brightness to the free-free emission on the Galactic plane in the frequency range 20-40 GHz with a width in latitude similar to that of the thermal dust; it comprises 45 ± 1% of the total 28.4 GHz emission in the longitude range l = 300° -> 0° -> 60°. The free-free component is the narrowest, reflecting the fact that it is produced by current star-formation as traced by the narrow distribution of OB stars. It is the dominant emission on the plane between 60 and 100 GHz. RRLs from this ionized gas are used to assess its distance, leading to a free-free z-width of FWHM ~ 100pc. The narrow synchrotron component has a low-frequency brightness spectral index ßsynch ~ -2.7 that is similar to the broad synchrotron component indicating that they are both populated by the cosmic ray electrons of the same spectral index. The width of this narrow synchrotron component is significantly larger than that of the other three components, suggesting that it is generated in an assembly of older supernova remnants that have expanded to sizes of order 150pc in 3 * 105yr; pulsars of a similar age have a similar spread in latitude. The thermal dust is identified in the SEDs with average parameters of Tdust = 20.4 ± 0.4K, ßFIR = 1.94 ± 0.03 (> 353 GHz), and ßmm = 1.67 ± 0.02 (<353 GHz). The latitude distributions of gamma-rays, CO, and the emission in high-frequency Planck bands have similar widths, showing that they are all indicators of the total gaseous matter on the plane in the inner Galaxy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberA13
    Number of pages27
    JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • ISM
    • galaxy
    • radiation mechnisms
    • radio continuum: ISM
    • submillimeter: ISM


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