The Spitzer c2d survey of large, nearby, insterstellar clouds. II. Serpens observed with IRAC

Paul M. Harvey, Nicholas Chapman, Shih Ping Lai, Neal J. Evans, Lori E. Allen, Jes K. Jørgensen, Lee G. Mundy, Tracy L. Huard, Alicia Porras, Lucas Cieza, Philip C. Myers, Bruno Merín, Ewine F. Van Dishoeck, Kaisa E. Young, William Spiesman, Geoffrey A. Blake, David W. Koerner, Deborah L. Padgett, Anneila I. Sargent, Karl R. Stapelfeldt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


We present maps of 0.89 deg2 of the Serpens dark cloud at 3.6, 4.5, 5.8, and 8.0 μm observed with the Spitzer Space Telescope Infrared Array Camera (IRAC). We discuss in detail the data processing carried out by the c2d team on IRAC data. More than 100,000 compact sources have been extracted, but we confine most of our discussion to the most reliable subset of these sources. This includes those that are detected above 7 σ in all four IRAC bands or those detected in the two shorter IRAC bands together with 2MASS. We estimate completeness limits for our survey from Monte Carlo tests with artificial sources inserted into the Spitzer maps. We compare source counts, colors, and magnitudes in the Serpens cloud to two reference data sets, a 0.10 deg2 set of low-extinction regions near the dark cloud and a 1 deg2 subset of the SWIRE Elais N1 data that was processed through our pipeline. We find that it is possible to identify more than 200 young stellar object (YSO) candidates from color-magnitude and color-color diagrams, most of which were previously unknown. In addition to the dense area of new star formation known before in the "core" region (cluster A), we also find a moderately rich area to the south (cluster B). Our mapped area also includes the Herbig Ae star VV Ser, whose Spitzer images have been carefully modeled in a separate study. The extreme sensitivity of Spitzer IRAC allows us to search to very low luminosity limits for young substellar objects. The comparison of the Serpens region with the reference areas suggests that a population of infrared excess sources exists in Serpens at least down to luminosities of L ∼ 10-3 L and possibly lower.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-325
Number of pages19
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 10 2006


  • ISM: clouds
  • Infrared: ISM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The Spitzer c2d survey of large, nearby, insterstellar clouds. II. Serpens observed with IRAC'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this