A Mid-Infrared Census Of Star Formation Activity In Bolocam Galactic Plane Survey Sources
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We present the results of a search for mid-infrared signs of star formation activity in the 1.1mm sources in the Bolocam Galactic Plane Survey (BGPS). We have correlated the BGPS catalog with available mid-IR Galactic plane catalogs based on the Spitzer Space Telescope GLIMPSE legacy survey and the Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) Galactic plane survey. We find that 44% (3712 of 8358) of the BGPS sources contain at least one mid-IR source, including 2457 of 5067 (49%) within the area where all surveys overlap (10 degrees < l < 65 degrees). Accounting for chance alignments between the BGPS and mid-IR sources, we conservatively estimate that 20% of the BPGS sources within the area where all surveys overlap show signs of active star formation. We separate the BGPS sources into four groups based on their probability of star formation activity. Extended Green Objects and Red MSX Sources make up the highest probability group, while the lowest probability group is comprised of "starless" BGPS sources which were not matched to any mid-IR sources. The mean 1.1mm flux of each group increases with increasing probability of active star formation. We also find that the "starless" BGPS sources are the most compact, while the sources with the highest probability of star formation activity are on average more extended with large skirts of emission. A subsample of 280 BGPS sources with known distances demonstrates that mass and mean H-2 column density also increase with probability of star formation activity.