IRTF Data Archive Program Information

# # Program information file # PROGRAM_ID 2022A065 PROGRAM_TITLE SpeX IR Spectroscopy of Candidate Obscured Stars With Ice Absorption Spectra PROGRAM_INV1 Matthew Ashby PROGRAM_INV2 Joseph Hora PROGRAM_INV3 PROGRAM_INV4 PROGRAM_INV5 PROGRAM_SCICAT galactic/interstellar medium PROGRAM_ABSTRACT_BEG We seek SPeX spectroscopy of 20 bright candidate obscured Milky Way sources targeted by NASA's upcoming SPHEREx mission. SPHEREx will return 0.75-5.0 um spectra of targets after its expected 2024 launch, *but at pre-selected positions.* Our proposed SPeX spectroscopy will validate the SPHEREx target selection -- or equally important, invalidate it -- and thus has the potential to reveal new insights into the formation histories of H2O, CO2, CO, and other ice species seen in the infrared. Specifically our proposed SPeX spectroscopy will cover the strong H2O ice feature at 3.05 um, thought to be very common in sources selected as ours have been. Besides revealing the efficiency of the target selection, our proposed observations will yield first insights into potential contamination of SPHEREx targets by Active Galactic Nuclei, which closely mimic the colors of obscured Galactic objects. We group the targets into groups based on Galactic latitude and apparent obscuration, to test for contamination and for the dependence of ice features on obscuration. With 5 targets per group we will have the statistical power to begin to understand systematics in the SPHEREx target selection for the first time. PROGRAM_ABSTRACT_END