Yong-Hyun Lee1, Bon-Chul Koo1, Jae-Joon Lee2, Michael G. Burton3,4, and Stuart Ryder5,6

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1 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Republic of Korea; yhlee

2 Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, Daejeon 305-348, Republic of Korea

3 School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia

4 Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG, Northern Ireland, UK

5 Australian Astronomical Observatory, P.O. Box 915, North Ryde, NSW 1670, Australia

6 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia

Yong-Hyun Lee https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3277-2147

Jae-Joon Lee https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0894-7824

Michael G. Burton https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7289-1998

Stuart Ryder https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4501-8100


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We report the detection of near-infrared (NIR) (1.644 μm) and H2 1–0 S(1) (2.122 μm) line features associated with Galactic supernova remnants (SNRs) in the first quadrant using two narrowband imaging surveys, UWIFE and UWISH2. Among the total of 79 SNRs fully covered by both surveys, we found 19 -emitting and 19 H2-emitting SNRs, giving a detection rate of 24% for each. Eleven SNRs show both emission features. The detection rate of and H2 peaks at the Galactic longitude (l) of 40°–50° and 30°–40°, respectively, and gradually decreases toward smaller/larger l. Five out of the eleven SNRs emitting both emission lines clearly show an "–H2 reversal," where H2 emission features are found outside the SNR boundary in emission. Our NIR spectroscopy shows that the H2 emission originates from collisionally excited H2 gas. The brightest SNR in both and H2 emissions is W49B, contributing more than 70% and 50% of the total 1.644 μm (2.0 × 104 ) and H2 2.122 μm (1.2 × 103 ) luminosities of the detected SNRs. The total 1.644 μm luminosity of our Galaxy is a few times smaller than that expected from the SN rate using the correlation found in nearby starburst galaxies. We discuss possible explanations for this.