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Title:
JHKL Photometry and the K-Band Luminosity Function at the Galactic Center
Authors:
Blum, R. D.; Sellgren, K.; Depoy, D. L.
Publication:
Astrophysical Journal v.470, p.864 (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
10/1996
Origin:
APJ
Astronomy Keywords:
GALAXY: CENTER, GALAXY: STELLAR CONTENT, INFRARED: STARS, ISM: DUST, EXTINCTION, STARS: LUMINOSITY FUNCTION, MASS FUNCTION
DOI:
10.1086/177917
Bibliographic Code:
1996ApJ...470..864B

Abstract

J, H, K, and L photometry for the star's in the central ˜2' (˜ 5 pc) of the Galaxy are presented. Using the observed J - H, H - K, and K - L colors and assumed intrinsic colors, we determine the interstellar extinction at 2.2 mum (AK) for approximately 1100 individual stars. The mean AK(=3.3 mag) is similar to previous results, but we find that the reddening is highly variable, and some stars are likely to be seen through AK > 6 mag. The dereddened K-band luminosity function points to a significantly brighter component to the stellar population (>1.5 mag at K) than found in the stellar population in Baade's window, confirming previous work done at lower spatial resolution. The observed flux of all Galactic center stars with estimated K0 (dereddened magnitude) <=7.0 mag is ˜25% of the total in the 2' x 2' field.

Our observations confirm the recent finding that several bright M stars in the Galactic center are variable. Our photometry also establishes the near-infrared variability of the M1-2 supergiant, IRS 7.


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