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Stellar ages through the corners of the boxy bulge


Valenti, E; Zoccali, M; Renzini, A; Brown, T M; Gonzalez, O A; Minniti, D; Debattista, V P; Mayer, L (2013). Stellar ages through the corners of the boxy bulge. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 559:A98.

Abstract

Aims: In some scenarios for the formation of the Milky Way bulge, the stellar population at the edges of the boxy bulge may be younger than those on the minor axis or close to the Galactic center. So far the only bulge region where deep color-magnitude diagrams have been obtained is indeed along the minor axis. To overcome this limitation, we aim to age-date the bulge stellar populations far away from the bulge minor axis.
Methods: Color-magnitude diagrams and luminosity functions have been obtained from deep near-IR VLT/HAWK-I images taken at the two Southern corners of the boxy bulge, i.e., near the opposite edges of the Galactic bar. The foreground disk contamination has been statistically removed using a pure disk field observed with the same instrument and located approximately at similar Galactic latitudes of the two bulge fields and ~30° in longitude away from the Galactic center. For each bulge field, mean reddening and distance are determined using the position of red clump stars, and the metallicity distribution is derived photometrically using the color distribution of stars in the upper red giant branch.
Results: The resulting metallicity distribution function of both fields peaks around [Fe/H] ~ -0.1 dex, with the bulk of the stellar population having a metallicity within the range: -1 dex ≲ [Fe/H] ≲ +0.4 dex, quite similar to that of other inner bulge fields. As for the previously explored inner fields, the color-magnitude diagrams of the two bar fields are consistent with their stellar population being older than ~10 Gyr, with no obvious evidence of younger population.
Conclusions: The stellar population of the corners of the boxy bulge appears to be coeval with those within the innermost ~4° from the Galactic center.
Based on data taken at the ESO/VLT Telescope, within the observing program 081.B-0489(A).The derived photometric catalogs are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/559/A98

Abstract

Aims: In some scenarios for the formation of the Milky Way bulge, the stellar population at the edges of the boxy bulge may be younger than those on the minor axis or close to the Galactic center. So far the only bulge region where deep color-magnitude diagrams have been obtained is indeed along the minor axis. To overcome this limitation, we aim to age-date the bulge stellar populations far away from the bulge minor axis.
Methods: Color-magnitude diagrams and luminosity functions have been obtained from deep near-IR VLT/HAWK-I images taken at the two Southern corners of the boxy bulge, i.e., near the opposite edges of the Galactic bar. The foreground disk contamination has been statistically removed using a pure disk field observed with the same instrument and located approximately at similar Galactic latitudes of the two bulge fields and ~30° in longitude away from the Galactic center. For each bulge field, mean reddening and distance are determined using the position of red clump stars, and the metallicity distribution is derived photometrically using the color distribution of stars in the upper red giant branch.
Results: The resulting metallicity distribution function of both fields peaks around [Fe/H] ~ -0.1 dex, with the bulk of the stellar population having a metallicity within the range: -1 dex ≲ [Fe/H] ≲ +0.4 dex, quite similar to that of other inner bulge fields. As for the previously explored inner fields, the color-magnitude diagrams of the two bar fields are consistent with their stellar population being older than ~10 Gyr, with no obvious evidence of younger population.
Conclusions: The stellar population of the corners of the boxy bulge appears to be coeval with those within the innermost ~4° from the Galactic center.
Based on data taken at the ESO/VLT Telescope, within the observing program 081.B-0489(A).The derived photometric catalogs are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/559/A98

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:11 Feb 2014 09:57
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:31
Publisher:EDP Sciences
ISSN:0004-6361
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201321962

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