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Sample records for horvth istvn forgcs

  1. Discovery in the Galactic Bulge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-11-01

    In our efforts to map our galaxys structure, one region has remained very difficult to probe: the galactic center. A new survey, however, uses infrared light to peer through the gas and dust in the galactic plane, searching for variable stars in the bulge of the galaxy. This study has discovered a population of very young stars in a thin disk in the galactic center, providing clues to the star formation history of the Milky Way over the last 100 million years.Obscured CenterThe center of the Milky Way is dominated by a region known as the galactic bulge. Efforts to better understand this region in particular, its star formation history have been hindered by the stars, gas, and dust of the galactic disk, which prevent us from viewing the galactic bulge at low latitudes in visible light.The positions of the 35 classical Cepheids discovered in VVV data, projected onto an image of the galactic plane. Click for a better look! The survey area is bounded by the blue lines, and the galactic bar is marked with a red curve. The bottom panel shows the position of the Cepheids overlaid on the VVV bulge extinction map. [Dkny et al. 2015]Infrared light, however, can be used to probe deeper through the dust than visible-light searches. A new survey called VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV) uses the VISTA telescope in Chile to search, in infrared, for variable stars in the inner part of the galaxy. The VVV survey area spans the Milky Way bulge and an adjacent section of the mid-plane where star formation activity is high.Led by Istvn Dkny, a researcher at the Millennium Institute of Astrophysics and the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, a team has now used VVV data to specifically identify classical Cepheid variable stars in the bulge. Why? Cepheids are pulsating stars with a very useful relation between their periods and luminosities that allows them to be used as distance indicators. Moreover, classical Cepheids are indicators of young stellar populations which can