Nikiforov, I. I.; Agladze, E. V.
We have checked the existence of a zone of avoidance oriented along the Galactic rotation axis in the globular cluster (GC) system of the Galaxy and performed a parametrization of this zone in the axisymmetric approximation. The possibility of the presence of such a structure in the shape of a double cone has previously been discussed in the literature. We show that an unambiguous conclusion about the existence of an axial zone of avoidance and its parameters cannot be reached based on the maximization of the formal cone of avoidance due to the discreteness of the GC system. The ambiguity allows the construction of the representation of voids in the GC system by a set of largest-radius meridional cylindrical voids to be overcome. As a result of our structural study of this set for northern and southern GCs independently, we have managed to identify ordered, vertically connected axial zones of avoidance with similar characteristics. Our mapping of the combined axial zone of avoidance in the separate and joint analyses of the northern and southern voids shows that this structure is traceable at | Z| ≳ 1 kpc, it is similar in shape to a double cone whose axis crosses the region of greatest GC number density, and the southern cavity of the zone has a less regular shape than the northern one. By modeling the distribution ofGalactocentric latitudes forGCs, we have determined the half-angle of the cone of avoidance α0 = 15°.0-4°.1 +2°.1 and the distance to the Galactic center R 0 = 7.3 ± 0.5 kpc (in the scale of the Harris (1996) catalog, the 2010 version) as the distance from the Sun to the point of intersection of the cone axis with the center-anticenter line. A correction to the calibration of the GC distance scale obtained in the same version of the Harris catalog from Galactic objects leads to an estimate of R 0 = 7.2±0.5|stat ±0.3|calib kpc. The systematic error in R 0 due to the observational incompleteness of GCs for this method is insignificant. The
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