AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 32 The Galactic Center
Oral, Monday, January 10, 2005, 10:00-11:30am, Pacific 2/3

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[32.08] A Deep Infrared Survey of the Galactic Center

S. Laycock, J. E. Grindlay (CfA), E Persson (Carnegie), M. van den Berg, P Zhao, J. S. Hong (CfA), ChaMPlane Collaboration

In June 2004 we observed the inner 10'x10' of the Galactic Center in the infrared with the PANIC imager at the 6.5m Magellan observatory. We will present our multi-color (JHKBg) IR mosaic which represents one of the deepest-ever views of the center of our galaxy.

The recent discovery of 2000+ X-ray sources in the Galactic Center increases the known X-ray source population of the Bulge by > 10X. What are these objects? and how do they fit into our picture of the galaxy? The sources are likely a mixture of accreting magnetic white dwarfs (CVs) and wind-fed neutron stars in high-mass X-ray binaries, with perhaps a sample of more exotic objects such as black hole binaries. The majority are located in a strongly peaked central cusp, within the central few hundred pc. The remainder are located along our line of sight through the bulge and inner Galactic Plane. By determining whether High-mass X-ray binaries (HMXB) comprise a significant fraction of the sources, we can constrain the relative abundance of HMXB and CVs, and hence decide between different scenarios for their formation.

Enormous extinction by gas and dust obscures the the Galactic Bulge, limiting the view of even the largest optical telescopes to about 1-3 kpc (only about 1/3 of the way to the galactic center) In the near infrared (JHK) the view is dramatically clearer, allowing a sensitive search for counterparts to the X-ray population in the Galactic Center.

These data add a new dimension to our Chandra Multiwavelength Plane (ChaMPlane) survey which already has optical imaging down to 24th magnitude in VRIH\alpha. See also paper by Koenig et al. (this meeting) on optical spectroscopy of Galactic Bulge X-ray counterparts.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://hea-www.harvard.edu/ChaMPlane. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: silas@head.cfa.harvard.edu

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.