AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 40 Galactic Structure with WIMPS, STARS and Gas
Oral, Monday, 10:00-11:30am, January 9, 2006, Salon 1

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[40.04] RR Lyrae stars in the Galactic bulge

M. J. Collinge (Princeton University)

We present results from a study of fundamental-mode RR Lyrae stars in the Galactic Bulge, based on a catalog derived from the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE). While RR Lyrae stars are interesting in their own right as laboratories for studying pulsating stellar physics (such as the still poorly understood Blazhko effect), we exploit their observed properties to study the inner Galaxy. We use their nearly-constant V-I color at minimum light as a reddening measure to test the reliability of extinction maps. We employ them as distance indicators to constrain the geometry of the inner Galactic structure. Finally, we compare the behavior of RR Lyrae, as tracers of the low-metallicity population, with the more metal rich red clump stars.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
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