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Paper: A Complete K-band Luminosity Function of the Central 30 PC
Volume: 186, The Central Parsecs of the Galaxy
Page: 300
Authors: Philipp, S.; Mezger, P. G.; Zylka, R.
Abstract: We have obtained a K band mosaic image of an area Δα times Δ δ ~650'' times 710'' centered approximately on Sgr A*. With a detection limit of SK' ~100 μ Jy and a completeness limit of ~2000 μ Jy our source counts will only be complete for early O-stars, Supergiants and the most luminous red Giants; less luminous stars will merge into an unresolved background continuum. Special care was taken in our observing procedure to recover all of this continuum emission. 6.1 times 104 individual sources were separated from the background continuum by fitting them with modified Lorentzian distributions. For the low-luminosity sources we construct a model K-band luminosity function (KLF) based on a Salpeter IMF, which is compared with the KLF of Baade's Window after readjustment to match the stellar surface density in the mosaic. We obtain the following results: The emission of both point like sources (interpreted as luminous stars) and an unresolved continuum (interpreted as low-mass main sequence (MS) stars) can be fitted by a KLF ~ SK consisting of four power-law approximations with different exponents α: The modeled sectors which relate to MS stars have the functional dependences ~ SK'-0.6 and SK' -0.8; the observed KLF, which relates to Giants and Supergiants becomes gradually steeper. Compared to the KLF of Baades Window (Tiede et al., 1995) the KLF of the mosaic shows a clear overabundance of stars with high K band flux densities which is strongest within the central 24'' (~1 pc).
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