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Paper: A Large Asymmetry in the Distribution of Faint Stars in the Inner Galaxy
Volume: 275, Disks of Galaxies: Kinematics, Dynamics and Perturbations
Page: 136
Authors: Parker, J. E.; Humphreys, R. M.; Larsen, J. A.
Abstract: We present a star count analysis of the faint stars on either side of the Sun-Center line, from l=±20 deg -- ±75 deg and b=+20 deg -- +50 deg with data from 40 POSS I fields. Larsen & Humphreys (1996) found a significant asymmetry in the number of faint blue stars on either side of the line to the Galactic center with significantly more stars observed in the first quadrant. Using a galactic model, we chose color ranges to distinguish between halo/thick disk and old disk stellar populations. Our results indicate that the stellar excess is comprised of mainly halo/thick disk stars and that it increases with fainter magnitudes. In addition, we analyzed the star counts for 40 fields above the plane compared to their 40 complementary fields below the plane (b=±20 deg -- ±50 deg). We find that the excess is also present in quadrant I below the plane. It is possible that the excess in star counts may be due to a bar--induced ``wake", an interaction of the disk by a merger, or a result of a triaxial thick disk/inner halo. Spectroscopic observations have been made using both the CTIO 4 meter and the KPNO WIYN 3.5 meter telescopes with HYDRA to measure the radial velocities and classify nearly 1000 stars. The objective is to determine the extent of the asymmetry and the nature and kinematics of the stars responsible.
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