Volume 537, January 2012
|Number of page(s)||19|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||19 January 2012|
Recent star formation in the inner Galactic bulge seen by ISOGAL⋆
II. The central molecular zone
1 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
2 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, 02138 Cambridge, MA, USA
3 Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, 98bis Bd Arago, 75014 Paris, France
Received: 9 August 2011
Accepted: 8 November 2011
We present 5–38 μm spectroscopic observations of a sample of 68 ISOGAL sources with unknown natures, taken with the Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph. Based on the characteristics and the slope of their spectra, we classified the sources as young or late-type evolved objects. These sources were selected to test selection criteria based on the ISOGAL – color and the spatial extent parameter σ15. We revised these criteria until they reliably distinguished between young and late-type evolved objects and then applied them to all ISOGAL sources in the central molecular zone (CMZ), resulting in the selection of 485 sources believed to be young. Furthermore, we added 656 Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) sources to the CMZ sample that fulfilled FE/FD > 2 with FD and FE being the flux densities in the D (15 μm) and E (21 μm) bands. After obtaining conversion factors, we calculated the bolometric luminosity, Lbol, values for the CMZ sample and subsequently the masses of the sources. Applying a Kroupa initial mass function, we derived the total mass in young objects that have been formed over the last 1 Myr, resulting in an average star formation rate of 0.08 solar masses per year for the CMZ.
Key words: stars: formation / infrared: stars / Galaxy: stellar content / Hii regions / Galaxy: center
Figure 3 is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2012
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