Volume 565, May 2014
|Number of page(s)||13|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||29 April 2014|
A stellar population synthesis model for the study of ultraviolet star counts of the Galaxy
1 Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Homi Bhabha Road, 400005 Mumbai, India
2 Institut Utinam, CNRS UMR 6213, OSU THETA, Université de Franche-Comté, 41bis avenue de l’Observatoire 25000 Besançon, France
3 National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, 411007 Pune, India
4 Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Mönchhofstr, 12-14, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Received: 23 April 2013
Accepted: 11 March 2014
Context. Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), the first all sky imaging ultraviolet (UV) satellite, has imaged a large part of the sky providing an excellent opportunity for studying UV star counts. Combining photometry from the different wavelengths in the infrared (from Wide-field Infrared Survey (WISE) and Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS)) to UV allows us to extract a real star catalogue from the GALEX source catalogue.
Aims. The aim of our study is to investigate in detail the observed UV star counts obtained by GALEX vis-à-vis the model simulated catalogues produced by the Besançon model of stellar population synthesis in various Galactic directions, and to explore the potential for studying the structure of our Galaxy from images in multiple near-UV (NUV) and far-UV (FUV) filters of the forthcoming Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) to be flown onboard Astrosat.
Methods. We have upgraded the Besançon model of stellar population synthesis to include the UV bands of GALEX and UVIT. Depending on the availability of contiguous GALEX, Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), WISE, and 2MASS overlapping regions, we have chosen a set of 19 GALEX fields which spread over a range of Galactic directions. We selected a sample of objects from the GALEX database using the CASjobs interface and then cross-matched them with the WISE+2MASS and SDSS catalogues. The UV stars in the GALEX catalogue are identified by choosing a suitable infrared (IR) colour, J − W1 (W1 is a WISE band at 3.4 μm), which corresponds to a temperature range from 1650 K to 65 000 K. The IR colour cut method, which is used for the first time for separation of stars, is discussed in comparison with the GALEX+SDSS star counts method.
Results. We present the results of the UV star counts analysis carried out using the data from GALEX. We find that the Besançon model simulations represent the observed star counts of both the GALEX All-sky Imaging Survey and Medium Imaging Survey well within the error bars in various Galactic directions. Based on the analysis of the model FUV − NUV colour, we separated out white dwarfs of the disc and blue horizontal branch stars of the halo from the observed sample by selecting a suitable FUV − NUV colour.
Conclusions. The Besançon model is now ready for further comparisons in the UV domain and will be used for prospective studies for the UVIT instrument to be flown onboard Astrosat.
Key words: stars: general / ultraviolet: stars / Galaxy: disk / Galaxy: stellar content / Galaxy: halo
© ESO, 2014
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