Mapping the Milky Way bulge at high resolution: the 3D dust extinction, CO, and X factor maps⋆
1 Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, CNRS, Observatoire de Côte d’Azur, Laboratoire Lagrange, 06304 Nice Cedex 4, France
2 Department of Astronomy, Peking University, 100871 Beijing, PR China
3 Department of Astronomy, Beijing Normal University, 100875 Beijing, PR China
4 European Southern Observatory, Alonso de Cordova 3107, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile
5 Department of Physics, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, 464-8601 Aichi, Japan
6 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
7 Departamento Astronomíay Astrofísica, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Av. Vicuña Mackenna 4860, 782-0436 Santiago, Chile
8 Vatican Observatory, V 00120 Vatican City State, Italy
9 Departamento de Ciencia Fisicas, Universidad Andres Bello, 8370134 Santiago, Chile
Received: 3 October 2013
Accepted: 29 April 2014
Context. Three dimensional interstellar extinction maps provide a powerful tool for stellar population analysis. However, until now, these 3D maps were rather limited by sensitivity and spatial resolution.
Aims. We use data from the VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea survey together with the Besançon stellar population synthesis model of the Galaxy to determine interstellar extinction as a function of distance in the Galactic bulge covering −10°<l< 10° and −10°<b< 5°.
Methods. We adopted a recently developed method to calculate the colour excess. First we constructed the H − Ks vs. Ks and J − Ks vs. Ks colour−magnitude diagrams based on the VVV catalogues that matched 2MASS. Then, based on the temperature−colour relation for M giants and the distance-colour relations, we derived the extinction as a function of distance. The observed colours were shifted to match the intrinsic colours in the Besançon model as a function of distance iteratively. This created an extinction map with three dimensions: two spatial and one distance dimension along each line of sight towards the bulge.
Results. We present a 3D extinction map that covers the whole VVV area with a resolution of 6′× 6′ for J − Ks and H − Ks using distance bins of 0.5 kpc. The high resolution and depth of the photometry allows us to derive extinction maps for a range of distances up to 10 kpc and up to 30 mag of extinction in AV (3.0 mag in AKs). Integrated maps show the same dust features and consistent values as other 2D maps. We discuss the spatial distribution of dust features in the line of sight, which suggests that there is much material in front of the Galactic bar, specifically between 5−7 kpc. We compare our dust extinction map with the high-resolution 12CO maps (NANTEN2) towards the Galactic bulge, where we find a good correlation between 12CO and AV. We determine the X factor by combining the CO map and our dust extinction map. Our derived average value X = 2.5 ± 0.47 × 1020 cm-2 K-1 km-1s is consistent with the canonical value of the Milky Way. The X-factor decreases with increasing extinction.
Key words: Galaxy: bulge / dust, extinction / Galaxy: stellar content
Full Table 1 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (22.214.171.124) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/566/A120
© ESO, 2014