Top-left panel: Ks × (J − Ks) CMD for an area of 1 sq. deg. centred at (l,b) = (0.0, − 9.5). This is the outermost region in the VVV bulge area, on the Galactic minor axis. The different stellar populations are labelled. Red circles show the colours of M-dwarfs for a distance modulus of (mKs − MKs) = 7 mag (see text). The top-central and top-right panels show stellar population synthesis models of the Galaxy for the same region, provided by the Besançon (centre) and Trilegal models (right-hand), including photometric errors and an extinction as described in the text (see Sect. 4). In the Besançon model stars are shown according to luminosity class. Main-sequence stars are depicted in orange, subgiants in blue and giants are red dots. Supergiants, bright giants, and white dwarfs are also present, but there are only a few (show in light blue, magenta and purple, respectively). The relative numbers are given in Table 3. On the other hand, the Trilegal model highlights the Galactic components, with 69.6% of the stars belonging the bulge (in red), 18.3% are located in the halo (in blue) and 10.6% are thin-disk stars (in orange). A small fraction of 1.5% are thick-disk stars (green dots). The bottom-left panel shows the luminosity function for data and model. The bottom-right panel shows the luminosity function of each luminosity class in the Besançon data. The colour code is the same as used in the CMDs.
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