Astrophys. J., 523, 248-264 (1999/September-3)
Variable and embedded stars in the galactic center.
OTT T., ECKART A. and GENZEL R.
Abstract (from CDS):
We report results of a time series analysis of high-resolution K-band imaging, photometry, and polarimetry of stars in the Galactic center cluster covering 7 consecutive years. In our statistical sample with mK<13, about half of the stars show indication of variability consistent with most of them being long-period variable, asymptotic giant branch stars. Some long-period variables already proposed in the literature are confirmed. They are identified with asymptotic giant branch stars. For the first time we show that the bright He I source IRS 16SW is a short-period variable with a period of ∼9.72 days. It is most likely an eclipsing binary with a lower mass limit of ≥100 solar masses. This confirms previous modeling of characteristics of the near-infrared spectra, which also indicated that IRS 16SW is a massive, young hot star. We also present the results of a polarization survey covering the central parsec of the Galaxy. Stars whose polarization vectors differ from the overall polarization, which is parallel to the Galactic plane, are mostly situated in the ``minispiral'',a region of high thermal flux density at centimeter-radio wavelengths. Some of these sources appear extended in the high-resolution images and have featureless red spectra. We interpret these objects as young stars that may have just recently been formed and are still embedded in a dust shell.
Stars: Binaries: Eclipsing - Galaxy: Center - Polarization - stars: variables: other (long-period variables)
VizieR on-line data:
<Available at CDS (J/ApJ/523/248): table1.dat table2.dat>
Table 2: [OEG99] NNN (Nos 1-218). Table 2: GCIRS NNWW N=7 new. Table 2: MPE +x.x+yy.y N=10 new.
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