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Eleven New Heavily Reddened Field Wolf–Rayet Stars

Smith, J. D. T. and Cushing, Michael and Barletta, Anthony and McCarthy, Don and Kulesa, Craig and Van Dyk, Schuyler D. (2012) Eleven New Heavily Reddened Field Wolf–Rayet Stars. Astronomical Journal, 144 (6). Art. No. 166. ISSN 0004-6256.

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We report the results of a medium-narrowband 2 μm line survey covering 5.8 deg^2 near the Galactic plane. We confirm 11 new field Wolf-Rayet stars along three lines of sight probing the inner Galaxy, demonstrating the capability to uncover distant and highly reddened populations of Galactic wind-borne emission-line stars suffering extinction as high as A_V ~ 40 and as distant as 9 kpc down to modest magnitude limits of K_s ~ 12.5. All stars are of subtype WC7-8, with median distance d = 6 kpc and median extinction A_(Ks) = 2.5. Over the fields surveyed, the density of Wolf-Rayet stars to limiting magnitude K_s ~ 12.5 was found to be 1.9 deg^(–2). We compare this to models which predict their distribution within the Galaxy and find that, even neglecting survey and subtype incompleteness, they consistently underpredict the number of newly discovered stars along the surveyed lines of sight.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Smith, J. D. T.0000-0003-1545-5078
Cushing, Michael0000-0001-7780-3352
Van Dyk, Schuyler D.0000-0001-9038-9950
Additional Information:© 2012 American Astronomical Society. Received 2011 August 3; accepted 2012 August 24; published 2012 November 2. Author J.D.T.S. is grateful for support for this project from a William F. and Elizabeth Lucas Junior Faculty Award. This work is also supported (in part) by NASA through the Spitzer Space Telescope Fellowship Program, through a contract issued by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA. We thank D. Figer for early access to a K-band spectral WR catalog, which was crucial for filter design, R. Finn and J. Hinz for their help designing the Pisces observational program, C. Karp of Chroma Technology Corp. for his assistance with filter construction and deployment, W. Vacca for useful discussions on NIR WR typing, J. Wilson, M. Skrutskie, and D. Peterson for their support of CorMASS observations and reductions, and an anonymous referee for comments which substantially improved this work.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
William F. and Elizabeth Lucas Junior Faculty AwardUNSPECIFIED
NASA Spitzer FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:infrared: stars; stars: Wolf-Rayet; techniques: spectroscopic
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130115-084423445
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Eleven New Heavily Reddened Field Wolf–Rayet Stars J. D. T. Smith et al. 2012 The Astronomical Journal 144 166
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:36369
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:15 Jan 2013 17:07
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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