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Published November 1993 | Published
Journal Article Open

Wide field camera observations of Baade's Window


We have observed a field in Baade's Window using the Wide Field Camera of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and obtain V- and /-band photometry down to V~22.5. These data go several magnitudes fainter than previously obtained from the ground. The location of the break in the luminosity function suggests that there are a significant number of intermediate age ( < 10 Gyr) stars in the Galactic bulge. This conclusion rests on the assumptions that the extinction towards our field is similar to that seen in other parts of Baade's Window, that the distance to the bulge is approximately 8 kpc, and that we can determine fairly accurate zero points for the HST photometry. Changes in any one of these assumptions could increase the inferred age, but a conspiracy oflower reddening, a shorter distance to the bulge, and/or photometric zero-point errors would be needed to imply a population entirely older than 10 Gyr. We infer an initial mass function slope for the main-sequence stars, and find that it is consistent with that measured in the solar neighborhood; unfortunately, the slope is poorly constrained because we sample only a narrow range of stellar mass and because of uncertainties in the observed luminosity function at the faint end.

Additional Information

© 1993 American Astronomical Society. Provided by the NASA Astrophysics Data System. Received 1992 November 9; revised 1993 July 8. We would like to thank Mario Mateo and collaborators for sharing with us their ground-based pictures and magnitudes of stars in Baade's Window. This research was conducted by the WFPC Investigation Definition Team, supported in part by NASA Grant No. NAS5-1661.

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Published - 1993AJ____106_1826H.pdf


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