Point sources from a Spitzer IRAC survey of the galactic center

Solange V. Ramírez, Richard G. Arendt, Kris Sellgren, Susan R. Stolovy, Angela Cotera, Howard A. Smith, Farhad Yusef-Zadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


We have obtained Spitzer IRAC observations of the central 2.0° × 1.4° (∼280 × 200pc)of the Galaxy at3.6-8.0μm. A point-source catalog of 1,065,565 objects is presented. The catalog includes magnitudes for the point sources at 3.6,4.5,5.8, and 8.0 μm, as well as JHKs photometry from Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS). The point-source catalog is confusion limited with average limits of 12.4, 12.1, 11.7, and 11.2 mag for [3.6], [4.5], [5.8], and [8.0], respectively. We find that the confusion limits are spatially variable because of stellar surface density, background surface brightness level, and extinction variations across the survey region. The overall distribution of point-source density with Galactic latitude and longitude is essentially constant, but structure does appear when sources of different magnitude ranges are selected. Bright stars show a steep decreasing gradient with Galactic latitude and a slow decreasing gradient with Galactic longitude, with a peak at the position of the Galactic center. From IRAC color-magnitude and color-color diagrams, we conclude that most of the point sources in our catalog have IRAC magnitudes and colors characteristic of red giant and asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-164
Number of pages18
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Galaxy: center
  • Stars: late-type

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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