JHKL Photometry and the K-Band Luminosity Function at the Galactic Center Academic Article uri icon


  • J, H, K, and L photometry for the stars in the central 2' (5 pc) of the Galaxy are presented. Using the observed J-H, H-K, and K-L colors and assumed intrinsic colors, we determine the interstellar extinction at 2.2 m (AK) for approximately 1100 individual stars. The mean AK (=3.3 mag) is similar to previous results, but we find that the reddening is highly variable, and some stars are likely to be seen ' through AK > 6 mag. The dereddened .K-band luminosity function points to a significantly brighter component to the stellar population (>1.5 mag at K) than found in the stellar population in Baade's window, confirming previous work done at lower spatial resolution. The observed flux of all Galactic center stars with estimated K0 (dereddened magnitude) 7.0 mag is 25% of the total in the 2 2 field. Our observations confirm the recent finding that several bright M stars in the Galactic center are variable. Our photometry also establishes the near-infrared variability of the Ml-2 supergiant, 1RS 7. 1996. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • The Astrophysical Journal

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Blum, R. D., Sellgren, K., & Depoy, D. L.

citation count

  • 114

complete list of authors

  • Blum, RD||Sellgren, K||Depoy, DL

publication date

  • October 1996