Contents of: VI/111/./abstract/AOMONT_ISOGALPO.abs

The following document lists the file abstract/AOMONT_ISOGALPO.abs from catalogue VI/111.
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The central regions of the Milky Way contain the most extreme stellar
cluster known, the majority of the stellar mass of the Galaxy, most of
the spiral structure, much of the star formation, all of the disk bar
(if it exists), the mysterious central bulge and nucleus, the inner
molecular ring, and many examples of rare and extreme states of stellar
and dynamical evolution. From the ground most of these are confused in
projection and obscured even in the near IR, and it is impossible to
make a systematic large scale search in the IR beyond the L band
(3.5mu). From space, only low sensitivity and/or low spatial resolution
data exist thus far, so that our understanding of the inner Galaxy
remains superficial. ISO, combined with the coming near IR surveys,
DENIS (in which we are engaged) and 2MASS, will fundamentally improve
our understanding of the inner Galaxy (structures, stellar
populations, extinction...). The sensitivity and the angular resolution
of ISOCAM are sufficient to detect sources of the dominant stellar
populations (red giants) at the Galactic centre, the wavelength chosen
(15mu, LW3) is far enough from those accessible from the ground to
provide entirely new data and to escape reddening, while not being so
red as to prevent easy 2mu identifications of individual sources. A
large survey is critical, as in any single line of sight foreground and
background are inextricably confused unless one can resolve individual
sources, and obtain complementary data to identify (statistical)
distances. A large area is also needed for statistics on rare
populations, such as mass-losing AGB stars, and thus for scientific
goals such as the total amount of matter fed by the stars to the
interstellar medium. Similarly, many of the fundamental structures in
the Galaxy are seen preferentially on scales of tens of degrees. We
propose an ISO 15mu survey of  15 deg^2 in selected areas of the
central l=+/-30deg of the Galactic Plane, additional colour mapping of
the central cluster, all complemented by our 0.8-2.2mu DENIS data.

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