Number density distribution of near-infrared sources on a sub-degree scale in the Galactic center: comparison with the Fe XXV Kα line at 6.7 keV

Yasui, Kazuki; Nishiyama, Shogo; Yoshikawa, Tatsuhito; Nagatomo, Schun; Uchiyama, Hideki; Tsuru, Takeshi Go; Koyama, Katsuji; Tamura, Motohide; Kwon, Jungmi; Sugitani, Koji; Schödel, Rainer; Nagata, Tetsuya
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan, Advance Access. 7 pp. (2015).


The stellar distribution derived from an H- and KS-band survey of the central region of our Galaxy is compared with the Fe XXV Kα (6.7 keV) line intensity observed with the Suzaku satellite. The survey is for the galactic coordinates |l| ≲ 3.0° and |b | ≲ 1.0° (equivalent to 0.8 kpc × 0.3 kpc for R⊙ = 8 kpc), and the number-density distribution N(KS,0; l, b) of stars is derived by using the extinction-corrected magnitude KS,0 = 10.5. This is deep enough to probe the old red-giant population and in turn to estimate the (l, b) distribution of faint X-ray point sources such as coronally active binaries and cataclysmic variables. In the Galactic plane (b = 0°), N(10.5; l, b) increases in the direction of the Galactic center as |l|-0.30±0.03 in the range of - 0.1° ≥ l ≥ - 0.7°, but this increase is significantly slower than the increase (|l|-0.44±0.02) of the Fe XXV Kα line intensity. If normalized with the ratios in the outer region 1.5° ≤ |l| ≤ 2.8°, where faint X-ray point sources are argued to dominate the diffuse Galactic X-ray ridge emission, the excess of the Fe XXV Kα line intensity over the stellar number density is at least a factor of two at |l| = 0.1°. This indicates that a significant part of the Galactic-center diffuse emission arises from a truly diffuse optically thin thermal plasma, and not from an unresolved collection of faint X-ray point sources related to the old stellar population.