Variations of the Selective Extinction Across the Galactic Bulge - Implications for the Galactic Bar


We propose a new method to investigate the coefficient of the selective extinction, based on two band photometry. This method uses red clump stars as a means to construct the reddening curve. We apply this method to the OGLE color-magnitude diagrams to investigate the variations of the selective extinction towards various parts of the Galactic bulge. We find that AV/EVβˆ’IA_{_V}/E_{_{V-I}} coefficient is within the errors the same for l=Β±5deg⁑l=\pm 5\deg OGLE fields. Therefore, the difference of ∼0.37β€…β€Šmag\sim 0.37\;mag in the extinction adjusted apparent magnitude of the red clump stars in these fields (Stanek et al.~1994, 1995) cannot be assigned to a large-scale gradient of the selective extinction coefficient. This strengthens the implication of this difference as indicator of the presence of the bar in our Galaxy. However using present data we cannot entirely exclude the possibility of ∼0.2β€…β€Šmag/mag\sim 0.2\;mag/mag variations of the selective extinction coefficient on the large scales across the bulge.Comment: submitted to ApJ Letters, 10 pages, gziped PostScript with figures included; also available through WWW at

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