Eleven new heavily reddened field Wolf-Rayet stars

J. D.T. Smith, Michael Cushing, Anthony Barletta, Don McCarthy, Craig Kulesa, Schuyler D. Van Dyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We report the results of a medium-narrowband 2μm line survey covering 5.8deg 2 near the Galactic plane. We confirm 11 new field Wolf-Rayet stars along three lines of sight probing the inner Galaxy, demonstrating the capability to uncover distant and highly reddened populations of Galactic wind-borne emission-line stars suffering extinction as high as A V 40 and as distant as 9kpc down to modest magnitude limits of K s 12.5. All stars are of subtype WC7-8, with median distance d = 6kpc and median extinction = 2.5. Over the fields surveyed, the density of Wolf-Rayet stars to limiting magnitude K s 12.5 was found to be 1.9deg -2. We compare this to models which predict their distribution within the Galaxy and find that, even neglecting survey and subtype incompleteness, they consistently underpredict the number of newly discovered stars along the surveyed lines of sight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number166
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • infrared: stars
  • stars: Wolf-Rayet
  • techniques: spectroscopic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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