MACHO Project Photometry of RR Lyrae Stars in the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy Academic Article uri icon

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  • We report the discovery of 30 type a,b RR Lyrae (RRab) which are likely members of the Sagittarius (Sgr) dwarf galaxy. Accurate positions, periods, amplitudes and magnitudes are presented. Their distances are determined with respect to RRab in the Galactic bulge found also in the MACHO 1993 data. For R$_{\odot} = 8$ kpc, the mean distance to these stars is $D = 22 \pm 1$ kpc, smaller than previous determinations for this galaxy. This indicates that Sgr has an elongated main body extending for more than 10 kpc, which is inclined along the line of sight, with its northern part (in Galactic coordinates) closer to us. The size and shape of Sgr give clues about the past history of this galaxy. If the shape of Sgr follows the direction of its orbit, the observed spatial orientation suggests that Sgr is moving away from the Galactic plane. Also, Sgr stars may be the sources of some of the microlensing events seen towards the bulge.


  • Alcock, C
  • Allsman, RA
  • Alves, DR
  • Axelrod, TS
  • Becker, AC
  • Bennett, DP
  • Cook, KH
  • Freeman, KC
  • Griest, K
  • Guern, JA
  • Lehner, MJ
  • Marshall, SL
  • Minniti, D
  • Peterson, BA
  • Pratt, MR
  • Quinn, PJ
  • Rodgers, AW
  • Stubbs, CW
  • Sutherland, W
  • Welch, Douglas L

publication date

  • January 1997