The Line-of-Sight distribution in the inner 30 pc of the Galaxy

B. Vollmer1, W.J. Duschl2, R. Zylka3

1 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Bonn, Germany
2 ITA,Universität Heidelberg, Germany
3 Universität Köln, Germany

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see: A&A, 367, 72 (2001); A&A, 377, 1016 (2001); A&A, 388, 128 (2002)

2MASS KS band data of the inner 30 pc of the Galaxy are used to reconstruct the line-of-sight distances of the giant molecular clouds located in this region. Using the 2MASS H band image of the same region two different populations of point sources are identified according to their flux ratio in the two bands. The population of blue point sources forms a homogeneous foreground that has to be subtracted before analyzing the KS band image. The reconstruction is made using two basic assumptions: (i) an axis-symmetric stellar distribution in the region of interest and (ii) optical thick clouds with an area filling factor of ~1 that block all light of stars located behind them.