Towards the big picture of the Milky Way bulge
European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
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Evidence has been growing in the last few years that the Bulge is very complex, with maybe two or more components partially overlapping in space, kinematics and metallicity. An extensive mapping of these properties is necessary to disentangle them. I present our results based on α-elements abundances for a total of 650 RGB stars in 4 fields along the major and minor axis of the Bulge. Results point towards a spatial homogeneity of α-element enhancement in the metal-poor regime and a population of alpha-poor metal-rich stars which disappears at high latitudes (b = −12). Bulge metal-poor alpha enhancement is also indistinguishable from the one of the thick disk. Further constrains on Bulge populations are provided by the Vista Variables in the Via Lactea survey (VVV) from which I present our recent results in extinction, structure and photometric metallicities.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2012