The axial ratio of the galactic stellar halo

Jeffrey A. Larsen, Roberta M. Humphreys

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23 Scopus citations


We report our results for the axial ratio of the stellar halo based on star counts from the APS catalog of the POSS I. We have used counts from seven POSS I fields, 16 deg each, including the NGP plus six in the l = 90°/270° plane with \b\ = 40° and 50°. We investigate the dependence of the observed ratio on latitude and magnitude. The observed counts yield a mean ratio of 0.5 implying c/a ≤ 0.5 for a deprojected r1/4 law. When corrected for possible contamination by quasars and an extended/thick disk, the ratio increases to only 0.6. We conclude that there is a significant population of stars above the Galactic plane in a flattened distribution in addition to those already ascribed to an extended or thick disk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L149-L152
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1994


  • Galaxy: halo
  • Galaxy: structure
  • Stars: statistics


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