We present the most comprehensive picture ever obtained of the central parts of the Milky Way probed with RR Lyrae variable stars. This is a collection of 38 257 RR Lyr stars detected over 182 square degrees monitored photometrically by the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE) in the most central regions of the Galactic bulge. The sample consists of 16,804 variables found and published by the OGLE collaboration in 2011 and 21 453 RR Lyr stars newly detected in the photometric databases of the fourth phase of the OGLE survey (OGLE-IV). 93% of the OGLE-IV variables were previously unknown. The total sample consists of 27 258 RRab, 10 825 RRc, and 174 RRd stars. We provide OGLE-IV I- and V-band light curves of the variables along with their basic parameters.
About 300 RR Lyr stars in our collection are plausible members of 15 globular clusters. Among others, we found the first pulsating variables that may belong to the globular cluster Terzan 1 and the first RRd star in the globular cluster M54. Our survey also covers the center and outskirts of the Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy enabling studies of the spatial distribution of the old stellar population from this galaxy. A group of double-mode RR Lyr stars with period ratios around 0.740 forms a stream in the sky that may be a relic of a cluster or a dwarf galaxy tidally disrupted by the Milky Way. Three of our RR Lyr stars experienced a pulsation mode switching from double-mode to single fundamental mode or vice versa. We also present the first known RRd stars with large-amplitude Blazhko effect.
All photometric data is available from the OGLE Internet ArchivePLEASE cite the following paper when using the data or referring to these OGLE results: