The Bulge carbon stars have been a mystery since their discovery by Azzopardi et al. (1991), because they are about too faint to be regarded as genuine AGB stars, if located inside the metal-rich Bulge . Part of the mystery can be solved if these carbon stars are related to the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy . They are in that case not old and metal-rich, but young, ∼0.1 Gyr, with SMC-like metallicity (Ng 1998).
= 113 ± 14 km s−1 (Tyson & Rich 1991) radial velocity dispersion of the stars appears to be consistent with Bulge membership. On the other hand, a similar velocity dispersion could be the result from an induced star formation event when the SDG crosses the galactic midplane. It is suggested that the carbon stars are tracers of such an event and that they therefore are located at distances related to the SDG. However, the majority of the carbon stars are not member of the SDG, nor are they similar to the C-stars which are member of the SDG.
The radial velocities can be used to determine a possible membership to the SDG. However, they do not give information about the distance of the stars. In particular, if the stars are located at a distance comparable to the SDG. This implies that only the period-luminosity relation (Groenewegen & Whitelock 1996) can be used to distinguish unambiguously if the carbon stars are located at Bulge-like or SDG-like distances. Thus far only carbon stars with reliable periods have been identified at a SDG related distance (Ng & Schultheis 1997; Whitelock 1998).