Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Global survey of star clusters in the Milky Way: III. 139 new open clusters at high Galactic latitudes

Schmeja, S., Kharchenko, N.V., Piskunov, A.E., Roser, S., Schilbach, E., Froebrich, Dirk, Scholz, R.D. (2014) Global survey of star clusters in the Milky Way: III. 139 new open clusters at high Galactic latitudes. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 568 . ISSN 0004-6361. (doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201322720) (KAR id:49549)


Context. An earlier analysis of the Milky Way Star Cluster (MWSC) catalogue revealed an apparent lack of old (t � 1 Gyr) open clusters in the solar neighbourhood (d � 1 kpc). Aims. To fill this gap we undertook a search for hitherto unknown star clusters, assuming that the missing old clusters reside at high Galactic latitudes | b | > 20°. Methods. We were looking for stellar density enhancements using a star count algorithm on the 2MASS point source catalogue. To increase the contrast between potential clusters and the field, we applied filters in colour-magnitude space according to typical colour-magnitude diagrams of nearby old open clusters. The subsequent comparison with lists of known objects allowed us to select thus far unknown cluster candidates. For verification they were processed with the standard pipeline used within the MWSC survey for computing cluster membership probabilities and for determining structural, kinematic, and astrophysical parameters. Results. In total we discovered 782 density enhancements, 524 of which were classified as real objects. Among them 139 are new open clusters with ages 8.3 < log (t [yr]) < 9.7, distances d< 3 kpc, and distances from the Galactic plane 0.3 <Z< 1 kpc. This new sample has increased the total number of known high latitude open clusters by about 150%. Nevertheless, we still observe a lack of older nearby clusters up to 1 kpc from the Sun. This volume is expected to still contain about 60 unknown clusters that probably escaped our detection algorithm, which fails to detect sparse overdensities with large angular size.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1051/0004-6361/201322720
Additional information: Unmapped bibliographic data: C7 - A51 [EPrints field already has value set] LA - English [Field not mapped to EPrints] J2 - Astron. Astrophys. [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Mönchhofstr. 12-14, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Main Astronomical Observatory, 27 Academica Zabolotnogo Str., 03680 Kiev, Ukraine [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 48 Pyatnitskaya Str., 109017 Moscow, Russian Federation [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Science, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NH, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany [Field not mapped to EPrints] DB - Scopus [Field not mapped to EPrints]
Uncontrolled keywords: Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences, Open clusters and associations: general, Cluster computing, Galaxies, Space telescopes, Surveys, Astrophysical parameters, Colour-magnitude diagrams, Computing clusters, Density enhancement, Detection algorithm, Galactic latitude, Open clusters and associations: general, Solar neighbourhood, Stars
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QB Astronomy > QB460 Astrophysics
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Depositing User: Giles Tarver
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2015 09:59 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 23:04 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Froebrich, Dirk.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.