Astron. J., 137, 4824-4833 (2009/June-0)
The discovery of a massive cluster of red supergiants with GLIMPSE.
ALEXANDER M.J., KOBULNICKY H.A., CLEMENS D.P., JAMESON K., PINNICK A. and PAVEL M.
Abstract (from CDS):
We report the discovery of a previously unknown massive Galactic star cluster at ℓ = 29°.22, b = -0°.20. Identified visually in mid-IR images from the Spitzer GLIMPSE survey, the cluster contains at least eight late-type supergiants, based on follow-up near-IR spectroscopy, and an additional 3-6 candidate supergiant members having IR photometry consistent with a similar distance and reddening. The cluster lies at a local minimum in the 13CO column density and 8 µm emission. We interpret this feature as a hole carved by the energetic winds of the evolving massive stars. The 13CO hole seen in molecular maps at VLSR∼ 95 km/s corresponds to near/far kinematic distances of 6.1/8.7±1 kpc. We calculate a mean spectrophotometric distance of 7.0+3.7–2.4kpc, broadly consistent with the kinematic distances inferred. This location places it near the northern end of the Galactic bar. For the mean extinction of AV= 12.6±0.5 mag (AK= 1.5±0.1 mag), the color-magnitude diagram of probable cluster members is well fit by isochrones in the age range 18-24 Myr. The estimated cluster mass is ∼20,000 M☉. With the most massive original cluster stars likely deceased, no strong radio emission is detected in this vicinity. As such, this red supergiant (RSG) cluster is representative of adolescent massive Galactic clusters that lie hidden behind many magnitudes of dust obscuration. This cluster joins two similar RSG clusters as residents of the volatile region where the end of our Galaxy's bar joins the base of the Scutum-Crux spiral arm, suggesting a recent episode of widespread massive star formation there.
Galaxy: stellar content - infrared: stars - open clusters and associations: general
Text: [AKC2009] Cluster. Table 1: [AKC2009] NN (Nos 1-16).
View the reference in ADS
To bookmark this query, right click on this link: simbad:2009AJ....137.4824A and select 'bookmark this link' or equivalent in the popup menu