Discovery of a young stellar snake with two dissolving cores in the solar neighborhood.
Abstract (from CDS):
We report the discovery of a young (only 30-40 Myr) snake-like structure (dubbed a stellar snake) in the solar neighborhood from Gaia DR2. The average distance of this structure is about 310 pc from us. Both the length and width are over 200 pc, but the thickness is only about 80 pc. The snake has one tail and two dissolving cores, which can be clearly distinguished in the 6D phase space. The whole structure includes thousands of members with a total mass of larger than 2000 M☉ in a uniform population. The population is so young that it cannot be well explained with the classical theory of tidal tails. We therefore suspect that the snake is hierarchically primordial, rather than the result of dynamically tidal stripping, even if the snake is probably expanding. The coherent 5D phase information and the ages suggest that the snake was probably born in the same environment as the filamentary structure of Beccari et al. If so, the snake could extend the sky region of the Vela OB2 association by a factor of ∼2 and supplement the census of its coeval structures. This finding is useful to understanding the history of the formation and evolution of the Vela OB2 complex. The age of the snake well matches with that of the Gould Belt. In the sky region of our interest, we detect one new open cluster, which is named Tian 1 in this work.