Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 434, 194-208 (2013/September-1)
NGC 1252: a high altitude, metal poor open cluster remnant.
DE LA FUENTE MARCOS R., DE LA FUENTE MARCOS C., MONI BIDIN C., CARRARO G. and COSTA E.
Abstract (from CDS):
If stars form in clusters but most stars belong to the field, understanding the details of the transition from the former to the latter is imperative to explain the observational properties of the field. Aging open clusters are one of the sources of field stars. The disruption rate of open clusters slows down with age but, as an object gets older, the distinction between the remaining cluster or open cluster remnant (OCR) and the surrounding field becomes less and less obvious. As a result, finding good OCR candidates or confirming the OCR nature of some of the best candidates still remain elusive. One of these objects is NGC 1252, a scattered group of about 20 stars in Horologium. Here we use new wide-field photometry in the UBVI passbands, proper motions from the Yale/San Juan SPM 4.0 catalogue and high-resolution spectroscopy concurrently with results from N-body simulations to decipher NGC 1252's enigmatic character. Spectroscopy shows that most of the brightest stars in the studied area are chemically, kinematically and spatially unrelated to each other. However, after analysing proper motions, we find one relevant kinematic group. This sparse object is relatively close ( ∼ 1kpc), metal poor and is probably not only one of the oldest clusters (3 Gyr) within 1.5kpc from the Sun but also one of the clusters located farthest from the disc, at an altitude of nearly -900pc. That makes NGC 1252 the first open cluster that can be truly considered a high Galactic altitude OCR: an unusual object that may hint at a star formation event induced on a high Galactic altitude gas cloud. We also conclude that the variable TW Horologii and the blue straggler candidate HD 20286 are unlikely to be part of NGC 1252. NGC 1252 17 is identified as an unrelated, Population II cannonball star moving at about 400kms-1.
© 2013 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society (2013)
stars: individual: HD 20286 - stars: individual: NGC 1252 17 - stars: individual: NGC 1252 21 - stars: individual: TW Horologii - open clusters and associations: general - open clusters and associations: individual: NGC 1252
VizieR on-line data:
<Available at CDS (J/MNRAS/434/194): ngc1252.dat>
[DDM2013] NNN (Nos 1-356).
Status at CDS
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