Nine tiny star clusters in Gaia DR1, PS1 and DES

G. Torrealba, V. Belokurov, S. E. Koposov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We present the results of a systematic Milky Way satellite search performed across an array of publicly available wide-area photometric surveys. Our aim is to complement previous searches by widening the parameter space covered. Specifically, we focus on objects smaller than 1 arcmin and include old, young, metal-poor, and metal-rich stellar population masks. As a result we find nine new likely genuine stellar systems in data from Gaia, DES, and Pan-STARRS, which were picked from the candidate list because of conspicuous counterparts in the cut-out images. The presented systems are all very compact (rh < 1 arcmin) and faint (MV ≳ −3), and are associated either with the Galactic disc, or the Magellanic Clouds. While most of the stellar systems look like open clusters (OCs), their exact classification is, as of today, unclear. With these discoveries, we extend the parameter space occupied by star clusters to sizes and luminosities previously unexplored and demonstrate that rather than two distinct classes of globular clusters and OCs, there appears to be a continuity of objects, unmarked by a clear decision boundary..
Original languageEnglish
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Early online date15 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • astro-ph.GA


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