Serendipitous discovery of a thin stellar stream near the Galactic bulge in the Pan-STARRS1 3π Survey

Edouard J. Bernard, Annette M. N. Ferguson, Edward F. Schlafly, Mohamad Abbas, Eric F. Bell, Niall R. Deacon, Nicolas F. Martin, Hans-Walter Rix, Branimir Sesar, Colin T. Slater, Jorge Peñarrubia, Rosemary F. G. Wyse, William S. Burgett, Kenneth C. Chambers, Peter W. Draper, Klaus W. Hodapp, Nicholas Kaiser, Rolf-Peter Kudritzki, Eugene A. Magnier, Nigel MetcalfeJeffrey S. Morgan, Paul A. Price, John L. Tonry, Richard J. Wainscoat, Christopher Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report the discovery of a thin stellar stream found in Pan-STARRS1 photometry near the Galactic bulge in the constellation of Ophiuchus. It appears as a coherent structure in the colour-selected stellar density maps produced to search for tidal debris around nearby globular clusters. The stream is exceptionally short and narrow; it is about 2.5° long and 6 arcmin wide in projection. The colour-magnitude diagram of this object, which harbours a blue horizontal-branch, is consistent with an old and relatively metal-poor population ([Fe/H] ˜-1.3) located 9.5 ± 0.9 kpc away at (l, b) ˜ (5°, +32°), and 5.0 ± 1.0 kpc from the Galactic centre. These properties argue for a globular cluster as progenitor. The finding of such a prominent, nearby stream suggests that many streams could await discovery in the more densely populated regions of our Galaxy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2014


  • surveys
  • globular clusters: general
  • Galaxy: halo
  • Galaxy: structure


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